When Xavier arrived at Agassiz Village for the very first time five years ago, he was scared of heights. Now, at age 12, high ropes is his favorite activity. “I got over my fear of heights [at Agassiz]. I used to be scared, but when they added high ropes to camp, I got over it fast.” Xavier is one of hundreds of campers who, every year, are supported to step out of their comfort zone, explore new activities, and experience positive personal growth at Agassiz Village. As Xavier said: “That’s [the] thing about camp, it helps you get over things.”
Through Agassiz’s exceptional summer camp experience and year-long programming, youth develop and practice critical leadership and life-shaping skills that positively impact their futures. During the four weeks Xavier spent at Agassiz Village, he participated in experiential learning activities like hiking, swimming, canoeing, ropes course, climbing wall, sports, creative arts, and archery. What Xavier may not know is that, while he was enjoying all of the sports and activities at camp, he was also learning Social and Emotional (SEL) skills, which are imbedded in all of the activities at camp. Our team of counselors is trained to provide positive mentoring and support to help campers build confidence, self-esteem, and self-reliance. In 2021 youth reported:
95% of youth said they had positive adult roles models at camp
94% of youth explored new activities and stepped out of their comfort zone
97% of youth demonstrated gains in at least one SEL capacity to help them better understand themselves and build more positive relationships.
Xavier credits the successes he has experienced at Agassiz Village to the exceptional community, friendship, and support he found there. “My favorite thing about camp is that if you don’t have a lot of friends, when you come to Agassiz, you’re able to make a whole lot of friends...It’s a whole new experience for some people,” said Xavier.