Kabeyun's program hasthree main emphases, with a strong instructional focus in all areas:
In four weeks - the minimum amount of time a boy is at Kabeyun - boys have a chance to explore new interests and to delve more deeply into activities they learn to love. Every summer we see lifelong passions begin to develop as boys set goals, work through skill sets, complete projects of their own design, and complete back country challenges. Because he is in charge of his daily plan, each boy determines the timing and the pace of his exploration.
Our activity menu is designed to give each boy opportunities for success in areas where he may not have imagined venturing; and to vary each day according to his readiness for learning. Instructional groups are small - typically four boys in a group - with opportunities for one-to-one coaching and instruction. As they gain the required skills that lead to competence, they are positioned as teachers and coaches for their fellow campers.
As breakfast andlunch wrap up in the dining hall, the bell rings and we review the activity choices they have for the upcoming two periods. Usually there are between 16 and 20 different offerings, ranging from the everyday favorites like sailing, tennis, pottery, archery, fishing, and waterskiing, to the more unusual and occasional – "canoe battle royale" and lumberjacking. Boys raise their hands for the activities that they are most interested in, and with help and guidance from counselors, set their course for the morning or afternoon ahead.
Expert instruction is provided, emphasizing safety and the development of good shooting skills. Our instructor is certified as a Level I Instructor by the National Archery Association.
We have excellent facilities for woodworking, pottery, leatherworking, and arts and crafts where boys learn valuable skills and let their creative energies soar in the process of making projects to bring home. In Arts and Crafts, boys paint and draw, make candles, tie-dye shirts, crochet hats and weave friendship bracelets. Found object sculptures appear throughout the summer and camper work is displayed in our dining hall.
Basketball, soccer, baseball, street hockey, volleyball are the traditional team sports we play. Frisbee Golf is a favorite, and we often see cricket, Aussie Rules football, American touch football as well. The focus of our games is FUN. The more serious, focused skill instruction takes place in the individual challenge sports that make up the core of our program. Every evening, our ballfied is filled with boys playing big games of Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, kickball, or other big group games.
The three badminton courts are always busy in the evenings and badminton is also offered during the regular activity periods during the day as a complement to the tennis program. Each summer our camper-staff tournaments help to develop good relationships between the boys and their counselors.
Kabeyun has a large number of canoes, enjoyed by boys of all ages. Boys learn the fundamentals of canoe safety and handling on the lake, then have the opportunity to practice their skills on trips. Paddling instructors are certified as River Instructors by the American Canoe Association. Instructors are also certified by the American Red Cross as Lifeguards and hold a certification in Wilderness First-Aid as a minimum. Canoists focus primarily on wilderness flat-water paddling and venture far and wide to some of the most remote places in New England, with some accessible whitewater thrown in for more fun.
In addition to the skits and talent shows that typically comprise our Saturday evening programs, we annually produce a major play each session involving many boys as cast and crew. Boys have lots of opportunities to perform on stage, but if they would rather work behind the scenes, we have an extensive lighting and sound system for guys who are more interested in "tech."
The fishing is great in New Hampshire and Lake Winnipesaukee is a favorite destination for anglers. We fish daily from camp, usually heading out to good spots in our outboard fishing boat; sometimes fishing from shore. But we also head out of camp on trips to the lakes, ponds and rivers around New Hampshire. We also offer occasional deep water ocean fishing trips.
Kabeyun has a large number of kayaks, enjoyed by boys of all ages. Boys learn the fundamentals of kayak safety and handling on the lake, then have the opportunity to practice their skills on trips. Paddling instructors are certified as River Instructors by the American Canoe Association. Instructors are also certified by the American Red Cross as Lifeguards and hold a certification in Wilderness First-Aid as a minimum. The focus of the kayak program is the development of whitewater skills and we travel all over northern New England to river sites accessible by a range of abilities and experience.
Along with the other crafts we offer, Leatherwork is an activity boys head to to work out their own creative ideas for projects. From boxes and knife sheaths, to belts and wallets, boys have the experience of designing, planning and learning the skills required to bring their visions to reality. We've also seen complete chess sets, hats, sandals and hackey sacks. We have a well-stocked leather supply and an impressive collection of tools to make any project.
We run an active nature program with projects in the study and observation of live animals, conservation, botany, geology, ornithology, forestry, and astronomy. The 85 acres of woods and shoreline provide ample opportunities for exploration and discovery, but we also have access to a beautiful marsh up the road from camp and travel all over the state to special nature preserves.
We maintain a well-equipped darkroom and offer a strong instructional program with several 35mm cameras and the capacity to teach the processing and printing of black and white film. Boys roll their own film, load it, learn the fundamentals of the 35mm single lens reflex camera by shooting their own pictures. They develop their own film and learn the intricacies of the printing process. Camper work is displayed on a regular basis in our dining hall.
Like leather work and woodshop, pottery is a place the boys go to express their creative side. We teach wheel work on both electric and kick wheels, and hand building. Boys take thier visions from wet globs of clay to final products that are fired in our kiln and glazed with colors that dance.
Our counselors bring to camp their expert knowledge of the best safety and technical methods for climbing. Instructors have experience and training in top rope site management and high angle rescue techniques. New Hampshire has some of the best climbing in the world. We offer day and overnight adventures to sites suited to a wide range of abilities. All of our trip leaders are certified in Wilderness First-Aid and Red Cross Lifeguard as a minimum.
From balance beams to the spider web, from fidget ladder to the Burma bridge, these individual and group challenges offer excitement and the opportunity to learn teamwork, trust and personal strength. The ropes course is also used as an instructional setting for introductory rock climbing safety and technical skills. Instructors have experience in other settings and attend training with organizations like Project Adventure and High5.
Lake Winnipesaukee, with 72 square miles of water surface and steady breezes, is ideally suited for our sailing program. Our fleet includes five 17-foot Towne Class sloops, a 16-foot Hobie Cat, a 14-foot Cape Cod Cat Boat, two 14-foot Flying Juniors, and four Sunfish. Along with daily instruction we occassionally offer overnight trips to islands on the lake.
The only required activity at camp is instructional swimming. Boys must have at least three periods of swimming each week until they have completed their Red Cross Level 5 requirements. Two recreational "play swims" are offered each day. Our swimming counselors are experienced, certified Red Cross Water Safety Instructors, as well as certified Lifeguards.
We emphasize a strong program of teaching the basics, complemented by ample opportunities for recreational and competitive play. Our three clay tennis courts are a treat for anyone who plays the game and have been a centerpiece of the Kabeyun facility since John Porter's day.
Our Four Winns TS222 is a great instructional boat. Boys are able to experience the thrill of these sports regardless of ability.
With a selection of beginner, intermediate and advanced boards, a variety of sails, a land simulator and our Big Cove beach, we are ideally set up to offer instruction to surfers of all ages and abilities.
From boxes, lamps and shelves, to fully rigged sailboats and chess boards, the woodshop generates a wide variety of excellent projects every summer. Boys learn the process of design and planning, plus the basics of hand tools and are introduced to the full array of power tools and finishes. The woodshop is another place boys go to explore their creative energies and play out their own visions of wood projects.
We pay alot of attention to recognizing accomplishments, large and small - a boy learns that to try is to succeed, and success is the path to competence and confidence. When he hears the celebratory cheers of the rest of the community he knows he is an important part of something larger than himself. For the boys, Kabeyun is a blast, but we know it means more to a life than mere fun and entertainment.
People often askhow we spend rainy days at camp. One thing we do not do is plug in groups of kids to watch videos. Kabeyun is intended to offer boys an experience different from what they have access to at home. The activity program continues in all weather, with the addition of dam building in our stream, or mud soccer; shelter building, or swamp walks. Examples of indoor activities include storytelling, writing for the camp newspaper, knot-tying, chess, and ping-pong tournaments.
There is a creative spirit that pervades our program and underlies the regular activities. Counselors, while skilled and experienced in their particular areas, are free to bring their own personal touch to their programs, occasionally offering new activities not written into the catalog. In this way we see juggling and diving instruction; yoga and Tai-Chi; extreme croquet, water salsa dancing, water chess, gardening...