How Education Complements Camp

Education at camp

Your support provides a well-rounded experience for boys at camp.

When Tommy* first came to camp, Nathan Stephens, Education Coordinator, did not have high hopes for him.

“When I met with him the first time, I had a hard time realizing that there was any potential there,” Chief Nathan remembers. “Like many boys, his misbehavior and the traumas he had faced prevented him from being able to study and learn. As I invested into him over the next nineteen months, the results were amazing. He gained almost three years in his reading and a year in math. Good things were happening in his group, and he seemed to have an awakening. To see how far he had come was powerful for me.”

Nathan is employed by the Oconee School District and maintains an office at camp. For the past forty years, the District has partnered with Camp to assure that the boys are receiving a free and appropriate education. This partnership also allows the boys to be assessed through standardized testing to see how their performance compares to their peers.

“My goal for a boy when he comes to Camp is for him to improve at least two school years in his reading and writing plus one year in his math,” Chief Nathan explains. “When a boy arrives at camp, I assess and identify his weaknesses in reading, writing, or math. I target those areas where he needs help, assess again, modify the teaching if necessary, teach, and assess once more.”

Camp is different than the typical school because we focus first on behavioral change – then academics. It isn’t that academics is something that we hope to get around to, but that the academics are designed to complement behavioral instruction.

The Camp staff serve as the main teachers. Whether it’s planning menus, buying items at trading post, writing letters and articles, or designing and building a tent; reading, writing, and math are an integral part of Camp’s daily activities. “Serving at camp for the past fourteen years has given me the satisfaction of making a difference through relationships with the boys,” Chief Nathan concludes. “It’s very rewarding to watch boys like Tommy change and become excited about learning. Thanks to everyone who makes Camp possible through their financial support and prayers.”

* not his real name