Camp Walt Whitman, a New England summer camp, is named after the famous American poet Walt Whitman. That doesn’t mean it’s a place for kids to read and write poetry during the summer! To learn about the real meaning of the name read on:
Why ‘Walt Whitman’?
The New England summer camp was created by Arnie and Chick Soloway, the current owner Jed’s great uncles. The duo was not interested in becoming yet another coed camp named after a local geographical feature like a lake or a mountain. When they heard Whitman’s poem, “I Hear America Singing” they loved how it speaks to people working together to form communities while also doing their own individual jobs.
During the opening campfire at Camp Walt Whitman, the poem is read aloud. Then, staff and campers talk about its meaning and how the summer will involve individual growth and contribution to the camp community all while respecting one another and nature.
Whitman famously said, “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.” He places no more importance on the positions of politicians than janitors. The poet does not believe any form of work or expression is greater or more appreciated or worthy than the next.
The New England summer camp includes activities like swimming and waterskiing as well as arts where campers can learn how to create pottery, work in the wood shop or make crafts. None of these activities are more important than the others. While one person may enjoy conquering the ropes course 45 feet in the air another might prefer trying their hand at swimming a mile along the lake. While campers participate in different opportunities they are creating a community together during activities, meals and special events.
As Walt Whitman says, “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and the shadows will fall behind you.” The incredible campers and their enthusiasm are the sunshine of Camp Walt Whitman. To learn more about the New England summer camp call (800) 657-8282. Visit the website for information on enrollment, schedules, age groups and the amazing staff. The camp offers sessions for children ages 7 through 15 and teaches them skills while fostering lifelong friendships and building their confidence.