Almost a month has past since I arrived in Valencia, Venezuela. During the first month, my team and I have become familiar with the title “the gringos,” which is the nickname that most of the citizens here refer to us by. We, “the gringos,” have learned a lot about life in a South American county in recent days. Part of the learning that I have received has been through university students, street merchants, and strangers helping me speak more Spanish everyday.

The apartment complex where my team and I live

 

Language misunderstandings are numerous here because it is a rarity to run across citizens of Venezuela who have visited or lived in a country where English is the primary language. One exception to that is a 11 year-old boy named Pablo that my team and I met who speaks perfect English. We bumped into Pablo at the apartment complex, Balcones del Norte, where we live.


After talking to him for a few minutes, he offered to introduce us to his mother, Liliana, who is a Engineering professor at Carabobo University (CU). Liliana received her master’s degree in United States at a University in Florida and she lived there for four years with her family. God was good because one of the challenges that my team and I have right now is building connections with faculty members at the university where we work, which just so happens to be Carabobo University.

Connecting with faculty members is a small part of the work that my team and I have been doing at the university lately. We need faculty support in order to help our organization, Vida Estudiantil (the name for Campus Crusade for Christ in Venezuela), grow. We hope Liliana will help us make better connections to student leaders on campus, help us find a suitable spot for our weekly meeting, and help us gain exposure at CU.

My team and I have been working on other tasks in order for our organization to have a strong presence at the university. We have a group of students that lead the Vida Estudiantil Bible Studies, assist in the event planning for our organization, and help get other students on their campus connected with Christ. This group is called the servant team. My team and the servant team have engaged in two meetings so far and it is thrilling to see the dreams that they have for our organization and their university.


Us with Vida Estudiantil students after giving out questionnaires

My team and I have also been sharing Christ with other students we met on campus. We gave out hundreds of questionnaires to students on campus last week. The questionnaires asked if they were interested in attending a bible study, coming to English Club, or getting to know God more. The reception we received from the students was fantastic, around two hundred students filled out questionnaires and we met many new students who are interested in getting involved in Vida Estudiantil.
While giving out the questionnaires were able to inform students of the first English Club that we were having, which we held last week. On the day of English Club, it was incredible to see all the students who attended and were eager to learn English from fluent speakers. Outside of English Club, I have been put in charge, along with Emily from my team, to plan the different outings that we are taking to the local orphanage. We are are planning on going there as soon as we touch base with the pastor that runs the orphanage.


The University where I work at with Campus Crusade for Christ

All in all, working at la Universidad de Carababo (Carabobo University) is quite different then most colleges in the the United States. One of the days that we were on campus medical students were protesting at the university. As the result of the protest, the road that we needed to use to leave via bus was blocked so we had to find an alternative exit route. This sort of demonstration is typical at the university and we need to flexible to the many curve balls that are thrown our way.
Some of those curve balls have been very interesting, I have realized there are many differences (some humorous) between the way people live here in Venezuela and the way that Americans from the United States live. I would like to share with you some of those differences.
Differences Between the United States and Venezuela


The alligator at the University's pond

1. United States: You might find some ducks, geese, or–if you are lucky– a frog at a university’s local lagoon. Venezuela: The University of Carabobo has live alligators in their pond that seem quite hungry.
2. United States: University students have to pay for all of their tuition unless they have financial aid or scholarships. Venezuela: With their socialistic government, students do not have to pay for going to a state university.
3. United States: Playgrounds exist in local communities for children to play at. Venezuela: Venezuela has what my team and I affectionately call “bro gyms,” which are outside work-out centers for people to do push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches.
4. United States: If there is a stray dog in the United States, usually within hours the dog is picked up by animal control. Venezuela: There are stray dogs everywhere, especially at the university, stray dogs linger around students and eat the food they leave behind.
5. United States: In restrooms there is always hand soap by the sinks. Venezuela: NO bathroom has hand soap and Purrell is your best friend.
6. United States: When people want to draw your attention to something they point with their fingers. Venezuela: Venezuelans use their lips to point by kissing in the direction of what they want you to look at.


One of the students, Douglas, me and his mother at our welcome party

7. United States: Gasoline prices fluctuate but they are almost always over $2.00 a gallon. Venezuela: It costs less then a dollar to fill up an entire tank of gas (this is because Venezuela is the third biggest exporter of oil, it is humorous because here it costs more for drinking water than gasoline).
8. United States: Most college-aged students do not attend a social get-together during the night with their parents. Venezuela: College-aged students will bring their parents to parties and other social functions, this is completely normal and in some cases the parent shows up at the social occasion before their child gets there.
Despite all these differences, Venezuela has a lot to fall in love with. When the seven members of my team cram into a bus that has people hanging outside the door, loud Reggaeton music blasting inside, and the bus assertively weaving through three lanes of traffic it hard not to feel alive. Also the people here are so warm and overjoyed to have us here, we experience a lot of warmth and affection. Within talking to someone for a half an hour, the other person will treat you like they have known you for your entire life. Living life in Venezuela, it is near impossible to escape the feeling like you are part of one big family.

MID STATES CAMPING CONFERENCE CAll FOR PRESENTERS


Mid States strives to provide thought provoking presenters and wonderful opportunities to connect camp pros and your peers in an affordable setting. Camps, like SNC bring their whole staff! From owners & directors to first year counselors, there is something for everyone. It is a great place to get revived and armed with fresh ideas and fill your 'bag of tricks' Thursday, March 10th through Saturday, March 12th, 2011 Pheasant Run Conference Center & Resort St. Charles, Illinois (Suburban Chicago)

 

We need presenters! if you are a SNC past staff member or CIT and...

 

you wish to make a presentation to 20 or so other professionals this is your chance. Submit your education session proposal and share your knowledge at the Eighteenth Annual Mid States Camping Conference in March 10-12, 2011 at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL.

“Call for Presentations” form and speaker information can be found at:http://www.acamidstates.org/presenters.phpDeadline for submissions is November 1, 2011

If you have questions about becoming a presenter, submitting a proposal, or other topics related to the education sessions, please contact Colette Marquardt, Program Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Visit: Swift Nature Camp Website

Super Counselors

By: Zoe Lincecum

Once upon a time in a land far far away at Swift Nature Camp, it was a beautiful super Sunday, perfect for a barbecue on Picnic Island. Everyone was having a good time swimming, climbing trees, and sniffing too close to the barbecue.
Then, all of a sudden, everyone heard a splash. Heads turned to see a giant pirate ship with evil robo-pirates with styrofoam heads emerging from the ship where Dah-G-Dah once stood.
Super Tom turned all the counselors into super counselors! They were ready to defend Picnic Island (and protect the campers, of course). Out came Hillary, standing on top of her flying giant chicken and screaming at the top of her lungs.
Asa the vampire was sucking the power out of the robots while Colleen (a.k.a. Triple C, the wrestler) body slammed robots from a tree. Tony and TJ, the amazing archers, finished some off wih flaming arrows. Jeremy transformed into a grizzly who thinks that the pirates are cheese and eats them. Ian Noble used his hypnotic singing powers to control the robots and made them fight for SNC.


If you want to be a super staff member at S.N.C. Camp Counselor Jobs
Mike used ninja powers and emerged with nunchucks. Nick suddenly took off his mohawk from his head and threw his “booma-hawk” at the pirates to chop off their styrofoam heads. Cory, being Tarzan, was eating fried bananas from the barbecue and throwing the peels at the robo pirates’ heads.
Aliena, who was friends with aliens, told them in their secret language to 
attack the pirates. Because of the battle, many were being injured, so Katie the healing fairy tried to save them all. Kim and Simone, the cavewomen, were pulling tree trunks from the ground and handing them to Maddy, who had super duper strength and used the tree trunks to whack away the pirates.
All that was left was poor little Ian who had no power. Simone, with her koala fingers, was able to throw her magic vegemite to him. He gave it a try and turned into super, tall giant Ian and stepped on the pirates’ ship. 
As the battle raged, Super Tom put some special attachments on his cart, the most noticeable being a laser cannon that he had been experimenting with in his secret workshop. He popped out of nowhere and started to blast the pirates with his laser cannon. 
Once all the pirates were defeated, Super Tom had some new materials to fix up his new cart and then decided to turn the counselors back to normal as if nothing had happened. However, at the final campfire, there were many skits where pirates had invaded Picnic Island.

MID STATES CAMPING CONFERENCE CAll FOR PRESENTERS


Mid States strives to provide thought provoking presenters and wonderful opportunities to connect camp pros and your peers in an affordable setting. Camps, like SNC bring their whole staff! From owners & directors to first year counselors, there is something for everyone. It is a great place to get revived and armed with fresh ideas and fill your 'bag of tricks' Thursday, March 10th through Saturday, March 12th, 2011 Pheasant Run Conference Center & Resort St. Charles, Illinois (Suburban Chicago)

 

We need presenters! if you are a SNC past staff member or CIT and.... 

 

you wish to make a presentation to 20 or so other professionals this is your chance. Submit your education session proposal and share your knowledge at the Eighteenth Annual Mid States Camping Conference in March 10-12, 2011 at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL.

“Call for Presentations” form and speaker information can be found at:http://www.acamidstates.org/presenters.phpDeadline for submissions is November 1, 2011

If you have questions about becoming a presenter, submitting a proposal, or other topics related to the education sessions, please contact Colette Marquardt, Program Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Super Counselors

By: Zoe Lincecum

Once upon a time in a land far far away at Swift Nature Camp, it was a beautiful super Sunday, perfect for a barbecue on Picnic Island. Everyone was having a good time swimming, climbing trees, and sniffing too close to the barbecue.
Then, all of a sudden, everyone heard a splash. Heads turned to see a giant pirate ship with evil robo-pirates with styrofoam heads emerging from the ship where Dah-G-Dah once stood.
Super Tom turned all the counselors into super counselors! They were ready to defend Picnic Island (and protect the campers, of course). Out came Hillary, standing on top of her flying giant chicken and screaming at the top of her lungs.
Asa the vampire was sucking the power out of the robots while Colleen (a.k.a. Triple C, the wrestler) body slammed robots from a tree. Tony and TJ, the amazing archers, finished some off wih flaming arrows. Jeremy transformed into a grizzly who thinks that the pirates are cheese and eats them. Ian Noble used his hypnotic singing powers to control the robots and made them fight for SNC.

If you want to be a super staff member at S.N.C. Camp Counselor Jobs

Mike used ninja powers and emerged with nunchucks. Nick suddenly took off his mohawk from his head and threw his “booma-hawk” at the pirates to chop off their styrofoam heads. Cory, being Tarzan, was eating fried bananas from the barbecue and throwing the peels at the robo pirates’ heads.
Aliena, who was friends with aliens, told them in their secret language to 
attack the pirates. Because of the battle, many were being injured, so Katie the healing fairy tried to save them all. Kim and Simone, the cavewomen, were pulling tree trunks from the ground and handing them to Maddy, who had super duper strength and used the tree trunks to whack away the pirates.
All that was left was poor little Ian who had no power. Simone, with her koala fingers, was able to throw her magic vegemite to him. He gave it a try and turned into super, tall giant Ian and stepped on the pirates’ ship. 
As the battle raged, Super Tom put some special attachments on his cart, the most noticeable being a laser cannon that he had been experimenting with in his secret workshop. He popped out of nowhere and started to blast the pirates with his laser cannon. 
Once all the pirates were defeated, Super Tom had some new materials to fix up his new cart and then decided to turn the counselors back to normal as if nothing had happened. However, at the final campfire, there were many skits where pirates had invaded Picnic Island.
Camp is not about the buildings, or the activities or the skills one might learn. It is all about the the people. We at Swift Nature Camp know it is your child’s conselor that will set the tone of how much your child enjoys camp. This is why we hire almost exclusively college students that are majoring in some form child care . These wanabe teachers or psychology majors see coming to camp as a hands on experience getting them ready for the real world. Not just a fun in the sun summer job. That is one of the reasons we feel our counselors are the best!

permalink=”http://www.swiftnaturecamp.com/blog”>

MID STATES CAMPING CONFERENCE


The Mid States Camping Conference is perhaps the friendliest camping conference in the United States, This conference is a fabulous opportunity to connect with camping professionals, train staff and load up your 'bag of tricks'. We always look forward to getting good ideas at this conference and this year was no exception. 
This summer you might just find us playing some of the cool games we learned at Mid-states.

 

MID STATES CAMPING CONFERENCE


The Mid States Camping Conference is perhaps the friendliest camping conference in the United States, This conference is a fabulous opportunity to connect with camping professionals, train staff and load up your 'bag of tricks'. We always look forward to getting good ideas at this conference and this year was no exception. 
This summer you might just find us playing some of the cool games we learned at Mid-states.

 

Almost a month has past since I arrived in Valencia, Venezuela. During the first month, my team and I have become familiar with the title “the gringos,” which is the nickname 
permalink=”http://www.swiftnaturecamp.com/blog”>
that most of the citizens here refer to us by. We, “the gringos,” have learned a lot about life in a South American county in recent days. Part of the learning that I have received has been through university students, street merchants, and strangers helping me speak more Spanish everyday.


The apartment complex where my team and I live

Language misunderstandings are numerous here because it is a rarity to run across citizens of Venezuela who have visited or lived in a country where English is the primary language. One exception to that is a 11 year-old boy named Pablo that my team and I met who speaks perfect English. We bumped into Pablo at the apartment complex, Balcones del Norte, where we live.


After talking to him for a few minutes, he offered to introduce us to his mother, Liliana, who is a Engineering professor at Carabobo University (CU). Liliana received her master’s degree in United States at a University in Florida and she lived there for four years with her family. God was good because one of the challenges that my team and I have right now is building connections with faculty members at the university where we work, which just so happens to be Carabobo University.

Connecting with faculty members is a small part of the work that my team and I have been doing at the university lately. We need faculty support in order to help our organization, Vida Estudiantil (the name for Campus Crusade for Christ in Venezuela), grow. We hope Liliana will help us make better connections to student leaders on campus, help us find a suitable spot for our weekly meeting, and help us gain exposure at CU.

My team and I have been working on other tasks in order for our organization to have a strong presence at the university. We have a group of students that lead the Vida Estudiantil Bible Studies, assist in the event planning for our organization, and help get other students on their campus connected with Christ. This group is called the servant team. My team and the servant team have engaged in two meetings so far and it is thrilling to see the dreams that they have for our organization and their university.


Us with Vida Estudiantil students after giving out questionnaires

My team and I have also been sharing Christ with other students we met on campus. We gave out hundreds of questionnaires to students on campus last week. The questionnaires asked if they were interested in attending a bible study, coming to English Club, or getting to know God more. The reception we received from the students was fantastic, around two hundred students filled out questionnaires and we met many new students who are interested in getting involved in Vida Estudiantil.
While giving out the questionnaires were able to inform students of the first English Club that we were having, which we held last week. On the day of English Club, it was incredible to see all the students who attended and were eager to learn English from fluent speakers. Outside of English Club, I have been put in charge, along with Emily from my team, to plan the different outings that we are taking to the local orphanage. We are are planning on going there as soon as we touch base with the pastor that runs the orphanage.


The University where I work at with Campus Crusade for Christ

All in all, working at la Universidad de Carababo (Carabobo University) is quite different then most colleges in the the United States. One of the days that we were on campus medical students were protesting at the university. As the result of the protest, the road that we needed to use to leave via bus was blocked so we had to find an alternative exit route. This sort of demonstration is typical at the university and we need to flexible to the many curve balls that are thrown our way.
Some of those curve balls have been very interesting, I have realized there are many differences (some humorous) between the way people live here in Venezuela and the way that Americans from the United States live. I would like to share with you some of those differences.
Differences Between the United States and Venezuela


The alligator at the University's pond

1. United States: You might find some ducks, geese, or–if you are lucky– a frog at a university’s local lagoon. Venezuela: The University of Carabobo has live alligators in their pond that seem quite hungry.
2. United States: University students have to pay for all of their tuition unless they have financial aid or scholarships. Venezuela: With their socialistic government, students do not have to pay for going to a state university.
3. United States: Playgrounds exist in local communities for children to play at. Venezuela: Venezuela has what my team and I affectionately call “bro gyms,” which are outside work-out centers for people to do push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches.
4. United States: If there is a stray dog in the United States, usually within hours the dog is picked up by animal control. Venezuela: There are stray dogs everywhere, especially at the university, stray dogs linger around students and eat the food they leave behind.
5. United States: In restrooms there is always hand soap by the sinks. Venezuela: NO bathroom has hand soap and Purrell is your best friend.
6. United States: When people want to draw your attention to something they point with their fingers. Venezuela: Venezuelans use their lips to point by kissing in the direction of what they want you to look at.


One of the students, Douglas, me and his mother at our welcome party

7. United States: Gasoline prices fluctuate but they are almost always over $2.00 a gallon. Venezuela: It costs less then a dollar to fill up an entire tank of gas (this is because Venezuela is the third biggest exporter of oil, it is humorous because here it costs more for drinking water than gasoline).
8. United States: Most college-aged students do not attend a social get-together during the night with their parents. Venezuela: College-aged students will bring their parents to parties and other social functions, this is completely normal and in some cases the parent shows up at the social occasion before their child gets there.
Despite all these differences, Venezuela has a lot to fall in love with. When the seven members of my team cram into a bus that has people hanging outside the door, loud Reggaeton music blasting inside, and the bus assertively weaving through three lanes of traffic it hard not to feel alive. Also the people here are so warm and overjoyed to have us here, we experience a lot of warmth and affection. Within talking to someone for a half an hour, the other person will treat you like they have known you for your entire life. Living life in Venezuela, it is near impossible to escape the feeling like you are part of one big family.

The Russell W. Hogrefe Fresh Start Fund was established by Russell W. Hogrefe during his tenure as Executive Director of the American Camp Association, Illinois Section. He served in that position from 1979 until his retirement in 1996. Russ spent his entire professional career providing children’s summer camp and other services to families with very low income. 
Teachers, social workers, counselors or other professionals refer campers. ACA Illinois Section staff and the person making the referral select an appropriate day or resident camp program. Camps must be accredited by the American Camp Association.
The camper's family is encouraged to pay whatever they can afford for the camping experience. The camp provides a partial campership and the Fund pays the balance.
If you would like to donate fund to help an underprivileged child attend summer camp in 2009 please send a check or make an online donation. Summer camp is an experience that enriches lives and all children should have the opportunity to attend kids summer camp. To learn how 
Swift Nature Camp can help your child attend camp visit our website.

Please make check payable to:ACA Illinois Section, Russell W. Hogrefe Fresh Start Fund 67 E. Madison Street, Suite 1406 Chicago, Illinois 60603

 

Page 1 of 2

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

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