Skylemar Proud. That’s how we feel when showing prospective families around camp. They typically come wanting to see tennis courts and a dining hall, thinking that “things” are what matters when selecting a summer camp. What surprises them most is the unexpected warmth that radiates from our family of 300, and the realization that people are what makes a place great.
Sure, they comment on our natural beauty – the pristine lake and mountain views. Nevertheless, it’s the smiles and handshakes they’ll always remember. In fact, there’s been times that a mom or a dad has asked if we “planted” the nice kids to wave “hello” as the golf cart passes. Never even thought about that – it’s just how it goes.
A Skylemar tour is as real as it gets, with bumps and slants, laughs and cheers. That’s how we roll as we build boys of character, helping them to navigate challenge and celebrate success. It’s a bonus when a visitor notices that we don’t all look alike. We’re proud to have kids of all different types, backgrounds and interests.
Take Lacrosse, for example. Some have played, some never before , and some are quite competitive. Director Aaron Leeds must design a program that works for each type of kid. He begins with the basics and then splits into skill sets. Those needing to learn the fundamentals of throwing, catching and cradling will work with one counselor. Experienced campers will work on shooting and dodging. After 20 minutes of drill time the game is then played. Music helps to make the vibe positive. It’s extra cool to see a stronger kid helping one who’s just learning.
Kids helping others happens all day. It’s extra noticeable at 7th period, when everyone goes to whereever they want. No one tells the 15-year-olds on the basketball court to help out the little ones, but they do it simply because it’s the right thing to do.
After all, Skylemar is authentic and real. There are disappointments and arguments, and times when one isn’t as sensitive as perhaps he should be. The important part is what comes next. An apology, a “don’t worry about it”, and always a clean slate.
Our guys are the greatest, and it’s lots of fun to show them off. After all, we love them to the Sky and back.