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Berkshire Outdoor Center and Berkshire Adventures are proud to collaborate on our brand new outdoor education program: Berkshire Happy Camp. Specifically established as an opportunity for Chinese youth to visit and experience American culture through camp programs and travel, Berkshire Happy Camp aims to encourage Peace Through Understanding, in developing relationships between Chinese and American youth.
At Berkshire Happy Camp, campers participate in a winter camp experience, all while surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the United States. Campers will experience time away from technology such as phone, tablets and video games and instead find entertainment through cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, adventure games, and winter teambuilding on our challenge course. Through participating in these camp activities, Chinese and American campers will have the opportunity to develop relationships and make meaningful friendships with one another. Our structured outdoor activities focus on stimulating a deeper cultural understanding and awareness of one another. And building these interpersonal skills is easy: campers will simply play games and participate in healthy, indoor & outdoor, active winter activities, together.
The largest component of Berkshire Happy Camp is participating in the full winter camp program, for an two weeks. Each day, campers will participate in individual choice activities, group choice activities and large camp activities, all of which focus on character development: growth in spirit, mind, body and relationships. At the end of each day, American and Chinese campers will participate in unique evening activities. These activities will include sunset snowshoe, night hikes, campfires with S’Mores and other adventures in the Berkshire woods. Chinese and American campers will enjoy a Chinese New Year celebration, including learning how to make dumplings by hand!
Most evenings, Berkshire Happy campers will retire to lodge accommodation to spend the night. Chinese are staying at camp and Americans are invited to stay as well. On the weekends, campers will go on field trips to experience local American culture, right here in the Berkshires. They will see museums and art galleries, and participate in fun outings to the basketball in Boston and an ice hockey game in New York City.
All activities at Berkshire Happy Camp will encourage cooperation with peers, problem solving, critical thinking, imaginative play, and physical challenges. It’s our aim to keep kids active both physically and mentally as they play and explore. Along with the fun and games, there will be time allotted to reflect and debrief experiences to help the campers further process the experience and be more aware of what’s happening around them.
Our staff is highly trained to work with campers of a variety of ages and backgrounds. They are able to analyze groups and establish exactly what a group needs to work together, have fun and bond with one another. Our staff are our most valuable resource in making participants feel welcome and giving everyone the attention they need.
As a result of attending this camp, participants will find more value in connections with other people and make friends with people from all over the world. They will experience a culture that differs greatly from their day-to-day life and be able to integrate parts of that culture into their own. The participants will develop a sense of belonging and be confident interacting within the camp community. Campers will get plenty of practice with speaking English and improve in their ability to communicate with their American peers in the program. Similarly, American participants will have the opportunity to be exposed to and learn a new language, basic conversations at first, and meet someone from the other side of the world.
Along with personal growth within the program, participants will get to spend time at one with nature in the Berkshires as they explore an area of the world very different than their own, or share their own backyard with someone from across the sea. Whether it involves skiing adventures through the woods, playing games in the snow, attending school with another culture or just seeing the incredible stars at night, participants will surely remember this adventure of a lifetime.