Camp can be just as educational as school, with children learning through experience. Through activities and play, children learn a wide range of skills and develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. At camp, children learn by doing, living, and experiencing things for themselves. It’s one thing to watch a program on television, but quite another to experience it in real life.
At camp, children are given...
the choice to take risks and try new things. This voluntary nature makes children more open to new experiences, with personal satisfaction as their motivation. Not only are there opportunities to try new things, but camp offers many areas for children to excel in. At a good general interest camp, the non-athlete can shine at arts and crafts, woodworking, or dramatic programs, while the athlete can also find many outlets for their skills. Perhaps most importantly, the two campers learn to live together and become friends despite their varied interests.

Enhanced Self-Esteem


Camp offers children many opportunities to become competent. Practicing both new and old skills on a regular basis, it makes sense that there will be improvement. Novices have chances to learn, while those who are more experienced can improve. Learning new skills and improving on old ones builds self-esteem. Children become more independent and self-reliant at camp with their new-found skills.

Trying New Things


Sending your child to camp is giving them an opportunity to try something new. No matter how many after-school programs or lessons a child takes, its likely they will never have the opportunity to try all that is offered at summer camp. In a supportive environment, the child can try at something new. The interesting twist to these activities is that, since campers often don’t know anyone else at camp before they go, they are more willing to try activities that their friends at home might not expect them to. The athlete can try out for the camp play, while the artist may dabble in sports. At camp, children can try new things and set their own goals for success.

Life Skills


Though years later, your child may not remember capture the flag games or the words to a camp song, the life lessons learned at camp will remain. At camp, a child learns how to take responsibility. The child who has never before made a bed, will learn how to smooth out sheets and blankets and tidy up a cubby. Though counselors will remind and encourage, campers quickly take responsibility for personal hygiene, and for more minor health issues, a camper learns to articulate what hurts and how to get help. All of this personal responsibility further fosters a sense of independence and self-esteem. Camp also improves a child’s social skills by making new friends and learning how to reach out to strangers. At camp, children learn to get along with others, all while living together 24 hours a day, learning about courtesy, compromise, teamwork, and respect.

Hidden Benefits of Camp


The benefits of overnight camp are not limited to children, but extend to parents as well. There is relief in knowing that your child is in a safe, exciting environment for the summer. Even if child care isn’t an issue, it’s often hard to find suitable activities for the summer, as well as finding peers for children to interact with. Camp offers entertainment and constant peer company. For parents that have more than one child, camp can give a younger sibling a chance to shine in the older one’s absence. And if you Homeschool camp is a wonderful way to help your child socialize. For families where all the children go to camp, parents have a chance to do things that would not interest the children. When a child makes it clear how excited he or she to go to camp, these parental excursions are guilt free.
So it is that time of the year again when parents start to wonder how to make their child’s summer fun but also educational. Summer camp has often been thought of taking care.....
So it is that time of the year again when parents start to wonder how to make their child’s summer fun but also educational. Summer camp has often been thought of taking care of the fun part of the summer but not necessarily enriching the child. Summer is the perfect time to stop worrying about grades and let your child socially develop with higher self esteem, greater leadership skills and how to make friends. Not all camps believe they enrich a child’s personal development so be sure to ask the director their goals before you rush to sign up for a camp that your family friend is attending. To Find The Best Summer Camp it is important to get the right information.
Summer camp and summer enrichment programs do come dearly, but it is important to realize that benefits your child will develop for the rest of their life. Be sure that when doing your investigation you chat with the Director to be sure you are both on the same page. Some summer enrichment camps are little more than a expensive vacation.

Camp activities that promote camper enrichment are important. But equally important is that children get an opportunity to use these skills daily. Does the camp have a well panned schedule? Or are the children just hanging out most of the day? Look at the stated benefits of a program and at the summer enrichment camp sessions offered. Do the activities match your child’s areas of interest? Will the instruction enhance your child’s personal development?

Staff training is a key. It is important to again chat with the camp director and find out the training his staff has. Do they have certifications in specialized areas like ropes course or archery? You may have hear the fact that often camps scramble at the last minute to get staff and sometimes use international staff. These staff are often more interested in seeing the world than seeing to campers needs.
We all know children do not want to go to school during the summer. Therefore it is important that staff do their best to incorporate learning in to games. When campers enjoy the process they learn alot more than behind a desk in school. Camp is about hands on learning. Learning socialization skills is a contact sport.

Again , it is important to understand that camp teach “Life Long Learnables” the things they just do not teach you in school. So when you hear “summer enrichment” its not all school. Camp benefits children by providing them with:Confidence, motivation and self-esteem, as well as their communication and leadership skills. These are the things that really help a child excel in life. 

So you have found the right place, How long should they stay? As a camp Director I believe that longer the better. However, many children have scheduling conflicts and maybe too expensive for many parents. The truth is the shorter the time the less impact a child will have. 


Finally, be sure to investigate your summer enrichment options thoroughly because sending your son or daughter to the right summer enrichment camp will offer long-term benefits for the entire family. As well as making the wrong choice on a sumer camp can have negative impact as well. Remember increased motivation and confidence can translate into better grades, and lead to new academic and personal interests.

Ninety percent of all forest-related fires in Wisconsin are started by humans. Education is a key prevention tool to develop an informed and caring citizenry that will take action to prevent useless fires and who support the use of prescribed burning as a management tool. This was the main point to the lessons recently taught at Swift Nature Camp.
Swift nature Camp invited the Minong and Solen Springs 5th grade classes out for 3 days and 2 nights of Science Camp. it was the last day when students had 2 fire presentations. The first was held by the local DNR, where they spoke how important it was to protect against wild fires and how they put them out. THe second presentation was by the local fire department and how they protect the local residents with their fire equipment. These 2 classes were very informative and kept the kids involved.

 

Camp can be just as educational as school, with children learning through experience. Through activities and play, children learn a wide range of skills and develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. At camp, children learn by doing, living, and experiencing things for themselves. It’s one thing to watch a program on television, but quite another to experience it in real life.
At camp, children are given...
the choice to take risks and try new things. This voluntary nature makes children more open to new experiences, with personal satisfaction as their motivation. Not only are there opportunities to try new things, but camp offers many areas for children to excel in. At a good general interest camp, the non-athlete can shine at arts and crafts, woodworking, or dramatic programs, while the athlete can also find many outlets for their skills. Perhaps most importantly, the two campers learn to live together and become friends despite their varied interests.
 

Enhanced Self-Esteem


Camp offers children many opportunities to become competent. Practicing both new and old skills on a regular basis, it makes sense that there will be improvement. Novices have chances to learn, while those who are more experienced can improve. Learning new skills and improving on old ones builds self-esteem. Children become more independent and self-reliant at camp with their new-found skills.

 

Trying New Things


Sending your child to camp is giving them an opportunity to try something new. No matter how many after-school programs or lessons a child takes, its likely they will never have the opportunity to try all that is offered at summer camp. In a supportive environment, the child can try at something new. The interesting twist to these activities is that, since campers often don’t know anyone else at camp before they go, they are more willing to try activities that their friends at home might not expect them to. The athlete can try out for the camp play, while the artist may dabble in sports. At camp, children can try new things and set their own goals for success.

 

Life Skills


Though years later, your child may not remember capture the flag games or the words to a camp song, the life lessons learned at camp will remain. At camp, a child learns how to take responsibility. The child who has never before made a bed, will learn how to smooth out sheets and blankets and tidy up a cubby. Though counselors will remind and encourage, campers quickly take responsibility for personal hygiene, and for more minor health issues, a camper learns to articulate what hurts and how to get help. All of this personal responsibility further fosters a sense of independence and self-esteem. Camp also improves a child’s social skills by making new friends and learning how to reach out to strangers. At camp, children learn to get along with others, all while living together 24 hours a day, learning about courtesy, compromise, teamwork, and respect.

 

Hidden Benefits of Camp


The benefits of overnight camp are not limited to children, but extend to parents as well. There is relief in knowing that your child is in a safe, exciting environment for the summer. Even if child care isn’t an issue, it’s often hard to find suitable activities for the summer, as well as finding peers for children to interact with. Camp offers entertainment and constant peer company. For parents that have more than one child, camp can give a younger sibling a chance to shine in the older one’s absence. And if you Homeschool camp is a wonderful way to help your child socialize. For families where all the children go to camp, parents have a chance to do things that would not interest the children. When a child makes it clear how excited he or she to go to camp, these parental excursions are guilt free.

So it is that time of the year again when parents start to wonder how to make their child’s summer fun but also educational. Summer camp has often been thought of taking care.....
So it is that time of the year again when parents start to wonder how to make their child’s summer fun but also educational. Summer camp has often been thought of taking care of the fun part of the summer but not necessarily enriching the child. Summer is the perfect time to stop worrying about grades and let your child socially develop with higher self esteem, greater leadership skills and how to make friends. Not all camps believe they enrich a child’s personal development so be sure to ask the director their goals before you rush to sign up for a camp that your family friend is attending. To Find The Best Summer Camp it is important to get the right information.
Summer camp and summer enrichment programs do come dearly, but it is important to realize that benefits your child will develop for the rest of their life. Be sure that when doing your investigation you chat with the Director to be sure you are both on the same page. Some summer enrichment camps are little more than a expensive vacation.
Camp activities that promote camper enrichment are important. But equally important is that children get an opportunity to use these skills daily. Does the camp have a well panned schedule? Or are the children just hanging out most of the day? Look at the stated benefits of a program and at the summer enrichment camp sessions offered. Do the activities match your child’s areas of interest? Will the instruction enhance your child’s personal development?

Staff training is a key. It is important to again chat with the camp director and find out the training his staff has. Do they have certifications in specialized areas like ropes course or archery? You may have hear the fact that often camps scramble at the last minute to get staff and sometimes use international staff. These staff are often more interested in seeing the world than seeing to campers needs.
We all know children do not want to go to school during the summer. Therefore it is important that staff do their best to incorporate learning in to games. When campers enjoy the process they learn alot more than behind a desk in school. Camp is about hands on learning. Learning socialization skills is a contact sport.

Again , it is important to understand that camp teach “Life Long Learnables” the things they just do not teach you in school. So when you hear “summer enrichment” its not all school. Camp benefits children by providing them with:Confidence, motivation and self-esteem, as well as their communication and leadership skills. These are the things that really help a child excel in life. 

So you have found the right place, How long should they stay? As a camp Director I believe that longer the better. However, many children have scheduling conflicts and maybe too expensive for many parents. The truth is the shorter the time the less impact a child will have. 

Finally, be sure to investigate your summer enrichment options thoroughly because sending your son or daughter to the right summer enrichment camp will offer long-term benefits for the entire family. As well as making the wrong choice on a sumer camp can have negative impact as well. Remember increased motivation and confidence can translate into better grades, and lead to new academic and personal interests.

Environmental Science Camp was held in early September for the 5th grade class of the Minong and Solen Springs Schools. Over 40 children participated at this event. It has been nearly 20 years since the schools have come out to Swift Nature Camp to have their Science Camp. During the 3 days and 2 nights campers participated in some of classes just like camp. They had Bart the Wildlife Rescuer come out with his animals as well as the local Fire Department and Cliff the Dog Sled Musher. Additional classes included looking for weevels in the milfoil plus taking out the nest and doing a life cycle of bugs and animals off the fishing dock. Alot of stuff lives there! . One really cool classes offered was a canoe class were kids went out to Picnic Island for a cook out . They even had a guest who did Taxidermy in front of the crowd to a big bass. Each night we had a campfire with all the standard camp songs. it was a great taste of camp life for each of the children , with many of them want to return in the summer... This was much like SNC Camp for First Timers .
As you may have heard, the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education (WAEE), in partnership with the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV), is advocating for EE by way of a "Wisconsin Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights".....read more what you can do
permalink=”http://www.swiftnaturecamp.com/blog”>
This resolution, if passed, will help pave the way for environmental education, clean water, soil and air, and help foster environmental stewardship in today's children. 

Now is a good time to show your support for this effort - here's how:

 

1. Attend Lobby Day - March 16th, 2011


The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) has declared the Wisconsin Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights a legislative priority for 2011-12. You can show your support and speak directly with legislators about this issue at WLCV's Lobby Day on March 16th. For more information and to register for this exciting and empowering day, visit: 
Lobby Day 2011.

You are also invited to attend:
WAEE's Lobby Day Breakfast 
Immediately preceding WLCV's Lobby Day
9-10am March 16th, 2011
Monona Terrace Room M/Q
Madison

RSVP to WAEE Advocacy Chair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

There's more you can do:


2. Sign on as a 
Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights Supporter.

3. Contact Your Legislator to let them know EE is important in Wisconsin and mention the Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights. 

4. Forward this information to your colleagues.


What is the Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights?


Children who have the opportunity to explore, learn and play in Wisconsin's outdoors are more likely to be healthy, to do better in school, to experience improved creativity and concentration, and to discover the rewards of outdoor stewardship. To that end, we believe the children of Wisconsin have the right to experience each of the following (draft) activities during their youth:

 

Every Wisconsin child has the right to:


• Follow a trail, whether by hiking or biking.
• Visit a working farm.
• Eat healthy and sustainable food.
• Splash, swim and play in a clean Wisconsin lake or river.
• Catch and release frogs, fireflies, and insects.
• Tap a maple tree.
• Explore wild places close to home.
• Eat a fish they catch.
• Discover Wisconsin’s diverse wilderness – prairies, forests, wetlands, and beaches.
• Share a hunting experience with a great mentor or teacher.

 

Why is it important to get involved? 

 

In order to pass this resolution, we need your help! Over a thousand bills and resolutions come across our legislators desks each year but only about 30% are passed. Those that pass do so thanks to people like you. Legislators tell us they are significantly more likely to consider a bill or resolution if they've heard about it from their constituents. 

 

Is the timing right?


Now is a great time speak up for EE: the Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights is a non-budgetary resolution and may be just what legislators are looking for to stand behind (rather than the politically charged "budget repair" bill). However, in order to be heard above the current turmoil and get legislators' support, it's critical the EE community comes forward to declare "EE in our state is important". 
  

Questions?


Need more information or want to learn more about how this venture got started and where it can take us? Visit the 
Wisconsin Children's Outdoor Bill of Rightswebsite or contact us - we're happy to discuss this exciting project with you:

WAEE 
Betsy Parker, Networking & Advocacy Chair
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(608) 209.2909

Summer school, all-year academic school, summer sports programs, and electronic media have become the elements of children’s summer activity in recent years. Children are kept occupied with indoor play activities. The playground has come indoors and .....
narrowed in focus. The flickering light of computer monitors and handheld game screens has replaced sunlight and fresh air.

Modern times have come to call for change in the way we prepare our children to live life in the world they will inherit. Our kids simply must find a way to reconnect with our natural environment as they grow up. The global effort to restore ecological balance will need aware participants at every level. Environmental awareness always begins with a personal sense of connection to nature.

Parents can bring back awareness of nature to a child’s experience. Summer camp has been around since for over 150 years and is still an effective way to bring back balance to a child’s life. Trained staff members of modern summer camps can guide kids back into an alliance with nature through the pure fun of camp activities. The challenges of summer camp activities are fun rather than stressful, making them even more effective for learning how we are a part of nature.

Most directors of quality modern summer camps have developed policies that encourage camper experience that reconnects the camper to nature without sacrificing the great fun and memorable friendships that are the classic benefits of summer camp. One such policy is simple and sweeping: beginning by not permitting cellular phones, BlackBerries, pagers, radios, iPods, cassette or CD players, laser pens, TVs, Game Boys or digital cameras. Children forget that life is possible without these ubiquitous accessories. Not including them in the camp experience brings children a revelation: they find out that they can actually have fun and enjoy themselves living without those things.

A camp that combines traditional camp activities such as hiking, canoe trips and horseback riding with modern ways for campers to learn about nature will succeed in instilling environmental awareness in campers. Learning is potentially much more effective because it is associated with fun and friendships.

Summer camps have added modern awareness of health and nutrition to the established means of meeting physical needs such as good hygiene, exercise, and teamwork. Modern summer camps can offer a healthy menu that still includes foods that kids enjoy. A salad bar at lunch and dinner that includes a choice of fresh vegetables and salads is an example of this. Vegetarian meals should be made available to campers who have that preference. Fresh fruit can be made available all day for snacks. Nutrition is a part of a modern summer camp’s “green” approach to total wellness that includes providing means to develop of a camper’s positive self esteem, build friendships, and promote having FUN.

When they are discussing a possible choice of a camp with a camp’s directors, parents should ask about the sustainability of that camp’s own day-to-day ecological practices. How do they conserve energy and water and recycle? What is the camp doing to take responsibility for its own environmental footprint?  Learning is a combination of information and participation. If a summer camp’s practices don’t reflect their talk, campers aren't going to absorb important messages about their own relationship with nature. Summer camps are becoming aware of the effects they are having on their immediate environment. Camp directors should be looking at the big picture and showing care for the earth as well as their campers.
Recently I was poking around the web and I saw this article about the benefits of choosing a science summer camp program over some other type of summer camp. Being that this is what we do I found it extremely informative, you will too.
What activities do you associate with summer camp? Maybe making lanyards, tie-dying shirts, playing capture the flag, swimming, putting on a talent show, or painting macaroni?
What about 
science?
summercamp-frog
Summer science camps and programs let students get close to areas of scientific inquiry in a way that isn't always possible in the classroom.
Does science come to mind when you think about summer camp? It should!
You might be surprised to learn that hundreds of camps and programs across the United States offer science as part of their summer-fun lineup—and in support of an increasing committment to supporting and strengthening science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.
Like all other summer camps, science-related summer programs are an American right of passage: hours of fun with friends, away from parents, no textbooks, no tests, no homework. The difference is that a summer science camp 
also offers students of all ages an opportunity to reallyexplore science in all its hands-on, fun, goopy, messy, glory, without the burden of needing to know the 'right' answer for Wednesday's quiz.
Science camps come in a wide variety of formats. There are day and residential camps focusing on every aspect of science and engineering you can imagine: robotics, chemistry, the environment, zoo animals, architecture, space science, and dinosaur fossils, to name just a few! These programs use fun and play to help teach and introduce science and engineering concepts. For example, a week-long day camp focusing on amusement park physics might have kids exploring centripetal force, and kinetic and potential energy, while riding real amusement park rides and building their own mini versions from LEGO blocks, buckets, string, or foam tubing. When done right, science camp is a combination that is super fun and engaging, 
and fosters learning and creativity.

Why attend a science camp?


The advantages of attending a science camp or program can be summarized by a simple equation:

Summer + Camp + Science = 3x Fun + Real Learning

Science camps fall under the umbrella of what is commonly called informal science learning. Recent studies show that informal science learning is one of the most effective ways people learn science. Students who participate in these types of activities are more likely to have an above-average understanding of science, and pursue science-related careers.
For younger children, science camp can introduce them to many different areas of science and give them the confidence and inspiration to embrace science at school. Older students, who are already interested in science, may use science camp as a way to explore what a specific science-related career would be like, or to meet mentors and role models in the field. Such connections could lead to other opportunities, like internships, or become a featured event on a resume or college application.
For 
all students, science camp can be the opportunity to explore a branch of science that might not be available in their school, like marine biology or aeronautics, or to cover a topic more in depth than they'd otherwise be able to.


How do I choose a summer science camp or program?

summercamp-chemistry

Through innovative hands-on activities and demonstrations, students can explore a range of scientific fundamentals and areas of science at summer camp, from chemistry and microbiology to aeronautics, electronics, and computer science.
Choosing a summer science camp is similar to choosing any other type of camp. You have your usual considerations about cost, distance from home, and amount of time, along with the question of finding the "best fit." For science camps, the "best fit" often boils down to figuring out what science topic(s) are of interest and finding a camp that does a good job of implementing those.
summercamp-numbers-1

Figure out what science topic(s) are of interest.

  • Older children might already have a clear preference. Perhaps they're keen on video games and would love to go to a camp where they could design and program one. Or maybe they're into hiking and wildlife and are looking for an outdoor experience as a junior park ranger. Their hobbies and reading choices are often a good indicator of their interests.
  • Younger children might not yet have a clear preference. If they don't, then look for camps that offer a wide variety of science and engineering topics for them to explore. For example, a day camp that has a new science theme every week, or a balance camp that has a blend of science, arts, and physical activities.
summercamp-numbers-2

Determine the level of "academics" you want.

  • Science camp should always be fun. A good science camp will allow students plenty of time to do hands-on exploration. This is part of the informal component. How much additional formal education a science camp has varies. Programs that incorporate lectures from distinguished professors or professionals might be appropriate, inspirational, and informative for older students who are interested in a specific field. Younger students are more likely to benefit from group activities, projects, and interactions with informed camp counselors rather than lectures.
summercamp-numbers-3

Search for camps that fit your needs.

Once you know the range of science topics you'd like the camp to cover, the level of academics, the general geographic location, and the time and money commitments that are right for your family, you're ready to start searching.

  • Cogito and The Connectory are two great national science camp directories and a fantastic place to begin your search.
  • Local parenting magazines and websites might also have lists of camps in your area.
  • Science museums, zoos, aquariums, planetariums, and state or national parks are also great resources, as they often run their own camps and/or link to science camps with similar interests.
  • Many colleges and universities also run summer science camps. A simple search for "summer science camp" on a local academic institution's website is a good way to find these.
  • Simple web browser searches can also turn up a wealth of information.
  • How To Pick A Summer Camp is a great way to start
summercamp-planet-earth
Summer science programs give students the opportunity to explore issues related to current global science and science news.
summercamp-numbers-4

Make sure you choose a camp or program with qualified counselors.

  • Once you've located some camps that meet your search parameters, you should do some legwork to make sure that the counselors—the people the campers interact with all day long—are knowledgeable about science. For example, a knowledgeable counselor can transform a simple day of splashing in the creek into an adventurous treasure hunt for local plants and animals, andincorporate substantive and engaging lessons about food chains and the interconnectivity of different habitats.
  • Ask the camp or program director questions aimed at making sure the counselors have had ample formal training in the subject area(s) and excel at explaining the science in an engaging, age-appropriate manner.
  • Register Early!

While summer might seem a long way off, it's time to start thinking about summer camps. Many top camps offer "early bird" registration discounts in the January-March timeframe (check camp websites for specific camp deadlines).


Find Out More


More information about the educational benefits of science camps and other informal education opportunities can be found here:
  • National Research Council of the National Academies. (2009). Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits. Retrieved December 1, 2010, from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12190&page=1#
  • Folk, John H., and Dierking, Lynn D. (2010, November-December). The 95 Percent Solution: School is not where most Americans learn most of their science. American Scientist. Volume 98, Number 6, Page: 486. Page: 486
When most folks think of a science they think of school and all those books and studying. However, Swift Nature Camp is all about having Fun while helps children to learn how and why to become good stewards of the environment. It is through direct experience and hands on activities that we inspire kids to be environmentally conscious when they return home. Our first goal is to be a kids summer camp but it is so much more,, it’s our dedication to the environment. Swift Nature Camp is fun with a purpose.
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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