Arriving at Camp Harbor View the challenge course immediately catches the eye. With a rock wall towering over 50 feet above the flat Long Island landscape, it’s hard to miss. It’s a sign you’ve reached Boston’s Island of Opportunity and a symbol of summer fun. Not only is the challenge course a blast, but it’s also a powerful tool to teach campers leadership skills and teamwork while developing their confidence and trust in their peers.
Camp Harbor View is built around opening opportunities for young people to explore, learn, and experience as much as possible — all year long. Youth should feel comfortable and safe and yet have opportunities to stretch and discover. Some take to the arts pavilion, where they push their creative boundaries. Others seek sailing and swimming and sports, and everyone gets a chance on the challenge course.
The course empowers campers’ critical thinking and creative problem solving. An important part of the experience is learning from frustrations and disappointments and working together to successfully adapt.
Effective teamwork is essential in every exercise. “While our campers – middle school kids from throughout the City of Boston – swing for the fences and climb toward the sky to look out over Boston Harbor and the city skyline, they are putting trust in their peers in pursuit of a shared goal.” Josh Waxman, Deputy Director of Camp Harbor View, explains. “I think that is incredibly powerful. The communication and collaboration required to make the whole system work is also worth emphasizing; it is a team exercise. Friendships are formed and relationships are strengthened on the challenge course for sure.”
Next time you’re on the island to hear the distinctive call of 3. 2. 1. and witness a brave camper catapult through the air, think of the courage, conviction and strong community behind that crowning moment.