This-N-That

In A Camp Story: The History of Lake of the Woods & Greenwoods Camps, author David Himmel writes, “… I grew into my skin as I browned it on sailboats on Lake of the Woods, and I got used to the way it fit. I became me at camp. All my confidence, my attitude and my aptitude were found and figured out because of all of those summers and all of those people and all of those friends.”

Throughout this entertaining and witty read, Himmel shares many more heartwarming morals and messages surrounding the opening of a summer camp in southwestern Michigan.

Himmel, an author, essayist, playwright, and editor, spent 10 summers at Greenwoods Camp as a camper and counselor. His poignant and hilarious account about the ultimate camp experience—how it touches so many people and how it continues to shape so many lives—will not disappoint.

What We’ve Learned

A market survey conducted by Active Network found that parents are placing greater importance on their children building skills at camp. This finding, along with other garnered data, sheds more light on the process parents go through to find, register, and send their children to camps, and ultimately allows camp leaders to better serve their customers, says Stephen Branstetter, general manager of the Active Network Youth and Education Division.

Here are some more findings from the survey:

▪ A decade ago, camp would go for several weeks at a time, but now almost all programs are for one week with specialized, educational offerings like computer programming or basketball point guard camp. The educational camp category saw the greatest increase, according to survey results.

▪ Children these days are supreme multi-taskers. Day camp enrollments are increasing significantly, as compared to sleep-away camp, due to the number of extracurricular activities children are involved in, i.e. swimming, baseball, dance, art classes.

▪ Cost isn’t the deciding factor. In fact, the survey found that parents are most interested in their children learning new skills and getting the best possible camp experience, rather than the enrollment fee.

▪ Nearly 90 percent of parents planned to spend about the same or more on camp last summer. Mom and Dad are also budgeting in advance—the survey found that nearly half of its responders start planning for camp costs more than four months out.

Word On The Web

On Dave Bell’s Week-Ender column “Bullying Prevention This Summer” Editor’s Note: Dave Bell’s column stemmed from the bullying of a bus monitor by middle-school aged students in Greece, N.Y.

What happened is a systems-problem. The boys were behaving in that manner because they knew there were little to no consequences and this woman was powerless to handle them. The woman had no training or skills in working with this type of situation, and lacked the authority to escalate the infraction. Meaning, suspension, parent call, etc. These are OK kids and their parents were surprised at their behavior. This stuff happens at camps (school) with staff like cafeteria workers, teacher aides, Counselors in Training, etc. where the campers / children see through the actions of other staff that these people are on the bottom of the totem pole and are treated poorly by other staff, and have no ability to hold these kids accountable.

If you want to change the behaviors, change the system. Show respect to ALL staff, and as a director ENFORCE respect for all staff and use language that reinforces this. Train staff (members) how to speak and (have) a progressive discipline action for these behaviors. If you hear any staff member talking down to any other staff member, STOP IT and let everyone know this is not OK at camp (or anywhere else). Boys and girls at that age have a poor understanding of long-term consequences; they are and will be fine. It is the adults’ job to handle this and show respect and let everyone know how the camp operates.

– Michael Cardus

Team Building Leadership, Inc.

Buffalo, N.Y.

 

From Our Archives:  “Sailing the Seas” By Rodney J. Auth

I was a camper at Sea Gull at the pre-camp for girls back in the early 50s when Seafarer was just a dream. I was a camper for 4 or 5 years and then was a CIT. Wyatt Taylor and his wife, Lillian, were the directors. One of my fondest memories was the womanless wedding and Leonard Kamsler, a rather large guy, was always the bride year after year. I am now 72 and wish I could go back to those happy, carefree days. Still have many of my camp pictures. Hope to visit one day. Have enjoyed looking at the website and dreaming.

– Margaret Clark McRae

From Facebook

We asked users, “What’s the best way to beat the heat at summer camp?”

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