October, 2015 | Camp Twin Creeks

Happy Halloween from my Desk

Power to the Bystander

October is Bullying Prevention Month and as the month ends I wanted to find a connection with campers or Twin Creeks, anything to make the post a little more interesting.  Well I now have that connection…

a dejected PHS #7 sits on the field after the loss to South Plainfield.

When Amy and I return to the Philadelphia area after the summer I resume a part-time position as a High School Freshman Soccer Coach.  I love the work, love the kids and being on the soccer pitch every day for a few hours.  Yesterday a parent reached out to me with information concerning a video of her son being bullied and physically assaulted.  This had been happening on my team for the last 4 or 5 weeks and I was unaware.  The act itself caught on video was sickening, a cold-blooded punch to the head of a teammate.  It was edited and set to music, then probably shared with many of their 30 teammates.  Teammates and bystanders.

This incident took place over 3 weeks ago and nobody on the team brought it to my attention nor to the attention of a parent or teacher.  There will always be a bully, there will always be a victim.  What does need to change and be reinforced is that those watching need to intervene, or ask for help.

This is what I will talk to my team about this afternoon as we prepare for the final game of our freshman season.  I also fully expect to be without several players that participated in this bullying, or were content to stand off to the side and do nothing.

When campers arrive at Camp Twin Creeks on the first day of a session we remind them that we are a Ridicule Free Zone and bullying of any kind will not be tolerated.  Our hope is that all campers learn to tolerate each other while at camp; not easy when you consider they live, sleep, eat, play and so much more together.  But get along they do and our hope and aim is that they depart Twin Creeks after 2 weeks a little better prepared to intervene should they need to.

I hope that is the case and the next time a bully tries to make a victim of a teammate there is somebody there to stop them or, at the very least, ask for help.

For more information from the ACA and articles about Bullying Prevention visit their website.


Camp – Vegemite, Haggis and Footie

After reading this article in the latest Camping Magazine about the abundance of foreign accents and personalities that can be found at summer camps across the USA, I was reminded of the positive feedback we get from our campers and families about this.


Over the past 15 summers at Twin Creeks we have welcomed (and loved) counselor personalities from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in the Southern Hemisphere and naturally many hard-to-comprehend accents from the United Kingdom.  In fact, many TC campers know the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain.  Ask them tonight!  They just don’t learn that in school these days…

Ironically, international students and counselors are an integral part of the classic american camp experience.  When campers depart so do they; for journeys all over this amazing continent.  These memories on top of their camp adventures make a summer over here unforgettable!  I personally often recall the summer of 1995 as I left camp in PA for a 5-week trip from NYC to Los Angeles with 3 camp friends.  It was truly the best vacation and adventure and ultimately Camp Twin Creeks will continue to benefit from an influx of funny words, food, expressions and skills from countries near and far!

Ask your camper for their fondest memory of an international counselor.  I am sure they’ll have a huge smile on their face as they recall a name or moment!

Girls’ Side News!

Hi Girls’ Side!girls side staff2 Jamie, Powers, and I miss seeing everyone bright and early at Ladybug Lounge!
Hope everyone is enjoying school and looking forward to Holiday breaks coming up!

We have some exciting news for Girls’ Side, we’re getting a brand new cabin! The construction is underway! The new cabin will be behind upper main village on the way down to theater.  Check out the pictures of the foundation phase of construction! new cabin3

With a brand new cabin comes a brand new name! Did you know all of our cabins at Twin Creeks are named after towns in West Virginia?  From Bluefield to Mullens, the cabins increase in alphabetical order.

We would like this new cabin to be name after a town in West Virginia that starts with letter N-S. Take a look at the Map and send your votes to carly@camptwincreeks.comnew cabin

Enroll today so you don’t miss out on all the fun! We can have a cabin-warming party for our new cabin addition! 🙂

Best Wishes & can’t wait to see everyone back at camp this summer!


GSSelfieCan you find yourself in the Girls’ Side Selfie!?








I choose my Phone over Food…

After discovering the CNN.com article that claimed some 13-year olds check social media upwards of 100 times a day, this was the quote that struck me the hardest;

“I would rather not eat for a week than get my phone taken away.  It’s really bad.”

Understandably, right?  That is some sense of perspective and as an older human being I am not one to judge but just one to worry about where this leads.

Of course this is a great time to remind us all that 2 weeks at summer camp means no technology but this sort of statistic makes me even more self aware and concerned that we adults struggle to cope without the crutch of social media and our devices too.  Imagine what we could or should be doing instead?  Thinking, talking, looking, breathing, driving or just waiting….  I personally find it hard to sit at a red light these days and just wait for it turn green.

When our campers leave the West Virginia mountains after 2 weeks they always talk about how much they enjoy the break from technology, and all that involves.  We love offering them that respite and look forward to doing so for many years to come.  In the future when we’re dealing with holograms, virtual reality social media, or whatever the next big this is, we will continue to provide children with a safe and happy place free of many distractions but with the type of activity and natural distraction that will always be welcome – watching a rain storm from a porch, campfire chats, card games, bedtime stories, walks with cheers to and from activities and much more.