When you are at overnight camp there are certain things that help make living away from home more enjoyable. It's important to be sleeping well, making friends, having fun, and of course, eating foods that are both tasty and good for you. It's why our brother-sister summer camp in NH puts so much energy towards providing our camp community with the best meals possible. It's also why we have 5 talented chefs and a baker on our dining hall team.
I use this blog to write a lot about the powerful friendships our campers, counselors and camp parents form in our community. Yesterday I wrote about the more than a dozen great photos of K&E camp friends hanging out together that I received in just the past week. And as I looked at each image I was struck by the incredible positive energy radiating from everyone's faces. These weren't just aquaintences posing for a selfie -- these were people of all ages who feel an intense connection to one another, and who find that being together makes their lives more fulfilling. These camp friendships created at our brother-sister summer camp mean so much to us all.
Almost 10 years ago, Scott Brody, the owner/director of our brother-sister summer camp in NH, spotted a growing national trend: some of our education leaders and the heads Fortune 500 companies were starting to speak publicly about a massive skills gap in our young people. In what was a surprise to many, the issue wasn't about our young people's STEM skills, but rather, that our high schools and universities were producing graduates unable to think on their own, lead in a group, or be responsible for their own actions. They were lacking in the sort of soft skills that are crucial in today's workplaces: the ability to effectively communicate, to work well with others, to think creatively, and to be positve leaders. These traits were eventually gathered together under a single heading and given the name 21st century skills, with educators and CEO's identifying them as the necessary skills and dispositions young people will need to succeed in the 21st century global economy.
I got back from vacation to find my email inbox FILLED with photos of our K&E camp friends hanging out with each other all over the world this week. Lowell hung out with Ben, Nate, Elliot, Jake, Posner, Nathaniel, Russell, Maddy and Reid, while former counselors Eddie, Mark, Luke and Amanda had a mini-reunion in the UK. On trips to Florida Brenna, Abby, and Lexi hung out with Mia and Daniella, and Ari, Carly, Rebecca, Mia and Oliver did too!
The start of camp is not that far away, and we know that both our new camp parents and new campers are getting really excited. We also know that even our returning campers have tons of questions as they prepare for the summer of 2016. Last week I posted the first blog in a new series called "New Camper Questions". It covered topics like how we do laundry at our Camp in NH, and where campers can store their belongings during the summer. This week I am excited to write about a really important topic on so many campers' minds: the bus ride to camp, and the first day!
As so many of our camp families head out on vacation this week we just want to remind you that the "Where Your Camp Shirt" contest is still on and going strong. If you go somewhere fun this coming week show your camp spirit by snapping a photo of you wearing a piece of camp apparel and send it to us. There's a special K&E prize for anyone who participates. At the first morning assembly of this summer we will present a really cool prize for the person who traveled the farthest while wearing their camp shirt or sweatshirt.
Yesterday I received an incredible email from Tom Shanks, our long-time head of soccer at Evergreen, our summer camp for girls. Tom is studying abroad this semester in Spain, and he could not wait to tell me all about the life lessons he was learning, and how our brother-sister summer camp community continues to be such an important part of his life. Take a look below to read what he wrote:
Every now and then I read an article and say to myself "why did I not think to write that?!" Today was one of those days. In today's Boston Parents Paper Lucy Norvell published a piece called "Here’s why you can sleep soundly while your kid’s at a sleepaway camp". As I read each paragraph I kept saying outloud at my desk "she gets it! This brilliant woman gets it!"
With so much snow on the ground the start of this summer can feel like it's years from now, and yet our opening day is less than 130 days away! So I have a question for our newest campers: are you getting excited for Camp? We sure are! We are so looking forward to spending the summer with you – playing together, learning, sharing, and just getting to know you better. We have so many fun daytime and evening activities planned already, like soccer and basketball, waterskiing and rock climbing, and capture the flag and Jell-O wrestling.
As excited as you may be joining us this summer, we also know that most new campers at our brother-sister summer camp are also at least a bit nervous about their first summer with us up in New Hampshire. Much of this nervousness is due to the many questions you may have 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).
We have put together this weekly series called "New Camper Questions" to gives answers so much of what our new campers seem to wonder about each summer. For the next few weeks, each Tuesday we will cover some of the questions about life in and outside of our bunks, and how that works. This information is for every member of the family, including new parents and new campers!
I sleep with a stuffed animal at home. Should I bring it?
This is one of the most frequent questions we are asked! Almost every single junior camper (age 8-12) in Kenwood & Evergreen brings some sort of special item or object with them to Camp – a teddy bear, stuffed dog, sports pillow, or even a blanket they’ve had since they were really little. We’ve seen just about everything, and just about everyone in your bunk will have something. If having something like this is going to help you feel comfortable at Camp – and help you sleep at night -- then it’s probably a good idea that you bring it. What we recommend is that you don’t bring something fragile or irreplaceable. Living in a bunk, it’s easy for your special object to fall on the floor or get dirty. And sometimes these things even get lost at Camp. So you might want to bring your second favorite stuffed animal, or a blanket that feels like your much-loved one that is safely waiting for you when you get home from a fantastic summer at Camp.
Topics: New Camper Questions
At our brother-sister summer camp in NH we've spent the last 86 years coming up with funny, creative, and innovative ways to help our campers have great times. And while our campers are only with us during the summers we here in the Camps K&E Office work on new ideas throughout the entire year. On Friday, as most of the Northeast was going through a major snow storm we held a puzzle solving contest on Instagram that campers, counselors, and even some camp parents from around the world were involved with (congratulations to the Baxters for ultimately figuring out what the theme of the snowday puzzles was before anyone else in the camp community!
We are getting ready and excited for another wonderful summer at Camps Kenwood & Evergreen, and it is time to being our second annual Camp 101 campaign!
Topics: camp 101
When you are a part of our summer camp community, your camp friends are everywhere! No matter where you go there's a good chance you'll see a friend you made during your 7 weeks at our brother-sister summer camp in NH.
There's nothing better than hanging out with your camp friends, especially at an amazing summer camp reunion. This weekend we had our annual Tri-State area reunion at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, CT. As you can see, friends of all ages were just so happy to see each other. Our campers and counselors traveled from MA, RI, MD, CT, FL, VA, PA, NY, and NJ, and would do just about anything to see each other during the non-summer months.
Topics: video yearbook