Over the weekend of April 24-26 the JACF Trustees and management met for their spring retreat among the beautiful surroundings of The Nature Place, part of the Sanborn Western Camps property in Florissant, CO. High on the agenda was discussion about measuring the outcomes of the summer camp experience and the long-term impact they can have upon the JACF camper, their family and community.
Throughout the year lots of activity takes place to deliver the Foundation’s programs and services, both in the JACF office and among its dedicated volunteers and partners. Much of that activity centers around WHAT we do, and HOW we do it. All of that activity is vitally important as we strive toward funding and supporting each of our campers and their families, and reaching our goal of bringing an unparalleled summer camp experience within their reach. But that goal is only part of the story, and the camp experience is only a means to a greater end. When we focus on WHY we intervene and support in this way we are able to tell a compelling story of impact.
Over the last five years a growing tidal wave of research makes it clear that there are a certain set of skills that predict for long-term success in life — and those are the skills being taught at summer camp. And so the camp experience is a platform for shaping our campers and preparing them for long-term success. (read more)
The trustees were privileged to hear JACF camper Skye H share her reflections about what her 3 summers at Sanborn Western Camps have meant to her, and how excited she is as she prepares for summer number 4. Skye spoke about how she has grown from a shy young girl into a confident and mature individual, and attributes the leadership skills that have since brought her new opportunities to her time at camp. As she shared her dreams about attending the Airforce Academy it became clear that in front of us was an amazing young woman who, in part due to the time spent at summer camp, was opening doors to her future that may not otherwise have been available to her. Skye was bringing to life our conversations about impact, and how empowering that was!
As we continue to work toward removing barriers to this outcome-laden, impactful summer camp experience, we see one more underserved young person gifted an opportunity to achieve their full potential.