With registration opening soon, you may be thinking, “Should I go to camp?” or “Should I send my daughter to camp?”
Well let me make it easy for you: here’s five common reasons why people choose not to come to camp. I’ve enlisted help from my friends, the Muppets, to illustrate.
1. Camp seems (or actually is) really far away.
Where exactly are the Adirondacks? How do you get there?
The Adirondacks encompass 6,000,000 acres in the northeast of upstate New York. Camp Cedarbrook’s slice is 500 acres just inside Adirondack Park on the southeast side. We are roughly one hour north of Albany and four hours north of New York City.
While many of our families choose to drive and drop off their daughters, almost 40% of our campers take advantage of our bus, which runs on select weeks and stops in Hawthorne, New Jersey and New Hyde Park, Long Island.
For our campers who come from far away (yes, some come from as far as California and overseas!), we offer airport and train pickup services.
2. You don’t have a friend to bring with you.
Yes, girls are social and we like to do things with friends we already know, but one of the best things about camp is you make friends almost immediately!
The minute you arrive at your cabin or tent, you’ll meet your counselor who will introduce you to the other girls in your cabin (usually around eight total). Think of your cabin as your family for the week. You’ll eat meals together, plan cabin time activities, and even have bedtime routines like devotions and a song! By the end of the week, these once-strangers will be closer than you ever could have imagined.
Friendship at camp is so easy because we spend so much time together and we’re intentional about including everyone. You’re with other campers 24/7, so by the end of one week that’s 144 hours! It would take a lot of hanging out during the school year with friends to total that much time.
3. You’ve never been before.
It can be hard and sometimes scary to try something new. We like what we know and what is comfortable.
Fear of the unknown kept me from eating an omelette until my junior year of college! And boy, was I missing out!
Know that when you try camp for the first time, you are not alone: roughly 1/3 of our campers last summer were brand new to us. We want everyone to feel welcome at camp – whether it’s your first summer or your fourth.
4. Camp doesn’t have cell service.
Wait, what? How will I update my status to say “At camp #offthegrid #adklife #CCA”?
That’s right! Camp occupies one of the last places in the United States that does not have any cell phone service or high speed internet.
Ten years ago, this wasn’t such a big deal for our campers (and staff), but now smartphones have become so central to our lives that going without them seems like walking outside without any clothes on.
Think of going to camp as a vacation from the constant flow of information and noise. You no longer have to worry if you’re missing out on news or what your friends are doing. Instead, spend the time that you would have wasted looking at your phone (I read recently it’s as much as 150 times per day!), allowing space to hear from God and be present with the people around you.
For more on this topic, you can read a blog post by a recent camper on living without electricity and wifi.
5. You can’t find time in your summer schedule.
This is a tough one. We only run camp for a few short weeks, and sometimes those weeks don’t line up with everything else that is planned for the summer: family vacations, soccer practice, missions trip.
Basically, all I can say to this is: you make time for what you want to make time for.
We believe that our program is worth scheduling your summer around, and if you make the effort to do so, it’s our job to deliver on that promise. A week at Cedarbrook is not just about archery and lanyards; it’s about growing your daughter into a woman of God and into a person who makes her relationship with Jesus a priority in her life.
With our limited time each summer, you have to decide: how are you going to invest it?