At the end of this somewhat typical work day the variety of it struck me and I wanted to share that with you.
A little after 3pm I spoke with a long time camp parent in Charleston, WV. We spoke about her family, 3 now-adult former campers. We spoke about our family, she marveled at the fact that H was already 12 years old. We spoke about a child from her school community being invited to attend Camp Twin Creeks on a scholarship that was set up in memory of a former beloved camper and counselor. This camper passed away recently and her fund is now well on the way to preserving her memory and spirit whilst providing an unforgettable camp experience for others, and crocs 🙂
4:30pm, on the suburban streets of Bethesda, Maryland with a skype connection through my cell phone and laptop, a call was made with a new camp family in Saudi Arabia. 2 brothers, aged 8 and 11, will attend camp this summer so we spoke about general camp information to help him prepare his boys for their first US summer camp experience, almost 7000 miles away from home. He described their different personalities and I offered to email local lodging information. Reassurances were hopefully provided and the boys will join us this summer for 2 weeks.
An hour later I met with a new parent in Bethesda. She has twin daughters and one will attend Camp Twin Creeks for 4 weeks with the aim of her developing independence away from her twin sister and parents. Mom grew up in France and we spoke about our respective accents and the girls’ linguistic abilities as well as future summers to be spent with her family in France.
Finally, after a dalliance with rushhour beltway traffic, I arrived in McLean, VA for a 7pm home visit with a prospective family. Twins again, a girl and a boy. Girl is already sold on camp thanks to school friends talking up the experience 🙂 Boy was apparently not sold until tonight and still held out from making a decision too quickly. Both children were full of great questions and our animated discussion made the visit a true pleasure. Both parents were engaged too and the snacks were great – blueberry muffins! By the end of the visit, 80 minutes or so later, most topics were covered including activities, a typical day, food, cabins, concerns about swim tests, animals, food again and more!
As I drove home, post Big Mac snack stop, the breadth and depth of our camp population struck me based on these few hours of typical camp business. This variety makes Camp Twin Creeks and our special corner of West Virginia a truly special place. On behalf of all of our camp staff, Amy and I look forward to each of these families joining us this summer from their respective homes and cultures and contributing so much and taking away so much as well.
Hey you, working with us this summer at Camp Twin Creeks! You’ve been on my mind, seriously!
As I return home after a great camp conference in Orlando I wanted to share this insight with you. A number of great sessions from some very smart people presenting a range of topics and ideas. What they all had in common, in my mind, was that they related to our summer staff.
If you are joining us for your first summer, what an exciting time of anticipation and impending adventure awaits! Discussions were held and suggestions were made about best preparing you well before you arrive at camp.
If you are back for yet another great summer with us, stress management was a favorite topic. Maintain your mental health, physical wellbeing and make your experience an even more enjoyable one in 2018.
We all have a responsibility to support and coach each other and the children that we will be caring for. I think this term, coach, will arise again and again.
Strengths and weaknesses; acknowledging our own and recognizing those of others. Being able to view each other as uniquely talented will allow us all to appreciate the various skills and backgrounds we all bring to camp. It’s my hope that this will help us all work together in an even more cohesive way.
Ultimately, from this conference, my conclusions are that after 17 summers we can still always improve in a number of ways. Finally, our staff (YOU!!) are still the most important part of a successful and happy summer. Know that we are already working hard to make this upcoming summer the best one yet!
It might be the week after Thanksgiving but after spending a few days down at camp this week I have to say that I am still so thankful to be able to call Minnehaha Springs ‘home’ for the summer, in fact for anytime of year. In this latter part of November the mornings were crisp and frosty and the days were warm and rich with sunshine. The nights were clear and presented stunning, starry skies.
It was so great being there for a busy couple of productive days, with great and productive discussions including (but not limited to) ropes course maintenance, upcoming lake projects, archery improvements, staff lounge, firepit locations and much more!
T’was the night before the deadline, and all through the town
Every camp family, wanted to keep tuition down
Camp shirts were worn, sometimes to school
Knowing their friends would think that was cool
Campers were remembering fun times they had
With visions of summer; crazy and silly – not sad!
Amy and Iain, planning for the summer ahead
From morning at breakfast, to nighttime in bed
Fun times for sure, for all who attend
If plans change, do not fear we’ll mend
Deposits refund, sessions can change
We’ll make everything work, always willing to rearrange!
So enroll online and save money today
Knowing the summer is not too far away…
In the midst of our busiest time for returning families securing their summer spot, I was struck by a number of applications this morning. One was for a 16-year old female camper returning for her 10th summer, another was a couple of 14-year old campers returning for their 7th summers. Wow, I thought. These numbers really hit home the fact that we are so fortunate to welcome these children and families back to camp each summer.
As young adults they have chosen to spend a great deal of their formative youth, and their free time each summer, with us at camp. The options they have each summer are numerous and can involve unlimited exposure to sports, cultures and much more. That our campus located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia continues to hold an allure for them is impressive and speaks volumes towards their character and priorities.
As we see them grow in stature, size and maturity it is impossible not to be impressed. Too often we look down on the next generation and worry about what they hold in store for those of us that might depend on them in some respect. Check out this quote from a few years back, 8th century BC to be precise!
“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today” – Hesiod
8th century. BC. Greek Poet. Woah!
Despite this omnipresent sense of forboding, there is hope. And that hope shows itself to us in the form of young adults who choose to be back with us each summer and truly grow up in some small or large way each summer at Camp Twin Creeks. If you have one of these long term campers in your home, thank you for your support and ongoing encouragement summer after summer!