Building life skills through adversity

Building life skills is what we do at Camp Runoia. Little did we know that 2020 would test the skills that we had and encourage us to go far out of our comfort zone to develop new ones. We learned so much about ourselves, our campers and about the meaning and power of camp through being resilient  and adapting.

Looking back now we are grateful for the opportunity that a covid summer presented us to. We had to be flexible, grow, reconsider how we have always done things and be willing to modify, change and adapt in an instant. It turned out to be an amazing all be it exhausting summer and one that will certainly go down in the history books of Runoia.

     Takeaways from summer 2020:

  • We practiced doing hard things and did them well
  • We stopped sweating the small stuff
  • We learned new skills and revisited old ones that we hadn’t had time for
  • We reassessed what had value to us
  • We were more appreciative of the people and activities that we missed
  • It’s was OK to let some traditions go and know you can come back to them
  • We adapted and were flexible under ever changing circumstances
  • We used a growth mindset to challenge what we had done in the past and make it viable for the current situation
  • If you ask people will show up to help in ways you may not have thought of
  • You have to make the most of the moment in time that you have
  • Time with family is valuable but you need your friends too!
  • It may not be what you imagined but it can still be spectacular
  • Nature just keeps doing it’s thing. Sunset on the lake is beautiful.
  • Community comes in many forms, when we support each other we are all stronger
  • We maximized the opportunities that we did have rather than lamenting the ones that we didn’t
  • We had an amazing  summer on Great Pond that we never could have imagined   

As the year comes to a close we have deep gratitude for all that we have and look forward to 2021 with joy and eager anticipation. Happy New Year to our Runoia family, see you on Great Pond.

Camp and 21st Century skills

21st century skills

There is a lot of buzz particular in schools but also in the wider community about kids reaching adulthood prepared for their future. There is a need for youth to be skilled enough to navigate the world into which they will be employed and living.  These so called ‘21st century skills’  will hopefully enable a young person to gain the greatest potential success in their life and will be sought by both higher education institutions and employers.

21st_century_skillsSummer camps have been watching this trendy terminology with a happy glint in their eye as the intentional learning that we provide every day in a safe and fun environment fits right into this model.  Camps can easily argue that they can complement the developmental components of 21st century skills in an environment that varies so greatly from school that it allows for more and varied success.  Camps are not just a somewhat expensive commodity that either provides child care or a ‘fun’ way to spend the summer, they are learning environments where children don’t even realize they are engaging with skill development.

21st-century-skills-newCamps often work hard to convince parents that first and foremost their children will be safe and secondly that they are providing good value for money in the skills that campers leave with.

Often parents may focus on hard skills – did their child get better at tennis or swimming? It is the camp benefits that are perhaps less tangible which meet the 21st century skill set, a deeper appreciation for nature, the ability to build relationships and make connections, greater independence, more resilience (it does rain at camp sometimes!).


We are proud to be actively promoting 21st century skills and look forward to sharing more moments of learning with our girls this summer.  Camp Runoia building lifelong skills.