Big Fish in a Small Pond

March 18th, 2024

Why We Are Small By Design

Camps come in all shapes and sizes and at Netop, we have always believed in a smaller camp environment. Our capacity has always been no more than 100 campers for a very simple reason – COMMUNITY!

We ask parents, campers, staff, and alumni every year what stands out for them about Netop. The word that consistently comes up is community. Creating this sense of belonging is one of the most important values at camp. 

We purposefully keep our ratios small. Each tent has 3-5 campers with 1-2 staff members. This gives our staff the ability to truly take the time to form connections with their campers. Part of the opening ceremony each summer is when counselors introduce their campers by name and where they’re from. We offer a Netop Sundae to any camper who can name everyone at camp (staff and pets included!), and we make announcements at each meal calling out the positive achievements of our campers. We want everyone to know their true worth at Netop. That is only possible in the small and inclusive environment we have created.

By the end of the first week of each session, you can’t tell who the first-year campers are because they have been included and enveloped into the Netop-fold. They know all of the traditions, they understand the camp culture, and they already have solid connections with other campers and counselors. This trickles down from the returning campers and the staff. We don’t keep secrets at Netop – we want everyone to know what is going on, why something is special, and how the Four Spokes play a part in everything we do.

Every camper has a chance to feel special at Netop and they will feel special for something that is in their wheelhouse. Our athletes will have a chance to show off their physical abilities, our gamers will use their logic skills to solve a puzzle for the Tribal Games, and our musicians will shine in our talent show. There is a moment for everyone at camp and we can’t wait to see what yours will be.

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