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Chaco has a long history with summer camps. Camp counselors and staff all over the globe have embraced our trail-and-river ready footwear and “fit for adventure” culture. Most of the Chaco team has either attended or worked at a summer camp. Summer camp helps shape who we become as adults and it’s where many of us learn firsthand how rad it is to hang out in the woods.

So today we present the Top 10 Reasons to Work at or Attend a Summer Camp this Summer.

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1. Friendship: The friends you make at camp will last a lifetime. Learning how to make new friends in a new place where almost everyone is a stranger is also a skill set that comes in handy your entire life. These friends share a summers worth of:  rain or shine, getting dirty, swimming, canoeing, campfires, s’mores and being under the stars memories.


2. Perseverance: Learning how to deal with being homesick or having your new BFF become homesick is more than a character builder – it will help you develop coping skills for anytime life feels a little out of your control. Camp helps you practice HOW to be happy when things get tough.

3. Capture the Flag: Camp teaches you skills like thinking on your feet, how to play fair, communicating face-to-face, building alliances and how to be a good winner as well as being a good loser. At Chaco, we fully recognize the benefits of working like this as a team – we have an environment where the best idea wins – this kind of think on your feet workplace is competitive and super rewarding just like a great game of Capture the Flag. We’re not going to promise being good at Capture the Flag will make your business a success – but it can’t hurt.


4. Be Yourself: You experience things differently at camp, from friendship to broader sense of community, even things like food. Camp is stepping into a different universe, and it let’s you explore and develop further into who you could or want to be. It’s kind of like your own Hogwarts to be honest.

5. Experiencing Safe: Because camp (when done right) is how life is supposed to be.  It’s emotionally and physically safe while stretching you outside your comfort-zone. It is lots of play and laughter, trying new things, and learning new things daily. Learning that life can be safe and challenging at the same time is a revelation in confidence.


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6. Talent Shows: Camp is full of wonderful role models who help you find your voice, confidence, and hidden talents.  That goofy skit about birds or learning the words to a new song could open up a whole new world of performance arts for even the shyest kid.

7. Un-Plug: The BEST Summer Camps separate us from technology. It is amazing how powering down can alter how you experience time. It expands your attention span and allows you to be completely present in the moment.

8. Tie-Dye: Finding your inner craft hut super-star is a right of passage we all need. Tie-Dye will teach you about finding unexpected beauty and experiencing true joy as your vibrant and completely unique design unravels before you one rubber band at a time.  This metaphor for humanity is at the heart of empathy. We are all unique tie-dye creations, special and colorful in our own amazing ways.

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9. Fitting-In: At Camp you don’t have to worry about not fitting in, because everyone is part of something and there is always someone to share the moment with. In fact impulsive creativity and spontaneous laughter are at the core of all magical Summer Camp experiences. This builds confidence in your gut reaction to all types of social circumstances. This may be one of life’s most important life-hacks.

10. Be In Nature: Experiencing nature makes us better humans. Summer Camp may not be a full-on” Simba presented before the sun rising on the entire animal kingdom” experience, but you do gain a sense of your place on this planet and connect with your role in the circle of life.  Treating nature with respect and relevance become embedded in your core values at Summer Camp –  and that is super rad

Contributed by Kelley Freridge, Chaco Social Media Guru, who grew up at the best summer camp ever, Van Buren Youth Camp.

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