Summer. The word alone brings back memories for everyone: childhood memories. Time spent that seemed endless is gone now, but it’s not gone for everyone. Today’s kids have the opportunity to spend their summer and make their memories at summer camps across the United States. What choices kids have too! Summer camps today range in variety more than ever, for there are specialty camps for nearly every specialty: drama camp, horseback camp, computer camp and so on.
Probably one of the most daunting tasks at first is deciding what camp a child wants to attend, when bombarded by all the choices. Ironically enough, the institution that most would think of when they think “summer camp” is a rare animal. Endangered, maybe even. But not dead. No, not at all. If you’re looking for the wholesome, apple-pie, baseball, all-American summer camp experience for your child, then, you’re looking for Camp Woodmont.
Camp Woodmont is all around the all around traditional summer camp. So campy that you would expect Smoky the Bear to pop out of nowhere! Perched high atop Lookout Mountain, nestled amongst the trees and rocks in Cloudland Georgia, Camp Woodmont is pristine and charming as a place that could exist on earth. So friendly that it has to be family owned and operated and it is to this day. But what does that mean today? If that’s not enough to ease your mind, then, consider the fact that Camp Woodmont is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA), which is a regulating body for summer camps. The ACA sets standards that member camps voluntarily abide by.
American Camping Association regulations include that the camp has to have a registered nurse on the premises, which Camp Woodmont has. Their nurse is always accessible to the children, even during the middle of the night. Other regulations require that staff members be trained in First Aid and CPR. All ACA regulations are made with the safety of campers in mind. And Camp Woodmont always keeps the safety of their campers in mind. Throughout the course of any given day at Camp Woodmont, the campers safety are always, always priority.
But whose priority is it? Other than the camp directors, it’s the counselors’ priority. And Camp Woodmont attracts the best counselors. Each counselor is chosen from a field of qualified candidates and are subjected to background checks. These candidates are typically college students or high school seniors. Last summer, 2006, all the counselors were college students-except one. One counselor was a college graduate and another a graduate student. The counselors at Camp Woodmont hail from universities such as NYU, Michigan, Georgia and Mercer. All the counselors, too, are actively involved in their communities when not at summer camp.
What, then, do the campers at Camp Woodmont do? That’s easy-of course! They do campy things. But what exactly is that? Do they sit around and sing songs? Yes. You see, life at Camp Woodmont is highly structured, and the campers there follow a regime every day while at camp. It consists of waking up with their cabin, eating breakfast with their cabin, proceeding to their first activity-wait! What are the activities at Camp Woodmont?
The activities at Camp Woodmont aren’t inexhaustible but the campers never get tired of them. Each one is an hour long, and a camper usually has 4 to 5 in a day. There’s horseback riding, arts and crafts, drama, canoeing, swim, ball sports, climbing wall, challenge course and archery. These are the core activities that a camper can choose from at Camp Woodmont. And that is what a camper does at Camp Woodmont. A camper gets to choose his or her activities, like a schedule. Throughout the course of the day, a camper will go from his or her activities like they would go from period to period in school.
Probably the most impressive of the activities and most popular at Camp Woodmont is the climbing wall. It has three sides: easy, medium and difficult. Other than the actual climbing sides, the climbing wall has a zip line that stretches the length of a pasture and is one of the longest in the area. It also has several elements, including a v-swing and the “pamper pole” that’s for especially confident climbers, as it’s considered a challenge for adults even. Next to the climbing wall are the horses and the trails, which is an additional cost for each camper. One week is $80 and two weeks $130. This is one hour of horseback riding a day. The horses go over trails winding through the woods that encircle Camp Woodmont, and sometimes campers are allowed to ride in the pasture.
In-between activities, there’s eating and break periods that the campers enjoy with the whole camp. After activities, there’s a camp wide activity like capture the flag, masquerade night, carnival night and so on. These activities involve the whole camp, and afterwards all the campers are dismissed to either a campfire or swim period. Then it’s time for bed!
Campers sleep in their cabin with a counselor and, sometimes, a C.I.T. (counselor in training) that acts as an assistant. In the cabin, the camper-counselor ratio is never more than 6:1. Campers stay in bunk beds, and all the cabins have electric lighting, plugs and a ceiling fan.
Other than the activities, Camp Woodmont adds that extra touch, that magic that makes camp summer camp. The cost to attend $625 a camper for one week and $995 for two weeks, and prices go up in March, so the earlier you register the better. The camp is easily accessible from Atlanta, Chattanooga, Birmingham, Nashville and Knoxville. A lot of campers come from as far away as Florida, and a few are international from Mexico and France.
There’s no better place to make memories than Camp Woodmont!