In 1921, Dr. and Mrs. Julius Bluhm founded Fernwood on four simple principles that continue to guide us today:
- Live Simply
- Enjoy the beauty and wonder of natural surroundings
- Nurture Tolerance and Unselfishness
- Develop loving, life long friendships
Macky King, their only child who became their successor in the 1950’s, spent her entire lifetime at Fernwood living by and teaching these wholesome tenets to generations of girls.
Although established almost a century ago, these principles have proven to be timeless and are in many ways even more relevant in today’s complex world. As the newest stewards of Camp Fernwood’s future, our objective is to carry on these simple but enduring standards.
As quickly as we’ve been connecting electronically, we’ve been disconnecting intra-personally.
– Ned Hallowell (Nationally acclaimed Child Psychiatrist)
Sure camp is a place where children live away from home, try new activities, and gain independence, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The single most powerful force in life that promotes health, joy and morality is feeling that you belong to something positive that’s larger than you. In connecting to camp, kids find a stronger connection to themselves and life.
Professionals who study the educational and emotional needs of children stress the importance of camp, and how the camp experience assists children in leading happier more “joyful” lives. In our fast paced, plugged in world, the ability to truly connect with others is often a lost or un-practiced art. At its core, “camp allows and teaches children how to connect.”
Fernwood’s focus on nurturing tolerance and promoting respect between individuals, our strong connection to nature, and a historical fabric intricately woven through the decades since 1921 creates and sustains this essential sense of connection for campers and counselors alike. Fernwood teaches children how to be more imaginative, inquisitive, and self-reliant – giving them a thirst for experiential knowledge.
Fernwood is a place that recognizes and consistently rewards healthy behaviors. This recognition or “validation” is the root of moral behavior. At Fernwood, girls feel like they are part of the community, and therefore they want to take care of the community. We are an organization that cares and notices all efforts and kindness. For Fernwood girls, the process is often more important than the outcome. For our girls, it is not about “being the best” at anything, but about trying the hardest. We strive to consistently and intentionally give our girls the strongest foundation for a happy and fulfilled life.
Why 7 Weeks?
We are often asked the question, “How does Fernwood continue to thrive as a full summer camp?”
It takes a long time to do what we do. Camps of many different kinds and lengths of session are overall healthy summer choices for children. However, our experience has shown us that to see the full benefit – experience the depth of relationships, establish the vital sense of connection, and to become a part of something bigger, a longer period of time or immersion is essential. It is in essence the key to our success.
In a world that is increasingly hectic and impersonal, Fernwood isn’t. Fernwood is not just any experience. Fernwood is a series of life changing, reinforcing events that teach girls how to be happy, well adjusted, and confident young women.
The message girls get at Fernwood is often quite the opposite of what they hear in their daily lives. From a young age, women are repeatedly barraged with negative messages from both peers and the media. A summer experience at Fernwood focusing on simplicity, inclusion, tolerance, and friendship helps girls to put that negative outside culture in a healthy perspective. By enhancing our girls’ sense of self, and teaching them the importance of being strong, healthy and independent, they are more resilient and less affected by many of those negative pressures.
We welcome you to visit and see why Fernwood is a magical place where dreams routinely come true every day.
… it is a magical place that nurtures friendships and creates memories that last a lifetime.”