Our ‘starter camp’ program, Harmony Land Camp, continues to grow and result in confident campers each summer. Assistant director and year-round head of HLC Mindy shares some of the amazing outcomes of the HLC program and some of the changes made in 2024 in this week’s blog:
The Harmony Land Camp program at Runoia is a shorter ‘starter camp’ program specially designed for younger campers, providing them with a safe and immersive introduction to summer camp and our warm and welcoming Runoia community. This unique “try-it” program is available to campers ages 6-10 and has given so many campers a sense of belonging, independence, and community, offering a transformative intro-to-camp experience they’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Our shorter HLC programs allow campers to try out camp life with extra support and without committing to being away from home for a full three weeks. HLC campers live with staff in one of our newest cabins, purposely built for HLC right in the heart of camp. HLC cabins are spacious and bright, and have bathrooms with showers. Campers live and play together, making new friends and experiencing lots of activities – some with main camp and some that are special just for HLC.
Our HLC Elm program runs concurrently with our second session of main camp. Elm is a longer program geared towards returning HLC campers or anyone else in the HLC age range who is ready to spend 3 weeks at camp with the support of the HLC program. Campers in Elm receive the same support and specialized programming that our shorter HLC programs include, with a little more autonomy and choice. It’s a great bridge between our shorter HLC sessions and your returning HLC camper’s first year in main camp, or a great fit for a 6-10 year old first-time camper who wants a longer “try out.”
HLC provides your camper with:
1. Introduction to Camp Life: New campers will be introduced to the daily routines, traditions, camp facilities, and values that make Runoia a unique and welcoming place.
2. Activities: HLC campers engage in age-appropriate camp activities together as a group – developing skills, teamwork, and self-confidence. Activities are selected to provide a wide range of experiences, including arts and crafts, waterfront time, outdoor adventures, horse riding, sports, and more. Campers choosing our longer Elm program will have the chance to select some of their own activities and help shape their own experience.
3. Counselor Support: Experienced and caring counselors are hand-picked for the HLC program. These counselors are knowledgeable about the needs of younger and newer campers and will provide day-to-day care, ensuring campers feel safe, supported, and encouraged in their new environment. HLC counselors are supported by both the HLC Director and the Runoia Camp Director, both of whom have had the experience of sending their own young children to camp!
The Benefits of Attending Camp Can Start at a Young Age:
1. Independence: Young campers learn valuable life skills, such as decision-making, problem-solving, and self-reliance, in a supportive and nurturing environment.
2. Confidence: Camp helps boost self-esteem and self-confidence as campers achieve personal goals and gain new skills, especially those living away from home for the first time.
3. Social Skills: Camp provides opportunities to make friends, live with peers, and develop strong interpersonal skills that are essential in building meaningful relationships.
4. Connection to Nature: Spending time in Maine’s natural beauty fosters a love for the outdoors and environmental awareness. At camp we strive to do everything we do in harmony with nature.
5. Resilience: Campers learn to adapt to new situations and overcome challenges, building resilience and a positive outlook.
HLC is a Camp Within a Camp: A Smaller Camp with The Benefits of the Runoia Community
1. Friendships: Camp is a place where lifelong friendships are formed, providing a strong support network throughout life.
2. Empowerment: Camp encourages campers to explore their interests, pursue their passions, and become leaders in their own right.
3. Inclusivity: Runoia values diversity and inclusion, creating an environment where every camper feels accepted and valued, whoever they are and wherever they are from.
4. Positive Role Models: Camp provides access to strong role models – counselors, senior staff, and older campers who inspire HLC campers and welcome them into the Runoia community.
5. Summer Fun: HLC Camp activities range from horseback riding to tubing to campcraft to arts and crafts to sports. HLC campers participate in our meaningful, long-standing Runoia traditions. There’s no better place to be in summer than at our beautiful waterfront!
In the HLC program at Runoia, we believe that the early camp experience lays the foundation for a lifetime of personal growth, resilience, and a sense of belonging to a supportive community of like-minded people. Join us in Maine for an unforgettable summer adventure where friendships and memories are made to last a lifetime!
Interested in exploring HLC for your camper? Reach out to Mindy to learn more!