Transcript of our interview with Ashlee, Camp Director
What is unique about Adventure Valley?
At Adventure Valley, we believe in the power of community. We believe in making sure that every camper feels like they truly belong. Through the relationships we build between our campers and our staff, our campers feel safe to learn and to develop and grow the soft skills that they can then use outside of camp.
What type of child is successful at Adventure Valley?
At Adventure Valley, we meet every camper where they are. Our low camper-to-staff ratios ensure that every child is known as an individual, not just as a number. We get to know our campers, and we make sure that each of them can be successful. At camp, we teach life skills like empathy, perspective-taking, perseverance, self-confidence, and more.
Is your schedule structured or is it more open?
Adventure Valley runs eight one week sessions to provide maximum flexibility for our camp families. We do encourage our campers to attend a minimum of two consecutive weeks. We do this so that our campers can fully experience our family feel and our camp community. Only when campers truly feel safe and feel like they belong can they really grow and develop.
How do your staff deal with behavioural issues?
Our staff are trained to approach all behavioural issues with empathy and to consider the feelings behind every behaviour. Staff are told to talk to each camper individually and really understand where they're coming from, and use each moment as a learning experience for the future.
What do campers value most at Adventure Valley?
The number one thing that our campers value are the relationships they build at camp. I can't tell you how many camp parents have told us about lifelong friendships that their kids have made while they were at Adventure Valley. Campers talk about their counsellors year-round and return year after year to see them.
What message do you have for new campers at Adventure Valley?
All of our counsellors have crazy camp names like “Spooky” and “Sparrow” and “Batman” and “Piglet.” Every single day we have a camp-wide dance party where we do the camp dance together and sing the camp cheer. Sometimes we have crazy competitions between staff where they have fun making fools of themselves to make our campers laugh. And every Friday we have a theme day where all of our campers and staff come dressed up in the most awesome costumes. You have to be there to believe it.