sunshine parenting, parenting podcast, Ep. 142

Show Notes

Tap into the camp values of gratitude, attitude, and courage to help you and your family cope during COVID-19! This week on the podcast, I’m chatting with camp professional and podcaster Cole Kelly about summer camp and how his family is coping with sheltering at home.

Cole and his wife Kate are the owners and directors of Camp Weequahic in Lakewood, Pennsylvania. Cole spends his summers setting the tone for camp, joining in on the fun with the kids, and supporting both the staff members at camp and parents back home in every way possible. While there are too many joys of camp to list, getting the youngest campers’ ‘happies’ each night and leading the weekly Friday Night Campfires are among his favorites. During the off-season, Cole travels to meet potential new families around the world and oversees the preparations for another great summer.

Both Kate and Cole have come a long way together from captaining their collegiate teams (soccer at Dartmouth for Kate and golf at Virginia for Cole.) When not talking camp or volunteering in their home community of Athens, GA, Kate and Cole spend their time parenting their three boys – Cole3 (16), Jack (14) and Luke (12) – and caring for Camp Dog Mac.

Cole hosts the Campfire Conversation Podcast:
Listen to Audrey’s interview with Cole on the Campfire Conversation Podcast.

Play! It’s good for everyone! – Michael Brandwein on Campfire Conversation (mentioned in this episode).

Download Screentime Ticket Checklist from Camp Weequahic.

Gretchen’s Daily Activities Checklist 

Cole’s posts about gratitude, attitude, and courage:
Gratitude in Action
The Space Between
Speaking from the Heart

Big Ideas

Many camps focus on character-building and have resources that can be helpful to families right now.

It’s important for us to encourage our kids to move, connect with their friends, and have fun!

Family members may need breaks from each other and will feel refreshed after some time to themselves.

There may be games or activities that your family has not done in awhile that they may enjoy together again now.


sunshine parenting, cole kelly, summer camp

Cole: There’s a great quote that says that crisis doesn’t build character. It reveals character. And the crisis that we’re going through has shown what the character is of the camp community, which is we’re here to help. We know about kids, we know about connection, we know about relationships.

Cole: We’re trying to keep people’s minds off it while also always pointing back to the values of our camp, which is what we really focus on, which is gratitude. We’ve talked all the time that a grateful heart is a happy heart, attitude is the only thing you have total control over in your life. So choose a good one and then building courage.

Cole: This moment that we’re in right now, those values are so vitally important to practice and to put out into the world.

Audrey: Try to recreate a little of that camp magic.

Cole: The other things we’re counseling families to do is whatever you can do to add a little bit of fun.

Cole: Perfect is the enemy at this point. You just need to be there and be with your kids and want to relate.

Cole: If parents treat this as an opportunity, they can connect with their kids in ways that will leave a very big lasting impression.

Audrey: I do think that so many people are struggling because they’re trying to figure out this new normal, but instead of putting so much pressure that everything has to be perfect, just like you said, let’s just do a little bit of fun and connection

Audrey: We need breaks even from each other during this time.


Resources/Related Posts

Ep. 63: Growing Gratitude with Sara Kuljis

Advice & Encouragement During COVID-19: Bringing Camp Home with Maria Horner

Advice & Encouragement During COVID-19: Bringing Camp Home with Mike & Mary Endres

Advice & Encouragement During COVID-19: Bringing Camp Home with Ariella Rogge

Happy Campers Camps

Video version of our interview


Pick a Summer Theme!


michele borbaDr. Michele Borba’s quick tips on Twitter & Instagram are my favorite for this week.

Dr. Michele Borba on Twitter
Dr. Michele Borba on Instagram

Check out my recent interview with Dr. Borba about her book Unselfie:
Ep. 138: Unselfie with Dr. Michele Borba