Category Archives for Camp

Why Being a Camp Counselor is the Best Summer Job

In the summer of 1987, I returned for my second year as a camp counselor. Those summers 30 years ago were transformational for me, and I’ve since witnessed thousands of other lives that have been changed from the experience. I believe every college student would benefit from spending at least one summer as a camp…

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Ep. 6: Staying Underwhelmed with Erica Jameson

“Not WHO you are but HOW you are.” -Erica Jameson I learned a lot talking with Erica Jameson, the third generation owner and director of Jameson Ranch Camp, a sustainable, working ranch in California’s southern Sierras. Campers at Jameson learn how to take care of animals, live simply, and, as Erica says, “play in the dirt.”…

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Ep. 5: Using a Growth Mindset with Jeff Cheley

In Episode 5 of the Sunshine Parenting Podcast, I interview Jeff Cheley, the 4th generation director of Cheley Colorado Camps, a world-renowned summer camp founded in 1921 in Estes Park, Colorado, by Jeff’s great-grandfather. Jeff is in his 18th year as director at Cheley and with his wife Erika is parenting three young sons. He has a…

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Ep. 3: Raising Resilient, Independent Kids with Sara Kuljis

In Episode 3 of the Sunshine Parenting Podcast, I interview my good friend Sara Kuljis about raising resilient, independent kids. Sara is a 20-year veteran camp director and parenting trainer who has great insights and ideas about parenting and counseling kids. Sara, with her husband Steve, owns and directs Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp, a Christian adventure…

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Giving Kids Our Full Attention

Rapport feels good, generating the harmonious glow of being simpatico, a sense of friendliness where each person feels the other’s warmth, understanding, and genuineness. These mutual feelings likely strengthen the bonds between them, no matter how temporary. -Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The Revolutionary New Science of Human Relationships After conducting research on children’s social skills…

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The Power of Positive Words

Well, I don’t know the child that was returned to me on Saturday. It definitely wasn’t the child I dropped off two weeks earlier. The only logical explanation is that your camp is magic. Magic transformed my scared, sad, not always happy boy, into a confident, smiling, laughing young man. -Email from a Camp Parent I have…

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Campsickness: 10 Tips for Easing the Re-entry Home

“I miss camp so much. I just got back today.” -Emma From pictures posted on Instagram in the days following camp (and for the rest of the year), the message is clear. Some kids really miss camp after they get home — a lot. The feeling of missing camp is so intense for some kids…

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Why Kids Need to Get Uncomfortable

As parents, we spend a lot of time making our kids comfortable. Feeling cold? I’ll grab you a sweatshirt. Hungry? Let me get you a snack right away! Kid being unkind? I’ll complain to the teacher and make her stop! At times, I’ve felt like it’s my duty to alleviate any discomfort my child is…

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Connection Before Correction

Today concludes 10 intense days of training with our counselors to prepare them to work with campers this summer. We’ve prepared through discussion, reading, brainstorming, and role-playing; we’ve watched videos, reviewed procedures, sung songs, learned dances, and figured out the why, what, where, when, and how of camp. Because I know our counselors may not…

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7 Reasons to Get Outside

Next to unplugging, one of my favorite things to talk about is spending time outside. In fact, I believe the combination of unplugging AND spending time outside may be the answer to many of life’s ills. I know that combination works for me. During the summer, I spend most of my time outdoors. As a…

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Questions for Connection

When the calendar turns to spring, my mind turns full steam into counselor training mode. I can’t help it. After 31 years of preparing counselors for their summer working with kids at camp, I can’t help but be über-focused on gathering tools to help prepare them to be engaged with campers, thrive at camp, and…

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