There’s something very right about a room full of confident girls doing their own thing.

That’s one of the biggest goals we strive for at Kippewa. Young people have to endure so much criticism and provocation everywhere else and shouldn’t have to deal with it at camp.

Having a bunch of girls of all ages, from all backgrounds, in the same space may seem risky, but pair it with caring counselors, great leadership, fun activities, challenging adventures, serene nature, and a lot of dancing and you get an incredible experience.

bonding and celebrating equestrian campers

Kippewa is a place where girls can see other girls as allies rather than competition. They can be autonomous with their activities during the day, challenging themselves in their own individual pursuits and growing in their own self confidence. They also get lots of time to bond with their bunkmates and be exposed to healthy and cohesive groups.

Mastery over performance is the goal. We want girls to articulate specific goals, rather than worry about being better than anyone else. If you love to sing, dance, draw, run, water ski, shoot a basketball, play with clay, ride a horse….etc, you have a place at the table!

At camp, asking for help is normalized and is never seen as a weakness. Problem solving, teachable moments, and critical thinking are seen as healthy imperatives that really bring the already blooming friendships to an even higher level. Camp allows the girls to feel included rather than isolated. It also provides inter-generational connections with counselors and instructors so that the girls feel encouraged not only by their peers but also by the people they look up to.

high five counselor and camper in tutusThis idea of support is planted within every person who works at camp so that the roots grab hold and continue to spread and grow throughout every vein after the campers arrive.

One of the popular games played during our orientation week at Kippewa is a dynamic version of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” All 100+ bunk staff and leadership staff individually find a partner and battle it out. The person who loses the challenge between the pair automatically becomes the cheerleader for that person who beat him/her. This goes on until only two people are left, with half of the crowd yelling and cheering for one person, while the other half of the crowd cheers for the other person.

Having played this many times over the years, I can truly say that it’s an awesome feeling to have over 50 people jumping up and down and yelling your name in support. That feeling is what Kippewa strives to give off every day in the life of every person who steps foot onto that dirt road. Whether it’s your first time or your 20th time at camp, the goal is for you to feel like you belong.

Everybody deserves a cheerleader and camp is the place to not only have one but have over 300 rooting for you every single day.  🙂

campers bonding and supporting eachother at the campfire