The Vanderkamp Method

So you’ve come to find out why exactly Vanderkamp is a different summer camp experience than other places. If you want the most recent articles on the Vanderkamp method, read below. If you want to see the full collection of our articles and the order that we recommend you read them, head over to the what makes us special page and have a look. Enjoy, comment, debate! We believe the Bible calls us to radically re-envision the way children are treated – do you?

 

For other essays from James on Vanderkamp’s summer camping philosophies, check out his summer camp ideas at Summer Camp Revolution.

6 Lessons Learned from a Summer at Play

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Essay, Featured, Portfolio | 0 comments

6 Lessons Learned from a Summer at Play

And why we’ll never do summer camp without free play again So, last year – we had a revelation. We realized that we had figured out a way to structure our offerings so that the kids who came here were having a fun and meaningful time. We had doubled our enrollment in 2 years, and life seemed pretty great. But there was one piece that was troubling us. The summer camp experience here had become more parts performance than participation. We were coming up with a bunch of crazy ideas, and kids were enjoying them… but it felt...

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Let them Play – A new take on Summer Camp for 2013

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in Essay, Portfolio | 1 comment

Let them Play – A new take on Summer Camp for 2013

How we’re offering more choice at Summer Camp 2013, and why we’re doing it. Children today have so much of their lives structured for them, whether it’s their 7:30am-3pm daily school regimen, or preparing for standardized testing and doing homework in their free time, or piling up community service for college applications, or playing organized sports and taking ballet lessons, studies have shown that kids in America today play FAR less than they have at any point in human history. While adults have sculpted children’s lives...

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Turning Patience into Joy at Summer Camp 2013

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Essay | 0 comments

Turning Patience into Joy at Summer Camp 2013

When patience isn’t quite enough – finding joy with our summer campers One of the most common things I hear when I discuss working with children is that people would like to work on their patience. They’ll admit that, at times, they become impatient with their children, and this leads to feelings of regret. The oft-quoted verse from Galatians affirms that patience is a quintessential component of the Spirit itself: Galatians 5: 22-23 says: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,...

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Raising happy children by learning from summer camp

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Essay | 0 comments

Raising happy children by learning from summer camp

Raising happy kids at Summer Camp Kids today feel so much pressure to be something they might not be. They see the value society places on traits outside their control, like appearance, intelligence, or athletic ability. Adults will show them at an early age that these traits are very important by pointing them out (You’re so smart! Look at my pretty princess! Wow, you are getting so strong!). They will come to identify these traits as important, and try their hardest to be smarter, better looking, or more athletic. The problem, of course,...

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Allie’s Story – Summer Camp at its finest

Posted by on Sep 20, 2012 in Blog, Essay | 2 comments

Allie’s Story – Summer Camp at its finest

How Allie went from summer camper to summer staff member, and how it’s changed her life. Recently, counselor Allie Roach was given an assignment: Write a mock-essay that you might write for a college application. As a lifelong Vanderkamp summer camper and 2 year staff member, Allie naturally thought first of writing about her home away from home: Vanderkamp! Here is Allie’s unedited essay – we think it’s pretty incredible how much Allie has taken our mission to heart, and we marvel at how lucky we (and our campers) are...

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Preventing and Coping with Bullying at a Christian Summer Camp

Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 in Essay | 0 comments

Preventing and Coping with Bullying at a Christian Summer Camp

Why we don’t bully our bullies When I was in sixth grade, I was bullied pretty consistently by one specific person. I walked around the hallway each day for several months fearing that he would corner me and attempt to intimidate me. He never hit me or physically attacked me in any way, but the threats were so consistent that it ate away at my ability to reason. He threatened that if I ever told anyone, I’d be in serious trouble. So I didn’t. Eventually it stopped, but the remnants of that bullying still lives on in me today. When I...

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Does Summer Camp Prepare Kids for the “Real World?”

Posted by on Feb 10, 2012 in Essay | 0 comments

Does Summer Camp Prepare Kids for the “Real World?”

Prepare for the Real world, or prepare to change it? Recently, an excellent article was published at Psychology Today which summed up nicely what a lot of parents want for their kids from summer camp. The article posits that Summer Camps make Kids Resilient. As you can probably suspect, we at Vanderkamp agree kids who come to summer camp here will leave more resilient than when they came. We agree that camp makes kids more confident, that it helps them form a new identity, that it helps them learn all sorts of skills that are essential for a...

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Let Me Do and I Understand

Posted by on Jan 23, 2012 in Essay | 0 comments

Let Me Do and I Understand

Confucius Comes to Summer Camp in 2012 Tell me and I forget Show me and I remember Let me do and I understand - Confucius Words uttered in roughly 500 BC, and held in the hearts of many teachers ever since. Unfortunately, many institutions working with children seem to have forgotten them. You may be surprised to know that I count myself in those ranks from time to time. Summer Camp has the potential to be so valuable to a child because it’s one place where adults seem to be able to restrain themselves from standing around lecturing to...

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Building Character Confidence – Kids can be as Good as they Think they are.

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 in Essay | 0 comments

Building Character Confidence – Kids can be as Good as they Think they are.

Building Character Confidence at Summer Camp “Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me: Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ― Shel Silverstein One of the things I remember hearing frequently as a child was, “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.” I remember deeply considering whether I’d rather play for the Mets when I grew up, or be Superman. I really believed I...

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The Statistical Reason Summer Camp is the Perfect Christmas Present

Posted by on Dec 14, 2011 in Essay | 0 comments

The Statistical Reason Summer Camp is the Perfect Christmas Present

For parents, Christmas can be a time of joy and simultaneously a time of stress. Will I get my children what they want? Can I afford what my children want? This brief essay should give you a little insight into how you can give your kids a gift that lasts a lifetime – with statistical evidence to provide some peace of mind! If you’re reading this article, you probably have heard many stories about how camp can transform the life of a child. Just bring up summer camp at a Christmas party and watch how folks come out of the woodwork with...

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