It was wonderful to see so many faces at Visitors’ Weekend. Children were delighted to share the routines and rhythms of Camp life with their families. The warm temperatures beckoned everyone to the waterfront, where campers and their visitors enjoyed swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Of course, saying goodbye once again to loved ones is always bittersweet. However, with time, children have gained a quiet confidence and sense of comfort at Treetops. In just a few short weeks, they have accomplished so much. Whether successfully completing a deep water swim test, picking the hoof of a thousand-pound horse, transforming clay into a bowl on the kick wheel, improvising a skit for an audience, or, simply being there for a friend to lean on–children learn to take pride in every accomplishment, large and small. In nurturing the whole child, Treetops helps build confidence and bolsters a child’s sense of self-worth.
For those senior campers who chose to participate, our annual chicken harvest offered yet another opportunity to cultivate feelings of resilience, as well as courage and compassion. Gathering in the forest alongside Dexter pasture, children expressed mixed emotions. As a community, we discussed having reverence for the birds that are giving their lives to sustain us, for the process of providing food for our tables, and for the campers and counselors who chose to be part of such a powerful experience. Children were also encouraged to reflect on their experience and share their thoughts with the community.
With newfound independence and a sense of competence in their abilities, children learn to trust themselves and each other, embrace challenges, and broaden their perspectives. Many campers now feel comfortable leaving our acreage to explore the Adirondacks as part of our trip program. This week, campers honed their sailing skills on Lower Saranac Lake, hiked mountains, such as Colden, Marshal, Cliff, and Redfield, and sharpened their climbing abilities on nearby cliffs and crags. In tune with their natural surroundings and bolstered by their own confidence, campers have learned that they can overcome challenges and thrive, no matter the circumstances.