Director Jud's Blog

Declare Independence From a Traditional Summer Camp!!

Posted by Jud Millar on Wed, Jul 3, 2019

Traditional Overnight Summer Camp has it's benefits.  But for some families, a Non-Traditional Overnight Summer Camp is just the right fit!  I challenge you to Declare Your Independence Traditional Overnight Camp and see if a Non-Traditional Overnight Camp Experience is the right one for your child!


What are the differences between Traditional and Non-Traditional Overnight Camps?

This is a great question and good place to start.  In this blog post I will explore the major differences between "Traditional Overnight Camp" and "Non-Traditional Overnight Camp".



How Campers Choose Activities 

In a Traditional Camp setting campers and parents usually you fill out a pre-camp form where you list your "elective activity" preferences.  Then you are guaranteed to get at least 2 of the 5 electives you choose and you do those activities every day.  The other activities you do are "core activities" that all campers do.


In a Non-Traditional Camp setting campers get to choose almost all their activities.  There maybe times when you don't get your first choice but you are then added to a "priority" list and have first choice on that activity the next time it is offered.


4 picture collage of Campers doing different activities


The Number of Activity Periods Per Day 

At traditional camp there are usually between 5 and 8 activity periods per day.  Because there are so many activity periods, the duration of the activity tends to be short (60 to 90 minutes).


At a Non-Traditional Camp there tends to be fewer activity periods (2 to 3).  This makes the activity duration longer (2 to 4 hours).  With longer activity times campers are really able to get "into" the activity they choose which means:

  • More Skill Development
  • A More Immersive Activity Experience
  • Activities Never Feel Rushed



The Number of Campers

Generally speaking, Traditional Camps have more campers and Non-Traditional Camps have fewer campers.  Traditional Camps have anywhere from 150 to 600 campers.  Non-Traditional camps have somewhere between 30 to 150 campers.  


Does Having Fewer Campers Matter?

Yes and No... it depends what you are looking for in an overnight summer camp experience.  Campers who attend Non Traditional Camps with fewer campers tend to:

  • Assimilate to life at camp faster
  • Feel more connected to the people and place of camp
  • Get to know "everyone" at camp rather than just their bunk mates and a few other campers

Does this mean a Non-Traditional Camp is the Right Choice for Everyone?

No, there are many campers who attend a Traditional Camp and have an incredible experience.  Traditional Camp, however is not for everyone and I encourage all families to consider a Non Traditional Camp Experience for their child.  


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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp

About Director Jud's Blog

This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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