As the summer comes to a close, I begin to reflect on how we did accomplishing our goals. The primary goal of all of our programs is safety, second is fun and personal growth for students, and third is exposing students to the unique and wonderful opportunities The White Mountain School offers them. Lead by wonderful staff and supported by many, I think we accomplished and, in fact, surpassed our goals. I just received a letter from a summer program parent with the following commendation,
“No matter where we are, something will trigger [our daughter’s] memory and she’ll come out with another “camp story.” They are all positive and happy. She loved, loved, loved her time with you guys and wants to do it again next year.”
When a family decides to pursue an adventure program for their child’s summer camp experience, they are looking for a safe and fun way for their son/daughter to follow their interests and experience personal growth. Decades of research tells us that outdoor activities help build self-confidence and lead to positive feelings of empowerment. Newer research is coming forward discussing the social benefits of outdoor activities for participants. In this digital era, where students do much of their communication through a screen, this is essential. White Mountain summer emphasizes “community.”
During all of our trips we consider our groups to be a community and we overtly discuss how we become a true community. From the start, students buy in to the idea of the spirit of volunteerism and looking out for each other in order to build a cohesive group. This cohesion leads to groups of adolescents supporting each other, building caring communities, fun, and individual personal growth on a variety of levels.