Summer 2017 is barely behind us, and while we’re excited as the next person for pumpkin spice everything, we’re already looking ahead to summer 2018. Throughout the summer we announced a few changes coming to Camp Weed, and now that we’re back in the office, we’d like to explain a little more in depth. We want you to feel as comfortable (and as excited!) as possible.
We’re incredibly excited to add themes to our 2018 summer. These themes won’t dominate the entire week – they’ll just add a little twist to help mix things up. All of the favorite camp activities (deans program, canoeing, archery, the wall) will remain the same.
How exactly do themes work? We integrate them into our all-camp activities. Here’s an example: Almost each week we do a counselor hunt. In the counselor hunt, staff members hide around camp and campers try to find as many as possible. Imagine we did counselor hunt during pirate week – what would that look like? Well, in a pirate-themed counselor hunt, staff members would hide around camp and campers would try to find them. To make it a little more interesting and to go along with the theme, we’d probably have counselors dress as pirates, make pirate noises as hints, and maybe hand out doubloons to keep score. Not that different, right? And even if you’re not a huge fan of pirates, the game itself is pretty fun!
The theme will culminate in a “theme day” later in the week. On this day, we will forego our regularly scheduled programming and replace it with themed activities. We plan these activities first with camper enjoyment in mind, then we add in the theme. That way we can ensure it’s a game campers would like to play and the theme becomes simply a bonus. To get an idea of what a theme day looks like, check out this previous theme plan created by our camp director. We aren’t doing a Hunger Games theme at Camp Weed and we don’t have all the same activities, but this example will give you a feel of how theme days will work!
If you’d like some clarification about themes (or if you have suggestions for 2019), email email@example.com.
Some of our parents trekked to camp six times this summer: three separate dropoffs, three separate pickups. Some of our former campers missed summer 2017 because they had conflicts during their age-appropriate week. Some of our campers really wanted to spend another week at camp but weren’t sure how it would work with bumping up or bumping down. For these reasons (and several others), we’ve decided to combine our age groups!
In 2018, we’ll have Senior Session (ages 15-18), Sessions 1-4 (ages 7-14), and Mini Camp (ages 6-10). This is a change for us at Camp Weed, but it’s important to note that it’s actually the way most camps around the country (and world) run their sessions. It’s nothing new, nothing crazy, and nothing that hasn’t succeeded before! Additionally, we’ll make sure to spend time in staff training going over new procedures with our staff.
Campers will be grouped by age into their cabins, and their cabin units will be their core group at camp. Some activities will be by cabin, some by ages, and some altogether. We’ve put time and effort into planning this, and we’re excited to see it work! Let’s take a look at a sample day and break down some of those “together” times. We’re not set on this schedule yet, but it shows you how we’re thinking!
Morning and Evening Worship
Each morning and each evening, we’ll come together to sing songs and watch a skit or hear a story. These short worship periods won’t have small group, sharing, or much interaction, so they’re a great way to spend time together in fellowship praising God!
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
We’ll all come together for meals and spread out throughout our dining hall. We’ll have a staff member or leader-in-training at each table engaged in the conversation and keeping a watchful eye.
Our all-camps (games and activities where the entire camp participates) are one of our favorite parts of camp! Most of our all-camps are competitions between cabins, so while it’s an “all-camp” activity and we’re all there, our campers will really be with their cabins the whole time. We’ll adjust our competitions to have separate heats or categories for different ages. We may add some extra elements for older campers – something that’s fun for them and something younger campers can look up to.
Our older campers will go to deans program while our younger campers are at optionals and vice versa. This gives our deans the opportunity to tailor their programs for specific ages and gives us the opportunity to provide awesome age-appropriate activities.
You’ll also see on the sample schedule things that say by cabin or by age. If you have questions about any of these, please email our camp director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We had a parent ask a question we feel we should share: what happens if there aren’t many campers of the same age? While this certainly could happen, it’s important to remember that many more camps function like this, and they make it work! We can group campers in larger or smaller cabin groups depending on what we need. Additionally, we think communication with this is key. If we notice a large gap, we’ll give parents a call and talk to them about options. If this concerns you, reach out to us! We’d be happy to give you a current breakdown of our sessions by age and to keep you updated as registration progresses.
Get ready for an incredible summer!