There are two components in the process of creating resiliency in children (or adults). The first is the presence of opportunities for stress, failure, disappointment and imbalance, and the second is a process of processing those events that leads to strength and self-confidence rather than weakness and despair. A summer at camp offers both these components, and we are just as intentional about creating difficulties as we are about teaching kids to process them.
The Aloha Foundation Blog
On Lake Morey and Lake Fairlee today, the final touches are being put on camps Aloha, Hive and Lanakila. 2015’s Opening Day is Wednesday, and some campers are already en route to Fairlee today. As parents contemplate waving goodbye at the airport gate, on the steps to New York City bus or at camp itself on Wednesday morning, there will be a bittersweet pang for many.
My Daughter Went Away to Camp and Changed by John Dickerson lovingly explores the feelings parents experience at the beginning of a camp summer: pride, sadness, anxiety, joy and even nostalgia for one’s own camp days. Dickerson acknowledges the following about our children’s time at summer camp, “We are not invited, which is a paper-cut echo of the truth at the heart of parenting: You’re doing it best when you’re teaching them to leave you.” Read the rest of this entry »
I am sometimes asked whether I wish the Aloha Camps provided regular e-mail updates and daily pictures … and what about encouraging you to call your camper and visit regularly?
During the camp season I’m a notorious camp album page-refresher. Get up, brew coffee … refresh. Browse Facebook, refresh. On hold with the dentist’s office … REFRESH!
When the pictures are at last posted (once a week or whenever they get to it) most often there aren’t any of my kids. So I scan group shots for some hint of an elbow or wisp of hair I might recognize. (Yes, I did once forward to the grandparents a photo that contained the tip of my kid’s sneaker. They were so proud.) Read the rest of this entry »
With eight weeks to go until Aloha, Hive and Lanakila’s Opening Day, Horizons’ Session I and Ohana’s first family campers arrive, there is a lot of activity in Fairlee these days! There is plenty of work going on across our five campuses and within the Foundation office as well. The Buildings & Grounds crew are getting water turned on, docks and tents prepped for assembly, and buildings spruced up after their winter hibernation. Before we know it, Work Gang will be here putting the finishing touches on each campus.
In the office, all our important camper and staff paperwork is being put in order, supplies being ordered and stored and camper travel plans organized. Every spring the momentum gathers and we get excited for the coming summer.
We know that campers and parents and staff are getting ready too, in a variety of ways. Parents are ordering and filling trunks, campers are thinking about the fun that is to come and staff are dreaming up the way to make the magic happen. Read the rest of this entry »
Although the snow lays deep on our five campuses, and skaters are making good use of the Lake Morey Ice Trail, once the calendar rolls over to March the pace of camp preparation picks up in Fairlee. With about three months until Work Gang gets to work setting up Aloha, Hive and Lanakila there is plenty to do to be sure we’re ready for campers by the end of June.
If you are the parent of a soon-to-be first-time camper, there is work you can be doing now too. A recent blog post from the American Camp Association is full of helpful tips for starting a conversation about a summer away at camp. Both children and parents are susceptible to the jitters upon drop-off, but with thoughtful preparation, there can be fewer unwelcome surprises. Read the rest of this entry »
If you plan to drop a camper off next Wednesday at Aloha, Hive or Lanakila, by now their trunk is probably nearly packed and you are almost ready to head to Fairlee. Preparing your child for a camp summer means you’ve checked a bunch of items off your “to-do” list. Name-tags on everything, insect repellent, sunscreen, headlamp, books for rest hour, stamps and stationery all go into the trunk. Sleeping bag, hiking boots, tennis racket, favorite stuffy. Packing the tangible stuff is easy, but sometimes the intangibles, like homesickness, summer goals and communication with your child are harder to sort. As you prepare your camper and yourself for an amazing summer on Lake Morey or Fairlee, here is a list of five helpful links to help you manage some of the intangibles!
Today’s New York Times includes a funny and poignant article about a former, not-so-happy camper, Pamela Paul, Editor of The New York Times Book Review. In Not a Happy Camper, Pamela wonderfully contrasts her unhappy experiences in the late 1970s at four different summer camps with how she expects her daughter to love her forthcoming four weeks away at camp. In spite of loathing each of her summers spent away at camp, Paul understand the power of camp, and that her daughter will probably thrive when she goes away this summer. Citing a study sponsored by the American Camp Association, Paul writes, “Parents and campers alike report that children show significant growth in self-esteem, independence, leadership and friendship. They learned to explore, to be adventurous, to become environmentally aware.”
The countdown clock on our homepage is under 50 days, and our five campuses are beginning to hum as the summer of 2014 quickly approaches. While Hulbert Outdoor Center is in session throughout the year, the directors of Aloha, Hive, Lanakila, Horizons and Ohana are approaching their respective opening days. We caught up with our six program directors to ask them what they are most excited about for the coming summer. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy New Year! As we turn the calendar page to 2014 the Aloha Foundation blog resolves to be more consistent than it was in the final months of 2013. With your participation, the Aloha Camps Blog can help us build an increasingly connected community of camp families, informing and educating one another about the joys and challenges of raising capable, confident, resilient children. Please enjoy the first post of 2014!
By my second Hiver, I knew that the first year of going to camp follows a predictable cycle.
In November she lost her mind with happy when we confirmed that she was signed up for camp in July. From November through May she was completely unambivalent. Camp was going to be awesome! Then, the first week of June she had some questions about the food. Second week of June she wanted to know whether she really did have to wear socks (she hates socks). Third week of June she needed lots of information about bears, thunder storms, and forest fires. And what if she didn’t make any friends? Read the rest of this entry »
With fewer than three weeks until Aloha, Hive and Lanakila’s opening day on June 26th, 2013 camp parents are busy wrapping up the school year, shopping for the last minute items to pack in their child’s trunk and finalizing camp travel details. For first-time camp parents there is special attention to the details of the packing list to be sure every item is carefully purchased and packed. What can be less easy to check off the list is how to help a child who has summer camp jitters. Read the rest of this entry »