Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why Go to Camp?

Kids going to summer camp has been part of the American landscape for generations. In tough economic times, is it worth the investment? I think so!!

Scott Merrow, Resident Director of Oceanwood Camp and Conference Center, offers his thoughts. He is speaking of his own facility, but this type of experience is replicated in camps around the country.
Often, one of the difficulties we have encountered is articulating the value of the experience that takes place in our community. Over the past few months we have spent considerable time interviewing campers, groups, staff and alumni in an effort to better define the intangibles of the Oceanwood culture. It is clear to us that though our property is unique, that it is the people that make Oceanwood truly special.  The tranquil, awe-inspiring location, the proximity to the ocean, the pines that guard this place, it's all-spectacular.  
But it is the warmth of the community, the connection to God, and the culture of support, acceptance and family that keep people coming back each summer. In the year 2012, the age of the Internet and social media, the world seems to pass by so quickly, leaving us limited time to slow down and re-energize our bodies, revitalize our spirits, and reconnect with our families and our faith.  At Oceanwood, we make time for all of this - that is the difference.  We gather around campfires and sing songs together.  We sit down at the dinner table with 100 of our closest friends and share wonderful conversation during a meal.  We serve God - we volunteer, lend a hand and give of ourselves.  We love our family and friends.  We are kind.  We share stories, experiences, and laughter.  We support each other in our faith and we worship together.  We learn and discover, we gain independence, we build lasting friendships, we develop character, we experience God and nature, we grow and change and take positive risks.  We meet different types of people and become part of a true community, practicing forgiveness, compassion and acceptance.
Camps change lives - - giving children, teens, families, adults opportunities to connect with friends, each other and God while exploring their talents and learning new things. A setting that is simpler than usual and full of chances to be in nature adds to the value.

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