Once in awhile, we hear concerns from parents about a lack of structure at our camp. We don’t see our camp as a tradeoff between structured and unstructured, but rather, what flavor of structure we offer.
With that in mind, our learning design team uses structure in a very unique way - to maximize the freedom that every kid has to make choices about their camp experience, and to learn from those choices. This is very different from traditional school, which tells you what to learn, what to make, and how to make it. We believe that structure is at its best when it equips a child to make their own decisions and learn to trust their own judgment.
We have a consistent schedule that provides clear time structure to different parts of the day. The biggest difference between our camp and most other camps is that we allow children to choose their own activities, rather than grouping campers and forcing them to rotate from one activity to the next. During the main part of the day, we have multiple indoor and outdoor activities all taking place simultaneously and campers can move freely between them.
Our counselors are trained not only to supervise activities, but also to monitor the common areas between activities to make sure that campers are always safe and supported if they aren’t sure what to do next. While allowing children to choose activities sounds like it would result in a lot of transition and flux, most campers tend to choose activities that get them very engaged. (Basically, while it may look hectic for adults, kids generally know exactly what they’re doing.) For any campers who have trouble adapting to this structure, our staff are trained to help. In fact, every camp has a staff member dedicated to helping children connect with the program and with other campers through the use of various internal reports.