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.
Selecting a summer camp is no easy task and take a lot of leg work upfront to ensure a wonderful camp experience for your child. One of the best ways is to read reviews about overnight summer camps. Then formulate your questions from what folks are saying and call the camp directors. Click here to read Swift Nature Camps most recent reviews...
Choosing a summer camp for my son was so overwhelming.  The number of different programs and options that I uncovered during my research was daunting.  While I considered all things in my decision, facilities, activities, safety, staffing, location and price, I must say that a major factor in my eventual decision to send my son to Swift was my gut feeling.  When I called to ask questions about Swift, Lonnie made me feel so comfortable about the program and the care that the staff provide for the campers.  I’m so glad that I decided to go with my gut feelings.  My son had a wonderful three weeks at camp, and has been begging to be allowed to go to the six week session next summer since the moment we picked him up off the bus.  He got to try all sorts of new things at camp, and can’t wait to go back and improve his skills at canoeing - even though he’d never been in a canoe before, one of his favorite parts of camp was the canoe trip his cabin went on.  I am so happy to say that I was able to find my son a summer ‘home’ where he feels just as comfortable as he does at home - and where he gets to be with caring staffers that encourage him to try new things and improve his skills - he’s become much more self-confident.  In a sentence, this is two thank yous: One to Lonnie for making me feel so confident that my son would be cared for and happy and camp, and one to the entire camp staff for making my son feel so confident in himself.

Having a child that is a complete animal lover, I knew that I wanted to choose a animal summer camp that had a nature focus besides just being located in the woods.  I am happy to say that Swift satisfied my daughter’s never-ending desire to be outside, explore, play with animals, and just learn through experience.  When we dropped her off at camp, I visited the nature center, and I could tell that she would love it - all sorts of animals to interact with, and lots of things to learn and explore with, not just look at.  Though her letters home were short, they were filled with descriptions of the exploring that I hoped that she would be able to do - catching frogs, exploring the outdoors, hiking, learning about wildlife, and exploring different ecosystems. (She ‘retaught’ me that one - there are lots of areas for the campers to explore with the staff - woods, a bog, a pond, a lake, and more brushy areas.)  But in addition to that, we’ve noticed such progress in her personal responsibility since she came home - camp taught her to be more self sufficient.  She’ll clear her plates after dinner, and while she doesn’t do the laundry on her own, she at least untangles her clothes before she throws them in the basket now.  It was hard having her away from us for three whole weeks, but knowing how great a time she had and how much she grew as a young person, I can’t wait for her to be able to return next summer.

I’m happy to share that next summer will be my son’s 4th year at SNC - he’s still so excited and happy from this past summer that I’m surprised he let me unpack his suitcase.  Though he’s been to camp for three years now, every summer he learns something new and improves his skills - he’s never complained about being bored at camp, which is much more than I can say about being at home.  He gets to learn to do things that he would never get the opportunity to do living in the city - and he’s learning to do them safely.  I really wanted my son to be able to have experiences that he wouldn’t be able to have at home - going on camping trips, canoeing, learning to cook over a fire, and a little bit of learning to fend for himself - with adequate supervision of course.  One of his favorite things are the trips that the cabins get to go on - they get to spend time bonding with their group, and experiencing new challenges each year.  I cannot recommend SNC highly enough to other families.  Not only do the campers have a great time, but they continue to be entertained, excited, and challenged year after year.

Both my son and daughter have attended SNC over the past 5 years, and it has been a pivotal force in their development into responsible young adults.  At the end of every summer, they come home full of enough stories and memories to keep them talking for days.  My daughter’s favorite activities at camp have always been arts and crafts and archery, and I was really surprised this past summer when she really took a liking to riflery.  She brought home several of her targets, and you could see her improvement - she showed them off to all of our family members.  My son was an intermediate, but not very strong swimmer when he started camp, and he was proud to have made it to be a blue swimmer by the end of the session - the staff really worked with him to improve his swimming skills.  His favorites from camp were the nature center, and of course, swimming.  Every summer, they come home more self-reliant and self confident.  We’re already planning for next summer, when my daughter will be a counselor in training, and my son will be back for his third summer.  I can’t imagine how different my children would be if they hadn’t had Swift in their lives.

I was nervous about sending my daughter to summer camp for the first time, but I was excited when Jeff and Lonnie told me that Swift Nature Camp has a program just for first time campers.  That way I knew that she wouldn’t be overwhelmed or feel out of place - everyone would be starting on the same page as her, so she could be more comfortable.  I think that it was harder for me than it was for her - she followed the friendly counselor right on to the camp bus, but I was a little more hesitant about her being away from home the first time.  But it seemed that everyone at camp went out of their way to soothe my ‘mommy worries’ - Lonnie called to let me know that the bus had gotten to camp safely, I received a handwritten postcard from my daughter’s counselors during her first week at camp, and the office staff was always helpful and willing to talk when I called just to check on her.  She loved all the activities at camp, as well as the ‘field trips’ to the Lumberjack show and the ice cream shop in town.  She can’t wait to go back next summer, and while I’ll miss her while she’s at camp, I’m confident that Jeff and Lonnie will make sure that she is safe, happy, and cared for the whole time that she is there.


SNC is the best summer camp!  There are so many activities that you can choose from, and the counselors are really nice.  My favorite activity is going tubing with Jeff - it is the most fun when he drives the boat really fast so that you have to hold on tight to stay on.  I wasn’t sure about swimming in a lake at first, but seeing Wally (the water trampoline) changed my mind.  The waterfront is so much fun and you can go swimming everyday at free time if you want.  The food was really good, especially Taco Tuesdays.  I learned a lot of new things at Swift this summer, and I can’t wait to go back next year to see my friends.

Swift is my favorite place on earth.  I have made some of my best friends at camp, I keep in touch with them all year long, and none of us can wait to get on the bus to go to camp in the summer.  The counselors come up with really crazy fun things to do in the cabin, and all of the regular activities are really exciting too.    My favorite thing at camp is the trips, because you get to go out with just your counselors and cabin friends and do fun things like canoeing and swimming.  Of course the BEST part of camping trips is when you get to make S’mores.  I miss camp so much when I’m at home that sometimes I even get ‘campsick’!  

Next summer will be my 3rd year as a camper at Swift Nature Camp, and I can’t wait to go back.  I’m so excited to see all the friends from my cabin for another year, and get to see the counselors again.  The best thing about camp is going up to the Nature Center, where you can play with the animals and do cool nature activities.  We caught the BIGGEST frog, and got to keep it up in the nature center for a couple of days so that everyone could come and look at it.  It was huge!  There is lots of other fun things to do at camp too.  My favorite things beside the nature center are fishing, archery, and swimming in the lake.  The counselors are really nice and are good at teaching you new things and helping you to work on your achievement awards.  I’d never done archery before I came to camp, and next summer I want to get my Level 2 Achievement award.  I hope that lots of kids will want to come to Swift so that I can make new friends this summer!


I’ll admit that when I showed up at Swift Nature Camp for my first day of orientation, I was nervous.  I knew that I loved camp, I had attended several different camps as a child, and had even worked at another summer camp during the previous summer.  And while I loved my time at that camp, I never really felt like I fit in as part of the camp family.  I am happy to say that Swift is 100% where my camp family is.  As a staff member, I always felt like my input was valued and respected, and help was available whenever I needed it - even when all that I needed was someone to listen for a few minutes.  After my first summer at Swift, I returned as a staff member for four more years - and I would be lying if I did not admit that I’m still looking for a way to get my summers off so that I could go back as a staff member again.  I’ve gone back to visit since my summers working, and getting to lead activities with the campers, and see them learn new things and succeed is so exciting.  Swift is my summer home...having spent a significant amount of time there, and having seen everything up front and behind the scenes, I can say that I hope that when I have children, it can be their summer home as well.

Being an Elementary Education major, I knew that I wanted to spend my summer getting new experiences working with children.  While I’d volunteered at extracurricular programs and worked with youth groups, I had never worked at a summer camp before.  SNC’s two week staff orientation really eased my worries before the first day of camp.  The administrative and returning staff members went over everything that we needed to know in depth: how to teach activities, leading trips, building cabin bonds, managing behaviors, and all sorts of tips and tricks to really make sure that the campers had a great time at camp.  Being able to teach the campers skills was great - it’s amazing to see the look on their face when they first really ‘get it’ - learn just how to steer a canoe, perfect their archery shot, or light a ‘one match’ fire.  At the end of my first summer as a camp counselor I’m proud to say that I knew that I had made a positive impact on all the campers that I came into contact with, and made friends that I will keep in contact with far into the future.

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.
Given the benefits of a sleepaway camp, it seems that all children should enroll. There are camps for almost all children, including those with special needs. However, there are certainly children who are not ready for an overnight camp experience. Some may not be mature enough to accept the separation from home. Though some camps accept children...
as young as six, not all children will be ready for camp at that age. Nor will the parents. One of the advantages to waiting is that a child can read and write more readily giving them letters from home to comfort them, and the ability to write letters home to comfort parents.
However, as parents know, chronological age is never a definitive marker. Some children are more than ready at six or seven, especially those who have an older sibling at camp, while some eight year olds still need a year or two before they are ready to handle the separation of a sleepaway camp experience. Three guidelines can help you to consider your childs readiness:
1) Has your child enjoyed other overnight experiences?
Many children eagerly sleep over at friends or grandparents homes, a sign of readiness. When a child is successful spending the night away, it’s a sign that he or she can function independently. However, if you’ve gotten middle of the night calls and had to pick your child up in the middle of an overnight stay, its an indication that he or she is not quite ready for overnight camp.
2) Has your child had other camp experiences?
It’s helpful if a child has attended day camp prior to going to sleepaway camp. At a day camp, children learn to move from one activity to the next, make new friends, and develop teamwork skills.
3) Is your child adaptable?
Going to overnight camp requires some flexibility, an ability to adjust to new situations, and a willingness to try new things. Though all children experience some period of adjustment, camp adjustment will be more difficult for the child who is fairly rigid and has difficulty in new situations.
Generally speaking if by 11 or 12 your child is still reluctant to go to camp, the time might come to give some gentle persuasion and insist that they go. Then encourage and guide to help make this transition easier for them.

As parents we have to remember that as much as we love our children our goal is to prepare them to leave the home and be a productive part of society. Summer Camp is a basic part of the growth process. Try it this summer.
Picking the best camp
The experience children get when they go to summer camp is something that will have an effect on the rest of their lives. As a parent it is important that you and your child choose the 
best summer camps together. Finding the camp that best fits your budget and your child's needs can be a daunting task that requires loads of effort up front. Before you...send your camper to the nearest or the cheapest camp out there, you might want to consider this short guide.

Take the time to inform yourself about the wide range of options available to choose from. It takes time, but it makes sense to gather camp information prior to sending your kids somewhere. One of the most surprising things you will find out is that there are so many different types of camps. There are overnight camps and day camps of every duration from one to two weeks to one to two months. Camps can also be categorized according to the age ranges and genders of the participants they accept and how they conduct their programs for the campers they have. There are coed camps where boys and girls get to mingle . There are camps exclusive to girls or boys. Then there are brother/sister camps where boys and girls attend the neighboring camps with selective interaction. Camps can either be categorized by an area of particular focus such as general, academic, religious, special needs, and activity or theme specialty, to name a few.

Ask your child what he or she wants to get out of the experience. More than anything else, the goal of a summer camp is to let the kids have fun while at the same time instilling valuable life lessons. To ensure that your kid will get the best experience possible, you need to fit what they want to do with what activities a camp offers. This will enable you to shorten your list of camps to those that offer the features they will enjoy the most. AS a parent never pick a camp for what you want or think your child may want. Talk with him or her. At Swift Nature Camp, we often have parents who want their child outside away from a screen and we have been successful with this only because we have so many other fun things to do.

Determine your budget carefully. The cost of sending your kids to camp can vary depending on the camp's duration, programs, activities and location. Day camps can be very modestly priced and full season sleepaway camps offer expanded experience at an expanded price. When you are determining your budget for summer camp, remember that your kids will not be in the house during that time, and consider how much you'll save in terms of household expenses. Be sure to check pricing carefully, contacting the director if necessary. Many camp directors are willing to work with parents or have special programs to allow for children from lower income families to attend camp.

When possible visit the summer camp. Once you have shortened your list you and your child should take time to visit the camp. This is important since doing so will definitely help you in determining that a particular camp is really the right fit for your kid.  Each summer we have families join our camp for a few hours they take a tour of the camp, looking at condition, facilities, and the fun campers are having.  Make sure to talk to the camp director and staff members too, if possible. You'll get to know the camp better and be sure it is a place well worth entrusting your child to. If this is not possible see if the camp has any local open houses or maybe the directors can com visit you at your home.

To learn more about Wisconsin Summer Camps
and finding the best one for your child visit Summer Camp Advice
Selecting a summer camp is no easy task and take a lot of leg work upfront to ensure a wonderful camp experience for your child. One of the best ways is to read reviews about overnight summer camps. Then formulate your questions from what folks are saying and call the camp directors. Click here to read Swift Nature Camps most recent reviews...
Choosing a summer camp for my son was so overwhelming.  The number of different programs and options that I uncovered during my research was daunting.  While I considered all things in my decision, facilities, activities, safety, staffing, location and price, I must say that a major factor in my eventual decision to send my son to Swift was my gut feeling.  When I called to ask questions about Swift, Lonnie made me feel so comfortable about the program and the care that the staff provide for the campers.  I’m so glad that I decided to go with my gut feelings.  My son had a wonderful three weeks at camp, and has been begging to be allowed to go to the six week session next summer since the moment we picked him up off the bus.  He got to try all sorts of new things at camp, and can’t wait to go back and improve his skills at canoeing - even though he’d never been in a canoe before, one of his favorite parts of camp was the canoe trip his cabin went on.  I am so happy to say that I was able to find my son a summer ‘home’ where he feels just as comfortable as he does at home - and where he gets to be with caring staffers that encourage him to try new things and improve his skills - he’s become much more self-confident.  In a sentence, this is two thank yous: One to Lonnie for making me feel so confident that my son would be cared for and happy and camp, and one to the entire camp staff for making my son feel so confident in himself.

Having a child that is a complete animal lover, I knew that I wanted to choose a animal summer camp that had a nature focus besides just being located in the woods.  I am happy to say that Swift satisfied my daughter’s never-ending desire to be outside, explore, play with animals, and just learn through experience.  When we dropped her off at camp, I visited the nature center, and I could tell that she would love it - all sorts of animals to interact with, and lots of things to learn and explore with, not just look at.  Though her letters home were short, they were filled with descriptions of the exploring that I hoped that she would be able to do - catching frogs, exploring the outdoors, hiking, learning about wildlife, and exploring different ecosystems. (She ‘retaught’ me that one - there are lots of areas for the campers to explore with the staff - woods, a bog, a pond, a lake, and more brushy areas.)  But in addition to that, we’ve noticed such progress in her personal responsibility since she came home - camp taught her to be more self sufficient.  She’ll clear her plates after dinner, and while she doesn’t do the laundry on her own, she at least untangles her clothes before she throws them in the basket now.  It was hard having her away from us for three whole weeks, but knowing how great a time she had and how much she grew as a young person, I can’t wait for her to be able to return next summer.

I’m happy to share that next summer will be my son’s 4th year at SNC - he’s still so excited and happy from this past summer that I’m surprised he let me unpack his suitcase.  Though he’s been to camp for three years now, every summer he learns something new and improves his skills - he’s never complained about being bored at camp, which is much more than I can say about being at home.  He gets to learn to do things that he would never get the opportunity to do living in the city - and he’s learning to do them safely.  I really wanted my son to be able to have experiences that he wouldn’t be able to have at home - going on camping trips, canoeing, learning to cook over a fire, and a little bit of learning to fend for himself - with adequate supervision of course.  One of his favorite things are the trips that the cabins get to go on - they get to spend time bonding with their group, and experiencing new challenges each year.  I cannot recommend SNC highly enough to other families.  Not only do the campers have a great time, but they continue to be entertained, excited, and challenged year after year.

Both my son and daughter have attended SNC over the past 5 years, and it has been a pivotal force in their development into responsible young adults.  At the end of every summer, they come home full of enough stories and memories to keep them talking for days.  My daughter’s favorite activities at camp have always been arts and crafts and archery, and I was really surprised this past summer when she really took a liking to riflery.  She brought home several of her targets, and you could see her improvement - she showed them off to all of our family members.  My son was an intermediate, but not very strong swimmer when he started camp, and he was proud to have made it to be a blue swimmer by the end of the session - the staff really worked with him to improve his swimming skills.  His favorites from camp were the nature center, and of course, swimming.  Every summer, they come home more self-reliant and self confident.  We’re already planning for next summer, when my daughter will be a counselor in training, and my son will be back for his third summer.  I can’t imagine how different my children would be if they hadn’t had Swift in their lives.

I was nervous about sending my daughter to summer camp for the first time, but I was excited when Jeff and Lonnie told me that Swift Nature Camp has a program just for first time campers.  That way I knew that she wouldn’t be overwhelmed or feel out of place - everyone would be starting on the same page as her, so she could be more comfortable.  I think that it was harder for me than it was for her - she followed the friendly counselor right on to the camp bus, but I was a little more hesitant about her being away from home the first time.  But it seemed that everyone at camp went out of their way to soothe my ‘mommy worries’ - Lonnie called to let me know that the bus had gotten to camp safely, I received a handwritten postcard from my daughter’s counselors during her first week at camp, and the office staff was always helpful and willing to talk when I called just to check on her.  She loved all the activities at camp, as well as the ‘field trips’ to the Lumberjack show and the ice cream shop in town.  She can’t wait to go back next summer, and while I’ll miss her while she’s at camp, I’m confident that Jeff and Lonnie will make sure that she is safe, happy, and cared for the whole time that she is there.


SNC is the best summer camp!  There are so many activities that you can choose from, and the counselors are really nice.  My favorite activity is going tubing with Jeff - it is the most fun when he drives the boat really fast so that you have to hold on tight to stay on.  I wasn’t sure about swimming in a lake at first, but seeing Wally (the water trampoline) changed my mind.  The waterfront is so much fun and you can go swimming everyday at free time if you want.  The food was really good, especially Taco Tuesdays.  I learned a lot of new things at Swift this summer, and I can’t wait to go back next year to see my friends.

Swift is my favorite place on earth.  I have made some of my best friends at camp, I keep in touch with them all year long, and none of us can wait to get on the bus to go to camp in the summer.  The counselors come up with really crazy fun things to do in the cabin, and all of the regular activities are really exciting too.    My favorite thing at camp is the trips, because you get to go out with just your counselors and cabin friends and do fun things like canoeing and swimming.  Of course the BEST part of camping trips is when you get to make S’mores.  I miss camp so much when I’m at home that sometimes I even get ‘campsick’!  

Next summer will be my 3rd year as a camper at Swift Nature Camp, and I can’t wait to go back.  I’m so excited to see all the friends from my cabin for another year, and get to see the counselors again.  The best thing about camp is going up to the Nature Center, where you can play with the animals and do cool nature activities.  We caught the BIGGEST frog, and got to keep it up in the nature center for a couple of days so that everyone could come and look at it.  It was huge!  There is lots of other fun things to do at camp too.  My favorite things beside the nature center are fishing, archery, and swimming in the lake.  The counselors are really nice and are good at teaching you new things and helping you to work on your achievement awards.  I’d never done archery before I came to camp, and next summer I want to get my Level 2 Achievement award.  I hope that lots of kids will want to come to Swift so that I can make new friends this summer!


I’ll admit that when I showed up at Swift Nature Camp for my first day of orientation, I was nervous.  I knew that I loved camp, I had attended several different camps as a child, and had even worked at another summer camp during the previous summer.  And while I loved my time at that camp, I never really felt like I fit in as part of the camp family.  I am happy to say that Swift is 100% where my camp family is.  As a staff member, I always felt like my input was valued and respected, and help was available whenever I needed it - even when all that I needed was someone to listen for a few minutes.  After my first summer at Swift, I returned as a staff member for four more years - and I would be lying if I did not admit that I’m still looking for a way to get my summers off so that I could go back as a staff member again.  I’ve gone back to visit since my summers working, and getting to lead activities with the campers, and see them learn new things and succeed is so exciting.  Swift is my summer home...having spent a significant amount of time there, and having seen everything up front and behind the scenes, I can say that I hope that when I have children, it can be their summer home as well.

Being an Elementary Education major, I knew that I wanted to spend my summer getting new experiences working with children.  While I’d volunteered at extracurricular programs and worked with youth groups, I had never worked at a summer camp before.  SNC’s two week staff orientation really eased my worries before the first day of camp.  The administrative and returning staff members went over everything that we needed to know in depth: how to teach activities, leading trips, building cabin bonds, managing behaviors, and all sorts of tips and tricks to really make sure that the campers had a great time at camp.  Being able to teach the campers skills was great - it’s amazing to see the look on their face when they first really ‘get it’ - learn just how to steer a canoe, perfect their archery shot, or light a ‘one match’ fire.  At the end of my first summer as a camp counselor I’m proud to say that I knew that I had made a positive impact on all the campers that I came into contact with, and made friends that I will keep in contact with far into the future.
So here it is a few days into summer camp and you miss your child. That’s normal. So you pick up tyour cell phone and start to call your child’s cell phone. Then it hits you, summer camp has a NO contact policy! Why would such a thing exist? To make the parents suffer? Well, maybe its much more than this.
Here is the secret, a large part of the magic of an overnight summer camp experience is being in a closed community that is conscious. Summer camp if done well totally immerses a child. They live camp with their camp friends, and become part of the story of camp. So how does a cell phone ruin this adventure. It butts into the “life of camp” and brings children the reality of back home. For this reason many directors discourage parents from calling their campers and seem even discourage visiting . Camp Directors want to provide “creative separation” which allow the children to develop a healthy sense of independence, in turn leading to a healthy sense of adventure. For many children this is their first time away from home and it is in a protected child centered environment that only leeds to good results. Most camp directors want parents to see everything that happens at camp but that is not possible if you buy into the giving your child a secure freedom. So some have gone to daily publishing photos on their websites, newsletters, periodic Tweets , or videos. Some Directors have tossed off technology and encouraged each parent to call the office and ask about their child. Remember most camp Directors want to help you after all we are parents too.
This cult we call summer camp has its positive impact soon children forget about the cliques at school, their concerns about grades, and what their friends are doing and wearing.Summer Camp will replace these things with campfires, caring for others, singing in the dining hall, trying new things and increase their growth as a paddler, a rider, a gymnast, and a climber. Even more, they will be replaced by a community of friends 

Okay So you don’t buy it! You need to be in touch with your child. You know you are a helicopter parent. No need to fret.? There are a huge variety in the ways different camps help parents and campers stay in touch. Some camps allow campers to carry cell phones, some allow access to email. Many camps have visiting days. Every camp is different so be sure you ask the director how communication happens before you enroll in camp. This may also be a growing time for you ... getting you ready for those not to far off college days.

Do you love SNC? Are you looking for a wonderful summer camp?


Then go to CampRatingz and read what campers and parents are saying about their summer camp experience. This is a great resource to help parents decide which camp best meets the needs of their child.
If you are an SNC alumni please help others learn how wonderful your experience was this summer at Swift Nature Camp. This satisfaction survey allows parents and campers to give their input about camp. This survey currently ranks SNC as the 26 best camp in America. But I think we can be better! We encourage all to participate! Please click here 
Best Camps then click “Rate this Camp”.

 


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Our campers have always known that Swift was a great place, thats why 70+ percent return year after year. You have always known Swift was a great camp now it’s official! This summer, as many of you know we had our inspection by the American Camp Association. The ACA sets over 300 standards for camps helping to ensure safety, staffing, programming, health care, food service, and more. Of the nearly 12,000 camps in the USA less than 25% have received the A.C.A. Accreditation. We are proud of the wonderful score we got. Making us one of the best camps around..but you knew that!

Read why todays families are getting a Nature Prescription, No pills required. Just get out and walk, explore and enjoy the outdoors. Summer camps are one place where Nature is an every day part of life, free of cell phones, ipods and the web. The only thing streaming has water in it. Learn more about the Nature Prescription.......
Here's what Matias Rojas Perez first saw on a trail walk in the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge: a wild rabbit dashing past, a 3-inch-long endangered fish, soaring birds and creeping snakes.

  • By Kristen BourqueFamilies hike in Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge during a Jan. 29 trip organized by the Children's Heart Center. 
Here's what his doctors saw: a chance for 200-pound, 5-foot-3, 10-year-old Matias to grow healthier.
Instead of an order for pills, pediatricians at the Children's Heart Center in 
Las Vegas have given Matias, his mother, who is diabetic, and his 9-year-old, 136-pound little brother, a "nature prescription."
More than 100 of the 553 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuges such as Moapa are part of a national consortium of federal parks and the National Environmental Education Foundation now using this prescription tactic. It's funded by a $75,000 grant to improve family health through a two-year pilot project linking the federal agencies with health care providers. The aim is to turn doctors, nurses, teachers and therapists into "nature champions" who steer children and their parents into the outdoors.
It's a whole lot more than just saying, "take a hike."
The prescription, an "Rx for healthy living," prompts families to eat more fruits and vegetables, step away from the TV or video screen and go outside to breathe fresh air, awaken their senses, and shed some weight.
Using the prescription format gives the psychological oomph of doctor's orders to simple suggestions for diet and workouts disguised as nature walks. Each prescription comes with easy-to-follow maps to nearby refuges and parks where outdoor experiences are led by rangers and volunteers.


'Phenomenal difference'


Matias, once unwilling to play outside, has already lost 10 pounds since joining the fledgling program this winter, says his mother, Ma De Lourdez Perez Mata, 44. He now looks forward to the walks — and so does she.
Perez Mata says, "It's so beautiful, and you learn about nature. It's been so long that I breathed fresh air and so long since I've hiked and been surrounded by nature. The rangers tell you about life in these places, their history. It's very interesting."
Since December, the Children's Heart Center in Las Vegas, has already organized three field trips to nearby desert refuges with about 100 participants such as Matias and his family, says Angelina Yost, visitor services manager for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes Moapa.
They hiked up a little hill "that definitely gets your heart racing" and visited a viewing chamber carved into the desert floor that let them get face-to-fin with an endangered fish, the Moapa Dace, Yost says.
The initiative began last September with a national training program where nearly three dozen health professionals from 11 states met at the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia, to be schooled in the value of nature prescriptions.
Dubbed "nature champions," they were charged to each train 30 more advocates. One was pediatrician Noah Kohn, medical director for Clinics in Schools, the free medical clinics funded by private donors and the 
United Wayof Southern Nevada. He sees this as a smart new tool to combat complex problems:
"We have a very significant obesity problem. Ninety percent of my patients have no health insurance. These are low income families with few resources. It's hard enough to convince them to eat a vegetable. And they don't live in neighborhoods where there is a safe place to go out and play.
"A prescription makes a phenomenal difference. It says, 'Rx for healthy and active outdoor living.' Once you get kids outdoors, away from the inner city, they are just completely bamboozled by the science and the natural world and they never think they are exercising," says Kohn, who will start sending out prescriptions as soon at the Spanish translations are available.


Multiple benefits


Susan Morse, a spokeswoman for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says each region is taking its own approach to the prescription program.
In Santa Clara, Calif, 
Kaiser Permanente clinic pediatrician Charles Owyang has already written 67 prescriptions to the Don Edwards Preserve, an urban nature enclave in the San Francisco Bay Area. Owyang also teaches other doctors about studies that show outdoor activities have intellectual and emotional benefits, too — brightening kids' moods, sharpening their concentration and cutting down on stress.
In New Jersey, a nature champion connected health care provider AtlantiCare with a network of home schooling parents to begin forming "Family Nature Clubs" that meet every second Saturday for a walk in the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge that weaves exercise and education.
"The days when Mom could send you out the front door to play have changed," says Sandy Perchetti, volunteer coordinator, at Forsythe, 15 minutes from Atlantic City.
"Once the children come with their 'prescriptions' we stamp them and give them an incentive like a nature journal or a pedometer to track their walking," says Perchetti.
The national project includes tracking whether families visit the refuges and parks, their physical progress and whether they came back again.
The answer is in for Matias and his family. They've already been back to Moapa.
Contributing: Marisol Bello

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