Hayground’s schedule is dynamic. Our schedule offers campers choices throughout the day. We encourage and guide campers to be thoughtful about their decisions and to balance doing what they love with trying new things. This is a safe place for campers to make decisions and live by those decisions. At camp, there is rarely a “bad choice”. But the earlier a camper can learn the all-important lesson of taking responsibility for his or her decisions and the consequences of those decisions, the better. It adds weight to decisions and tends to produce more thoughtful decision-makers over time. When we ask prospective counselors why they want to be counselors at Hayground, the answer almost always includes the idea of camper choice.
The schedule’s purpose is to offer a diversity of experience but also to share camp’s resources across a large group of campers. Staying within the bounds of the schedule ensures balance of activities. If a Head Counselor has a question or a concern about the schedule, it should be brought to a Director’s attention. We absolutely want to hear about your ideas. We think of the schedule as a living, breathing document. It changes every year and numerous times throughout the summer based on shifting interests and changing staff and campers.
HELPING CAMPERS TO GROW
Head Counselors should observe camper choice. Allowing campers to go to their favorite activities is great. However, there is value in exposing campers to different experiences. There is a balance. Most of our campers work very hard during the school year and do not have enough time to just be kids. (See this article and this article, both talking about the overscheduled child and the thought leader Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld.) We want kids to be able to do what they want to do. We call it “following their passions”. However, we also want kids to find new passions. And the only way to do that is to try things they haven’t done before. Be thoughtful about the way you guide them. We are modeling the behavior that we want to instill in them.