“What pattern do you see?” asked the first grade math teacher. The Camp Hutchison Foxes looked up at the colored calendar numbers trying to remember this pattern’s name. In less than a minute, a hand shot up. “It is the growing pattern!” a student called out.
Camp Hutchison is all about growing and patterns. The children grow through this camp experience through hands on learning, building relationships, and by respecting their friends and the volunteers. They learn by repetition, encouragement by the volunteers, and well-organized activities. They learn while having fun! There is no better way to learn!
A lamster is really a lobster, an oxygon is really a octagon, and a blow up fish is really a blow fish. Adults smile when a word is mispronounced but we are also smiling because these students are trying. They want to learn! Academics is very important but they also learn how to be friends by sharing food, waiting patiently behind a classmate getting a drink of water, asking if classmate is okay after getting hurt in the playground, sharing art supplies, and working together in Drama and Music Classes.
At the end of reading class one day, we played a game. Each student sat with their hands behind their back. The counselor pretended to “put” a spider in each of their hands by bending low and touching each set of cupped hands. Only one, though, is given the spider. After the counselor goes around the circle of students, she faces the students. She selects one to guess who really has the spider. More often than not the one who was given the spider and is not supposed to tell anyone, announces, “I have the spider!” The instructors, counselors and junior counselors laugh at their innocence and their impatience. They don’t want to keep secrets!
There are no secrets at Camp Hutchison. Four weeks of positive learning, healthy food to eat, positive behavior reminders, new friendships that enrich, and established friendships made stronger. Like the spider inThe Busy Spiderspinning her web, the students in Camp are busy having fun! Like the caterpillar inThe Very Hungry Caterpillargobbling all the food, these students are hungry for more camp days! Like the ladybug inThe Grouchy Ladybug, they learn that it’s not fun to be grouchy because you miss out on the fun! As a Counselor I don’t want to miss out on the fun either!