You might already know that we ask campers to take surveys while they’re at camp. But you might not know why.
We ask campers to take surveys for two reasons: so we can improve camp, and so we can make camp as impactful as possible. We want campers to leave Wildwood with a new enjoyment of being outside, enthusiasm for science, and social and emotional skills gained through cabin life.
Here are a few highlights:
At the end of camp,
In addition to what campers learn, it’s incredibly important to us that campers AND parents are happy with the camp experience.
Last year, our parents and older campers (age 12+) also let us know how we can make camp better. Here’s what we learned:
P.S. If you’d like to volunteer as a photographer this summer, please let us know! Email Jane at email@example.com or text at (913)738-9067. 🙂
A Note About Our Survey Data
In 2021, Wildwood capped overnight camp at half capacity to reduce COVID-19 risks, and served a total of 337 campers. Of those, 66 campers’ surveys could not be matched from pre- to post-, and were excluded from the data.
The remaining 271 surveys were analyzed for camper growth in five areas: environmental literacy (particularly wanting to be outside and feeling connected to nature); responsible decision-making; self-management (being aware of and processing one’s emotions in a healthy way); relationship skills (conflict resolution, feeling connected to others); and social awareness (empathizing with others and reacting accordingly).
This summer, we were lucky enough to have father-son duo Justin and Matt Dreier create a new outdoor wall for Wildwood. Justin serves on the Wildwood Board of Directors, and Robyn, Wildwood’s executive director, approached him about the project.
Another volunteer–Kyle–had created an indoor wall for Wildwood, complete with led lights, and a fabric-covered logo. (Pictured below)
We loved the piece so much that Robyn asked Justin if he would be willing to take a shot at creating a weather durable version for the main campfire.
Justin and son, Matt took on the project, undeterred by the challenge.
Potential camp staff have a lot to consider when taking a job at Wildwood. Whether the candidate likes kids, where camp is located, how much the job pays, and skills to be gained rank among the chief concerns.
In a seasonal job, we know that it’s also important for candidates to be able to leverage their experience to snag a new job or internship.
We want to make sure the experience is meaningful, fun, and useful as staff move into their future careers. To that end, we’ve included a few tips below for Wildwood camp staff (past, present, and future!) to add to their resume.
This February, we’re honoring Black History Month by celebrating Black individuals and organizations that make a difference in the outdoors. These leaders include scientists, rock climbers, ultra-runners, cowboys, and more. Check out the leaders below!
1. John Francis, Planetwalker
John Francis “Planetwalker” is an environmentalist and author.
In 1971, he watched oil spill into the San Francisco Bay, and was so disconcerted that he swore off all motorized transportation. For the next 22 years, Francis walked everywhere, raising awareness about the importance of the environment. This earned him the nickname “Planetwalker.”
Francis got frustrated when his words didn’t make enough difference, so he also took a vow of silence for 17 years!
He ended his vow of silence in 1990 on Earth Day, and also earned a PhD in land management.
A year later, Francis was named UN Environmental Program Goodwill Ambassador, and in 2008, National Geographic published his memoir, Planetwalker.
Today, Francis continues his work as an advocate for the environment.