What does it mean to leave a lasting legacy? That’s the question answered by Marla Hollis, Camper Care Specialist for WinShape Camps for Girls at Cohutta Springs. In this blog post, we explore camper programming, the development of Cohutta Springs as a camp, and how the idea of legacy is woven through the fabric of everything that happens at camp.
The concept of a legacy is one so integral to the concept of camp at Cohutta Springs, that it has been woven into every aspect of camp – even the camp’s terminology. But the definition of a legacy, as Marla defines it, is not what you might expect.
“A lot of seemingly small and insignificant moments that are threaded together,” explains Marla, are what make up a legacy. “It allows us to connect to one another to make a lasting impact.”
The intentional spirit behind this definition of the word “legacy” can be seen reflected in nearly every aspect of camp at Cohutta Springs. In fact, the term “legacy” is the word used to refer to the age-specific groups to which each camper is assigned upon arrival at camp.
The four legacies — oak, willow, maple, and spruce — are lifelong groupings to which campers belong each summer. Campers are able to function as a cohort with others in their legacy, and move through the process of camp together summer after summer.
Marla explains that these legacies create an invaluable community for the girls because, “they’ll always have a community to come back to.” She further tells that, “every year they can return and know that they have a specific place that they belong to — that they’re accepted in.”
Fostering lifelong community is one of the three foundational pillars of camp at Cohutta Springs. Community, Leadership, and Spiritual Development are the undercurrent that define every element of camp at Cohutta Springs.
In her interview, Marla tells that these three pillars were chosen based on conversations with camp-aged girls who expressed a need for these components.
“We began by asking them, ‘what are the big questions on your mind? What are you struggling with?’”
And their responses boiled down to three major questions:
- Do I matter? Am I significant?
- Do I belong? Where do I fit in? Am I accepted?
- Who am I? What is my identity?
“From there, the camp-wide programming was formed. And this birthed the three pillars to which all camp was created.”
Between leadership breakouts, small group devotions, worship led by world-renowned speakers, and other unique programming, campers are given the opportunity to grow in each of these three areas.
“It’s real for these campers,” says Marla when talking about the functionality of the skills the campers learn. “We aren’t just talking about hypothetical fears or hypothetical situations or hypothetical barriers that are holding these campers back from living this abundant life or moving forward in the Lord. We are talking about real things. And these campers get these unique tools from a place that they can feel fully seen, fully loved, fully known, and they get help practicing that so when they go home, they can immediately apply it.”
Because every minute of camp has been carefully crafted to foster this legacy-building, campers are able to define and develop who they are in the present and who they hope to become.
“Each step that we take and each decision that we make is contributing to those little special moments that are building up, that are threading together, that are connecting with the people around you. That’s what legacy is all about.”
There’s still space available in 2019! Learn more here. Registration for camp at Cohutta Springs opens September 4, 2020! Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to invest in your camper’s legacy.