One Teenagers Summer Camp Experience

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Preyton Lambert joined the Stomping Ground community from Philadelphia PA. He attends the

Philly Free School and Preyton and His mother both latched on to the philosophy of Stomping Ground because of its similar to PFS, both grounded in a deep respect for children and a focus on autonomy and choice.

Preyton was a meaningful part of our community during the inaugural summer of Stomping Ground. He was in the oldest cabin at camp and really helped to set the tone for the whole camp.

Preyton had some powerful memories and insights to share with me on the phone. He says that overwhelmingly the new friends and new perspectives that he gained from the week have stuck with him. He made lasting friendships with many of the campers, he talks often with a few of them. He was excited because of the different perspectives and new world views that he encountered though other campers and staff. That truly genuine respect and empathy we gain for others through authentic connection is one of the tenets we had hoped to build Stomping Ground on. It was validating to hear how Preyton’s experience brought that vision into reality.

One of his favorite memories of camp was walking around with Steph our Photographer with a few of his camper crew, they were taking pictures and laughing together, growing tighter through the inside jokes and memories they were forming. It was simple, not overly programed, time that Preyton has the fondest memories of. He enjoyed the Makerspace for this specific reason. He often went to the Makerspace with some friends just to hang out and talk while they fiddled with materials, or doodled with paint, just soaking up each others company and as a result creating friendships Preyton says he thinks will last a long time.

Preyton says that what makes Stomping Ground different and unique is the inherent trust that the staff have of the campers. He says that it was refreshing to be in an environment where that trust and genuine connection trickle down to every person, helping everyone feel truly seen and heard.