We hope you can come join all the fun at our Swimming Party Reunion. Don't forget your suit!

This is a wonderful time to see camp friends visit with camp counselors and see the SNC Yearbook Video for the very 1st Time. 

Hope you ca make it. No reservation neccessary.


Where: Oak Brook Park District (1450 Forest Gate, Oak Brook, Il 60523)

When: January 8th

Time: 1-3:30pm


Please bring a friend so they can see what the SNC excitment is all about.

Plus we will have a special gift for all that come.

Wisconsin! When you hear that state mentioned, I'm sure you imagine cows, Harley Davidson motorcycles and the beautiful capitol of Madison. Yet, north of all that is the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Filled with all its natural beauty. In the sky you can see eagles all around swooping down to catch a fish in a nearby lake or stream. If your quiet you might just hear a loon or a wolf in the background. This is what America looked like 100 years ago. Until you experience the simple beauty, you can’t begin to imagine what you will find there. 

Children thrive in Wisconsin Summer Camps.Camp offers your child a chance to...

experience nature unlike any other place in the Midwest. At Swift Nature Camp your child gets the opportunity to play, make friend sand learn new skills, all this in the warm sun of the wonderful northwoods of Wisconsin.

Your child will have an unparalleled experience Camp Nature Swift in Wisconsin. This ACA accredited camp has been teaching lucky children how to have a great summer for over 40 years. Dedicated to the spirit of Ernie Swift the camps goal is to enjoy a traditional summer camp while encouraging children to respect nature and to understand it in a more profound way, Children learn why and how to become good stewards of the environment. It is through direct experience and hands on activities that we inspire kids to be environmentally conscious when they return home. This Kids summer camp is so much more, with their dedication to the environment. It is fun with a purpose.

A Perfect Summer Camps.

The children have such a diverse selection of activities at this Wisconsin summer camp that they can barely fit it all in during their stay! From horseback riding and swimming to archery and craft making the time is action packed with fun filled adventure that your child won’t stop talking about. It will be the best summer camp experience for your child. Camp Nature Swift is no exception and even has a special program for those first time campers. Swift Camp is dedicated to the spirit of Naturalist Ernie Swift. The camps goal is to provide a traditional summer camp while encouraging children to respect nature and to understand it in a more profound way, This ACA accredited camp has been helping children have a great summer for over 40 years. 

Our Discovery Program is dedicated to those children going to camp for the first time. This special session is unlike any other overnight camp because it is designed to give additional attention to those children a little reluctant to leave home for their first summer camp experience. Regardless if your child is a first time campers or is experienced at overnight backpacking and canoeing trips your child can attend this camp.

To learn more about picking the best summer camp for your child visit 

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 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
Summer camp can be a bridge to the world over which a child can carry the seeds of attributes already planted at home and in school. The right summer camp can be the ideal first step away from home and family, because a good summer camp is still a safe environment for learning independence. Summer camp is a place for fun and the joy and passion of growth free from the stress of modern fascination for achievement...
Camp is a respite from the technology that can rule a child’s life and distract from human attributes rather than being a tool to implement them. A camper can discover and develop attributes like these over the course of every summer and have a great deal of fun doing so.

Affirmation:  Sometimes one simple word of affirmation can change an entire life. Recognition from outside can turn into recognition from the inside. also known as confidence.
Art: Everyone who wants to create… can. The world just needs more people who want to, and a child who is free from the pressure of competitive achievement is free to be creative.
Challenge:  Encourage a child to dream big dreams. In turn, they will accomplish more than they thought possible… and probably even more than you thought possible.
Compassion/Justice:  Life isn’t fair. It never will be – there are just too many variables. But when a wrong has been committed or a playing field can be leveled, we want our children to be active in helping to level it.
Contentment:  The need for more material things can be contagious. Therefore, one of the greatest gifts we can give children is a genuinely content appreciation for with what they have… leaving them to find out who they are.
Curiosity:  Children need a safe place outside the home to ask questions about who, what, where, how, why, and why not. “Stop asking so many questions” are words that need never be heard.
Determination: One of the greatest determining factors of success is the exercise of will. Children flourish when they are given independent opportunities to learn how to find the source of determination within themselves and exercise that determination.
Discipline: Discipline is really a form of concentration learned from the ground up, in arenas that include appropriate behaviors, how to get along with others, how to get results, and how to achieve dreams. Properly encouraged, self discipline can come to be developed into an self sustaining habit.
Encouragement: Words are powerful. They can create or they can destroy. The simple words that a counselor or mentor might choose to speak can offer encouragement and create positive thoughts for a child to build from.  
Finding Beauty:  Beauty surrounds us. A natural environment can inspire our children find beauty in everything they see and in everyone they meet there.
Generosity: The experience of generosity is a great way for a child to learn it. Generosity is a consistent quality of heart regardless of whether the medium that reflects it is time, energy or material things.
Honesty/Integrity:  Children who learn the value and importance of honesty at a young age have a far greater opportunity to become honest adults. And honest adults who deal truthfully with others tend to feel better about themselves, enjoy their lives more, and sleep better at night.
Hope: Hope means knowing that things will get better and improve and believing it. Hope is the source of strength, endurance, and resolve. And in the desperately difficult times of life, it calls us to press onward.
Imagination: If we’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that life is changing faster and faster with every passing day. The world of tomorrow will look nothing like the world today. And the people with imagination are the ones not just living it, they are creating it.
Intentionality: This word means the habit of pausing to find the intent behind each of the ongoing choices that comprise our lives. It is the moment of reflection toward one’s own source: slow down, consider who you are, your environment, where you are going and how to get there.  
Lifelong Learning: A passion for learning is different from just studying to earn a grade or please teachers. It begins in the home and school but can be splendidly expanded at summer camp. A camper has fun being safely exposed, asking questions, analyzing the answers that expose more and having more fun doing it all again. In other words, learn to love learning itself.
Meals Together: Meals together provide an unparalleled opportunity for relationships to grow, the likes of which can not be found anywhere else.
Nature: Children who learn to appreciate the world around them take care of the world around them.
Opportunity: Kids need opportunities to experience new things so they can find out what they enjoy and what they are good at. 
Optimism: Pessimists don’t change the world. Optimists do.
Pride: Celebrate the little things in life. After all, it is the little accomplishments in life that become the big accomplishments. Pride in the process is as important as pride in the results.
Room to make mistakes: Kids are kids. That’s what makes them so much fun… and so desperately in need of our patience. We need to give them room to experiment, explore, and make mistakes early, when consequences are so much less severe.
Self-Esteem: People who learn to value themselves are more likely to have self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. As a result, they are more likely to become adults who respect their own values and stick to them… even when no one else does.
Sense of Humor: We need to provoke laughter with children and laugh with them everyday… for our sake and theirs.
Spirituality: Faith elevates our view of the universe, our world, and our lives. We would be wise to instill into our kids that they are more than just flesh and blood taking up space. They are also made of mind, heart, soul, and will. And decisions in their life should be based on more than just what everyone else with flesh and blood is doing.
Stability: A stable environment becomes the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. Just as they need to know their place in the family, children need an opportunity to learn how to make their place amongst their peers. Children benefit from having a safe place to learn how stability is made and maintained outside the home.  
Time: Time is the only real currency.Children can learn to believe to respect the value of time long before they come to realize how quickly it can pass.
Undivided Attention: There is no substitute for undivided attention, whether it comes from a parent, a teacher, a mentor, or a camp counselor.
Uniqueness: What makes us different is what makes us special. Uniqueness should not be hidden. It should be proudly displayed for the world to see, appreciate, and enjoy.
A Welcoming Place: To know that you are always welcome in a place is among the sweetest and most life-giving assurances in the world.
Along with lifelong friendships, the recognition and development of these attributes is the lasting gift of a child’s experience at summer camp. A 
kids summer camp is the most fun possible way a child gets to experience what it is to be human.
Summer camp is usually thought of in terms of all the traditional activities and facilities that come to our mind, and those elements are indeed part of what makes the experience memorable. But the true essence of the experience of summer camp is human connection. The attributes in this article are qualities that are rediscovered and expanded by interaction with counselors, staff and other campers in a natural setting. The 
best summer camps are carefully staffed and creatively programmed by directors with this concept in mind.  As one director put it, “Our hope is to give the world better people one camper at a time.”
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

Hey yall this is a tidbit of Zach’s new song for the summer camp 2011. Hope you will be there to sing around the campfire.

We at Swift Nature Camp want to be a part of your childs development. We understand that parents need and want partners in their childs development. For many families, it’s school, sports and religion. Yet, often we forget that camp is part of a childs healthy development. For one thing, camp provides children with the opportunity to connect with nature, to participate in human- powered activities, and to benefit from personal relationships.  Research has showen 92 percent ...

We at Swift Nature Camp want to be a part of your childs development. We understand that parents need and want partners in their childs development. For many families, it’s school, sports and religion. Yet, often we forget that camp is part of a childs healthy development. For one thing, camp provides children with the opportunity to connect with nature, to participate in human- powered activities, and to benefit from personal relationships.  Research has showen 92 percent of campers say that the people at camp helped them feel good about themselves and are able to establish a true sense of independence.  Kids also realize that because of camp … “I developed lasting friendships”... “I became a team player”...  “I learned how to care.”

Learning lessons about self-reliance, self-confidence, exploration, and responsibility are all important metrics of a successful summer camp experience. At Swift we look to promote the below trits.


At Swift we steer young people away from dependence on their parents and toward independence and self-reliance. Because parents are not present to guide their children’s decisions, kids at camp must identify the resources that can help them meet personal and group goals, resolve conflicts, and find success for themselves.
When campers get on the bus or see their parents drive away, often this is a childs first time of being on their own. For others it does not hit till the next morning when mom wouldn't be there to wake them or make their bed. Our goal as Swift counselors is to introduced campers to something new but not hold a campers hand the entire time. Camp is all about active learning. Campers often try something the first time and if they can’t figure it out counselors would be there for guidance.


Campers gain self-confidence when they find meaningful, fulfilling educational and social experiences at camp, interpret those experiences correctly, and have reasonable, achievable expectations for success.
At Swift Nature Camp children are challanged to work toward getting Achievement Awards. Campers realize these awards serve as a much greater purpose than just handing out patches. It is not always essential for campers to become the best at whatever they choose to do, but it is essential that they feel they've accomplished something. Our Final Banqutte recognizes campers for their accomplishments which helps to build self-confidence. Yet, often for those who do not participate in the awards program just being away from home is an accomplishment that builds self-confidence.


Camp is, in short, about learning: learning about oneself, learning about others, and learning about new ways to approach the world. Self-confidence leads to learning through exploration of one's interests, abilities, and relationships. To maximize exploration, young people need to feel safe — free from fear of ridicule, sarcasm, or insult. Creating a community of caring where young people feel comfortable moving beyond their "comfort zone" to the "challenge zone" promotes exploration.
Counselors at Swift are always there to make children feel safe yet, in their own ways they encouraged kids to step outside of their comfort zone and take a risk. This creates a developed of trust with staff and in turn with the entire camp community. Whether campers on the water, on a field, or in a cabin, they always know that the counselors and the camp would be there fore them.


Beyond the buddies, baseballs, and bonfires lies the true value of the summer camp experience: a heightened sense of personal responsibility for the well-being of others. Research from Students Against Destructive Decisions points out that young people who have attended summer camp are significantly more likely than those who have not to feel good about their relationships and to take positive risks.
At Swift our campers tell us that Swift is their summer home with the greatest people in the world. In fact, campers have made such real friendships that the time they spend at camp each summer was enough to make me feel good the entire year. One of many lifelong things most campers learned at Swift is a conscious responsibility to always be there for my friends and for others.

Life Lessons Learned at Camp 

The benefits to young people of a summer at camp have long been discussed and more recently evaluated. What are they? Simply put, they are opportunities. Opportunities not exclusive to camps but rather concentrated at camp, where under the direction, supervision, and influence of caring counselors, young adults can learn to become more independent, more confident, more self-aware, and more giving toward others. These are just some of the life lessons learned at camp says 
Stephen Wallace, M.S. Ed.

Swift Nature Camp works hard to promote these qualities in all children that attend. Our Tree of Values helps bring these values to forefront of each child. So much so that each cabin is given a value that they live daily and give skits about. THey even hang a sign on the from of the cabin. See more about this wonderful 
Children’s Summer Camp .
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 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.”
When we chat with parents for the first time, often a question we get is “Why would I send my child to an overnight camp, we have plenty of local programs.” Yes, this day and age we all can find things to fill our children”s time during the summer. However, overnight summer camp is a much different experience, it is NOT daycare while you are at work. It is a time for personal growth and development all in a child centered atmosphere.
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Unlike school, you don’t have to go to summer camp, but despite the costs, more than 5 million children attend summer camp each year. Choosing a camp is a personal decision – making a good match for both you and your child. You must take into account your own family’s lifestyle, as well as your child’s needs and personality. The process of choosing the right overnight camp should begin months before the first day of the summer. To narrow down the choices, some things to consider are:
General interest or specialty camp?
Private or nonprofit camp?
Affiliated with a church/synagogue or secular?
Full summer program or shorter sections?

There are also certain standards, such as those that have to do with safety or camper to counselor ratios, which you should not compromise on. However, many other issues are a matter or personal choice. While reading about camps, you should create a checklist of the qualities that you want to find in a camp, prioritizing them so that you can select a program that will meet at least the most important items on your list. 
You may decide, after much thought, that the quality of a particular program is so outstanding that you are willing to set aside certain criteria. While you might want to send your child to a religiously affiliated camp, you may discover a secular program that is a better match. You may also find that a program that is perfect for one child may be not as good as a fit for another. It is important to select a camp that is compatible with both your own child-rearing philosophy and the needs of your child. You want your child to hear the same messages at home and at camp, and this will avoid confusing your child and facilitate parent-camp communication.

What can my child learn at sleepaway camp?

Camp can be just as educational as school, with children learning through experience. Through activities and play, children learn a wide range of skills and develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. At camp, children learn by doing, living, and experiencing things for themselves. It’s one thing to watch a program on television, but quite another to experience it in real life.
At camp, 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.

Enhanced Self-Esteem

Camp offers children 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.

Trying New Things

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.

Life Skills

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.

Hidden Benefits of Camp

The benefits of overnight camp are not limited to children, but extend to parents as well. There is relief in knowing that your child is in a safe, exciting environment for the summer. Even if child care isn’t an issue, it’s often hard to find suitable activities for the summer, as well as finding peers for children to interact with. Camp offers entertainment and constant peer company. For parents that have more than one child, camp can give a younger sibling a chance to shine in the older one’s absence. And if you Homeschool camp is a wonderful way to help your child socialize. For families where all the children go to camp, parents have a chance to do things that would not interest the children. When a child makes it clear how excited he or she to go to camp, these parental excursions are guilt free.
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Minong, WI 54859

Phone: 715-466-5666