An Authentic New England Summer Day Camp

Campers running during special event

What sets Everwood apart from the other day camps in the greater Boston and Providence areas?

5-star points copyHere at Everwood, we are dedicated year-round to the summer camp experience, and are proud of our program and our exclusive summer camp facility. We not only have the look and feel of a traditional overnight camp (nature and the great outdoors are an integral, part of who and what we are today) but we have all the spirit, tradition, and community that overnight camps have as well.

Many unique features of our property allow us to remain the kind of Camp that we went to as kids, and that you may remember going to (or wanting to go to) yourself.   We are fortunate enough to have lakefront property situated on Lake Massapoag, a glistening 353 acre, natural freshwater lake that is constantly fed by the springs and environment around us. We have not one, but two sparkling waterfronts with beautiful sandy beaches.

IMG_6425The lake also provides us with the opportunity to host a multitude of water activities right here at home. We do not have to transport our campers anywhere to enjoy activities such as the Wibit, fishing, kayaking, sailing, boating, tubing, and racing each other in our 16 person war canoes. Everything is available to our campers just by walking down to the lakefront, where they can spend more time enjoying the natural waterfront and the opportunities it provides.

Our entire Camp, not just the waterfront, focuses on activities where campers get to IMG_5821spend 90% of their day outside, just the way a true summer camp experience should be. We have over 50 acres of lush woods and open fields that allow for many outdoor activities; an extensive variety of athletic activities (including tennis, street hockey, and lacrosse,) archery, ropes courses, gaga, and many wooded trails for hiking and
nature programs. We even have an outdoor cooking area designed just for our campers during elective periods and a campfire area for songs and s’mores. Our Campers and staff members eat lunch outside, in groupings of picnic tables set up under our shady 100 ft. pine trees.

IMG_0538That being said, with over 40 buildings on our property (including our 8000 square foot main lodge) we have plenty of space tokeep the program moving and our campers busy even on rainy days when not all of our outside activities can take place. Even our activities and electives that need to be inside are kept in buildings that blend in with the natural environment. For example, our large arts and crafts center is situated on our main waterfront, with plenty of open windows with fantastic view of the lake.

Our groups all have separate bunks, where they have a safe and private area to change, cubbies to store their belongings in, and IMG_6217are able get a few shady minutes out of the sun.  Each of our bunks are designed to give campers a REAL Camp experience, and eliminates the pressures and formalities of locker rooms or classrooms.

Everwood’s unique and authentic experience does not stop with just the look and feel of the property, it is also reflected in our Week1076.2day-to-day practices and how we run our summer sessions as a whole.  We have a clear value set that we communicate to our campers on a daily basis throughout each and every one of our activities.  The Everwood 5-Star points: Independence, Integrity, Friendship, Teamwork, and Inspiration, guides our campers all summer long to ensure growth in skills they’ll use to contribute to the world beyond the summer.  Our consecutive three week minimum for our campers, and very limited “start weeks” means that we have a stable, consistent population that has the time to develop lasting, meaningful relationships. We are confident that our counselors will know your child better than at any other day camp, and that his/her peer relationships will be stronger too!  Also, on a daily level, our dynamic Spirit Calendar means that we have a different theme or special event every day of the summer. These are unique, Camp-specific activities that cannot be experienced anywhere other than Camp.

Everwood Camp SpiritAt Everwood Day Camp, our campers experience all the fun, adventure, and friendship of camp life, plus the support of a community that’s committed to providing skills for life.  This is the way summer is supposed to be!

Let the Children Play!

Girls in studio

I have some incredibly vivid memories of a 7 year old me, riding my “BigWheel” down the street to my friend’s house, ready to do something that few kids seem to do these days… PLAY!!  For hours, my friends and I would play games and engage in complex pretend play schemes involving some pretty intense use of imagination.   I’m wondering how many kids out there today really have the opportunity to engage in sustained unstructured play, 2-3 hours at a time?

This past winter we had over 40 inches of snowfall in the Boston area, yet in my neighborhood with school aged children in most every house- I did not see one snowman. So there I was shoveling my driveway outside, while all the children in our neighborhood were inside watching TV, playing video games, on the internet, or texting.

In the book “The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children”, author David Elkin outlines how childhood traditions are going the way of the dinosaur- Hop scotch, hide and seek, and games we played as kids are being forgotten. At Everwood Day Camp, activities include playground games like Ga-Ga (a form of dodgeball) and 4-Square…and kids (and grown-ups) LOVE them.  Why?  Honestly because so many kids have never, ever played them before!

Our modern society limits play for our children.  According to our friend, Best Selling Author, consulting Psychologist, and ACA Board Member- Michael Thompson, PhD, reasons for this include:

  • The loss of social capital that modern children have
  • The loss of true neighborhoods in which neighbors actually know each other’s names
  • The loss of time- In some schools, Recess is limited to 20 minutes per day. Physical Education is on a two-week rotation with Computers, Spanish, Art and Health. And forget about AFTER-school- with hours of homework, sports practice, music lessons, karate, dance- when is there even TIME to play?
  • The need to be a GREAT parent (including over-scheduling kids), and ambition/homework (see Wendy Mogul’s, Blessings of a B Minus).
  • Many parents have irrational fears that their kids will get snatched outside- According to Lenore Skenzay, author of Free-Range Kids, statistics show that the world is actually a whole lot safer than it was back when we were kids.
  • Another threat to free play is organized sports- Just because children play sports, doesn’t mean they know how to PLAY (or eventually work) with one another, and it contributes to the average child spending 101 minutes being driven around from place to place each day!

The 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study on SCREEN TIME shows that children age 8-18 years old spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes devoted to screen time each day. This translates to an average of more than 53 hours per week!

In many ways, Summer Camp has become the  antidote to modern society. Summer Camp is a step back in time- no cell phones or video games- where social networking involves actually speaking to people face to face, and being someone’s friend is much more than an online acquaintance.  Campers come to places like Everwood Day Camp so that parents know they are safe, and so kids can flourish learning the real-life, 21st Century Skills that go beyond the academic standards, like: Creativity, Collaboration, Responsibility, Leadership, Critical Thinking, Communication, Adaptability, Flexibility, and what it means to be a Good Friend. Places like Everwood Day Camp create an extraordinary world that inspires children to believe that anything is possible, and that their potential is limitless.