The Beauty of Summer Camp

The beauty of camp is not just the scenic views on the waterfront or on the fields but the friendships, unique experience, and memories created at camp that live on for years. At Camp Robin Hood we see that beauty of camp daily and call it the magic in the trees.

We recently found an article that one father shared about what it meant to visit his son’s summer camp and remembering the beauty of his camp experience. It is a great reminder about why the time spent at summer camp is so meaningful from your first summer to 20 years later when you are sharing a memory with your child.

In this, my son’s fourth summer, I returned to camp over two decades later … It was an extraordinary seven days. Not easy, but extraordinary. I was forced by my exposure to so many kids, to look for and see my deepest sense of self. The camp asks children to be vulnerable, accepting others for the worth of their soul, not for their superficial cover. And, so while asking such from children, we adults are forced to do the same.  I observed and was moved by kids who normally wear every mask they can find to hide from the world, instead, remove the layers and serve up generosity in portions which if put together, might actually save our world.

I was moved by the depth of spirit and maturity displayed by the counselors in camp. They are barely adults themselves and yet, they hold the emotional and spiritual lives of real children, experiencing life on all ends of the human spectrum. When these same counselors return to the college campus in the fall, most of their friends will assume that their summers were carefree because they worked in camp. But the opposite is true.  These caring souls work eighteen hours a day and learn how to be mature and steady leaders because of their work. I believe that the best of them will build on their summer experiences to make meaningful and impactful lives for themselves.

Most moving, was the sense of freedom children seemed to feel by being at camp.  Not because they rule the roost, but because, in a safe environment, they are forced to independently make choices……about which activities they love, but more, how to connect in relationship. They are given room to fall down and not have a parent catch them. They don’t have parents there to micromanage their friendships. Their actions have consequences and it is not made better because of their parents’ wherewithal.

Freedom with boundaries and values says it best. All week, I observed children as they shed off their layers and found within, their deepest sense of wisdom and self. I heard children as they laid on the ground and watched the stars, talk with relief about being away from the drama of their home relationships, the constant talk of violence on television and the academic pressure to be perfect.

It is obvious that breaks from our routine are important, but this was more than mere vacation. These days away from home, school these children in character-building, value-evolution and independence-making. It is not magic; it is good old-fashioned, spiritual, wise, evolving, joyous freedom. The campers grew.  I grew. And all of us could use the time away from the same, somewhere, not for fantasy, but for independence from all which sometimes keeps us shackled.  We all deserve it.

Excerpt from The Spiritual Beauty of Summer Camp by Matt Gewirtz

Ice Hockey Intensive Program Now at Camp Robin Hood

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At Camp Robin Hood, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide positive experiences for campers of diverse athletic interests, needs, and abilities. One highlight of the Camp Robin Hood Experience is the opportunity for personalized, higher-level lessons. We developed our Intensive Programs and private instructions to meet those needs of our campers.

At Camp Robin Hood we believe that children do not need to stay home or attend specialty camps to prepare for fall sports or to improve in their chosen endeavors. Over the past several summers, a few parents have asked us to help prepare their children for fall sports and/or extracurricular activities. From that came our Intensive program and then the addition of private lessons. This summer, we introduced our new Ice Hockey Program and are the only co-ed camp in the area that provides ice hockey instruction with Division 1 coaches at a local ice rink.

Robin Hood’s Ice Hockey Program is designed for experienced hockey players of all ages. Each Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 9.10.42 AMhockey period consists of a combination of skills, drills, and game play. We also offer ice speed and agility training. Campers have the opportunity to get on the ice at least once per week. It is our goal that each camper will have an experience that not only will be fun, but also help them develop into the player they hope to be. We also have private and team opportunities available.

We are a traditional, general camp with a focus on independence, confidence and relationship building but children can receive private instruction in athletics like Field Hockey, Basketball, Soccer, Dance, Gymnastics, Volleyball and Tennis.

Is your child interested in our new Ice Hockey summer program or one of our other intensive programs? We’d be happy to provide you with more information and details on summer 2017, click here for more information or email

Thoughts from Woody

It’s hard to believe that we are 48 hours away from the busses pulling out and the end of summer 2016. The campers are walking and running around camp, making the most out of every second of each period.  The older kids are starting to cry and get that feeling — It’s a feeling that can only be explained by former or current campers. We call it “camp sickness.” How do we leave a place we love and travel back to the real world?  We have all gotten so used to having 24/7 playdates, entertaining ourselves and each other with nothing more than talking and playing. These friendships are not new anymore – they are deep and meaningful.  Give your kids a little space and do not be upset when the camp sickness described sets in.

Although Green and White ended just 3 days ago, we have been cruising since I read the scores. We sent 14 campers up Mt. Washington- taking another thing off our bucket list. We played every team sport as united group once again, and got into the water at every opportunity.  This place is amazing – our kids got right back into the swing of things before Green and White. Watching the energy and passion for five straight days of Color War has pulled us closer to the finish line. The kids have all accomplished so much this summer.

This is our last full day here at the Realm – I have to thank you all so much for trusting in us. Thanks so much for all of your support and again, thank you so much for sharing your children with us.  I cannot wait till the busses pull back in for the summer of 2017.


On Color War

Color War – 2016

In a word – WOW.
This unequivocally has been our best summer since Woody, Sol and I took the reins of the Realm,  so it should be no surprise it was also our best Color War.  We asked our Staff Captains to lead a spirited, passionate Green & White, and they did.  We asked our campers to compete with spirit, heart and sportsmanship, and they did.

Some of the new staff were surprised by the intensity of a summer camp competition.  We teach our campers many things throughout the summer; independence, relationship building and problem solving are among the lessons learned.  The lessons learned in Color War I believe are lessons our kids will take through them in life.  They compete hard but fairly, and working collaboratively as a team when everyone is all in produces fantastic results.  Regardless if there is a “win” at the end of the feat, the journey is satisfying and provides invaluable growth; growth that often cannot be duplicated in other facets of our lives.

Your children competed hard for five days.  They played team sports fatigued and with bumps and bruises.  They ran and swam long distances while exhausted, and pulled in the tug of war until there was nothing left in their tanks.  If it is true that most success stories start with a kid who hated to lose, we have many future success stories at Robin Hood.

We asked them to compete with Integrity and sportsmanship, to be humble winners and to accept defeat graciously.  I watched your children complement their opponents on the tennis courts and make proper line calls even if it meant losing key points.  I was refereeing an intense senior camp football game  – my view was blocked but a child admitted he dropped a touchdown pass when he hit the ground.  I also witnessed a child admit he was the last person to touch the basketball before it went out of bounds, even though it was overtime.

I talked to the campers on the last night of Color War about competition being more internal than about your opponents; that if you can be your best self when you compete, then you are a great competitor which will serve you well in life.  Based on what I witnessed during our Green and White, there were no losers.

Congratulations parents on raising some wonderful competitors.