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Kabeyun offers a unique environment for boys, designed especially for those in search of opportunities to explore new and challenging experiences, develop new skills, and discover their individual capacity to accomplish whatever they set their mind to. Since 1924, Kabeyun has created unforgettable summer camp experiences for boys on New Hampshire's largest body of water, Lake Winnipesaukee, in the heart of New England.
Choice is the hallmark of the Kabeyun experience. We ask each boy, every day, “What would you like to do today?” Boys can choose to try an array of activities or focus on one discipline to develop a specific skill set.
Our days are divided into four activity periods, with 10 - 15 activities offered for each period. At breakfast and lunch, campers choose their activities for the upcoming periods. All activities are available to all boys, regardless of their age or experience. Counselors are actively involved throughout the selection process, helping boys plan and encouraging them to take on new challenges.
Campers also can choose to take part in single- or multi-day adventure trips all over New England’s mountains, rivers, and lakes.
Kabeyun’s daily routine also includes pockets of free time, supporting boys’ self-regulation by offering them the chance to choose: read or swim? Play basketball or cards? Badminton or guitar?
Offering campers choice after choice gives them ownership of their daily and weekly plan and indeed their entire summer. With the help of caring counselors, our campers set goals, master skills, and are celebrated for their individual successes, large and small.
While Kabeyun’s focus is on the individual, community life is a significant part of our camp experience. We work hard to balance attention to individual growth with the cultivation of a boy's sense of belonging and responsibility to something bigger than himself.
Boys live in cabins with 5 – 10 boys of the same age and 3 – 4 counselors. Cabin groups begin and end their days together, often with time for reflection or a read-aloud in the evening. In between, boys pursue activities and trips of their own choosing in mixed-age groups.
We spend a good deal of time modeling and teaching problem-solving, particularly in the context of cabin groups that bring together boys from varying backgrounds with a range of personalities. Our counselors continually model the good listening and consensus-building necessary to peaceful living. When there is a problem, we don’t merely sweep it aside and hope it goes away. We talk through the relevant issues, making sure each person is heard. This process teaches boys that problems are a real part of life and need not be ignored. It demonstrates the value of calmly talking and listening, and coming to understand that others have different but equally valuable perspectives. By living closely together at Kabeyun, boys learn to be positive and productive citizens, tolerant and understanding of others’ rights, and respectful of individual differences.
A key focus of Kabeyun centers on the development of meaningful relationships with campers and counselors ranging in age from 8 to 75+. Our activities, trips, meals, and free time provide many opportunities for boys of different ages to mix. This creates space for campers to learn from one another and encourages friendships among guys of varying ages. Many brotherly connections have developed over the years as boys have opportunities to both become positive role models and to find people they look up to outside their own families.
Time and time again, we hear Kabeyun campers, staff, and alumni refer to camp as "home," a byproduct of the strong sense of family and fellowship that we strive to maintain. We believe friendships made here are among the greatest gifts Kabeyun can provide.
Kabeyun’s community lifestyle encourages involvement, achievement, and celebrating one another’s growth. We put a strong emphasis on instruction in all our activities, in camp and out. While having a tremendous amount of fun, we invite boys to learn skills that can enrich their lives beyond childhood. Almost every activity offers opportunities to set short-term goals and experience the sense of accomplishment that comes with skill mastery.
Every day, we spend time publicly acknowledging and celebrating the accomplishments of individual campers. After each meal, counselors announce successes large and small and the entire camp community applauds for their fellow campers. We’ve found this long-standing Kabeyun tradition builds boys self-confidence through achievement and encourages them to continue striving for the goals they have set for themselves.
Saturday evenings and Sunday bring a change in routine. All trips return for Saturday dinner, and afterwards we head to the Lodge for cabin skits, musical and comedy performances, or a play. These are great times for boys to share talents and laugh together.
Sunday is a "home" day, with no days off for staff, and no trips out of camp. Cabin groups spend time together in the morning, and then our entire community gathers for quiet reflection at Pine Point. Here campers and staff take turns offering thoughts along a particular theme, such as what we learn when we fail, the value of tolerance, the importance of accepting new challenges, or how Kabeyun has impacted their lives. All boys are invited to share their thoughts and stories while the whole camp community listens quietly.
Sunday afternoon brings an All Camp activity, such as a giant game of Capture the Dragons’ Tail, “Puddle Day” events along the waterfront, or LARP-style imaginative quests. To help everyone feel involved and engaged, we put campers in mixed-age groups for All Camp activities, often led by our 16 year-old counseling interns.