I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a day and a night at grade 5 camp this past week. Every year when I am able to see this, it reaffirms my belief in the power of the camp experience for both the students and for the adults who are attending with them. I don’t think there was a moment in which all were not totally engaged in the activity they were part of, from beach exploring, to canoeing, to arts and crafts and campfire chants.
More important than the activities and the engagement though, were the connections being made. Near the end of camp students were expressing their sadness at leaving camp, and were asking if they could stay longer. Last year when talking with our grade 6 and 7 students about what made the school such a great place, it was often grade 5 camp that they talked of.
As humans, we have a innate need to be connected in a life affirming way to those around us and to the greater world generally. The camp experience for our students is one way that this happens. I am very appreciative of the extra time given by the adults who take our students to camp, as this is a life-enhancing activity that cannot be replicated in the regular classroom setting.