From Camp Coordinator, Beth Brown
It is the third week of August and I am finally able to get my bearings after an exhausting, fun-filled, and rewarding Summer of camp. Each week we had a different crew of kids with faces familiar and new. I learned an amazing amount from these kids and our Summer Camp Interns Olivia, Sonny, and Hannah.
Have you ever opened up a collective art shop and created your own currency? Or built a ladder from vines and sticks? Or even created a brand new game for your friends with their help to workshop the kinks? That’s just some of the things that our campers did. Have you ever planned, executed, and revised a whole week of activities for nine new faces? Or resolved a personal conflict with a child over a collaborative lunch meeting, to play tag with them twenty minutes later? Our interns and youth counselors did.
I do not have words for the amount of life, love, and joy I was witness to over the course of this Summer. But what I can do is give you a look in to the activities and invite you to participate in next Summer’s round of camps, of which I’m already looking forward to.
This past June was a whirlwind of activity. There was a trip to the Great Saltpetre Cave Preserve where campers (and counselors) faced their fears on an wild cave tour. We also went to Pleasant Ridge Montessori for a week of camp where we had little ones reading stories, middle ones making candles, and older ones visiting Sunrock Farm and RockQuest. We also led a camp at Academy of World Languages and took Summer Students on explorations of nearby Owl’s Nest Park while also leading the Chordata Classes Camp, each day’s theme relating to the five chordate classes on Imago’s 16 acre preserve that same week.
In July we chose to focus on experimental camp ideas that were a rousing success. One week we held a Giving Camp that was based on the idea of gift economy, paying for goods or services with a gift of your choice versus money. This concept, though risky, brought us snacks for multiple camp weeks and several donations of talent from parents. Another week we worked with Community Matters in Lower Price Hill to bring six children, none of whom had been in the woods, up to Imago for a week of camp.
Throughout the whole Summer, but especially within these more community oriented camps, we were able to provide $7,000 in scholarships to children in Cincinnati so that they can have equal access to time in nature.
As the Summer Camp director, I’m looking forward to increasing our impact and taking all I’ve learned into next Summer. Let us know if you have any ideas, contributions, or children for camp! See ya next Summer!