Friendship at Camp!

Making new friends at camp is one of those bonus aspects found under “the benefits of camp”.  Some friendships that last a lifetime start right here during the summer.  The other benefits are numerous to just mention a few.  Traditional organized camping is in its 150th year and has become a part of the fabric of America.  There’s a camp out there for everyone and each and every child should be able to have this opportunity if they want it.  It’s been a success for that long because it’s an extension of the teaching classroom and offers the child another way to learn and build relationships.  Those two things right there are great but there’s more.  Camp is a safe and nurturing environment where children can fail, pick themselves up, try again and gain the confidence to succeed in any number of ways.  There’s always a mentor to help them along the way and to encourage them in their decisions.  Camp provides experiences that promote self confidence and growth.  Research has shown that parents, camp staff and campers report significant growth in areas including leadership, independence, social comfort, developing strong values and learning decision making skills from the camp experience.  Camp encourages a respect and love of our natural world.  Just look how many children have been touched by the farm and our attention to nature here at Gwynn Valley.  It’s hard to unplug in this world but GV plugs them into a world without screens that is real, imaginative, scientific, and creates a direct relationship to their world.  Camp also keeps us physically active.  Where can you play all day, eat healthy food, feel good about yourself and go to bed tired, fulfilled and happy as a clam….,then wake up and do it all over again.  What gave me these thoughts today was a picture sent to me by a parent who was hosting a weekend gathering of girls who lived together in Indian Paintbrush Riverside II, 2010.  They all got together in Chapel Hill for some friendship and reliving great memories of camp.  You go girls! Thank you for continuing to burn the flame of friendship created here at Gwynn Valley.