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Mail Call! Staying Connected at Camp

Mail Call! Staying Connected at Camp

Camp is a welcoming and loving place, but there’s still no better feeling for campers than receiving mail from home! When mail call rolls around, campers eagerly await letters and emails from their family and friends. It’s everyone’s favorite time of day!

Writing letters to your campers helps boost Positive Family Communication (Asset #2). It lets them know that they are in your thoughts, that you are interested in them, and that you want to share their camp experience with them. Check out this video for more information on letter writing and some tips from our Director, Adrienne Grubb, for getting a letter back from your camper.

And while a simple letter or email goes a long way in making your camper’s day just a little bit brighter, nothing beats the excitement that comes from receiving a care package!

You can order pre-made and custom care packages online at the camp store website, Lonehollow Outfitters . Care packages can include everything from t-shirts to toys to toiletries. If you order a care package from the Lonehollow Outfitter, we will put it together and deliver it to your camper’s cabin with a handwritten note. If you would like to send your camper a care package from home, please remember to use a padded envelope. Boxes will not be accepted unless it is for a camper’s birthday.

You can also order other items online for yourself and we will mail them to you! Show up on Closing Day wearing the latest Lonehollow gear or support your camper’s crew our new Columbia PFG’s!

Stay up to date on the latest camp trends with Lonehollow Outfitters on Instagram @lonehollowoutfitters or call the Camp Store with any questions at 830-966-6609!

Meet the Lonehollow First Term Staff

Meet the Lonehollow First Term Staff

Camp Lonehollow is filled with hard-working and caring staff from all over the world. Lonehollow Guides go through extensive hiring and interview processes and background checks. Before campers arrive, they attend a extensive training. We love our staff and want you to get to know them! Click the link below to meet the wonderful First Term staff.

Meet the Staff

 

Lonehollow’s Leadership Team

Lonehollow’s Leadership Team

Every summer we hire more than 200 college-aged counselors from around the world to live in cabins, teach classes, and impact the lives of each and every camper who comes through our gates.

We believe that in order to provide support and a positive experience for campers, counselors must also receive support. To ensure the success of our staff, we assemble a Leadership Team every summer to help guide our counselors throughout the term.

The Leadership Team is made up of returning counselors (and a fair amount of former campers!) who have excelled in the cabin and in teaching activities. We take careful consideration when choosing members of the Leadership Team, placing everyone where they will be the most successful and have the best impact on both counselors and campers. Each member of the Leadership Team attends Leadership Orientation before camp, where they learn how to be genuine, engaging, and supportive leaders for their peers and for campers.

Below are descriptions of the different positions counselors can hold on the Leadership Team.

Division Directors

We assign each age division two female Division Directors and two male Division Directors who provide support for counselors and campers in the cabin. At every meal, every Rest Period, and after every Evening Program, Division Directors stop by each of the cabins in their divisions to make sure everything is running smoothly and offer support wherever necessary. Division Directors also plan and run certain Evening Programs called Division Nights that are designed with each specific age group’s interests in mind. Division Directors do not live in a cabin with campers, but they do teach activities during the day. Campers and counselors know they can go to their Division Directors for anything related to cabin life.

First Term Division Directors:

Pathfinders:

Jay Arredondo, Dylan Gorman, Hanna Nyberg, and Ramsey Williams

Scouts:

Patrick Dooley, Darragh Mangan, Megan Lee, and Christina DeForest

Adventurers/Lead Climbers/LITs:

LJ Carrillo, Brandon Johnson, Emily Mullins, and Nikki Dwyer

Department Heads

Department Heads oversee activities in our seven different departments. Almost all departments have two Department Heads who organize and order supplies for classes, ensure safety guidelines are followed, coordinate Field Day Line Ups and Qualifications, and provide support for activity counselors. During the day, Department Heads rotate throughout their departments, ensuring that classes are running smoothly and resolving any issues they may encounter. Department Heads do not teach classes in their departments, but they do live in cabins with campers.

First Term Department Heads:

Adventure:

James Alejandro and Emilie Stagoski

Arts:

Kianna Dao and Elizabeth McFarland

Global:

Alyssa Tannous and Shea Wood

Horseback:

April Baxter (Full Time Staff) and Darbi Dowell

Performing Arts:

Jackie Pace

Sports:

Mikayla Greenwood and Thomas Callaghan

Waterfront:

Clementine Berranger and Lexy Barbee

Crew Leaders

 

Crew Leaders serve as coaches, motivators, supporters and role models for the campers in each of our three crews. While they do not directly oversee other counselors, Crew Leaders are considered members of the Leadership Team because they set the example. Most Crew Leaders live in a cabin AND teach activities. They are visible to everyone and must therefore act maturely and responsibly at all times so as to set a positive example for staff and campers.

First Term Crew Leaders

Trackers:

Courtney Nordyke, Maegan Burrier, and Hyer Thomas

Mountaineers:

Christiana Kiesling, Connor Alcock, and Thomas Heathcock

Explorers:

Megan Mikaelian, Bailey Havis, and Kyle Musgrove

Lonehollow’s mission is to enrich lives, strengthen connections, and create lasting relationships with our community. Hiring great staff and providing them with the right support is the first step in helping us fulfill that mission for them and for our campers.

2018 Theme Nights

2018 Theme Nights

Theme nights are some of the best events at camp!

Every year campers and counselors come dressed to have fun, eat candy, and win the costume contest.

Last summer we saw so many great medieval, jungle safari, Beach Ball, and Glo-Ball costumes and we can’t wait to see what everyone has in store for 2018!

This summer’s themes are Shipwrecked, Oddball (A Sessions), Snowball, and TV Land (B Sessions)!!!

If you’re stumped on costume ideas, here are few for each theme!

Shipwrecked: Come as a scuba diver, a mermaid, a fish, a palm tree, a banana, or a pirate!

OddBall: This theme calls for any and all crazy costumes. Wear funny hats, pair a Hawaiian shirt with combat boots, or mix and match old Halloween costumes!

Snowball: Dress in all white or like a snowman. Just remember dress cool (no pun intended). It is still summer after all!

TV Land: We’re brining the small screen to the Lonehollow plaza! Dress up as your favorite TV character. Maybe  you want to be a Power Ranger, Spongebob, or your favorite sitcom character. You can even come as a TV news anchor!

The most important thing to remember when planning costumes for theme nights is to be creative and have fun! Who knows, maybe your camper will win the costume contest this summer!

Register For Fun: A Breakdown of Lonehollow’s Registration Process

Register For Fun: A Breakdown of Lonehollow’s Registration Process

Whether 2018 will be your camper’s first summer or fifth summer, we can bet he/she has already mapped out a schedule of activities.

With more than 60 different classes to choose from, registration can seem like a daunting process, especially if your camper is new or has never made his own schedule.

You might be wondering why Lonehollow doesn’t just assign activities by cabin; that way everyone would get a little taste of each class and would always have a friend along for the ride. But by customizing each camper’s daily schedule to fit his/her preferences, we provide campers with a sense of personal power (Asset #37) and the opportunity to own their camp experience.

Here is a breakdown of our Registration process and some tips for you and your camper to keep in mind for this summer:

The Basics

Each camper will follow a custom-built schedule based on the activities listed on his/her Activity Preference Sheet. Campers will take part in 12 different activities on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday, Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday rotation.

Our Activity Directors, Cory Foust and Courtney Nordyke, will make schedules for campers entering 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grades while campers entering 5th grade and above will make their own schedules during Registration on Opening Day.

All campers will have the opportunity to switch in and out of open classes to better reflect their idea of the perfect schedule.

Registration

On the first day of each two-week session, campers and counselors will meet in the Bike Barn for an All Camp Meeting, where counselors will introduce themselves and Cory and Courtney will walk campers through the process of registering for classes.

Campers will receive a copy of their Activity Preference Sheets and a form that lists the classes offered during each period.

Puppy Park Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 1
Sketching and Painting Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 2
Sailing (compl. 6th grade) Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 3
Water Games Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 4
Ceramics (addtl cost) Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 5
Mountain Boarding Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 6
Cooking Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 7
Table Tennis Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 8
Woodworking (add’l cost) Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 9
Horseback Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 10
Fishing Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 11
Canoeing & Kayaking Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 12
Leatherworks (add’l cost) Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 13
Photography Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 14
Tennis Clark Meg 7th Cy Falls 1 15

 

During Registration campers may only sign up for classes listed on their Activity Preference Sheets. If they want to switch into a class they did not list, they must wait until schedule changes start on the third day of camp.

Counselors will be set up at tables throughout the Bike Barn with a list of available spots in each class/class period.

When a camper signs up for a class, counselors will sign off on the camper’s sheet and cross off an open spot on their lists. Once all open spots have been filled for a certain class or class period, counselors will list the class as closed on the poster boards hanging above their tables.

Campers register in order from oldest to youngest. They will walk around the Bike Barn and create their schedules at their own pace. Both Activity Directors and cabin counselors will be available to answer questions and provide assistance.

Campers will receive a printed copy of their schedules that night.

Take Note:

Some classes are in higher demand than others. Activities such as Puppy Park, Sailing, and Rock Wall tend to fill faster than others because of smaller class sizes. Classes like Archery, Canoeing and Kayaking, Cooking, Fishing, Table Tennis, and Tennis are offered as many times as possible, but will also fill quickly due to popular demand. Campers should sign up for these classes first.

We encourage all of our campers to try new activities which means we don’t offer classes based on skill level. Campers will have the opportunity to qualify to higher levels in certain classes, but will most likely be mixed in with kids of all different abilities.

Every camper will have the opportunity to change his/her schedule starting on the third day of camp. We wait a few days to give campers a chance to try each activity before switching. Campers may choose to change their schedules for a number of reasons. Whatever the reasoning, we want the schedule to reflect the camper’s idea of a perfect day.

Any camper can sign up for Horseback if it is listed on his/her Activity Preference Sheet. It is at the discretion of our Horseback Director to assign campers to specific classes based on availability and her assessment of each camper’s skill level.

Please remember to pack boots, jeans, and a Horseback helmet if your camper lists Horseback on his/her preference sheet. Horseback helmets are different than standard biking helmets. Visit our online store to order a helmet and have it delivered to your camper’s cabin when he/she arrives.

Tips:

Review your camper’s Activity Preference Sheet with him/her before camp.

Ensure the preferences are listed in order of importance NOT alphabetically.

Encourage your campers to think about how they would like to structure their day. Maybe they want to take sports classes in the morning before it gets hot, or they’d like to group all of their waterfront classes together so they don’t have to change throughout the day.

Helmets are required for mountain biking/mountain boarding.

While campers are encouraged to register for classes with their friends, we also encourage them to branch out and try new activities, even if it means being on their own.

If your camper hopes to compete in a certain activity on Field Day, he/she must register for that class.

Campers may only participate in each class one time throughout each two-week session.

Here at Lonehollow, we are committed to the registration process and the benefits it provides to our campers. We can’t wait to see each and every camper own their incredible Lonehollow experience!

The Summer Reading Experience

The Summer Reading Experience

At Camp Lonehollow, we love reading so much that we offer it as a class!

Campers who take Summer Reading spend an hour every other day on the back porch of the Lake Lodge with a good book in hand, nestled into wooden rocking chairs warmed by the sun and surrounded by rolling green hills and the sound of water lapping at the hulls of sailboats.

They get to escape whatever worries, fears, or doubt they might be facing and immerse themselves in a story. And when the bugle blows and it’s time to switch activities, they leave class feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.

It is an experience that every camper should have at least once in their lifetime.

But with more than 60 different activities to choose from, Summer Reading doesn’t always make the cut for some campers.

In honor of National Reading Month, we’re encouraging campers and parents to create the Summer Reading Experience outside of Lonehollow by simply picking up a book (that isn’t school or work related!), finding a quiet spot, and reading for pleasure.

Research shows that reading for pleasure (Asset #25) can expand children’s vocabulary, build their independence and self-confidence, enhance their imaginations, help them make sense of the world around them, and improve their overall reading skills.

Gathering insight from our Owner, our Directors, and our senior counselor staff who work in education, we put together a list of recommended books for campers and parents. Some books are camp related and will help soothe worries, whether on your part or your camper’s. Some are meant to teach a lesson in kindness or provide parenting tips. And others simply tell a good story.

So pick a book or two (or six!), find a comfy spot, and experience the joy of Summer Reading!

 

For Campers:

“Wonder” by RJ Palacio

“In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship.” – Google Books

“The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate

“Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.” – Google Books

“Who Was?” A Series of Non-Fiction Books for Kids

“‘Who Was?’ is a series of illustrated biographies for young readers featuring significant historical figures, including artists, scientists, and world leaders.” –Penguin Random House

“The Giver” Quartet by Lois Lowry

“Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.” – GoodReads

“Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen

“After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given to him by his mother, and also learning to survive his parents’ divorce.” – Google Books

 

For Parents:

Testimonials by Meg Clark, Lonehollow’s Owner and Founder

“Whole Brain Child” by Tina Payne-Bryson

Tina Bryson teaches usable strategies to enable children to understand their emotions so they do not become fearful of trying new things. Whether learning to ride a bike, staying over at a friend’s house for the first time, or being hurt by a best friend, Bryson encourages kids to “Name it to Tame It” so they can grow through challenging experiences rather than become stunted by them.

“Homesick and Happy” by Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson pulls back the curtain on homesickness and reveals why it is a necessary part of both a child and a parent’s relationship. I loved the stories and examples he shared on the benefit of children spending time with others beyond their immediate family.

“How Children Succeed” by Paul Tough

Paul Tough’s book looks at the early development of a child while exploring grit and resilience. How Children Succeed really speaks to Lonehollow’s core values of GEAR: growth, empowerment, adventure and resilience.

 

For Campers and Parents:

“What to Do When…” Series by Dawn Huebner, PhD

“Described as ‘must have’ resources for parents, teachers, and therapists, and approaching the 1 million mark in sales, [Huebner’s] books engage children in the process of learning practical skills they can put to immediate use. Lively, encouraging, and easy to follow, Dr. Huebner’s books motivate children to think and act in new ways, empowering them to work toward change.” – www.dawnhuebnerphd.com

“Off to Camp” by Myra Pravada and Jeanne Weiland

“OFF TO CAMP introduces children to overnight camp. Samantha decides to go to camp. Which one will she choose? What should she bring? Not knowing anyone going to camp, she is surprised when she makes a new friend on the first day and gets a nickname! Camp counselors, camp activities, camp food, camp songs, and camp feelings are all new to Samantha. She has never been away from home before. Discover what camp is all about.” – Google Books

Invested in Camp: How Parents Can Help Campers Own Their Experience

Invested in Camp: How Parents Can Help Campers Own Their Experience

When Tricia and Josh Northam first sent their daughter Avery to camp, they had no idea what to expect.

The young parents from Dallas assumed their oldest child would come home with some new friends, a Chaco tan, and maybe a funny story or two.

But when they picked up Avery from Lonehollow in 2014, the Northams realized they had gotten more than they bargained for.

“She was super confident and she was only there for a week,” Tricia said. “We picked her up and she was a totally different kid in a good way. Camp just empowered her so much.”

Avery Northam, second from the left, arriving at camp in 2017.

As they registered Avery for her second summer, Josh and Tricia agreed to give their daughter some ownership over her camp experience. They decided that if Avery wanted to return to Lonehollow she would have to pay for 10 percent of the cost. The total came out to around $300, which seemed reasonable to the Northams, but was still a significant amount of money for a then-eight-year-old.

“Josh and I worked for what we have now,” Tricia said. “We didn’t grow up with these opportunities, and we wanted Avery to be as invested in camp as we are. To do that she had to understand that, yes it’s fun, but it’s also expensive.”

Based on results from the 9th Annual T. Rowe Price Parents, Kids and Money Survey, 69 percent of parents have some reluctance to discussing financial matters with their children; however, kids who do talk to their parents about finances are more likely to say they feel smart about money.  Additionally, kids whose parents allow them to decide how to manage their money are less likely to spend it as soon as they get it.

Avery, now 11 years old, was on board with the idea from the get-go, due in part to how much she loved camp. Every year since her first summer she has worked hard throughout the school year, putting away her allowance, her Christmas and birthday gifts, and anything she earns by doing extra chores in order to save enough money to return to Lonehollow in the summer.

Every year she has been successful.

In 2017, the Northams sent their youngest daughter, Alex, to Lonehollow for the first time. When she returned home at the end of her two-weeks, Josh and Tricia told her that she would also be responsible for 10 percent of her camp tuition if she wanted to return in 2018.

Alex agreed and now both girls are in the process of saving their money for camp.

“We’ve obviously had to coach them along the way, but they caught on pretty quick,” Tricia said. “Avery has a lot of pride in it. It’s a big deal for her, but it has taken a lot more effort with Alex. She immediately looks at money and wants to go spend it.”

This impulse to spend is understandable, seeing as Alex is only eight years old and is going through the process for the first time. According to an article in Parents Magazine, children start to understand the value of money as young as age 2, but cannot grasp the concept of saving until at least age 6.

But Alex is on the right path. She knows that going to camp means she and Avery have to “save up and make some hard choices for things we want and don’t want, like stuffed animals and candy.”

According to Tricia, she and Josh haven’t actually figured out what they’ll do in the event that Alex comes up short of her 10 percent. “Getting her over the perception that someone is going to bail her out is important to us,” Tricia said. “We’re obviously still going to send her to camp, but we’ll figure out some kind of currency. She’ll probably have to give up a stuffed animal.”

Come June, as they prepare for their second and fifth summers respectively, Alex and Avery will give the money they’ve saved to their parents, who in turn will tell the girls that they will send it to Lonehollow. Having already paid for camp, the Northams will then put the money back into the girls’ saving accounts.

“We are happy to provide for them, but they need to understand where it comes from,” Tricia said. “Nowhere else in their lives do they learn how to be responsible with their money. Our goal is to make them understand that you have to work for what you want.”

ACA’s Youth Impact Study

ACA’s Youth Impact Study

The American Camp Association is currently in the process of conducting a 5-year research project on the long-term impact of summer camps on children.

Read on for information and findings on the Exploratory Phase of their study or click here to view the article on the ACA website.

“The purpose of the Exploratory Phase, or Phase 1 of the Impact Study, was to identify distinct and transferable outcomes of the camp experience among emerging adults who attended camp as a child. Specifically, the research team explored the outcomes of camp that are distinct from other developmental contexts, such as school and sports, how camp participants use those outcomes to navigate work and school, and what happened at camp to facilitate outcome development.

Informed by these themes, the research team is now building a survey to determine the most distinct and transferable outcomes of camp and the camp mechanisms that promote these outcomes among emerging adults who attended camp as a child.  Approximately 250 first-year staff will complete this survey as a part of the Mapping Phase (Phase 2 of the Impact Study) starting in January 2018.

Emerging Themes

The following represent themes from the interviews conducted in the Exploratory Phase (Phase 1 of the Impact Study).  Because of the exploratory nature of this phase, it is important to consider these findings as emergent rather than conclusive or generalizable across all campers or all camp experiences.

  1. Camp appears to be a key context for developing relationship skills.  This is consistent with past research on camp, but Phase 1 findings suggest that the relationship skills young people gain at camp might play a role beyond the camp experience.
  2. As a context for developing relationship skills, preliminary findings suggest that camp is an integral part of a young person’s overall learning, alongside school and other educational contexts.
  3. Camp is a unique learning experience that appears to promote skills transferable to 21st century school and work contexts.
  4. Preliminary findings suggest that camp is a safe place for young people to explore who they are and how they want to be viewed by others.
  5. Camp gives campers the opportunity to practice being around and appreciating people with attitudes, values, and abilities different from their own.
  6. Phase 1 themes suggest that ACA accredited camps promote camper outcomes through robust programmatic structures and processes distinct from other youth development experiences.  These include:
    1. Prioritizing experiential learning in structured activities and during unstructured time;
    2. Meaningful interactions with caring, compassionate staff who serve as teachers and facilitators, and possibly near-peer role models;
    3. Small group experiences;
    4. Among overnight camps, communal living that is away from home.

 

 

Methods

Researchers at the University of Utah recruited participants from 22 camps selected randomly from the pool of ACA accredited camps.  These camps included day and overnight camps, camps of different affiliations and for- or not-for-profit status, camps serving specific camper populations, and camps in from of ACA’ major regions.

Sixty-four first-year staff who attended camp as a child (any camp, not necessarily the camp for which they were employed) from the 22 ACA accredited camps participated in 20 to 30 minute interviews with members of the research team.  In each interview, participants reflected on their childhood camp experiences, how they are using what they learned at camp in school and work, and what at camp helped facilitate these outcomes.”

Empowered Girls Empower Girls: How Summer Camp Can Build Resilience in your Daughter

Empowered Girls Empower Girls: How Summer Camp Can Build Resilience in your Daughter

Lonehollow’s four core values of growth, empowerment, adventure, and resilience are the driving force behind everything we do. We want every camper who comes through our gates to walk away feeling stronger, more empowered, and ready to conquer any challenge she may face.

And research shows that we might be on to something.

In a recent study published in Camping Magazine Anja Whittington and Jeffrey Aspelmeier surveyed 476 adolescent girls from six different residential camps to study the effects of the summer camp experience on girls’ resilience (one of our core values!)

Below is a sample item of the scale the authors used.

The results of the study indicated that girls who attend summer camp reported increased resilience after their participation.

Whittington and Aspelmeier measure resilience on a set of three subscales: approach to challenge, self efficacy, and relationship building.

Approach to challengethe degree to which girls view challenge positively, respond positively to stressful situations, feel brave and courageous, show persistence, and are flexible when problem solving

Girls navigate unforeseen challenges every day outside of camp.

And while these experiences do allow them to unconsciously develop a stronger approach to challenge, at Lonehollow, our methods are more intentional.

We not only guide campers in approaching and overcoming specific challenges, such as qualifying in classes or winning the Crew Banner, but also allow them to challenge themselves and provide them with a level of support only attainable at camp.

On the first day of each session, every camper completes a Goal Card. Campers list the goals they hope to achieve while at Lonehollow and counselors work hand-in-hand with them, encouraging and assisting as needed to give the girls (and boys!) the best possible chance at accomplishing their goals. (This also builds Asset #21: Achievement Motivation!)

In Whittington and Aspelmeier’s study, the authors state that girls ages 14-17 reported the most improvement in their approach to challenge between the start and end of camp.

We often refer to girls in that age range as Silo Girls, since most of them live in cabins calld the Silos. We choose counselors for the Silos based specifically on their ability to relate to the older girls and serve as mentors for them. These counselors are able to provide the girls with the perfect amount of support and encouragement to not only improve their approach to challenge, but also to boost their self-esteem.

Self-efficacy – the degree to which girls believe they are capable and feel they have the ability and motivation to complete tasks and reach goals

We encourage our campers to own their experience at Lonehollow. By allowing them the freedom to create their own activity schedules, based on their individual interests and abilities, we provide the girls with a level of reassurance that their days will be filled with fun and not with fear.

But we also provide them with a safe space; a space to face their fears, to learn new skills, and to make new mistakes in the process. From riding a horse for the first time to landing a new trick in mountain boarding, Lonehollow campers across the board conquer their fears with the help and encouragement of their counselors, and leave camp believing in themselves and feeling confident.

Relationship Building – the degree to which girls form positive relationships with others, successfully negotiate conflicts in relationships, and feel comfortable with and supported by other girls 

Lonehollow is in the business of building. Whether building assets, building confidence, or building relationships, one of our goals is for every camper to make lifelong friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

Whittington and Aspelmeier argue, however, that “simply bringing girls together does not promote relationship building, and intentional strategies must be incorporated to improve girls’ relationships.”

Lonehollow’s programming provides campers with ample opportunities to build relationships with their cabin mates, including mealtimes, age-specific Value Sessions centered on building assets, and Evening Programs such as Cabin Night and the 8th Grade Campout. It is our counselors, however, who ensure that the girls take advantage of these opportunities.

We train our counselors to be intentional in their actions and to guide campers in bonding with each other, especially during the first few days of each session. Counselors work hard to find commonalities between the girls and create a friendly and inclusive environment in the cabin. By the end of each two-week session, a unique and dynamic culture has been created in each cabin, where the laughter is contagious, the memories are priceless, and the friendships are for life.

Girls can (and will!) face challenges, learn new skills, conquer their fears, and make friendships in their everyday lives, but camp is unique in its capacity for internal growth. Based on our research, our experience, and our core values, we know that a summer spent at Lonehollow, under the influence of our amazing counselor staff, will improve campers’ approach to challenge, self-efficacy, and relationship building skills for good.

12 Ways to Make the Most of Winter Break

12 Ways to Make the Most of Winter Break

It’s the most wonderful (and possibly the most stressful?) time of the year! You’ve got a million errands to run, your Amazon package still hasn’t shipped, and your kids are about to come home for two weeks.

We know how crazy the holiday season can get, which why we’ve come up with 12 easy ways for you and your family to enjoy your time together and get the most out of winter break while building some assets along the way!

1. GET OUTSIDE

Without school and recess to burn up some of their energy, your campers might be bouncing off the walls by their third day freedom. Get them outside by doing something fun like running a silly 5k! Sign up for one with a theme the whole family can get behind and build up Asset #1: Family Support! Just like on Theme Night, the best costumes are usually simple and homemade!

If a 5k seems too ambitious (don’t worry we get it) there are always simpler options! Getting your family out of the house can be as easy as bundling up and taking a walk around the neighbor to look at Christmas lights!

2. VOLUNTEER AT A SHELTER

If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, take an opportunity to work on Asset #9: Service to Others and volunteer at a local shelter with your campers. It’s the season of giving so why not give back to the community?

3. MAKE WINTER CARE PACKAGES

Even in Texas the temperatures can drop pretty low this time of year. And if you’re one of our families in a state that actually experiences winter, you don’t need us to tell you how cold it gets!

Use the extra time your campers have on their hands to work on Asset #26: Caring by putting together winter care packages for the homeless. Care packages can be as simple as a Ziploc bag filled with tissues, snacks, lip balm, and a pair of gloves. Click here for more inspiration! https://www.pinterest.com/explore/homeless-care-package/?lp=true

4. START A BOOK CLUB WITH FRIENDS

Encourage your camper to start a book club this winter break as a way to catch up on the latest fantasy series and strengthen Asset #25: Reading for Pleasure. She and a few friends can agree on a book at the beginning of the break then meet up before school starts to discuss over snacks and hot cocoa.

5. GO ON A NEIGHBORHOOD SCAVENGER HUNT

Gather your neighborhood kids and your fellow parents for a scavenger hunt to build up Asset #4: Caring Neighborhood. Split the kids into teams and send them on a mission around the block to find heart-shaped rocks and something orange. Winners get bragging rights for the rest of the year!

6. MAKE A TIME CAPSULE

With the New Year just around the corner it’s the perfect time put the past behind you and start thinking about the future. Gather your family and tell everyone to write their individual goals for 2018, and then write a few as a family.

Once you’ve established your goals, you can decorate a shoebox and place the goals in the box along with one item from each family member that represents 2017 (a stuffed animal, a picture, a college acceptance letter). Seal the box and store it in the back of your closet with a pact to open it at the end of 2018! This is a great way to reinforce Asset #40: Positive View of Personal Future in your camper!

7. MAKE S’MORES

Channel your inner Lonehollow and let the countdown to camp begin by roasting marshmallows over the stove for a warm and gooey s’mores that are sure to bring back some memories!

S’mores aren’t your only option in the kitchen! Switch it up a little by letting your kids choose something to bake or buy some handy place-and-bake cookie dough for a quick treat. Your kids will love spending time with you (and you’ll support Asset #20: Time at Home) no matter what they’re eating.

8. HOST A GAME NIGHT

Give your kids a project this winter break by encouraging them to host a game night for their friends. Allow your camper to handle all of the details such as the invite list, the snack menu, and the lineup of games. This will take the pressure off of you AND build on Asset #32: Planning and Decision Making.

9. DE-CLUTTER AND DONATE

With Santa on his way to deliver even more toys to your playroom, now is the perfect time for some early spring cleaning. Sit down with you camper and choose a few toys (or even just one) to donate. Take your camper with you when you drop off the items so he can see the positive effects of his actions and to bolster Asset #33: Interpersonal Competence.

10. BUILD A FORT

What better way to boost Asset #2: Positive Family Communication and get you kids up and moving than to build a fort to protect the living room against advancing enemy forces? Once you’ve finished you can lean against the (blanket) walls and enjoy a movie together from the safety of your fort.

11. PUT ON A SHOW

Who needs the Nutcracker? Encourage your campers to spend some time this winter break creating their own show! They can be the stars or they can make it a puppet show! (Click here http://www.kizclub.com/craft/fingerpuppets/fingerpuppet1.pdf to download a printable finger puppet template!) This activity will promote Asset #17: Creative Activities in your campers while also giving them a project to focus their energy and attention on. Plus you’ll get the best seat in the house on opening night.

12. GO ICE SKATING

The only jackets we wear at camp are lifejackets, except when we’re skating at the ice rink under the Bike Barn. (It’s totally real. Ask your campers about it.)
Even if it’s 70 degrees outside, you can always bundle up and head to an indoor ice rink where cooler temperatures and fun are in abundance. Boost your camper’s self-esteem (Asset #38: Self-Esteem) by teaching her how to skate or allowing him to further develop his skills.