The Blue and White

What Happens At Communication Camp

Jake Justice, staff writer

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Communication Camp is one of the most amazing things that Farmington High School does. Being held this year on Jan. 8 and 9 at the Howell Nature Center, the camp secludes FHS students and staff from the outside world and leaves them devoid of phones, iPods and any other form of electronic device that typically distracts us in our everyday life.

At Camp, students spend two days talking in their groups about anything they wish, and the rest of the time is spent either at meals or playing games and just hanging out.

Kurt Campbell, English teacher and camp coordinator, has done the camp for six years now and has had a different experience every year.

“Every year is different so far as the theme and the actual experience go, because we take new kids every year and each one brings something of their own to the table.” Campbell said.

But just because you’ve done the camp before and seen changes every time doesn’t mean that there aren’t still surprises lurking around.

“I’m surprised the most by the kids. Seeing the kids that I think are not going to get it, but then completely get it at the end.” Campbell said.

But the biggest surprises seemed to come from the kids who are just experiencing camp for the first time, Jack Higley, 11, attended this years communication camp.

“The most surprising thing about camp is seeing others open up and let you get to know them, everyone has something special about them and discovering that surprises you in a good way,” Higley said.

Not only are this year’s students taken aback though, but last year’s as well. Jack Fowler, 11, is one such kid who attended Camp last year.

“I was surprised by how nice it is to not have your phone and getting to call the teachers by their first name. ” Fowler said.

It’s true that most kids and teachers alike are surprised at how nice it was to get away from their phone for a while.

Going to camp can be fun because you get to get away for awhile and you can call teachers by their first name. But that’s not the reason why all of the kids are chosen to go to this camp.

They go to talk with other people and learn to communicate effectively.  

“I want them to recognize that they don’t have to be defined by electronics or by anybody else, and the fact that we are a whole lot more similar than we think,” Campbell said.

Camp was made so that students could have an opportunity to learn how to communicate with each other in a way that teaches you to put your baggage aside and just talk. In essence, it’s a well-oiled machine.

That’s why Camp should continue to run and bring in new students.

“It’s a great way to meet new people, make new bonds, and look at events in your life,” Fowler said. “If you get the invite, you’re lucky. It’s very welcoming.”

Aidan Kilcline, 12, who also attended camp last year, also believed it to be a worthwhile experience.

“It’s great for the students and teachers because they get a chance to know each other before you ever get them for a class.” Kilcline said. “You get to improve your communication skills whether you’re shy or popular.”

Furthermore students love Camp not only because they get to express themselves, but also because they get to reflect on their own lives and learn something about themselves.

“The biggest thing I pulled away from camp was how grateful I should be of my life and how I shouldn’t be quick to judge,” Higley said.

Learning about yourself and other people is a great way to try and be a better person, but all of that is possible because of one very important rule: What happens at Camp Stays at Camp. You can’t repeat what you’ve heard about people at Camp to others because it ruins the purpose of camp and can hurt other people.

So, whether you’re a teacher or a student, it doesn’t matter – everyone learns something about themselves or other people at Camp.

And remember, what happens at camp stays at camp.


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What Happens At Communication Camp