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Kupugani’s Version of Challenge by Choice

crate-stacking-camp-activityAt Kupugani, our child development philosophy is based in large part on the concept of “Challenge by Choice,” meaning that campers participate voluntarily in various activities and challenges of our team building program and other aspects of camp life. A camper may choose to sit out an activity, with that right respected by other campers and counselors. An integral tenet of our camp community respects the individual’s right to choose with regard to the degree of participation in any activity. Campers are empowered by taking personal responsibility for their choices; indeed, sometimes a camper can grow more by occasionally refusing to participate, rather than unthinkingly or resentfully feeling forced to participate.

That said, at the same time, a core Kupugani principle is to empower oneself by challenging oneself to stretch and grow. We generally encourage and support active engagement and giving 100% effort. So, where a skilled, experienced counselor-facilitator knows the participant well, that facilitator may make the intentional child development choice to facilitate an activity to entice the camper to participate.

A key goal of each camp session is for campers to accomplish something (could be physical, psychological, emotional, or psychosocial) that the camper wouldn’t have thought they could do before camp. By overcoming that challenge, the camper gets that gleam in their eyes, having learned firsthand that they can do what previously might have seemed impossible to them. We’re also sure to have campers approach those “impossible” situations incrementally; instead of being overwhelmed, they can experience success in stages and build themselves progressively.

“My kids won’t stop talking about all the cool things they did, the friends they made, and how badly they want to return next year to Camp Kupugani.”


“Our kids have been growing, learning, and enjoying themselves at Camp Kupugani since 2007. The dedicated and diverse leadership and staff provide a safe, encouraging, well-rounded, and valuable experience for campers. Campers learn from and with each other how to value differences, create meaningful connections and thrive.”


“This camp is amazing and exceeded my expectations. I went for a Mother / Daughter Weekend to reconnect with my daughter and we did that for sure. Thank you Camp Kupugani! My daughter loved it so much we immediately signed up for the 2-week girls-only session for the following summer.”


I love camp because it is a safe place to be myself without being criticized for it.”



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