Over the past few years I have been happy to act as the Vice President of the Midwest Association of Independent Camps (M.A.I.C.).We represent the very best independently owned and operated summer camps in the Midwest. MAIC includes kids' summer camps in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana. Our organization educates and inspires camping professionals to be their very best.
MAIC is a group of camp professionals who are dedicated to promoting high quality standards in organized camping, while offering children and their parents the best possible summer camp experience. Members of MAIC have been meeting together and sharing ideas, methods and practices since 1960.
To parents looking for a top quality resident camp or day camp in the Midwest: we are a great place to start your camp search. 
CampsRus.com is a camp directory that represents over 45 of the very best summer camps in the midwest.
If you are looking for an amazing summer camp job working with children, be sure to choose an MAIC camp and start your search 
here
Remember MAIC camps are family run camps that are concerned for each child’s safety and emotional development. Above all else M.A.I.C. camps = fun, fun, fun, fun!

JOIN SMORECAMP....its alot like facebook but only for Summercamp friends!


Its Free and if you join today you can start meeting staff and campers long before you arrive at SNC!

SmoreCamp.com is a great way to re-create camp memories and continue to make new ones. Through photos, videos, posts, email and blogs, you can re-live your days as a camper and keep that special camp feeling all year long. You can make and listen to your own camp songbook, as well as post your cabin groups (bunks), activities and levels achieved, trips, pranks, traditions, and so much more.

* Keep in touch with your friends!
* Find new Friends!
* Create your own profile page!
* Upload all your camp photos!
* Prank your Friends


Discover amazing and unexpected works of art as you make your way through the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin, along the banks...

 Discover amazing and unexpected works of art as you make your way through the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin, along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, along the shores of Lake Michigan and into the Northwoods to visit the Wisconsin Concrete Park. Each of these FREE roadside attractions, known as art environments, tells a unique American story in art, tracing the maker's cultural heritage and rich traditions. Spend a day, a weekend, or an extended vacation exploring the art, architecture, and gardens of one indoor site and eight outdoor sites. Follow one of the self-guided tours or create your own, then share your unique and fun experiences on Facebook - just search for Wandering Wisconsin.
NEW 2010 maps are available now, 

We All know how wonderful summer camp is. But have you ever thought about what Swift Nature Camp looks like in February? A few days ago we were at a MN summer camp show and after that made our way up to camp. It was great....

Be sure to see the Movies to see Super Tom. You might recall his back had been hurting last summer after his surgery. Well, Im happy to report that he seems finally to be on the mend. He has not been to his winter job of school custodian but will be ready for camp. YEA!
summer camp
As you know the Midwest has been very dry this year with almost no snow. When we first arrived it seemed more like April with many bare spots around the bottoms of the trees. But, snow was covering most of the land and the lake. Giving us a chance to play.

One day we walked out to Picnic Island just to see what was going on. It is a different place in the winter with no low plants so you can see almost across the island. We particularly wanted to go look at the Eagles nest. It seems that the winds from one of the storms destroyed the nest. However, we still saw eagles flying around so they are still nearby but we did not see where their new nest might be.
 

As you can see from the movie I tried a new sport. I got out the water skis and put them on over my socks...it was very tight and then I hooked up to Super Toms 4 wheeler and off I went for a little skiing on the frozen lake. Look at my Hitch Hiker! It was much harder to turn than when you are in the water. Yet, it was fun to try something new. Much of the time we were in sleds being pulled. We tipped so many times yet it was very fun and seemed like winter even though it was near 40 degrees.
 

One of the most exciting time we had was when we woke up one morning and looked out the window to see two dog like creatures run from Picnic Island across to Sawtooth Isle. They looked like Wolves to me. Later that day we went for a hike to see if we could find the tracks and we did. That was so cool.
 

After a few days we left and that very night, the snows came and came and came. Tom reported that Swift Nature Camp was covered with over 15 inches of snow. Sadly we missed the real winter that finally came to camp. If you are ever up in the Northwoods in winter be sure to stop by camp and take a look, it is beautiful but kind of depressing with out all he campers there having fun.

See Ya next Summer
Lonnie, Jeff & Forrest
The best way to save money on Summer camp is to start looking today.

Today you maybe thinking spring break but you should be thinking about summer and camp for your children. For many summer camp is that annual rite of passage where kids learn to row a boat, swim in a lake, and appreciate the sun setting over a lake. The American Camp Association (ACA) estimates the average cost of overnight summer camp at around $85 per day per, this includes the less expensive church camps at a few hundred a week to the private camps at over $1000 per week. 

Sounds pricy? You bet, but when you break it down to an hourly rate it cheaper than a movie. Here are just a few strategies that will help you best fit your child with camp at a price that is within your budget:


1. Begin as early as possible. It takes time to do the research and compare camps so start well before the summer is upon you. Once you have found camps with in your budget that you think your child will like, give them the choice. Here is the point often discounts are available for campers that sign up early. Planning ahead will gives you more time to save up for camp. At Swift Nature Camp we encourage families to start paying a few hundred every month as early as February so when the bill comes in June it is very manageable. 

2. Scholarships exist.Swift Nature Camplike other camps believes that every child should go to camp so we offer financial assistance programs. We look for donations plus we match our donations but these are on a first-come, first-served basis so funds do run out. Camps provide scholarships at a sliding scale don't think that your salary level will knock you out. 

3. Consult your accountant. Even if you don't qualify for scholarships or other discounts, you may be able to pay for day camp for kids under 13 using pre-tax dollars in a dependent care flexible spending arrangement (FSA). The IRS caps dependent care FSAs at $5,000 per year, and your employer withholds money from each paycheck to fund the plan.
Also consider the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which allows taxpayers to deduct up to 35 percent of their childcare expenses, up to a maximum of $6,000. "My best advice is to check with a tax planning professional and keep track of expenses," says Golden.


4. Other savings. If you enrolling multiple children to the same summer camp, you may qualify for a multi-child discount. A trend is to fill open bunks with a Groupon deal so keep looking for those. However, these are often at the end of the summer. If a traditional summer camp is outside your budget try looking more local at day programs or week long camps. Some of the best values for summer programs are local park districts, universities or community centers. Don’t rule out churches, local libraries, nonprofits like the YMCA, or scouting groups they often provide affordable summer programs.

5. Consider value, when selecting a summer camp. A favorite saying in among camp directors is “the memories of camp far outlast the price of camp”. It is so true 30 years from now your child will still have a sweat spot in their memory about camp and the price will long be forgotten. Prices should play an important role in your decision, but it should not the only factor when selecting where to send your child. 

The bottom line is camp is highly successful and regardless of cost (according the the ACA) 70% of parents said their child gained self-confidence at camp and nearly as many said their child remains in contact with friends made at camp. Therefore, a good summer camp program can create lasting memories and shape your child's development well into adulthood.

To learn more about 
selecting the right summer camp see SuumerCampAdvice.com
Almost a month has past since I arrived in Valencia, Venezuela. During the first month, my team and I have become familiar with the title “the gringos,” which is the nickname that most of the citizens here refer to us by. We, “the gringos,” have learned a lot about life in a South American county in recent days. Part of the learning that I have received has been through university students, street merchants, and strangers helping me speak more Spanish everyday.

The apartment complex where my team and I live

 

Language misunderstandings are numerous here because it is a rarity to run across citizens of Venezuela who have visited or lived in a country where English is the primary language. One exception to that is a 11 year-old boy named Pablo that my team and I met who speaks perfect English. We bumped into Pablo at the apartment complex, Balcones del Norte, where we live.


After talking to him for a few minutes, he offered to introduce us to his mother, Liliana, who is a Engineering professor at Carabobo University (CU). Liliana received her master’s degree in United States at a University in Florida and she lived there for four years with her family. God was good because one of the challenges that my team and I have right now is building connections with faculty members at the university where we work, which just so happens to be Carabobo University.

Connecting with faculty members is a small part of the work that my team and I have been doing at the university lately. We need faculty support in order to help our organization, Vida Estudiantil (the name for Campus Crusade for Christ in Venezuela), grow. We hope Liliana will help us make better connections to student leaders on campus, help us find a suitable spot for our weekly meeting, and help us gain exposure at CU.

My team and I have been working on other tasks in order for our organization to have a strong presence at the university. We have a group of students that lead the Vida Estudiantil Bible Studies, assist in the event planning for our organization, and help get other students on their campus connected with Christ. This group is called the servant team. My team and the servant team have engaged in two meetings so far and it is thrilling to see the dreams that they have for our organization and their university.


Us with Vida Estudiantil students after giving out questionnaires

My team and I have also been sharing Christ with other students we met on campus. We gave out hundreds of questionnaires to students on campus last week. The questionnaires asked if they were interested in attending a bible study, coming to English Club, or getting to know God more. The reception we received from the students was fantastic, around two hundred students filled out questionnaires and we met many new students who are interested in getting involved in Vida Estudiantil.
While giving out the questionnaires were able to inform students of the first English Club that we were having, which we held last week. On the day of English Club, it was incredible to see all the students who attended and were eager to learn English from fluent speakers. Outside of English Club, I have been put in charge, along with Emily from my team, to plan the different outings that we are taking to the local orphanage. We are are planning on going there as soon as we touch base with the pastor that runs the orphanage.


The University where I work at with Campus Crusade for Christ

All in all, working at la Universidad de Carababo (Carabobo University) is quite different then most colleges in the the United States. One of the days that we were on campus medical students were protesting at the university. As the result of the protest, the road that we needed to use to leave via bus was blocked so we had to find an alternative exit route. This sort of demonstration is typical at the university and we need to flexible to the many curve balls that are thrown our way.
Some of those curve balls have been very interesting, I have realized there are many differences (some humorous) between the way people live here in Venezuela and the way that Americans from the United States live. I would like to share with you some of those differences.
Differences Between the United States and Venezuela


The alligator at the University's pond

1. United States: You might find some ducks, geese, or–if you are lucky– a frog at a university’s local lagoon. Venezuela: The University of Carabobo has live alligators in their pond that seem quite hungry.
2. United States: University students have to pay for all of their tuition unless they have financial aid or scholarships. Venezuela: With their socialistic government, students do not have to pay for going to a state university.
3. United States: Playgrounds exist in local communities for children to play at. Venezuela: Venezuela has what my team and I affectionately call “bro gyms,” which are outside work-out centers for people to do push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches.
4. United States: If there is a stray dog in the United States, usually within hours the dog is picked up by animal control. Venezuela: There are stray dogs everywhere, especially at the university, stray dogs linger around students and eat the food they leave behind.
5. United States: In restrooms there is always hand soap by the sinks. Venezuela: NO bathroom has hand soap and Purrell is your best friend.
6. United States: When people want to draw your attention to something they point with their fingers. Venezuela: Venezuelans use their lips to point by kissing in the direction of what they want you to look at.


One of the students, Douglas, me and his mother at our welcome party

7. United States: Gasoline prices fluctuate but they are almost always over $2.00 a gallon. Venezuela: It costs less then a dollar to fill up an entire tank of gas (this is because Venezuela is the third biggest exporter of oil, it is humorous because here it costs more for drinking water than gasoline).
8. United States: Most college-aged students do not attend a social get-together during the night with their parents. Venezuela: College-aged students will bring their parents to parties and other social functions, this is completely normal and in some cases the parent shows up at the social occasion before their child gets there.
Despite all these differences, Venezuela has a lot to fall in love with. When the seven members of my team cram into a bus that has people hanging outside the door, loud Reggaeton music blasting inside, and the bus assertively weaving through three lanes of traffic it hard not to feel alive. Also the people here are so warm and overjoyed to have us here, we experience a lot of warmth and affection. Within talking to someone for a half an hour, the other person will treat you like they have known you for your entire life. Living life in Venezuela, it is near impossible to escape the feeling like you are part of one big family.

Charter into new waters this summer. For many kids, coming to camp is a big adventure! One of the biggest challenges is swimming in a lake. We all have had experience swimming in a nice blue pool. There is security in being able to see the bottom of the pool. Lake swimming is to enter the wild water and to cross a border. You pass the lake’s edge and you break the surface of the water itself. In doing so, you move from one realm into another: a new realm of freedom, adventure, magic and occasional danger. Watch out for those Turtles and Fish! 

Swimming in open water is a new experience that's not to be feared, but embraced. Once you feel comfortable swimming in a lake, the world will open up to you and wherever you see water you will see a new adventure waiting. Swift Nature Camp has over 1500 acres of water right out your cabin front door.

At Swift Nature Camp we have a wonderful swimming area full of fun toys, not to mention Wally (the water trampoline) & Sally (the slide). "Free Swim" is one of the most anticipated times of the camp day, but "Instructional Swim" is there to help give you build the confidence for those free swims. You can even earn 
American Red Cross Swimming levels
 

As most of you know SCHOOL is nearly over! And that means that the time you have been most looking forward too is here. CAMP! Have you invited your Friends to come to summer camp? You should, not only do you get a really cool hat but you save $300.00 .

If you and your youngster have talked and decided that he or she is ready for summer camp, there is a place to begin. A free Summer Campwebsite has been created by experienced directors of a long established camp to help you choose the best one for your child. This article will offer you some basic tips that can help you in making a well...

Informed decision

 

Choose a camp taking into account the requirements and desires of your youngster beyond your own preferences. Include your child in the search process and have an ongoing discussion about the important things that you and your kid want from attending the camp. A child is going to want to do what he or she thinks will be fun, and that really IS important. As a parent do you want your child to enhance particular skills, learn independence in a safe envoronment, or develop self-confidence? Together, take note of his or her special interests and find out if your child has any intellectual, social or physical issues that require consideration. Summer camp populations may be all girls, all boys, brother and sister or co-ed. At co-ed summer camps, boys and girls do participate in many supervised camp activities together. They share use of amenities such as dining halls and swimming and waterfront areas. Brother and sister camps provide structured opportunities for social interaction but most of the time facilities and activities are separate for girls and boys. Private summer camps are more expensive than nonprofit summer camps, but price does not always equate with the quality of a young camper's experience at that camp. It is recommended to anticipate extra expenses involved in choosing and going to summer camp such as extra canoe trip or activity charges and the cost of your visit to the camp. When you contact a camp you are considering, the director should be happy to give you complete information about the true cost of that camp. Keep in mind as you discuss this or other topics that the attitude of a camp's directors and staff will have more bearing on your child's experience than the cost. Typically the duration of a camp can range from one to eight weeks. Consider your child's readiness to be away from home, for days or overnight. Ongoing discussion with your child will be helpful, especially for balancing fear with anticipation and excitement. A first time camper will often face an adjustment and that may be temporarily challenging for some kids. Find out how the camp accommodates and deals with a first time camper's homesickness and the initial adjustment to camp life. A conversation about this area with a camp's director can also show you if the attitude so important to a good experience of camp is going to be there when your child arrives. Your child may want to join a camp with friends. Although it is natural for a youngster to want to go to camp with his or her friends, there are times when there is value in time away from accustomed peer pressures. When it comes to learning independence and developing self confidence there can be an advantage to starting fresh in an unfamiliar environment. Children usually have boundaries and achievement pressures when in school and at home, but at summer camp they are free to try different things with new friends. With the help of knowledgeable staff and counselors in the camp, campers of all ages can safely find out what works best and what doesn't in terms of interpersonal relationships. You can find out more about how to bring these opportunities to your child's life by visiting www.summercampadvice.com.
Summer camp selection is no easy task. If you and your child have talked and decided that he or she is ready for summer camp, there is a place to begin. A free website called www.summercampadvice.com has been prepared by experienced directors of a long established camp to help you choose the best one for your child. This article will offer you some basic guidelines that can help you in making a well-informed decision.
Choose a camp taking into account the requirements and desires of your youngster beyond your own preferences. Include your child in the search process and have an ongoing discussion about the important things that you and your kid want from joining the camp. A child is going to want to do what he or she thinks will be fun, and that really IS important. As a parent do you want your child to enhance particular skills, learn independence in a safe environment, or develop self-confidence? Together, take note of his or her special interests and find out if your child has any intellectual, social or physical issues that require consideration. Summer camp populations may be all girls, all boys, brother and sister or co-ed. At co-ed summer camps, boys and girls do participate in many supervised camp activities together. They share use of amenities such as dining halls and swimming and waterfront areas. Brother and sister camps provide structured opportunities for social interaction but most of the time facilities and activities are separate for girls and boys. Private summer camps are more costly than nonprofit summer camps, but price does not always equate with the quality of a young camper's experience at that camp. It is best to anticipate extra expenses involved in choosing and going to summer camp such as extra canoe trip or activity charges and the cost of your visit to the camp. When you contact a camp you are considering, the director should be happy to give you complete information about the true cost of that camp. Keep in mind as you discuss this or other topics that the attitude of a camp's directors and staff will have more bearing on your child's experience than the cost. Usually the duration of a camp can range from one to eight weeks. Consider your child's willingness to be away from home, for days or overnight. Ongoing discussion with your child will be helpful, especially for balancing fear with anticipation and excitement. A first time camper will often face an adjustment and that may be temporarily challenging for some kids. Find out how the camp accommodates and deals with a first time camper's homesickness and the initial adjustment to camp life. A conversation about this area with a camp's director can also show you if the attitude so important to a good experience of camp is going to be there when your child arrives. Your child may want to join a camp with friends. Although it is natural for a youngster to want to go to camp with his or her friends, there are instances when there is value in time away from accustomed peer pressures. When it comes to learning independence and developing self confidence there can be an advantage to starting fresh in an unfamiliar environment. Children usually have restrictions and achievement pressures when in school and at home, but at summer camp they are free to try different things with new friends. With the help of knowledgeable staff and counselors in the camp, campers of all ages can safely find out what works best and what doesn't in terms of interpersonal relationships. You can find out more about how to bring these opportunities to your child's life by visiting www.summercampadvice.com.
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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