HB’s flagship summer program is celebrating this important milestone with an all-new five-day option and fun events for campers all summer long.
by Siva Grossman, HBBH director
Since 1978, students across Northeast Ohio have been spending their summers learning and growing together at Hathaway Brown Broad Horizons camp. And while I haven’t been part of the program quite that long, I’m happy to be celebrating my 15th anniversary as HBBH director this year too. I feel so lucky to spend June and July working (and having fun!) with such great families, children, and staff. It truly is a joy to come to work every day. And speaking of every day, we’re pleased to announce that for the first time ever, HBBH will have programming on Fridays so that campers can enjoy our offerings the whole week through.
Our traditional HBBH day camp welcomes boys and girls ages 3-4 for half-day programming. Girls in kindergarten through grade 5 attend HBBH from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Broader Horizons day camp provides girls entering grades 6 through 8 fun all-day activities designed for their age group, including trying out our onsite adventure learning course, off-campus field trips to explore the city, and much more. Campers of all ages also have a chance to use HB’s aquatics center and tennis courts, with swimming lessons that can be added to their days.
We like to think of HBBH as an extension of the Hathaway Brown experience, but with a healthy dose of good old-fashioned summer fun thrown in for good measure. The school theme of Courage, Character, and Kindness will be part of all that we do this year, with special programs and activities that encourage children to stretch their boundaries, discover who they are, and remember to always think about what it means to be part of a community. Campers learn fun camp songs and dances, and the highlight of the summer is the big Lip Sync. We end every day with a huge group gathering and we have special dress-up days on Tuesdays and camp field events on Thursdays. In between, there are educational games, engineering and arts and crafts projects, storytelling, laughs and fun in the courtyard and on the playground, and much, much more.
HBBH will take place June 11-July 20 this year and I just can’t wait.
I know it seems funny to be talking about the summer when we haven’t even been through winter yet, but HBBH registration will open in January, which is right around the corner. And I’m so excited about this coming year and our big 40th birthday celebration that I can’t help thinking about all of the people who have come into my life because of HBBH.
Every year, I witness campers meeting friends from so many different communities as well as different countries. We have had girls from France, Denmark, Mexico, and Hong Kong take part in HBBH during my time. One of my favorite stories is the one about the girls from two different school districts who met at HBBH as kindergartners and today are still best friends. In fact, they are seniors in college, and believe it or not, they even attended the same college! These lifelong friends might not otherwise have met if not for camp.
We also had a camper who attended HBBH herself for years, then she became a volunteer who assisted with the youngest campers, and then went on to be a Shepherd (the name we give our camp counselors) for a camp group of her own. When she graduated from college with a degree in education, she returned to HBBH as a teacher of our pre-kindergarten campers. Which reminds me of another important point I want to emphasize about HBBH as an extension of the school experience: Our program is designed not only for campers, but also for older students. Ninth graders volunteer with us each year, working with the children and earning service hours. Students in grades 10 and above work as Shepherds, guiding camp groups through the sea of activities we have planned for them each day. This aspect of HBBH allows students to actively embrace HB’s motto: Non Scholae Sed Vitae Discimus—We Learn Not for School, But for Life.
I know that families have a lot of demands and plans during the summer months, and I believe it is important to accommodate individual scheduling needs. I love working with parents and campers to customize the HBBH experience. We’re happy to prorate our costs based on the length of time campers take part in our six weeks of programming. We’re thrilled to offer a five-day camp option in 2018, but we still will make the four-day option available to families as well. Camp starts as early as 8 a.m. with Before Camp for those who need it. Half-day programming for 3- and 4-year-olds is scheduled from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Full-day programming for girls in grades K-8 takes place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. After camp, students are welcome to sign up for tennis or swimming lessons, and the Extended Day programming for those who need to stay longer runs from 3-6 p.m.
I’m already working on creating the summer activities schedules for each HBBH group and I can tell you that these campers will be busy, busy, busy. It is so rewarding to me to be able to offer children ages 3-13 the great opportunity to explore their world through friendship, education, and constructive play. With adult teachers guiding all of the thoughtfully designed activities that bring HBBH to life, campers actually look forward to disconnecting from their electronic devices and just being present with one another, because they know it is in those moments that they’ll make memories to last a lifetime.
Happy birthday, HBBH!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Siva Grossman is a renaissance woman who likes to do it all. She is an artist and a trained chef who never passes up an opportunity to try something new. As director of Hathaway Brown’s Broad Horizons and Vacation Camps, she makes HB’s campus home for students who come here from as far away as Australia and as close as Shaker Heights. Her favorite HBBH days are Tuesdays, when she gets to wear silly costumes with the campers in fun dress-up themes. You can connect with Siva at 216.320.8085 or firstname.lastname@example.org.