COVID-19 and CAMP
On May 14, Walden emailed the latest in a series of communications to our families over the past two months. Our goal is to be honest, informative and fair as we ask for their patience and forbearance. Every day, the COVID-19 landscape changes and we want to be sure we wait as long as possible, and consider all the latest guidance and resources, before we make a final decision about this summer.
We’re your partner!
At Walden, we view parents as partners in creating the best possible summer-camp experience for your child.
In many ways, parents need to be as equipped as their camper for the child’s time away. In order to educate you about what to expect, Walden offers a variety of resources, including this page, an online Parent Orientation Guide for enrolled families, a private Facebook group, and access to the Prep4Camp homesickness prevention program for families. Liz and Scott make regular trips to the Midwest to meet personally with prospective campers and their parents; in the spring we host video chats for new campers. If you live outside of the Detroit-Chicago-Cleveland areas and would be interested in hosting a small group of families at your home to learn about Walden, please contact us.
Who are our counselors?
Camp is only as good as its “front-line” staff: the cabin counselors. They are the individuals whose personal relationships with campers will make a child’s experience worthwhile and memorable–or not.
That is why we are committed to bringing only the most dedicated, conscientious young adults to work at Walden. Our counseling staff consists of college students from across the United States and abroad–all counselors must have at least one year of college. Many are pursuing degrees in K-12 education or plan to work with children in some professional capacity. And some who had never considered a career in education decide, based on their camp experience, to pursue one!
Our international staff come to us through the cultural exchange programs Camp America and Camp Leaders. These organizations recruit college students throughout Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These counselors, office and kitchen workers bring a wonderful cultural diversity to the Walden family.
Walden’s counseling staff begin their child-development training online, prior to their arrival at camp.Training continues on camp grounds for one week before campers arrive, with seminars and activities led by Walden’s directors and senior administrative staff.
All Walden employees undergo rigorous application and background-checking processes. As an ACA-accredited camp, Walden adheres to the highest national and state standards for employee screening.
Read our Staff Recruitment Brochure
Mini-Mini Session 2020
Like our other 2020 sessions, the Mini Mini Session is on-hold while we determine our path forward for the summer. Thank you!
Walden’s Mini-Mini Session is available to first-time campers who will be entering 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades in the fall of 2020.
This two-day, three-night introduction to camp life will allow your child to try-out the Walden Way—from eating in the Mess Hall and sleeping in a cabin, to sampling new activities–such as archery and waterskiing–while getting a “lay of the land.”
Mini-Mini Session campers will follow a special program guided by experienced counselors. They’ll also participate in programs together with our 2nd Session campers. Parents drop off their campers in Cheboygan, where our camp bus will meet them. On Tuesday morning, parents will pick up Mini Minis at Walden and have the opportunity to tour the grounds.
The Mini-Mini Session is the perfect opportunity for your child (and you!) to test the waters of a summer-camp experience. Participating families will receive a $100 credit toward the 2021 season.
(Please note that the Mini-Mini Session is a one-time experience, and campers cannot repeat the session)
Resources & Links
SEXUAL ABUSE AT SUMMER CAMP: WALDEN’S PRO-ACTIVE RESPONSE
American Camp Association: Campers and Parents
Information and advice from camp professionals, from the nation’s leading summer-camp accreditation organization.
Website of Dr. Tina Bryson, psychotherapist and co-author (with Dan Siegel) of THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD. Dr. Bryson is also the Child Development Director for Lantern Camps and blogs about kids and summer camp.
Why send your child to summer camp? For one thing, it makes them more resilient.
Michael Thompson Ph.D. @MGThompsonPHD
Award-winning author of Raising Cain and other books about boy’s development.We strongly recommend Thompson’s latest publication, Homesick and Happy, which explores the tremendous benefits of overnight camp on the social and emotional development of children.
Did you know?
Walden is the title of a famous book by 19th-century New England naturalist and writer Henry David Thoreau. Here’s a quote from the book that we especially like:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”