Reading is FUNdamental

Remember that phrase? Kinda corny, but with a profound message for us Birch Rockers. Lots of boys need lots of encouragement to dive into reading. Sometimes it’s hard for them to settle down, curl up with a good book, and see that other boys are doing the same thing.

At Birch Rock, reading is a part of every camper’s day. Each cabin counselor creates a reading-is-fun atmosphere, sometimes by reading out loud to the younger boys, and always by modeling reading during quiet periods. Young campers put their books on their pillows after making their beds, to show what they’re reading and to encourage discussions about their choices.

Birch Rock’s beloved library is a huge part of our reading culture. It’s well-stocked, a great place to relax, and extremely popular. The strong message we convey is that reading is as enjoyable as any other activity we offer, and that boys and men are avid readers. Sounds simple, but we know it’s not in our digital, distraction-filled world.

The Pew Research Center reported recently that nearly 25% of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. The number of non-book-readers has tripled since 1978.

As New York Times columnist Charles Blow put it: “Reading texts is not the same as reading a text. There is no intellectual equivalent to allowing oneself the time and space to get lost in another person’s mind, because in doing so we find ourselves.”

A camper finding himself is what Birch Rock has been all about since 1926. Picture your son on his cabin bunk, with an engrossing book in his hands…

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