The Value of Camp Lasts a Lifetime

The Value of Camp Lasts a Lifetime

Seth Johnson, Executive Director

Prior to getting back involved with Camp, we were very grateful our children were able to attend Newfound and Owatonna and serve as counselors. We wanted the disciplined but fun environment Camp provides, to have them get away from the tech world we live in today, and to give them the opportunity to begin to establish their independence away from home.

At Camp, the children get up at 7 a.m., make their beds and neaten up their personal areas before helping with general cabin cleanup. Every cabin member chips in and does his or her share of cabin cleanup. They work together as a team to keep things neat. And then they are inspected – every day. Following breakfast, the cabin gathers to read a section of the Bible Lesson, and sometimes the counselors share a particularly applicable Sentinel or Journal article. Then the entire camp goes to the lodge to listen to a counselor read a section of the Lesson and sing hymns together, which is followed by a time for campers and staff to share how they are applying Christian Science in their lives. We felt, and still do as we look back, that we couldn’t have invested enough to provide our children with this consistent, loving, structured environment every morning that set a great tone before they headed off for a fun-filled day of activity. We knew at least some of this would carry over into the coming year at home.

We almost always enrolled our kids in camp for seven weeks. We liked the in-depth experience that gave them. Even though our sons were considered by many to be accomplished athletes, we felt Camp gave them something that nothing else could, so we committed to both sessions almost every summer. One son went on to play Division I college soccer for four years, and the other son played Division III soccer for four years. We felt that sending them to Camp was much more important than succumbing to the pressure to specialize and stay at home and attend local sports camps or play on summer teams which we felt had little overall developmental value. We knew the boys would find their playing level based on their performance during the school year for their high school and club teams. And that proved to be the case. We were grateful that Camp was flexible on occasion and did allow us to take the boys out of Camp to attend a program, and we are still willing to do that. If you are keeping your kids home to concentrate on something they do during the year, I’d love to talk you out of that! I feel strongly that kids will perform better over a longer period of time if they go to Camp and get away from their sport, or any activity they do during the year, and try new and different activities at Camp.

Located on our beautiful property on the shores of Long Lake, we provide a wide variety of activities and a loving environment from which campers can learn and grow spiritually. Some of the activities include arts and crafts, archery, high and low ropes course, rock wall, waterskiing, sailing, and kayaking, as well as the traditional sports of soccer, football, basketball, baseball, and street hockey. We also offer a wilderness tripping program where children climb many of the highest peaks of New Hampshire and Maine as well as experience whitewater and ocean canoeing and kayaking. With no electronics at Camp, we provide children the opportunity to focus their efforts fully on building relationships, excelling in activity areas, developing independence, and having fun. Children learn to apply Christian Science in their daily activities and in their friendships, and learn lessons they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

After a long school year at home, we wanted our kids to do something different. To experience not only the unique Christian Science environment that Newfound and Owatonna provide but also the wide variety of activities and fun which is emphasized. With 52 weeks in the year, a few weeks at Camp is worth a lifetime. I will look forward to seeing you in Maine this summer.

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