Few campers fully understand the impact of their summer camp experience until they are adults. For those boys who go on to become camp counselors and program leaders, they not only recognize the benefits earlier but are there to witness how Camp Chikopi impacts current campers in so many meaningful ways. Every camper will encounter ups and downs, but every camp adventure at Camp Chikopi is designed to impact a boys’ life in a positive way. It’s an environment where self-confidence thrives; where leadership skills are honed; and where personal fears are replaced with self-assurance. Simply put, Camp Chikopi teaches boys that they CAN DO.
Whether it’s personal experience, being away from home for the first time or a personal goal, making the varsity team, the benefits of Camp Chikopi are unmistakable. To begin with, boys develop lifetime skills at Chikopi – everything from swimming and orientation to cabin and personal maintenance. At our sports camp, boys improve fitness in their preferred sport and build proficiency in a variety of others. But there’s much more to Chikopi than just sports. We are a small camp where social and communication skills are developed. Teamwork and collaboration are emphasized. And campers are educated in how to manage adversity in a productive fashion.
The fun part at a sports camp like ours is naturally the swimming, the biking and the canoeing as well as the soccer, the basketball and the tennis. But at the same time the boys are developing their sports skills they are also developing less obvious skills – learning how to communicate; how to problem solve; and how to be self-reliant. It could be said that summer camp is actually a source of “parallel” education, incorporating activity skills and life skills in one. Boys absorb their surroundings and environment quickly and easily. It means that a positive and empowering environment like Camp Chikopi will influence a boy from one summer to the next.
Nothing quite inspires a camper like a great counselor. In fact, the best counselors will captivate their campers. They serve to motivate, to liberate, and above all, they create a role model that can be admired. Not to forget, the best counselors also make camp adventures exciting, something that every camper craves, and something that brings the boys back year after year. Indeed, friendships and personal memories make up for perhaps the most significant takeaway – the relationships that will last a lifetime, even when summer is long gone.
It’s only when campers have grown into adulthood that they relish the connections they made with camp friends and camp staff. For many campers, those friendships last a lifetime, similar to school friends whom they stay in contact with forever. And while not every relationship becomes life long, many friendships thrive at camp, where everyone is safe and comfortable, and ready to step out of a personal comfort zone. Some campers will come out of their shell; some will emerge with self-confidence, while others will mature.
What boys experience at summer camp will affect them for their entire life. To be sure, they will have fun, and they will enjoy their camp adventure. But they will also make good friends, and will begin to learn about themselves, essentially growing in to well rounded adults.
Planning for summer camp is the fun and exciting part. And going away for six or eight weeks is a great experience for any child. But coming home from a fabulous summer away can be a bit of a challenge. The key for every parent is to ensure a “smooth landing” for their child once summer is over. And its simply about creating a caring and supportive home environment post-summer.