Programs & Philosophy
Camp DREAM plays host to numerous programs and activities through a calendar year.
- Summer Camp - each summer, Camp DREAM hosts at least four sessions of “Camp”. A Camp DREAM session is typically a 4-5 day overnight experience based on a traditional summer camp schedule and is available exclusively to DREAM mentees. The activities include some familiar camp activities like swimming and games, but are dominated by imaginative DREAM traditions that empower campers to express themselves and take ownership of their Camp DREAM experience.
- Winter Adventure Camp and Days - each winter, Camp DREAM plays host to a number of The DREAM Program’s Winter Adventure components. A typical winter includes one Winter Adventure Camp session (WAC) and at least one Winter Adventure Day. WAC is a full weekend of winter camping and is made available to mentor-mentee pairs from Vermont Local Programs who wish to challenge themselves to the rigors of a spending the night outside during a Vermont winter. Winter Adventure Day is a day of winter fun offered to all mentors and mentees in Vermont Local Programs and is typically a large event that promotes trying new things and meeting new people (and sledding and broomball!)
- Counselor-in-Training (CIT) - each summer, Camp DREAM provides an opportunity to DREAM mentees ages 13 and up to join the Camp DREAM staff as a CIT. While the highlights of the program are the camp sessions spent as a CIT at Camp DREAM, mentees take part in training year round by participating in retreats and orientations sponsored by Camp DREAM. The program is an empowering and enriching piece of a youth’s teenage years as a DREAM mentee.
- United Way Days of Caring - twice a year, the United Way of Chittenden County organizes “Days of Caring” and Camp DREAM is a thankful and willing participant in the program. The United Way helps organized work days to improve Camp DREAM’s infrastructure and prepare the property for the upcoming season of camp sessions.
- Retreats and Team Building Activities - Camp DREAM typically hosts at least two retreats per year for the DREAM Staff or Board and those often include team building activities. Camp DREAM has also hosted retreats and team building for many of DREAM’s Local Programs and other community organizations hoping for a day in the outdoors and a change of pace from their normal activities.
- Volunteer Work Days - organized by Camp DREAM Staff, volunteer work days are responsible for many of the structures seen at Camp DREAM today. DREAM Staff takes part in one work day a month and welcomes others to join, or staff can help you put together your own work day with special initiatives.
Camp DREAM programs and activities are developed for participants using a set of guiding principles and philosophies built by The DREAM Program as part of the Theory of Change.
For the youth of DREAM, importance is placed upon:
- The development of a healthy self-concept, centered around increasing campers’ sense of self-reliance, bolstering interpersonal skills, and interacting with exciting, dynamic, and responsible staff role models.
- The appreciation of the simple wonders of natural surroundings through an emphasis on environmental education.
- The encouragement of a spirit of adventure through unique outdoor experiences.
- The continual inspiration of feelings of connectedness to DREAM and the larger community of DREAM youth and mentors throughout Vermont.
- The reinforcement of the ownership of Camp DREAM through campers’ conceptualization, design, and completion of projects on property.
- The establishment of campers’ confidence that the skills and friends they have gained at Camp DREAM will be reliable and motivational supports in their lives outside of Camp DREAM.
For mentors, importance is placed upon:
- The promotion of Camp as a center of collaboration for mentor retreats, workshops and networking at social gatherings between DREAM Local Programs.
- The availability of camping gear, resources, activities, and environmental education curricula for use by mentors during school-year DREAM activities.
- The facilitation of mentor ownership in Camp DREAM through mentors’ involvement as volunteers, staff and consultants on Camp development.
- The empowerment of mentors to provide input and help to tailor Camp DREAM sessions appropriate to the specific needs of the children in their DREAM Local Programs.
For the larger Camp community:
- To be a good neighbor to the nearby residents of Fletcher, Vermont and to be a steward of the pristine beauty of Metcalf Pond.
- To be a resource and a shining example to other camps and similarly-minded programs for children.
- To be a tireless advocate for environmental education and awareness.
- To assert our voice within the community of Vermont and to promote responsible land conservation and management on a larger scale.