Grounded in Intentional Practices
So what sets us apart from other summer camps? Two words: "intentional practices."
To us, doing something with intention means to have a meaning or lesson behind every message and activity. This means we're not just biding time filling the day with mindless games. Instead, every game, every field trip location, and every conversation is seen as an opportunity to instill lessons in social awareness, responsibility, cooperation, and respect.
Example: Capture the Flag is a fun game where kids get to run around playing team "tag" while trying to steal the opponent's flag and bring it back to their side. Frivolous and fun exercise on the surface, with an intentional lens it becomes an opportunity to demonstrate and enact teamwork, communication, leadership, and risk-assessment, all integral skills in youth development and growth.
But how does it work?
How do these underlying themes become overlaying lessons? When high-character staff bring them to light before and after each activity. Each game and trip is started with an intro where these "seeds" are planted, to be "harvested" afterward with a youth-driven reflection and decompression. The end result? Kids reap all the physical and social-emotional benefits of group play and exercise but with the added potency of group reflection and conversation. They grow and learn without ever feeling it's some "boring" life lesson!
Outdoors for a Reason
Similarly, we're not just outdoors for "fun and games" (although that's a huge bonus) but because it allows us to constantly facilitate appreciation and respect for our natural environment.
Leave No Trace Ethics: Perhaps the most important lesson of the 21st century is the impact human lifestyle has on the planet. One of the most intentional ways to instill this lesson is Leave No Trace, wherein we remind youth at every corner and turn that even a footprint or a tiny wrapper can have a major impact on the health of our Earth
Sense of Community: Modern conveniences can be great - until they take away what makes us most human. By being outdoors and at the whim of the weather and environment, we recreate the group identity of a "tribe," collectively withstanding the elements and approaching each day with a sense of team adventure
Renewed Sense of Spiritual Awareness - Atheist, Christian, Jewish, doesn't matter - being out in nature brings us back to our own true Nature as beings of the earth. There is no dogma to hugging a tree, no sense of division in admiring the beauty of a butterfly! Just by being outdoors we reconnect with the part of ourselves that goes silent watching TV, and with intentional reminders of this sensation at every turn, we'll be highlighting with kids how great it feels to be alive and outside!