After each summer of camp, we take some time to reflect on the successes and challenges of the season. This is both an internal and external dialogue, as we seek out feedback from families and staff on their experience with Beyond Akeela. We can’t thank you enough for continuing to share your thoughts with us. I firmly believe that discussions with families, teens, and staff throughout the fall season make our program better, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to continue building our program. With that, we want to share what we’ve been reflecting on this fall and looking forward to next summer.
- Engagement in Curriculum Sessions – This was our first year of going to an elective based system for curriculum sessions at camp, and we were so happy with the results. Campers showed more engagement in the conversations and discussions than we’ve seen in previous years. We’re excited to continue tweaking the sessions to align with the goals and objectives of our teen population.
- A Dedicated Staff – This team of staff members was one of the best we’ve had the pleasure of working with. Their commitment and dedication to camp was remarkable. Working in any camp setting is a challenging endeavor, and this group never wavered on that commitment. It was also the first year we developed a true leadership team, allowing us as directors to take a step back and allow others to lead the program. That was a great development for Beyond Akeela that we’re excited to keep in the community going forward!
- Boston Trip – Any time you bring a group of 50+ teens into a large metropolitan area for the first time, no matter how much you prepare there’s going to be a little fear of the unknown until you actually do it. We were SO impressed with how Beyond Akeela teens represented the community during both Boston trips. The groups made the most of their trips and capped off camp in amazing fashion!
What we’re working on
- Year-Round Engagement – We’re excited to be bringing on a new Assistant Director (stay tuned for the intro when we make the hire!), who will enhance our “off-season” communication and engagement with families. We are excited to stay more connected to everyone throughout the year, and help teens maintain the connections and progress they make over the summer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the Year-Round Programming Survey!
- Communicating Camper Progress – Beyond Akeela teens worked intentionally toward their goals last summer and showed great progress. We’re working on better systems to communicate that progress more effectively and timely to families, including overall observations at the end of the summer.
- Acts of Daily Living at Camp – We’re developing plans for easier ways for teens and staff at camp to track the acts of daily living campers engage in at camp, related to hygiene, laundry, and keeping a tidy room.
We hope you all have had some chances to reflect on your time with Beyond Akeela this past year as a family, and that you’ll use the experiences as a launching pad for this coming year!
Kevin & Kristin