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HomeOur ProgramO.C.P. (Teens ages 14-16+)

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In our teen camp program for campers ages 14+, our goal is to provide teens with an engaging, fun, safe, and independence-building program that sets them up for success during their difficult teen years. Unique to Camp Starfish is our 1:1 staff ratio, which is maintained at all times across teen programs just as it is during our main camp programs for younger campers.

All teens are part of a cabin group of 4-7 campers and at least that many staff members. Cabin groups spend time together each day at meals, rest hour, evening program, and during a nightly cabin meeting just before bed. The Starfish staff are mature, exceptional young adults who are extensively trained to help teens build social competency, interact appropriately with others, and develop their individual skills and goals while at camp. Our program integrates the Starfish Tools (coping skills) and Keys (social skills) into everything we do, and at the teen level, begins to incorporate (as appropriate), a focus on independence within safe boundaries. 

Surrounded by the support of our staff and the increased confidence which comes from positive interactions with their peers, teens participate in "traditional" camp activities, such as arts-n-crafts, swim instruction, boating, nature exploration, sports, drama, music, athletics, and more. They also have additional teen-only activities that appeal to their growing desire to be independent, try new things, and take (safe) risks. Our camp days are structured, with plenty of forecasting and an emphasis on safe fun. And special events, such as Peace Games or Jamboree, fill each session with special memories. 

 

The Older Camper Program (OCP)

The Older Camper Program offers teens the opportunity to participate in a "kicked up" version of the Navigators program, while experiencing greater choice, more privileges, and a more relaxed structure in their daily program.

While enjoying the outdoors and still receiving the individualized 1:1 support Camp Starfish is known for, teens in the OCP build the independence, social competencies and coping skills that they will need to successfully navigate their upper school years. Teens who enjoy the camaraderie of making friends, spending time with staff, and in general participating in “camp life” will benefit from the enhanced privileges and freedom of OCP, provided that they can show daily effort in the areas of maturity, decision-making, safety, and respectfulness towards themselves, other campers, and staff. Choosing activities that appeal to them in the moment, earning extra privileges such as later bedtime or flashlights after lights out, having access to their headphones and music during downtime, as well as the ability to pursue individual areas of enrichment are all part of the OCP curriculum.

Each day, the OCP teens are scheduled to participate in a "Teen Chat" during one activity period. These Chats allow teens to discuss and gain confidence in areas relevant to their lives outside camp, including school pressures, social networking, bullying, and more. Previous topics have included bullying, how to know when to follow peers, future careers, school challenges, standing up for what's right, and determining if someone is a "friend" or a "crush."  

Throughout the session, staff help teens navigate the co-ed social experience safely and appropriately while maintaining a focus on personal growth.  Staff-led nightly cabin meetings also focus on the specific needs and interests of teenagers at this confusing and socially complex age - this time in a single-gender environment. All OCP teens earn privileges based on a level system - the more they participate, show an effort towards maturity, and focus on their Tools and Keys, the more privileges they earn. 

Younger teens who are chronologically old enough for OCP, but for whom the Chat is not a component of interest in their summer program, or who are not ready for the more "teen focused" discussion topics and general camp life, should consider additional time in the Navigators program. Please speak directly with our team if you are not sure whether your teen should participate in Navigators for another year! 

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