"What do parents owe their young that is more important than a warm and trusting connection to the Earth?"
From the Director
Thank you for your interest in Night Eagle Wilderness Adventures! As the owner of
Night Eagle with over thirty years of experience in resident camping and a father
of two sons of my own, I know how difficult it can be for parents to try to match a
camp with the desires and needs of their son as they leaf through brochures and
pore through websites trying to separate fact from rhetoric. Parents have many key
questions for camp directors. Will my son make friends? Will he have fun? Will he
be safe and well cared for? Will he have an opportunity to learn new things yet not
be pressured? At Night Eagle, we take those concerns to heart.
As you will discover, Night Eagle offers a significant alternative to the standard summer camp program and provides a unique opportunity for boys to grow physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially in a small, caring environment.
The outdoor experiences gained at Night Eagle are intentionally different from those of our regular lives and are in keeping with the woods and lakes around us. We encourage boys to take advantage of a variety of activities and games and to develop new skills. Boys find excitement in the discovery of the subtleties of nature, the unexpected satisfaction of hard work, the pleasure in developing physical skills, the joy of honest friendships and, especially, the fascination of getting to know themselves.
This section of our website is intended to give you all the information you need, answer most of your questions, and help you feel more comfortable with Night Eagle. We welcome your phone calls and e-mails if you have further questions or concerns.
From Two Moms: Beth . . .
“There’s so much to say about Night Eagle—my oldest (age 19) went there for 5 years and will be returning as a counselor this summer. My second, a very different child, will be going back for year number 4, this summer (he’s 14), and my third son (11), will be going for the second time this summer. Night Eagle gave them experiences they NEVER would have had otherwise—being with nature, being WITH people, boys, friends, adults, intimately instead of through technology or fast paced connections. It gave them an experience with a different pace of life—a pace about real living, being with, patience, kindness, consideration. I love my boys the best when they’ve come back from camp. It’s all about building the community and bonding with each other, about being responsible for yourself, and about loving themselves, and the natural world. It gave them great self-confidence, and a strong sense of self. Honest—no one is paying me to say all this!!!
I have no advice—Night Eagle's just the best place for a boy at this time of his life, and in our current culture. Your son will love it—no doubt. It will take a few days for him to feel this way—it may be hard in the beginning, but the counselors know this—and work with it—so after the third day or so, he’ll be fine.”
- Beth Haessig
"What I like best:
Knowing my son is exposed to values that are important to me, such as respect for all of creation -- environment, animals, and people alike; spirituality -- through learning Native American traditions and beliefs. All of the others, such as healthful living, bonding with family and friends, teamwork, responsibility, and compassion as examples, are encompassed within these two biggies I think. Knowing that my son is safe, as the counselors are well-trained in wilderness survival, first aid, etc. I also like seeing him so happy that he doesn't want to come home, and in fact considers the camp to be his home. He's enjoyed it so much that he was an assistant counselor last year after four summers of camping.
What my son gained:
Joy, fun, freedom, centeredness, patience especially when he was an older camper among younger campers, a sense of self, confidence to choose friends and activities that suit him without worry about what's popular or typical among his peers, a feeling of security in the world because he's had the experience of living without complete dependence on the paraphernalia (technology) of modern life
Some of this he gained from his Waldorf School I think, but I believe he's gone much farther in developing himself than he would have without the Night Eagle experience. He was 10 going on 11 his first summer, and between then and now he's missed only one summer. He'll be 16 this summer.
Pack light, make sure the knife is big enough, abide by the rules about what to send in packages because it helps with the social environment if you do. You don't get much news from him while he's at camp, so faith that no news is good news helps you through the first time. Drop him off yourself (or your husband) and shake hands with his tipi counselor before you leave. That will go a long way toward your confidence that he'll be cared for. Talk to Arctic Arrow (Bruce, the owner/director) a lot ahead of time if you need to. He'll ease your fears.
I have none now. The first summer I was concerned about the quality of the food and the quality and character of the people around him, as well as his safety. I have no qualms anymore. After camp, the readjustment to civilization can be a bit rocky, or at least strange, the first time. Blue Heron was a bit disdainful of the artifacts of civilization for a few weeks the first time he returned from the wilderness. Actually, we found that amusing.”
- Ondria Wasem