Guest Post by Peter Kassen, Hidden Valley Camp
It’s always timely to address the idea of “learning” at camp. We all know that children learn on many levels, acquiring skills in the arts and outdoor pursuits, developing their social capacity, deepening their personal resilience and emotional repertoire, etc. From time to time we’ll be talking about how we nurture these accomplishments.
And of course, we see these same developments with staff. Below are some comments from last summer’s group about what they gained at camp.
“I discovered that I really do like working with kids, and I made a lot of amazing friends.”
“I gained so much from my summer at HVC, but one thing that resonates with me is a gain of confidence.”
“This summer taught me things about myself that I never knew, like how well I connect with kids, leadership, and responsibility.”
“A better sense of who I want to be.“
“I am also better at juggling multiple tasks and not going crazy.”
“Being able to help my campers with homesickness and to be a positive influence made me feel invincible.”
Even camp directors learn a thing or two during their summers. For one, I have learned that at any moment I could be confronted with an event or question, an emergency of some sort, a dynamic in a cabin or among staff; some set of circumstances that requires me to empathize, read between the lines, place events in context, set priorities, quickly respond, etc. And we must do this reassuringly, projecting both calm and strength. This is one of the skills that I, as a camp director, have learned at camp.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.