The end of our long Camp Runoia day finishes snuggled up in our cabins with a good book. While some campers choose to read their own literature that they either bring with them or borrow from our extensive library, group reading is still the cabin norm. Every night after circle time the on duty counselor sits in the hall on her crazy creek camp chair and reads a chapter or two from the shack book. We truly believe that there are great benefits and joys of reading aloud to children of all ages and celebrate this camp tradition as an important part of the Runoia experience.
The shared bedtime reading experience provides cabin groups with a reliable bedtime routine, discussion points for the next day and a chance to collaborate and decision make as a group when choosing a new book.
The shack is quiet and the main lights are turned off so only flashlights light up the pages. For some campers the excitement of a story that is new to them is engaging, for others they are literally lulled to sleep by the sound of the reading.
On rare occasion some staff have been known to scoot back early from a night off to catch a much anticipated chapter that ended on a cliff hanger the night before.
Reading is an important part of the Camp Runoia culture, we have a book club that meets a couple of times a week to discuss a chosen story, girls can borrow books from the library and reading is a great activity to do during rest hour or free time. In the shacks girls keep track on a paper plate of how many books they have read collectively in their cabin group and we celebrate those high numbers at the end of the session.
In the technological age camp provides campers with the opportunity to engage with reading without distraction and to enjoy the feel of a real book in their hands.
If you want a good book to read before you get to camp the first session 2019 book club book is Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities.