At long last, parents of children who are going to summer camp for the first time have a choice available that is directly tailored to the needs of their child. After listening for years to parents and children expressing what they feel is important for a positive first time summer camp experience, Jeff and Lonnie Lorenz, directors of Swift Nature Camp, have created Discovery Camp, a program designed to meet the specific needs of all new campers and their parents.
Discovery Camp is a twelve-day First Timers Program offered at the Swift Nature Camp facilities near Minong, Wisconsin. The program utilizes Swift Camps highly trained staff at a ratio of two staff members for every cabin of eight new campers. The first time at summer camp will quite possibly be a childs first extended time away from home. The program acknowledges this by making sure that every new camper will find a staff member on hand at all times. First time campers need to feel special, and the first priority of this program is to foster the sense that camp is there for them and exists for their benefit.
Prior to each campers arrival, the staff studies the informational packet for that person. They learn about each child and gain awareness of specific individual needs. If any camper has medical circumstances or special needs these will discussed by the staff in confidence with the camp nurse. By the time a child arrives at camp, the staff will feel as if they already know that new camper. This preparation is immediately beneficial to the first-time camper from the moment he or she steps off the bus and is warmly and personally greeted.
The first day of Discovery Camp is Orientation Day. New campers get a complete tour of Swift Nature Camp, including a visit to the HealthCenter, the Mail Box, and every activity area. Every activity is introduced with a discussion about the importance of safety and the basic safety information for that activity.
Staff members work hard to promote an atmosphere of nurturing and harmonious friendship from the campers first day of cabin life. There is a Respect List for all to agree to and sign, and each night will end with a bedtime story. The cabin is the place where community begins. First time campers are gently brought into a sense of connection and community with others who begin on equal footing.
At Discovery Camp, first time campers are introduced to Swift Camps well rounded noncompetitive variety of camp activities. Each morning a cabins campers are invited to instruction at two activity areas. These activities include Swimming, Canoeing, Nature Center, Arts and Crafts, Archery, and more. The new campers are encouraged to try new and different activities, giving each of them the opportunity to discover and explore what activities he or she might enjoy and eventually excel in. In the afternoon, campers learn how to make their own choices from the activity board, making their own decisions about which activity to pursue that day.
Swift Nature Camp aims to encourage each child to learn independence in a safe, age appropriate environment. The twelve day first-timer program is set up to run the optimum length of time for a first time camper to leave homesickness behind and gain a comfortable sense of autonomy. For many of these campers the greatest first lesson camp teaches them is that they can leave home, return days later and find out that very few things will have changed, especially their parents love for them.
The directors of Swift Nature Camp think it's important that parents know that their childrens first time away from home is in a safe, nurturing and secure environment. As a part of the Discovery Camps first timer program, parents are encouraged to visit at any time after the first five days.
Parents who would like to find out if this is the right first-time summer camp experience for their child are encouraged to speak with other parents who have had their children attend Swift Nature Camp. A list of references is readily available for that purpose. Discovery Camp, a special program for the first time summer camp experience, is finally available to suit the needs of campers and parents alike!
Read 415 times
Last modified on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 21:07