Akeela will be celebrating our Sweet 16 this summer! A lot has changed since our first summer together on Miller Pond. In 2008:
- We had three sessions with 40 campers in each session.
- There was no porch on the Dining Hall!
- Bunks 7, 8, 16, 17 & 18 weren’t yet built!
- The archery range was where the golf range currently is (and there was no golf program)!
- Debbie and Eric didn’t have any kids yet! (Debbie was pregnant with their daughter, Margo.)
- Evening Meeting was held every night at “The Chimney” – a small platform that was where the Lodge is now, and where the Amphitheater is now was just woods back then!
One big change this summer is that we have one more bunk dedicated to our female-identifying campers, getting us closer to having a more balanced gender ratio. We are so thrilled to know that we are getting closer to camp fully representing neurodiversity across all genders. It seems that camp is reflective of the shift in the diagnostics recently as well. More and more girls are getting diagnosed with ASD, ADHD and NVLD and are finally finding the support and community they deserve.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already (almost) March! We’ll be heading to New Jersey in 2 weeks for our annual conference with over 3,000 other camp professionals. It’s one of our favorite weeks of the year as we love learning from our colleagues and bringing wonderful new ideas back to Akeela. It also signifies, for us, that camp is JUST around the corner. From all of our years in camping, we know that the next few months will be filled with planning our staff orientation, scheduling a few online camper zooms, and sending parents lots of information and forms!
We know that YOU are also getting ready for camp and this Newsletter is filled with lots of reminders about upcoming dates/deadlines and tips to help you (campers and parents) prepare for a wonderful summer at Akeela. Please make sure you read through the Family Handbook carefully and call or email us if you have any questions.
In this version of the Akeela newsletter, you will find:
- Information about CampLauncher, a nonprofit organization that helps to increase access to specialized camps like ours.
- A reminder about Open House at camp, for enrolled families, taking place on on June 11th this year
- An exciting announcement about a new activity at Akeela this summer!
- Guidelines for how campers can prepare for camp between now and the summer
- A “Parent Planner” of items for parents and guardians to keep on their radar as camp approaches
- Staff and camper updates
- A list of returning campers currently re-enrolled