By Jen Mounday
IEA’s pioneering Yunasa and Yunasa West summer camps unite highly able youngsters and experts in the social and emotional development of gifted children. Campers explore and grow the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical aspects of their lives.
2012 saw another memorable year of Yunasa in Flint, Michigan. Campers arrived on Sunday, July 22, at Camp Copneconic with great anticipation for the week to come and left mid-morning on July 29 elated from a week of flourishing at camp. Yunasa is more than your average summer camp—it’s a week-long exploration of one’s intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical self. The week was a success on all levels, as campers took away valuable life lessons, deeper bonds with peers, and unforgettable memories.
A high ropes course, offered as one of the many camper options, tested campers’ physical and risk taking abilities.
A camper tests her balance on the high ropes course
Psychosynthesis sessions were led by our Fellows, experts in the growth and development of gifted youth, each morning. Campers practiced guided visualization and relaxation techniques. Many campers said that Psychosynthesis was their favorite part of the day.
IEA Senior Fellow Patricia Gatto-Walden leads a small group of campers in a Psychosynthesis session
The Emerging Leaders (ELs) hosted a camp-wide talent show, including a comedy routine, musical performances, and a choreographed dance.
Campers perform at a talent show hosted by the ELs
One camp session was an ongoing Rube Goldberg project, where campers used various materials to construct a complex machine that, in the end, would perform a simple task. After much deliberation, campers opted to make a device that would put a hat on someone’s head.
Campers work to construct a Rube Goldberg machine that will place a hat on someone’s head
The Counselors in Training (CITs) put on the annual Yunasa Olympics. Physically and mentally challenging, the events included in the Olympics vary from year to year. A game of Quidditch was the highlight this year!
Campers play a game of Quidditch during the Yunasa Olympics
Bubble making stations were set up outside the conference center and available throughout the entire week. Campers enjoyed the option during down-time in the midst of an eventful camp schedule.
A camper makes large bubbles in between camp sessions
During the week, campers become a part of the Yunasa family. Many campers describe Yunasa as a time of true friendship and togetherness.
Campers walk from activity to activity arm in arm, showcasing the feeling of a Yunasa family
Throughout the week, campers were encouraged by staff and their peers. Many campers felt “at home” and inspired to be their authentic selves. There were multiple unique opportunities for personal growth. With physical activities such as horseback riding, water sports, zip lining, and ropes courses, campers were challenged to develop confidence in their athletic abilities. With the support of the Fellows and IEA staff, they also grew emotionally with one another and in self-awareness. Campers called on their spiritual abilities to connect with the world around them through activities such as Spirit Journey and Call in the Directions. Intellectually, campers enjoyed sharing with one another in an environment of acceptance and mutual understanding. Our hope is for these campers to return home with cherished Yunasa memories to share and hold onto until we meet again next year.
Thank you to Nicholas Farrell for taking these photos at camp!
For more photos from Yunasa, click on the button below. Also, be sure to check out the article about Yunasa in The Flint Journal!
What was your child’s favorite part of Yunasa this year? Please share with us in the comment section below.
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