Bunkmate/Buddy Requests
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Bunkmate/Buddy Requests

Bunkmate/Buddy Requests:

  • Each camper may list one bunkmate/buddy and they must list each other. 
  • It is strongly recommended that bunkmates register as close to the same time as possible because we will not be able to hold a spot for the second one if the sessions fills up. 
  • Campers may not list additional cabinmates. Why not
  • Bunkmates/buddies may not be more than one grade level apart. Why not
  • Campers who sign up alone will be assigned to a cabin with at least 1 to 3 other campers who also signed up alone.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • My camper wants to be in the same cabin with 2 friends. Will you allow that? 
    • No, campers may not list additional cabinmates. A significant component of camp is the relationships that evolve, both new relationships and continuing relationships that grow deeper. While we work to promote great interactions as a cabin community and among bunkmates, we recognize we have a role in establishing the best context for these relationships to flourish. With this in mind, it has been our experience that campers who are part of a group of three are subject to a less-than-ideal camp experience. Additionally, a group of three can negatively impact the rest of the cabin. 
  • ​I understand that 3 campers together is not ideal, but what about 4 so they are paired off? 
    • ​An important factor in the significance of a camp experience for children is found in the relationships they encounter during the week. Two relationships in particular: their sense of connection with their counselor, and their sense of acceptance and belonging in the community that forms in the cabin. As we consider the community of the cabin, we have consistently found the experience is optimized when children only know one or two others in their cabin group.
      • It levels the field. In the context of ten in a cabin, if four already know one another, they become a dominate subgroup in the cabin (even though they are not a majority, their numbers overwhelm the other pairs). The small group influences activity choices and behavior patterns. It may be a very positive group of children, but even while unintentional, it removes the opportunity for the developing community as a whole to shape its identity with influence from all.
      • It encourages relationship building. Children coming alone or with only one friend are much more likely to engage in making new friends - an important skill we promote at camp, and a significant component in developing that cabin community that we desire them to experience. When children come knowing several others, they withdraw into that small group as a security measure, which ultimately detracts from their experience and the community’s development. Part of the success of camp is pressing our comfort zone in this safe environment. 
      • It frees the child. Social pressures are ever present, but camp can be an escape from this. We all tend to live into certain expectations depending upon the group we are with. The prior relationships that are carried into camp tend to restrict children from pressing their comfort zones and trying new things. Rather, they continue in the expected attitudes and behaviors placed upon them by the network they’ve brought with them from home. Again, these maybe be positive relationships, but they are still inhibiting and make the camp week less then it could be.
  • The only friend my camper can find to attend camp with is two grades older/younger than my child. Why can't they be bunkmates? 
    • We assign cabins/groups based on a common grade level. To achieve this, the registration form asks for a bunkmate/buddy who is no more than one grade level different than your child. GENEVA strives to create the most conducive environment possible for children to thrive spiritually, socially and emotionally. A significant step towards that end is for us make cabin assignments based on common grade level. It has been our experience that when campers are more than one grade level different, the developmental gap significantly hinders the week. To give an example, having bunkmates two grades apart means a 7th grader may end up in a cabin of 9th graders or a 9th grader may end up in a cabin of 7th graders. Of course, this can lead to the child at the extreme of the population feeling the vast developmental difference in conversation, interests, activity and physical development. This impacts not only the two paired together, but the entire cabin community.
    • ​Why do we allow Fill-a-Cabin groups then? ​
      • Briefly, these groups bring a distinct change of approach for our counselors. The field is level because all the children do know each other. The social pressures are present, but because it is one community, the staff can address the existing community (with its positives and negatives) and work to develop it further as the children consider their faith walk and accountability as individuals and as a community that will endure beyond the camp week.

Are you having a hard time deciding which friend or cousin you want to come to camp with? Do you wish you could come to camp with a group of friends? We've got the answer for you - fill a cabin or Day Camp group and we will put you all together for the week!...more info...