We teach a lot of things at Briarwood. All kids learn how to swim, to dribble a basketball, work with clay, climb the rock wall, hit a tennis ball, fish, play gaga, and so much more. But, because kids spend more time here, they tend to learn a lot more. That’s one way we’re much different than the one-week, single skill sports camp or art camp or STEM camp that so many kids attend.
We spend more time with our campers, more time getting to know them and the positive results can be astounding. As much as we teach our campers’ skills like swimming, painting, dribbling, or fishing, the other lessons kids learn here are MUCH more important.
Kids learn a different, and often better, way to get along at Briarwood Day Camp. Briarwood is different than school. Our groups (called bunks) are smaller. Our counselors are a mix of young teachers, parents, and college students. They get to know our campers and they are trained to work well and to integrate different kinds of kids together in a cohesive way.
Here, kids learn to work together and to resolve their differences peer-to-peer in a friendly way (with older guidance as necessary, of course) instead of in a more hierarchical adult-dictates-everything way as may happen in school or elsewhere. Our campers take their cues from our trained staff, many of whom grew up here as campers and who are excited to help instill in our campers the friendly, positive, inclusive Briarwood spirit that brings so many people back year after year.
Summer camp is great for kids to learn to try new things and begin to spread their wings in a safe place. At Briarwood, in an age-appropriate way, kids learn responsibility and to make choices for themselves. At our Busy Bee level (ages three to five), responsibility might be as simple as asking our campers to take their own towels to swim. When our campers get to Lower Camp and older (first grade and up), they select their own elective every week. Kids third grade and older can stay (with our staff, of course) for our Briarwood Overnighter Weekend.
Upper Campers (fourth grade through seventh grade) can travel to other camps for intercamp games. Our CITs and Super CITs (eighth through tenth grade) go on trips out of camp, some for the day, some for one night away, and some for two nights away. At Briarwood, we give kids a safe space to grow and become more independent.
By attending camp for longer periods of time (kids attend for four, five, six, seven or eight weeks), Briarwood kids get the time to learn skills, conquer fears and see for themselves the benefit of trying hard, sticking to a task, and persevering. For example, all Briarwood swimmers – led by our pool staff with 90+ years combined of Red Cross certified lifeguarding experience – improve each summer. For some campers, that means that they can now put their face in the water and blow bubbles. For others, it means that they master the flutter kick. For others still, it means they can finally swim the butterfly and do a flip turn.
All swimmers learn the value of perseverance and they see that persevering yields positive results. Likewise, some of our campers may be nervous to try our rock wall. But some of them, after watching others try and with the kind encouragement of their bunkmates and counselors, may decide to give a try after two or three weeks (or four or five). The proud smiles of our campers who “finally” made it up the rock wall and down the zip line is priceless. Our campers take these positive experiences out into the world with them, long after camp has ended.
When kids try new things and stay positive, they become the best version of themselves. One great thing about our kind of summer camp is that here, campers also learn to appreciate each other’s talents in a way they might not at school.
In these smaller groups, they realize that one kid may be great at basketball and another is a fantastic artist while another is really funny, etc. Briarwood is a place where everyone finds an opportunity to shine and our kids learn to appreciate what everyone has to offer.
Briarwood Day Camp is a great place for a kid to grow up. The lessons kids learn from a camp like ours last a lifetime. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us at 215 598 7143 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!