By Zoe Sinclair, Lead Camp Counselor and Intern/Fellow Coordinator
When we say there’s a camp for every camper at Durham Academy Summer, we mean it! We have worked hard to ensure that campers from age 4 to 18 will be stimulated with offerings tailored to their age group and unique interests. Our camps are split into four categories: Camp Evergreen, ages 4–13; Summits, ages 8–14; Night Camp, ages 10–14; and Summer Institute, ages 14–18.
In Evergreen, campers are divided into cabins that are specific to their age; they spend the entire week with the same campers and camp leader that they had on the first day of that specific week. In the past, camper cabins were not permanent and usually changed every week. This year, the cabin system has changed to be more permanent for every camper so that they are able to more organically form strong interpersonal relationships with their fellow campers and cabin leaders, and build on them every week! If you would like to make requests for your camper to be in a specific cabin with a friend, there is a button on our camp registration site to do so.
In each cabin, your camper will have one camp lead (the lead counselor who is the oldest/most experienced person in the cabin), an assistant (the next person in line of responsibility from the lead), an intern counselor (a counselor in training that focuses on leadership development) and a fellow counselor (essentially an intern).
From the moment your camper is dropped off to the time of pickup, campers are immersed in new experiences that they will remember forever. In the morning, after drop-off, all campers, interns and fellows, camp leaders and directors of camp gather for a morning meeting. Morning meeting is a time for the whole camp to gather as one before starting the day — a time for each cabin to show their cabin spirit through cheering contests, cabin posters, and all-camp activities like talent shows and hula-hoop contests. Campers even get to experience animal shows during some morning meetings! Last year, the campers enjoyed seeing a live monkey, owl and snake; every morning meeting is a different experience!
After morning meeting, these festivities continue. During the day, campers participate in a plethora of activities like making dreamcatchers in arts and crafts, participating in water day every Friday, doing scavenger hunts, nature walks, sports like basketball and capture the flag, and even a camp zipline! Furthermore, campers have the amazing opportunity to visit the camp animal room to see our camp Bunny, fish, dinosaur skeletons, hamster and even our ant hill.
At DA Summer, we believe in creating a safe space for all campers to have the most fun all year. However, we also value intellectual engagement of our campers, and we believe in a healthy work-play environment. Thus, while our campers enjoy all of the activities listed above, we also weave in aspects of academics like reading and spelling, math, science and overall logical thinking skills. Since cabins are divided by age, our academic leaders at Durham Academy Summer create academic activities, personalized for each age category. For example, in the Chipmunk cabin (age 4), campers enjoy exploring the alphabet, practicing using scissors, matching and building their vocabulary and even spelling their name! In the Blue Jay cabin (age 5), campers enjoy putting puzzles together, sharpening their writing skills, reading books and learning in nature.
Ultimately, Camp Evergreen is a camp that has it all for your camper! Whether they bring their lunch from home or buy camp lunch from one of our vendors, shoot archery or do the zipline or love arts and crafts or sports, your camper will have a phenomenal summer at Camp Evergreen. Check out our other blog posts to learn about Summits, Night Camp and Summer Institute.