“Challenge by choice” is a very popular saying here at Camp Gray, and one of the first things that campers learn. Every single day at camp presents countless opportunities for all campers to step outside of their comfort zones and try something they have never done before. Of course, this is a choice. Your camper will never be forced to do something he or she is not ready to do. However, your camper will be challenged every day.
These challenges come in many forms. Perhaps the challenge is trying a new activity that might seem too hard (archery, canoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, climbing the tower, being a defender for the capture the flag game, etc…). The challenge might be to do something silly or goofy in front of other people (singing a song, being in a skit, dressing up in a crazy costume, putting on face paint for the capture the flag game, answering a question during a discussion, leading a prayer, etc…) The challenge might be less tangible, but no less valuable (growing in virtue or holiness, looking at the faith in a new way, learning to accept differences in other campers, etc…) Or the challenge might be even getting to Camp Gray in the first place. For many of our campers, the trip to camp might be the first experience of its kind. Perhaps it is the first overnight without another family member, a first retreat experience, or the first time desiring to grow in the faith.
And so it is that ‘challenge by choice’ is something that is often repeated here. Your campers are encouraged to try new things every single day here at camp, no matter what previous experience they have. The reason for this is because we know that trying new things, regardless of the result, is how we grow. We learn what we like and don’t like. We learn what our gifts are. We learn how to be vulnerable. We learn to trust others, ourselves and God. When we stretch ourselves, we grow. Trying new things can be scary, but it is also tons of fun! Here at Camp Gray, everybody has opportunities to have fun while trying new things.