Earlier, I shared some stories from Susie Ma’am’s Friendship Games.  Today, I want to tell you a little about Man Cave.


Man Cave is the mirror image of Friendship Circle, except the boy cabins meet with me rather than the girls who meet with Susie Ma’am.

OK, I do not admit to the boys that they are the same. I attempt to differentiate the two experiences. 

In Friendship Circles, the girls sit on blankets, enjoy drinks and snacks and chit-chat.

I explain to the boys that Man Cave is ENTIRELY different. 

We do not sit on blankets.  We sit on animal skins that are cleverly disguised as blankets. I point to a tie-dyed blanket and explain that that skin was from the tye-dyed wildebeest of lower Tanzania,

We do not have drinks.  We enjoy beverages.

No treats for us.  We have munchies.

We do not chit-chat.  We talk (this must be said with a resonant and low voice).

As you can see – Man Cave is nothing like Friendship Games.

Actually, we do have one difference. In Man Cave, we give each camper a kit from Lego Education and ask them to build a model.  For the youngest campers, I ask them to build of model of their favorite part of camp or what a good friend looks like.  For the older boys, I ask them to build a model of an ideal cabin that works well together. It’s free-form, creative play; I give them no other rules.

You get some interesting responses.

Our youngest campers (age 6) are much more interested in making a fun model than creating a representation of anything related to camp.  When asked to build a model of “their favorite part of camp”, one created a boat (so far so good) with skeletons and bombs and prisoners and time machines (at this point, I think we are no longer at Camp).  But they are having so much fun, I cannot discourage them.

The 7th grade boys, however, impressed me today.  The picture I include with this blog is a model from a 13 year old boy camper. 


He said that a great cabin embraces the 4 R’s. In the bottom left corner, he created a representation of the Pirate Ship to symbolize “taking Reasonable Risks”. The lower right is one camper helping another by “Reaching Out”.  Above that is a camper helping take care of a plant to represent “Respect” for nature. Obscured is a camper cleaning a cabin to show “Responsibility”.  In the middle of it all is a structure with a crown in it.  “The crown is empty because a great cabin has no one leader. Instead, each of us has different skills, so each of us will need to lead during different challenges.”

That, my friends, is some fancy Lego work! I sometimes feel like we learn more from them than the other way around. So know that whether your child brings friends to camp or comes on their own, they are surrounded by supportive new cabinmates dedicated to being a welcoming and fun-loving team.


Steve Sir


Want more like this? See: http://blog.campchampions.com/friendship-circle-man-cave-and-mommy-mode