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At a Crossroads: Teens Gain Leadership Experience at New FCS Summer Program

FCS combines leadership training with a specialty camp at the new CrossRoads Camp for teens.

Summer can be a tricky time for teens. Camp options are far fewer as high school looms in the future, and many young people are looking for a more active leadership role in their community while also growing their interests and having a fun summer experience.


Recognizing this need, Friends’ Central School has developed an exciting new program for those entering eighth and ninth grade, which combines leadership training with a specialty camp: CrossRoads Camp.


After rising through FCS’ camps and completing the previously offered seventh grade counselor-in-training program, those who had grown up with the camp were suddenly without options. “We were turning people away that we knew wanted to stay at our camp,” said Katherine Clayton, Summer Programs Coordinator at FCS. With the new CrossRoads Camp, campers can remain part of the FCS community, working with the younger campers to gain leadership experience and self-confidence.


Campers can “choose their own adventure,” mixing and matching leadership training with specialty camp options in two-week increments. LITs will be able to gain first-hand experience of the roles and responsibilities of a counselor; working with preschoolers at Tenderfoot camp all day, or assisting in the older Trailblazer camp that leaves LITs’ afternoons free for more intensive leadership programming and team building.


If they prefer, they can select from two-week specialty topics to either replace the LIT program or mix into their summer experience. “Fact or Fiction” (June 22—July 2) is a Mythbusters inspired lab-based program pushing campers to question and investigate their world. “Sound and Spirit” (July 6—17) allows campers to use FCS’ brand new sound studio to develop a musical passion project, or work within a different medium of their choice. “Mind and Body: Outdoor Adventure and Wellness” (July 20—August 1) teaches campers how to work and live in the great outdoors with adventure courses, yoga, and even gardening at the Lower School campus.




Because FCS has such strong academics and resources, the programs are done in-house, with current teachers and staff that stay on for the summer. For example, the Mind and Body weeks include Tiffany Borsh a Lower School science teacher, who will incorporate concepts like biodiversity and sustainable practices into the program.


The final week of camp (August 3—7) will be a camping experience. Campers will practice their camping skills on campus before traveling into the wilderness for an overnight adventure.


While all of the specialty programs are certainly enriching and unique, the opportunities for leadership training and team building at CrossRoads Camp are invaluable. In addition to hands-on experience with the lower camps, CrossRoads will explore the importance of mindfulness, safety awareness (including CPR training), professional etiquette, and conflict resolution.


Elizabeth McGee, Trailblazer Camp Office Manager sums it up best: “Through taking on responsibility roles within camp’s specials rotation, they are able to learn leadership skills by working with younger campers. At the same time, they find out more about themselves and their own interests each week. They are able to mature and grow as young adults through the structured independence the program offers, while still having a fun and enjoyable camp experience.”


To learn more about FCS Summer Camps, visit fcsprograms.org

Friends' Central's Summer Programs have something for everyone. Our rich and varied summer programs, filled with endless fun and excitement, are available to children ages 3 and up. The same quality of excellence that marks Friends' Central as one of the outstanding independent schools in the Philadelphia area also characterizes our summer programs, all of which are managed by Friends' Central teachers who are invested in their school community and are committed to providing a happy, enriching, and safe camp experience for every child.