Across the country, but especially in the northeast, some camps have been operating for a very, very long time. The original Somerset would be pushing 100 were it still around today. A lot of camps began popping up in the late 40s and early 50s once baby boomers decided they didn’t want to spend the entirety of their summers with their growing families. (I went to camp some 30+ years later and suspect my mother would have driven the bus). For a long time, most of these traditional camps were very provincial, often pulling campers from just a select few markets, usually near the owner’s winter residence. Moreover, they offered one option and one option only…eight weeks or bust.
Today, the landscape has changed dramatically. Because camps are now global and school dates much tighter, the seven-week summer is the industry standard with many camps still choosing to make that the only option. For us, we chose a different path.
The Full Somer (7 weeks) is truly unique and special. A camper can see and do virtually everything, from our more than 35 activities to amazing trips, The League, Somer Cup, The Somer 7, multiple plays, and so much more. The connections with campers of all ages, as well as staff, and the strength of the relationships is unlike any other life experience.
The Half Somer (3.5 weeks) is a fantastic middle ground. The extra ten days are game-changers regarding the opportunities they provide to campers. It means more time to waterski, an extra trip day, a chance for more patches, or just time in the cabin with friends. It also offers flexibility from one year to the next. An eight-year-old may love camp and want to spend the next five summers attending for seven weeks. But when she is 14 and has grown into an exceptional soccer player, wishing to dedicate some summer time to this passion, she doesn’t have to make the painful choice of having one or the other. Or maybe the whole family is taking a two-week vacation for Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th. Some things just don’t come around more than once and we get it.
Our Short Somer (2 weeks) is an excellent option for the extra nervous camper (or parent) or if others plans make going for longer impossible. But we make this a first-year choice only because experiencing all we have to offer and, more importantly, developing strong and lasting relationships takes time and this session provides just a taste.
The bottom line though is that there is no one size fits all. Every family and every camper has their different priorities, concerns, constraints, and timeline. It’s our job to work with every one of them to find the session that rights for them. And, let me say, we love our job.