7 Ways We Delivered a Camp Hug
Volunteer leadership and counselors found creative opportunities to make Summer Camp extra special while still keeping safety as the top priority. Here are 7 ways the program was enhanced to make the camp love and spirit even bigger this summer!
Summer Camp Virtual care packages were packed full of fun activities, craft supplies, games, and arrived on the doorsteps of camper homes. Our largest box weighed in at 50 lbs!
Campers were dropped off directly at their cabin to eliminate mingling outside of assigned cohorts (cohort = cabin group). To give campers a warm and cheerful welcome, volunteers used chalk to write personalized messages on the sidewalks leading up to their cabin entrances.
Campers and volunteers enjoyed the NEW Treat Truck, which delivered snacks, candy, and ice cream (shout out Projects of the Heart for Dairy Queen Blizzards) directly to each cabin group – multiple times a day! One camper joked, “I was hungry at camp. Said NO ONE EVER!” When campers heard the signature Treat Truck music, they knew something tasty was on the way. We let the good times roll and the treats flow!
Roasting Marshmallows & Watching Movies
Summer Camp in-person evenings had no shortage of fan favorite activities: roasting marshmallows and watching movies! In order to do this safely, we added bonfire stations throughout campus. Each cohort was assigned a specific place to roast marshmallows and enjoy fireside chats. The laughter from the campers and volunteers filled the campus as they sat under the stars. (Huge thanks to our Quartermaster team who packed individual s’more kits, and to the Roverback team who delivered them). Outdoor movie stations were also set-up on campus for each pod (pod = multiple cohorts that came together for outdoor activities while maintaining physical distance). Each camper and volunteer was given a lawn chair to cozy up in for the screenings, and thanks to streaming services, we were able to see some of the latest releases.
Participants of Summer Camp Virtual sent each other letters via our Camp One Step Post Office. Their care package provided envelopes, paper, and stamps to write letters. Campers and volunteers mailed their letters to our post-masters who then forwarded the letter onto the requested camp friend, keeping us all connected!
While at camp, all activities were outdoors whenever possible (thank you sunshine!). We provided additional picnic tables and tents for shade throughout campus. We also increased the waterfront activities by purchasing extra paddle boards and kayaks, which quickly became camper and volunteer favorites.
Message Boards were placed around campus to mimic announcements that are typically shared during mealtimes. The message boards had a Joke of the Day, shout out, or a positive affirmation. Message boards asked campers to “leave a note for a friend”, participate in a poll (“Do you prefer tents or hotels?”), or answer a question (“How many years have you been coming to camp?”). The boards allowed for campers of different cohorts to communicate and connect even as they maintained physical distance.
Together or apart, Camp is always in the heart!