A Word from CarlyFries:
The ACA hott article topic for the day delved into the 2010 Sites, Facilities, and Program Survey (SFPS) results to take a look at some of the key findings of interest to the camp industry and see how we here at HVCC see these findings coming into play.
To summarize, there were five key points that arose as a result of the survey that were shared in the article and that are believed to be new focus points for the camp industry or important findings that needed to be reiterated. These included:
- Continue to reach out to diverse groups and find ways to serve campers with disabilities or special needs who might otherwise miss out on the camp experience
- Explore ways to connect municipal government programs with ACA’s camp network
- Encourage healthy lifestyles by providing opportunities for physical activity and healthy food options, as well as consider removing candy bar and soda dispensers to encourage healthier food habits
- Further consider intentional programming by creating camps that target societal issues such as summer learning loss, reducing childhood obesity, and encouraging summer reading
- There’s a need to collect data to “prove” our camp programs do all the great things we say they do for campers
It’s really wonderful to be apart of a campground that in so many ways is embodying these things, or we’re in the process of further incorporating some of these points. There is, however, always room for improvement. For example, I think HVCC has an awesome opportunity to further reach out to more diverse groups potentially through more day camp programs throughout the year when we’re not so booked with various camps throughout the summer. This could be a place to facilitate pool parties, homework clubs, etc. throughout the year to local schools or other programs. Another point I believe HVCC needs to work on is intentional programming by creating camps that focus on more societal issues. I think Wild Noise is an excellent start by focusing on art that’s all around us, and this can easily incorporate aspects of environmental issues. I do think this should be only the beginning to creating these intentional camps here at the grounds.
Some things that HVCC has kicked butt at that were included in the article were particularly points 3 and 5. Happy Valley provides so many various opportunities for physical activity ranging from swimming and high ropes to archery and hiking, and campers are always encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities. Furthermore, healthy eating has always been promoted by the staff here at HVCC and the fresh variety of foods that are provided here for people of all dietary needs is something very unique and something to be applauded and continued. We can continue to promote a healthy lifestyle by potentially creating signs explaining necessary food portions and other health awareness posters. Finally, in reference to the fifth point, intern Lynley is currently in the process of working with Dr. Lisa Prosser-Dodds to conduct and analyze surveys given to camp participants to gain a better understanding and knowledge of their camp experience and what was missing from it. By the end of the summer, the hope is to have collected and analyzed a decent amount of data and begin work on how we can better the camp experience using the data we’ve collected.
That’s all from me folks 🙂
Lynley on this:
I see great value in all of these goals, especially #5 (as it is my individual project). ACA has a Youth Battery that measures the affect of the camping experience on kids aged 7-18. I hope to glean some perspective on how COC camps at HVCC camps improve the quality of life for their campers! It’s a great measure of success for that ALL campgrounds should be using to create the greatest camping experience possible.
Brooke on this:
I think the key points that Carly mentioned above from the article are all excellent things that Happy Valley should continue to work on and strive for. One of the things that I have always enjoyed about going to camp is participating in more activities outside that keep me on the go. At camp I have had the opportunity to challenge myself physically through activities that I would normally would not have access to. Here at Happy Valley I still get to be challenged through hikes on the trails and by climbing around on the High Ropes Course.
I hope that Happy Valley continues to develop programs that target certain groups or issues. I think Wild Noise Arts Camp, (visit the site here!) is a great start to providing a camp that focuses solely on the arts. I would love to see programs like these continue to emerge from the grounds.
Antonia on this:
It’s definitely important to continue to develop the strengths of Happy Valley, such as the pool. I know Tim and Amanda have mentioned before that eventually having staff who are certified to teach swimming lessons will be very helpful towards making camps better. For some campers, this is the only pool they get close to all year, so being able to offer skill-learning can only help.
I hope that we can do similar things for GPS classes and wilderness classes, especially in light of our conceptual project: we’ve bought a really nice GPS to help us map and that continue to be used after the project is over. Likewise, I hope the nature signs that we’re recommending will also be educational and draw people into learning more about the redwoods and the environment here!