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The Blog of the West Wind

The Blog of the West Wind

Offseason musings from the Director and other voices regarding Kabeyun’s philosophy and the role of camp in developing strong, confident, and caring boys.

Care Packages

  • 11/17/2007 10:48:00 AM
Here's what we see: packages of all sizes coming to camp every day with toys and games, novelty items and accessories, tee-shirts and comics. Most days there is a table full of packages in the office. Regardless of our request for families not to send food and candy, many still do, sometimes going to great lengths to hide and smuggle contraband - bags of candy taped inside tee-shirts, stuffed inside teddy bears, etc. For years, we have required that the boys come to the office during their rest hour and open packages with a counselor to review the contents and confiscate food and candy. Their time in the office opening packages in the office is time away from their cabin mates and counselors. We have been known to call parents who see smuggling candy as humorous to remind them of our rationale: we live in the woods and foodstuff attracts animals to the cabins - we've seen it happen! Fairness becomes an issue when some kids have candy and some do not: who will share with whom and why? Finally, sending candy in disregard for the rules sets up a confusing double standard for kids caught in the middle - though we have always been careful not to hold the boys responsible when we discov...
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Are They Challenged?

  • 11/10/2007 10:48:00 AM
A prospective family writes: "So, yes, the kids get to choose from many activities at Kabeyun, but are they really challenged? Do you work with them to set goals and achieve them? One of the things we felt was lacking at his previous camp... Another thing I wonder about is do the kids and the counselors have some kind of camp honor code. Again, something that they can be proud of to try and achieve in their camp life and beyond. This thought is somewhat a reaction to my boy saying that poor language was tolerated at his prior camp. I am a believer that boys (and all of us) need to be encouraged/reminded to set a higher level of behaviour than might be commonly accepted. We want a camp where our boy can really be proud that he is with a group of boys and young men who are stiving to become the best kids they can become. Finally (for now!), do the kids have chores? Yes, we are paying for the services of a camp, but we also believe a child should learn to appreciate the tremendous opportunities he has been presented with, and one way for this would seem to be to have the kids pitch in at camp. How do you instill in the kids a responsibility for the camp, beyond them just treating it ...
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How Many Weeks?

  • 11/10/2007 10:48:00 AM
A long-time Kabeyun parent writes: "We feel like 4 is short and 7-8 is too long at this point. Nathaniel also wants to attend a movie making camp in the city for two weeks. We also need a driving break between end of camp and family camp. I was actually puzzled by the seven week option, but guess it had to do with school sessions? 4, 6, & 8 would have made more sense to me. I totally understand the hassle of comings and goings, for your part, so we can always do 4 again this year." I'll try not to give you way more than you want/need to hear about Kabeyun session lengths, but I do want you to know that there are sound reasons to explain away your puzzlements. As you know, the second session has been a perennial challenge, with room to spare always, compared to the first. Years ago, in an effort to recruit new interest, we had an arrangement with John Harris where he would offer two weeks at Kabeyun as an extension to his camp program at Blue Bell - his day camp near Philadelphia. This evolved, along with the increased interest in shorter sessions in the culture, into the two-week introductory session for first-time campers. During the three years of recent funky enrollments ...
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