Since the beginning of time, one of the best parts about the Chippewa program has been that campers and staff alike make friends of all ages. Be it in activities, Tan & White, or during rest hour at teather ball, campers are constantly getting to know Chippies from all different age groups. We feel very strongly that having a tight knit camp community is an essential piece of the Chippewa experience, and forming relationships with campers and staff outside of your cabin is a part of that. One of the ways we ensure this happens right at the start of each camper’s Chippewa tenure is through our Big and Little Sister program.
Historically at Chippewa, this is a program that has provided comfort, a feeling of belonging, and a trusted older friend to turn to for our younger campers. For our older campers, it has offered an opportunity to take a younger camper under her wing, pay forward the love she received when she was new to the Chippewa experience, and provided a way to exercise her leadership throughout the summer.
During a traditional summer, we pair older and younger campers together (as big and little sisters, respectively), provide them opportunities to get to know one another, and have a Big and Little Sister Night during which they compete against other big and little sister pairs. We often find that these pairings blossom into genuine and long-lasting friendships as the Big Sister helps the Little Sister through her transition into camp life. It is a loved tradition here at camp that is a driving force behind the deep feeling of family in our community, and our hope is that a remote version of this program throughout the summer of 2020 will foster some of the same types of meaningful relationships between older and younger campers.
Thus far, we have heard from both big and little sisters that the 2020 remote Big and Little Sister program is off to a great start. Big sisters reached out to their little sisters to introduce themselves- some in very creative ways! Those who live close to each other have had the chance to meet for ice cream, walk to the beach and hang out in the backyard. Others hung out on Zoom, got to know each other and still formed those important big and little sister connections.
We are looking forward to hearing more stories and seeing more pictures as the summer progresses- and stay tuned for more big and little sister programming to come!