I recall Wayne Holmes saying, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could just go to camp all year? I mean, camp is school in disguise, but way cooler.”
Well, Wayne, apparently you can.
The coolest head of school seems to be in Fort Worth, Texas at the Trinity Valley School, “an independent-college preparatory school with the mission of providing students with academic and character development.” Gary Krahn, PhD, advocates for the need for school-camp partnerships and the importance of exposing students to the outdoors in to meet new people, develop relationships, and confront new situations. Students under Krahn participate in the Trojan Outdoor Experience which has progressive levels of outdoor experiences from grades 3 – 12 where they gain “competence and confidence to solve problems they haven’t seen before” (Anderson 2013).
The greatest part about his program is they have the opportunity to these things at camp. Trinity Valley has partnered with a nearby camp to provide these learning experiences to students throughout the academic year. On top of that, Trinity gives students the opportunity to participate in summer-long exploration trips to further their character development.
I would do it an injustice if I tried to paraphrase Krahn’s word in the article so please enjoy some words of wisdom from someone much smarter than myself;
“Some kids find greater successes outdoors than in the classroom. Accomplishments in the classroom are just a small part of intelligence, we see students rise to the occasion in outdoor opportunities that the classroom does not provide. There’s something remarkable in every child. Our job is to create opportunities for students to thrive. And for many, outdoor experiences are not only developmental, but fun — which is truly the best way to learn” (Anderson 2013).
So, come to camp. Not just in the summer, not just once or twice a year. Go outside and get smarter.
Check out the full article by Julie Anderson on school-camp partnerships at http://www.acacamps.org/campmag/1301/teaching-together.
And, if you haven’t already, check out Camping Magazine at http://www.acacamps.org/camping-magazine. They put out a new issue every two months filled with all things camp.