A literary summer at sleep away camp
By Alex on September 5th, 2012
As summer comes to an end and students and teachers start another school year, I thought this would be a great time to reflect on summer reading (with a twist). For the children at Vacamas Sleep Away Camp in West Milford, NJ, reading was a regularly integrated part of their daily camp routine this summer. Yes, that’s right reading at camp!
While most campers are anticipating swimming in the lake, making new friends and playing a number of games, the campers at Vacamas also eagerly looked forward to summer reading! Each day the campers would have a rest period where they had time to participate in a program called Explore 30. Explore 30 was designed by the American Camping Association to encourage kids to read 30 minutes a day at participating sleep away camps.
I was lucky enough to spend a day at Vacamas and see the summer reading in action. During my visit the campers were reading The Hatchet. Each camper took turns reading and taking about “Brian” and his adventure through the sequels, during breaks from their regularly scheduled lunch and softball.
With the “summer learning loss” in mind, camp Vacamas also provides an age appropriate library located in the middle of their camp. At camp Vacamas the children are not only encouraged to read but are also given journals to partake in a creative writing class and an opportunity to write about their daily experiences.
After visiting camp Vacamas I was very envious of the campers. I wish I had an Explore 30 program available when I was growing up!
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