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Helping Hands in the 3-Weeks


       Looking at the schedule for today’s camp activities could start up a moment of déjà vu.  As the 3-Week campers and new Day campers roll in, the itinerary for the day is very similar to the beginning of the 4-week session.  All the staff can be seen in their bright blue shirts and name-tags escorting newcomers to their cabin or keeping the 7-week campers busy in the meanwhile.  There are nurse checks, swim tests and, of course, the activity fair.  Details on what the activity fair is can be found in a previous post : “Choices ,Checks and Tests.”.

                Today, there is different than the similar day 4 weeks ago. The energy on camp has weathered, quite literally, to something more relaxed and smooth.  A stride has been caught by campers and staff alike; not to mention the relaxing day at the beach and a Great Escape. Perhaps, that is why Willow, a 7-weeker, believes it is easier to get acclimated to camp coming in the 3-week session.

                For many campers, acclimation is no issue, instead it is more important to visit that most missed part of camp or see that beloved counselor. For others, the arrival in the 3-weeks can be a difficult one. Chase, a seasoned 6-year 3-weeker in the ADV section says, “it can be difficult adjusting with new friends and socializing with the people who have been so close for 4 weeks before.” Yet, he follows this up by saying “people will definitely reach out … help you find your way around…years go on ….you get better and make better friends.”  Now, as an ADV camper, Chase will be stepping into a counselor-in-training role and helping younger campers, 4-week and 3-week alike.

                “It’s a lot of just getting used to the flow of the camp.” Sophie says. It is no question that there is a learning curve in getting used to the day-to-day activities.  This can be even more difficult with the quickness that the 3-weeks goes by in.  It is almost as if the engine was started 4 weeks ago and now there is no stopping or slowing down; the 3-weekers just need to jump and hold on.  However, “a lot of the 7-weekers are really good at reaching out and showing the ropes.” Sophie adds.  This ‘helping hand’ communal effort, is how the activity fair differs than the previous one.

                “The 7-weekers don’t participate in the activity fair, they help sell the classes.” Counselor Maddie August explains.  So, instead of walking around to see explanations of what they already know, these campers are put in a position of responsibility to help out other campers, right away.  Lucia and Olivia made up a jingle for their homestead presentation and were very eager to share it. The simplicity is great. “Make shake bake take. Homestead.”  They would then explain how each word represents an activity they do in the class. 

                This approach to a new session provides all the campers with an opportunity to do something new.  Classes and activities can be fun, but the responsibility campers learn helping others in this process, or reaching out for help even, is something special to take home to parents at the end of the summer.  It won’t crack like pottery or slip under the fridge like a painting and it’ll blossom continuously throughout life.

              A new session, means new fun! A Harry Potter themed dinner is soon as well as another BIG game. Stay tuned!