“No more pencils, no more books…” You know the rest of that one. And if you’re like most people, it’s a chant that passed your lips at least once during your childhood. It’s the gleeful cry of school-aged kids all over the country as summer looms large, promising seemingly endless days of lazy mornings, later bedtimes, unstructured days, and limitless possibilities for fun. These are wonderland days for kids, of course…But for parents? For parents, summer means more than just days off from helping with schoolwork and coordinating carpool or meeting the bus; it means wondering how to keep your kid safe, engaged, and having fun while you’re at work.
Fortunately for all parents facing this conundrum, summer camps offer the perfect solution for filling summer days with activities. Naturally, not all summer camps are created equally, so it’s important to do your research and find a camp whose programs appeal to your child and meet your expectations as far as structure, security, and goals. Do that, and your child will have the best experience possible—and they’ll want to go back again. “Summer camps allow children to enjoy their childhood, and Browne Summer Camp is more than just a camp—we are a summer family,” says Kara Schutter, Auxiliary Program Manager at Browne Academy and Browne Summer Camp. “The love and support our staff gives bolsters their confidence, which shines through each of our campers. When campers end their summer, they leave with childhood memories that last a lifetime.”
And some of those childhood experiences lead to lasting relationships with the camp. “The culture at our camp is long-lasting, as evidenced by campers who return as staff members when they become adults,” Schutter says. “CIT Director Tess Madrid was a camper here at the age of seven and worked her way up from CIT to camp counselor, then mini-camp supervisor. She is a math specialist during the school year but still dedicates her summers to Browne.”
The key to creating an experience that campers want to repeat, year after year, and also one that appeals to parents is more than just about the programs, though Browne offers no shortage of great activities, providing campers aged three to 15 a wide range to choose from, including daily swimming with lessons taught by certified lifeguards, art, sports, dance and music, nature explorations, and innovation projects as well as specialty camps geared toward specific interests: Sports & Games, Outdoor Adventure, Martial Arts Mania, Water Adventures, Adventures in Robotics, DC through the Lens, and Farm to Table. There are even Counselor-In-Training and Assistant Staff programs for high school students, both of which offer opportunities for professional and social development that will be greatly beneficial in the future.
Browne Summer Camp is dedicated to providing a memorable experience for every camper in a safe, fun-filled, and caring environment that fosters friendship and mutual respect for one another. - Janet Gomez
Even with such offerings, however, the camp would be nothing without the method they use in their approach to the campers and their dedication to making the camp a fun and enriching experience. “Browne Summer Camp is dedicated to providing a memorable experience for every camper in a safe, fun-filled, and caring environment that fosters friendship and mutual respect for one another. Every effort is made to offer each camper activities that will enhance their self-esteem, provide opportunities for skill development and foster lifetime interests as well as nurturing friendships with fellow campers and staff. Our staff uses an effective blend of gentle encouragement and support to help each and every child achieve his or her own potential. Parents see their confidence and pride grow, and that’s the best gift that we can give our children,” Camp Director, Janet Gomez says.
“Browne Summer Camp is a yearly tradition for our families. Campers come back every summer because they can’t wait to see their friends, make new ones, and have a ball! With their counselors and friends cheering them on, campers are excited to try every new activity and opportunity,” she goes on. Of course, appealing to the children is one thing. Meeting the high standards of parents, however, is an entirely different story, but Browne Summer Camp has been doing it with great success since its establishment in 1975.
Our staff uses an effective blend of gentle encouragement and support to help each and every child achieve his or her own potential.
- Kara Schutter
“We are fully accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA), which requires conformity to strict standards of excellence in the areas of program, site and facilities, personnel, health care, and aquatics. We must also pass inspection by the Commonwealth of Virginia with regards to health, emergency procedures, and licensing,” Schutter explains. “Our well-trained staff is prepared for the summer’s programs, and all staff is required to undergo an extensive interview and screening process including FBI and VA Social Services background checks. They are also required to participate in an orientation program and continue training throughout the summer. In addition to the group counselors, our staff includes a certified Pool Director and lifeguards at the pool, trained activity specialists, a Health Officer/RN, and a complete office staff during the summer months. The camp admin team, collectively combined, have been at Browne for over 60 years.” Such standards are, no doubt, a comfort to any parent considering a summer camp for their child. And while the campers themselves may not really keep a list of which qualifications Browne meets, they do know that the camp meets one very important prerequisite: days at Browne are filled with fun.
Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography Courtesy of Browne Academy
Browne Summer Camp operates from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., June 15-August 7, 2020
Encore Camp August 10-14, 2020. Register here.