Camp Rules. Or Camps Rule. Either way, it’s true.
Now something you should know about me, I was a Girl Scout, although, in hindsight, Mrs. B, my troop leader, probably shouldn’t have awarded me that sewing badge. I am, however, prepared. Yes, since 1947 the Girls Scout motto has been “Be Prepared”, the same as the Boy Scouts, and since I like to take things up a notch – over-prepared. I even have a badge.
So, I’m an over-prepared ex-Girl Scout on a mission. I have a few million (okay, 16 plus) years of experience with day camps, sleep-away camps, school camps, sports camps, to art and farm camps. That’s a lot of camps. And, lucky you, I like to share. So when I was asked to the Cedar Hill in Waltham to see what they’re up to, I dug out my over-prepared badge right away.
Cedar Hill is a short drive from my house – how I did I miss this wonderful camp for my girls? That’s another reason I’m sharing, so you don’t miss it, too. May be if I used the ACA Camp Finder tool from the American Camp Association New England, I would have known about it. Here it is for your camp finding needs. It works like a charm. Trust me, you want to use this to set up next summer.
The staff at Cedar Hill is wonderful, caring professional and enthusiastic, the campers are engaged and enthusiastic (when we arrived, it was to the sounds of Let It Go being performed by some of the campers) and the grounds are vast – over 90 acres and just lovely in a low-key camp friendly way.
The week’s theme was a take on the show Chopped, and the campers designed the menu, prepped, cooked, and ate the food, and there were several awards for different categories. It was wonderful to see so many girls working together and so excited about the week long theme and the fantastic final day of the competition.
Kids have always been the toughest food critics (only now we have television shows are making it legit), and with the increased awareness of food allergies and sensitivities, preferences for religious reasons, food more than ever is a a larger part of our focus and camp programs have evolved along with our expectations.
Gone are the days of bug juice and now it’s more likely to be a sports drink at a sports camp or 100% juice, and Popsicle sticks for crafts (although I do still love a good Popsicle stick craft).
Summer is a perfect time to explore interests outside of the classroom and learn in a hands-on, group environment, not just specific interests but sharing, social skills, independence, and community building. Camps have long been a cherished part of summer and they continue to evolve and involve the things we as parents most care about, most importantly, our children’s health, growth and happiness.
For more information and to finds great camps, check out American Camp Association New England and the Camp Finder Tool.