For over 95 years, the Bell family has operated summer camps for young people - Mondamin for boys and Green Cove for girls. We believe that a big part of a child’s education occurs outside the classroom. We also believe that young people need roots as well as wings, and that neither is much good without the other. Self-esteem, independent thinking, initiative, the ability to function in a group other than one’s own family, lifetime skills, lifelong friends… all are very important factors in the educational, maturing process. These are the very things a good camp should help foster. Being a citizen in a camp community instead of a child in a home can be a valuable and gratifying adventure.
We know that children are ready for varying degrees of exposure at different ages and maturity levels. Adventure to an eight year old might be a first, carefully supervised riding lesson at a walk… or to a 15 year old, a five day canoeing trip down a fastwater river. Camp is a place for learning things, making friends, and expanding horizons. Because most things are more fun, more rewarding and safer if we do them well, the emphasis is on learning skills and enjoying being able to do things well.
We try to allow as much freedom as a child can wisely use. He will have the opportunity for choice, along with guidance in making those choices. He will set goals… but the goals can be changed. The camp atmosphere is a safe place to take some risks, fail, and try again. It is a place to practice making decisions, where the consequences of a bad decision are temporary and not calamitous.
Most people, and especially kids, are more likely to try new things if they are not worried about comparisons to others. We don’t know or care who the best rider, or the fastest swimmer is. We work on accomplishing things (like a difficult climb or a challenging river) together, rather than competitively.
A good camp experience is much more than a “vacation”… it is an investment in your child’s future. Because a good camp is devoted full-time to children, and because it offers a very low camper-to-staff ratio (4 to 1 at Mondamin) it can provide role models, time and opportunities that are difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate elsewhere.
We are not the right spot for everyone — no one place is. But if you are with us this far, we invite you to look closer. Check out these pages, send for a video and brochure, give us a call, talk to others who have been here. We welcome contact with interested parents and campers, and look forward to sharing our experiences with you.