The Blog of Camps Kenwood and Evergreen

Happy Thanksgiving and a Classic Summer Camp Movie From the 1940's!

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 28, 2013 2:30:00 PM

Happy Thanksgiving and a Classic Summer Camp Movie From the 1940's!


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Topics: Happy Thanksgiving, Classic Summer Camp Movie, arthur sharenow, camp movie

Parenting Resource: How To Raise Thankful Kids

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 27, 2013 3:18:00 PM

Parenting Resource: How To Raise Thankful Kids


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Topics: parenting resource, how to raise thankful kids, slate magazine, slate

Ask a Camp Director About Our Summer Camp in NH

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 27, 2013 12:28:00 PM

Ask a Camp Director About Our Summer Camp in NH


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Topics: summer camp in nh, Ask a Camp Director, facebook

Values-Driven Summer Camps: Friday Night Services

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 27, 2013 11:48:00 AM

Values-Driven Summer Camps: Friday Night Services

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Topics: Values-Driven Summer Camps, Friday Night Services, jewish

Summer Camp For 21st Century Skills: How Children Succeed

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 26, 2013 11:10:00 AM

Would you like to radically change your understanding of how children succeed? We invite you to watch this provocative TED Talk video by teacher and child development expert Angela Duckworth. In it she makes a persuasive case for why IQ is not quite the predictor of success that so many of us think it is, and why perseverance or “grit” is.

Grit is a skill that we talk a lot about at our summer camp in NH. It’s also a skill identified by the P21 organization as one of the core 21st Century Skills that today’s children lack, and need to succeed in the future.

Think about your own experiences and the people you have encountered in school and in your professional life. Which person have you wanted on your team: the person who was naturally gifted and not all that motivated, or the person with above average aptitude and an insatiable desire to surpass goals?

The academic and business leaders of our society have come to realize that over time we have taught our young people to devalue grit. Our schools more often than not reward the students who can quickly recite the facts and figures, as opposed to those who are able to wrestle with the larger concepts. More and more we teach to the test, and not how to critically solve problems. A net effect of this is that we are raising generations who either give up when sufficiently challenged, or who avoid things outside of their comfort zone all together.

But the world is readily changing, and with it the skills needed to succeed are, too. There was a time that you could make yourself indispensable by being able to recall vast amounts of trivial information. Now just about everything can be looked up on Google using a smartphone. Going forward the true difference makers will be those members of the work force who will be able to process complex ideas in order to solve problems, and those who have the ability to communicate effectively and collaborate in groups.

This is where overnight summer camps enter the equation. By their very design, summer camps are incredible laboratories for developing 21st Century / Non-Cognitive Skills. While they are outside playing and having fun summer campers learn to negotiate with their peers and authority figures; test out how to assess risks and live independently; are required to shift their expectations and be more flexible in their thinking; and practice a whole host of sports, arts, swimming, friendship-making skills that can only be mastered through repeated practice. It’s in the summer camp environment that children are able to acquire the characteristic of grit that they will so desperately need to succeed in the future.

At Camps Kenwood & Evergreen in NH, we focus on developing these 21st Century/Non-Cognitive Skills every single day of the summer. Over the course our 7-week experience our campers become more proficient in all of the following soft skills: 

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Topics: Summer Camp For 21st Century Skills, How Children Succeed, angela duckworth, grit

21st Century Skills Summer Camp: Teaching Soft Skills

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 25, 2013 11:15:00 AM


Someone has written about it again: the soft skills gap. This time it’s in Time Magazine in an article titled “ The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired”. While we have a major unemployment problem in this country we also have an issue finding young people who can fill the many vacant positions out there.
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Topics: 21st Century Skills Summer Camp, teaching soft skills, time magazine, skills gap

Summer Camp in NH in the News

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 22, 2013 2:55:00 PM

Summer Camp in NH in the News

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Topics: food allergies, boston magazine, endless summers, brother and sister camps, living without

A Safe Summer Camp for Kids with Food Allergies

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 21, 2013 2:06:00 PM

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Topics: Safe Summer Camp for Kids with Food Allergies, safe summer camp, summer camp for food allergies

Summer Camp in NH: The Cure For Helicopter Parenting

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 20, 2013 11:21:00 AM

The term “helicopter parent” gets thrown around a lot these days. When it entered Webster’s a few years back the definition given was "a parent who is overly involved in the life of his or her child." Like me, you probably see it in some of your neighbors or at school pickup or even in your sister-in-law. Thankfully, we don’t see many helicopter parents in our summer camp in NH.


Recently, I was reading an article on about how the first group of children raised by helicopter parents has grown into adults entering the workforce...with helicopter parents. Parents are showing up at job interviews or calling their 20-something’s boss to complain about a poor performance review. Not surprisingly, employers are making it clear that this outside influence is not only unwelcome, but an impediment to talented young people getting (or remaining) hired.


Nicole Williams, an employer quoted in the article is trying to warn parents. "You are not doing your kid any favors. Encourage them to share their fears, thoughts and ideas with you after hours and you can absolutely do the same. But make it clear that he/she has to form and express their own opinions and create their own experiences in order to build professional confidence and respect."


All parents share the desire to protect their kids from harm. It’s a good and necessary trait. But as the parent of two young children I know that I also have to fight my own impulse to intervene every time I see one of my sons experiencing a moment of adversity. And I don’t always get it right. Finding the balance of when to let our kids make their own mistakes, and when to run in and make it all better, is something I think all parents struggle with every day. It’s an ever-evolving dynamic between parent and child.


Aaron Cooper, a clinical psychologist from Northwestern University, is also quoted in this article. In it he warns against parents becoming overinvolved in solving their tween and teen’s problems. His concern is that "it's almost like a soft disability in their lives", with young people eventually becoming unable to thrive independent of their parents.


This helicopter parenting dynamic is "making it hard to develop resilience, self-sufficiency and autonomy," Cooper said. "If they [children] have not developed the resilience by their teenage years, we don't know if they will ever develop it." It appears that fighting too many battles for our children sends a subtle but undeniable message to them: they are unable to fight them on their own.  We are feeding a mindset of inadequacy.


As the parent that last quote terrifies me. I’m certainly not a helicopter parent, but I am very involved in my kids lives. What can loving, attentive, well-meaning parents do to prepare their children for the outside world? How do we raise children with the tools to not only move out of the house and enter the workforce, but thrive when so many of their peers will not? The answer, in part, is overnight camp.


There is no other area of American life that is so able to provide the skills of independence, resilience, adaptability, flexible thinking, and the ability to collaborate in groups. Quality overnight camps do this in environments dedicated to the physical and emotional safety of children. Making overnight camp available to your child is a gift that will profoundly and positively impact the rest of his or her life.


We’re not the only ones who have noticed this. Major companies like Apple, Intel, and Lego have begun to recognize that the youngest segment of the workforce has major deficiencies when it comes to these skills, and they are beginning to turn to overnight camps like Kenwood and Evergreen in NH for help. They are acknowledging that a young person who regularly spent summers away from home, either as a camper or a counselor, is better prepared to succeed in today’s competitive business climate than someone who was constantly under parental observation.


As you look for ways to give your child the competitive edge, not being a helicopter parent isn’t enough. The real advantage is giving your child the gift of a life outside of your home in an environment dedicated to nurturing your child’s life skills. Camps Kenwood & Evergreen in NH is just that sort of place. We invite you to learn more about us and the incredible work we do with some of the world’s future innovators and leaders.

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Topics: Cure For Helicopter Parenting, helicopter parenting,, camp is the cure

Find an incredible summer camp job

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 19, 2013 3:45:00 PM

Have you been trying to find an incredible summer camp job? Here’s what some of our counselors and staff had to say about working at Camps Kenwood & Evergreen in New Hampshire.

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Topics: incredible summer camp job, find an incredible summer camp job, staff testimonials

Preparing My Child For Summer Camp, Vol. 5

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 18, 2013 11:23:00 AM

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Topics: preparing my child for summer camp, preparing for camp

Preparing My Child For Summer Camp, Vol. 4

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 15, 2013 10:43:00 AM

With the start of summer camp only months away we know that many parents are asking themselves "what steps could I take to prepare my child for summer camp?" As child development experts we have created this collection of ideas and recommendations as a resource for parents. The summer camp experience brings with it newfound responsibilities and independence.


Our recommendation is for families to focus on each of these ideas or skill sets individually, and over a one or two week period (so as not to be overwhelming). As you help your child prepare for this summer please let us know if any questions arise. We love to hear from our families, even if their children aren't enrolled in the Kenwood and Evergreen community. We want to be a part of helping your child get ready for an incredible summer experience!


1. Help your child get into the Camp mindset

Camp presents children with many new opportunities and situations. A good example of this will be living in a bunk with six or seven other children. Your child may have their own room at home and can create personal space just by shutting a bedroom door. At Camp everyone will be living in a cabin with other people 24 hours a day, and this requires a new mindset. We recommend that families talk about how everyone can work together to foster a happy living situation in the bunk. Remind your child that bunkmates are likely at times to walk into their area or want to sit on their bed. Sometimes bunkmates borrow other camper’s belongings and forget to ask. Campers who are not used to cleaning up after themselves will be asked to do so. These are important things to think about as you all get ready for Camp.


2. Make a plan for personal responsibility

Camp will be a fun adventure this summer, but it also requires that campers take on more responsibility than they might at home. We recommend that new campers practice making their bed without being reminded by mom or dad. We also recommend that campers practice putting away dirty clothes, shoes, athletic equipment and toys as soon as they are done with them. It will be each camper’s responsibility to know where his or her belongings are this summer! Lastly, it’s a good idea for new campers to get used to showering and brushing their teeth without a reminder from mom or dad (even though our counselors will be reminding them during the summer!).


3. Vary the night time routine

Camp does not always follow the same bedtime schedule, especially if we have a really
 cool evening activity like 4th of July Fireworks, Jell-O Wrestling, or Hollowpallooza. If your family is used to a fairly regular bed time routine each night (reading a particular book, listening to certain songs, etc.), make sure to vary it a bit in the weeks and months before Camp. Our counselors will be there to put our campers to bed each night, but not always 
at the exact same time or in the exact same way. It’s good to get used to a little bit of variety.


4. Schedule sleepovers

As part of varying the nighttime routine we recommend scheduling some sleepovers with friends, cousins, or grandparents. Sleepovers are a lot like being at Camp. You get to be with someone you enjoy spending time with, and you are away from home over night. A good way to practice being at Camp is to have a couple of sleepovers at friends’ houses and also at a relative’s. Most campers find that with each sleepover being away from home gets to be much more fun!


5. Practice writing letters home

Campers at our summer camp in NH are asked to write home three times a week. Moms and dads often tell us that their campers don’t say much in their letters (“Dear Mom, Camp is fun. Love Jack”). Parents want letters from summer camp to tell them about all of the fun adventures and about the friendships their children are making. It may sound silly, but we recommend practicing writing letters from Camp while your child is still at home.

After a sleepover have your child write a letter that talks about the different things they did while they were away. Ask them to do their best to explain what they liked or didn’t like about the overnight. Working on this skill before Camp should make writing letters home much easier during the summer.


6. Create a list of questions to lesson the unknowns

Most of our campers (and parents!) think of lots of great questions before their first summer 
at Kenwood & Evergreen. We recommend keeping a piece of paper on the refrigerator and labeling it “Questions About Camp”. Whenever a question comes up write it down. When
 your family thinks that the list is long enough send us an email or call us in the Camp Office.
We LOVE hearing from families during the year, and would love to answer each and every
one of your questions. You can reach us at, or at 781-793-0091.


7. Work on Self-Advocacy

This summer is going to be an incredible experience of growth, fun and excitement, but we also know that there are going to be some bumps along the way. It’s hard for some campers to let adults know when they are having a tough moment. We really need your child to be prepared to share with their counselors, unit leader, and with us if they are having any difficulties, even if the issues are really, really small. Small issues can become big issues if left unresolved! If we don’t know about them we won’t be able to work on them!


8. Help pack for Camp

We bet that you are going to send your child to Camp with some really cool stuff. It would be a shame if they didn’t know that mom or dad had packed them in their bags! As much as it may lengthen the time it takes to pack, please try and include your child in this process. It will go a long way towards helping them become more responsible for their own belongings. Make sure that they know what their raincoat looks like, how many pairs of shoes they are bringing, and what cool stuff they should be keeping track of this summer.


9. Get familiar with some of Camp's names and faces

Since you are now members of our Camp family we want to make sure that you get to know some of the people who run Camps Kenwood & Evergreen, and our places and traditions. 
In November we sent our new families a handout called “Information & Answers For The Summer, vol. 1”. If you have not yet, please share these with your child! And in early January we will be sending families The Official Camps Kenwood & Evergreen Encyclopedia. If you would like a copy of any of our educational materials please email us! Thanks.

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Topics: preparing my child for summer camp, preparing for camp, guide for new parents, guide for preparing a child for camp

Summer Camp For 21st Century Skills

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 14, 2013 10:52:00 AM

Over the years we have developed relationships with the select few other summer camps around the country that also focus on teaching 21st century skills to children. One of them is Camp Champions in Texas. Recently, Steve Baskin, the owner of Champions (and a partner in our day camp Everwood), wrote a piece articulating why 21st century skills are so crucial to today's children, and how summer camps are the ultimate classroom for teaching them to young people. With his permission and a few adaptations we are happy to share his insights and ideas with our camp community.

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Topics: Summer Camp For 21st Century Skills, camp for 21st century skills

Sleep Away Camp Without Electronics

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 13, 2013 10:26:00 AM

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Topics: Sleep Away Camp Without Electronics, overnight camp without electronics

Helping A Nervous Child (or Parent) Prepare For Camp

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 12, 2013 10:45:00 AM

After happily choosing Camps Kenwood and Evergreen we know that some of our campers still wrestle with a bit of nervousness about the coming summer. This is perfectly natural. For most, going away to summer camp in NH will be their first significant time away from home. Many will just be beginning to grasp the differences between life at home, and life at overnight camp. Even if they had a chance to visit us this summer, New Hampshire can seem like a far-off and mysterious place!


One of these campers may be yours. Starting this fall you may even start to hear language such as “I just won’t go” and “you can’t make me!” These statements can terrify parents, and rightly so! The impulse is to call the Camp Office and cancel for this summer. But in these situations our children are almost always using coded language that masks what they are really thinking. In our experience, what they are most often trying to say to their parents is “I’m scared. This Camp experience is outside of my comfort zone. I’m afraid that I might fail at this. Can you be a resource for me?” This is an important moment in your relationship with your child. We’d like to be a resource for you if these conversations should arise.


How About Tomorrow? – Experience has shown us that most of these conversations are initiated at bedtime. While this is a great time to bond with your son or daughter, it may also be a difficult time to have such an important conversation. Acknowledge what your child is expressing to you, but ask if you can revisit the conversation during the daytime.


Avoid Circular Conversations – It is unlikely that you will be able to win an argument that begins with “you can’t make me go!” So try and avoid these conversations all together. Instead, try something like “I can see that you are emotional about this topic, and I understand that. How about we just put this conversation aside until we both feel calmer?”. And then find a time to resume the conversation when everyone is in a better place.


Refresh Their Memories – Months after a summer tour or home visit, it can be hard for some campers to remember why they liked K&E in the first place! Ask them what they remember about Camp. Encourage them to reconnect with the reasons that they chose K&E. The act of processing these memories can be a powerfully positive reminder. You can even try showing them our online virtual tour and videos on our Youtube channel.


Share Some Confidence – Communicate to them that you believe that they have the skills to be successful at Camp (even if you aren’t 100% sure!). Hearing this from a parent can have a major impact on a child’s willingness to take healthy risks. This reassurance may be enough to reshape your child’s thoughts about Camp.


Share an Experience – Find a more fun, relaxing time to discuss his/her concerns about Camp, and do something together. Play a game just the two of you. Work on a fun art project. Go for a bike ride or out for an ice cream. Resolve not to answer your Blackberry or Iphone the whole time. Spend the first half hour just being together. Children are much more open to challenging conversations when they feel like the adult is focused on them in a positive, fun way!


Share Your Experiences – If you can, share with your child a story or two about a time in your life when you were anxious about doing something new. Tell them about how you tried something and overcame that fear. If possible, share an anecdote about a time when you backed away from a new experience, and ultimately regretted it. As the greatest role model in your child’s life, they are looking to you for reassurance that their feelings are normal, but are also looking for guidance on how to appropriately handle these feelings.


Expect This Again – It is unlikely that a single conversation will neutralize these anxieties completely. It will probably make things better for a time, and then your child will want to revisit this discussion. That’s to be expected. But with each round this conversation should get easier, and the frequency of these talks should diminish.


Reach Out – We want to be your year-round partners. We have years of experience helping children and families work through these kind of challenges. We have tools and ideas with which you may not be familiar. We’re available to you and your child for phone calls, emails, and even an additional home visit, should you really need it. Please do not hesitate to contact us and share what is going on in your family.


We know how much you love your child, and how committed you are to providing them with the most developmentally appropriate experiences possible. By helping your child face this anxiety you will be giving them a gift that is even greater than a summer at Camp. You will be helping them develop into a more confident, resilient person. We look forward to working with you on that goal!


Camps Kenwood and Evergreen in Wilmot, NH  is a brother-sister overnight camp for children ages 7-15. If you would like to learn more about Camps Kenwood and Evergreen we invite you to download our online brochure.

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Topics: anxious child, nervous child, prepare for camp, resources

Summer Camp in NH

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 11, 2013 10:45:00 AM

Camps Kenwood & Evergreen was founded in 1930, and is an overnight summer camp in NH. As an intentional community focused on teaching 21st Century Skills we have five goals in mind for each of our campers.

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Topics: summer camp in nh, summer camp in new hampshire, 5 goals

What Is A Brother-Sister Summer Camp?

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 9, 2013 11:23:00 AM

A brother-sister camp is a hybrid: it’s not quite coed and it’s not quite single gender. A brother-sister camp is actually two separate camps that come together from time to time for joint activities. Camp Kenwood for Boys and Camp Evergreen for Girls are both single gender camps that exist on the same property. Our campers never spend time in the living areas of the other camp, and they take different pathways to and from activity areas.

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Topics: brother sister summer camp, brother-sister, brother-sister camp

Summer Camp Cooking

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 8, 2013 3:38:00 PM

One of our favorite things about our overnight camp in NH is that our campers have the opportunity to participate in activities that can become lifelong passions. In recent years we started a summer camp cooking program, and it was loved by boys and girls over all ages.

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Topics: summer camp cooking, camp cooking

Summer Camp in NH

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 8, 2013 10:45:00 AM

Camps Kenwood & Evergreen is the beloved New Hampshire summer home for 330 boys and girls with age groups for boys between 8 - 15 years old. Our campers strengthen their social skills and become more independent with the help of their counselors and coaches, who are great role models and mentors. We strive to find every moment in each day for our children to exceed their own expectations and believe in themselves in a way that they might never have thought possible. In every activity and program we teach the skills that will be vital to every child’s success in the 21st century. To achieve these incredible goals Kenwood & Evergreen has more than 200 highly trained staff, and each cabin has a maximum of 8 campers with 2 full-time general counselors!



Campers choose our summer camp in NH because of their strong desire to be a part of fun, welcoming community that nurtures them to be their best selves. Because of this we attract kind, well-rounded boys and girls with diverse interests that include team & individual sports, visual & performing arts, and outdoor adventure. On average, over 93% of eligible Kenwood & Evergreen campers return each summer. Our campers tell us they return to our summer camp in NH because of the strength of the friendships that they make at Kenwood & Evergreen, and that each summer they have the opportunity to be themselves in a way that they can’t anywhere else. 



A summer at Camps Kenwood and Evergreen is about developing new skills for life. This includes becoming a better ball player, but also becoming a better friend. It’s about learning a new song on the electric guitar, and it’s also about learning how to live away from home and with other people. It’s about trying everything exciting our program has to offer, but also trying some activities that are a bit out of your comfort zone. Our weekly schedule offers the following exciting activities:


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Topics: summer camp in nh, summer camp in new hampshire

What Coaches and Parents Can Learn from the Richie Incognito Scandal

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 7, 2013 12:30:00 PM

There has been a great deal of commentary this week about the bullying scandal involving Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito. In yesterday's online magazine Slate there appears an interesting article titled "When It's Your Kid In The Locker Room: What Parents and Coaches Can Learn from the NFL Bullying Scandal". I'd like to share a Camp Director's perspective about youth sports culture, and what children can and should get out of a team sports experience.


There should be a fundamental difference between professional sports teams and organized sports activities for kids. Professional sports teams have one primary outcome in mind: to win. They make their money by winning, and everything else is a distant second. In organized sports for kids, winning shouldn't even be in the top three goals. It feels great to win. It is fun to win, and learning to win and lose graciously is a important lesson, to be sure. 


But youth sports should be about providing kids with the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons and to develop critical life skills through every game they play. The tragedy is that so many youth coaches don't seem to understand they are in the skill building business, rather than the winning business. Through youth sports, children can learn critical skills like leadership, teamwork and collaboration, creative problem-solving and communication. They can learn how to motivate others, and can develop stronger social and emotional intelligence. 


However, the development of these skills doesn't happen by accident. The coach must make life skill building a primary outcome of the team's experience. This takes planning, organization and intentionality. It requires an adult who keeps his/her eyes on the prize and doesn't get distracted by the lure of winning at the expense of learning.


Scott Brody

Owner & Director, Camps Kenwood and Evergreen, Wilmot, NH

Founder, Everwood Day Camp, Sharon, MA

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Topics: what coaches and parents can learn, camp director's perspective, richie incognito

Summer Camp Jobs

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 7, 2013 11:16:00 AM

Have you thought about a summer camp job? Here's why you should consider applying to work at Camps Kenwood & Evergreen in Wilmot, NH.


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Topics: 21st century skills, summer camp jobs

Preparing My Child For Summer Camp, Vol. 3

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 6, 2013 11:18:00 AM

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Topics: preparing my child for summer camp, visiting day, local accommodations

Raising An Empathetic Child

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 5, 2013 11:26:00 AM

As a parent one of my goals is that I am trying to raise empathetic children. It is an incredibly important life skill, and one that our broader culture does not always model well. I want my sons to grow up seeing the strength in truly understanding and appreciating the emotions of other people. Thankfully, I have a spouse who recognizes empathy as a vital character building block. But how exactly does one go about raising an empathetic child in this day and age? What are the outside institutions that will help reinforce my family’s values? I am fortunate to be a camp director at a values-driven overnight camp community, where a major focus of our program is helping children to learn to be empathetic people. I am able to see the incredible good that an intentional summer camp community does in crafting a young person’s character.

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Topics: raising an empathetic kid

Preparing My Child For Summer Camp, Vol. 2

Posted by Jason Sebell on Nov 4, 2013 10:28:00 AM

Are you getting excited for this summer at Camps Kenwood & Evergreen?  We sure are!  We are so looking forward to spending the summer with our community – playing together, learning, growing, making lasting friendships, and especially getting to know our new campers! 


Parents often reach out to us and say “I’m not sure how to prepare my child for summer camp.” We know that first-time campers and parents have all sorts of questions about what camp is going to be like, and how certain things work (like laundry and meal time and bunk cleanup and the bus ride up to Camp).  So we have put together these answers to some of the questions new campers and parents seem to wonder about in anticipation of each summer.  If you'd like to see "Preparing My Child For Summer Camp, Vol. 1" please click here.


Throughout the year we’ll be posting them on our blog and sending them directly to our new families in packages, too! We hope that this information is helpful, and that it helps you feel better prepared, less anxious, and even more excited for the summer of 2014!


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Topics: preparing my child for summer camp, preparing for camp

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