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Getting Back To the Grind with Camp in Mind

Getting Back To the Grind with Camp in Mind

Getting into the swing of the school year can be hard. Waking up early and following a morning routine doesn’t always happen naturally!

If your camper (and you!) are already dragging after the first few days of school, here are some things your camper did this summer that can make back-to-school mornings a little easier:

  • Preparing as much as possible the night before. Laying out the next day’s clothes and helping your camper pack their backpack can cut out early morning guesswork when everyone is still in a sleepy haze.
  • Following a calendar of activities. During the summer, each cabin has a calendar of the activities for the term and each camper follows their own individual schedule. Having an easily accessible schedule helps kids feel more ownership over their days!

SUN

MON TUES WED THUR FRI

SAT

PM Pack: Goggles, swim suit, cap Swim Team Practice @ 4pm

PM Pack: LAX pinnie, stick, pads

Lacrosse Practice @ 5:30pm

PM Pack: Latin book

Latin Club meeting after school  

 

PM Pack: Spirit shirt

Football Game @ 7pm  
  • Tidying up in the morning. Cleaning doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul. Each morning at camp, campers straighten up their things and make their beds. Set a time where your camper knows it’s time to finish getting ready and time to start cleaning up. You’ll be amazed at the difference! If your camper needs a morning boost of energy, try playing music to get them moving. Need some musical inspiration? Click here for the songs of Lonehollow 2016!
  • Set a bedtime routine. Mornings are much easier after a goodnight’s sleep. At home, try and shut down screen time about an hour before bed. At camp, cabins will sometimes read a chapter of a book each night, take turns telling parts of a story back and forth, and play quiet card games as a way to wind down from a busy day.

 

Getting back to the grind can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be if your camper continues to use the skills he/she built during the summer. We’re geared up for the start of a new school year!

Asset of the Month: Personal Power

Asset of the Month: Personal Power

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A few summers ago, an Adventurer boy came to camp; just likehe had many summers before. He greeted old friends, met his counselors and
was ready for the all-camp meeting at three o’clock. He had done this before;
he knew the routine of Opening Day. What he couldn’t wait to do was to make his
schedule. He knew which counselors he wanted for Field Sports and Sailing and he
knew you never schedule a class on the Waterfront right after Horseback. Being
an Adventurer, his first stop on the Opening Day tour was in the Bike Barn…to
build his perfect schedule. He raced to the check-in table, grabbed his
schedule template and preferences list, and realized…his mom had filled out his
preferences list.

Where activities like Field Sports, Guitar, Flag Football
and Sailing should have been; instead were activities like Sewing &
Knitting, Summer Reading, and Ceramics. All great activities, but not what he
was looking forward to. How did this happen?!

If you aren’t familiar with how preferences work– campers
choose fifteen activities (#1 being the activity they can’t imagine the summer
without to #15 being an activity they would like to do) before coming to camp.
For our Pathfinders (2nd-4th graders), our Activity
Directors use this list to make their schedules before camp. For everyone else,
they use their preferences to make their own schedules. An activity must be on
their list for a camper to register for it on Opening Day. Campers may change
their schedule during their assigned schedule change period, but there isn’t a
guarantee the class period they want will be open. Moral of the story,
preferences are majorly important!

Can you imagine how our friend the Adventurer felt realizing
that he couldn’t sign up for Field Sports right away? Can you imagine feeling
powerless? The defeat?

Search Institute research shows that young people are more
likely to grow up healthy if they feel a sense of control over the things that
happen to them. A sense of personal power gives young people the confidence to
embrace positive attitudes and behaviors, and walk away from risky situations
and behaviors. About 42 percent of young people, ages 11-18, feel that they
have control over things that happen to them, according to Search Institute
surveys. Caring adults provide opportunities for young people to make their own
decisions.

At camp, we want campers to take ownership of their
experience
. They make their own activity schedule, pick out their own clothes,
choose whether or not to run for Maverick, and if they would like to apply to
be a Trailblazer. For a majority of the day, they have control and we find that
campers blossom into responsible and confident decision makers. It’s amazing to
see!

Want to help your camper build their personal power? Try
some of the strategies below!

1. Help your child understand the difference
between what we can and cannot control. We can always control our attitude and
our effort, but we cannot control other people’s actions.

2. Support their efforts to be industrious. Buy from
their bake sale or lemonade stand, watch the play they created or read the
story they wrote.

3. Describe, label and praise their growth. When
they remember to do their chores, make responsible decisions or generally
impress you; describe their action and be specific. Then, label their action
with an asset or character trait (responsible, kind, generous, etc.). Then,
praise them! Tell them how proud or impressed you are. You’re sure to see more
of this behavior!

Asset of the Month: Achievement Motivation

Asset of the Month: Achievement Motivation

The new year is here and so are the resolutions! Whatever your resolution may be—hitting the gym, making time to appreciate the little things in life, reading more, etc.—sticking with it is going to require some motivation. Do you know someone that is continually motivated in everything they do? Do you know a student that is always motivated to do their best in school? Were you always motivated to do your best in school?

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Research shows young people who try their best in school have better grades, are more likely to finish high school, and are better at managing stress. They’re also better at setting goals and more likely to enroll in college. About 65 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they are motivated to do well in school, according to Search Institute surveys. It is vital for adults to help young people understand how important school is now and for the future.

Imagine the first day of camp. It’s just like the start of a new year, full of excitement and potential. At Lonehollow, campers sit down with their cabins that night and fill out a personal goal card. We encourage each camper to list at least 3 things they would like to accomplish during their time at camp, whether it’s trying green beans for the first time, qualifying in an activity or overcoming homesickness. During the term, counselors check in with their campers to see where they are on the path to accomplishing their goals and what the counselor staff can do to help make it happen. In the classes in our Waterfront and Adventure departments, campers can choose to qualify in different activities. By qualifying, campers demonstrate a level of knowledge and skill, earn a patch for themselves, and points for their crew.

If you find your child is struggling to stay motivated, discuss what is giving him/her trouble and brainstorm solutions together. Ask about school and focus on what was interesting instead of a math test. By practicing this achievement motivation year-round, the drive to achieve becomes intrinsic rather than coming from an external source. Remind your kids and campers that when they try their best, they can always feel good about results, no matter the grade or score. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to start something new, let’s stay motivated together all year long!

Asset of the Month: Positive Peer Influence

Asset of the Month: Positive Peer Influence

For more than 20 years, the Search Institute has been researching and identifying what it takes to help kids succeed. They have developed a framework of 40 external and internal developmental assets that “identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults”. We incorporate these assets throughout our programming and train our counselors extensively on the benefits of assets and how to use them in activities, cabins and around camp. Each month, we will be highlighting one of these assets and how you can instill these assets at home with your camper. This month’s asset is #15 Positive Peer Influence.

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How does your child spend his/her time? There are 168 hours in a seven-day week. You can subtract 56-70 hours for 8-10 hours of sleep each night, as well as 35 hours for a week of school. Then, subtract 10-15 hours after school when he or she is in child care, extra-curricular activities or simply at home until the rest of the family gets home. When you take these factors into account, children have about 6 to 9 hours available per day to spend with their parents and family, which may sound like a good amount until you add in time spent in the car, getting ready for the day, getting ready for bed, and the ever present (and dreaded) homework. So, who does your child spend the majority of time with and who will he/she be spending even more time with over the next month with the approaching holidays? Friends and peers.

Research shows that young people whose closest friends behave responsibly do better in school, get into less trouble, and choose activities that give them the best chance of future success. It makes sense for young people to surround themselves with people who bring out their best qualities. About 63 percent of young people, ages 11-18, say their best friends model responsible behavior, according to Search Institute surveys.

Children benefit from having friends that are positive peer influences, which in turn helps them build this asset in others. In day to day camp life, campers are a positive peer influence by following safety rules, performing their role in cabin clean up and getting to class on time. We reinforce this positive behavior through a strategy called DLP (Describe Label and Praise). First, counselors describe the action; then, label the asset or qualities the camper demonstrated; and lastly, praise the action. For example, “Johnny, I noticed that you were having some difficulty with your bike today, but you showed great determination and dedication and you made it through the whole ride. Way to go Johnny, you did a great job today!”.

Talk to your campers about whom they can influence, whom they view as a positive influence, and what it takes to be a positive influence. This includes being able to say “no” to a friend or peer if a situation arises that they do not agree with and, as they’ll be spending more time at home and subsequently more time on their phones in the next month, what it means to be a positive peer influence online and on social media.

As we come up on the holiday season, there are multiple opportunities for your camper to build on his/her positive peer influence. He or she can organize a group of friends to start a food drive or to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Instead of spending money on gifts for friends, your camper can write friends a personalized card sharing why the friendship is appreciated and what is special about that friend or qualities your camper admires.

Peer pressure or peer influence typically holds a negative connotation, but this is the chance to use it to spread the positive and do something good. Here’s to making it to the top of Santa’s nice list!

Asset of the Month: Interpersonal Competence

Asset of the Month: Interpersonal Competence

For more than 20 years, theSearch Institute has been researching and identifying what it takes to help kids succeed. They have developed a framework of40 external and internal developmental assets that “identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults”. We incorporate these assets throughout our programming and train our counselors extensively on the benefits of assets and how to use them in activities, cabins and around camp. Each month, we will be highlighting one of these assets and how you can instill these assets at home with your camper. This month’s asset is #33 Interpersonal Competence.

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When you think November, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Turkey, football and Thanksgiving. In the spirit of giving thanks this month, we reflect on what we are most thankful for…camp friendships. Growing up, we’re told that you have to be a friend to make a friend. Children make friends quickly, but what does it take to build on and maintain these friendships? It takes interpersonal competence – empathy, sympathy and friendship skills. These skills aren’t just for kids either, some adults struggle with being able to understand and share the feeling of another. By learning to walk in another’s shoes, we can learn how to appropriately express our feelings and read the emotions of those around us.

Research shows that young people who have empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills are more likely to grow up healthy and avoid risky behaviors, such as violence and alcohol and other drug use. About 45 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they have empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. Family is the cornerstone of most young people’s lives, but everyone needs friends, too.

At camp, living and playing together for two or four weeks fosters growth in empathy, sympathy and friendship skills. From the first night of camp, we encourage campers to consider how they want to treat each other and how they want others to treat them when they write their individual Cabin Constitutions, a set of guidelines each cabin writes and signs to show complete cooperation. During our daily value sessions, campers take turns listening to others and reflecting on different perspectives.

Building these skills is a lifelong process. Here are some ways you can build interpersonal competence in your home!

  • Treat each other with respect. Acknowledge others’ presence when they walk into a room and always say please and thank you!
  • Be active listeners! Ask good questions, paraphrase what others say to make sure you understand and show that you empathize with what they are saying.
  • Encourage your child to make a wide variety of  friends – at school, in your community, in sports leagues, and at camp!
  • Use “I” statements to express your feelings. For example, “I feel upset when you say that” instead of “You make me so angry”.

This is the perfect time of year to be a friend and let your friends and neighbors know how thankful you are; host a potluck get-together, check in on how they’ve been or get a jump start on your holiday cards!

Asset of the Month: Caring Neighborhood

Asset of the Month: Caring Neighborhood

For more than 20 years, the Search Institute has been researching and identifying what it takes to help kids succeed. They have developed a framework of 40 external and internal developmental assets that “identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults”. We incorporate these assets throughout our programming and train our counselors extensively on the benefits of assets and how to use them in activities, cabins and around camp. Each month, we will be highlighting one of these assets and how you can instill these assets at home with your camper. This month’s asset is #4 Caring Neighborhood.

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What was your neighborhood like growing up? Did you ride your bike until the streetlights came on? Did your neighbors drop in to say hi? Today’s neighborhoods are a little different than the tightly-knit communities of yesteryear.

About 37 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report that they have caring neighbors, according to Search Institute surveys. Research shows that young people are more likely to grow up healthy if they live in a community with caring neighbors. The key is to create a safe haven in which young people feel loved, supported, and understood.

During the summer, we repeat the Lonehollow Charge during Sunday Service, “We come together to help another. We love together to teach each other. We learn together to grow together. We are Lonehollow.”, and it reminds us that we are a community and we support each other. We help set each other’s tables before meals and lend a hand setting up for Evening Programs. We listen to each other and share during Value Sessions (affectionately re-named as “bro-sessions” by our older boys!). During Crew Challenge, the Adventure Race or Field Day, we keep cheering until everyone is done because those campers are still our friends and cabin mates. It’s crewnity!

You can build this sense of community in your neighborhood too. Wave to your neighbors as you drive by, host a block party or use Halloween as a great excuse to stop by the houses on your street and meet your neighbors! Building these relationships might take some time, but helping your camper care about and feel supported by the neighborhood around them will gear them for life.

From Camper to CIT and Beyond

From Camper to CIT and Beyond

At Lonehollow, we aim to outfit our campers and staff with the skills to become geared to live. One of these skills is developing a positive view of their personal future. The following was written by Townes Pressler, a former camper and 2014 CIT.

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Pressler (back left) with one of his co-counselors and the cabin of Lookout.

Being a Lonehollow CIT has been an incredible opportunity. Having been a CIT at another camp last year, I came to Lonehollow prepared and excited to join the staff. Though I came with the basic tools to be a CIT, Lonehollow certainly helped me develop important skills not experienced in my previous jobs.

Lonehollow has given me an opportunity to work at a paying job that is extremely rewarding. Most teens either spend their summers having unproductive fun or working at an establishment meant for far more mature staff. What is great about being a Lonehollow CIT is that I can have fun and gain valuable work experience at a place I’m extremely passionate about.

Thanks to Lonehollow I have had a productive summer and built fantastic work skills. I’ve grown in responsibility, maturity, and overall kindness as these are traits that I’ve observed make a CIT successful. I’ve also learned the value of hard work, enthusiasm and determination paying off with unbelievably exciting responsibilities. I spoke at Crew Outpost to a third of the camp, did camp wide commentary for the Adventure Race and wrote this blog post!

Having the opportunity to work in a position so well suited for my age at a place I love so much is a blessing. To see staff members I knew from adolescence acknowledge my growth and development has given me confidence in my ability as a young adult as I look to the future. I’m so grateful for this experience and how much it has helped me mature and develop as a responsible young man. 

An Asset A Day Keeps The Trouble Away

An Asset A Day Keeps The Trouble Away

Kids are bogged down with projects, homework, exams, state standardized testing…there’s a lot for them to learn and do. With the amount of required academic material, where do the social and emotional skills fit in?

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has found better academic performance, improved attitudes and behaviors, and reduced emotional distress through integrated, multiyear Social Emotion Learning (SEL) programs.

What is SEL you ask? Social Emotional Learning is the “process children acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions”. CASEL has identified five learning core competencies—self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

So where do these competencies fit in at camp? Our campers gain social awareness through morning cabin clean-up and various community service projects. They build self-awareness and relationship skills by sharing their thoughts and listening to each other during daily value sessions. They learn to make responsible decisions and to self-manage by being “on their own” (read: away from Mom and Dad), by being responsible for following their schedule and keeping up with their belongings. We train our staff on Social Emotional Learning, how it is built into our activity lesson plans and how to foster an SEL environment in the cabin. These skills are important from an early age, but especially as children begin to spend time around adults, away from home, and to socialize with peers.

As an extra layer in fostering social emotional development, we have also focused on incorporating asset building into our program. The Search Institute has identified 40 developmental assets that help kiddos grow into healthy and responsible adults. The idea being, the more assets a child possesses, the more successful they will be. Makes sense right? We thought so too. Here are just some of the ways we build assets at Lonehollow:

  • Self-Governance— Each member of the cabin has a voice in creating their cabin constitution and then everyone signs it to show they agree and promise to follow the rules they created.
  • Personal Accountability— Each member of the cabin has a morning duty for cabin clean-up. Each member of the crew has a role in Field Day, the Adventure Race and during Crew Challenge. Their crew and cabin members count on them to do their part!
  • Self-Motivation—Campers have the chance to qualify in their classes. By completing a qualification level, they not only earn a patch for themselves; they also earn points for their crew that count towards the overall crew banner for the term.
  • Conflict Resolution—Campers learn to openly discuss any issues they may be experiencing and to brainstorm solutions that will work for everyone.
  • Empowerment—Campers take ownership of their experience. They learn to make good decisions on their own and take charge of their daily life.

Want to build more assets at home? Help your child be responsible and encourage them to try new things. Turn the TV off during meals, engage them in conversation and ask questions. Set high but realistic expectations for them and trust them to do the best they can. Comment on progress when you see them accomplish something they haven’t before, and encourage them to express their feelings. If we all work together, we can gear our children for the days ahead – not only by providing an exceptional summer experience but also by providing the tools they need to lead a happy and successful life.