I wanted to share a couple of great nuggets of wisdom our team of camp professionals picked up recently at the Tri-State camping conference. We’ll be sharing these with our camp counselors during staff training this summer and also throughout the summer with our campers to make our culture full of even more positive energy and direction.
Sometimes as parents and camp counselors we view a routine task as a chore rather than a privilege. I ‘have to’ take my kid to soccer practice or ‘have to’ walk the dog in a few minutes. We’re going to ask our staff this summer to replace this thought process with ‘get to’ and to appreciate the opportunities we all enjoy on any given day. Try it! The founder of the ‘Life is Good’ company introduced this to us and our team universally loved the idea.
Our next pearl of wisdom will be used by camp counselors and especially those that teach our wide range of activities at camp! ‘Yet’…………..
A camper may have trouble making a lay-up and express frustration and comment ‘I CANNOT make a lay-up!!!!’ By responding in a calm manner and looking the young camper in the eye with ‘yet’ our counselors will convey confidence and let them know that together they can work on this. We want our campers to have a can do attitude both at camp and at home and we’re hoping this simple response and attitude can help that.
Try these out and be ready for your camper to come home after their time at Twin Creeks recalling some of these phrases and much more!
Thanks to the magic of the internet I know that in precisely 100 days (at the time of writing; legal requirement ;-) a few things will be happening in our camp world…
#1 I’ll be celebrating my 42nd birthday……..I know so hard to believe
#2 Waterfront, Leadership and Horseback Riding staff will be arriving at Camp for their own week of intensive and specialized training
#3 Some staff will already be 2+ weeks into our summer stay in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains of WVWith this being said, it is such good news to know that the true heart of the summer is a mere 100 days away. That means we all have so much to do, right?
Our camp families need to make medical appointment to get those forms signed and figure out what clothes still fit from last summer – and what items just never recovered from all they were put through in 2015!
We need to complete our staff recruitment and bring in another amazing team of people dedicated to giving your child a truly wonderful experience at Camp! Luckily we have a core of staff that return each summer and those that grew up at camp as a child and now plan to return as a member of our staff. What a great way to ensure our fun and silly traditions continue; and our culture of emotional and physical safety, happiness and fun is also in safe hands as these young adults dedicate themselves to our cause once again.
New programs need to be added and new stuff needs to be built too! Our leadership staff head to the biggest camping conference in the world next week. We’ll all walk away with a renewed excitement for both the 2016 summer and our fortunate position we find ourselves in – summer camp professionals. Look out for these changes and additions as the summer approaches – newsletters will be sent out in regular intervals so you do not miss a thing!
With 100 days to go, don’t panic but start thinking about the summer. Plan and prepare mentally – get your child thinking about the fun stuff they’ll get to do and start building their confidence now; they might even need to borrow some confidence from you.
Visit our website often, watch the video, tour virtually every part of camp, walk through a typical day and become more familiar. If questions arise during this process please just ask. We offer a myriad of options for question-asking; phone, email, live chat, new parent nights, home visits, spring gathering…
Thanks for your time and, more importantly, thanks for choosing summer camp for your child this summer!
It might not be the time for gifts under the tree nor is there snow falling from the sky but January still feels like the most wonderful time for me. The year turns over and that means the next summer is that much closer and it is also the time when I get to meet so many new families that are interested in their child attending Camp Twin Creeks.
I try and meet as many new families as possible prior to the summer to help them appreciate what camp will hopefully do for their child. By meeting a family, in their home, and also their pets more often than not, everybody feels as comfortable as possible as the relationship between the parent, the child and us, the camp, starts in such a positive manner.
Questions get asked by child and parent alike and it is always exciting for me personally not truly knowing what to expect. Regardless of the questions asked and answered, my goal is that everybody is a little (or a lot) more excited for the summer when I leave the house!
So if you’re considering camp this summer, live in the metro DC area, or anywhere within a few hours drive of my winter home of Philadelphia, please do not hesitate to reach out and request a home visit. I have never been know to turn down an invite!
On a Sunday afternoon in July 2002 I called my best friend Lindsay for a playdate. Her mom answered the phone she said Lindsay had left that that morning for Camp Twin Creeks and wouldn’t be home for two weeks. “Oh okay,” I said with disappointment. I told my mom that Lindsay couldn’t play because she was away at Twin Creeks. “Oh that’s the camp I heard about, maybe next year you can go.”
Two weeks later, Lindsay came home and I went over to her house that night for dinner. She couldn’t stop talking about all her camp friends and all the great experiences. She kept leaving the dinner table because all her new camp friends called.
Hmm, maybe I would consider camp?
Fast forward to January 2003 and I was signed up for my 1st year at Camp Twin Creeks!
My first year at camp I cried every day because I missed home but nonetheless, I had a great time. Camp must have done something right because I was a camper for six years then became a junior counselor, a cabin specialist and then a group leader. I’ve spent half my life with Twin Creeks and I am the person I am today because of my experiences. While I could write a novel about how Twin Creeks has positively influenced my life I’d like to highlight a few of the many skills I have gained because of camp.
Because of Twin Creeks, I gained an appreciation for nature and spending time outside. The West Virginia scenery and fresh mountain air is therapy to me.
Because of Twin Creeks, I learned how to live with other people and be away from home. Camp’s communal living structure prepared me to live with other people and made the transition to college and moving into my sorority house easier. Plus, I got my money’s worth out of my Crocs because I could wear them in the showers at college!
Because of Twin Creeks, I acquired cultural awareness. What sets Twin Creeks apart from other camps is that there are many international counselors and campers. I loved learning about different cultures and what life was like for girls my age in different countries. Counselors and campers are from Scotland, Australia, England, Dominican Republic, France etc. Camp promotes acceptance and celebrates diversity. Did you know that a jumper is a sweatshirt in England? Or that bubbler is a water fountain in Australia?
Because of Twin Creeks, I learned how to unplug from technology. We live in such a fast paced world and are always connected to our gadgets. It’s an amazing feeling to escape to a place where there is no cell phone service and you feel disconnected with the world for a little bit. While many people may find this a problem, I think it’s a blessing.
Because of Twin Creeks, I’ve cultivated lifelong friendships. Trust me when I say, your camp friends become your best friends. The experiences you have with your camp friends you just don’t have with other friends. I’m closer with my camp friends who I only spent a few weeks in the summer with than friends who I saw everyday from home.
Because of Twin Creeks, I was provided role models and learned how to be someone’s role model. Like school or a sports team, camp is another platform where kids can have positive role models. My counselors taught me values and were people I trust; I wanted to be them when I grew up. As I became a counselor, I was able to give back and be that role model who I had once needed which is a very rewarding feeling.
Because of Twin Creeks, I was challenged to push outside my comfort zone and gained confidence. I was never a kid who wanted to try new things but the positive environment that camp fostered encouraged me to try water-skiing, zip lining, hiking and going on an overnight.
Because of Twin Creeks, I gained the foundation to become a leader. Whether it was being an Olympic Leader, a CIT or a Group Leader, my experiences taught me how to communicate, delegate, and be resourceful, and open-minded. From this experience, I went onto serve on multiple executive boards in my sorority and in Greek life. If it were not for Twin Creeks, I wouldn’t have been prepared to serve in those leadership positions.
Woah, just home from walking the dog and listening to this Podcast from ‘NPR; This American Life‘ about the social media lives of teenage girls. Very interesting and informative so I wanted to share.
Obviously many of you are living this very life with campers in your home and none of this will be news to you but for those of us with younger children a report like this certainly lets us know what we have to look forward to.
And, throughout my listening to this article, it struck me that the older girls at camp seem to relish the absence of social media in their lives for the 2 short weeks they spend at camp. It’s just a shame that there is no foreseeable way that it could be removed from their life for the other 50 weeks of the year.