Remember that time you lived with 20-30 of your closet friends, spent your nights playing games, talking, and making memories together?
We do; and we have the photos to prove it!
One of the most magical things about the Appel Farm sleep away camp experience is the chance to learn and live as a community. It’s like a month long sleep over (try getting your mom to agree to host one of those)! You get to take classes, eat your meals, perform in concerts, play games, and make art with your friends. Although there are a variety of “mini-communities” within the larger camp one, perhaps the most formative for many campers is the bunk community.
Every camp has different ways of dividing campers in to living groups; whether its by age, gender, years at camp or shoe size (jk- that’s not real LOL). At Appel Farm, we have four bunk areas that are as diverse and unique as the campers who live their each year.
First, there is South. Famous in recent years for their “silly sock” days and the occasional appearance of “Baby Shay,” South houses our youngest campers.
In North you can find our early middle school campers, playing a game of Magic the Gathering, trying to sneak a climb up the crab apple tree, or playing a game of man hunt.
The Coop is where our late middle and early high school students can be found doing what teenagers do best- “hanging out” with friends- whether playing cards, having a jam session, or singing about chicken nuggets (yes, you heard that right) this bunk area is always full of laughs and some occasional flirting.
Our oldest campers are kings and queens at the Hill, where they are often overheard having discussions about their art and lives or chanting loudly about a ball in a cup (alas, another inside joke… come to camp this summer and learn what it’s all about!).
Throughout the summer we dedicate time to helping build community among these bunk areas for our campers. The Bunk Heads and counselors create individual and bunk area themes and theme songs, each bunk spends an evening activity bonding with just their bunk mates, and then one night per session the entire bunk area comes together for a fun evening of bunk area activities. Imagine fifty teenagers cheering on their bunkmates are they try to sail across the pool on cardboard boat they created, or watching thirty seven and eight year olds run around as super heroes in capes they created. Sounds fun right? That’s because it is FUN!
Having fun together is a sure fire way to build trust and community. Creating memories and sharing experiences is the glue that holds friendships together throughout the years. At Appel Farm, we believe having FUN together is essential for building community, and our bunk area activities are just one of many ways we do that.