Some summer camps have sessions that are only 1 week long, some summer camps offer 2 or 3 week long sessions, and some even offer 7 week long sessions ONLY! However, when you look at our calendar for the summer, you will notice that most of Camp Horizons’ sessions are meant to be 2 weeks long. With all of the different options and week combinations we could use, why did we decide that 2 weeks was the way to go?
1. New Environment
For most campers, a place like Camp Horizons is completely out of their element. Where many campers are used to street lights and traffic, we have stars and crickets. Needing a day or two to become comfortable with your new surroundings is completely natural and to be expected.
By staying for 2 weeks instead of 1, campers have a chance to get over the initial jitters of being in unfamiliar surroundings and get to truly enjoy the outdoors. They have an entire weekend to explore and get to know their camp home and, as we’ll discuss later, their camp family. If your stay is only for a week, it feels like you finally get comfortable and have to leave again.
2. Program Length
We design our programs to grow and build over a two week period. We’ve found that this model adapts well as our campers become more comfortable and capable exploring the programs that spark their interest. In the second week of a program, we purposefully create a different schedule that allows camper to try new activities during the day. For our evening programs, we design the second week with activities that our campers might not see at home or at school.
The other advantage to our 2 week session is that campers will be here for a whole weekend. Our camp weekends are full of special events and activities that don’t happen on the weekdays. We host a carnival where campers can play carnival games and eat cotton candy, but perhaps the most anticipated activity is the Horizons Games. This camp-wide activity lets campers try attempt new challenges as they compete for glory and the title of Camp Horizons Champion all while having a blast with their new camp friends.
If you have ever started at a new school or job, you know how difficult the first few days can be as you navigate new personalities. Well, camp is no different. While some of our campers do submit bunk requests to try and share a cabin with their friends, many of our campers are sharing a space with people they’ve never met before. Like with missing home, it takes a day or two for campers to find their rhythm with their cabin mates.
Along with the new campers they will meet, each cabin has two counselors who will stay in the cabins for the duration of camp. A two week session not only gives the campers a chance to form lasting friendships, but gives the counselors a chance to get to know each camper individually. With only a week, it can be difficult to form those lasting and meaningful connections that can last a lifetime.