In my experience, you’re either a summer camp person or you’re not. My wife and I both went to summer camp, both have incredible memories of the experience and both agreed we’d send our kids to camp when they were old enough. But which one?
Of course I had some pretty strong opinions about my camp and we have friends who swear by their camps (some who’ve had their kids on waiting lists since birth!?!). My wife made the case for her camp – tucked deep in the woods on a private lake in East Texas. Around this same time I got a phone call from an old friend who was now a client. She was doing some work for the same camp and wanted me to re-design their website. Whether I liked it or not, the decision had been made – our kids were going to Camp Fern.
“Using the beautiful and serene East Texas Piney Woods as a backdrop, children learn, among other things, to appreciate and respect nature; to pursue interests they wouldn’t otherwise be able to pursue; to develop skills they never knew they had; to be strong leaders and sportsmanlike competitors; to treat others with kindness and respect; to make lasting, even lifelong friends.”
To prep myself for the project I spent some time at the camp during the off-season, met the owner (her grandparents started the camp back in 1934) and talked to dozens of ex-campers. To say these people were passionate about Camp Fern would be putting it mildly. I set out to create a website that was a true reflection of the experiences they shared with me – a website that was worthy of the camp.
I’m pretty proud of the end result. It’s a major upgrade from where they were. It’s easy for them to keep it updated and fresh. And most importantly, I think it captures the spirit of the place. My kids are now full on “Ferniacs” and judging by the ex-campers I met, will be for life.