In honor of the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World in the Americas, Summer 365 is celebrating the discoveries new campers will make in their new world at sleepaway camp. At the outset of every summer, camps across the country welcome those young explorers who will be experiencing the magical world at sleepaway camp for the very first time. After enduring an hours-long voyage on the Nina, Pinta, or JetBlue Flight 149, first-time campers arrive on camp soil with wide eyes and wild expectations. But what discoveries await them? Camp creates a truly unique world that a new camper will grow to know intimately – and this list provides a glimpse into the path they will take in their early summer days.
Bunks & Bunkmates
When campers arrive for their first summer, one of the primary places they will familiarize themselves with is the cabin or bunk they will call home. As a child tests their twin-sized bed (often already made by their counselors) or explores the shared bathroom (where their toiletries await), they will begin the process of settling into what will become a truly unique home for them. They will venture into the common area, playing inaugural games of bunk ball or cards, and, of course, they will make a few new friends.
Among the first people a camper will meet when they arrive in their new home will be the bunkmates with whom they will embark on this journey. As campers foray into friendship, they’ll soon find themselves laughing and chatting with their newfound camp family, and in these moments they will lay the foundations for truly special relationships that will last a lifetime.
The Lay of the Land
For many campers, the idea of navigating a seemingly endless paradise can be both daunting and exhilarating. Campers, guided by their counselors and their newfound friends, will begin to explore the unchartered territory that they now call home. As they grow more comfortable with camp life, campers will carve their own identity within the camp grounds. Soon they will know every inch of the geography – from mess-hall to waterfront – like the back of their hand as they fall in love with the wonderful world of camp.
A World of Opportunity
One of the most incredible aspects of camp is that it offers campers exposure to a plethora of activities and hobbies that they may have never before come across. A young city-dweller may discover her inner-rock climber, or a land-locked hockey star may unearth a passion for waterskiing. At camp, every day is an opportunity to expand horizons and try new things, and you never know what skill or passion will be brought to light on a beautiful summer day.
There’s Something in the Air
One of the most crucial discoveries a young camper will inevitably make is the simple fact that there’s something different about camp. Perhaps it’s camp pride – or simply camp spirit – but the environment and energy of a summer camp is truly unique and powerful, and young campers will feel it in the air as soon as they arrive. Camp days begin with a bugle. They are filled with bursts of song and loud, genuine laughter. Though a new camper may be entering a great unknown when they embark on their first camp summer, they will inevitably be swept up in the spirit of camp as they begin the journey that might impact them for a lifetime.