Summer camp- words than can have two very different, though equally resounding, reactions. We all know the drill. For some people, summer camp means an awesome vacation, tiring but fun, and a lot of memories to be stored away in one of the many photo albums around the house. For unfortunate others, it means slogging through a couple of days or weeks of counting down the days or weeks before finally going home.
The latter is a sad, sad case, given that summer camp can possibly be great experiences and adventures that you won’t find anywhere else, especially cramped in the busy city. Truly, whichever reaction you get will depend on which camp you are going to, and one bad trip can put the damper on the prep work for next time- less enthusiasm and sighs all around the table become part of the check list.
Everyone is excited before the first ever trip because of the possibilities. You see great stories online and pictures on Facebook of what was either an amazing trip or people who are very good at acting happy. If the latter came from a drama club focused summer camp, then you can even still consider that a success.
Needless to say, I’ve had hits and misses when checking into camps, since there are so many summer programs and camps to choose from, and it’s tough to filter out the bad ones. However, thanks to sheer determination and more likely dumb luck, I finally found one that struck the bulls-eye.
Camp Chateaugay, “Hard to spell, easy to love.” That is legitimate transparency right there, so I knew this one had potential.
Aside from making the first few Google searches a little difficult, the rest of the experience went very smoothly. Located at one of the lakes in the Adirondacks, Camp Chateaugay was pretty heavy on traditional outdoor activities like horseback riding, different outdoor sports, and even windsurfing. Most, if not all, of the coaches were very fit and athletic, but most importantly, knew how to make all the activities fun and safe for the kids and were very encouraging- an attitude somehow lost, despite being extremely important in the sporting world.
The Adirondacks itself was a very beautiful site, worthy of being a vacation spot all on its own. The location really helped the lot of us to un-stick our noses from our phones to appreciate the land and avoid chafing.
A lot of the staff were constant throughout the years, which convinced a lot of us that the team and the camp itself created a very good environment for everyone included, which ended up being the case. There were a lot of teachers and councilors on board that really knew how to handle the kids.
Finally, the sense of community at the camp was really felt whenever everyone got together for a sporting match, a meal or even just to sit around the good old campfire.
Preparing for the summer camp was very smooth and presented no real hassles. More importantly, the trip itself brought with it nothing but good memories and a promise of a new adventure, should we ever return. We will.