When you stop and think about it, there aren’t many healthy places designed especially for children. School comes to mind, and perhaps church for others, but they’re very different places from camp. Camp Augusta tries to create a magical world where kids can focus on being kids, and really being themselves.
Children these days face many challenges that are more taxing than most of us take the time to realize. Here are a few statistics to illustrate the point.
- Children are in front of media (e.g., television, computers, video games) an average of 45 hours a week. That is the equivalent of a full-time job sitting down and usually not interacting with other people.
- In 1970, less than 5% of 15 year olds were sexually active, and now it is 34%
- Girls often have a poor body image. The number one wish of 8th grade girls is to be thinner. It’s no wonder when 5’10” and 110lbs is the media average for women, while the real average is 5’4” and 145lbs.
- Half the population is breathing unhealthy air, and more people die from air pollution than car crashes every year
- 71% of high school children cheated in the last 12 months according to Character Counts
- 250,000 people a year die from inactivity related diseases. Type II diabetes has increased tenfold from 1982 – 1994 among the young, and 27% in the last 5 years
- The job of virtually all advertising (20,000 commercials per year for the average American) is to convince people that they need things to be happy
At Camp Augusta, children experience a refuge. Counselors, who are chosen for their character and love of children, model and enforce positive values. Children spend all day engaged with people, where they learn to be better people.
Children also need a place to have good old-fashioned fun, and at camp, they spend all day having fun and learning. Fun is the space and the forge in which much is accomplished. In the morning, your child might do archery and make something in arts and crafts. After lunch and relaxing for a while in the cabin, a daily, changing “feast” for the playful soul is laid out for the whole camp. Here, in addition to trying out other activities or swimming in the lake, there is the opportunity to do things kids rarely if ever do except at camp, such as play shoe golf, find out why Sally is Silly, play kick the can or Indian Kabaddi, or a host of other games and events. Then it’s time to try one’s hand at more of our activities — perhaps a trail ride on a horse, or an exploration of a Gypsy Falls or the Yuba River. After dinner, the evening may bring an overnight, a quest, a campfire, or a game of Giants, Wizards, and Elves. To close out the day, the cabin gathers to simply be for a little while, and then do a special “evening embers.”
Through all these activities, there is more going on than only doing things. Kids are learning to be people of character, be self-confident, live a healthy life through good eating and fun exercise, be good stewards of the environment, understand safe risk taking, appreciate community living, and take away recreational skills that they may enjoy for life. Camp Augusta . . . fun and so much more.
While it can be said that Camp Augusta is a place with trees, cabins, waterfalls, a lake, flora, and fauna, that would only start to describe the place. The spirit and magic of Camp Augusta are what is missed by those who don’t spend time here. There is something magical about . .
- 57+ diverse staff all completely dedicated to 90 campers and each other
- Being nestled in the woods at a natural amphitheater, drinking hot chocolate after a game of Nature’s Wrath, listening to stories told in the “old-fashioned” way, as the smoke from the fire curls up amongst the trees, toward the beautiful starry night.
- Being a kid in a massive, multi-colored oatmeal food fight. Be disgusting. Amazed that animals eat all the oatmeal and the field is clean the next day.
- Lazily drifting in a canoe, at night, on the lake, listening to the crickets and frogs, and wondering at the amazing stars and universe, guided by expert staff who make it fun.
- Having so much fun, and having so many adventures, all without any electronics whatsoever
- Children and staff singing silly songs, eating Lazy Dog ice cream, deer munching the compost, classic fun, the gorgeous Yuba River, and Magical Camp Augusta.
- A world where kids don’t play video games every night or watch TV or sit in front of computers
- A world where a very healthy amount of exercise is achieved daily . . . through play
- A world where instant messaging is a tap on the shoulder, cell phones are replaced with a name called aloud, and e-mail is replaced with the sentimental character of a hand-written note
- A world that includes hand-cranked ice cream, a hike by moon light, a connection with a horse, and a simple game that requires only a ready smile to play
- A world where people sing . . . to play, to laugh, to communicate, to remember, and to inspire
- A world where everyone cleans up after themselves at meals and in their room
- A world where people sit down and eat three handmade-from-scratch meals together every day, talking with one another throughout the meal
- A world where basking in the beauty and pleasure of a waterfall, lake, creek, river, forest, and garden can be a normal part of every day
- Magical Camp Augusta . . . FUN, and so much more
Songs We Sing
Missing Camp? Then close your eyes, sing along to these camp songs, and think about some of your favorite, most magical, memories here.
Camp Augusta Song – “Ooooonnn A Lake Called Vera……”
Linger – “I wanna linger, a little longer…”
Blue Sky Sunshine – “Blue sky sunshine, wind in the trees…”
Loyal (from 2009) – “I can’t remember last time I thanked you…”
Hey Jude – “Naaaa Na Na nananana!!!”
I Am Freedom (from 2009) – “I can no more be bound than a… “
Flicker the Campfire “wind in the trees, stars in the heavens . . .”
Cat Came Back “the very next day, oh the cat came back . . .”
Singing is a critical and missing element for most of today’s children, and adults. Read this short article from Utne Reader about the importance of song, and enjoy singing with your family more.