Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This is the first time K1 was at sleep away camp. She returned from Camp Strawderman with the desire to go away for a month instead of 2 weeks the next summer. We’re extremely glad she got to experience the feelings of camaraderie and the joys of just being together that seems to be missing from her school life. In terms of facilities, I thought that the camp was more rustic than what was featured in this NYT article. The article may be a harbinger of things to come for summer camps in general:

The pressure is on as never before. The tight economy has made private traditional sleep-away camps like Pine Forest seem even more of a luxury, even for many upper-middle-class families who have sent their children to such programs for generations. All the usual business headaches — personnel, logistics, marketing, customer service — matter more than ever.

But beyond the slack economy is a profound change in the business of summer camp. As in just about every industry, slick, nimble upstarts are muscling in on the establishment. These newcomers hold out 21st-century promises: We can groom the modern organization kid, hone lacrosse skills, improve algebra, pad the high-school résumé.

No more the quaint summer idyll of lake and volleyball and s’mores. Today, former Brazilian pros coach soccer camp, Oscar winners officiate at film camp, computer game developers teach tech camp — all the better, the pitches go, to get Holly or Howie into Harvard, or at least to sharpen their skills.

Seriously? Outcomes-based summer camps? Certainly, if the outcome is memories. But I can commiserate with the parents especially since today’s schools are already too outcomes based to to make other offerings available. Hence, the blossoming of niche camps such as computer animation, movie making, rock camp (and other musical variants) as well as the ever present test prep “camps”.

No comments: