I send my child to GV every summer, it is his favorite camp! Any opportunity he gets to spend time there, he's happy to have, and so am I.
My organization held a team building retreat at Genesee Valley this summer. Not only did we have a great time with our fellow cohorts, we really enjoyed working with the staff. The atmosphere was truly inclusive and everyone left with having a rich experience.
As a former staff member and strong supporter of all that Genesee Valley stands for, I can't speak more highly of their programs. I have yet to find another organization that cares as much about creating such a nurturing, inclusive, challenging, empowering and intentional community, for both its participants and staff. I recently had the pleasure of organizing a trip to Genesee Valley with a group of Community School Coordinators that I currently work with in Baltimore, for a day of team building and high ropes. The day was beyond our expectations, and remains the highlight of our year so far; it was a very necessary opportunity for this group to connect with one another, enjoy a day outdoors, and recognize their strengths and bonds. I will continue to encourage others to experience this place and this community. There is very something special that happens here.
The Genesee family and supporters always do a great job with the camps and working with the kids. I would highly recommend them.
Why do I bring my 8th graders to Genesee Valley?
Team and Community Building activities. We also want the students the challenge themselves physically, emotionally, and socially. The students also work on our 4 Rs : Risk, Responsibility, Respect and Relationships.
Our annual 3 day 2 night trip is full of traditions.
As I sit here in my office, I am surrounded by one of the Indian Creek School traditions. The signatures of all eighth graders from 1985 through 2014 are on display on the 30 bandanas that were autographed by the students during our annual 8th grade camping trips to Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center in Parkton, MD. We have been bringing our middle school students to GVOLC since 1981 for team and community building experiences. On the 1985 trip, I decided to commemorate a really good camping trip with a great bunch of students by having them sign a bandana that I happened to be using at that time. This bandana was then hung in my science classroom. The following year, the next group of eighth graders, upon completing their trip to GVOLC said, “Don’t we get to sign a bandana?” I realized at that time that a new tradition was beginning. After fifteen years of collecting these bandanas, I ran out of space for displaying them in my office. With the help of a talented woman from a local fabric store, I was able to stitch the bandanas into a quilt. Now, 15 years after completing that quilt, it is now time to make a second quilt.
As I reflect back over my 34 years here at the CREEK and glance over the 1500 plus signatures, these students will always be my middle schoolers. When alumni come back to visit me, we go to their bandana, find their name and have a great time catching up on their classmates and sharing stories of their time in middle school. For the past 30 years, each CREEKER middle school alumnus has left his/her name in writing on a bandana, and each one has also left an imprint in my memory, creating an integral part of my joyful journey as a middle school educator. GVOLC DEFINETLY IS ONE OF THOSE SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES AND MEMORIES FOR MY STUDENTS.
Bruce E. Crossman
Head of Middle School
Indian Creek School
October 24, 2014
Dear Jane and Genesee family,
Thank you for helping form very special memories for our family and friends. There are other places that provide challenges and adventure, but Genesee Valley has the uniquely talented staff that transforms a physical experience to an emotional and spiritual one. Whether its been a day focused on communication and team work for couples, a teenager overcoming personal limitations, a 40th Birthday Party, cub scout event, or the nature-filled wonder of summer camp for our children.....you've got the right formula, and feel fortunate that we have you close by.
As our children grow older and can easily be drawn into their electronic devices, a week or two at Genesee awakens their love for nature and adventure. Additionally, I am so amazed at how the staff can facilitate in way that turns a challenge or team game into an introspective experience which helps kids and adults learn more about themselves, practice empathy, and gain confidence.
Genesee is a gem, and I wish everyone the opportunity to experience one or several of its programs.