At Treetops, a strong sense of community is present in virtually all of our activities.
One way we build our close community is through daily chores and work jobs. Children learn shared values and gain confidence as they perform meaningful tasks that help to keep Camp running smoothly.
Throughout the summer, campers are assigned to a specific chore or job, with children’s interests and abilities in mind. They complete the work in small groups of three to four, with an older camper mentor and a supervising counselor. After one week, jobs change, so campers rotate through different assignments over the course of the summer.
Campers enjoy the opportunity to work together in small groups to accomplish a worthwhile task. They take pride in a job well done, and in the process become part of something bigger than themselves.
Morning Chores & Afternoon Work Jobs
Early morning jobs include barn chores and garden harvest. Campers feed and care for the barn animals — chickens, horses, pigs, sheep, and more — and in the gardens, they harvest greens, herbs, and veggies for the day’s meals. At 5:00 pm each day, the bell rings for afternoon chores. These tasks cover a wide range of jobs: picking fresh flowers for the dining room tables; gathering wood for the evening campfire; tidying and sweeping the crafts shops; putting away camping equipment or repairing a canoe.
One morning a week, all campers and counselors gather for a large, camp-wide community job. Perhaps the driveway-long flower beds need to be weeded or a trail or pasture requires maintenance. Other times, firewood needs to be stacked or an invasive species eradicated. As with other jobs, campers gain from taking on real responsibility and shared work.
Frequently children also participate in a summer-long community project. In the past, campers have:
- built a new kayak in the woodshop
- planted trees on the property
- knitted caps for newborns.
Years later, Camp alumni remember these community projects with satisfaction and pride. They point to a kayak or bridge over a stream and say, “I helped make that.”