Reflections on the Fall

By Sally Wright, Outdoor Center Program Director

The Outdoor Center has wrapped up another fantastic fall season. We enjoyed spending the season catching up with all of our returning groups, and even welcomed some new groups to the Camp Mason family. We spent countless hours climbing trees, exploring the lake, and playing gaga; but the most important thing we do here at Camp is learn. We learn about ourselves, each other and the natural environment.

This season we had over 60 schools and groups come to camp to enjoy the outdoors and make new friends. Kids and adults alike learn valuable life lessons about teamwork like this student from Pleasant Valley Elementary School that said,

 “At Camp Mason I learned to include everyone in what you are doing because everyone is important.”

Or this student who learned more about himself during his stay at camp.

“At Camp Mason I learned the notion of perseverance which will be useful because whenever I encounter challenges or tribulations in life that may degrade me, I will now want to push past my comfort zone.” –  Student, Age 17, Bloomfield High School

Being at camp also kindles lifelong friendships between people who may have never interacted with each other. Often times people go to school, girl scouts, work, etc. with others for years and never initiate conversation with one another, but the camp environment (and lack of cell phone service and Wi-Fi) helps us to discover friends and connections we never thought we would. A student from Old Bridge High School shared her experience saying,

“At Camp Mason I learned you can become friends with people you never though you would, you just have to give them a chance.”

Along with the life lessons and group bonding, we engage students on fieldtrips in science based curriculum that involves kinesthetic learning and develops students’ curiosity. This curiosity is just the beginning of a larger lesson that can be expanded upon by teachers when the students head back to the classroom.

“My favorite class was the insects and reptiles. We saw so many cool animals and touched and held them too!” – Student, Age 10, United Nations International School

Even our groups that aren’t here for field trips can learn a new skill, or fact about nature. Many of the people who visit camp with their youth group, girl scout/boy scout troop, or corporate group leave camp having tried a new activity, like this Girl Scout from troop 135 that said,

“It was a very fun experience at Camp Mason because we got to learn how to do things we never thought we would do. Also the staff was very nice and helpful.”

Or this boy from the Christian Missionary Alliance who shared,

“At Camp Mason I learned to conquer my fears through rock climbing, and now I’m not afraid to try new things!”

As you can see, we had a very busy fall immersing ourselves in all that camp has to offer. Camp is quiet right now with the holiday season among us, but rest assured that the Camp Mason Staff are working hard to prepare for both the winter and spring seasons that are quickly approaching. We can’t wait to see everyone again soon!