Reflections on Summer 2015

 

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Dear Camp Families,

The end of camp is always particularly poignant for me. HCDC is not just a summer experience it is really a “home away from home” for Dave, Jane and me, all our staff  members and for our camp families. It seems like it passes in the blink of an eye but we remember our camp experience forever.

An essential component of our campers’ summer experience is their daily activities. Our newly expanded Club Program provided the opportunity for kids to make choices independently and to commit to their decisions. So, for example, if campers wanted to strengthen their skills or explore a special interest they could engage in activities such as Tennis Club, Spy Club, Tee Shirt Design Club, Circus Club or BBall Skills Club along with many others. Watching the Cheerleading Club have a cheer off before the entire camp was great for them and fun for us.  Our state of the art Low Ropes Course attracted the attention of virtually all campers, from our tots to our preteens. While the addition of our Sports Academy, which gave campers an opportunity to develop new athletic skills and fine- tune existing ones, was a huge success. We are especially proud of our seniors (4th and 5th graders) who participated in our food drive by working directly with the East Hampton Food Pantry to help organize and distribute food to the needy and homeless.

Over the years HCDC has developed certain traditions that have become part of our camp fabric. The kids have come to know and enjoy our Friday Pow-Wows, our Dance- Offs and our weekly bus competitions., Who will be next years winner of the Best Bus Mascot?  We may have put the Applause-O-Meter to rest for the summer but it is sure to reappear in 2016! Pizza Wednesdays are an all- camp favorite. We hope that three year old Charlie, announcing “Busses on the Move” will continue to hone his skills as the HCDC Bus Monitor at parent pickup. The “We Want Bracelets” chant is certain to ring in our ears until the New Year. And of course, no one will forget the dance rhythms of DJ Krazy Kane.  But front and center this summer was our “Disco Countdown”, thank you six year old boys for introducing this new HCDC tradition.

A special HCDC “Hats Off” to our terrific and loyal camp staff who brought positive energy, sensitivity, caring and humor to this summers program. Watching them encourage a camper to pass the deep water test, giggling with a child over an untied shoelace, helping them traverse the low ropes for the first time. Moments like these were especially gratifying to me. Every summer presents its unique challenges, this years staff displayed loyalty, perseverance and commitment which we both applaud and appreciate.

The end of camp is always bittersweet, putting friendships and relationships, both between the campers and with their counselors, on hold. But the “off season” gives us all a chance to look forward to next summer. It is our hope that the camp experience this summer has given our campers an increased sense of self esteem, self confidence and resilience, this is what we strive to achieve.

We are already working to make next summer even better than this summer . If you thought that this summer was great, next summer is going to be “great so great!!”

And so until next summer, wishing everyone a great school year and a happy and healthy start to 2016.

Doris, Dave and Jane

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