Cabin activities teach kids how to compromise
Anna Bilton, Summer Camp Director
Cabin activities teach kids how to compromise. In addition, they allow kids to share their own interests as well as to try new things at summer camp. Our schedule at camp is intentional and each activity type serves a purpose. So, let’s have a look at what a cabin activity is at Camp Mason is and then dig a little deeper.
What is a cabin activity?
A cabin activity (or group activity in day camp) is the first activity of the day, it happens right after breakfast and cabin clean up. It’s when the whole cabin takes part in an activity together with their counselors.
Cabin activities are an opportunity to do something fun and special as a group that facilitates bonding, teamwork and togetherness. We also use this time to inspire, surprise and encourage campers to do things they don’t usually get to do. The cabin activity slot in our schedule is a time set aside for cabins to do anything, and we mean ANYTHING they can possibly think of. The idea is to create an activity that is unique and memorable to the group and place rather than repeating an activity over and over again.
Who decides what activities the cabin group does?
The cabin group does. Counselors and village leaders get as much input from their campers as possible. We ask campers, ‘if you could do anything at camp, what would you do?’ Together each cabin group comes up with a list of activities they would like to do and shares them with their Village Leader who makes the schedule. The Village Leader works with the Program Director to book in specialist-led activities as well as creative counselor-led ideas too.
What activities do cabin groups try?
Sometimes a cabin will sign up for a program activity area, such as pool games, boating or archery. Other times, cabin groups might play a game of kickball against another cabin or go on a nature hike. And then, there are plenty of mornings when cabin groups play completely original and unique games like Roaming Gnomes or Woodland Ninjas for example. These are creative and fun games that bring the group together. After the on-site overnight camping adventures, cabins might use the time to debrief and talk about their experiences.
How do cabin activities help campers learn to compromise?
Well, there are 8-10 campers in each cabin group and everyone has different ideas of what they like to do. This means that on some days campers get their first pick of activity and on others they try something that another cabin mate chooses. On other days, the whole cabin could try a new activity together that a counselor has designed.
Campers learn to accept that they can’t do what they individually want every time and begin to compromise on doing something else. The impact of this system is that campers expand their horizons and try things they might never have chosen for themselves. Cabin activities are a place where all voices are heard, whether they are the loudest one in the group or not. It’s a win-win for everyone.
When we compromise with one another, we can maintain healthy happy relationships and maintain fairness. Counselors help campers to get their heads around all of this and process their feelings. Being able to compromise and support the ideas of others are important life skills that campers can take back home. And of course, like all things at camp, cabin activities are super fun!
If you’d like to find out more about our schedule have a look at our Summer Camp Guide.