STOMPING GROUND SUMMER CAMP TWO IN BINGHAMTON NEW YORK
SUMMER CAMP 2016
It is hard to believe that a year ago at this time Stomping Ground was only a dream. The five directors, Jack, Scott, Sylvia, James and I had only fantasized about what a camp that we created could be like. We brainstormed for countless hours about how we would gather camper families to come with us on this journey. We knew we wanted to create a place where kids could feel seen and heard by caring older role models that were not their parents or relatives. We knew we wanted to have a program based on choice and autonomy. A camp where kids could truly make decision for themselves and have the practice it takes to make decisions that lead to happiness in the rest of their lives.
In a year we did it! This past summer at Stomping Ground, our first summer, was remarkable. We got to put into practice all of our new radical ideas about what summer camp could be when cutting edge youth development ideas connected with a qualified and experience group of staff and leaders.
The most remarkable thing about camp was the kids that came. The founding campers of Stomping Ground taught us so much about what it means to create a radically free as well as radically empathetic environment. We learned about peace making and peer mediation. We learned about how when you get to choose who you hang out with and how you spend your time, that life long friendships can be created in just one week. Kids walked away from Stomping Ground remarking about the messy food fights, the late night campfires, and the immersive night games, but more than that they felt empowered to be their best selves.
As we plan for Stomping Ground round 2, next summer, we have some exciting new changes to announce. We will be moving our site location to Deposit NY. That is right outside of Binghamton NY about 3 hours from NYC, Philadelphia, and Rochester NY. We are looking forward to all of the new amenities like a swimmable lake front, a big beautiful dinning hall, and close knit village communities. We know that transitioning to a new site will bring new challenges as well. We hope to have many campers from last summer join us to carry on the traditions founded in the inaugural summer.
Happy pumpkin picking! Laura