Aspenfire is our rising 7th and 8th-grade division at NCDC. Campers entering 7th & 8th grade get the best of what camp has to offer while also working together to learn social-emotional and community-building skills, create and lead some special activities, and prepare themselves for the opportunity to work as counselors at NCDC in future summers. They’ll also swim daily and participate in our many unit activities.
Social + Emotional
Aspenfire campers engage in a reflection-based development of individual identity, interpersonal relationship skills, and community-building. Each morning, Aspenfire campers will participate in a conversation/activity session dedicated to Social/Emotional Learning.
Each week, Aspenfire campers engage in conversations related to current events and notable topics, focusing on critical thinking and active listening. Out of these conversations come ideas for Aspenfire Projects– service or creative projects lead by the campers and supported by their leadership staff.
Trips and Overnights
Each session, Aspenfire campers will have the ability to stay overnight at camp for a special camping experience as well as attend a trip related to their leadership project and/or recreational interests.
A Typical Aspenfire Schedule
- Morning Community-Building
- Leadership activity and/or Aspenfire Projects
- Instructional Swim
- Unit Activity
- Free Swim
- Unit Activity
- Bus Lines and Dismissal
Throughout the past few summers, we have learned that we need to be responsive to the changing world while also holding true to our desire to have an unplugged experience at New Country Day Camp.
Aspenfire campers are our oldest campers at camp, and many travel to and from camp with cell phones. We have no judgment for families who choose to send their campers with cell phones for any reason, but it has made it increasingly difficult to enforce our unplugged policies.
In consultation with experts in the field of adolescent education, our phone policy for rising 7th and 8th-grade campers allows them very minimal, supervised times with their devices so that they can be engaged and present for their camp experience the other 99% of the camp day.
Campers who bring cell phones are allowed about 10-minutes of supervised phone usage in the mornings as everyone arrives as well as 10-minutes of phone usage in the afternoons while we prepare for dismissal. We have found that allowing this minimal time with phones has tremendously increased the ability of this age group to engage, play, imagine, make friendships, and build a community that is supportive and strong.