The Hawkeye program is an intentional combination of regular and special programming. It includes small group and individualized instruction in areas such as Swimming, Archery, and Woodworking in addition to all-camp big idea activities that last from one hour to all day. Hiking and swimming are required and active positive participation in all activities is too. Ours is not a sitting around, hanging out, type of camp. Though there are scheduled down times our goals include getting your son/daughter involved.
Our activities are the vehicle for teaching the big important skills. Life skills; a toolbox for success in school, at work, and socially. Growth mindset, increased self-confidence, positive outlook, teamwork, improved communication, leadership, acceptance of differences, and to value diversity.
Campers choose two of their five activities in a regular day. These we call Camper Choice periods. The other activities are assigned based on age and gender and entire cabin groups go from one activity to the next.
We DO NOT HAVE CAMPERS CHOOSE ALL THEIR ACTIVITIES. Just as at home you wouldn't say to your child "OK, you can do anything you want, all day, every day." We don't see that as healthy, helpful, or productive. This is where the term Guided Choice comes in.
We believe kids are smart, and we intentionally facilitate decision-making throughout our program, however it is our experience that most kids will tend to favor activities in which they already possess a relatively high skill level. This can limit growth by allowing campers to remain in their comfort zone. We encourage campers to push the boundaries of what they can achieve.
When we talk about failing forward we're referring to the growth and resiliency that comes as a result. We value failure as a teaching tool in addition to the learning that occurs through success and achievement. The Hawkeye Community is an important aspect of our approach. It is vital that the failure that campers encounter is done so in a positive and supportive environment; one that credits the effort, the taking on of the challenge or attempt at the new skill.
One example can be found when campers earn Program Beads. Individual awards are not common at Hawkeye but campers may earn a bead specific to a particular program area for exemplary effort in that activity over their time at camp. As an example of the value put on failing forward take the criteria for earning a program bead. Nowhere does a camper earn such recognition by being the best at something; Michael Phelps might not earn a Swimming Bead. He'd have to be exceedingly helpful, commit to teaching non-swimmers, clean up the area, follow all directions, and not spend all his time down at swimming.
Focus on Special Activities
Special activities abound - each evening and 1-2 days each week the regular program is interrupted for what we do best; SPECIAL ACTIVITIES! Treasure Hunt, Archery Tournament, Nations Games, and Amazing Race are full day all-camp activities that include group problem-solving, creative elements, and physical challenges as well.
Each session has two big-idea special activities in addition to one Eggy Day, two Bunk Days, two Hiking Trips per campers, and one Island Overnight.