Throughout the off-season, the Wildwood team has been hard at work developing a facilities master plan for camp based on our own observations and camper and family feedback. It became clear that one area of focus for us will be the expansion of our trails and pathways.
Trails at Wildwood
Our trails come in a variety of shapes and sizes and serve a number of different purposes. One of the most common pathways campers use during their time at Wildwood is the gravel road (dubbed Vining Road), which winds its way from one end of camp to the other. This path is designed to allow campers to safely and efficiently travel between activities, units, and meals. The path also serves camp vehicles which allow our Property Manager, Astro, and his team to reach all of the buildings at camp in order to keep everything in top shape.
Other trails at camp are smaller, designed only for foot travel, and provide a much closer connection to nature as groups of campers and staff travel from place to place. Some of these trails, like the infamous Fossey Trail, are special to a specific camper unit, which creates unit pride and ownership of that space at camp.
Why Trails are Important
Trails are vitally important at camp not just for transportation, but also for group building and programming. Some of the most valuable social experiences at camp happen while a group of campers and staff walk together. It is in these moments when campers from different unit might share a song or game they learned from their counselor with a new friend who they just met at the Camp Store during OATs.
These times also are often the best source of “nature moments”. A dewy morning will treat units to plenty of sightings of red efts. It’s common at Wildwood for groups to arrive at meal time with plenty of great wildlife sightings to share.
Plans for Future Trails
Songs, nature moments, games, and all of the other great forms of community building are what we wish to highlight with the revamped trail system. In the new plan, campers will be able to spend more time on trails specifically designed for foot travel. Gone will be the days of groups yielding to vehicles as they walk to a meal. Instead, groups will be engaged with the natural environment and each other.
The new trail system will also feature additional resources for programming, through the use of interpretation stations. These small covered structures will allow groups to stop in a comfortable place to take a closer look at what they have discovered. These stations and their associated trails will make use of natural features like streams.
We will be revealing more information about the development of the Wildwood Facilities Master Plan over the next few months. Subscribe to this blog and the Wildwood e-news for more updates. If you are a Wildwood Alum who hasn’t yet visited the current property, contact us to set up a visit. Camp is starting in just a few short weeks, and we can’t wait for this summer’s campers to arrive at the end of June!