Camp Woodland Blog

Woodland’s Neighborhood Community

Posted by on July 15, 2019

I can remember coming home from school in my youth and heading outside first thing after grabbing a snack. Many neighborhood kids would congregate at our house as we lived in the middle of the block. We played kickball in our side yard and wore paths between bases until there was no more grass (much to my Dad’s chagrin). The only way we knew it was time to come in for dinner was to listen for the bell that my Mom would ring from the front steps. Ghosts in the Graveyard was a popular night time game that usually took place across several connected yards. We would play for hours upon hours until our parents would drag us inside (kicking and screaming, no doubt!).

Being at Woodland reminds me of that same neighborhood feel I remember so well from being a kid. The cabins are nestled in the trees and create their own neighborhood as they are in close proximity to each other (more in a clump than a straight line). Each cabin is slightly different in design yet offers a similar inviting appearance with a porch, clothesline, cabin flag, and flowers on the stoop. There is a flurry of activity in this neighborhood multiple times a day when campers return “home” from a busy morning or afternoon of activities or following a meal.

I love hearing doors open and close as campers come in and out of the cabin to share the highlights of a fun-filled camp day with each other and their counselors. Girls will hang out on the porch or make their way to the tether ball areas for a friendly pick-up game. In the mornings and evening, the spigot is a gathering place for mixed ages to gather for communal toothbrushing and shaving parties. There are several camp-wide games that utilize the cabin area because of the ability to sneak up on the opposing team while playing tag or Cortation Fugation (a popular end-of-summer game).

I am reminded by my good friend, Jolly Corley, that this neighborhood that camp provides is something that has has long since disappeared from our communities.  While neighborhoods may no longer exist in very many towns or cities around the country, we both believe they can be found at camp.

Camp is place where children interact with children of all ages, and the person in charge very likely may not be over twenty-one years old; a place where children can still make up the rules to a game they’ve just invented; a place where play is valued. For these reasons, going to camp is more important for children now than it ever has been! 

(Woodland) creates a safe neighborhood for children to become independent and confident in their own abilities to control themselves and to contribute in a way they may not be able to do in their neighborhood at home.

At Woodland, the camper of the day rings the bell to bring campers back to the neighborhood community we have created in the Northwoods!

Click HERE to see Jolly’s full article found in Camping Magazine (published in January of 2014).