A Basket Full of Ideas

Every month, I compile an e-newsletter and invite camp directors to submit information to be included in the publication. It’s seen as an honor for their ideas to be used, so I thought I would share some programming tips with the readers of Camp Business. Hope it helps add creativity and fresh ideas to every camp lineup!

T-Shirt Mining

“Several years ago I was cleaning out my closet and pulled out a couple dozen old campT-shirts, most dating back from the 1980s. I sent them to Phantom Lake Camp, and they held a T-shirt auction during camp staff training, with the funds going towards the camp’s Strong Kids fund. I believe over $3,000 was raised that first year! A call was made to alumni to donate ’vintage’ T-shirts and other clothing items, and the event consistently raises a couple of thousand dollars every year since.”

–Mike and Jenny Rule

Hot Week At Camp

“I challenged our day camps to turn hot weather into an opportunity for fun–for both campers and staff. Various day camps created water games that distracted the kids from the heat, and at the same time created an environment of fun that they’ll remember all summer long. They dreamed up games like water balloon or Super Soaker capture the flag, water balloon archery, water balloon dodgeball, and a campers/staff contest on who could make the best water park with hoses and sprinklers. The winning branches were presented with a free Popsicle party. The executives of the branches were given huge Super Soakers as their ’turned a hot day into fun’ award. We were featured in the newspaper!”

–Len Romano, VP/COO YMCA of Great Boston

Let’s Plant Some Trees!

Greg Friese, professional safety consultant and alumnus of CampManito-wish, reminds us that a good way to give kids a positive outlet for their concern about global warming is to help plant trees at camp. Too often our overuse of camp areas has led to large, isolated trees, with no young trees ready to take their place when they age and come down. It’s a fun lesson that they can reproduce at home.

All I Want At Camp Is A GPS

“After the conference at CampWhittle last year, I borrowed an idea that’s been easy to set up. Geocaching involves treasure hunting using a set of coordinates and a GPS (global positioning system) unit to find your way to a ‘cache’ (Tupperware box) with a journal, pencils (pens will freeze), some little prizes and a note letting people know what it is if they discover it by mistake! We check GPS units out at the office (each costs about $150); guests leave a picture ID until they return it. We teach the parents and kids a quick lesson on how to use it. Laminated cards attached to the unit detail the location of our four geocaches. Often guests have their own units and just use the cards. It’s a hit most weekends, with all five of our units in use most of the time. We’re looking at adding more caches and purchasing more units this spring. It has been an activity that our groups, Y-Guides, Girl Scouts and families, all love. We use this activity with our teen campers in the summer, too. I found lots of help at www.geocaching.com.” Claire Hiller of Camp Marston, Calif., wrote before moving to Nicaragua.

Getting Back To Camping Roots

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