If a camper goes home early for any reason other than medical illness or family tragedy the camp refund policy will be as follows: 50% refunded if it is within the first 36 hours. After 36 hours there will be no refunds except for paintball fees.
7 reasons to go to summer camp!
Summer camp at Hope Valley Retreat Center in western NY can be an affordable vacation for the whole family. Not only do your children enjoy the benefit of time away and making new friends, but mom and dad get a relaxing break with a quiet home for a few days.
Summer Camp Culture!
If you have never had the experience of attending summer camp in the past it is hard to explain the full value of the experience in just a few words, but I will try. There is something uniquely special about the opportunity to go away from home for a week and meet new friends, try dozens of new things and be stretched in ways that a young person doesn’t experience with the every day routine. For most children they meet their friends in one of several places. They sit next to them on the bus or in school. Go to church with them or live next door to them. How many children have friends that live outside of their zip code? That have grown up in a different culture or home life? Very few in fact. But that is just one of the many benefits that summer camp has to offer. The opportunity to get to know children from a different area of your region and learn what life is like in their culture. This past summer we had a counselor that was preparing to travel to China for a year as part of a missions organization. And this year we have 3 different staff members coming from outside of New York that will bring their diverse life stories and experiences to camp for the children to learn from.
This is one of the biggest blessings that summer camp conveys onto children. Many parents don’t realize how important it is to begin teaching children at a young age how to be self reliant and independent. This is not to develop a people averse personality, but rather to develop a young person that can stand on their own feet and face life head on. There is an epidemic in our country today of young people that graduate from college and move back home and stay there until they are in their late 20’s or even early 30’s. There are a number of factors and reasons behind this, but one major issue is that children are not learning how to survive in the adult world. Summer camp teaches them skills that may seem basic, but will prepare them for the future. Responsibilities like making their beds, cleaning their cabin, reporting to activities at set times, completing tasks and working as a team. All of these play a role in shaping a young person that will be ready for the adult world when it is presented to them.
Summer Camp Memories!
The songs, stories and games will become memories that last a lifetime. I still remember the first time I played “carpetball” over 25 years ago. And the silly songs we used to sing around the campfire. Our world moves so fast today and children are forced to grow up too quickly. Violence and sex in our entertainment and the internet. The nightly news is depressing. Common Core curriculum is causing stress issues for kids. Summer camp is the perfect environment for a child to go and escape all of that. To sing silly songs about bugs, farts and fire. To learn goofy games that no one outside of camp will ever understand, but that will be the most fun thing they’ve ever done without batteries.
I know that most, if not ALL, camp movies joke about how terrible the food at summer camp is. At Hope Valley Camp we employ a great kitchen staff that works hard to provide the most delicious and nutritious balanced meals daily for the children. The kids will be playing hard and it’s important that we meet their dietary needs and provide the flavors they want as well. This is one area that we are constantly hearing positive feedback from the kids about. They love the food and we love to feed them. There are no hungry mouths at the end of a meal. Our counseling staff are trained to encourage all of the children to eat well balanced meals and to learn respectful table manners.
Sleeping at Summer Camp!
We know! We know! Kids hate to sleep, but with all that they do at camp they are plumb tuckered out at the end of the night. All day long it is go go go! But we make sure that each night the children get an ample amount of rest for the next day with responsible bedtimes and proper supervision. And our beds are super comfortable with twin size inner spring mattresses just like college students have in their dorms! None of those thin foam pads that you find at some summer camps. We want your kids to be treated the same way we would want ours treated. With respect, love and comfort.
This is one of the greatest blessings that summer camp provides for children. Too many of our youth have no connection with the earth that we have been given. We know it’s under our feet and that we should take care of it, but they’ve never seen how creeks form rivers and end up in ponds or lakes. They haven’t seen a plant put in the ground and watched it grow into a mighty tree. Or caught a frog and seen how it’s body moves to create the croaking sounds that resound around camp night. These are all things that are experienced daily at summer camp. This magical land gives children a place to reconnect with the earth in a way that our grandparents would have. To pull a wriggling bluegill out of the pond water and release it from the hook. To dig under rotting logs for crickets and worms to catch that bluegill. Hiking the woods to identify different trees and bushes. What is safe to touch and eat? What will give you a rash? Learning how to build a shelter in the woods out of sticks and leaves in case a tragic event leaves you stranded somehow and in need of a place to escape the weather. Picking through smooth creek stones looking for just the right color and shine to take back home and show your friends. Oh the outdoors are such a special place and have so much to share with your children.
This was always the highlight of my week at camp. Singing silly songs with my friends. Hearing great stories about heroes that had come before us and served God in amazing ways. Watching the flames rage orange, red, yellow and sometimes blue as they crackled and the sparks filled the cool night sky. Enjoying the peace of the fire as it slowly waned and the wood burned away until only hot red embers were left. Then walking back to our cabin by the dim glow of our flashlights as the counselor dowsed the hot coals with a bucket of water. Until we could repeat the process again the next night. It was glorious!
In Summary – Summer camp is the best thing you could ever do for your child. They are worth the investment and the experience will pay dividends for years to come.