Camp Woodland Blog

A Good Kind of Busy

Posted by on July 5, 2022

The end of last week marked the start of regular activities, a time when camp settles into a routine and is a good kind of busy. Campers were presented with the different options after having the opportunity to try the various instructional offerings earlier in the week, and after much thought, individuals decide on their first set of six activities.

This practice of having the girls select their own activities has long been a part of Camp Woodland. We believe that getting to choose on their own, away from parents, is a really good experience for the girls. It’s empowering for them to make this decision, to make it based entirely on their own desires and interests. It might mean focusing on target sports and other land activities, or perhaps spending extra time at the waterfront sailing, skiing and canoeing. Or it might mean taking a break from tennis since that’s a regular thing at home.

Parents are sometimes surprised to learn what their child selects, and they may even wish their camper would branch out more, or be inspired to try something different. Some of that variety happens on its own as the various options are limited, and peers often encourage each other to do things together. But the girls really appreciate this independence. This coming weekend, all the girls will select a new set of activities (or some may remain the same), giving them a chance to switch things up if desired.

With the campers schedules set, they were off…. off to shoot arrows, to create in arts and crafts, and to spend time with the animals at Farm Zoo. They were stretching and tumbling in gymnastics class outside the Rec Hall and getting the “hang” of the parallel bars. They began learning lines in drama and 8-counts in dance. They were swimming in the lake and riding horses in the ring, smacking tetherballs, making moorings after a sail, and scoring targets in riflery. They were busy!

I should add that despite this busyness, our regular daily schedule also includes several periods of “free time” when girls can just hang out. They can do puzzles, write letters, or close their eyes at Rest Hour. They can also read on the deck on the way to the waterfront or cozy up to an inviting tree, build sand castles at the beach, or just sit and chat with a friend at a favorite spot in the shade at Rec Swim. Here too, campers decide for themselves how to spend this free time. Unable to default to technology or passive entertainment, it’s interesting to see them be more creative and active than they might be otherwise. They have plenty of friends to do things with, so their “free time” can seem busy as well.

Evenings are busy too, but it is a different kind of busy. We had a “ball” last week while playing all kinds of various games with balls (9-square for one) and the occasional hula hoop. I would venture to say that this is a “simple” kind of busy. While not too taxing or involved, it is a great way to interact and enjoy each other’s company without the pressure of serious competition or performance. It is a time to smile, laugh, and just enjoy the present moment.

Yes camp is busy, but it’s a good kind of busy. It’s self-directed and fun, filled with extraordinary opportunities to experience new things, and includes built-in companionship and support. It’s a “busy” that helps a girl grow.

adapted from a RBC blog