Summertime and childhood are two words that just go together, and at Everwood Day Camp, we know why that is: both are full of POTENTIAL. There’s so much promise in our kids, just as there is in each summer, and the goal of our camp community is to get the MOST out of BOTH.
Which is why we care about not only what we teach our campers–a whole new kind of enrichment–but also HOW we teach. We focus on techniques that encourage DEEPER LEARNING–a framework of teaching methods that enables our campers to transfer the skills they learn at Everwood to the outside world.
We have gone to great lengths to determine how best to teach our campers. We’ve relied on the research of leading child development specialists and psychologists, and leveraged our supportive community, the traditions we value, and the activities we engage in to meet their recommendations. Our best practices include:
Using multiple and varied representations of concepts and tasks, along with support to help our campers interpret them.
Encouraging elaboration, questioning, and explanation.
Engaging our campers in challenging tasks, while also supporting them with guidance, feedback, and encouragement to reflect on their own learning process.
Teaching with examples and cases, such as step-by-step modeling of how they might solve a problem, while explaining the reason for each step.
Priming our camper’s motivation, by connecting learning to their personal lives and interests, and drawing attention to the knowledge and skills they are developing and their relevance.
While we’re not the only folks in child development to heed these teach-for-transfer guidelines, we are one of the few to incorporate them into a summer camp experience–a practice that, quite honestly, is overdue in communities such as ours. These teaching methods were meant for camp, because camp is full of so many teachable moments. Occasions where our kids are challenged, like when they climb our high ropes course for the first time, or when they’re asked to collaborate as a team–we choose to amplify the meaning behind these experiences, and turn them into lessons that encourage deeper learning. By seizing these moments, we’re seizing the summer, and ensuring that our campers can apply the skills learned at camp long afterwards.
After all, there’s something else that both summertime and childhood have in common: they both go by in a flash! At Everwood Day Camp, it’s our mission to make the most of their potential.