The Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB) has enthusiastically adopted and 
supports the implementation of Wisconsin’s Plan for Environmental Literacy and Sustainable 
Communities . This plan is the latest in a long line of environmental education initiatives in the 
state . Beginning with the Conservation Movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s through 
the Environmental Movement in the 1960s and 70s and on to today, residents of Wisconsin 
have played a key role in shaping the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of individuals, groups, 
and organizations with respect to environmental issues at the national, regional, and local 
levels . As a new century has just begun, this plan provides a pathway for all of us to build 
upon this prior work and move forward in developing an environmentally literate society 
comprised of sustainable communities . 
Wisconsin’s Plan for Environmentally Literate and 
Sustainable Communities (referred to in this document 
as the “Plan”) serves as a strategic plan for achieving 
the vision of environmentally literate and sustainable 
communities across Wisconsin . The Plan is meant to 
build capacity, awareness, and support for environmental 
literacy and sustainability at home, work, school, and 
play . It encourages funding, research, and education for 
environmental literacy and sustainability and it supports 
Wisconsin’s Plan to Advance Education for Environmental 
Literacy and Sustainability in PK-12 Schools. 
This Plan was developed through input from diverse 
representatives from around the state, all of whom— 
like many before them—are attentive to the health and 
well-being of Wisconsin’s people, the stewardship of our 
natural resources, the sustainability of our communities, 
and to leaving a positive legacy for the future . Wisconsin 
people value the state’s natural resources and the functions 
these resources serve at home, work, school, and play . 
This commitment to protecting and conserving valued 
resources can and does lead to sustainable communities 
that enjoy a healthy environment, a prosperous economy, 
and a vibrant civic life . The purpose of this Plan, therefore, 
is to provide a roadmap, a course of action, individuals, 
organizations, businesses and governments must 
take to attain environmental literacy and sustainable 
communities . By providing a shared vision, mission, 
and goals, encouraging the use of common language, 
and promoting collaborative efforts, the Plan offers the 
opportunity for extraordinary impact and change . 
The Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB) is charged with 
leadership for environmental education for all people in the state and is required 
to develop a strategic plan every ten years . This Plan was born from that 
demand . WEEB’s previous strategic plan, A Plan for Advancing Environmental 
Education in Wisconsin: EE2010, had seven goals that were based on the central 
purposes of providing positive leadership; developing local leaders; developing 
and implementing curricula; and furthering professional development . 
An assessment provided insight into this plan’s successes and what remains to be 

done . Major successes include: 
The creation of a website, EEinWisconsin .org, which acts as a tool for 
statewide communication and a clearinghouse for both formal and non- 
formal environmental education in Wisconsin . 
The WEEB’s use of the goals in its grants program . 
The initiation of research in environmental literacy and sustainability . 
The establishment of Wisconsin Environmental Education Foundation, 
which is leading the way toward more sustainable funding for 
environmental education . 
The assessment found more work needs to be done to support and enhance 
non-formal and non-traditional environmental education . The Plan addresses 
this need and sets new goals . 


Collaboration with Other Efforts 


Wisconsin’s Plan for Environmentally Literate and Sustainable Communities 
considers educational needs and responses for the whole community and 
supports sustainable practices at home, work, school, and play . The Plan is 
coordinated with and supported by two additional statewide efforts to advance 
the implementation of the Plan’s goals and the integration of sustainability . They 
are: 
Wisconsin’s Plan to Advance Education for Environmental Literacy and 
Sustainability in PK-12 Schools addresses multiple aspects related directly 
to pre-kindergarten through high school student learning to ensure every 
student graduates environmentally literate . (NCLIwisconsin .org) 
Cultivating Education for Sustainability in Wisconsin builds capacity 
and support for schools and communities to focus student learning on 
sustainability . It provides recommendations for resources and services to 
implement education for sustainability in schools . (www .uwsp .edu/wcee/efs) 
2 Wisconsin’s Plan for Environmentally Literate and Sustainable Communities 

Benefits of a State Plan 


Provide a common vision and set of goals for people in Wisconsin to work 
toward . 
Guide decision-making, policy making and priority setting . 
Serve as justification for and purpose behind creating or continuing 
programs, tools and resources . 
Set priorities for development and delivery of educational programs, 
business plans, and community efforts . 
Rationale and guidance for funding and research efforts . 


How to Use the Plan 


Wisconsin’s Plan for Environmentally Literate and Sustainable Communities is 
not an organization, but rather a document that serves as the state strategic plan 
requiring partnerships and collaboration . It is designed to serve as reference 
material for individuals, businesses, and communities . Those who influence 
environmental literacy and sustainability in Wisconsin such as community 
leaders, traditional and non-formal educators and administrators, resources 
developers and providers, policy makers, funders and researchers will find the 
Plan useful as a guide in setting priorities and making decisions . Over the course 
of the next decade, the Plan’s desired outcomes will be central to environmental 
literacy and sustainability efforts across the state . As Wisconsin people work 
toward achieving the four main outcomes of the Plan, this document can help 
guide attitudes, planning, actions, and endeavors . 

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

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

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

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

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

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

See Ya next Summer
Lonnie, Jeff & Forrest
Hi I’M BEN HOFFMAN....When thinking about a Minnesota children’s summer camp think about Swift Nature Camp. We are only a few short hours from Minneapolis and many of our campers are from Minnesota. For others, Minneapolis and St Paul, the largest cities in Minnesota is where our campers fly in from all around the world. Some parent even plan a little vacation in the city of Minneapolis. It's diverse and grand with many exciting things to do and see, including the world famous Mall of America. The great variety of food and entertainment alone are well worth visiting this great city to take advantage of. So make sure to plan enough time to visit the city when you bring your child to resident camp this summer. You may even plan on seeing some of our local campers form Minneapolis.

So You are Thinking what have past SNC Campers been saying about the cool Adventure Trips?
Take a look!

What are we to do with our teen this summer?” Many parents wonder. They are looking for a place that offer personal growth and independence but in a safe place, away from the pressures of today. Well the answer has been around a long time, its Summer Camp! Yep, Summer Camp!
Parents of teenagers can find a summer camp that suits the needs of their child. Specialty camp like soccer camp, space camp, science camp, math camp, music camp, are all great at teaching a skill. Yet, traditional summer camp are general camps where camps have fun and work on self development. Wisconsin Camps like Swift Nature Camp a Teen Summer Camp offers coed summer camp programs that are just for teenaged campers up to 15 years of age. A Counselor in Training Program offers a transition for teens aged 16 and 17 (provides leadership training).

Like its summer camp programs for preteens, Swift Nature Camp offers an amazing range of camp activities. Hiking, climbing, ceramics, horseback riding, tennis, kayaking, and whitewater rafting are among the most popular programs among teen campers.


Summer teen camps provide a special opportunity for them to make friends in a relaxed and fun-filled environment, build self-esteem and independence, and meet the challenge of new adventures.

Swift Nature Camp offers teen cabin mates to leave camp together and venture into the wild. The ideal location brings opportunities to take unforgettable trips to the Apostle Islands, the International Wolf Center, and the Mississippi River. These trip are wonderful ways to build bonds among the campers. But more importantly, it helps each child feel a part of the team and want to make a contribution.

All children, especially those in their teenage years, need a break from the accelerating competition of today's world. An intimate, friendly and noncompetitive environment for teens fosters positive encouragement. The atmosphere of acceptance brings a welcome balance to young lives. Even first time campers quickly and smoothly adjust to life as a camper in this kind of setting.

Today's teens grow up too fast and need time to play. An 
Adventure Teen Camps should challenge your teen to try new things, but not in a stressful way. Camp is not school! Interaction with animals can be a perfect way for a child to learn by the natural discovery of play. Besides all the fun and excitement of a traditional camp, the kids have the joy of discovering Nature and the world we live in.

After living life in a beautiful natural setting among caring staff and instructors, teens come to love summer camp. Many teen campers return summer after summer, returning to see friends and enjoy the excitement, self-direction, and goofy fun characteristic of camp life.

Summer camp is a great place to be oneself and a perfect place to make lifelong friends. Teens come to love summer camp and look forward to time away from the pressures of performance, and the change to rediscover themselves.

You can learn more about picking a wonderful Teen Summer Camp. This site is free and give alot of information to parents. 
Summer Camp
The best way to save money on Summer camp is to start looking today.

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

To learn more about 
selecting the right summer camp see SuumerCampAdvice.com

So You are Thinking what have past SNC Campers been saying about the cool Adventure Trips?
Take a look!

For many Summer Camp Seems to be an old Fashioned summer activity, Yet writer Josh Noel, of the Chicago Tribune seems to have unique insight that every parent needs to hear. This summer institution is old-fashioned — and as relevant as ever.

Summer camp provides folks with a special place unlike any other, ask anyone who has been to summer camp. Camp is uniquely child centered.Providing an open and friendly place. It’s where you can put aside your reputation from school, avoid a lot of the drama, and just relax into who you really are. That’s a big part of why you make your best friends at camp; you’re not trying to impress or be someone else. It’s just you. All this with some really cool adults providing constant interaction.

Read the article from the Chicago Tribune by clicking on read more.
permalink=”http://www.swiftnaturecamp.com/blog”>
KEWADIN, Mich. — On a warm summer morning thick with dew, the counselor stood before 50 sleepy kids in T-shirts and sweatpants at the flagpole — the meeting place before all meals — and bellowed, "Good morning, Camp Maplehurst!"

"Good morning," they mustered back.

He asked for announcements.

Nothing for a moment, then one camper offered, "Ryan farts in his sleep."

Giggles.

"Are there any real announcements?"

"But it's true!" the camper insisted.

Another said, "It's Lindsey's birthday Saturday!"

The kids, ages 10 to 16, cheered and descended into chatter. The counselor raised his hand, reeling them back with a simple command: "Listen to your camp family."

After quickly running through the Camp Maplehurst Song ("I've got the Maplehurst feeling up in my head, up in my head …"), the kids headed to a breakfast of French toast, sausage links and strawberry yogurt on plastic trays.

It was an average Camp Maplehurst morning, the details likely forgotten before the last sausage was served (except maybe by poor Ryan). But in the camp family, as the counselor put it, even the ordinary is extraordinary. Every moment matters. Consider: For a few weeks every summer, each camper takes on a few dozen brothers and sisters. They sleep together, eat together, play together, sing together, work together and learn together. They fight and make up. They start figuring out love. They see one another in pajamas and bathing suits. They develop their own vocabularies that allow them to know the differences among the Moose Song, the Beaver Song, the Pirate Song and, when rushed, the Flagpole Song ("This is the flagpole song/It doesn't last too long").

In the togetherness, idiosyncrasies are forgiven. Peer pressure dissipates, or as much as it can at the age of 14. Material things prized back home are made moot. What good is a PS3 at camp?

And judgment is withheld. Don't believe it?

"I don't have many friends at school," said Roberto Soto, 13, of Guadalajara, Mexico. "I like to read, and in Mexico reading is considered nerdy, and if you're a nerd, you're considered an outcast. Here, people are from a lot more places and everyone is open."

Anyone who has been to summer camp knows that the relationships are like few others. Friendships form quickly, intensely and with open minds. Even if camp friends don't keep in touch long-term, what has been shared is long remembered.

One hundred fifty years since summer camp was born, the American Camp Association estimates there are as many as 15,000 summer camps in the U.S., much of the recent growth in specialized camps: music, religious, athletic, etc. Peg Smith, chief executive officer of the ACA, said the camp experience "is probably even more important than it was 150 years ago."

"It is a microcosm of a community," Smith said. "You learn to contribute to that community and to make relationships. Being able to communicate needs and resolve conflict stays with you."

Even the youngest campers realize the difference between what happens at camp and what happens back home.

"There's a lot of drama at school," said Charlotte Thomas, 12, of Short Hills, N.J.

"You get into fights with your friends, but here, you figure it out because you have to," said Anna Stern, 12, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
That was Thomas Cohn's plan when he started Maplehurst in 1955. Cohn, a University of Michigan psychology professor, wanted an outlet for kids built on freedom and creativity not promoted in schools. The camp is particularly popular with kids from Midwestern suburbs and attracts many international campers.

Laurence Cohn, who grew up attending his father's camp, took the reins with his wife, Brenda Cohn, in the 1970s. They deal with issues the elder Cohn never had to address, such as restricting use of MP3 players to afternoon rest time and asking for cell phones at the start of each session.

"The kids don't want to give up their phones," said Laurence Cohn, a psychology lecturer at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. "So we ask nicely."

He figures phones get in the way of the real business of camp, namely, being at camp. It's difficult to miss text-messaging when post-breakfast activities include biking, tennis, archery, arts and crafts, model rocketry, basketball, fencing, golf, kayaking, floor hockey, improvised comedy, tai chi and photography. And that's just before lunch.

Campers can program their own time to learn what they like, Cohn said. But that freedom is balanced by the responsibility of cleaning their cabins daily.

"I don't even have to do that at home," said Jordan Correll, of Farmington Hills, Mich.

Leaving usually ends up being the worst part of camp. It happened a few days early last summer for Maud Foriel-Destezet, 16, because of her family's travel plans.

Seemingly everyone at the camp offered Foriel-Destezet a hug, and tears flowed quickly. Her cabin mates formed a circle and took her in, heads down, arms around one another's shoulders, to create a world of sniffling teenage girls in shorts and T-shirts.

"The real world is waiting for you on the other side," said Margot Kriete, 16, of Birmingham, Mich.

A few hours after Foriel-Destezet had left, those same girls were all smiles while performing in the long-awaited camp talent show. Dressed in brightly colored clothes, they lip-synced to a top-40 hit, leapt, giggled and made new memories.
"What are we to do with our teen this summer?” Many parents wonder. They are looking for a place that offer personal growth and independence but in a safe place, away from the pressures of today. Well the answer has been around a long time, its Summer Camp! Yep, Summer Camp!
Parents of teenagers can find a summer camp that suits the needs of their child. Specialty camp like soccer camp, space camp, science camp, math camp, music camp, are all great at teaching a skill. Yet, traditional summer camp are general camps where camps have fun and work on self development. Wisconsin Camps like Swift Nature Camp a Teen Summer Camp offers coed summer camp programs that are just for teenaged campers up to 15 years of age. A Counselor in Training Program offers a transition for teens aged 16 and 17 (provides leadership training).

Like its summer camp programs for preteens, Swift Nature Camp offers an amazing range of camp activities. Hiking, climbing, ceramics, horseback riding, tennis, kayaking, and whitewater rafting are among the most popular programs among teen campers.


Summer teen camps provide a special opportunity for them to make friends in a relaxed and fun-filled environment, build self-esteem and independence, and meet the challenge of new adventures.

Swift Nature Camp offers teen cabin mates to leave camp together and venture into the wild. The ideal location brings opportunities to take unforgettable trips to the Apostle Islands, the International Wolf Center, and the Mississippi River. These trip are wonderful ways to build bonds among the campers. But more importantly, it helps each child feel a part of the team and want to make a contribution.

All children, especially those in their teenage years, need a break from the accelerating competition of today's world. An intimate, friendly and noncompetitive environment for teens fosters positive encouragement. The atmosphere of acceptance brings a welcome balance to young lives. Even first time campers quickly and smoothly adjust to life as a camper in this kind of setting.

Today's teens grow up too fast and need time to play. An 
Adventure Teen Camps should challenge your teen to try new things, but not in a stressful way. Camp is not school! Interaction with animals can be a perfect way for a child to learn by the natural discovery of play. Besides all the fun and excitement of a traditional camp, the kids have the joy of discovering Nature and the world we live in.

After living life in a beautiful natural setting among caring staff and instructors, teens come to love summer camp. Many teen campers return summer after summer, returning to see friends and enjoy the excitement, self-direction, and goofy fun characteristic of camp life.

Summer camp is a great place to be oneself and a perfect place to make lifelong friends. Teens come to love summer camp and look forward to time away from the pressures of performance, and the change to rediscover themselves.

You can learn more about picking a wonderful Teen Summer Camp. This site is free and give alot of information to parents. 
Summer Camp.
When it comes to chatting with the world outside the woods of Camp Netimus, the girls here go a little crazy with their fonts.
Forget plain old 12-point black Helvetica. Bubbly, heart-dotted letters in shimmery orange or shiny purple reign queen. And banish the image of a simple white screen on which to write. Netimus girls reach for neon green sheets or cards imprinted with cheetah spots and glitter-showered pink flip-flops.
At this 80-year-old traditional residential camp for girls in the 
Pocono Mountains, and at thousands more around the USA, connecting with Mom and Dad requires licks — of stamps and envelopes — not clicks. The medium for talking to Muddah and Fadduh is a message from the past.
The hand-scribbled, shoebox-worthy letter may seem as anachronistic as archery and A/C-free living, but at sleepaway camp, where directors have largely succeeded in keeping two-way texting and e-mail at bay, it thrives.
The practice of putting colored pencil to notebook paper is "old-fashioned," says Ruby Auman, 11, swinging her legs from her blond wood bunk, where her wall is papered with an ink-printed "of course I'm thinking of you" reply from her mom 2½ hours away in Lewisburg, Pa. "But it's not old-fashioned while you're here."


Camp is not just about fun


One reason for swapping a life of zip files for one of ziplines is to practice face-to-face — and pen-to-pen — communication, says Darlene Calton, a Netimus director (and alumna). "There are so many little life lessons you get at camp that are not necessarily learning how to climb on the ropes course. It's about writing letters home and solving problems by yourself" — instead of texting or calling parents and friends every five minutes to seek advice or to vent.
During a Netimus camper's two- to seven-week stay, directors encourage at least one letter home a week, though more prolific girls might write three a day. Cellphones are considered contraband; if one creeps in, it gets a vacation in the camp office. And computers are as exotic as boys.
Indeed, directors say that one of the benefits of allowing the 
U.S. Postal Service, as opposed to Google Mail, to act as messenger is that by the time Sally's letter detailing her fight with cabinmate Susie has snaked its way home from the country, the row has been long resolved.
In his research for Camp Camp: Where 
Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies, a scrapbook of '70s and '80s camp life, author (and onetime Maine camp counselor) Roger Bennett found that through letter writing, "parents could be present and could assuage their concerns, but not so present that they prevented the incredible freedom that camp offered." Thanks to the time-space continuum of snail mail, "they knew what was going on, but could do nothing to prevent it."
"That," he adds, "is a tradition that needs to be preserved."
At the Postal Service, where mail volume has declined dramatically — more that 20% in the past two years — the fact that a generation accustomed to the instant feedback of the Internet is slowing down to pick up a pencil is heartening, says spokesman Mark Saunders. "When you think about summer camp and you think about pitching a tent or living in a cabin, it's just a natural fit. You're exposing children to a means of communication" that's likely foreign to them.
"As technology increases, the call to get back to the basics is more important than ever," says Marla Coleman, former president of the American Camp Association. In a 2007 survey of the nation's 3,000 ACA-accredited camps, three-quarters said e-mail, cellphones and computers were verboten.
"Camp is a place for kids to practice growing up, and when they become adults, they will need to string together more than 140 characters," Coleman says, alluding to 
Twitter's character limit. With basic letter-writing techniques shoved further down school curricula, "where else are they learning to address an envelope? If camp is this expanded learning environment, letter writing is the touchstone of that learning experience."
As proper salutations and closings become less of a priority in classrooms, "it's superb," says Carol Jago, president of the National Council of Teachers of English, that camps might be the last bastion of the form. "Children need an authentic purpose for writing a letter," Jago says. "If the purpose is to get away from the world a little bit at camp, to get away from video games a little bit, then pick up a pencil and let's do it the long way, let's do it the slow way. I think it would be sad to lose that."


A venerable tradition


The survival of the stamped camp letter, a tradition that dates back to the dawn of camps during the late 19th century, "makes perfect sense" to Leslie Paris, an associate professor of history at the University of British Columbia and the author of Children's Nature: The Rise of the American Summer Camp. As part of her research, Paris dug up a 1919 mom-directed missive from one Floyd Frost at Camp Riverdale in the Adirondacks: "This is letter-writing period and we all have to write home, so here goes."
"Camps have always been institutions that were at once very modern, reflecting new ideas about the preciousness of childhood on the one hand," Paris says, "and on the other hand, places that privileged a kind of nostalgic look at the American past."
And today, what's more a totem of America's analog past than the letter?
The pile of envelopes in the "Property of 
USPS"-stamped cardboard box in Netimus' white clapboard office seem as much of a relic as the 1969 "Debby Sharp was here" graffiti scrawled in cabin No. 7. Slid through the office's shin-high metal mail slot, they're creased and lumpy, as though they've been stuffed in a trunk for a while. Addresses are jumbled — the ZIP code, if it's there, heralding the town name, the town wedged on one long line between the street and the state — and they're inscribed, in wobbly script, where the return address goes.
(Ruby keeps a couple sample addressed envelopes taped to her cabin wall as guides. At Camp Kupugani in Leaf River, Ill., each cabin gets a laminated cheat sheet that diagrams correct envelope-addressing form.)
Stamps — dogs and cats and Simpsons characters — are rotated 90 degrees. Last names are missing.
The campers' attempts at engaging in an activity that to them is more novelty than necessity are "so funny," Calton says. " 'Grandma,' that's all it says on the envelope. Or 'Grandma, Rye, N.Y.' It's like, 'OK, who lives in Rye?' "
Inside, the letters are rife with tweenspeak and problematic punctuation, just like in texts, instant messages and e-mails. But how many IMs come attached with pink puffy heart stickers emblazoned "I love U!" in shaky black block print?
Ruby's latest letter asks "if you could have the A/C on when I get home because I'm looking forward to the cold air. Also I'm gonna need some more hair stuff." Hannah Goldman's most recent postcard to her cousins in Wayne, Pa., wonders, "How are you. Great. I miss you. Have a great summer. Please write back."
Hannah, 10, finds the writing process, typically conducted during rest hour in her cabin atop a clipboard or book or against the wall, "sort of peaceful." She has written "like 20" in four weeks. Ruby's cabin B4 friend Sarah O'Connell, who's used to picking up her cellphone to talk to her parents, says picking up a pencil was hard at first.
"I didn't know what to do," says Sarah, 11, who's from Pennington, N.J. "I would write it, 'Dear Mom and Dad,' and then I'd write it all scribbly."
But she has since become a fan. "You feel more connected" to your family, Sarah says. As compared with e-mails — which Netimus, like a lot of camps, allow parents to send but not receive — letters are "more sincere," volunteers 11-year-old Remi Riordan, who's from A4 next door (and Montclair, N.J.). "It feels like it's really for you," vs. "there's a subject line and your name."
Sitting on her lower bunk a few screen doors down, amid tie-dyed laundry bags and Justin Bieber-emblazoned teen magazines, Hallie Cain, 11, of McLean, Va., is diligently working on a birthday card for her mom.
Gabby Birenbaum, the cabin's de facto philosopher on the compulsory epistle, is holding her 10th letter in two weeks, destined for her grandparents in West Bloomfield, Mich.
Does the exercise feel like something her parents did? "Like what my grandparents did," says Gabby, 11, who's from Arlington, Va.
"Camp is an opportunity to unplug and develop authentic relationships," Coleman says. "There really is no substitute for Mom or Dad's handwriting on a letter, the smell of Mom's perfume, the clipping dad has enclosed of a box score. You really can't replace that with technology."
And the thrill of the tangible goes both ways. For 11 months of the year, Amy Levine never ventures to her mailbox in Loveland, Colo., precisely when the postman arrives. But for the four weeks her daughters Lindsey, 11, and Josie, 7, were at Blue Star Camps in Hendersonville, N.C., this summer, she would run out to wait for him.
At the scheduled mail-drop time, "my husband instant-messages me, asking if we got any letters," says Levine, 41, a childhood camper turned Web developer who does let technology creep into her ritual: She quickly scans the girls' letters and e-mails them to her husband at work.
"Once you get that first happy letter, it's OK," Levine says.

By 
Olivia Barker, USA TODAY
MILFORD, Pa.

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