Fern & Feather Summer Camp—LIT Spotlight
John F. Kennedy believed that “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
At Fern and Feather Natural History Day Camp, we provide opportunities for both. With mentoring by seasoned staff and an opportunity to work with young adult counselors, our Leader in Training (LIT) program invites 14-16 year olds to take a special role at camp. The LIT program provides a chance to assist counselors in planning and teaching lessons, encourages personal skill development, builds confidence, and provides workplace experience.
Each summer, up to 16 youth apply for and are accepted into Fern and Feather’s LIT program. Longtime camper turned LIT Maeve McGuire participated in the program last summer. Maeve was given the chance to reflect on how Fern and Feather has impacted her life, as well as what she has learned from her experience.
Maeve grew up spending her summers on the island, and shared that “her earliest memories on the island were when I would go on beach walks in search of hermit crabs, and remembered how the sand felt under my feet.” Fern and Feather played into her appreciation of nature, “teaching me how to appreciate my surroundings and take the time to notice the details found in nature.”
During her experience as a camper, Maeve learned how to be more conservation minded and why natural areas like Felix Neck should be protected. “Places such as Felix Neck are important to have because they can help people make connections to nature," she explains. She also feels that it is important for the future of animals as well, especially animals like the barn owl and ospreys which depend on the habitat these places provide.
We are proud to be part of these young people’s journey and it is a gift to watch them come up through the camp program from curious 4-year olds to capable high-schoolers. It reminds us of our responsibility to bring up the next generation of conservationists articulated by former CEO Jack Welch: “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”