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HomeOur ProgramMain CampOCP (ages 14-16+)

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The Older Camper Program offers teens the opportunity to participate in a "kicked up" version of the Navigators program, while experiencing greater choice, more privileges, and a more relaxed structure in their daily program.

While enjoying the outdoors and still receiving the individualized 1:1 support Camp Starfish is known for, teens in the OCP build the independence, social competencies and coping skills that they will need to successfully navigate their upper school years. Teens who enjoy the camaraderie of making friends, spending time with staff, and in general participating in “camp life” will benefit from the enhanced privileges and freedom of OCP, provided that they can show daily effort in the areas of maturity, decision-making, safety, and respectfulness towards themselves, other campers, and staff. Choosing activities that appeal to them in the moment, earning extra privileges such as later bedtime or flashlights after lights out, having access to their headphones and music during downtime, as well as the ability to pursue individual areas of enrichment are all part of the OCP curriculum.

Many of the Navigators program elements very intentionally carry over into OCP. Teens continue to choose their activities from 3-day bundles, have a daily instructional swim lesson (until they reach a basic stroke and water safety proficiency level, at which time they may opt out of lessons or choose to continue expanding their skills), participate in the daily elective, twice-daily Free Plays, cabin cleanup, and daily goals meetings. They continue to earn Tags in program areas and enjoy special activities and all-camp programs.

All OCP teens also participate daily in the OCP Chat, a discussion- and project-based activity that focuses on issues in their lives such as safe choices, how to figure out if someone is being a good friend, peer pressure, navigating drama, social appropriateness and similar topics. By participating in Chat and following the OCP expectations, teens move through the OCP Levels, earning additional responsibilities and privileges. Participation in the daily Chat and an ability to follow the basic Starfish expectations for safety are required for campers to maintain Level status and therefore earn the privileges that come along with OCP, such as 100% choice in activities and having access to their music players in the cabin during designated times. 

Throughout the session, staff help teens navigate the co-ed social experience safely and appropriately while maintaining a focus on personal growth.  Staff-led nightly cabin meetings also focus on the specific needs and interests of teenagers at this confusing and socially complex age - this time in a single-gender environment. All OCP teens earn privileges based on a level system - the more they participate, show an effort towards maturity, and focus on their Tools and Keys, the more privileges they earn. 

Younger teens who are chronologically old enough for OCP, but for whom the Chat is not a component of interest in their summer program, or who are not ready for the more "teen focused" discussion topics and general camp life, should consider additional time in the Navigators program. Please speak directly with our team if you are not sure whether your teen should participate in Navigators for another year! 

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