William Lawrence Camp offers a world-class overnight camp experience in New Hampshire for young boys and teens. The combination of our beautiful, rural setting, multitude of camper activites, and extensive campus guarantees your son will enjoy a resident camp experience that will create memories to last a lifetime.William Lawrence Camp is an independent, not-for-profit organization located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire; our entire focus is on providing an extraordinary experience for your child that will benefit him for years to come. We believe that the best way for boys to learn is through being active, especially while surrounded by natural beauty. Our well-balanced choice program offers instruction in diverse activities, such as Archery, Waterskiing, and Wilderness Trips, that your child would likely not be able to participate in at home. And, as a small residential camp, we do not experience the bottlenecks at popular activities that larger camps are rife with: if your child is interested in an activity, they will be able to do it. As well, our better than 3-to-1 camper to staff ratio ensures that your child will be well looked after.We encourage you to watch the video linked to below to get a sense of everything William Lawrence Camp has to offer.
Back to School, Back to Skills: William Lawrence Camp's Role in Fostering Cognitive Growth, Curiosity and Learning
William Lawrence Camp and How Overnight Summer Camps Help with Back to School and Back to Skills
By alumnus Isaac S. Peterson (1987-1995)
Several academic high-achievers have passed through the screen doors at William Lawrence Camp. Here are three of them.
Academic Heavy-Hitter Alumni of WLC
- Chris Carbone: Chris graduated from Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH and earned his Master of Science (M.S.) at MIT. In true Bill Larry lumberjack style, he now works as a Timber Engineer.
- Brendan McCabe: one of WLC's many Ridgewood, NJ alums, Brendan McCabe's international education includes the London School of Economics, Boston College and an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business. He's a senior business developer at a little startup called Microsoft.
- Dan Peterson, M.D., graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and went on to Cornell, then to Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He performed a residency at Beth Israel and is currently an E.R. staff physician in greater Orlando.
There are countless others. And it's more than advanced schools that WLC fills with bright young men. We teach and instill advanced skills. So advanced schools and advanced skills. (Including our new wood shop.)
For example, alum Ryan Baker-Dunn's degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism gave him the critical skills needed to manage projects for a leading New England non-profit, Evernorth. He oversees responsible real estate development, including permits and managing federal funds. Ryan's very real-world skills of book-keeping, planning and overseeing things being built and repaired? Skills indeed.
But what's this have to do with camp? How does knowing four different types of campfires, being able to swim the back crawl, or heaving a greased watermelon out of the lake and onto a dock--what does that have to do with school or bigger brains? We're glad you asked.
Brains, Cognition and Physical Activity
It's rather unwieldy hooking up an EEG to a 12-year-old boy while they're waterskiing across Lower Beech Pond. Is waterskiing developing more gray matter in his brain? Will that part of the camp experience help him get a better ACT or other standardized tests score? It would be nice for WLC to have that data to offer you, the involved parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle.
Fortunately, other curious minds have looked at the intersection of physical activity, summer camp, and academic achievement. (Or maybe "collision" instead of “intersection” if we're talking about boys' camps).
While it's not easy to measure, some top-line data show a link between academic success and active or outdoor adventures.
Movement and the Mind
- The NIH book Educating the Student Body cites five studies in the last 20 years confirming that "Children respond faster and with greater accuracy to a variety of cognitive tasks after participating in a session of physical activity."
- A meta-analysis first published in Pediatric Exercise Science looked at dozens of different studies on kids, physical activity and the relationship to cognitive abilities. The authors ultimately found "for children, physical activity has a positive association with cognition."
- This same Pediatric Exercise Science meta-analysis also found no major difference in the positive effects when looking at one activity versus another. Sprinting across the soccer field at school is good, but clambering up the ropes course, swimming the side stroke and hiking New Hampshire’s Mt. Major also help with the brain.
Overnight summer camps like William Lawrence Camp (WLC) offer more than just physical activities; they provide an environment that fosters higher-level development in children.
One example is persistence coupled with creativity. A boy can solve almost anything with this winning combination. Basic problem-solving skills such as real-time identifying cause-and-effect are invaluable in any learning situation.
Once they figure out a game, situation or sport, for anything, the boys will indeed get creative in their competition. Often throughout the summer, a counselor must say, "that is allowed; he's not cheating" or "I don't think there's anything in the rulebook for that, point good."
Overnight Summer Camps and Outdoor Adventures Can Polish Academic Achievement
While technology at the camp is reduced to safety devices for staff, a P.A. system, and an A.V. room when the rain is really falling, it's still part of education. But it's not everything. Memory is still vital. When this author was working road construction right out of college, the boss told him, "There's a notebook between your shoulders."
At WLC, campers are thrust into a setting where they engage with nature and learn hands-on repeatable skills that will help with memory.
WLC Helps Cultivate the Everyday Behavioral Needs of Boys as Students
Soft skills usually get less attention in the classroom but are a focal point at camps like WLC. Through activities, campers practice patience, teamwork, communication, and determination. These soft skills translate directly to the classroom setting. A boy who communicates effectively, works in teams, and patiently solves problems is better equipped to tackle academic challenges.
Rhythm and Rest: Requirements for Effective Learning
There is a siesta every day after lunch. The six-year-old Junior campers might still need a daily nap, so WLC schedules that. But all the campers partake to 1) keep it quiet for the rest of them and 2) let the staff catch their breath. More broadly, attending WLC brings connection to nature, combined with consistent physical activity, which creates a much-needed mental reset, helping kids return to school with a refreshed perspective, an increased ability to focus, and a deeper sense of curiosity.
The word "burnout" is getting used a lot more nowadays. As working from home becomes the norm--work and life seem to be sliding closer together--the need for mental recalibration is essential. Your boy’s experience at WLC is a good recalibration away from screens and overly-comfortable routines. It's a siesta from higher-demand coed social situations. It’s a siesta from the growing cognitive and achievement demands of childhood and adolescence. It’s a return to simpler joys and endeavors. But all things that will sharpen his curiosity and his enlarge his capacity to learn.
We just closed out a wonderful 111th season but our early-registration discount starts October 1st and runs until December 1st! Check out our enrollment dates and rates though!
With Society Fretting Over the Need for Better Men, A Good Place to Start is Healthier, Balanced Boys
William Lawrence Has One Daily Ritual (among many) that Girds Boys with Self-Control, Respect and Appreciation for Others
By alumnus Isaac S. Peterson (1987-1995)
All philosophical stripes are noting the decline in adult male development. As such, there is a lot of discussion about helping boys become better men. But boys are boys first. As a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, you value you son, grandson and nephew as more than what they will become. Boys are valuable as boys and not simply as "young men." And while the hunger for now largely abolished boy-to-man rituals is common in modern Western society, daily rituals are a good step for healthy boys to become healthier boys. And that will always lead to healthier men.
The twice-daily flag ceremony is one such ceremony that goes deeper than observance. And, by the by, there are many, many flags and nations that William Lawrence celebrates. In the dining hall, the flags of Zimbabwe, Venezuela, England, Scotland, Sweden, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and countless other nations are honorably hung from the rafters to celebrate the worldwide legacy of William Lawrence, its valued international alumni, its programs and the common bonds of which For Lawrence We Stand; a song sung in many languages and accents.
William Lawrence and the Benefits of Sending Your Child to a Summer Camp with Canoeing, Kayaking, and Sailing
WLC Has Terra Firma Fun like Rock Climbing, Ropes Courses, and Team Sports but Kayaking, Canoeing, Sailing, Swimming, Fishing and Watersport Satisfy that Boys' Classic Urge to Forge into the Waves
Something about Kids and Water
By alumnus Isaac S. Peterson (1987-1995)
Boys and men have been drawn to the sea since the beginning of time. From The Odyssey to Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe, kids want to see what's out there and what they can find.
Whether that's on the Saco River or the less than calm waters (at least during June, July and August when the boys let loose) of Lower Beech Pond, William Lawrence's counselors are trained extensively in other safety. So, the adventure feels adventurous to your son, grandson or nephew but is still safe. And that boating adventure is part of the fun of pushing off from solid ground and taming that primordial mystery, or at least some part of it, in and beneath the waves.
Lower Beech Pond, the home of Bill Larry's flagship waterfront facility, has all the paddling sports as regular daily activities. First time campers (over the age of N&J, please enter the minimum age for kids to take out their kayak alone) to older children can take out their own kayak, pal up and make new friends in a canoe, or even develop navigation skills in one of the single-mast skiffs and catamarans. And there's much more than that.
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