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Tree Decorating @ Camp!

Tree Decorating @ Camp!

Check out this fun video that Steph and Allen made during a visit to Camp this week!

There might not be much snow on the ground but the holiday atmosphere is in the air after they went to work in our 15-year Forest ūüôā¬† This special area of camp pays tribute to those campers and staff that have been with us for 15 long summers; so very impressive as this forest grows each year.

Who knows, maybe we’ll decorate all of the trees this summer!

IMG_1838 from Iain McClements on Vimeo.

Housework, sweat equity and blisters…

The month of¬†May¬†just disappears doesn’t it?¬† Spring took so long to arrive and now we’re being ushered into the summer months.¬† These past few weeks have been great to spend at home here in Philadelphia though.¬† Between soccer and other kids activities the garden is coming together and flowers and plants are blooming.¬† Add in some minor home improvements and the house looks great!

Why do I share this with you, you wonder?¬† Because camp goes through a similar process in the coming weeks.¬† From May 21, when we arrive for the summer, the grounds, buildings, flower beds, trails, activity areas and everything else will undergo its very own Spring transformation.¬† All of our leadership staff take exceptional pride in the appearance of Camp, the attention to detail, to safety and to preserving the natural beauty of Camp are of the utmost importance to all of us.¬† We hope you’ll feel that when you arrive at camp, on the first day of your camper session or for our June open house.¬† Wish us luck as we grab rakes, leaf bowers, grass seed and paint brushes!¬† Send any teenage volunteers who yearn to experience true hard work and graft too ūüôā

Ultimately, our goal is to provide your child with a memorable summer camp experience and we will pay the same attention to every little detail of their experience.  We believe that attention makes the difference and hope you feel that same way while your child is at camp with us and after they return home.

OK, time to find the gloves for yard work.  See you all this summer!

Wear TC Day

 

On Friday April 20th, we ask all TC campers to wear a camp shirt for the day – to meet other camp friends within their school, neighborhood, city.¬† We receive a lot of pictures from all over the US and several from other countries!¬† This speaks to the international population we welcome to camp each summer and to the feeling of community that we love and actively encourage in many ways.¬† We also donate $10 for each picture sent in to Project Morry, a wonderful non-profit summer program we support.¬† Follow these steps on April 20th…

  • Take a Photo, make sure we can see what shirt or sweatshirt you‚Äôre wearing!
  • Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tweet Your Photo @camptwincreeks
  • Be Sure To Use #wearTCday in ALL Posts.
  • Share Your Camp Pride and Spirit with all of YOUR friends on Facebook,

 

A Typical Day?

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā¬† 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.

 

I’ve been thinking about you :)

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!