A wonderful way to ease into camping, Rookie Camp presents a unique opportunity for seven and eight year olds who are first-time campers (and perhaps first time camp families as well). It is also very appropriate for those who have had some camping experience but may want to dip their toe in just a little more.
During the week-long session, Rookie Camp seamlessly integrate into the general camp session. This allows them countless opportunities to model new behaviors and learn new traditions.
In addition to the core values of Camps Airy and Louise, the Rookie Camp is devoted to supporting the particular needs of our first-time campers. Knowing that every child occupies her/his own unique spot on a developmental continuum, there are also some common behaviors/tasks that might need further encouragement and/or support as the campers take on new challenges. Some of these include the awareness that children in this age group may:
- Enjoy sharing their knowledge with others
- Have a refreshing curiosity about the world
- Use increasingly complex approaches to problem-solving
- Exhibit motor skills growth that ranges from skills acquisition to the beginning of athleticism
- Enjoy making friends
- While responding to rules and procedures, they also enjoy playing independently
- Begin to demonstrate empathy for others
- Express frustration with self and others
- Begin to take on leadership roles
- Still rely on adults for comfort, safety and security
- With exposure, their interest in arts, music, dance and drama may jump significantly
- Demonstrate language and literacy skills that create a foundation for future academic progress
With these behaviors in mind, at camp our primary focus is developmental play. As the central activity in the lives of healthy and well functioning children at camp, it is a canvas on which a child can explore their world from all directions. From quiet independent activities to the exuberance of group collaboration, children's hearts and minds are always nurtured when at play. As parents and educators we fully recognize the importance of play (and all of its assorted presentations) for a child's physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.
A thriving Jewish camp is Jewish every day. It is important to take a hands-on approach to capturing a child's imagination. Once we get their attention we work to weave Jewish values into the daily conversation. In the Rookie Camp, we teach a love of learning to each child and we teach them to care about each other. And knowing that children develop at different rates we are always working to meet the needs of the individual child.