Our children, Ian and Maya, 10 and 8 years old respectively, had the opportunity to attend Forest Lake Camp for the first time last summer. While both had previously been to summer camps, the three-weeks at Forest Lake was the longest period either had been away from home and family. It was an enriching personal and social experience.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that both Maya and Ian had a transformational experience at Forest Lake. The independence they experienced and self-confidence they acquired were remarkable. The most impressive observations the children made upon their return was about the self-assurance and strong morale they acquired. Self-confidence from being away from home, trying new unfamiliar activities, forging friendships with other campers from around the world and understanding themselves better. We have been impressed by how introspective they were about the benefits of their camp experience.
Another feature of their Forest Lake stay was the sheer variety of activities in which they engaged. Both Ian and Maya enjoy numerous extracurricular activities at home which they also had the opportunity to practice at camp (horseback riding, basketball, etc.). Ian was able to display his fencing and soccer skills in matches against other camps in the region. More important, however, they discovered many new activities that they would like to continue in the future (archery, kayaking, fishing, rafting, etc.).
The Leaders in Training were extraordinary. They exhibited a genuine interest in the children and gave each one the personal attention they needed. They were exceptional role models and found the perfect balance in their roles as companion, guide and monitor. Both Ian and Maya have expressed their aspirations to become LITs one day.
It was an emotional experience to see the hugs and smiles as Maya and Ian bid farewell to so many new friends upon departure. We hope that both children will have the opportunity to participate again next year.
Michael and Marie-Paule Nowlis (2015 FLC Parents)