Many parents and students have had questions about the new Jr. High Program.
We are excited for this new program, as we have heard time and again on surveys from past campers, teachers, and parents that sometimes junior high students are not always ready or wanting to be a teen counselor yet. They still would like to hang with friends and do some of the camp activities, just in a more intensive format.
So after two years of brainstorming and discussions with committees, we have created two new programs for those who have finished seventh or eighth grade.
If a junior high student prefers to participate in camp a little longer, the new Jr. High Program will allow for just that and great opportunities to spend time with friends.
We understand that for this age group, seeing friends at camp is really important, and we want to honor that. Being a counselor comes with responsibility and might leave no time for friends.
This class will have longer and more intensive culture classes. There will also be time each day for an adoption-related topic for the students to discuss.
We hope to give this curriculum a balance of being with friends, learning culture, and having open discussions on adoption.
The second program is for seventh- and eighth-grade graduates who have been looking forward to being a counselor. We did not want to take that away, as we understand there are some who either have already been a counselor last year or have been looking forward to being a counselor for many years now.
Taking that option away did not seem fair. For the past couple of years, we didn’t have an intermediate program, and we feel that was a mistake. So this year, we have brought it back for seventh- and eighth-grade graduates who desire to be a counselor.
Being just a year or two older than the campers can make leading a group challenging for a younger counselor, so having two years to be paired with a high school student will help gradually transition counselors into the program, allowing for the greatest success in each classroom.
Our goal in making these changes was to give junior high students a niche at camp — their own place.
We would love for you to send us any feedback and thoughts as we navigate this first year because we cannot make camp great without everyone’s input and help.
Camp was created to give each camper, junior high student and teen counselor a place to have fun, see friends and learn. To make this possible, we depend on everyone, and we are grateful for all that everyone has given to make this possible over the years.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone at camp this year and hope it is another great camp season. — by Lisa Wiedenhaupt, director of Lifetime Support Services
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