Camp Twigs: New Name, Same Great Camp

2023 is a year of exciting changes at Leadership Academy. You may have noticed the integration of ‘Twigs’ into the name of our 2022 nature camps, Camp Twigs. This name is special to us at Leadership Academy, and I hope the meaning catches on and becomes important to you too! 


‘Twigs’ has several meanings. It symbolizes Leadership Academy’s deep connection to local forests. Twigs are also gifts from the forest: they are props in nature play and games, and are key in successful fire building. When brought together, a bundle of twigs can create something meaningful and great, much like how our teamwork at camp can help us do things we never have before! 


More personally, ‘Twigs’ has also been my camp name since my first summer at camp in 1997. Unlike given names, camp names are chosen to represent something special about you. My special trait has always been connecting people together in nature. I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend most of my life working at camp, connecting with children and nature and the amazing people who work at camps. My love of the outdoors stems from years growing up with the freedom to explore. I grew up with a big backyard that included a hearty garden, giant sandbox, a creek, a big wooded hill, and a prairie grass field. Alongside my brother and neighborhood pals, I spent summers exploring, building forts, and going on epic creek walks. This playtime was so purposeful in instilling a love and appreciation for nature and a true sense of belonging in the outdoors. 


Working at summer camp and building opportunities for friendship and bonding outdoors has been a natural progression from those childhood adventures. I truly feel like I have found my people and answered my calling. When I think back to my childhood, I think that it is an opportunity that all kids should have: developing a sense of wonder and appreciation for the outdoors. This is the ethos that led to the founding of Leadership Academy, with our first camp in Bellevue in 2014, Camp Warner Park. As we grow more camps from Leadership Academy, particularly with specialized activities, such as Mountain Bike Camp and Nashville Sailing Camp, we wanted to highlight the connective canopy of all our nature day camps by calling them all Camp Twigs. As CEO of Leadership Academy, I do find I am called “Laura,”  more often around camp, in the office and in my life. Now that Leadership Academy has evolved, I am happy to give the name ‘Twigs’ a new life and pass it on to my organization to represent all the nature days camps Leadership Academy has to offer and opportunity for kids to come to camp to just be kids playing outside. 


At all Camp Twigs locations, parents can count on the same caring, qualified, and trained staff and top-notch customer service and communication. All Camp Twigs locations have campers engaged in nature through collaborative and imaginative play while hiking, fort building, exploring the creek, playing camp games, creating crafts and singing songs. Although each Camp Twigs location has unique features, you can count on the same core philosophies for unstructured camp days that embolden kids with the confidence, grit, determination, and social skills as we always have at our camps. 


We can’t wait to see you at Camp Twigs in the summer of 2023! Our locations include Bells Bend and Beaman Parks in Nashville, in Bellevue at the Rau-Wood Retreat, and Sanders Ferry Park in Hendersonville.


Our mission is always to create leaders and independent children who love nature. Getting kids sweaty, muddy, and feeling stronger.


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