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Yeah, But Is It Fun?


[This article caught my attention last week. Just getting around to posting our response now. Ugh.]

If you could create a summer camp out of thin air what would it be like? Katherine Schulten is looking for answers, but only from students 13 years and older (for the purpose of this blog post let’s include the younger campers too, k?).

Inspired by Motherlode lead blogger KJ Dell’Antonia, Schulten is going straight to the source—and all of us in the camp industry should take notice. In doing so, she raises (albeit indirectly) an interesting challenge: to make the camp experience better and more fun, why not ask our most active participants for advice? Not just any advice though, we’re talking about limitless, minecraft-style advice that encourages creativity. The kind of thinking that seems to come naturally at camp.

Every year at Nabby we look to make changes to our programs and facilities. This off-season we built a new walkway for the front office and an extension to the outdoor dining area. In addition, we added two new activities—Gaga Ball and Imagination Playground—that align nicely with our effort to incorporate more “free play” exercises throughout the camp day.

Make no mistake about it, the four changes listed above make our camp better; each one was based on some combination of observation, feedback and industry trends. But what about the other part of the challenge? What about making camp more memorable? More fun? While we certainly hope that these new games are fun, it wouldn’t hurt to go a bit further and include our campers in the decision making process. And push our imagination to the limit. Like building an island out of candy!

Yeah, But Is It Fun?

[We’re going to try to avoid making things out of candy at Nabby, but I really, really like the idea here. Also, the animals would have to be gummies, right?]

Of course not every creative idea from a child should be implemented, but maybe we’ll learn something new. I suspect we’ll laugh a lot too. And that’s good. And maybe after the crazy-idea dust settles we’ll discover something meaningful, even special.

Thanks for the inspiration, Katherine & KJ! We’ll keep you posted.

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