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.
Posts Tagged ‘Lanakila’
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. (more…)
“I would be happy to add your child to the wait list.” At this time of year in the office of The Aloha Foundation, it is common to hear one of our staff telling a disappointed parent that a program is full, and that their child will be placed on the wait list. For our camp directors, being fully-enrolled is a terrific problem to have, even if it is frustrating not to be able to accommodate every camper. By February, although nearly every spot at Aloha, Hive and Lanakila has been filled, there are a few open places in specific sessions and age groups.
Aloha Hive Director Kathy Plunkett is now at the point of working to fill the remaining slots for the summer of 2013 with girls who are a certain age, or who can attend a specific session with openings. Much like planning the seating chart for a large wedding, filling Hive’s units with correct number of girls and correct ages takes master organizational skills. Sometimes the complicated piece is an unexpected withdrawal of a camper. (more…)
A few days before my daughter leaves for her third summer at Aloha Hive, I tell her she does not need to write to me. I understand that writing letters home from camp is kind of a chore, and I want her to enjoy her time and not be burdened.
Two minutes later, her father takes her aside and tells her that she has to write to me twice a week or else for every time I wonder aloud whether she is okay, she’ll babysit her little sister one hour.
“The letters don’t have to be long,” he tells her. “Just tell her you are alive and fine.”
The first night she is gone, I set down to write to her. (more…)
This comment was directed to the mother of a thriving college freshman. The speaker went on to say, ” I have noticed that my daughter’s friends who had strong freshman years all went to overnight camp at some point. The ones that really struggled did not.”
How does a summer as a child spent at a residential summer camp prepare the college freshman to be resilient and happy?
As this week winds down, there are schedules circulating in the office, showing which staff members will be accompanying which campers on buses to airports on the last day of camp. The business office of the Foundation works year-rounds to ensure that seven weeks at our residential camps go off without a hitch. With only a few days left on our 2012 calendars, we’re close to achieving that goal. Even with the final weekend of this summer’s camp schedule looming, there are still great resources to enjoy, offering insight about the value of summer camp, not only for children, but for the benefit of parents as well. Also, it almost goes without saying, the value for everyone of spending some time in the wilderness. (more…)
If you’ve had summer camp on your mind in the last six months, it’s been hard to go more than a week without bumping into an article or interview with America’s biggest summer camp champion, Michael Thompson. Thompson, a clinical psychologist, school consultant and international speaker on the subjects of children, schools and parenting published his latest book Thompson’s new book, Homesick and Happy in May. At the heart of Thompson’s message, is that allowing children to be away from home provides incredible opportunity for growth, and that kids, “…can be both homesick and happy, scared and successful, anxious and exuberant.” (more…)
Two weeks from today, on June 27th, hundreds of excited children will arrive at Aloha, Hive and Lanakila on Opening Day, ready for weeks of fun away from home. A week or so later, Horizons Day Camp will welcome its first session of campers. As far as all these children know, the counselors and staff turned up just the day before, perhaps setting up tents, dusting off songbooks, unpacking some art supplies and waiting for campers to arrive. Little do campers, or even parents know, the amount of preparation that will have occurred to make our Fairlee, Vermont campuses ready for a “best summer ever.” The magic of a summer at one of the Aloha Camps is not only about the fun of each camp day, but also about the many ways that counselors work to emotionally support and nurture campers. (more…)
With four weeks left before opening Day at Aloha, Hive and Lanakila, you are probably starting to prepare in earnest for your child’s departure for camp. In addition to completing your paperwork and packing the trunk, there are other ways you can ensure your child’s success this summer. I asked Barnes Boffey, Kathy Plunkett and MJ Parry about ways that parents can support the camp directors and staff. Here are a few ways you can enhance the camp experience for everyone in your family.
Barnes started with a broad reminder of why you enrolled your child, “A summer at camp is about having your child experiment with new parts of themselves, in a situation that is safe, filled with remarkable role models and focused in all aspects on the well-being and growth of your child. Don’t interrupt the process by continually pulling him or her back to the status quo.” Barnes recounts the story of the camper who walked up to his mom on Show Weekend and the first thing he said was “Mom, I’ve really changed. I hope that’s all right with you.” (more…)
Parenting a teenager can leave a mother or father at their wits’ end, marveling at the unpredictable, and frequently infuriating behavior exhibited by their child. Research by the NIH over the last decade has taught us that human brains don’t actually finish developing until we’re nearly 25. Knowing this, a teen’s impulsive actions can be chalked up to age-appropriate developmental behavior, a source of some comfort for bewildered parents. A blog post for parents published in 2009 explained, “We now know that the area of brain growth during adolescence centers on the frontal lobe. This is the control center for ‘executive functions’ such as planning, impulse control and reasoning.” A teen’s lack of executive function skills is easier to understand and accept, with the knowledge that their brain is undergoing significant growth. (more…)