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Camp: A Day in the Life

How do campers spend their day?



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If you’re new to the summer camp experience, you may wonder how campers spend their days. In fact, around this time every year, camp directors busily field tons of parent questions about schedules, activities, rain contingencies, friends, cabin groups. . .  

The truth is, no two camp days are ever quite the same. But despite rotating activity schedules, “camper choice” electives and enticing special events, each day has a rhythm that builds familiarity and community.  

First things first . . . morning assembly

Before anything can happen at day camp, kids have to get there. Many camps accommodate parents’ work schedules with extended hours for early drop-off and late pickup. At Willow Grove Day Camp in Willow Grove, PA, campers can arrive as early as 7am; by 9:25 everyone is present and ready for assembly, where campers review their daily schedules, says owner/director Larry Zeitz.

Camp days at both overnight and day programs typically begin — and often end — with a similar all-camp assembly. This mass meetup goes by many names, but the message is always the same: Underlying daily announcements, lost-and-found alerts, silly games and award presentations, this is when the camp builds a sense of unity. 

“Circle Time,” for example, kicks off every session of the full- and half-day camps Delaware’s New Castle County (NCC) hosts at seven locations. During this time, says camp supervisor Heather 
Mergenthaler, the community reviews safety and camp rules, known as “fun”-damentals, as well as field trips, swimming or special-guest visits. “We also discuss the ‘Word of the Week,’ which 
encourages confidence, sharing and stewardship,” she says. 

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