Week 6 Photos, 2015

Summer Scholarships & the Big Heart Ben Update

We’re pleased to share with you that we were able to award 11 scholarships to campers this summer. Six of those scholarships went to OpenDoors children through our partnership with this fantastic organization. Of those 6, one is for a full 8 weeks of camp. All of the OpenDoors scholarships were offered at 50% to Buncombe County children living in multi-generational poverty.
Three of our eleven scholarships this summer were awarded to local Avery/Mitchell/Yancey County children. One of those scholarships is at 100%, another is at 70%, and the final is at 35% and all are for day campers. The remaining two scholarships went to campers from out of state. One camper received an 83% scholarship for 6 weeks of boarding at camp and the other camper received a 50% scholarship for 4 weeks of boarding at camp.
As of the start of our 2015 Camp Season, we’re pleased to share that we have raised $30,198 for the Carl D. North Scholarship Fund, $1391 of which came from Camp Store proceeds from last summer. Of this $30,198 in scholarship funds, it’s worth noting that $3,966 came as a result of the Big Heart Ben campaign organized and sponsored by Ben, a day camper from Mitchell County who experienced Camp Spring Creek for the first time last summer. You can read Ben’s heart-warming story in full right here. In short, he set about to raise 50% of the funds needed to send one of his friends (who also has dyslexia) to camp as a day camper for 4 weeks. Ben did this with the understanding that he would be unlikely to attend camp himself this summer. He simply wanted to “pay it forward” after his life-changing experience last year.
The happy news is that Ben raised the 50% and Camp Spring Creek provided matching funds, resulting in a scholarship for a local child. Even more exciting, camp offered Ben a 35% scholarship for his efforts and he will be able to return to camp again this summer. We’re thrilled to have him back, to welcome another local scholarship camper, and to see such a generous young man making a positive difference in the world.

Week 5 Photos, 2015

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In His Own Words: Conor Lennon

Today’s blog is a guest post from first-time counselor at Camp Spring Creek, Conor. Thanks, Conor, for all your hard work and heartfelt reflections. We’re so glad you’re here!

DSCF0618So it’s been four weeks since camp officially started and this year’s crop of campers descended on Camp Spring Creek. I’ve now been in North Carolina a little over a month, and can honestly say it has been the quickest five weeks I have ever experienced. At the same time–and I’m aware of how contradictory this sounds–when I think back over everything that has happened since I touched down in Charlotte, it feels like I must have been here for months. Maybe even years. Since I arrived, I have acquired an American Red Cross qualification in lifeguarding and CPR (thanks to our very patient and understanding instructor), attended a genuine sidewalk street dance in Bakersville, experienced 4th of July as the Americans celebrate it and, as well as countless others, met the most amazing group of people (campers, counselors and tutors) I’ve ever encountered.

That’s what really sets this camp above its larger counterparts. Hidden up in the mountains, with no television, Internet or cell phone connection, camp becomes its own little secluded community. As I write this, we consist of approximately fifty-two people; thirty campers, eight counselors, seven tutors, assorted members of staff, and the van der Vorst family.

Before we continue, I would like to apologize for the frequent references to the passing of time in this post–how many weeks camp has been up and running, how long it has been since I arrived, the length of time until camp wraps up, etc. The reason I mention it so often is because I truly cannot believe both how fast time is passing and how much is being achieved in that time. It’s almost as if, in our little dyslexia-orientated enclave in the Blue Ridge Mountains, time is passing differently than in the rest of the world. Having such a small, intimate camp means that during the course of the last four weeks (I did warn you) I’ve really gotten to know all of the campers personally, as well as forging extremely tight bonds with my fellow counselors and colleagues. Though it can be difficult at times, I couldn’t have asked for a better or more diverse group of kids for which to be responsible.

All the children have very different personalities and skill-sets and it’s enthralling to watch as these traits slowly become apparent as camp goes on and the campers grow in confidence. As cliché as it sounds, I have probably learned more from this bunch of 6 to 15 year olds than they have from me. It can be extremely humbling to become engrossed in a debate about education, history, or even philosophy, only to realize part-way through that you are having this very mature discussion with a twelve-year-old (and even more humbling when said twelve-year-old reveals they are at least as knowledgeable, or even more knowledgeable, about the subject than you are!).

Despite only meeting them three weeks ago, the thought that many of these kids will be leaving this [last] week is a source of genuine distress to my fellow counselors and I, which is a testament to both the campers and Camp Spring Creek as a whole. Though we’re not even halfway through our stay at camp, several of the counsellors (including myself) have already decided that we would like to return again next year, provided Susie and Steve will take us back, of course!

Before I arrived in North Carolina I was, quite frankly, at a loss as to what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and where I wanted to go. Already, I can say that choosing to become a counselor at Camp Spring Creek is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I’ve learned an awful lot about myself that I never would have known if I’d stayed at home and it has given me some real direction as to what I want to do after the summer. I remember reading a previous entry on this blog prior to my arrival at camp that described a summer at Camp Spring Creek as “the hardest fun I’ve ever had,” pretty much summing up my last few weeks in six words.

And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Week 4 Photos, 2015

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Tutoring Videos – Easier Access

We received feedback from our trainees, tutors, and fellow parents that they wanted the “Resources” topic of this blog to be separate from the tutoring videos. We’re happy to report that, after a bit of sorting and clicking, a new topic has been created on our blog. Look on the right sidebar of this page for the box titled TOPICS. At the bottom of the list, you should see “Tutoring Videos.” This link will direct you to every tutoring video we have ever made. If you don’t want to miss out on any videos (and don’t want to have to wait to see them published on the blog), you might prefer to subscribe to our camp’s YouTube channel by clicking on the link on the bottom right side of this page. Meantime, enjoy this “blast from the past” that we filmed last summer out at camp–it’s so great when you can catch a camper and tutor in a teachable moment. Check this out:

While nothing is as good as a fully certified and trained Orton-Gillingham Associate level tutor, these video lessons from Susie and her work through our Camp Spring Creek Outreach Office are yours for the taking. They’ll work in classrooms for large or small groups. They’ll work one-on-one. They’ll work for homeschool. And some will even work as “games” played with your child when they don’t even know the learning is taking place. Please enjoy this resources and if you have tutoring video topics you’d like to see us publish, leave your comment here and we will see what we can film this fall.

Enjoy!

Week 3 Photos, 2015

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