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Earlier this month, we were fortunate enough to Zoom with more than two dozen campers who will be part of the inaugural summer for Hideaway, our oldest camper cabin.

Every summer brings new ideas and new milestones in our growth. And like so much at Somerset over the past three summers, our campers and counselors help us execute these ideas to create our traditions and strengthen our culture. And summer after summer we adjust and improve, building on these traditions, and always asking ourselves how something can be more impactful, engaging, and exhilarating for our campers.

As we embark on this next great adventure of launching Hideaway, the same outlook applies. And these young women will play an even more significant role than ever before, not only to help craft an unforgettable summer for themselves but for the thousands of girls that will follow in their very big footsteps.

While the summer after 9th grade marks a camper’s Hideaway summer, it also marks the beginning of her participation in our leadership program, “Somerset Trails.” This is a four-year journey to support campers through their high school summers as they transition into counselors and develop into camp leaders and beyond. The program will include trips off-campus, group discussions, leadership and supervisory opportunities at camp, and creative and engaging ways to communicate, make decisions, and problem-solve with one another.

Following a summer in Hideaway, former campers may return after 10th grade for the Leader in Training (LIT) program. LITs will spend much of the day working with campers, assisting counselors at activity areas, and helping the head staff with special events and projects. The summer also includes a service and adventure trip. A gap year will be required after 11th grade, and then former campers may return as Junior Counselors after 12th grade (former campers do not have to complete all the summers to be a counselor).

Our goal is that every Trails participant will leave camp each summer with a deeper understanding of her strengths, a greater sense of confidence, more meaningful relationships, and heightened emotional awareness of who she is and how she can grow into a high-quality counselor, collaborator, and citizen.