Character education is learning to live through a set of core values, including good citizenship and responsibility for ourselves and others. Which is exactly what summer camp was created to do.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, spent eight weeks at camp each summer from 1937 to 1951, first as a camper and then as a counsellor. While there were many formative experiences in her long, rightly celebrated life, camp was the first. She credited it as the source of her independence and her sense of duty. Ronnie Silver, an alum whose mother was at the camp at the same time as Ginsburg, recently said, “so much of the Justice was instilled at camp. It was always taught to us that there was nothing girls couldn’t do. Summer Camp empowered us, and for someone extremely bright and curious, that was important.” Ginsburg would reflect those values within her work on the court, championing women’s rights and gender equality, in essence a more formal expression of that early lesson that there was nothing girls couldn’t do.