Hey Smarties! If you’ve clicked through to this post, then the thought of overnight camp for your kiddos has at least crossed your mind. I have some mom friends who break out in a sweat at the thought of sending their child off to overnight camp. That’s probably because I’m hanging around a lot of mothers of 5-to-7 year-olds. But I’m here to tell you, we sent our son Wade to Camp Harrison for overnight camp last summer at age 6, which I never thought I’d do, and he had a ball!
I had seen with my own eyes at a Camp Harrison “Mom and Me” weekend last spring how much he loved the environment at their beautiful campus in Boomer, N.C. and how he was ready to spread his wings. I came to realize it was me holding him back more than the other way around! He went again in July on his own and after being given the choice of staying three nights or the full week, he chose a week! And he went back for holiday camp in December.
Next month, I’m going back for the Mom and Me camp with all three of my sons (5-year-old twins too). Part of the thinking is that my younger sons will continue to get acclimated to Camp Harrison, and another part is because it’s so much fun for mamas too! (And for families, who go for family weekends.) It’s safe to say we are hooked.
Sending a child for a week at Camp Harrison (or you can start with a three-night mini-camp) is such a great chance for your child to have a summer adventure, develop some independence, make new friends and experience a week of the mountain lifestyle! It’s also a chance for you to “climb mountains” at home, tackling that to-do list, or taking that trip with friends or your spouse you’ve been wanting to do, or treating yourself to a day at the spa. And if you’re like me, you’ll find that being apart from your child for a little while helps appreciation grow all around!
All that being said….There is a lot going on at Camp Harrison with the preparations for summer camp. Here are just some of the changes coming this year:
Thanks to a recent generous donation, Camp Harrison is opening the equivalent of four new cabins this year. Two will be housed in a completely new building and two others (cabins are in “duplexes,” with two cabins per building) were renovated in what used to be the infirmary. The infirmary is being moved to a new space across from the camp director’s home. Because of the new arrangement, there will be space for an additional 70 children each week. A note about the cabins for parents – they are air-conditioned and the bathrooms are spacious. Nice accommodations for the kiddos (and parents for these family weekends!)
Putt-Putt Disc Golf Course
Coming to camp this summer is a new Putt-Putt disc golf course. It’s smaller than a normal disc golf course – each hole of a normal nine or 18-hole disc golf course is several hundred yards long. So Putt-Putt Disc Golf is a simpler option and great for younger children too.
New water trampolines
Camp Harrison is adding two water trampolines down at the lake front. One is a trampoline kids can swim out to and climb on to bounce. The other is smaller trampoline with floating mats around the edges, so kids can play games and just hang out on the water. Children wear life jackets at the lake. Trampolines are just one of the many tools the camp uses to encourage children to get out on the water and enjoy the lake.
New Podcast program
If you’ve visited Camp Harrison before and met one of the amazing counselors named Boomer, you remember him well. Not only is his name catchy to begin with (it’s also a name he shares with the town where Camp Harrison is located: Boomer, N.C.) he’s also got loads of personality to go with it. This summer Boomer is introducing a podcast program, where he’s going to invite campers to learn how to create podcasts and share them with each other around camp. He’ll also be launching a podcast for parents and staff about what’s going on at Camp Harrison throughout the year. Go Boomer!
Long zipline and some high ropes are back!
Due to a zipline accident at Camp Thunderbird last summer, Camp Harrison (which is also under the YMCA Charlotte umbrella) closed its ziplines and high ropes courses last summer. Camp Harrison is reopening its long zipline this summer and some of its climbing wall, executive director Michael Landry said. They are still working on some of the high ropes elements, as well as the zipline that goes out over the lake.
Registration is open, with plenty of spots especially in the first four sessions of the summer starting June 11-17 and ending July 2-8. (YMCA members save 20 percent on cost of enrollment!) It’s a great way to kick off the summer and avoid the heat of late July. There’s room in both the middle school and teen camps for older siblings to join as well. Michael Landry, Executive Director, and his staff are happy to answer any questions parents might have. Feel free to e-mail him (Michael.email@example.com) and if you prefer a phone call, he can set that up as well.
YMCA Camp Harrison
Where campers build character, develop confidence and grow in their faith.