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.
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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 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 on hand at all times. 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 HealthCenter, 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. 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!

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,...........read more

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! 

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.
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

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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