Camp Rising Sun is defined by experiential learning. Campers try new things, plan projects, lead and follow their peers, and grow their community. By taking leadership roles, each camper learns what it means to be accountable to others and true to their own leadership styles. They learn decision-making, organizational, and problem-solving skills while strengthening their notions of teamwork and group identity.
Counselors act as models and mentors, ensuring safety while encouraging exploration and innovation. Campers and counselors offer each other continuous feedback so that students may challenge themselves, fail sometimes, and learn from their mistakes – all in a safe space. Counselors ensure that the pace of the program allows this time for reflection, time that is often missing from our increasingly fast-paced lives.
The main elements of our program include:
- Instruction: Campers choose from daily presentations and workshops offered by staff and fellow campers on subjects including: world affairs, personal growth, leadership, philosophy, ethics, cultural differences, music, art, drama, nutrition and fitness, nature and individual interests.
- Project Time: Campers work each day in self-chosen, peer-led groups on projects designed to improve some aspect of the campus. Different leadership styles are modeled and project management skills are practiced.
- Evening Program: Often student planned and executed, these full-Camp programs develop mutual understanding as well as intellectual and artistic growth.
- Team Work: Campers work together in peer-led teams to perform chores in their living, learning, and dining spaces.
- Outdoor Experience: Outdoor activities include hiking, camping trips, swimming, tennis, and international team sports.
- Self-Structured Time: Several hours of self-structured time are available each day during which campers can pursue a personally meaningful activity such as practice a sport or instrument, continue an instruction or project, take a swim in the pool, join a discussion, or write in their journals.
- All-Camp Activity: This may be a political simulation event, a theatrical production, or some other activity that involves the whole community of campers.
- Council: Each Saturday evening, staff and campers share life lessons and announce program leaders for the subsequent week. Council is a non-religious, though solemn event that encourages introspection, reflection and subsequent discussions.