First opened in the summer of 2011, Everwood Day Camp has ranked among the fastest growing camps in the country ever since. While our caring counselors, campus, and curriculum go a long way in explaining our success, that’s not the whole story. Because what really sets our camp apart is how we bring it all together, by creating an intentional community year after year.
What’s an intentional community?
It may not be a term you’re familiar with, but we suspect you know a thing or two about building a supportive environment for kids. You just know it by another name: love. As parents, it’s your love for your children that turns your house into a home, and at Everwood, it’s our love for our work that transforms our campground into a community. We see ourselves as an extension of the at-home support provided by our partner families. And while the skills we hone–and the ways we do so–are a bit different than what’s learned at home, Everwood’s community is a great complement to the life lessons our parents pass along to their children. We’re very intentional about creating opportunities for our campers to practice certain competencies, which we call character skills. Whether they realize it or not, we push every camper to grow in confidence and independence while they are at camp. And because there is an important niche in our community for every camper to fill, we are consistently told that our campers are free to discover “the best version of themselves.”
We are as committed to children and their growth as any institution or program out there, and our community is the primary way we support our campers in this goal. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to create such a community if we didn’t have a blast everyday at camp!
Jaime and Dane Pickles, who live at camp during the summer with their twins, as well as their labradoodle, are kind of the “first family” of Everwood. Because not only are the Pickles Co-Directors of camp, but they were also part of the founding team that first imagined Everwood four years ago. They are proud to have had the opportunity to build our community from the ground up, and feel very fortunate to be able to create their lives around summer camp!
Here at Everwood, we’re only as good as our staff, which is why we hire people who never forget that they’re in the role model business. To help ready them for the summer, we run our counselors through training sessions in the springtime, where they learn Everwood’s mission, and how they’ll live it while they’re at camp.
This begins with appreciating that what makes camp so much fun, can also serve a deeper purpose. Our staff understands that the collective volume of camp–all its songs, chants, cheers, and laughter–is also loud enough to drown out a child’s inner critic. And by tuning out that inner voice, the one that says what’s impossible, campers are able to turn on the best versions of themselves: the one that’s kind, daring, and open to the many possibilities for growth that camp offers!
To understand where we’re going, it’s nice to know where we’re coming from. For us, that means having a clearly defined Mission, which informs everything we do at Everwood. We remain devoted to these outcomes from the first time we raise the flag in June, to our final afternoon in August, and every moment in between…
Our intentional community, guided by our directors and supported by our staff, is committed to providing a transformative summer experience, where campers develop communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking skills.
These are the skills our kids need most as they grow, and at Everwood, we use the spirit of a traditional camp–with its focus on activities, adventures and FUN–to teach in ways that encourage the most growth. By empowering our campers, we’re also doing something else in the process: re-imagining the role camp can play in preparing our children for the future. Come learn more about how Everwood Day Camp is redefining summer enrichment!