At Overnight Summer Camps, children are given the choice to take risks and try new things. This voluntary nature makes children more open to new experiences, with personal satisfaction as their motivation. Not only are there opportunities to try new things, but camp offers many areas for children to excel in. At a good general interest camp, the non-athlete can shine at arts and crafts, woodworking, or dramatic programs...
while the athlete can also find many outlets for their skills. Perhaps most importantly, the two campers learn to live together and become friends despite their varied interests.

Kids Summer Camps offer many opportunities to become competent. Practicing both new and old skills on a regular basis, it makes sense that there will be improvement. Novices have chances to learn, while those who are more experienced can improve. Learning new skills and improving on old ones builds self-esteem. Children become more independent and self-reliant at camp with their new found skills.

Sending your child to camp is giving them an opportunity to try something new. No matter how many after-school programs or lessons a child takes, its likely they will never have the opportunity to try all that is offered at summer camp. In a supportive environment, the child can try at something new. The interesting twist to these activities is that, since campers often don't know anyone else at camp before they go, they are more willing to try activities that their friends at home might not expect them to. The athlete can try out for the camp play, while the artist may dabble in sports. At camp, children can try new things and set their own goals for success.

Though years later, your child may not remember capture the flag games or the words to a camp song, the life lessons learned at camp will remain. At camp, a child learns how to take responsibility. The child who has never before made a bed, will learn how to smooth out sheets and blankets and tidy up a cubby. Though counselors will remind and encourage, campers quickly take responsibility for personal hygiene, and for more minor health issues, a camper learns to articulate what hurts and how to get help. All of this personal responsibility further fosters a sense of independence and self-esteem. Camp also improves a child's social skills by making new friends and learning how to reach out to strangers. At camp, children learn to get along with others, all while living together 24 hours a day, learning about courtesy, compromise, teamwork, and respect. Minnesota Camps

During a recent survey of campers in 20 different camps that where accredited by the American Camping Association provided answers to questions like "What did you learn at camp?" "How are you different in school because of what you did at camp last summer?" "How do you feel differently about yourself since you've been to camp?" American Camp Association

Can you think of things you learned and did at camp last summer that helped you in school this year? * I learned to have more patience and to appreciate the things I have. (10 year old female) * I feel that I am better at interacting with friends and family. The people skills learned at camp affected me dramatically when I went home. (15 year old male) * Leadership, organization, water-skiing, make my bed, keep my stuff clean, to keep in touch with my friends, respect, how to handle pressure. (13 year old female)

If explaining camp to friends, what would you say you learn here? * You learn mostly how to interact with different kinds of people and are open to different ideas. You learn how to cooperate well with others who share and don't share the same opinions as you. (15 year old female) * I learned to have fun, be a leader, discipline, and most of all - respect. (12 year old male) * You learn how to make new friends, learn different sports, and learn that camp can be a very good part of summer! (9 year old female)

Do you feel differently about yourself when you are at camp? * I feel differently because I feel like I am accomplishing something by being here. (13 year old female) * At school there are defined groups of people, but at camp, everyone feels wanted. (15 year old female) * Yes, because I'm with people my age and people who respect everyone. (11 year old male) * At camp I think that I can do more and be proud of myself. (13 year old female) * At camp I have a personality that is different from home. I'm less cautious to do fun or exciting things. I don't feel as alone as I sometimes do at home. (14 year old male) * When I'm at camp I feel that I can be more open with myself and others. I tell people things at camp I wouldn't speak of back home. I feel so much more in tune with myself here and I can discuss issues so much more openly. (15 year old male) * I don't have to be fake to anyone. Everyone here accepts me as I am and I'm not judged or criticized. (15 year old female)

Given the benefits of a sleepaway camp, it seems that all children should enroll. There are camps for almost all children, including those with special needs. However, there are certainly children who are not ready for an overnight camp experience. Be sure you and your child are ready to leave home.

Find out how to pick the
 Best Summer Camps.
Selecting a summer camp is no easy task and take a lot of leg work upfront to ensure a wonderful camp experience for your child. One of the best ways is to read reviews about overnight summer camps. Then formulate your questions from what folks are saying and call the camp directors. Click here to read Swift Nature Camps most recent reviews...
Choosing a summer camp for my son was so overwhelming.  The number of different programs and options that I uncovered during my research was daunting.  While I considered all things in my decision, facilities, activities, safety, staffing, location and price, I must say that a major factor in my eventual decision to send my son to Swift was my gut feeling.  When I called to ask questions about Swift, Lonnie made me feel so comfortable about the program and the care that the staff provide for the campers.  I’m so glad that I decided to go with my gut feelings.  My son had a wonderful three weeks at camp, and has been begging to be allowed to go to the six week session next summer since the moment we picked him up off the bus.  He got to try all sorts of new things at camp, and can’t wait to go back and improve his skills at canoeing - even though he’d never been in a canoe before, one of his favorite parts of camp was the canoe trip his cabin went on.  I am so happy to say that I was able to find my son a summer ‘home’ where he feels just as comfortable as he does at home - and where he gets to be with caring staffers that encourage him to try new things and improve his skills - he’s become much more self-confident.  In a sentence, this is two thank yous: One to Lonnie for making me feel so confident that my son would be cared for and happy and camp, and one to the entire camp staff for making my son feel so confident in himself.

Having a child that is a complete animal lover, I knew that I wanted to choose a animal summer camp that had a nature focus besides just being located in the woods.  I am happy to say that Swift satisfied my daughter’s never-ending desire to be outside, explore, play with animals, and just learn through experience.  When we dropped her off at camp, I visited the nature center, and I could tell that she would love it - all sorts of animals to interact with, and lots of things to learn and explore with, not just look at.  Though her letters home were short, they were filled with descriptions of the exploring that I hoped that she would be able to do - catching frogs, exploring the outdoors, hiking, learning about wildlife, and exploring different ecosystems. (She ‘retaught’ me that one - there are lots of areas for the campers to explore with the staff - woods, a bog, a pond, a lake, and more brushy areas.)  But in addition to that, we’ve noticed such progress in her personal responsibility since she came home - camp taught her to be more self sufficient.  She’ll clear her plates after dinner, and while she doesn’t do the laundry on her own, she at least untangles her clothes before she throws them in the basket now.  It was hard having her away from us for three whole weeks, but knowing how great a time she had and how much she grew as a young person, I can’t wait for her to be able to return next summer.

I’m happy to share that next summer will be my son’s 4th year at SNC - he’s still so excited and happy from this past summer that I’m surprised he let me unpack his suitcase.  Though he’s been to camp for three years now, every summer he learns something new and improves his skills - he’s never complained about being bored at camp, which is much more than I can say about being at home.  He gets to learn to do things that he would never get the opportunity to do living in the city - and he’s learning to do them safely.  I really wanted my son to be able to have experiences that he wouldn’t be able to have at home - going on camping trips, canoeing, learning to cook over a fire, and a little bit of learning to fend for himself - with adequate supervision of course.  One of his favorite things are the trips that the cabins get to go on - they get to spend time bonding with their group, and experiencing new challenges each year.  I cannot recommend SNC highly enough to other families.  Not only do the campers have a great time, but they continue to be entertained, excited, and challenged year after year.

Both my son and daughter have attended SNC over the past 5 years, and it has been a pivotal force in their development into responsible young adults.  At the end of every summer, they come home full of enough stories and memories to keep them talking for days.  My daughter’s favorite activities at camp have always been arts and crafts and archery, and I was really surprised this past summer when she really took a liking to riflery.  She brought home several of her targets, and you could see her improvement - she showed them off to all of our family members.  My son was an intermediate, but not very strong swimmer when he started camp, and he was proud to have made it to be a blue swimmer by the end of the session - the staff really worked with him to improve his swimming skills.  His favorites from camp were the nature center, and of course, swimming.  Every summer, they come home more self-reliant and self confident.  We’re already planning for next summer, when my daughter will be a counselor in training, and my son will be back for his third summer.  I can’t imagine how different my children would be if they hadn’t had Swift in their lives.

I was nervous about sending my daughter to summer camp for the first time, but I was excited when Jeff and Lonnie told me that Swift Nature Camp has a program just for first time campers.  That way I knew that she wouldn’t be overwhelmed or feel out of place - everyone would be starting on the same page as her, so she could be more comfortable.  I think that it was harder for me than it was for her - she followed the friendly counselor right on to the camp bus, but I was a little more hesitant about her being away from home the first time.  But it seemed that everyone at camp went out of their way to soothe my ‘mommy worries’ - Lonnie called to let me know that the bus had gotten to camp safely, I received a handwritten postcard from my daughter’s counselors during her first week at camp, and the office staff was always helpful and willing to talk when I called just to check on her.  She loved all the activities at camp, as well as the ‘field trips’ to the Lumberjack show and the ice cream shop in town.  She can’t wait to go back next summer, and while I’ll miss her while she’s at camp, I’m confident that Jeff and Lonnie will make sure that she is safe, happy, and cared for the whole time that she is there.


SNC is the best summer camp!  There are so many activities that you can choose from, and the counselors are really nice.  My favorite activity is going tubing with Jeff - it is the most fun when he drives the boat really fast so that you have to hold on tight to stay on.  I wasn’t sure about swimming in a lake at first, but seeing Wally (the water trampoline) changed my mind.  The waterfront is so much fun and you can go swimming everyday at free time if you want.  The food was really good, especially Taco Tuesdays.  I learned a lot of new things at Swift this summer, and I can’t wait to go back next year to see my friends.

Swift is my favorite place on earth.  I have made some of my best friends at camp, I keep in touch with them all year long, and none of us can wait to get on the bus to go to camp in the summer.  The counselors come up with really crazy fun things to do in the cabin, and all of the regular activities are really exciting too.    My favorite thing at camp is the trips, because you get to go out with just your counselors and cabin friends and do fun things like canoeing and swimming.  Of course the BEST part of camping trips is when you get to make S’mores.  I miss camp so much when I’m at home that sometimes I even get ‘campsick’!  

Next summer will be my 3rd year as a camper at Swift Nature Camp, and I can’t wait to go back.  I’m so excited to see all the friends from my cabin for another year, and get to see the counselors again.  The best thing about camp is going up to the Nature Center, where you can play with the animals and do cool nature activities.  We caught the BIGGEST frog, and got to keep it up in the nature center for a couple of days so that everyone could come and look at it.  It was huge!  There is lots of other fun things to do at camp too.  My favorite things beside the nature center are fishing, archery, and swimming in the lake.  The counselors are really nice and are good at teaching you new things and helping you to work on your achievement awards.  I’d never done archery before I came to camp, and next summer I want to get my Level 2 Achievement award.  I hope that lots of kids will want to come to Swift so that I can make new friends this summer!


I’ll admit that when I showed up at Swift Nature Camp for my first day of orientation, I was nervous.  I knew that I loved camp, I had attended several different camps as a child, and had even worked at another summer camp during the previous summer.  And while I loved my time at that camp, I never really felt like I fit in as part of the camp family.  I am happy to say that Swift is 100% where my camp family is.  As a staff member, I always felt like my input was valued and respected, and help was available whenever I needed it - even when all that I needed was someone to listen for a few minutes.  After my first summer at Swift, I returned as a staff member for four more years - and I would be lying if I did not admit that I’m still looking for a way to get my summers off so that I could go back as a staff member again.  I’ve gone back to visit since my summers working, and getting to lead activities with the campers, and see them learn new things and succeed is so exciting.  Swift is my summer home...having spent a significant amount of time there, and having seen everything up front and behind the scenes, I can say that I hope that when I have children, it can be their summer home as well.

Being an Elementary Education major, I knew that I wanted to spend my summer getting new experiences working with children.  While I’d volunteered at extracurricular programs and worked with youth groups, I had never worked at a summer camp before.  SNC’s two week staff orientation really eased my worries before the first day of camp.  The administrative and returning staff members went over everything that we needed to know in depth: how to teach activities, leading trips, building cabin bonds, managing behaviors, and all sorts of tips and tricks to really make sure that the campers had a great time at camp.  Being able to teach the campers skills was great - it’s amazing to see the look on their face when they first really ‘get it’ - learn just how to steer a canoe, perfect their archery shot, or light a ‘one match’ fire.  At the end of my first summer as a camp counselor I’m proud to say that I knew that I had made a positive impact on all the campers that I came into contact with, and made friends that I will keep in contact with far into the future.
Being a kid is never easy, As parents we remember what it was like. Children get pressure from all directions;social, academic and athletic. And today add Cyber Bullying to the list. It was so much easier when all that was need was to stay out of the Bullies way. But today the Bully can hunt you down right from their bedroom.

Teens claim that 1/5 have been Cyber Bullied. In response, Facebook has launched an 
anti-bullying campaign and other programs,have been started that that aim to empower kids to promote kindness.

Swift Nature Camp has long promoted fairness and kindness with our children and has lead the way in being non-tollerent towards those children that physically pick on other. Once back home its hard for us as camp directors to know what is going on...so if you find yourself being cyberbullied please reach out to us, your counselor or your parents so we can stop this type of bullying.
State legislatures across the country have passed or proposed laws against what they call cyberbullying. But how do young people parse bullying from being mean online? And when it happens, what do they do about it?
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and 
released Wednesday teases out these complex, often painful threads of teen life on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Two-thirds of the teenagers surveyed said people were “mostly kind” to each other on these networks, even as 88 percent said they had witnessed “people being mean or cruel.” One in five admitted to having joined in on the cruelty.
Notably, one in five teens surveyed said they had been “bullied,” but of those, the largest share said they had been bullied in person, not online. Indeed, online and offline sentiments often merge: one in four said an online squabble resulted in a face-to-face argument or worse.
What do they do when they see or feel the brunt of cruelty online?
The vast majority say they ignore it. Girls are more likely to seek advice than boys. And when they do seek advice, teenagers are more likely to turn to their peers than their parents. Parents are not entirely useless. The survey found that 86 percent of teens said parents advised them on “how to use the Internet responsibly and safely.”
Those surveyed expressed a certain savvy in manipulating their online profiles: Close to half lied about their age in order to access a site off limits to children under 13. Most said they tweaked their privacy settings so their posts were not widely visible.
The survey also revealed some of the new anxieties that parents experience. Three out of four parents said they “checked which Web sites their child visited.” Pew researchers said that could have been as simple as checking the browsing history on their computers. And among parents who have a Facebook account, 80 percent were on their children’s list of friends.

The survey was conducted by phone earlier this year on 799 children, aged 12 to 17, and their parents or guardians. The margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points. Nearly all kids in that age group are online, and among them, four out of five use a social network like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. The report aptly calls them “spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified—in both good and bad ways.”
At Overnight Summer Camps, children are given the choice to take risks and try new things. This voluntary nature makes children more open to new experiences, with personal satisfaction as their motivation. Not only are there opportunities to try new things, but camp offers many areas for children to excel in. At a good general interest camp, the non-athlete can shine at arts and crafts, woodworking, or dramatic programs... while the athlete can also find many outlets for their skills. Perhaps most importantly, the two campers learn to live together and become friends despite their varied interests.

Kids Summer Camps offer many opportunities to become competent. Practicing both new and old skills on a regular basis, it makes sense that there will be improvement. Novices have chances to learn, while those who are more experienced can improve. Learning new skills and improving on old ones builds self-esteem. Children become more independent and self-reliant at camp with their new found skills.

Sending your child to camp is giving them an opportunity to try something new. No matter how many after-school programs or lessons a child takes, its likely they will never have the opportunity to try all that is offered at summer camp. In a supportive environment, the child can try at something new. The interesting twist to these activities is that, since campers often don't know anyone else at camp before they go, they are more willing to try activities that their friends at home might not expect them to. The athlete can try out for the camp play, while the artist may dabble in sports. At camp, children can try new things and set their own goals for success.

Though years later, your child may not remember capture the flag games or the words to a camp song, the life lessons learned at camp will remain. At camp, a child learns how to take responsibility. The child who has never before made a bed, will learn how to smooth out sheets and blankets and tidy up a cubby. Though counselors will remind and encourage, campers quickly take responsibility for personal hygiene, and for more minor health issues, a camper learns to articulate what hurts and how to get help. All of this personal responsibility further fosters a sense of independence and self-esteem. Camp also improves a child's social skills by making new friends and learning how to reach out to strangers. At camp, children learn to get along with others, all while living together 24 hours a day, learning about courtesy, compromise, teamwork, and respect. Minnesota Camps

During a recent survey of campers in 20 different camps that where accredited by the American Camping Association provided answers to questions like "What did you learn at camp?" "How are you different in school because of what you did at camp last summer?" "How do you feel differently about yourself since you've been to camp?" American Camp Association

Can you think of things you learned and did at camp last summer that helped you in school this year? * I learned to have more patience and to appreciate the things I have. (10 year old female) * I feel that I am better at interacting with friends and family. The people skills learned at camp affected me dramatically when I went home. (15 year old male) * Leadership, organization, water-skiing, make my bed, keep my stuff clean, to keep in touch with my friends, respect, how to handle pressure. (13 year old female)

If explaining camp to friends, what would you say you learn here? * You learn mostly how to interact with different kinds of people and are open to different ideas. You learn how to cooperate well with others who share and don't share the same opinions as you. (15 year old female) * I learned to have fun, be a leader, discipline, and most of all - respect. (12 year old male) * You learn how to make new friends, learn different sports, and learn that camp can be a very good part of summer! (9 year old female)

Do you feel differently about yourself when you are at camp? * I feel differently because I feel like I am accomplishing something by being here. (13 year old female) * At school there are defined groups of people, but at camp, everyone feels wanted. (15 year old female) * Yes, because I'm with people my age and people who respect everyone. (11 year old male) * At camp I think that I can do more and be proud of myself. (13 year old female) * At camp I have a personality that is different from home. I'm less cautious to do fun or exciting things. I don't feel as alone as I sometimes do at home. (14 year old male) * When I'm at camp I feel that I can be more open with myself and others. I tell people things at camp I wouldn't speak of back home. I feel so much more in tune with myself here and I can discuss issues so much more openly. (15 year old male) * I don't have to be fake to anyone. Everyone here accepts me as I am and I'm not judged or criticized. (15 year old female)

Given the benefits of a sleepaway camp, it seems that all children should enroll. There are camps for almost all children, including those with special needs. However, there are certainly children who are not ready for an overnight camp experience. Be sure you and your child are ready to leave home.

Find out how to pick the
 Best Summer Camps.
Selecting a summer camp is no easy task and take a lot of leg work upfront to ensure a wonderful camp experience for your child. One of the best ways is to read reviews about overnight summer camps. Then formulate your questions from what folks are saying and call the camp directors. Click here to read Swift Nature Camps most recent reviews...
Choosing a summer camp for my son was so overwhelming.  The number of different programs and options that I uncovered during my research was daunting.  While I considered all things in my decision, facilities, activities, safety, staffing, location and price, I must say that a major factor in my eventual decision to send my son to Swift was my gut feeling.  When I called to ask questions about Swift, Lonnie made me feel so comfortable about the program and the care that the staff provide for the campers.  I’m so glad that I decided to go with my gut feelings.  My son had a wonderful three weeks at camp, and has been begging to be allowed to go to the six week session next summer since the moment we picked him up off the bus.  He got to try all sorts of new things at camp, and can’t wait to go back and improve his skills at canoeing - even though he’d never been in a canoe before, one of his favorite parts of camp was the canoe trip his cabin went on.  I am so happy to say that I was able to find my son a summer ‘home’ where he feels just as comfortable as he does at home - and where he gets to be with caring staffers that encourage him to try new things and improve his skills - he’s become much more self-confident.  In a sentence, this is two thank yous: One to Lonnie for making me feel so confident that my son would be cared for and happy and camp, and one to the entire camp staff for making my son feel so confident in himself.

Having a child that is a complete animal lover, I knew that I wanted to choose a animal summer camp that had a nature focus besides just being located in the woods.  I am happy to say that Swift satisfied my daughter’s never-ending desire to be outside, explore, play with animals, and just learn through experience.  When we dropped her off at camp, I visited the nature center, and I could tell that she would love it - all sorts of animals to interact with, and lots of things to learn and explore with, not just look at.  Though her letters home were short, they were filled with descriptions of the exploring that I hoped that she would be able to do - catching frogs, exploring the outdoors, hiking, learning about wildlife, and exploring different ecosystems. (She ‘retaught’ me that one - there are lots of areas for the campers to explore with the staff - woods, a bog, a pond, a lake, and more brushy areas.)  But in addition to that, we’ve noticed such progress in her personal responsibility since she came home - camp taught her to be more self sufficient.  She’ll clear her plates after dinner, and while she doesn’t do the laundry on her own, she at least untangles her clothes before she throws them in the basket now.  It was hard having her away from us for three whole weeks, but knowing how great a time she had and how much she grew as a young person, I can’t wait for her to be able to return next summer.

I’m happy to share that next summer will be my son’s 4th year at SNC - he’s still so excited and happy from this past summer that I’m surprised he let me unpack his suitcase.  Though he’s been to camp for three years now, every summer he learns something new and improves his skills - he’s never complained about being bored at camp, which is much more than I can say about being at home.  He gets to learn to do things that he would never get the opportunity to do living in the city - and he’s learning to do them safely.  I really wanted my son to be able to have experiences that he wouldn’t be able to have at home - going on camping trips, canoeing, learning to cook over a fire, and a little bit of learning to fend for himself - with adequate supervision of course.  One of his favorite things are the trips that the cabins get to go on - they get to spend time bonding with their group, and experiencing new challenges each year.  I cannot recommend SNC highly enough to other families.  Not only do the campers have a great time, but they continue to be entertained, excited, and challenged year after year.

Both my son and daughter have attended SNC over the past 5 years, and it has been a pivotal force in their development into responsible young adults.  At the end of every summer, they come home full of enough stories and memories to keep them talking for days.  My daughter’s favorite activities at camp have always been arts and crafts and archery, and I was really surprised this past summer when she really took a liking to riflery.  She brought home several of her targets, and you could see her improvement - she showed them off to all of our family members.  My son was an intermediate, but not very strong swimmer when he started camp, and he was proud to have made it to be a blue swimmer by the end of the session - the staff really worked with him to improve his swimming skills.  His favorites from camp were the nature center, and of course, swimming.  Every summer, they come home more self-reliant and self confident.  We’re already planning for next summer, when my daughter will be a counselor in training, and my son will be back for his third summer.  I can’t imagine how different my children would be if they hadn’t had Swift in their lives.

I was nervous about sending my daughter to summer camp for the first time, but I was excited when Jeff and Lonnie told me that Swift Nature Camp has a program just for first time campers.  That way I knew that she wouldn’t be overwhelmed or feel out of place - everyone would be starting on the same page as her, so she could be more comfortable.  I think that it was harder for me than it was for her - she followed the friendly counselor right on to the camp bus, but I was a little more hesitant about her being away from home the first time.  But it seemed that everyone at camp went out of their way to soothe my ‘mommy worries’ - Lonnie called to let me know that the bus had gotten to camp safely, I received a handwritten postcard from my daughter’s counselors during her first week at camp, and the office staff was always helpful and willing to talk when I called just to check on her.  She loved all the activities at camp, as well as the ‘field trips’ to the Lumberjack show and the ice cream shop in town.  She can’t wait to go back next summer, and while I’ll miss her while she’s at camp, I’m confident that Jeff and Lonnie will make sure that she is safe, happy, and cared for the whole time that she is there.


SNC is the best summer camp!  There are so many activities that you can choose from, and the counselors are really nice.  My favorite activity is going tubing with Jeff - it is the most fun when he drives the boat really fast so that you have to hold on tight to stay on.  I wasn’t sure about swimming in a lake at first, but seeing Wally (the water trampoline) changed my mind.  The waterfront is so much fun and you can go swimming everyday at free time if you want.  The food was really good, especially Taco Tuesdays.  I learned a lot of new things at Swift this summer, and I can’t wait to go back next year to see my friends.

Swift is my favorite place on earth.  I have made some of my best friends at camp, I keep in touch with them all year long, and none of us can wait to get on the bus to go to camp in the summer.  The counselors come up with really crazy fun things to do in the cabin, and all of the regular activities are really exciting too.    My favorite thing at camp is the trips, because you get to go out with just your counselors and cabin friends and do fun things like canoeing and swimming.  Of course the BEST part of camping trips is when you get to make S’mores.  I miss camp so much when I’m at home that sometimes I even get ‘campsick’!  

Next summer will be my 3rd year as a camper at Swift Nature Camp, and I can’t wait to go back.  I’m so excited to see all the friends from my cabin for another year, and get to see the counselors again.  The best thing about camp is going up to the Nature Center, where you can play with the animals and do cool nature activities.  We caught the BIGGEST frog, and got to keep it up in the nature center for a couple of days so that everyone could come and look at it.  It was huge!  There is lots of other fun things to do at camp too.  My favorite things beside the nature center are fishing, archery, and swimming in the lake.  The counselors are really nice and are good at teaching you new things and helping you to work on your achievement awards.  I’d never done archery before I came to camp, and next summer I want to get my Level 2 Achievement award.  I hope that lots of kids will want to come to Swift so that I can make new friends this summer!


I’ll admit that when I showed up at Swift Nature Camp for my first day of orientation, I was nervous.  I knew that I loved camp, I had attended several different camps as a child, and had even worked at another summer camp during the previous summer.  And while I loved my time at that camp, I never really felt like I fit in as part of the camp family.  I am happy to say that Swift is 100% where my camp family is.  As a staff member, I always felt like my input was valued and respected, and help was available whenever I needed it - even when all that I needed was someone to listen for a few minutes.  After my first summer at Swift, I returned as a staff member for four more years - and I would be lying if I did not admit that I’m still looking for a way to get my summers off so that I could go back as a staff member again.  I’ve gone back to visit since my summers working, and getting to lead activities with the campers, and see them learn new things and succeed is so exciting.  Swift is my summer home...having spent a significant amount of time there, and having seen everything up front and behind the scenes, I can say that I hope that when I have children, it can be their summer home as well.

Being an Elementary Education major, I knew that I wanted to spend my summer getting new experiences working with children.  While I’d volunteered at extracurricular programs and worked with youth groups, I had never worked at a summer camp before.  SNC’s two week staff orientation really eased my worries before the first day of camp.  The administrative and returning staff members went over everything that we needed to know in depth: how to teach activities, leading trips, building cabin bonds, managing behaviors, and all sorts of tips and tricks to really make sure that the campers had a great time at camp.  Being able to teach the campers skills was great - it’s amazing to see the look on their face when they first really ‘get it’ - learn just how to steer a canoe, perfect their archery shot, or light a ‘one match’ fire.  At the end of my first summer as a camp counselor I’m proud to say that I knew that I had made a positive impact on all the campers that I came into contact with, and made friends that I will keep in contact with far into the future.
So here it is a few days into summer camp and you miss your child. That’s normal. So you pick up tyour cell phone and start to call your child’s cell phone. Then it hits you, summer camp has a NO contact policy! Why would such a thing exist? To make the parents suffer? Well, maybe its much more than this.
Here is the secret, a large part of the magic of an overnight summer camp experience is being in a closed community that is conscious. Summer camp if done well totally immerses a child. They live camp with their camp friends, and become part of the story of camp. So how does a cell phone ruin this adventure. It butts into the “life of camp” and brings children the reality of back home. For this reason many directors discourage parents from calling their campers and seem even discourage visiting . Camp Directors want to provide “creative separation” which allow the children to develop a healthy sense of independence, in turn leading to a healthy sense of adventure. For many children this is their first time away from home and it is in a protected child centered environment that only leeds to good results. Most camp directors want parents to see everything that happens at camp but that is not possible if you buy into the giving your child a secure freedom. So some have gone to daily publishing photos on their websites, newsletters, periodic Tweets , or videos. Some Directors have tossed off technology and encouraged each parent to call the office and ask about their child. Remember most camp Directors want to help you after all we are parents too.
This cult we call summer camp has its positive impact soon children forget about the cliques at school, their concerns about grades, and what their friends are doing and wearing.Summer Camp will replace these things with campfires, caring for others, singing in the dining hall, trying new things and increase their growth as a paddler, a rider, a gymnast, and a climber. Even more, they will be replaced by a community of friends 

Okay So you don’t buy it! You need to be in touch with your child. You know you are a helicopter parent. No need to fret.? There are a huge variety in the ways different camps help parents and campers stay in touch. Some camps allow campers to carry cell phones, some allow access to email. Many camps have visiting days. Every camp is different so be sure you ask the director how communication happens before you enroll in camp. This may also be a growing time for you ... getting you ready for those not to far off college days.

Do you love SNC? Are you looking for a wonderful summer camp?


Then go to CampRatingz and read what campers and parents are saying about their summer camp experience. This is a great resource to help parents decide which camp best meets the needs of their child.
If you are an SNC alumni please help others learn how wonderful your experience was this summer at Swift Nature Camp. This satisfaction survey allows parents and campers to give their input about camp. This survey currently ranks SNC as the 26 best camp in America. But I think we can be better! We encourage all to participate! Please click here 
Best Camps then click “Rate this Camp”.

 

Often Parents are curious if Swift Nature Camp has specific programs for certain aged children. Are SNC programs better for young children- a first time at camp, middle school- looking for new activities or teenagers- searching for teen adventure. Since we feel we do so well in all these areas let us give you a few reasons why.
 
  • First off we have a Discovery Program that is only for children who have never been to camp before. For this camp we shrink the amount of children at camp making sure that we can give individual attention to each child. We have about 6 children for 2 counselors in each cabin. This program, since it is everyones first time creates a level playing feild for everyone. And since we know it everyones first time at camp we are constantly on the look out for homesickness or other areas of concern.
  • For our 3 week programs, again our small size allows us to give individual attention to all, with around 90 children (45 gals, 45 boys). Our children are divided by gender and age group. So a cabin of 10 children will have lets say 9 & 10 year olds. We limit the age groups at camp so that we get an even distribution of campers , younger to older. Then each age group will participate in age appropriate activities and adventure trips. For instance the younger girls may take a canoe trip to a nearby island while the older girls may go to the Apostle Islands for 3 days.
  • So you can see how Swift Nature Camp meets every age and gender. If you would like to talk more please give us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
At Overnight Summer Camps, children are given the choice to take risks and try new things. This voluntary nature makes children more open to new experiences, with personal satisfaction as their motivation. Not only are there opportunities to try new things, but camp offers many areas for children to excel in. At a good general interest camp, the non-athlete can shine at arts and crafts, woodworking, or dramatic programs....
while the athlete can also find many outlets for their skills. Perhaps most importantly, the two campers learn to live together and become friends despite their varied interests.

Kids Summer Camps offer many opportunities to become competent. Practicing both new and old skills on a regular basis, it makes sense that there will be improvement. Novices have chances to learn, while those who are more experienced can improve. Learning new skills and improving on old ones builds self-esteem. Children become more independent and self-reliant at camp with their new found skills.

Sending your child to camp is giving them an opportunity to try something new. No matter how many after-school programs or lessons a child takes, its likely they will never have the opportunity to try all that is offered at summer camp. In a supportive environment, the child can try at something new. The interesting twist to these activities is that, since campers often don't know anyone else at camp before they go, they are more willing to try activities that their friends at home might not expect them to. The athlete can try out for the camp play, while the artist may dabble in sports. At camp, children can try new things and set their own goals for success.

Though years later, your child may not remember capture the flag games or the words to a camp song, the life lessons learned at camp will remain. At camp, a child learns how to take responsibility. The child who has never before made a bed, will learn how to smooth out sheets and blankets and tidy up a cubby. Though counselors will remind and encourage, campers quickly take responsibility for personal hygiene, and for more minor health issues, a camper learns to articulate what hurts and how to get help. All of this personal responsibility further fosters a sense of independence and self-esteem. Camp also improves a child's social skills by making new friends and learning how to reach out to strangers. At camp, children learn to get along with others, all while living together 24 hours a day, learning about courtesy, compromise, teamwork, and respect. Minnesota Camps

During a recent survey of campers in 20 different camps that where accredited by the American Camping Association provided answers to questions like "What did you learn at camp?" "How are you different in school because of what you did at camp last summer?" "How do you feel differently about yourself since you've been to camp?" American Camp Association

Can you think of things you learned and did at camp last summer that helped you in school this year? * I learned to have more patience and to appreciate the things I have. (10 year old female) * I feel that I am better at interacting with friends and family. The people skills learned at camp affected me dramatically when I went home. (15 year old male) * Leadership, organization, water-skiing, make my bed, keep my stuff clean, to keep in touch with my friends, respect, how to handle pressure. (13 year old female)

If explaining camp to friends, what would you say you learn here? * You learn mostly how to interact with different kinds of people and are open to different ideas. You learn how to cooperate well with others who share and don't share the same opinions as you. (15 year old female) * I learned to have fun, be a leader, discipline, and most of all - respect. (12 year old male) * You learn how to make new friends, learn different sports, and learn that camp can be a very good part of summer! (9 year old female)

Do you feel differently about yourself when you are at camp? * I feel differently because I feel like I am accomplishing something by being here. (13 year old female) * At school there are defined groups of people, but at camp, everyone feels wanted. (15 year old female) * Yes, because I'm with people my age and people who respect everyone. (11 year old male) * At camp I think that I can do more and be proud of myself. (13 year old female) * At camp I have a personality that is different from home. I'm less cautious to do fun or exciting things. I don't feel as alone as I sometimes do at home. (14 year old male) * When I'm at camp I feel that I can be more open with myself and others. I tell people things at camp I wouldn't speak of back home. I feel so much more in tune with myself here and I can discuss issues so much more openly. (15 year old male) * I don't have to be fake to anyone. Everyone here accepts me as I am and I'm not judged or criticized. (15 year old female)

Given the benefits of a sleepaway camp, it seems that all children should enroll. There are camps for almost all children, including those with special needs. However, there are certainly children who are not ready for an overnight camp experience. Be sure you and your child are ready to leave home.

Find out how to pick the Best Summer Camps.

Being a kid is never easy, As parents we remember what it was like. Children get pressure from all directions;social, academic and athletic. And today add Cyber Bullying to the list. It was so much easier when all that was need was to stay out of the Bullies way. But today the Bully can hunt you down right from their bedroom.

Teens claim that 1/5 have been Cyber Bullied. In response, Facebook has launched an anti-bullying campaign and other programs,have been started that that aim to empower kids to promote kindness.

Swift Nature Camp has long promoted fairness and kindness with our children and has lead the way in being non-tollerent towards those children that physically pick on other. Once back home its hard for us as camp directors to know what is going on...so if you find yourself being cyberbullied please reach out to us, your counselor or your parents so we can stop this type of bullying.

State legislatures across the country have passed or proposed laws against what they call cyberbullying. But how do young people parse bullying from being mean online? And when it happens, what do they do about it?
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and 
released Wednesday teases out these complex, often painful threads of teen life on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Two-thirds of the teenagers surveyed said people were “mostly kind” to each other on these networks, even as 88 percent said they had witnessed “people being mean or cruel.” One in five admitted to having joined in on the cruelty.
Notably, one in five teens surveyed said they had been “bullied,” but of those, the largest share said they had been bullied in person, not online. Indeed, online and offline sentiments often merge: one in four said an online squabble resulted in a face-to-face argument or worse.
What do they do when they see or feel the brunt of cruelty online?
The vast majority say they ignore it. Girls are more likely to seek advice than boys. And when they do seek advice, teenagers are more likely to turn to their peers than their parents. Parents are not entirely useless. The survey found that 86 percent of teens said parents advised them on “how to use the Internet responsibly and safely.”
Those surveyed expressed a certain savvy in manipulating their online profiles: Close to half lied about their age in order to access a site off limits to children under 13. Most said they tweaked their privacy settings so their posts were not widely visible.
The survey also revealed some of the new anxieties that parents experience. Three out of four parents said they “checked which Web sites their child visited.” Pew researchers said that could have been as simple as checking the browsing history on their computers. And among parents who have a Facebook account, 80 percent were on their children’s list of friends.
The survey was conducted by phone earlier this year on 799 children, aged 12 to 17, and their parents or guardians. The margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points. Nearly all kids in that age group are online, and among them, four out of five use a social network like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. The report aptly calls them “spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified—in both good and bad ways.”
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Winter

25 Baybrook Ln.

Oak Brook, IL 60523

Phone: 630-654-8036

swiftcamp@aol.com

Camp

W7471 Ernie Swift Rd.

Minong, WI 54859

Phone: 715-466-5666

swiftcamp@aol.com

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