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 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.”
Winter time is upon us and many families have begun looking for the right priced summer camp. Learn How you can save money by planning ahead
YIKES, winter is still hear but many summer campsare filling up for the upcoming summer. Summer camp for many working parents holds two main concerns: 1) Finances and 2) Lodgistics. 

In a recent American Express Spending and Saving Tracker estimate was that average cost per-child summer spending on everything from travel to camp to child care hovered around $600, while affluent families spent $1,000 or more per week. Obviously, scout camps, church camps and even park district camps can cause far less. On the other side are more expensive camps, usually found out east, which can cost nearly $1500 per week (8wks)

Planning ahead often can help reduce the stress and the cost. Campers that return to camps often find that their camp offers a discount for returning campers. Others may offer an early registration discounts. If you’re able to pay up front, camps might offer an even larger discount. For those in a difficult financial situation many camps will offer “camperships” with various discounts.

Many private camps are often family-run small businesses, and might also be open to trading services for camp time. This could include, update a website, provide cords of wood for campfires, or resurface a tennis court. It never hurts to ask.

It is important to stay connected these days because many programs can fill fast. So mark your calendars with registration dates. E-mail all the places you might consider, science museums, theaters and village park districts to be put on their mailing lists, so nothing will pass you by. Often the most economical camps for young children fill up fast, as do the most desirable or those with limited offerings. 

Summer time does not need to be full, a little down time works as well for parents with flexible schedules and fond summer memories of biking and roaming the neighborhood. Working parents may not be as fortunate to have an open summer but by sending their child to an overnight camp, their child will experience days much like we did 30 years ago, outside and messing around with friends in a safe environment.

Many parents have made this commitment to their children to be more present, to be more purposeful, to be more intentional. One of the best ways to do this, is our second though committing to the logistics. This day an age we are used to getting what we want when we want it. Maybe we can learn from our parents plan ahead, if you can plan a family vacation, you’ll enjoy it more if everything else is in place to make the rest of your summer run smoothly. Plan now, and chances are you will be happier and more enjoy your summer.

One last thought all summer camps are not created equal so please do your homework when 
picking a summer camp.
Many Parents, who have their children on medication are concerned about sending their children to summer camp. This is understandable and here is a top ten list composed by camp advocate Dr. Christopher Thurber.
1.       Have your son or daughter stay on any medications they take during the school year.  If it’s helpful at home or school, it will be helpful at camp.
2.
       Don’t make major medication changes just prior to camp. The transition to camp is...

Top Ten Medication Management Tips at Camp

 
By Dr. Christopher Thurber
 

1.       Have your son or daughter stay on any medications they take during the school year.  If it’s helpful at home or school, it will be helpful at camp.
2.
       Don’t make major medication changes just prior to camp. The transition to camp is enough of an adjustment without further complications from medication discontinuance or prescription switches. Make any adjustments a few months before opening day.
3.
       Discuss dosing and the camp’s daily schedule with your child’s prescribing physician to ensure smooth administration of all medications. The timing of doses at home or school may have to be adjusted at camp because of how the camp’s daily schedule works.
4.
       Clearly label everything with your child’s name. Prescription bottles are already labeled, but be sure inhalers, nebulizers, Advair discs, and everything elseyour child brings to camp is clearly labeled with his or her name.
5.
       Openly discuss any medication your child takes with him or her. A surprising number of children don’t understand why they take certain medications and/or why their dosing schedule is designed the way it’s designed. Campers’ adherence to prescription directions will be much better—and any shame will be greatly reduced—if the prescriber and parents have had honest discussions with the child about the medication’s purpose and dosing.
6.
       Share your child’s medication history with the camp’s health care providers, both on the camp’s health form and in person. Each detail about a child’s assessment, diagnosis, and treatment that parents provide to the camp’s health care providers puts those professionals in a better position to care for that child. Leaving the camp nurse or doctor in the dark about some medical or psychological condition greatly compromises the quality of care they can provide. Trust that the information you provide will be treated confidentially.
7.
       Meet the camp nurses and doctors on opening day. It’s nice to put a face with a name in case you need to be in contact during the session.
8.
       Meet your child’s cabin leader on opening day. Share helpful information with him or her about your child and his treatment. (or, if your child travels to camp on a bus, be sure to write a personal letter to the cabin leader about your child and his or her treatment.)
9.
       Provide the camp with all your contact information (cell, home, work, vacation home, etc.)
10.
   Relax…camp will take good care of your child.

 
Dr. Thurber also offered ACA attendees a terrific medication resource he created with the help of his colleague, Joshua Gear, M.D.: “Psychotropic Medication Rapid Reference: A Guide for Camping Professionals.” The Guide is a list of the most common psychotropic medications prescribed to campers along with their generic names, information about what conditions they are intended to treat, common side effects, and (perhaps most importantly) what your health staff should do if a camper on one of these medications misses a dose for some reason. I encourage you and your health staff to visit Dr. Thurber’s excellent website,
www.campspirit.com to request a copy of the Guide.
 
At long last, parents of children who are going to summer camp for the first time have a choice available that is directly tailored to the needs of their child. After listening for years to parents and children expressing what they feel is important for a positive first time summer camp experience, Jeff and Lonnie Lorenz, directors of Swift Nature Camp, have created Discovery Camp, a program designed to meet the specific needs of all new campers and their parents.
Discovery Camp is a twelve-day First Timer’s Program offered at the Swift Nature Camp facilities near Minong, Wisconsin. The program utilizes Swift Camp’s highly trained staff at a ratio of two staff members for every five new campers, with two counselors assigned to each cabin of eight new campers. The first time at summer camp will quite possibly be a child’s first extended time away from home. The program acknowledges this by making sure that every new camper will find a staff member close at hand at all times in all situations. First time campers need to feel special, and the first priority of this program is to foster the sense that camp is there for them and exists for their benefit.

Prior to each camper’s arrival, the staff studies the informational packet for that person. They learn about each child and gain awareness of specific individual needs. If any camper has medical circumstances or special needs these will discussed by the staff in confidence with the camp nurse. By the time a child arrives at camp, the staff will feel as if they already know that new camper. This preparation is immediately beneficial to the first-time camper from the moment he or she steps off the bus and is warmly and personally greeted.

The first day of Discovery Camp is Orientation Day. New campers get a complete tour of Swift Nature Camp, including a visit to the Health Center, the Mail Box, and every activity area. Every activity is introduced with a discussion about the importance of safety and the basic safety information for that activity.

Staff members work hard to promote an atmosphere of nurturing and harmonious friendship from the campers’ first day of cabin life. There is a Respect List for all to agree to and sign, and each night will end with a bedtime story. The cabin is the place where community begins. First time campers are gently brought into a sense of connection and community with others who begin on equal footing. 

At Discovery Camp, first time campers are introduced to Swift Camp’s well rounded noncompetitive variety of camp activities. Each morning a cabin’s campers are invited to instruction at two activity areas. These activities include Swimming, Canoeing, Nature Center, Arts and Crafts, Archery, and more. The new campers are encouraged to try new and different activities, giving each of them the opportunity to discover and explore what activities he or she might enjoy and eventually excel in. In the afternoon, campers learn how to make their own choices from the activity board, making their own decisions about which activity to pursue that day. 

Swift Nature Camp aims to encourage each child to learn independence in a safe, age appropriate environment. Jeff and Lonnie Lorenz knew from experience that homesickness is most likely to run its course when the length of time away is just beyond the number of days a child can hold in mind for a countdown. The twelve day first-timer program is set up to run the optimum length of time for a first time camper to leave homesickness behind and gain a comfortable sense of autonomy. For many of these campers the greatest first lesson camp teaches them is that they can leave home, return days later and find out that very few things will have changed, especially their parents’ love for them.
The directors of Swift Nature Camp think it's important that parents know that their children’s first time away from home is in a safe, nurturing and secure environment. As a part of the Discovery Camp’s first timer program, parents are encouraged to visit at any time after the first five days. 
Parents who would like to find out if this is the right first-time summer camp experience for their child are encouraged to speak with other parents who have had their children attend Swift Nature Camp. A list of references is readily available for that purpose. Discovery Camp, a special program for the first time summer camp experience, is finally available to suit the needs of campers and parents alike! 

Want to learn how to find the best summer camp for your child see SummerCamp Advice.com
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 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.”
When selecting a summer camp their can be many variables that attract you and your camper. These might include its location, price, term, or facilities and programs. Thats the easy part to selecting a summer camp. Yet, summer camp is so much more, after all you are sending your most prized asset. Ultimately you will want to learn about the camp's policies and get to know the Camp Directors.

Please review these, prior to calling the Camp Director. It is also a good idea to ask if the camp is American Camp Accredited, this is an independent agency that does onsite inspection of over 300 different items at each camp. Remember, this is only the beginning of your search and be sure to always ask for references.

These professionals and their staff will guide, support, entertain and educate your child while at summer camp. They are really what makes for a successful camp experience. Here are the top 5 important issues to consider in order to make the best possible choice.
 
 
 

1.Camp Director's Experience.

 
The experience of a Summer Camp Director can vary tremendously. Obviously experience in working with children is important. The American Camp Association (ACA) minimum standards for Camp Directors require a bachelor's degree, a minimum 16 weeks of camp administration experience, and the completion of in-service training within the previous 3 years. The ACA even has a course to certify camp directors. Is your certified?
 

2.Camp Philosophy.

 
This is what camp is all about, it is reason for camp. This reflects the Directors personality and desires. What is the camp's purpose? What ideals are emphasized ( persistence, friendship, honesty )and how they are reflected at camp. Often, the importance of competition can vary widely from camp to camp. Some Cams feel that experiencing competition is a natural, while other camps are non-competitive and try to foster a greater sense of cooperation and interdependence.


3.Staff Requirements.

 
The ACA suggests that overnight summer camps vary their camper to counselor ratio depending on the age of the child. So younger children have more supervision than older. A good rule of thumb is that all children have from 3-5 campers for each camp counselor. Ask the Camp Director what they look for in their employees. Staff members must be dependable, enthusiastic, outgoing, knowledgeable and truly caring individuals. How do they find folks with these qualities? Counselors are often looked up to and depended on by campers for physical and emotional support and must be qualified to assume this important responsibility. Here is a hint, ask what % of staff are internationals. These folks do add diversity to camp but often they are at camp not for the kids but are here for themselves to see the USA. The ACA recommends that at least 80% of the counselors and program staff should be 18 years or older and at least 20% of the administrative and program staff possess a bachelor's degree. 


4.Rules & Discipline. 

 
Be sure to ask the camp rules. Some you may feel comfortable with and others you may not. Like can campers call home? How are problems handled? Do these match your belief system? Are comfortable with this? You and your child will be interested in knowing about important rules and how discipline is applied. Penalties should be carried out in a fair and calm manner. Rules and policies should be communicated clearly and openly, and should uniformly apply to all campers.


5.Special Needs.

BWOnce you get to know the Camp Director you will feel comfortable to discuss your child in detail. Directors want to know your child prior to camp and how they can help. This is not just about special needs, any assistance your child will require, like are they scared of the dark. Everything from facilities and medical staff to special foods and medications should be reviewed to your satisfaction.
Summer Camps are not just about sports and playing games. A good
summer camp want to be of your child’s development and offers a critical role in it.
Winter time is upon us and many families have begun looking for the right priced summer camp. Learn How you can save money by planning ahead
YIKES, winter is still hear but many summer camps are filling up for the upcoming summer. Summer camp for many working parents holds two main concerns: 1) Finances and 2) Lodgistics. 

In a recent American Express Spending and Saving Tracker estimate was that average cost per-child summer spending on everything from travel to camp to child care hovered around $600, while affluent families spent $1,000 or more per week. Obviously, scout camps, church camps and even park district camps can cause far less. On the other side are more expensive camps, usually found out east, which can cost nearly $1500 per week (8wks)

Planning ahead often can help reduce the stress and the cost. Campers that return to camps often find that their camp offers a discount for returning campers. Others may offer an early registration discounts. If you’re able to pay up front, camps might offer an even larger discount. For those in a difficult financial situation many camps will offer “camperships” with various discounts.

Many private camps are often family-run small businesses, and might also be open to trading services for camp time. This could include, update a website, provide cords of wood for campfires, or resurface a tennis court. It never hurts to ask.

It is important to stay connected these days because many programs can fill fast. So mark your calendars with registration dates. E-mail all the places you might consider, science museums, theaters and village park districts to be put on their mailing lists, so nothing will pass you by. Often the most economical camps for young children fill up fast, as do the most desirable or those with limited offerings. 

Summer time does not need to be full, a little down time works as well for parents with flexible schedules and fond summer memories of biking and roaming the neighborhood. Working parents may not be as fortunate to have an open summer but by sending their child to an overnight camp, their child will experience days much like we did 30 years ago, outside and messing around with friends in a safe environment.

Many parents have made this commitment to their children to be more present, to be more purposeful, to be more intentional. One of the best ways to do this, is our second though committing to the logistics. This day an age we are used to getting what we want when we want it. Maybe we can learn from our parents plan ahead, if you can plan a family vacation, you’ll enjoy it more if everything else is in place to make the rest of your summer run smoothly. Plan now, and chances are you will be happier and more enjoy your summer.

One last thought all summer camps are not created equal so please do your homework when 
picking a summer camp.
School is out and children are looking for something too do, but the furthest thing from their mind is to do school work. Camp provides the ability to bring it all together with fun.
When school’s out, camp is the Hot place, it is where adventure and fun and take over. Most camp children when at camp feel they are as far as possible from books and learning. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Yet, camp is not like school but is still is a place of learning. 

Summer Camp also provides kids with opportunities to learn what they’re interested in, which is how kids typically learn best. For many of the campers at choose activities that they are interested in. Some pick a camp that specializes in a particular field of learning, Circus camp to soccer camp. Regardless of the experience opportunities are providing unique experiential learning experiences that often kids don’t necessarily get at school or home,

Lonnie Lorenz, director of Swift Nature Camp realizes, “At camp, kids get their hands dirty while they’re learning and those skills transfer to real life, as they learn to make decisions, get along with their cabin group and take care of themselves, I believe Swift Nature Camp provides some of the most valuable education that children can benefit from. The lessons are so much more than learning to build a safe campfire or shooting a bow, they are lessons that teach us how to look at life.

Camp provides the opportunity for children to step out and try new things, to go beyond self-imposed and parental limits. Some times these are huge other times they might be a smaller step. Yet they are all steps forward. When a child is Cautious about trying new things,stepping out is good for a child’s growth and development. After all we will all be challenged to try new things in our life. When a child tries something new and succeeds, it makes it easier to repeat that behavior and thus developed the courage to try new things, overcome obstacles and gain confidence. All this is done in the in the supportive atmosphere of camp. These Camp built skills, like flexibility, curiosity, cognitive thinking and resiliency, transfer immediately to school situations and later in life. 

When you’re at camp, you’re trying new things with other people who are often doing it for the first time as well, this creates a bond of support and thus learning happens naturally through a safe atmosphere of managed risks, without the distraction and pressure of grades. The benefit is that children don’t even realize they’re learning and that the best type of leaning when it is internalized. 

Picking the right camp program can help a child develop leadership skills, responsibility and a sense of independence, These are important building blocks for future academic and personal success and that is why camp is a place for learning.

Learn more: 
How to Pick a Camp
Here is a quick list of 9 things to consider when selecting a summer camp for the first time. Doing the research up front will only help ensure your child’s time at camp will be a success.

1. How Old Should My Child Be For Overnight Camp?


Many overnight camps begin at 6 or 7 years old. Yet most parents are not ready at that age. So the best test is how has your child has done at sleepovers with friends not grandparents. A second thought are they excited? If so that is a huge head start. At Swift Nature Camp we have Discovery Camp that is only for children 6-12 and for those children that have never been to overnight camp before. Our goal is to make this time a way from home a success, in order to accomplish this we have less children n a cabin and more staff around. Plus, we are on the lookout for any homesickness. Read more about our First Time Camper Program

2. DOES IT MATTER WHAT CAMP I CHOOSE?


Yes, it does! You want to have a program where the child is extremely comfortable and has something they’re interested in. You don’t want to send them off to learn only about archery and they don’t really care, they’d rather be sailing . Also, I would not suggest a single sports or activity camp, these can get boring and often do not challenge a child to try new things. 
 

3. SHOULD IT BE COED?


Here is the thought a single gender camp will allow campers, especially older one’s to feel more comfortable about expressing themselves and trying new things without the opposite gender around. 
On the coed side having children of different sexes together increases compassion, friendship, and a sense of equality. Gender is a part of society so why not have young people practice in real world conditions. Having said that at Swift Nature Camp our goal is to have campers realize camp is about them and not about someone else regardless of who is around.

4. WHAT SHOULD IT COST?


Camp comes in all sort of prices from $50 to $200 or more per day. The average given by the ACA (American Camp Association ) is $85 per day. Can you always assume a more expensive camp is better, NO. Nor is a cheaper camp worse. This is where you must do your homework, weighing activities, philosophy and directors versus cost. 
Remember, many camps have financial aid, scholarships, deferred payment plans, sliding scale tuition, and discounts for bringing a friend. Here is a hint, Look at camps in your range then start to compare programs.
 

5. CAMP PHILOSOPHY, WHATS THIS?


This is the heart and the soul of the camp and the most important aspect of the camp. This flows from the Directors down to the staff and then to the campers. Things to consider
Does your child get to work in a group, collaborate with other kids, learn how to work with a team?
How do they Discipline?
Do kids get work out conflict?
Do the children make their own schedule?
Are they in control?
You may have other things to ask that best soot your child’s needs and expectations.

6. TELL ME ABOUT THE DIRECTOR AND STAFF?


At Swift Nature Camp we encourage every family to call or meet with us at an open house, held in late May. We feel it is important for campers and parents to feel comfortable with us caring for their child. Sure we have years of experience and training but none of that matters if you cannot talk to us. This is true for any camp, if you can not talk to the Director that will be at camp 24/7 I would seriously consider continuing your search. Once you feel comfortable then asking about staff is easy. Because you know that the Directors are going to ensure the staff are properly trained and more interested in your child than their time off. As for staff ratios, the ACA accreditation sets requirements based on age and programs. As long as you select an ACA camp you will be assured to be meeting the code.

7. WHAT ABOUT SAFETY?


Safety is all that matters at camp. Again ACA camp s meet many criteria to be sure camps are safe and here are just a few: background checks on all employees, staff trained in CPR and first aid, Nurse or Doctor at camp, ample lifeguards, training and licensing for transportation.
 

8. WHAT ABOUT PARENT VALUES?


Every parent is different and so is every camper, the only real way to make sure this is the place for your family is to review the materials in websites and mailings. Then call the Director and chat. Ask every possible thing that might matter, here are a few:
Are kids in tents or cabins? 
Are showers in the cabin? 
How religious is camp?”
Can a child with food allergies be kept safe?
Who will dispense meds?
Can I talk to my child on the phone?

 

9. WHAT ARE OTHERS SAYING ?


Ask for refferences. The can be from local families or those far away. This will give insight what kind of reputation the camp has. When talking to other families be sure to not only talk to the parent but to the camper. Ask a few difficult questions not just “how was camp?” This will give you real insight into the daily working of camp.
Lastly if possible do a site visit so you can decide for yourself which camp is best for you and your children. It is best to tour the camp when campers are there, this can give you a good sense of the camp. Obviously this is not all that easy to do, so don’t put off camp just because you can not make it to the camp facility. 

Remember it is all about the work you do upfront that will help ensure your childs camp experience will be a great one. To get more information refer to Summer Camp Advice a wonderful website dedicated to helping parents
 learn how to pick a summer camp
At long last, parents of children who are going to summer camp for the first time have a choice available that is directly tailored to the needs of their child. After listening for years to parents and children expressing what they feel is important for a positive first time summer camp experience, Jeff and Lonnie Lorenz, directors of Swift Nature Camp, have created Discovery Camp, a program designed to meet the specific needs of all new campers and their parents.
Discovery Camp is a twelve-day First Timer’s Program offered at the Swift Nature Camp facilities near Minong, Wisconsin. The program utilizes Swift Camp’s highly trained staff at a ratio of two staff members for every five new campers, with two counselors assigned to each cabin of eight new campers. The first time at summer camp will quite possibly be a child’s first extended time away from home. The program acknowledges this by making sure that every new camper will find a staff member close at hand at all times in all situations. First time campers need to feel special, and the first priority of this program is to foster the sense that camp is there for them and exists for their benefit.

Prior to each camper’s arrival, the staff studies the informational packet for that person. They learn about each child and gain awareness of specific individual needs. If any camper has medical circumstances or special needs these will discussed by the staff in confidence with the camp nurse. By the time a child arrives at camp, the staff will feel as if they already know that new camper. This preparation is immediately beneficial to the first-time camper from the moment he or she steps off the bus and is warmly and personally greeted.

The first day of Discovery Camp is Orientation Day. New campers get a complete tour of Swift Nature Camp, including a visit to the Health Center, the Mail Box, and every activity area. Every activity is introduced with a discussion about the importance of safety and the basic safety information for that activity.

Staff members work hard to promote an atmosphere of nurturing and harmonious friendship from the campers’ first day of cabin life. There is a Respect List for all to agree to and sign, and each night will end with a bedtime story. The cabin is the place where community begins. First time campers are gently brought into a sense of connection and community with others who begin on equal footing. 

At Discovery Camp, first time campers are introduced to Swift Camp’s well rounded noncompetitive variety of camp activities. Each morning a cabin’s campers are invited to instruction at two activity areas. These activities include Swimming, Canoeing, Nature Center, Arts and Crafts, Archery, and more. The new campers are encouraged to try new and different activities, giving each of them the opportunity to discover and explore what activities he or she might enjoy and eventually excel in. In the afternoon, campers learn how to make their own choices from the activity board, making their own decisions about which activity to pursue that day. 
Swift Nature Camp aims to encourage each child to learn independence in a safe, age appropriate environment. Jeff and Lonnie Lorenz knew from experience that homesickness is most likely to run its course when the length of time away is just beyond the number of days a child can hold in mind for a countdown. The twelve day first-timer program is set up to run the optimum length of time for a first time camper to leave homesickness behind and gain a comfortable sense of autonomy. For many of these campers the greatest first lesson camp teaches them is that they can leave home, return days later and find out that very few things will have changed, especially their parents’ love for them.
The directors of Swift Nature Camp think it's important that parents know that their children’s first time away from home is in a safe, nurturing and secure environment. As a part of the Discovery Camp’s first timer program, parents are encouraged to visit at any time after the first five days. 
Parents who would like to find out if this is the right first-time summer camp experience for their child are encouraged to speak with other parents who have had their children attend Swift Nature Camp. A list of references is readily available for that purpose. Discovery Camp, a special program for the first time summer camp experience, is finally available to suit the needs of campers and parents alike! 
Want to learn how to find the best summer camp for your child see SummerCamp Advice.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