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The Camp Experience

Posted by on 3rd Feb 2016

From the day that your children are born, they are your most prized possessions. You will do anything to ensure that they are safe and happy. You want to provide great opportunities for them to learn and grow, no matter how hard you have to work to achieve that goal. Where can you send your children in order to reach such a goal? Summer camp, of course! The experience of camp provides a safe environment that takes away from the everyday distractions of life. At camp, parents do not have to worry that their children are watching too much television or spending too much time on their phones. One of the purposes of camp is focusing on getting back to the basics and enjoying the great outdoors!

At Pine Ridge Day Camp & Equestrian Center, we strive to provide every camper with the ultimate camp experience. Every camper has the opportunity to participate in activities such as archery, canoeing, horseback riding, zip lining, and much more! However, all of these fun and adventurous activities are not what define camp. Why would a camp program director make such a statement? Isn’t camp supposed to be about campers spending their days having fun and being physically active? Yes, it is true that a large part of camp is based on fun and physical activity, but that is not our ultimate objective. As camp professionals,we focus on looking beyond the activity at hand and finding the life lesson that each camper can be taught. For example, I remember campers last summer stated that their goal was to catch a big fish at the lake. While that is a great goal for kids to set, as a leader I must help them reach that goal while also finding a way to teach them life skills through that activity. Catching a big fish is a fantastic accomplishment, but what if in the process they learned patience, cooperation, and confidence? That is the ultimate objective of camp. Kids need to be able to come to camp to have fun and be active, and walk away feeling like they learned more about life. Camp is a place for kids to freely express themselves. They do not have to worry about their image – do they wear the designer clothes? Have the latest gadgets? Hang out with the “cool kids”? At camp, none of that matters. What does matter is the well-being of campers. Kids need to believe that they can succeed, but also need to know that it is okay to fail. At camp, mistakes are welcomed. If kids do not make mistakes, then they do not progress. Johnny didn’t hit the target at archery? No problem. His helpful and understanding counselor will provide him with the correct techniques in order to help him succeed.

Of course, the most important part of the camp experience is safety. Any parent would agree with that statement. I get several phone calls from parents asking questions such as, “Are lifeguards always on duty at the pool and lake? Are counselors constantly watching my children? Does everyone wear a helmet when around the horses? Are counselors certified to facilitate the rock wall and zip line?” The answer to all of these questions is, YES! As a member of ACA, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide the utmost amount of safety for every camper and staff member. As a parent, you should ask questions about staff certification and training. Every parent should feel at ease when sending their children to camp because they know that everything will be taken care of properly. That is the feeling that Pine Ridge provides on a daily basis. 


“Thank you to all Pine Ridge Day camp staff for helping my son S. grow in skills and confidence this summer. He’s a great swimmer now and approaches new experiences with enthusiasm. Many Thanks!”

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