Overnight Camps Cook Up Memorable Fun
Finding a residential camp for your child takes legwork, but your investment in research will mean peace of mind for you — as well as dividends of fun for your child.
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Benefits of Camp
In addition to learning new skills, children learn how to collaborate and live in community while gaining self-confidence and independence through problem-solving and teamwork. “All those things are life skills and assets that every parent wants for their child,” says Tipograph.
Next Generation of Foodies
One example of a traditional camp that offers a variety of specialty tracks is Hidden Valley Camp, located in mid-coastal Maine. The camp attracts kids ages 8 and 14 from all over the world. Camp director Peter Kassen finds that culinary classes are especially attractive to campers, thanks in large part to pop culture and a greater interest in eating well.
“This idea of being a foodie has really permeated the culture. Being involved in producing your own food and eating good food has become more central not just with adults but with children as well,” Kassen says.
Through culinary classes, campers acquire a valuable life skill, learning to prepare quality, healthy meals from specialists in the food industry, and tasting foods from all over the globe.
“Last year, we had a group of 10 Korean campers accompanied by a woman who brings them over. She cooked a Korean meal for the entire camp. It was spectacular,” Kassen says.
But cooking is only one aspect of the camp. Whether they try windsurfing, horseback riding, or tennis, Kassen hopes campers leave camp with a sense of confidence.
“At any good camp, campers . . . get excited about an idea, and they pursue it from beginning to end without an adult telling them they had to do it in the first place,” he says. “That’s why people value time at camp. Children can learn and grow.”
ACACamps.org – Details on accredited residential camps nationally
TheMaineCampExperience.com – Residential camps in Maine
everythingsummer.com – Summer camp consultant, Jill Tipograph
victoryranch.com – Residential camp in Bolivar, TN
deerrunretreat.org – Residential camp in Franklin, TN
— Christa Melnyk Hines is a freelance journalist and author based in Kansas. • christamelnykhines.com