While of course music is very important to us at FMC, getting to have some summer camp fun is essential as well. Friendships that come out of playing next to someone in band or singing in your section in choir are strengthened and expanded by non-musical activities. Among these activities are not only informal things like soccer or crafts during free time, but also all-camp outings or games.
One very fun outing happened tonight — our annual trip to Barkcamp, a nearby state park. There is a sandy beach, a lake for swimming, a volleyball net, and a shady picnic area. It’s a really nice chance for campers to be relaxed together and to expand on the friendships that have been beginning to form this first week of camp.
“Learning through play” is a big concept in early childhood education — the idea that young kids need time to play and to learn and to discover, and that “playtime” is not wasted time, nor should it be expendable. I think we see this even with older kids. Having unstructured time to “play” allows teenagers and pre-teens not just to blow off steam, but to form friendships, to practice their social interactions, and to deepen their sense of who they are in their own world.
From my perspective, each recreational activity builds a deeper level of trust and friendship among the campers here. Soon we’ll have an all-camp game of capture the flag, a canoe trip, a wacky talent-show-type night called “stunt night,” and other fun activities. Each one brings us closer together.