1) Kingswood knows the value of down time.
Many of the boys who attend Kingswood live very busy lives. Despite their parents’ best intentions, many Kingswood boys have little or no down time during the school year. The few hours between the end of school and bedtime are absorbed by hours of homework, after school sports, and other practices and commitments. What little free time boys have is often spent in front of a screen. Kingswood presents a different reality. At Kingswood, we recognize that boys need down time and free time. Every day after lunch campers have rest hour. This is a great time to read a book, write a letter, or play cards and board games with cabin mates.
Campers also have free time at Kingswood. This is known as B-Block, which runs from 4:30 – 6:00 in the afternoon everyday. We believe it is important that children be given an opportunity to play on their own, under the watchful eye of adults. This provides children an opportunity to create their own games, make up their own rules, and learn how to modify those rules so that the game is fair and fun. B-Block is best compared with children playing in the back yard; the adults aren’t dictating the decisions, but they are monitoring the actions from the kitchen window, always ready to intervene if necessary.
3) Kingswood lets boys move from one activity to another.
Most evenings at Kingswood are “B-Block on steroids,” as counselors sponsor activities they feel like doing themselves. If anything, boys flock from one sponsorship to the next, and often back to the first one – to be certain not to miss any of the fun.
In school, students are asked to sit still and listen for big chunks of time. This is an important skill, but we know that many boys love –and need – to move. As educators, we know how to avoid long-winded sermons and recognize that boys basically want to stay busy.
Students often have little input in their school scheduling. At Kingswood the campers are empowered. Boys choose their morning clinics each week and their afternoon and evening choices every day. This freedom of choice creates another difference from school – campers constantly find themselves engaging with different boys and counselors. Furthermore, these groups are often mixed-age, so campers get to interact and know nearly everyone in the Kingswood community.
6) Kingswood lets kids play in the mud.
Schools and counties are quick to cancel games because of wet fields or a rainy forecast. At Kingswood we say: Game on! Our fields have ten months to recover; so let’s not miss the chance to make a diving catch in the football tournament!