If you know any of us personally or have ever read any of our blog or social media posts the chances are you’ve probably heard the staff here at Camp Mason talk about the benefits of camp. We really do believe that a camp experience can have a powerful, positive impact for children and young people (and we can’t stop going on about it)! We can say this because we see the impact every day around camp and we even feel it’s effect on ourselves. But what is it that we see? What is it that makes us so sure of the value of camp?
I can’t speak for all of us but I can share a recent moment when I felt a big, old dose of camp magic that screamed volumes to me about the positive impacts children experience at Camp Mason. This past summer was a blast and that makes it a pleasure to travel back in time all the way to the second Wednesday in Session 2A.
As I made my usual afternoon round of camp I quite literally stumbled on the Making the Movie activity group. They were crouched down in the undergrowth, speaking only in excited whispers and focusing so hard on their project that they hardly noticed me arrive. It turns out I had showed up at just the right time and was quickly told to get down and quiet down. The campers and activity leaders were in the middle of filming a nature documentary about the wildest of all beasts; Camp Mason counselors. If we made too much noise we would disturb the staff in their natural habitat and draw attention to ourselves. I was told this would not only ruin the documentary but that it could be dangerous. From a safe distance we watched the archery counselor run the range until the last arrows were fired and then we made our move. He spotted us and we had no choice but to retreat, and retreat fast.
After we’d reached safety I went on my way continued to walk through the woods visiting archery, riflery and high ropes. I couldn’t stop thinking about the five minutes I’d spent with our camper film makers. The Making the Movie is an elective for campers and while this group only got together on Monday, by Wednesday they were already as thick as thieves. Each camper was an important part of that group and was equally involved in the acting, filming and directing process. Their idea showed a ton of creativity and everyone was perfectly in character. This group was full of confidence and appeared to be enjoying working together to complete their project. This group was having fun together!
The few moments that I was a part of that group I felt included, important and happy, not to mention entirely convinced that watching the staff was akin to being on a safari. That’s what camp does. That’s when I know for sure that camp positively impacts children and young people. That’s why I harp on and on about how great camp is. And this was just one moment with one group during one afternoon in one summer. There are so many more wonderful moments like this at camp. Children develop invaluable life skills all while enjoying what they’re doing. Camp does this. Just ask any of us! We’d be happy to tell you, and then tell you again and then again and again…
I’d like to thank our tireless media team for their hard work and dedication in running, leading and editing the Making the Movie activity. In case you wanted to see the finished documentary (and you do, it’s hilarious) check out the video below. It’s the best 3 minutes you’ll spend all day!
Movie Credit to Trent Lawson.