Camp Corner 2 18All the latest News from SNC

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Has America Fallen? I believe that we can all agree that in the past 3 years or so, our society has become less civil. We use more profanity in public. We are more polarised, it's We VS Them. Life has become a Win / Loose debate, never a Win / Win scenario. It seems like the fall has started. Yet, recently Senator Susan Collins has suggested a Summer Camp staple to help solve the world's ills. Yes, it is the talking stick. A simple concept, when you hold the stick you talk and others listen. Yes, listen - something America is short on these days. Sure, you can call it childish or not needed. But if we look at what Summer Camp teaches our children to become better adult, it is something all parents strive for and it all starts with a talking stick.

Here are just a few of the positive atributes taught at an overnight summer camp:

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 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 a 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 summer at 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.”  Learn more about Swift Nature Camp at http://swiftnaturecamp.com

As a summer camp owner, each spring as I speak to college students about becoming a summer camp counselor. Often I get a response “I am not a teaching student. How will camp help me?” Will future employers want you to have an internship? They respond in the affirmative and continue “I need real world job skills”. Being a summer camp is the place to get these skills.

Today, as we categorize todays young workforce it is often said that they are lacking soft skills. These skills are what employers want and are what overnight summer camps best teach.

Here are 5 skills that any employer would want to see in their applicants. You can arrange these in any order because none is more important than another.

Teamwork
Most jobs require employees to work together as a unit, section or team building relationships and working together with respect toward a common good. Summer Camp  is all about team work from your co counselors working together to building a team with in your cabin. Camp is a community not unlike a business organization. Camp is built of people who have very different personalities, backgrounds and life experiences that all come together for the goal of building each other up while playing and having fun.

Responsibility
At work we all want our bosses to give us greater responsibility. Very few jobs or internships can give you more responsibility than independently caring for someone else children.   At Camp, counselors you are responsible 24-hours a day at camp or off in the woods hours away from civilization.  It is the counselor that holds all of a child’s experience in their hand. From reducing injuries to motivating and encouraging  a child, to stoping bullying.  No place is a persons job more important than being a camp counselor.their work with campers is essential to camp’s operation.

Problem Solving
I once had a boss who said “Don’t bring me problems bring me solutions.” The same can be said as a camp counselor you need to figure things out and make it work the best way possible. Weather your getting 10 children to all brush their teeth or encouraging them to jump into a cold lake, you need to try things evaluate if it works and then make changes as needed. As a  camp counselors you will be constantly provided with opportunities to solve problems and come up with creative solutions.  Just the thing any employer is looking for in a new employee..

Communication Skills
Every job requires good communication skills. Without the distraction of technology and social media, camp counselors strengthen their communication skills by engaging in face-to-face interaction with campers and fellow counselors.  Daily you will learn and practice how to lead group discussions and practice conflict resolution.

Leadership
Every job requires some amount of leadership. After all it is leadership that get the promotion. At camp your unique relationships with campers will allow you to practice your level of influence on others.  At camp, you will share your life experience with their campers helping to build them into being better people.  Even though camp is casual you will be required to be at the top of your game as a role model to children. Meaning you need to remain appropriate in language and appearance at all times. Living as a role model will cause you to step your game and be your best leader.   After a summer at camp you will feel like a leader it is a powerful feeling.

Yes,  you will get to practice these skills but equally important is you will be outside in nature and playing. To soon our youth passes but at camp we like to say "Act your shoe size on your age"

Anyone that has been to Swift Nature Camp can tell you that camp water is amazing. The taste is clean and the temperature is iced cold, it must have something to do with an extra deep well and natural sand filter.  

Parents often worry about health care at summer camp and one of the simplest things to do is stay hydrated.

At camp we encourage to carry a water bottle with them all the time. We know that that the medical field says that somewhere between 60-90 ounces of water each day should be consumed to lead a healthy lifestyle. Because our body is made up of 60% water, it is important to be hydrated keeping kids running all day long. We teach our kids that WATER is so important at camp especially on warm days. Often the 1st recommendation from our nurse is "go drink a full water bottle of water". Meals are always started with a glass or two of water. Here are just some of the ways we teach our campers that they are not getting enough water.

1. Are You Thirsty?
This is a simple one,  if you are thirsty, your body is talking to you, its saying that you need some more water. Thirst occurs when your body loses two percent of its water, so if you are drinking in enough water, you will rarely feel thirsty. At camp we quench our thirst with only water never bug juice, water seems to be the most effective.

2. What Color Is Your Pee?

Urine is a tell tale sign of you hydration. Often campers don't want to take a look but, the color of you urine is a great way to determine if you are dehydrated. A campers urine will be light yellow or even clear when drinking enough fluids. Yet when you see dark yellow, it's time to go get some water, this one of the best signs of dehydration.

3. Are You Overheating?

Water helps keep your body cool and stops organs from overheating. Hot days running around camp could lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. Drinking cool water can help, so can slowing down, staying in the shade and  going swimming. This is the reason on super hot days at SNC we increase our water activities and our drinking water during meals to 4 cups per meal.

4. Is Your Skin Dry?

If you notice irregular flaky or dry skin, it could be caused to a lack of fluid. Sometimes if we notice a camper with dry skin we use lotion combined with a water bottle. After a few days we usually get the desired result.

Listening to a camp nurse is always good advice and in this case she can help you find the signs of dehydration and find that simple solution, "Pick up a water bottle and leave your sugar loaded soda and sports drinks behind".

It's REUNION TIME 2018

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 7th

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.

 

NEW TO SNC?
Our reunion is the perfect time to come ask questions, meet the staff and have some fun. So please come and go swimming.

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As a Director of an Overnight Summer Camp in Wisconsin for over 20 years, I have seen a change in how parents deal with their children. Obviously,  when I was a kid my parents spent alot less time worrying about me. Oh sure I was loved but I was given time to figure stuff out on my own even if that meant small failures or getting in trouble. But more importantly, I was given something we all want more of TIME. Yes, my parents did not schedule me in after school sports, tutoring or band. No, in my day I played with friends, watch an 1hour of TV per day (now they say the average kid is 8hrs on a screen) and figured out things to keep myself busy. Yet, with all this time on on my hands, something was bound to come out of my mouth "MOM, I'm Bored" and the her response was almost always the same "Go Outside". Today, parents hear the "I'm Bored" much less, because kids just pick up a screen and stay entertained for hours. I was speaking with a substitute teacher the other day and she said its so much easier now that 10 years ago.  I have almost no discipline issues because when students finish their online in class assignments they pull out their phone and keep engaged, causing less classroom flareups.
Research is showing this may be a bad thing, see below article. I am an Outdoors Summer Camp activist and for years said, WE ARE ADDICTED TO TECHNOLOGY! Only recently have others picked up on this and are telling us to put down our phones... And do what Mom said "Get Outside"!
 
 

Child psychologists insist that boredom is an enriching experience.

With the rise of screen time and “helicopter parenting”, i.e. hovering, we’ve seen a decline in the good-natured negligence that many of us were raised with during the 80’s and 90’s, which consisted of “go outside and play, now.” Parents nowadays feel pressured to turn their children into productive little performers, by filling their time with camps, sports, lessons and play dates. And while there are advantages too, say, learning to play the piano, researchers insist that the absence of planned activities is also an enriching experience. The best thing you can do for your kids this summer? Let them be bored.

“Your role as a parent is to prepare children to take their place in society. Being an adult means occupying yourself and filling up your leisure time in a way that will make you happy,” explains Lyn Fry, child psychologist, “If parents spend all their time filling up their child’s spare time, then the child’s never going to learn to do this for themselves.”

For the same reason that mindfulness has spread like wildfire among the wellness community, children also need to learn strategies to contend with the fast-paced, virtually-ruled nature of modern society. We also know, as adults, that being stripped of our televisions, iPads, and obligations are bound to offer a refreshing perspective and force us to interact with our surroundings in a new and different way.

Certainly, it is tempting, and perhaps we have been conditioned to feel that being bored is a waste of time. Not so— idleness is integral to allow our imaginations to grow. Dr. Teresa Belton, a visiting fellow at the University of East Anglia told the BBC that boredom is crucial for humans to develop “internal stimulus,” which, in turn, cultivates true creativity.

“There’s no problem with being bored,” says Fry. “It’s not a sin, is it? I think children need to learn how to be bored in order to motivate themselves to get things done. Being bored is a way to make children self-reliant.” Another way this helps kids is by eliminating the cycle of seeking validation for every little thing they do. Throwing out expectations is a tool to help kids truly know themselves and their preferences, and become more individually confident.

This summer, take away the screens and let kids simply do their own thing, such as playing with their toys in their room or outside in the yard. Experts also encourage writing a list of activities with children, including basic past times such as riding a bike, playing cards, drawing with sidewalk chalk, painting or reading a book. When your children approach you complaining of being bored, remind them to refer to the list. They’ll thank you later.

True Activist / //www.trueactivist.com/the-best-thing-you-can-do-for-your-kids-this-summer-let-them-be-bored/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Report a typo

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Enjoy a Summer Camp In the USA

Overnight Children's Camp arts & craftsNow is the time to Commit! You have heard about all the benefits Overnight Summer Camp can provide a child.  Still, it seems a strange concept to send your child away to Swift Nature Camp and in other people's care. Yet time and time again, parents see that their child returns home different (better) than before he or she left. How can this be? What is this Camp Magic?

As a parent, these are the questions that went through my head as I sent my child to a different overnight summer camp. Does sending my kid away mean I do not love them? Does it mean I am selfish? Does it mean I am a BAD parent?

Actually sending your child to Overnight summer camp means none of these things. Often parents need to hear again all the benefits of summer camp, here are a few:

 

9. Kids are active – These days a child's life is sedentary in school, online and inside. Every moment at camp is filled with motion, from play to learning or even walking to the bathroom.

8. Experience successes – Camp's main goal is to build kids up. So at SNC we find what kids can succeed and that helps them feel more confident.

7. Gain resiliency – Life is filled with setbacks. At camp setbacks can be handled in a positive way. For instance, a group may have a difficult canoe trip, yet together they persevered and made it. Knowing you can make it is an amazing lesson.

6. Unplug – Technology has taken over our life. No time in history have children been so connected to it. In the old days kids watched TV for 2-3 hours a day now a screen is watched 7-9 hrs a day. Get back to real connections.

5. Independent – This day and age kids are scheduled most of the day. Camp gives children the ability to make choices for themselves. A skill needed in life. Wrong decisions can be gently handled and right decisions applauded by peers and non parental units.

4. Play – In nature animals learn by play. We all love watching the wolf pups play, but they are really getting ready for life. Same is true with children, they learn by having unorganized free play. Something that was a staple in kids growing up in the past. Camp still provides this in a safe, child friendly atmosphere.

3. Social skills – Living in a communal setting, like camp, provides amazing opportunities for children to learn personal skills like, empathy, resolving disagreements, teamwork and healthy communication.

2. Enjoy nature – Kids lives have become an indoor life. Nature is missing and all the research shows this is having a negative effect on today's kids. Higher stress, obesity and insecurity. Nature supports healthy child development and enriches kid’s perception of the world.

1. Friendships–Swift Nature Camp has only one mission to help children be their best. We do this in a fun and supportive way. By building friendships with people that truly care. we help child make better friends. Campers will tell you their best friends are at camp. Why? When you live with people, you learn to accept them, you build tolerance and over time your difference become bonds.  The result is a summer family.

 

So as you are thinking about the adventure your child will be on this summer, don't rule out the Northwoods of Wisconsin and Swift Nature Camp.

Kids summer campEvery summer millions of children go to overnight summer camp. But Why? Oh sure, some parents just need day care. But the vast majority of parents that are thinking about sending their child to overnight summer camp, do not take this responsibility lightly. They do their research by: going to camp fairs, talking to friends, taking camp tours and chatting with references. Why do all this? Because when you select the right Overnight Summer Camp for your child, it will be a life changer and an experience they will want to repeat summer after summer. Maybe thats why children from all around the world come to USA Summer Camps

 

So how does summer camp change kids lives? Not every camp is the same, so I can only speak about our overnight summer camp. Swift Nature Camp is located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. We cater to children 6–15, with a leadership program for our 16 & 17 year old campers. Our small camp blends old-fashioned camp activities on land and water, with environmental and nature learning. Plus we have a camp zoo, where children who love animals can even adopt one while they are at camp.

 

Here are ways that children’s lives are changed because of camp:

1) Great Staff- When you get young people who are dedicated to kids full time, your child feels it. Camp counselors have boundless energy and enthusiasm- something parents often loose as they get older. It’s like having the best big sister or brother in the world who really cares about you. They want you to be your best. So children look up to these counselors and since they are role modeling positive values, your child will pick those up and bring them home.

 

2) Communal Living- Yes, your child will be living in a cabin with 5–8 other children of their own age, building new friendships and developing strong new social circles. For most children this is a new experience. When you live with others, you have to be a little less worried about yourself and be thinking more about others. That is part of the natural progression of kids from self to others. Camp pushes them a little further along this road.

 

3) Nature-This day and age we live our lives inside. There is a big beautiful world out there that children should learn about and they should not be afraid of. All of science is saying, humans need to be connected to their environment, enjoy the beauty of the simple things in life. That’s why at SNC, we often take our kids to the lake to quietly enjoy a sunset.

 

4) Independence- Today we have so many types of parents, and often we see loving parents that hold their children back, not intentionally. But, sometimes they just don’t see that kids need and want to get out on their own, make decisions on their own and try new things. A Nature Camp is a safe place to try things, make mistakes and move on. This is all part of growing up and camp is the safe and supervised place this takes place.

 

5) Play is an amazing tool. It helps children get exercise, loose weight and feel better. More important, Free Play can help children resolve conflict, problem solve and be creative. Daily, at camp have 1.5 hours dedicated to free play, where campers can do the activities they want to do. This is like the old days, when children could just go outside and play.

 

One thing we hear from parents every summer is “I wish I would have sent my child to Swift Nature Camp sooner” you see, childhood is a once-off thing. Too soon it’s over, and you can’t reclaim the years, but you can look back on incredible memories. That’s why summer camp is so important — it’s a fun, positive experience where children can simply be children and have the time of their lives. Overnight summer camp is a vital part of a child’s personal growth and development

It’s the small size and attention to detail that makes camp so successful at promote each child’s personal development. Sending your child to Swift Nature Camp is a gift, one your child will cherish for the rest of their life. Maybe that’s why 92% of our campers want to return each summer to this Wisconsin Summer Camp.

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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