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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • camp pic
    Parents & Campers,
  • When selecting a summer camp it is import that you pick the right summer camp for you. Sure all camps have fancy summer camp websites, but often you may have particular questions you you want to ask in person. Summer Camp Opportunity Fairs (Camp Expos) offer just such an chance. Below is a list camp fairs we will be attending in Wisconsin, Minnesota  and Illinois.  So f you want to learn more about camp come see us or if you are an alumni please stop by and say "HI". We are always happy to talk about camp.



Summer Recreation Open House, York Community High School, Elmhurst, IL, 6pm to 8pm *See Bubba the Pig





  • MARCH 8th,
    District 181 Summer Camp Expo, Clarendon Hills Prospect School, 100 N. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL, 6pm-8:30pm *See Bubba the Pig




  • APRIL 28th,
    Stem Con at the College of DuPage Physical Education Center, Glen Ellyn, 9am-4pm *See Bubba the Pig

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

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

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

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

2. What Color Is Your Pee?

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

3. Are You Overheating?

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

4. Is Your Skin Dry?

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

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


We hope you can come join all the fun at our Swimming Party Reunion. Don't forget your suit!

This is a wonderful time to see camp friends visit with camp counselors and see the SNC Yearbook Video for the very 1st Time. 

Hope you ca make it. No reservation neccessary.

Where: Oak Brook Park District (1450 Forest Gate, Oak Brook, Il 60523)

When: January 7th

Time: 1-3:30pm

Please bring a friend so they can see what the SNC excitment is all about.

Plus we will have a special gift for all that come.


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

Come Meet Jeff & Lonnie

The Owners and Directors of Swift Nature Camp at the Chicago Pet Show

Nov 11 & 12, 2017
Kane County Fairgrounds, St Charles, IL


This is a great time to meet Buuba our camp Pig


Over the past decades we have seen that today in America people spend more time indoors than ever before. So many screens compete for our attention that we are loosing a connection with nature and the outdoors. Obviously, there are many consequences of this new lifestyle. Yet one most don't think about is the disappearance of a "nature" vocabulary from the cultural conversation. Research shows our conversations reflect an actual distancing from nature. Yes, studies have been done that show we are using nature terms less and expressing ourselves less as it relates to nature. Read more about this study. How can we stop the screen time domination? Put down your screen and go outside. Make it a point to take your children outside and show them the wonder that nature has to offer.  At Swift Nature Camp we do it everyday. It could be a simple sunset or a frog hopping off a lily-pad either way it's about seeing the little things and enjoying them.

Dr odzy Sluchacze Polskiego Radia,

Bardzo milo bylo mi goscic w radiowym studio dzisiejszego poranka. Dziekuje wszystkim sluchaczom za poswiecony czas, za wasze pytania i zainteresowanie naszym obozem.

Wiem, ze nie latwo jest wyslac dzieci w miejsce, ktorego nie znamy, do ludzi, o ktorych nie wiele wiemy, szczegolnie w dzisiejszych czasach. Jak pewno pamietacie, nasze dziecinstwo, zwlaszcza w Polsce bylo zupelnie inne. Trudniesze? Latwiejsze? Kto wie? Ale napewno mielismy wiecej przygod poza domem, czy to na kolonii, na obozie, u babci na wsi. Calymi dniami przebywalismy na lonie natury lapiac zaby, lowiac ryby, goniac, wymyslajac rozne gry i zabawy. Te wspomnienia mamy do dzisiaj i zawsze z nami pozostana.

Swift Nature Camp to wlasnie takie miejsce dla dzieci i mlodziezy. Dla mnie i dla mojego meza prowadzenie obozu to nie biznes, to nasza zyciowa pasja. Nasi uczestnicy aktywnie spedzaja wiekszosc dnia na wolnym powietrzu uczestniczac w wielu atrakcyjnych zajeciach. Moge tutaj wymiec te najbardziej ulubione przez dzieci: plywanie, tubing, canoe, kajaki, zeglarstwo, lucznictwo, strzelectwo, pracownia plastyczna, nasze obozowe zoo, gdzie mozna sie calymi dniami bawic z czteronoznymi ulubiencami, pracownia LEGO i wiele innych. Mamy dla kazdego cos ciekawego. 

Ale te zajecia to tylko czubek gory lodowej.  Dla nas rodzicow jest wazne by dziecko bylo aktywne, by probowalo nowych sportow i roznych ciekawych zajec. Jednak, co tak naprawde w zyciu sie liczy, to wartosci takie jak : uczciwosc, odpowiedzialnosc, niezaleznosc, dobre maniery, umiejetnosc pracy w grupie czy poprostu szacunek i uprzejmosc w stosunku do innych. I tego wlasnie swiadomie uczymy poprzez zabawe i inne inetersujace zajecia.

Czesto slysze od rodzicow pytanie : Co wy zrobiliscie z moim z dzieckiem?  I nie raz przerazilam sie slyszac taki zarzut. Jednak okazuje sie, ze rodzice sa zadowoleni, ze ich pociecha wrocila z obozu zmieniona na lepsze. Rodzice to widza.i doceniaja. Czesto po takim turnusie poprawiaja sie codzienne relacje miedzy dziecmi i rodzicami.  Kiedys ktos madry powiedzial, ze potrzeba calej wsi by wychowac jedno dziecko. To prawda, my jako rodzice nie jestesmy w stanie  byc rowniez mentorami dla wlasnych dzieci. To dwie rozne role i dzieci inaczej reaguja na to co rodzice mowia, a co mowia im osoby, ktore nie sa z ich rodziny. Dlatego nasz syn juz od wielu lat wyjezdza na pare tygodni na inny oboz, by tego wlasnie doswiadczyc.

Zapraszam do poczytania ponizszego artykulu o determinacji. Ja w przyplywie wolnego czasu pisze artykuly do gazetki wydawanej w Polskiej Szkole Sw. Faustyny Kowalskiej w Lombard, gdzie chetnie uczeszcza nasz syn i gdzie mamy grono zaprzyjaznionych rodzin, ktorych dzieci uczestniczyly w naszym obozie.




Nie przegapcie panstwo okazji i zapiszcie swoje pociechy przed 10 czerwca by otrzymac ta promcyjna cene. Prosze wejsc na nasza strone www.swiftnaturecamp, kliknac na "dates and rates" i przy powolaniu sie na Polskie Radio otrzymacie panstwo oferowana cene.



Według Słownika Języka Polskiego determinacja to zdolność do podejmowania konkretnych, stanowczych decyzji spowodowana mocnym wewnętrznym przekonaniem i siłą woli. 
Jaka to wspaniała cecha charakteru... Ile by człowiek dał, by mógł  własnym dzieciom przypisać ten walor. Obowiązki w domu nie powodowałyby ciągłych konfliktów, lekcje byłyby odrabiane bez problemów  i narzekań, a to przekładałoby się na większą samodzielność naszych dzieci. Tego wszyscy chcemy dla naszych pociech, prawda? I tak naprawdę, dla siebie tez.
 Wiemy, że zdecydowanie, stanowczość i silna wola determinują osiągnięcie wielu celów. Ciężka praca popłaca, mówi stare powiedzenie. Ale czy zawsze przynosi satysfakcję , zadowolenie czy też jest powodem do  dumy z odniesionego sukcesu?
Z własnego doświadczenia wiem, że sukces nie zawsze przynosi satysfakcję. Często staramy sie zadowolić oczekiwania innych, i wtedy determinacja może przynieść skutki negatywne, takie jak stres, frustracje czy nawet depresję. 
Wychowując nasze dzieci uczmy je determinacji, ale takiej, która kierowana jest pasją, zainteresowaniami a nie strachem przed opinią i oczekiwaniami innych. Odłóżmy na bok nasze niespełnione marzenia z dzieciństwa i pomóżmy dzieciom odnaleźć to,  co na początku  będzie budzić w naturalny sposób ich zainteresowanie, a z czasem przerodzi się w  zamiłowanie a nawet pasję.. Proponujmy im rożne zajęcia, czy to sportowe, czy artystyczne. Dziecko od razu nie będzie wiedziało, czy lubi piłkę nożną, grę na pianinie czy teatr jeśli my jako rodzice nie damy mu możliwości by tego doświadczyło. Wspierajmy pasje naszych dzieci. Prawdopodobnie  będzie  to kosztem naszego wolnego czasu, tzw. „ świętego spokoju” i z cała pewnością  wygeneruje to dla nas dodatkowe  koszty finansowe. Jednak wierzcie mi warto podjąć to wyzwanie.
Wiemy, że mała iskra potrzebuje tlenu, by rozpaliła ognisko. 
Jeśli dziecko przejawia zainteresowania w danej dziedzinie, to należy tą namiastkę pasji stopniowo rozwijać. I ważne jest by zacząć od zabawy, by dziecko widziało, że to co robi daje mu radość i satysfakcję. Możemy oczywiście dzieci zachęcać ale musimy pamiętać, ze na tym etapie, ważne jest by dziecko sie dobrze bawiło, by z podjęta formą aktywności kojarzyły się mu tylko pozytywne przeżycia i emocje. To najlepsze wzmocnienie, które będzie budować prawdziwa determinację. Prawdziwa pasja nigdy nie zaczyna sie od ciężkiej pracy - zaczyna sie od zainteresowania i zabawy. 
Po tej fazie wstępnej należy uczyć dziecko jak radzić sobie z dyskomfortem, który pewnie się pojawi i   zabrzmi to  jak paradoks, jak czuć sie z nim wygodnie. To ważne by potrafić przeciwstawiać sie trudnościom. Najlepiej uczyć sie tego poprzez ćwiczenia w ich pokonywaniu . Róbmy to powoli, mimo niewygody nie poddawajmy się. W takich sytuacjach nauczmy dzieci, ze głębokie, powolne oddechy, relaksowanie ramion to bardzo pomocne narzędzia w chwilach stresu. Przyjmijmy niewygody i nie bójmy sie ich. Nie unikajmy trudnych rozmów, zaryzykujmy nasze relacje z innymi poprzez pokazanie kim naprawdę jesteśmy, co naprawdę czujemy. Zauważamy ludzi, którzy potrzebują pomocy i zaoferujmy im  ją. Nie odwracajmy sie od problemów innych ludzi. Nie bójmy sie tego. To ważna umiejętność, którą możemy przekazać naszym dzieciom. Róbmy to, co dobre, nawet jeśli jest to dla nas niewygodne.
Verba docent, exempla trahunt,
Seneka miał rację nie ma nic lepszego niż przykład szczególnie rodzicielski.
Determinacja, pasja, zaangażowanie w  swoje obowiązki to cechy, których  dzieci powinny uczyć się od nas, rodziców . Jeśli odnajdziemy w sobie pasję, będziemy gorliwi i niestrudzeni w swoich aktywnościach to wtedy możemy " zawojować świat".
Jola Lorenz
Wlasciciel obozu Swift Nature Camp

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

Child psychologists insist that boredom is an enriching experience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

True Activist / // email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Report a typo

2017 header friends

Enjoy a Summer Camp In the USA


The Social and Emotional Long-Term Benefits of Summer Camp

 Summer camps help children to foster social relationships without the aid of a parent.

NEW YORK CITY - Children spend up to 180 days in school, not counting weekend functions, school-sponsored extra-curricular activities and socializing with friends. For most kids, it’s a huge part of their world.

Camp offers your child a different environment in which to grow their social skills and expand their friendship circle.

The primary feature of most camps is that they offer recreation and creativity in a structured environment.  That structure usually provides for downtime to just hang out.

Here, are a few of the many positive features of going to camp.


Another Opportunity to Develop Social Intelligence
According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, who coined the term, social intelligence is broken into two parts:

Social awareness is the ability to monitor our inner world — our thoughts and feelings. Social awareness refers to qualities including empathy, attunement to others and social cognition.

Social facility, on the other hand, refers to how we use our internal social awareness to interact with individuals and groups successfully, such as self-presentation, influence and concern for others.

Camp is a key opportunity for kids to develop both sides of their social intelligence by offering them a way to practice becoming adept at socializing by offering them access to many new people and environments.

The more children can practice their social intelligence, the more smoothly they can incorporate the skills for the rest of their lives.

Emotional Challenges
The structure of camp presents an ideal environment for children to build resilience. As I’ve mentioned before in my Mental Wellness column, resilience is having the ability to take failures in stride and retain a positive outlook on life and one’s abilities.

There are a myriad of examples where resilience can be fostered while at camp, whether it be on the losing side of an athletic competition, navigating the social waters of cliques and peer groups, or (in the case of sleep-away camp) not being able to lean on a parent’s intervention, thereby learning to “smooth” things out on one’s own.

Camp also allows children to experience the full range of emotions in relationships in a compressed time frame of several days to several months. Children get to experience the nervousness, excitement and, eventually, the sadness that comes from making new friends, connecting with those friends and then having to say goodbye at the end. This experience will repeat itself over and over again across one’s lifetime and it is a different experience from the cycle of the academic year.

Expanding the Definition of “Who I Am”
For good or for bad, we often times get labeled early in our lives as an athlete, an artist, musician, as gifted or talented, as a “brainiac,” or other, more derogatory, things.

After I finished graduate school, I worked at an academically-oriented summer program for high school kids, located on a major college campus. It was a very LGBT-friendly environment, and many of the LGBT students expressed that they felt most like themselves at this program. This was in stark contrast to their school experiences where they felt they had to “hide” their true selves, due to fear of judgment, ridicule or violence. The students were very grateful for this camp.

Like those LGBT teens, kids of all kinds can find a place to expand or change their label at the right camp.

In the age of specialized summer camps, children who excel or have an intense interest in a subject can spend their summers exclusively pursuing their passions. A secondary gain from this is that the other kids attending camp are also the ones labeled in the aforementioned ways back home. As a result, your child can be defined less by their passion, or what they “do,” and more by their character and the other traits that go into their “true” sense of self.

If the child has had negative experiences at school or in their neighborhood, they get exposure to a different world that may feel more accepting, walking away with a belief that there is a place for them in world.

The Investment
Sometimes summer camp can be a costly financial investment for parents, particularly when it comes to food and lodging and travel at camps such as sleep-aways.

But whether it's a free camp or a paid camp, a good one requires kids to invest in their experience, whether it's through their intention to build friendships or their willingness to push boundaries to the unknown.

If a child spends the summer growing their social network, building resilience, developing a positive sense of self which helps them be who they really are, then the money spent on summer camp is a priceless investment in your kid’s future.

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25 Baybrook Ln.

Oak Brook, IL 60523

Phone: 630-654-8036


W7471 Ernie Swift Rd.

Minong, WI 54859

Phone: 715-466-5666