Why Seven Weeks?

seven-weeksCamp Onaway is unique among summer camps for holding fast to the offering of one seven week session. We are proud of that distinction and believe fervently in the advantages of a longer summer program.

They say it takes at least three weeks to create a habit and another three to fully incorporate it. The longer session allows girls to create and incorporate new habits around values such as forming deeper relationships, reaching out to others, giving back to the community, and challenging oneself to reach new heights.

Building Relationships

At Onaway, everyone belongs. Girls are housed in cabins by age group and form close friendships with their peers as the summer progresses. In addition, with extra time, they build friendships across age lines, getting to know all of the campers through meals together where we change tables each week and all camp activities where the older girls can lead the younger girls and share the fun of performing on stage or capturing the flag in Brown and White games. Close friendships have a chance to develop naturally and stand the test of time. The magical bond between campers and counselors, where counselors can have a major impact on their lives, deepens throughout the summer.

Building Community

Living in a community means that everyone has a role and can contribute. Over seven weeks girls learn to take responsibility for their own spaces through daily inspection and for the whole camp through camp duties. Caring for the environment and becoming stewards of the lake is also a long-term project. The campers practice philanthropy by raising money in various ways and choosing at the end of the summer to which charities to donate the money. They learn to work together to put on major musical and dance productions. Traditions and rituals are repeated throughout the summer so that they become part of the fabric of the community rather than isolated events. The extended time away from the digital world of cell phones, internet, television and other media fosters better communication skills and more independence and confidence in decision making.

Skill Development

Many of our activities have skill levels, and campers can set goals at the beginning of the summer and see concrete progress by the end. Campers are encouraged to reach the highest level of one or two activities over the course of several summers and the steady, consistent teaching they receive over the seven weeks allows them to do so. A camper has time to master a skill before moving on to the next level. Arts projects also benefit from the longer stay. In woodworking there is time to build a piece of furniture rather than a simple peg board. In ceramics there is time to design, create, fire and finish several projects on the wheel to improve skills. Our girls come back to us over and over again to tell us that, “No one knows how to canoe the way we do!” or “My coach couldn’t believe how strong I was after training to swim the length of the lake (7 miles!).”

It takes a long time to do what we do and do it well. Please feel free to call with other questions to see if seven weeks is the right choice for your daughter.