It's Summer …

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012

“It’s not officially summer until you forget what day of the week it is.” – Algonquin camper, awesome.

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Calling all Philadelphia People!

Posted by on Jul 28, 2012

At our camps, children have the opportunity to make friends, have fun, get active and discover who they are and what they can achieve. But some kids will never have this opportunity because of financial hardship. You can help though! Please join us at the famous West Taven in Philadelphia for an evening of merriment, friendship and fundraising with all proceeds to benefit our camp scholarship funds. Tickets are only $40 per person. Tickets are limited and advance registration (by 8/6) is required. Price includes wine, domestic beer, beverages and food, including pasta, salad, wings, fries and the ONE and ONLY Dirtyburger! You must be age 18 to attend, age 21 to drink....

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Woodcraft

Posted by on Jul 27, 2012

Our new program at Camp has been a huge success.  Woodcraft Director, Eric Teitelbaum, and his assistant, John Levinson have been running one period a day for the Matolly Skill Class and four periods a day for the Ocky boys, plus Choice Activity.  Our campers have been learning carpentry skills and have built benches, picnic tables, birdhouses, and lots more.  They are learning real skills that they can use at home.  When we made the decision to introduce this program last winter, Eric told me that he wanted this to be a scheduled activity that each village will participate in.  I told him that I didn’t want to jump the gun.  I wanted to start small and see how things go.  I made the decision (against Eric’s wishes) to start off as a choice activity offered a few times a day like our Photography Program.  I’m very happy to report that Eric was right and I was wrong!  We’ve had entire villages choosing to go to Woodcraft instead of their regular schedule.  We are making a new schedule this weekend for Session 4 that will include Woodcraft scheduled for every village at Boys Camp and a Skill Class offered for Matolly as well.  I am really excited for the success of this program and am very thankful for all of Eric and John’s hard work to make this program safe, fun, and instructional for our campers.  I think the Woodcraft Program is here to stay! Brent Birchler Boys Camp...

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A day in the life

Posted by on Jul 25, 2012

Days seem to last longer than the allotted 24 hours at camp. It’s only 10:30am and yet there have already been several games of carpet ball and gaga, a thoughtful song played by an old CIT group during chapel, village photos taken, and many hash browns consumed. As I write this, campers are swimming, riding horses, going down the slide, kayaking, shooting arrows at archery, weaving yarn at arts and crafts, and making small camp fires. Because hands-on learning is one of the best ways to learn new skills, we encourage all of our campers to get down and dirty with whatever they’re doing. To honor all of the activities we do at camp each day, here is an abbreviated list of things that could get on your hands during a typical day at camp: clay (at ceramics) glue, paint, glitter, feathers (at arts and crafts) sand, a pool noodle, a friend’s hand during a buddy check, bladderwort (at swimming) dirt, sticks, tree branches, pet rats (at earth education) sawdust (at woodworking) cheese, salad dressing, ketchup, gravy, sauce (at any meal) bug spray, sunscreen icing, dough, sprinkles (at cooking) nail polish, hairspray, etc. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of soap in the bathrooms for cleaning up afterwards! This list is just one of many I could assemble in an attempt to describe what we do at camp each day.  Even though the days are so full, time moves faster than we’d like (doesn’t it always seem to when you’re having fun?). Last Saturday marked the halfway point of resident camp and it seems like it was yesterday when we were welcoming the first campers for session 1. Alas, the best we can do is live in the moment. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to do some painting at arts and crafts. Tess Oneida Village...

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Self-Esteem

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012

Michael Thompson, author of Homesick and Happy, writes, ” … self-esteem is not the engine of learning; it is the by-product of learning. Children don’t learn because they feel good about themselves; they feel good because they have mastered something.” All over camp this summer, I’ve seen children building self-esteem. Some of our tried and true activites have been giving campers the ability to master something unique and special. At boating, countless campers have practiced and refined their J-Strokes and T-Rescues. At archery campers have progressively sighted their targets and walked away with some outstanding shots. Over at the challenge course countless children have improved on their problem-solving and effective communication and learned to conquer their fears and push their boundaries. Our new activities have stepped up to the plate immediately. Ellen has institued a cooking program, that by my estimates, has churned out over 3000 cookies at this point in the summer. Eric has an unprecedented amount of children choosing to join him at woodworking where they have been cranking out a number of different projects. All over camp today, campers are mastering these skills. Along with these Level 1 skills, they are mastering the harder skills of being responsible, respectful, caring, honest, and most importantly, building friendships. I’d like to think that with this mastery, every camper will return home this summer with a little more self-esteem. Happy Camping! Dave...

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Drinking Stations!

Posted by on Jul 21, 2012

Well….as we all know, Camp can be a fun filled, action packed, super busy and amazing experience. As our enrollment has grown beyond our previous years enrollment, we have had to find new ways to ensure that everybody stays hydrated throughout the day. Pictured below is Jamie Coker who helped me build our 1st ever “Cooler Water Bottle Station”. This contraption is actually a simple design which will allow up to 6 people the opportunity to quickly fill up their water bottle with ice cold water. With a 100 quart capacity, this “Cooler Water Bottle Station” can deliver over 100 servings of...

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