Skills for Life

Just thinking about going to summer camp for the first time means you’re strengthening your courage to do something new and different.

Develop Highly-Valued Skills At Camp

Once you’re at Pemi and away from home and from parents, you’ll face ups (mostly) and downs (occasionally) and make decisions (daily) that help you to practice and strengthen resilience, gratitude, perseverance, empathy, and self-control. These traits and skills are highly valued because they are central for healthy involvement as a student, employee, life partner, and citizen of the world. Here are some examples of how this happens everyday at camp:

When you’re preparing for Pemi…

“How do I choose a camp?”
“I was excited to go in March, but now that camp is in two weeks, I’m not so sure.”
“Can’t you just pack for me?”
“Why do they ask me what my goals for the summer are?”

Decision-making, organizing your belongings, sticking with a commitment, and pausing to consider what you’d like to get out of an experience all start at home. If you’re nervous, listen to your parents when they say, “It makes sense to be a little nervous when you’ve never done something before. But I know you have everything it takes to be successful.” And absolutely be a part of packing; then you’ll know what you have with you and will be better able to look after it!

When you’re living away from home…

“I forgot my pillow! What do I do?
“I want to try water skiing but I’m afraid I’ll fall.”
“I’m homesick.”

Rather than solving challenges for you, our counselors, instructors, and coaches are trained in “positive counseling”—a technique by which we empower you to learn how to approach and manage life’s unexpected bumps and uncertainties on your own. Living away from home leads to learning a lot about yourself and how to be resourceful. Chances are that just by being at camp, you’ll be more willing to try new things, take on tasks, and follow through with projects, including those that can be frustrating.

When you’re unplugged and device-free…

“Free time? But I don’t know what to do.”
“Where is Papua New Guinea?”
“Dear Grandma – Yesterday I went on a 5-mile hike and saw…”

Being unplugged provides the time and space to think for yourself, to develop skills through actual—not virtual—experience, and to learn how to use your time creatively and wisely. You’ll gain strong communication skills when you have face-to-face conversations, send information through handwritten letters, and when you learn how to manage uncomfortable or challenging situations appropriately. Boys grow in empathy when they see firsthand how words and actions affect others, and learn to appreciate needs, wants, and circumstances beyond their own.

When you’re participating in activities

“I really like to sing but I’ve never performed before…”
“What if I don’t have time to go back to the cabin after woodworking to get my soccer cleats?”
“Why should I take a waterproof jacket on my 2-day hike if it’s hot and sunny?”
“I tried archery for the first time and couldn’t hit the target, even after four tries!”

Instructional activities form the framework of your days. While you’re learning how to pitch a strike, how to identify a species of moth, or how to reach the summit of a 4000-foot mountain, you’ll also be learning important skills like healthy risk-taking, time-management, preparation, and tenacity.

When you’re a member of a community that values looking out for others…

Place 6 to 10 boys and 2 counselors in a cabin for several weeks and something amazing happens. Individuals from diverse backgrounds and with different interests learn how to get along. Place multiple cabin groups in a natural setting that is removed from outside influences and the skills learned within each cabin have further room to grow. With service learning opportunities within our camp community, local community, state, and beyond, each boy learns that he belongs to something larger than his individual wants and needs, and each boy learns that a community, no matter the size, is only as successful as the effort put in by its individual members. We believe Pemi campers can change the world.