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.

Goodbye, Work Crew!

Goodbye, Work Crew!

For most teenagers, high school is an uphill battle. From the first day of freshman year, kids are fighting the clock to get in as many service hours, good deeds, and straight A’s as possible before their four years are up.

Every volunteer event, every good (or bad) grade, every office held in every club counts when it comes to college applications and kids are always on the lookout for any opportunity to better themselves –and impress the college admissions board in the process.

It’s exhausting trying to keep up with your kids as they rush to keep up with their classmates, but if everything counts as an opportunity for your child to grow and display his/her leadership skills, then why can’t summer camp count, too?

Back in September we revealed some BIG NEWS!

Thanks to feedback from campers and parents alike, we decided to completely revamp our 11th grade program. In addition to replacing the name “Work Crew” with “Leader-in-Training,” we shifted the focus of the program to growing and developing leadership skills in our oldest campers.

The news went over well on Instagram, where campers were all too excited to hear about the biggest change: 11th graders can now compete in crew events!

As we fill our last few open spots for summer 2018, we wanted to give you a full rundown of the LIT program and prove to you why one more summer at Lonehollow is just the thing you’ve been looking for to help boost your camper’s resume, while still giving him/her a chance to let loose and have fun!

 So what’s different?

Like we said, the biggest change to the program is the ability for 11th grade campers to participate in the full crew experience. Campers will compete in all crew events, including Field Day, and will have the opportunity to try out for Crew Canoe.

LITs cannot run for Maverick, but every camper who participates in the program will hold a leadership role within his/her crew. Throughout each two-week session, all LITs will assist in setting up Outpost, guiding and mentoring new campers, and supporting specific events on Field Day when not competing.

There are additional options available for campers who wish to hold a specific office within their crews, including spots on the Ceremony Team and the Creative Team and a Senior Maverick position. Campers interested in holding office will apply on Opening Day during Registration and Crew Leaders will appoint positions.

 Will LITs be able to participate in classes?

 Yes!

LITs will register for up to four activities of their choosing each day. The remaining activity periods will consist of a combination of camp jobs and activities that campers will assist in teaching.

Similar to our counselors, LITs will take part in a variety of asset building sessions called POSSE (Pioneering Our Successful Summer Experience). These sessions are designed specifically for LITs and will work to develop and improve campers’ leadership skills by covering topics including goal setting, getting out of your comfort zone, and applying and interviewing to be a CIT (Counselor-in-Training).

 What about community service?

LITs will participate in a community service project on Sundays during each two-week session benefitting C.A.M.P., a camp in Center Point, Texas for children and adults with disabilities. LITs will volunteer at C.A.M.P.’s Opening Day, assisting in camper check-in, leading activities, and helping parents with luggage.

LITs can also claim time spent working at camp jobs and assisting in teaching activities as community service hours. Each camper will earn at least 35 community service hours, but may also request to teach more than one class or work more than one job if they wish to accrue more hours.

Who’s in charge?

LITs will have at least one counselor dedicated to their program. LIT Leaders will serve as mentors and work closely with the group, leading POSSE, helping with scheduling, and chaperoning the trip to C.A.M.P.

Each LIT will receive an evaluation from his/her LIT Leader at the end of every two-week session based on engagement during activity periods, performance at camp jobs and in the classes where assisting, and overall attitude as an LIT. These evaluations will be critical in determining if the LIT will be invited to apply for the CIT program in the fall.

Why the change?

At Lonehollow, the goal behind everything we do is for our campers to grow in character, feel empowered, and develop resilience while finding adventure. The Leader-in-Training program is designed with these key components in mind to provide our 11th graders with a unique opportunity to enjoy their last year as campers to the fullest extent while still growing as people. In keeping with our full-circle concept, we want campers who complete the LIT program to become Lonehollow’s next generation of leaders.

If you have more questions about the LIT program, feel free to shoot us an email. We look forward to welcoming the first class of Lonehollow LITs in summer 2018!

Quality v. Quantity: How to Manage an Overflow of Extracurriculars

Quality v. Quantity: How to Manage an Overflow of Extracurriculars

“Don’t forget,” your 12-year-old yells over his shoulder as he jumps out of the car and heads toward the school building. “We have a mandatory dress rehearsal tonight. Oh and we’re hosting team dinner tomorrow. Oh and I told a few friends we could give them a ride home after school.”

You sigh as you make a mental note to add “team dinner” to your ever-growing to-do list.

Like any good parent, you want your kids to be involved! You want them to be well-rounded and active and a part of a team. But you also want them to keep their grades up, to focus on school, and to have some free time to just be kids.

We get it.

At Lonehollow, we encourage every camper to own their experience by allowing them the unique opportunity to make and follow their own daily schedules.

Keeping the full-circle concept in mind, we allow campers to take six classes per day on a rotating schedule. This gives our counselors time to teach progressing skills from beginning to end and allows campers to truly master said skills. It also prevents campers from spreading themselves too thin.

With more than 60 activity choices spread across six different departments, the options are endless and picking just 12 classes to take can prove pretty difficult for some kids.

While some campers (usually older returners) go into registration knowing exactly what classes they want to take, when they want to take them, and who they want to take them with, the process can be overwhelming and stressful for others, especially for younger campers who are making their own schedules for the first time.

Does it matter when I take Water Games?

Can I double up on Table Tennis?

I really want to take Archery, but the only open class conflicts with Flag Football.

We try to stress the importance of prioritizing to our campers, reminding them to sign up for their favorite classes first and to build their schedules around those must-haves. By allowing campers to make their own schedule (and a few mistakes along the way), we help to reinforce in each camper Asset 32: Planning and Decision Making.

But things can get a little hairy at home, where electives tend to be less elective and school and music lessons and lacrosse practice and bake sales are crawling over each other trying to get (and keep) yours and your child’s attention and energy.

Every opportunity that arises feels like one that can’t be missed, whether it’s an open call for a new play or a resume-boosting volunteer position that would put your kid ahead of the curve. And though most kids (and parents!) have the best of intentions, they oftentimes end up over scheduling themselves.

While your child may not seem too busy (He’s doing the same extracurriculars he did last year), according to KidsHealth.org, children who are too busy always show signs, whether they realize it or not.

Signs include feeling tired, anxious, or depressed, complaining of headaches and stomachaches, and falling behind on schoolwork.

So next time your 11th grader comes home with yet another NHS volunteer opportunity that just so happens to take place on the same day as her piano recital and a week before her SAT, keep these tips from KidsHealth.org in mind before immediately saying yes and clearing a spot on the calendar.

  • Agree on ground rules ahead of time:For instance, plan on kids playing one sport per season or limit activities to two afternoons or evenings during the school week.
  • Know how much time is required:Will there be time to practice between lessons? Does your child realize that soccer practice is twice a week, right after school until dinnertime? Then there’s the weekly game, too. Will homework suffer?
  • Keep a calendar to stay organized:Display it on the refrigerator or in another prominent spot so that everybody can stay up-to-date. And if you find an empty space on the calendar, leave it alone!
  • Even if kids sign up for the season, let them miss one or two sessions:Sometimes taking the opportunity to hang out on a beautiful day is more important than going to one more activity, even if you’ve already paid for it.
  • Try to carpool with other parents to make life easier.
  • Try to balance activities for all of your kids — and yourself:It hardly seems fair to spend time and energy carting one kid to activities, leaving little time for another. And take time for yourself, to do the things you enjoy, and to spend time together as a family.
  • Set priorities:School should come first. If kids have a hard time keeping up academically, they may need to drop an activity.
  • Know when to say no:If your child is already doing a lot but really wants to take on another activity, discuss what other activity or activities need to be dropped to make room for the new one.
  • Remember the importance of downtime:Everyone needs a chance to relax!

Prioritizing is key, and sometimes it’s best to prioritize your sanity –and your camper’s! So stop fretting about team dinner and instead tell your fellow parents to meet at your favorite pizza place. Tomorrow will seem that much easier!

Gearing Up for Today: Finding a Schedule that Works for You and Your Family

Gearing Up for Today: Finding a Schedule that Works for You and Your Family

At Lonehollow, we have the best schedule in the world.

Our days are filled with kayak races and archery shootouts and our nights are filled with dance parties and carnivals. From breakfast to dinner, first period to sixth period, reveille to taps, each day is a whirlwind of playtime, laughter, and learning.

And while we always strive for a little bit of spontaneity, the truth of matter is, almost everything that happens at camp is planned out from beginning to end.

Why so scheduled?

Because research shows that consistency matters – a lot. There’s a link between stable routines and your child’s social-emotional health.

In an article titled “Why Routines Matter and How to Improve Them,” child development and family specialist Merete L. Kropp says that family routines “are important because they provide a rhythm to the day and ensure that children are getting the attention, nutrition and rest that they need in order to thrive.”

But we get it.

Establishing a family routine that works well for everyone and will last past next Tuesday can seem impossible. It’s easier for us at camp, where the variables are limited, and everyone is on the same schedule.

“Remember that each family’s priorities, expectations, and routines will look different,” Kropp says. “Find what can work for you and your family.”

You may not even notice it, but the little habits you fall into and the tentative schedules you follow at the start of a new school year are the beginnings of a routine that’s unique to your family specifically.

What works for others may not work for you, and that’s okay! According to Kropp, your routine only needs a few specific elements to be successful: nurturing interactions, mealtimes as a family, bedtimes, and shared story times.

With September coming to an end and your unique family routine starting to fall into place, we’ve listed some ways you can incorporate Kropp’s elements (and a little taste of camp) into your everyday life.

Nurturing Interactions 

When you’re splitting your time between driving your 9-year-old to a different birthday party every Saturday and trying to teach your 15-year-old how to drive without having a heart attack, finding the time to give each of your kids an equal amount of undivided attention can be hard.

Don’t underestimate the time you spend sitting in pick-up/drop-off lines or in the bleachers before kick off! Use this unscheduled but inevitable wait time to squeeze in some girl talk or play a quick round of “I Spy” before sending your kids off to school or to practice or to grab the camera out of the car before the meet starts.

You can also use homework as an opportunity to spend some quality time together. Sit down with your third-grader as he figures out fractions or buy yourself a copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird” to re-read alongside your high school freshman.

Mealtimes as a Family

At camp we eat family-style for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we understand that sitting down to a home-cooked meal every day is a bit of stretch for most families.

Make it routine to sit down to dinner as often as you can, using those 20-30 minutes to debrief on the day, recount your successes, and tell funny stories.

Family dinners are great, but other meals count, too. If you can’t find a way to make dinner fit your schedule, try working in a family breakfast a few mornings out of the week, or make Sunday lunch a regular occurrence.

Bedtimes

A good night’s rest is important for everyone, but going to bed at a regular time is especially important for kids, so every night during the summer, taps plays at 10:00 PM and the lights go out in main camp.

Your kids know that sleep is a necessity, but because they are kids, most will do their best to negotiate a later bedtime, no matter how fair and reasonable you try to be. Stand your ground when establishing a bedtime, but allow some room for flexibility.

When campers are showered and ready for bed on time, our counselors like to give them ten minutes of what we call “flashlight time” to read a chapter or two of their current book before the lights go out completely. Some cabins play a game called “Statues” where everyone stands still at the edge of their beds while a counselor walks around with a flashlight. If you are caught moving when the flashlight lands on you, you must get into bed. The winner receives a high five and then the lights go out.

Shared Story Times 

If you and your family consistently struggle with bedtimes, consider using shared story times as an incentive to get to bed.

Start a new book together and read a chapter every night, but only if everyone has showered, brushed their teeth, and prepared their clothes for the next day before time is up! You can also end each night with a tuck into bed and a quick recap of the day’s highs and lows. Kids will say a lot in the dark that they won’t admit face-to-face and will look forward to sharing their stories with you at the end of the day!

You can always squeeze in shared story times throughout the day as well! Asking questions like “What’s new this year?” or “Tell me about a book you’re reading” while in the car or as you cook dinner with your kids will encourage them to open up and start sharing.

“The good news is that routines do not need to be rigid in their structure, nor is it necessary for routines to be a specific set of rules and regulations,” Kropp says. “When families have manageable routines in place, life can become simpler instead of adding complications.”

 

Meet Our Second Term Staff!

Meet Our Second Term Staff!


AbbeyHannel

Abbey Hahnel is from San Antonio and she is studying nursing at UT Health- San Antonio.

AlyssaTannous (1)

Alyssa Tannous is from Cypress, TX. She graduated from the University of Houston where she majored in early childhood education.

AmyHilliard

Amy Hillard is from the UK where she is majoring in childhood studies at Sheffield Hallan University.

AmySimmons

Amy Simmons is from Stephenville, TX, and she studies animal science at Tarleton State University.

AlexaGutierrez

Alexa Gutierrez studies biomedical science at Texas A&M University.


AnaliseGutierrez

Analise Gutierrez is from San Antonio, Texas, and she studies biology at Texas A&M University.

AdamMenia

Adam Menia is from London and he studies sports science at the University of Hertfordshire.

Alex.Greenshields

Alex Greenshields is from the UK and he studies chemical engineering at Sheffield University.

ChristinaDeforest

Christina DeForest is from San Angelo, TX, and she studies biology at Angelo State University.

AshleyRichards

Ashley Richards studies psychology at Southampton Solent University.

ClaireO'Neal

Claire O’Neal studies human resource management at Texas A&M.

AstridAlvarez

Astrid Alvarez is from Flagstaff, Arizona, where she is a lead at Eagles Crest Childhood Center.

AubreyHorstmeier

Aubrey Horstmeier is from Kansas City, Missouri, and she studies equine science at Colorado State University.

ConnorAlcock

Connor Alcock is from Crewe, England.

BenDeBauge

Ben DeBaugh is from San Antonio, TX, and he studies history and geoscience at Trinity Univeristy.

BradyDuncum

Brady Duncum studies secondary education at Texas Tech University.

DebbyStarr

Debby Starr a teacher from Dover, Arkansas.

BrandonJohnson

Brandon Johnson is from Burton, TX, and he studies geology at Sam Houston State University.

BrendanEvans

Brendan Evans is from Glasgow, Scotland, and he studies business at Strathclyde University.

CaseyTurner

Casey Turner studies criminal justice at Sam Houston State University.

CarolineClark

Caroline Clark is from Houston, Texas, and she studies international relations & global studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

CarolineShannon

Caroline Swanson is from San Antonio, Texas, and she studies nutrition at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

DavisDzierzanowski

Davis Dzierzanowski studies business at Texas A&M University.

GlenDickinson

Glen Dickinson is from Limerick City, Ireland, and he studies construction management at Limerick Institute of Technology.

EmilyCook

Emily Cook studies marketing at the University of Arkansas.

ClemtineBerranger

Clementine Berranger is from Houston, TX, and she studies education at the University of Houston.

Enrique.Castillo

Enrique Castillo studies mass communication at Texas State University.

DillonGums

Dillon Gums is from Clemson, South Carolina, and he studies history at Clemson University.

DrakeScallon

Drake Scallon studies recreational administration at Texas State University.

DylanGorman

Dylan Gorman is from Duleek, Ireland.

JuliaGassiot

Julia Gassiot is from Mansfield, TX, and she studies Dietetics at Tarrant Community College.

EmilyMullins

Emily Mullins is from the Woodlands, TX, and studies education from Texas State University.

EmilyStone

Emily Stone is from Houston, TX, and she attends Sewanee: The University of the South.

EmCroft

Em Croft is from Liverpool, England, and she studies sport.

EllieKiihne

Ellie Kiihne is from Northfield, Minnesota, and she studies at St. Olaf College.

ElrickBonner

Elvick Bonner is from Georgetown, Texas, where he studies communication studies at Southwestern University.

ElizabethMcFarland

Elizabeth McFarland studies elementary education at Elon University.

EmilyLeDoux

Emily LeDoux studies mass communication and marketing at Louisiana State University.

GiulianaDaleo

Giuliana Daleo studies kinesiology at Texas A&M University.

KatePrizer

Katie Prizer is from Jacksonville, Illinois, and she studies psychology at Illinois College.

GraemeMcArthur

Graeme McArthur is from Scotland and he studies psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Hailey.Hutson

Hailey Hutson studies political science at Texas Christian University.

HallePurdom

Halle Purdom studies astronomical physics at Brown University.

HannahGarcia

Hannah Garcia studies international relations & global studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

HyerThomas

Hyer Thomas studies economics at Washington and Lee University.

JacquelinePace

Jaqui Pace studies music education and American Sign Language interpretation at the University of Houston.

JamesAlejandro

James Alejandro studies medical humanities with a concentration in pre-med at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

JayArredondo

Jay Arrendondo graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in geography.

JobCook

Job Cook studies sport science at the University of Hertfordshire.

LawsonSadler

\Lawson Sadler is from San Antonio, TX, and she studies international relations and biology at Baylor University.

LaurenTran

Lauren Tran is from Arlington, TX, and she studies advertising at The University of Texas at Austin.

KaleighReynolds

Kaleigh Reynolds is from Stephenville, TX, and she studies mathematics at Tarleton State University.

KathrynClark

Kathryn Clarke studies primary education at the University of Bedfordshire.

KatieBishop

Katie Bishop studies recreation, parks, & tourism sciences at Texas A&M University.

KatRice

Kat Rice is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she studies aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama.

JakeHammer

Jake Hammer is from Houston, TX, and he studies business at Texas Christian University.

JordonThomason

Jordan Thomason studies communication at Angelo State University where he is also in the Air Force Reserve.

LexyBarbee

Lexy Barbee is from Huntsville,TX, and she studies business at Sam Houston State University.

KeithOwen

Keith Owen studies English at Texas A&M University.

KirstenGilroy

Kirsten Gilroy (Kilroy) studies strategic communication at the University of Kansas.

KatelynGrosvenor

Katelyn Grosvenor studies human resources at Texas A&M University.

KatieFinnegan

Katie Finnegan is from San Jose, CA, where she studies international relations at San Jose Sate University.

LizEngelbrecht

Liz Engelbrecht is from Houston, TX.

MasynUpchurch

Masyn Upchurch studies therapeutic recreation at Texas State University.

MattJones

Matt Jones is from England and he studies biological sciences at Durham University.

KristianaLlanos

Kristiana Llanos is in graduate school at Loyola University New Orleans studying mental health counseling.

KrystalPalma

Krystal Palma is from Odessa, TX.

LeePayne

Lee Payne is from San Angelo, TX, and studies criminal justice at Angelo State University.

LewisBall

Lewis Ball is from Scotland and studies business management at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

DarbiDowell (2)

Darbi Dowell studies animal science at Sam Houston State University.

LizaSchoelen

Liza Schoelen studies equine science at Colorado State University.

LizzieDiener

Lizzie Diener studies hospitality at Texas A&M University.

LorenzoCarillo

Lorenzo (LJ) Carrillo studies political science at Texas State University.

MargaretSchupbach

Margaret Schupbach is from San Antonio, TX, and she studies advertising at The University of Texas at Austin.

MeganDye

Megan Dye studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

MegEspey

Meg Espey is from Houston, TX.

RanceJohnson

Rance Johnson is from Abilene,TX, and he studies mathematics at McMurry University.

MeganLee

Megan Lee studies health science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Lydia Gregoric

Lydia Gregoric studies English at Southwestern University.

MeganTran

Megan Tran is from Arlington, TX, and she studies medical humanities at Baylor University.

MichaelEaton

Michael Eaton is from Houston, TX, and he studies education at Lone Star College.

NicGonzales

Nic Gonzales studies mechanical engineering at the University of Houston.

NickZavala

Nick Zavala studies kinesiology at Angelo State University.

MiaPurdom

Mia Purdom studies computer engineering at Brown University.

MikaylaGreenwood

Mikayla Greenwood studies biology with exercise science at Illinois College.

MKDonovan

MK Donovan studies mathematics at Texas A&M University.
PatchPape

Patch Pape studies international relations & global studies at ACC and UT Austin.

SarahDumano

Sarah Durrani is from Friendswood, TX where she is studying her basics at San Jacinto College.

PaulHenry

Paul Henry is from Huntsville, TX, and he studies criminal just with a minor in psychology at Sam Houston State University.

RamseyWilliams

Ramsey Williams studies elementary education at the University of Kentucky.

RobBellingham

Rob Bellingham is from Birmingham, England.

Rowan

Rowan Cooper studies recreation, parks,& tourism sciences at Texas A&M University.

SheaWood

Shea Wood is from Keller, TX, and she studies nursing at Texas Tech University.

RachelFinlin

Rachel Finlin studies animal science at Colorado State University.

ReidSchroder

Reid Schroder studies electronic media at the University of Cincinnati.

RobertRice

Robert Rice studies business at Tulane University.

SunnyCampbell

Sunny Campbell studies anthropology at the University of Roehampton.

ThomasHeathcock

Thomas Heathcock is from Sugar Land, TX, and he studies sports administration at the University of Houston.

TobyHussey

Toby Hussey is from Southampton, England, and he studies sport & physical education at Southampton Solent University.

TristenStephenson

Tristen Stephenson studies wildlife biology at West Texas A&M University.

TuckerHerzinger

Tucker Herzinger studies criminal justice at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

WillBlackie

Will Blackie studies computer science at The University of the West of England.

TrentonCopeland

Trent Copeland studies kinesiology at Angelo State University.

WhitneyGargiulo

Whitney Gargiulo graduated from the University of Colorado and is a teacher.

WillLedbetter

Will Ledbetter is from Houston, TX.

ZachGuthier

Zach Guthier studies accounting at the University of Cincinnati.

ZachTaylor

Zach Taylor studies media arts at the University of North Texas.

Bringing Camp Home

Bringing Camp Home

As camp comes to a close, your campers will return home with priceless memories of fun experiences, and with skills and manners applicable to everyday life. Here are some of the skills your children can continue practicing once they return home from camp.

They will know how to:

  1. Keep their personal spaces organized and tidy.
  2. Keep their dirty clothes and laundry separate from clean clothing.
  3. Make their beds in the morning.
  4. Use “please” and “thank you” more often.
  5. Exhibit mealtime etiquette:
    1. Wash their hands before meals.
    2. Set the table for meals.
    3. Pass food around to the left.
    4. Try a little bit of everything before saying, “No, thank you.”
    5. Close their plates when they’re finished eating (all utensils facing 3 o’clock).
  6. Introduce themselves to new people.
  7. Write letters.
  8. Be more responsible with their belongings.

Campers have practiced a routine that includes these skills, and we hope our campers will want to continue them at home! Now, all of these skills will not instantaneously become second-hand nature; it requires daily repetition and personal awareness to create good habits! Before you know it, your children will be performing many of these skills on their own accord!

How to Respond to a Homesick Letter

How to Respond to a Homesick Letter

Overnight camp is a chance for your child to have a fun and unforgettable learning experience. You want them to write about how amazing camp has been so far, but sometimes you get a homesick letter instead. It can be difficult to console to your child in writing, but here are some tips you can use to combat this weighty feeling.

First things foremost, acknowledge their feelings. Let them know you are glad they are expressing their feelings to you. Vocalizing and accepting your emotions allows you to take the proper steps to move forward from it. It’s also very beneficial that you encourage your child to speak to their cabin counselor. Counselors are a resource your child can depend on. They will listen and support your camper not only because they want your child to have the best camp experience possible, but also because they genuinely care about your child’s well being. Your child can also talk to a sibling or close friend at camp. It can be soothing to communicate with someone who has experienced something similar.

Another step you can take to respond to a homesick letter is to remind your child about all that they have already accomplished. Your child committed to an extended amount of time away from their comfort zone to try something new and that is a big deal! It can also be reassuring to a child who is eager to come home to know that you will be able to see each other again soon once camp has ended. Until then, you will be with them the whole time via letters. Camp purposefully maintains busy schedules for campers because busy schedules have been proven to keep their minds from lingering too long on their homesickness; therefore, continue to express interest in all the activities your camper had that day. Then, your child can share in their next letter all the things they have learned!

Lastly, suggest to your child to try the Happy 3 Rule. The Happy 3 Rule is essentially a way for your child to recognize for himself/herself three happy, nice, or positive things that happened to them that day. It can be as simple as, “I had ice cream for dessert,” or “Cory smiled at me today.” This tip will help your child find the pros at camp and shape a positive attitude towards the rest of their time away from home. Your camper can also write to you about the nice things they noticed in a day!

Overcoming homesickness is a work in progress. After taking these tips into consideration, a difficult homesick situation can be spun into a positive learning experience. Your child will later remember camp as a unique and invaluable part of summer where they conquered their homesickness and became more independent and confident in their ability to face future obstacles that comes their way.

Meet Our First Term Staff!

Meet Our First Term Staff!

AbbeyHannelAbbey Hahnel is from San Antonio and she is studying nursing at UT Health- San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AlyssaTannous (1)Alyssa Tannous is from Cypress, TX. She graduated from the University of Houston where she majored in early childhood education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AmyHilliardAmy Hilliard is from the UK where she is majoring in childhood studies at Sheffield Hallan University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AmySimmonsAmy Simmons is from Stephenville, TX, and she studies animal science at Tarleton State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AustinLongAustin Long is from Harper, TX, and he studies history with a minor in political science at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CaseyO'GormanCasey O’Gorman is from Leeds, England, where he studies sport business management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AdamMeniaAdam Menia is from London and he studies sports science at the University of Hertfordshire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex.GreenshieldsAlex Greenshields is from the UK and he studies chemical engineering at Sheffield University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ChristianaKieslingChristiana Kiesling studies music education at the University of North Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ChristinaDeforestChristina DeForest is from San Angelo, TX, and she studies biology at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AshleyRichardsAshley Richards studies psychology at Southampton Solent University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ClaireO'NealClaire O’Neal studies human resource management at Texas A&M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ColeMasingtonCole Masington is from Webster, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AstridAlvarezAstrid Alvarez is from Flagstaff, Arizona, where she is a lead at Eagles Crest Childhood Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AubreyHorstmeierAubrey Horstmeier is from Kansas City, Missouri, and she studies equine science at Colorado State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BaileyHavisBailey Havis is from Waco, TX, and she studies biology at Baylor University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BayleeKlemanBaylee Kleman studies child development at Texas Women’s University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ConnorAlcockConnor Alcock is from Crewe, England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DanielGustafsonDaniel Gustafson studies government at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BenDeBaugeBen DeBaugh is from San Antonio, TX, and he studies history and geoscience at Trinity Univeristy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BradyDuncumBrady Duncum studies secondary education at Texas Tech University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DebbyStarrDebby Starr a teacher from Dover, Arkansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EmilieStagoskiEmilie Stagoski is a global studies major and Spanish and geotourism minor at Missouri State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BraedenFullerBraeden Fuller studies recreation administration at Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrandonBrandon Ardoin is from San Antonio, TX, and he studies public relations & advertising at Northwest University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrandonJohnsonBrandon Johnson is from Burton, TX, and he studies geology at Sam Houston State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrendanEvansBrendan Evans is from Glasgow, Scotland, and he studies business at Strathclyde University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrysonBryson Overton is from San Angelo, TX, and he studies education and child & family studies at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CaseyTurnerCasey Turner studies criminal justice at Sam Houston State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GlenDickinsonGlen Dickinson is from Limerick City, Ireland, and he studies construction management at Limerick Institute of Technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EmilyCookEmily Cook studies marketing at the University of Arkansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ClemtineBerrangerClementine Berranger is from Houston, TX, and she studies education at the University of Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enrique.CastilloEnrique Castillo studies mass communication at Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

DianaParsleyDiana Parsley is majoring in international studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DillonGumsDillon Gums is from Clemson, South Carolina and he studies history at Clemson University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DrakeScallonDrake Scallon studies recreational administration at Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0034 (1)Lissie Butler studies camp leadership at Dallas Baptist University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DylanGormanDylan Gorman is from Duleek, Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JuliaGassiotJulia Gassiot is from Mansfield, TX, and she studies Dietetics at Tarrant Community College.

 

 

 

 

 

EmilyMullinsEmily Mullins is from the Woodlands, TX, and studies education from Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

EmilyStoneEmily Stone is from Houston, TX, and she attends Sewanee: The University of the South.

 

 

 

 

 

EmmaThompsonEmma Thompson is from San Angelo, TX, and she studies psychology at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

GageBarberGage Barber studies geography at Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EmCroftEm Croft is from Liverpool, England, and she studies sport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JordanPeoplesJordan Peoples is a 4th grade teacher from Houston, TX. She graduated from Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KatePrizerKatie Prizer is from Jacksonville, Illinois, and she studies psychology at Illinois College.

 

 

 

 

 

GraceAtwellGrace Atwell is from Austin, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GradyMcPhersonGrady McPherson is from Austin, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JustinBlissJustin Bliss studies recreation, parks, & tourism sciences at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

GraemeMcArthurGraeme McArthur is from Scotland and he studies psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University.

 

 

 

 

 

Hailey.HutsonHailey Hutson studies political science at Texas Christian University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HaileyLesserHailey Lesser studies nursing at Illinois College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HaleyHouseHaley House studies mathematics and education at Texas Tech University.

 

 

 

 

 

KaitlynFloydKaitlyn Floyd is from East Bernard, TX, and she studies nursing at Blinn College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HaleyKocianHaley Kocian studies exercise & sports science at Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

HaleyMendelHaley Mendel is from Bastrop, TX, and she studies nursing at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HannaNybergHanna Nyberg is from Houston, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JackLatham

Jack Latham is from Tonbridge, England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JacquelinePaceJackie Pace studies music education and American Sign Language interpretation at the University of Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

JamesAlejandroJames Alejandro studies medical humanities with a concentration in pre-med at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

 

JaviCafaroJavi Cafaro studies political science at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JayArredondoJay Arrendondo graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in geography.

 

 

 

 

 

JeffTruongJeff Truong is from Dallas, TX, and he studies health sciences at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

LaurenBredemeyerLauren Bredemeyer studies child psychology at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JobCookJob Cook studies sport science at the University of Hertfordshire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LawsonSadlerLawson Sadler is from San Antonio, TX, and she studies international relations and biology at Baylor University.

 

 

 

 

 

LenaGoodmanLena Goodman studies early education at Sam Houston State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KaceeCampbellKacee Campbell is from Manhattan, Kansas, and she studies bakery science at Kansas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KadeWimberleyKade Wimberley graduated from Angelo State University in May 2017 with a degree in criminal justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

LaurenTranLauren Tran is from Arlington, TX, and she studies advertising at The University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

KaleighReynoldsKaleigh Reynolds is from Stephenville, TX, and she studies mathematics at Tarleton State University.

 

 

 

 

 

KathrynClarkKathryn Clarke studies primary education at the University of Bedfordshire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KatieBishopKatie Bishop studies recreation, parks, & tourism sciences at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

KatRiceKat Rice is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she studies aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama.

 

 

 

 

 

LexyBarbeeLexy Barbee is from Huntsville,TX, and she studies business at Sam Houston State University.

 

 

 

 

 

KeithOwenKeith Owen studies English at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KiannaDaoKianna Dao is majoring in biomedical engineering and biology and minoring in Spanish at Duke University.

 

 

 

 

 

KirstenGilroyKirsten Gilroy (Kilroy) studies strategic communication at the University of Kansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MasynUpchurchMasyn Upchurch studies therapeutic recreation at Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KJGilmourKJ Gilmour is from Jersey Channel Islands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MattJonesMatt Jones is from England and he studies biological sciences at Durham University.

 

 

 

 

 

KristianaLlanosKristiana Llanos is in graduate school at Loyola University New Orleans studying mental health counseling.

 

 

 

 

 

KristinaTuschakTina Tuschak is from Kerrville, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KrystalPalmaKrystal Palma is from Odessa, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KyleMusgroveKyle Musgrove is from San Antonio, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LeePayneLee Payne is from San Angelo, TX, and studies criminal justice at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

LeishkaFelixLeishka Felix studies elementary education at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LewisBallLewis Ball is from Scotland and studies business management at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DarbiDowell (2)Darbi Dowell studies animal science at Sam Houston State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LizaSchoelenLiza Schoelen studies equine science at Colorado State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LizzieDienerLizzie Diener studies hospitality at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ParkerPattilloParker Patillo is from Kerrville, TX, and he studies electrical engineering at Baylor University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LorenzoCarilloLorenzo Carrillo studies political science at Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LukeThamesLuke Thomas is a server and musician from New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

 

 

 

 

MaddieNoteboomMaddie Notebook studies advertising at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MaeganBurrierMaegan Bumier is from Kerrville, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RaeCantonRae Canton studies psychology at the University of Colorado- Colorado Springs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MargaretCurtisMargaret Curtis studies nursing at the University of Arkansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MariahBeaversMariah Beavers is from Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania, and she studies animal science at Delaware Valley University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RanceJohnsonRance Johnson is from Abilene,TX, and he studies mathematics at McMurry University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MeganLeeMegan Lee studies health science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lydia GregoricLydia Gregoric studies English at Southwestern University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MeganTranMegan Tran is from Arlington, TX, and she studies medical humanities at Baylor University.

 

 

 

 

 

MichaelEatonMichael Eaton is from Houston, TX, and he studies education at Lone Star College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SaraFloresSara Flores studies recreation, parks, & tourism sciences at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MikeAdeyemoMichael Adeyemo graduated from Texas A&M University and is now in graduate school at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

MirandaGreenwaltMiranda Greenwalt is from Houston,TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MitchellBarryMitchell Barry is a scuba instructor from Austin, TX, and he studies international business at St. Edward’s University.

 

 

 

 

 

MoRookerMo Rooker is from Charleston, South Carolina, and she studies religion at Sewanee: the University of the South.

 

 

 

 

 

NatalieStagoskiNatalie Stagoski studies business management at Western Kentucky University.

 

 

 

 

 

NathanRamseyNathan Ramsey studies architecture at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NicGonzalesNic Gonzales studies mechanical engineering at the University of Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NickZavalaNick Zavala studies kinesiology at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SarahDumanoSarah Durrani is from Friendswood, TX where she is studying her basics at San Jacinto College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NikkiDwyerNikki Dwyer is from Midland, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OliviaGruberOlivia Gruber studies honors business at Southern Methodist University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TiffanyDengTiffany Dang is from North Richland Hills, TX, and she studies nursing at Angelo State University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PaulHenryPaul Henry is from Huntsville, TX, and he studies criminal just with a minor in psychology at Sam Houston State University.

 

 

 

 

 

PeytonPedersenPeyton Pedersen is from Grandview, TX, and she studies psychology at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

QuentinMathes

Q (Quentin) Mathes studies social sciences at West Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RamseyWilliamsRamsey Williams studies elementary education at the University of Kentucky.

 

 

 

 

 

RandyCRandy Cessna studies education at Blinn College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RobBellinghamRob Bellingham is from Birmingham, England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RowanRowan Cooper studies recreation, parks,& tourism sciences at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SarahBuchholzSarah Buchholz is from Austin, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SarahMarrisSarah Marris is from Suffolk, England, and she is studying dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SheaWoodShea Wood is from Keller, TX, and she studies nursing at Texas Tech University.

 

 

 

 

 

ThomasHeathcockThomas Heathcock is from Sugar Land, TX, and he studies sports administration at the University of Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

TobyHusseyToby Hussey is from Southampton, England, and he studies sport & physical education at Southampton Solent University.

 

 

 

 

 

TomRichardsTom Richards studies fine arts at the University of the West of England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TristenStephensonTristen Stephenson studies wildlife biology at West Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

TuckerHerzingerTucker Herzinger studies criminal justice at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TylerCervenkaTyler Cervenka is from Huntsville, TX, and he studies criminal justice at Sam Houston State University.

 

 

 

 

 

WillBlackieWill Blackie studies computer science at The University of the West of England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZachArriagaZach Arriaga is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and he studies international relations and pre-med at Xavier University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Pre-Camp Tips From The Experts

10 Pre-Camp Tips From The Experts

It helps to have some reassurance that you’re doing all you can to prepare your child for his/her time at camp. In the following excerpt from “Leaving For Camp”, board-certified clinical psychologist, author, consultant and father, Dr. Chris Thurber outlines 10 tips (plus one bonus!) to get your camper geared up for the summer. He says “by far the most important tradition for any expedition—be it monumental (e.g., Christopher Columbus) or momentary (e.g., a trip to the grocery store) or something in between (e.g., a couple of weeks at day or overnight camp)—will be proper preparation.”

 

  1. Plan together. Instead of planning the entire event for your child, involve your son or daughter in the choice to attend camp, what kind of camp to try, and how long to stay. Children who feel some control over their camp experience are more likely to enjoy it than children who feel forced to attend.

 

  1. Express enthusiasm. From the start, your discussions about camp should be positive, even if some of your own childhood memories of camp are not quite stellar. Sharing that story about the time you and your cabin mates narrowly escaped a treacherous lightning storm while rapelling a sheer stone wall in the Canadian Rockies won’t inspire junior to take the plunge. Instead, talk about camp in truthful, glowing terms in order to instill a positive attitude about the experience.

 

  1. Shop together. Part of giving a child some ownership over his or her camp experience involves reading the camp’s packing list and shopping together for key items. Perhaps a new flashlight, a toiletry kit, or bottle of shampoo is on the list. Rather than picking up these items on behalf of your child, bring your son or daughter with you to the store. Lay out a budget and let them do the shopping. It’s another great way to instill positive attitudes (and ensure you don’t buy the nerdy underwear or the dorky-colored toothbrush).

 

  1. Label everything. It’s really easy for kids to lose stuff at camp, but if you want it back, it has to have your child’s name on it. The iron-on labels are OK, but they rarely withstand more than six or eight trips through the washer. I like laundry markers (such as the Sharpie “Rub-A-Dub” marker) and indelible stamps. Most big-box, office-supply stores can custom-make a rubber stamp. Blot it on a permanent ink pad and voila! You can label just about anything with your child’s full name and phone number. Label tapes (such as the P-touch) also work well for labeling items like tennis racquets and sunglasses. Yes, you have to label everything.

 

  1. Spend practice time apart. The best way for your child to learn how to cope with the separation from home is … you guessed it … spending some practice time away from home. As I talk about in my DVD-CD set for new camper families (The Secret Ingredients of Summer Camp Success), both parents and children benefit from arranging a long weekend at Grandma’s or several overnights at a friend’s house. Children who learn how to cope with their normal feelings of missing home will arrive at camp confident and enthusiastic.

 

 

  1. Pack together. You’ve planned and shopped together … now it’s time to get everything ready to go. Double-check the camp’s packing list and be sure you’ve labeled everything. (Did I mention that already?). Once again, joining your child in this important preparation, rather than doing it for him as a “favor,” will instill a sense of pride. Be sure to pack in the recommended container (e.g., trunk, duffle bag, suitcase, etc.). If your camp recommends a trunk or footlocker, I suggest rolling your clothes and arranging them like pencils in a can. That way, your child can see everything she has all at once. The traditional fold-and-stack method of packing hides everything but the top layer.

 

  1. Never make a pickup deal. It’s normal for any child to ask, “What if I feel homesick?” But research shows that almost all children have at least some feelings of homesickness during their stay at camp. So, please, don’t ever say, “If you feel homesick, I’ll come and get you.” The subtext of such dreaded pickup deals is: “I have so little confidence in your ability to cope with this normal feeling that I think the only solution is for me to come and rescue you.” Not surprisingly, pickup deals make homesickness worse. When your child asks, “What if I feel homesick?”, tell him: “You probably will miss some things about home, but your practice time away has taught you how to deal with those feelings. Plus, your cabin leader or counselor will be there to help.”

 

  1. Make a letter-writing kit. If you want any chance of correspondence this summer, you’ll need to grab a large, zipped freezer bag and pack it with paper, pens, and a stack of pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes and postcards. Your child is going to be having a blast at camp, and chances are that he won’t be thinking much about you or home. (Sorry.) Don’t worry. When it comes to camp, no news is generally good news. But, letters are fun to give and receive. I recommend you send two or three letters a week.

 

  1. Express confidence. “You’ll do great at camp” is something every parent should say to their children, whether they’re headed to day or overnight camp. Of course, there will be some challenges. Making friends, spending time away from home, and adjusting to a new routine aren’t easy. But they are possible. And when your child accumulates a pile of small successes at camp, she will start to feel even better about herself. Remember, self-esteem is borne of actual accomplishment, not parental platitudes. What your child needs going into camp is your vote of confidence. It’s normal for you to be a bit nervous about the time apart, but share your own jitters with a partner or spouse, not with your child.

 

  1. Be honest on your child’s health form. Yes, some well-intentioned parents will withhold crucial medical and psychological information from their child’s camp health form. (Not you, of course, but other parents.) Leaving out critical data about any diagnoses, conditions, or medications cripples the camp’s doctors and nurses. Instead, fill out the health form completely—even add a supplemental narrative if you want—so the camp’s healthcare professionals are in the best possible position to support your child. And if your child takes a helpful medication—such as a stimulant medication for ADHD—please keep him on that medication during camp. He will need to pay attention and control his impulses at camp just like at school. Withholding helpful medications only puts your child at a behavioral and emotional disadvantage. (And if you want some extra brownie points with the camp nurse, send in the completed health form when it’s due, rather than bringing it on opening day.)

 

  1. Eleven? Yes! A free bonus tip! Be on time for opening day. Nothing throws a family’s mental state off more than arriving late on the first day. (I’ve even had parents arrive on the wrong day.) Believe me when I say that it’s a good idea to read all the correspondence you get from camp, including information about the day and time for opening drop-off. A lot of introductions and orientation happen in the first hours of camp, so it’s important your child is there on time to begin integrating into the camp community. It’s equally important that you be on time for closing day. No child likes to be the last one to be picked up, so plan for traffic and weather, and know that even if your child is a bit sad to leave camp, he sure is glad you were on time. My own mother still reminds me of the first words that came out of my mouth when she and my dad picked me up after my first overnight camp stay: “Next summer, I want to come for four weeks, not just two!”

 

 

You can read “Leaving For Camp” in its entirety, or check out The Summer Camp Handbook by Dr. Chris Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski.

Dr. Christopher Thurber is a board-certified clinical psychologist, author, consultant and father. A graduate of Harvard University and UCLA, Dr. Thurber is a favorite keynoter and workshop leader at international, national and regional conferences on education, youth development, mental health and summer camp. He currently serves on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy, an independent, coeducational boarding high school in seacoast New Hampshire.

Give Your Camper Some Credit

Give Your Camper Some Credit

Chances are you’ve seen commercials for a service that pressures you to constantly check your credit score or warns against the dangers of credit cards. They typically go something like this:

  • Caring Parent sends College Student off to school.
  • Caring Parent gives College Student a Just-For-Emergencies credit card.
  • Caring Parent leaves.
  • Credit card chaos ensues.

Sounds familiar, right?

What if we didn’t have to worry about our kids managing money irresponsibly? What if we knew they had been practicing these skills since the age of 7?

money2

As part of your pre-camp preparations, make sure you’re discussing good money management with your camper. Your camper will be in charge of his/her camp store account, and while our store staff will remind campers of their balance and make sure they don’t come home with six of the same stuffed animal, it’s important to start the conversation now.

There are a few things for your camper to consider while budgeting his/her camp store allowance. First, all campers must send their clothes to the laundry and that cost comes from their account. Second, a handful of activities include a small fee because they provide a take home project or require personal supplies. Your camper can plan for these by reading over class descriptions and noting which preferences have a cost. Third, talk with your camper about keeping track of personal belongings. Purchasing replacement name tags, pens, and other items can add up! And finally, remind your camper that he/she doesn’t have to spend all of his/her money on the first trip to the camp store. Their cabin will have another opportunity to visit during the second week of camp!

Practicing these skills over the summer gets campers in a mindset to track their finances and weigh benefits vs. consequences for their purchases. Skills built over the summer are skills that will stick for life!