Author: Edward Young

What to Do When You’re Missing Summer Camp

missing summer campAfter attending an exciting camp for several weeks, you may feel sad when you return home. Missing summer camp is a common feeling for most campers who enjoyed having days and evenings that were filled with a multitude of activities. One of the reasons that you might feel depressed when you return home is because you miss your new friends.

Missing Summer Camp? Keep in Contact with Other Campers

Fortunately, it’s easy to stay in contact with other people by sending them text messages, emails or using social media sites. In addition, if you live close enough to some of your fellow campers, then you can visit each other or have a get-together at a nearby location such as a shopping mall.

Get Involved in Numerous Activities When You Return Home

An additional reason for missing summer camp is the counselors. They kept you busy with daily activities such as crafts, hiking or horseback riding.

You never needed to plan anything. The counselors were responsible for arranging your schedule. And they made sure that you had very little downtime. After arriving back home, you might return to your lazy ways of watching television all day or surfing on the internet all evening.

If you want to remain active, then you need to turn off the computer and television so that you can get out of the house. Look for ways to stay as busy back at home as you were in camp. Then you won’t feel as depressed about missing your new friends.

Create a Scrapbook with Your Camping Photographs

If you took pictures while you were at camp, print out some of them. Create a scrapbook or collage or journal to look at every day. Having good memories about summer camp from photographs helps you to realize that more memories can be created throughout the school year.


And you will also get to return to camp next year. Remember that if you miss swimming or cookouts, it is possible to enjoy these activities at home. Look for an indoor community swimming pool. Join a swim team. Plan outdoor barbecues in the autumn with your friends from school.

Have a Backyard Camp at Home

Missing summer camp? Recreate the experience at home before the weather gets too cold. Place a tent in your own backyard.

Invite your school friends over for a weekend campout. Recruit your parents to help you barbecue hamburgers, hot dogs and s’mores. Your friends might have enough fun at your backyard camp that they will want to join you next summer at a real camp.

birthday party

Mistakes to Avoid at Your Kid’s Birthday Party

birthday partyYour kid’s birthday party is always an event to be remembered. It is important to carefully plan each detail so that everything is perfect. While you naturally want your party to be exciting, it is also essential to keep in mind the age and energy levels of your group.

Sometimes things can quickly go awry if you haven’t made the proper preparations. Make sure to avoid these three common party planning mistakes so that your kid’s celebration will be a big success.

Birthday Party Mistakes to Avoid

Never Try to Do Food and Activities Together

Kids are a lot of fun, but they can be messy. While you might set out a buffet table full of food for adults to enjoy while they mingle, this concept simply results in disaster with kids. Instead, plan your party activities in blocks of time so that you can clean up your activities before you serve the cake.

Failure at Planning in Advance

The coolest birthday party venues fill up fast. This means you could be stuck having to choose between disappointing your kid or choosing a less than desirable weekend. Make sure to check out the calendars for popular venues such as summer camps well in advance. This way, you can relax knowing that one of the biggest items on your to-do list is checked off weeks ahead of schedule.

Don’t Try to Do It All

For some reason, planning a birthday party makes parents think they are superheroes who can singlehandedly entertain a dozen or more kids while serving cake with a smile. Keep in mind that your child will appreciate your presence more if you are not stressed out from trying to do too much.

Arrange to have help for your party. For example, summer camps offer trained party hosts. They also provide a venue that comes with various entertainment options. Thus, you are free to focus on photographing those special moments.

Birthdays only come around once a year, and those earliest ones truly are special. Make your kid feel like a superstar by planning an event that all their friends will remember. By planning ahead of time and delegating your responsibilities, you can enjoy the next celebration while helping your kid usher in another great year.

Keeping a Journal at Summer Camp

summer camp journalSummer camp journal is a must during the summer! Going to summer camp is a rite of passage that everyone should experience. Often, this is the first time you spend more than a night away from home. Also, there is all the new activities to try and, most importantly, all the new friends to make.

You probably want to keep your mementos and memories safe and tucked away so you can revisit them later and relive your summer camp experiences. For this, you probably want to get a summer camp journal. However, there are different kinds of journals and journal accessories to consider, and finding what you want may be difficult.

Summer Camp Journal

Blank versus Full of Activities

There are two types of summer camp journals to consider: the blank version and the version that is full of activities and accessories. The first is what it sounds like, a simple book with lined (or unlined) paper in which you can write, draw, and add photos or mementos.

These blank journals can come with a solid colored cover or printed with a graphic. One favorite is the Large Classic Moleskin Notebook. Made with traditional black moleskin, this journal does not distract from the purpose of the book.

summer camp journalFilled with acid-free lined paper, it will not tempt your campmates to look inside because of wording like “Journal” Or “Private. “Another favorite is the Summer Camp Journal from Mrs. Alice E. Tidwell, which has a beautiful scene of a lakeside campsite and shows some of the activities that can happen at summer camp, such as boating and sitting by the campfire. Entitled “Summer Camp: A Blank Journal to Fill with Adventure,” this lovely print will inspire your daily writings of your own camp experiences.

The journals that are full of activities and accessories are as varied as the rainbow. They may come with pockets, pens, postcards, activity sheets, and much more. You can still write and draw in these journals, but they often have special places for mementos and photos.

My favorite activity journal is the Peaceable Kingdom Summer Camp Journal. Write down your summer camp memories with help from questions and prompts and enjoy jokes, games, and much more when the day’s activities are over. Each page has its own design and is lined for easy writing. Punch out the included postcards to send to family or friends.

Summer Camp Journal Accessories

summer camp journalThere are many accessories you can buy to go with your journal. You can get pens, penlights, colored pencils, and waterproof envelopes, among other things. All these accessories can make using your journal more fun.

My favorite accessory is a zippered, waterproof plastic envelope from Izbuy that you can put your journal and accessories in to keep them safe. Offer the extras to your friends or keep them for another year’s camp.

Keeping a journal at summer camp is part of the fun of the season. You can fill it with writings, drawings, photographs, and mementos to look back at and recall how much you enjoyed the time spent there.

The journals suggested in this article will help you make that possible, but do not let me stop you there. There are other great journals available in online stores to choose from if you wish. The most important thing is that the one you pick helps you create something you will love and treasure.

Off-the-Wall Birthday Party Ideas for Kids

birthday party ideasComing up with fresh birthday party ideas gets harder every year since you always want this year’s celebration to be better than the last. Kids also get tired of the same old birthday party venues, and keeping them entertained at your house gets to be quite a challenge. When you really want your kid to feel special, try these off-the-wall ideas that no one else will be doing for their party this year.

Birthday Party Ideas

Go Rock Climbing

Rock climbing walls are the perfect solution when you have “hit a wall” trying to come up with birthday party ideas. Not only will the kids burn off a lot of energy as they attempt to climb higher than their friends, but they will also be talking for weeks about how much fun it was to conquer this challenge. When planning a rock climbing party, just make sure to choose a venue such as a summer camp that emphasizes safety and supervision by staff members who are trained in teaching kids how to climb so that you can enjoy being a stress-free host.

Take Them Boating


Forget roller-skating and bowling. By this time, most kids have already grown bored with these typical birthday activities. While taking kids out on the water might make you nervous, activities such as bumper boats are awesome birthday party ideas when you host your celebration in a day camp environment. Simply make sure to let the parents know when they call to RSVP to send their kids in clothing and footwear that are okay to get wet. Then, watch as the kids have a blast trying to see who can get the most bumps as they splash away.

Stir Up Some Drama

While active games are always a hit for birthday parties, it can be a little more challenging if your kid and their friends are more reserved. For quieter types, putting on a play is a great way to kick off your kid’s next year. Just find a stage and gather some costumes. Then, let your kid pick a favorite play to reenact with their friends or encourage them to improv. With this idea, a video camera is mandatory because you will never want to forget how amazing it is when a group of creative kids get to put on their own play.

This year, get out of the birthday rut by planning some new activities that go beyond the same old skating rink party the kids have all done before. Whether your birthday boy or girl leaves land or hits the stage, they will be excited to invite their friends to share in celebrating their special day.

 

What Traits Are Important for Summer Camp Counselors?

summer camp counselorsSummer camp counselors play an important role as they soothe homesick kids and plan exciting activities that tap into the campers’ interests. Throughout the summer, campers look up to their counselor and depend upon them for positive guidance as they learn to be independent. Due to the importance of the relationship between campers and their counselors, many kids grow up waiting for their turn to become a counselor who possesses the following traits that they learned at camp.

Qualities of Great Summer Camp Counselors

A Leader Mindset

Summer camp counselors are the first ones to respond in any situation, and it is their duty to make sure each camper is prepped and excited about each scheduled activity. Whether a camp counselor is calling a cabin meeting or taking the kids on a wilderness hike, they know that they are always in charge. This leader mindset is what helps each kid learn that they can make decisions in a group with confidence.

Positive Role Model

The best summer camp counselors are aware that the kids are always watching and learning from their behavior. Did a sudden rainstorm pop up and ruin the campfire? That’s no problem for a camp counselor who will laugh it off and invite the kids into the cabin for a game night. As kids watch their camp counselors respond to frustrating situations with a positive attitude and work out differences using positive communication skills, they learn how to be a strong member of their community.

Selfless Attitude

A quality camp counselor always puts the kids first, which sometimes means making small sacrifices throughout the day. At camp, many counselors also share cabins with the campers and may find themselves helping a kid handle a problem late at night. They must also be the first person up and willing to help each camper get ready for the day, even if it means searching for a missing shoe when they’re ready for breakfast. By placing each camper’s needs before their own, they help even the youngest ones feel safe and comfortable during their summer away from home.

Working as a summer camp counselor is more than just a job…it’s a lifestyle. And many counselors return every year to guide new and returning campers through yet another summer packed full of fun. This dedication to creating the best camp experience for every camper is what makes a counselor stand out as an important member of the summer camp staff.

Motivate Your Kids to Be More Active!

motivate kids to be activeGetting kids off the couch and engaged in physical activity is a challenge that all parents face, and the increasing interest in video games and smartphones only makes it harder to keep kids active. Yet, there are many things you can do besides getting upset and unplugging their electronics. With a little ingenuity, you can motivate kids to be active and get moving on their own.

Model Physical Fitness

Kids depend upon the adults around them to model a healthy lifestyle. Spend a few minutes thinking about how you spend your time at home. Perhaps, everyone in the family buries their head in their smartphones in the evening. Instead, gather your kids and go for a walk after dinner. Alternatively, round up the neighbors for a soccer game at the park. Adults versus kids is always fun! Showing your kids that you enjoy being active will encourage them to make exercise a part of their lifestyle.

Send Them to Summer Camp

Sleepaway camp is more than just a way for parents to teach kids to be more independent. At summer camp, there are tons of outdoor activities planned that will challenge kids both physically and mentally. As your kid does exciting things such as learn how to perform a jump on water skis, they will hardly even notice that they are getting exercise. Many of these activities become lifelong loves that encourage an active lifestyle well into adulthood.

Explore Alternatives to Favorite Sports

Sometimes, kids get bored with their current outlets for exercise. When this happens, try switching it up to spur some motivation. For example, dance class can help a gymnast improve their rhythm and flexibility or soccer can improve kicking skills for a football player. Doing something new for a season often revives a kid’s interest in staying physically active.

Trying to compete with video games is not difficult when you know how to tap into your kid’s interests. Instead of offering the same, boring suggestion to go outside and play, give your kid some genuine opportunities to try out new skills. By focusing on filling those periods of downtime, such as summers, with wholesome outdoor activities, your kid will be excited to discover their strength and stamina improving with each new activity they join.

Archery – an Awesome Sport for Kids!

archeryArchery is one sport that satisfies a kid’s sense of adventure and you can see it in the excitement on their face the first time you hand them a bow and arrow. However, mastering archery requires carefully planned lessons regarding safety along with how to perfect their aim and hit the target. As you prepare your kid for their new experience in archery, here is what you need to know about how to make sure your child gets the most out of this awesome sport.

Teach Focus and Concentration

Today’s kids have been reared on technology that requires fast-paced thinking. While being able to make snap decisions is great, it is also important to teach kids how to slow down and think their actions through. Archery lessons at summer camp begin by teaching kids how to think about each step of the process involved in drawing their bow and shooting the arrow. Then, their concentration is rewarded every time they hit the target.

Build Physical Strength and Stamina

From an outsider’s perspective, archery looks simple. However, the act of drawing back the bow engages a kid’s core muscles and requires back, arm and shoulder strength. Since much of their time is spent outdoors, kids walk throughout their camp classes, which also provide cardiovascular exercise that adds up to a total body workout.

Encourage Regular Practice

To be successful in archery, it is important to practice as much as possible. This is because skills such as developing aim take time and repetition to become proficient. Summer camps offer archery lessons because they know kids benefit from having the time, space and equipment they need to be successful. For this reason, most kids get their first taste of this amazing sport at camp and go on to make it a lifelong love.

While there are many sports for kids that are beneficial to their development, archery stands out from the rest due to its intrigue. Archery dates back to the ancient Egyptians and it is clear why this sport has withstood the test of time. From building overall physical strength and mental focus to declaring victory after hitting a target, your kid will fall in love with this amazing sport from the moment they hold their very first bow and arrow.

How to Encourage Your Child to Love Sports?

playing sportsPlaying sports offers many benefits to kids that range from improved physical health to increased self-confidence. However, it can take a little extra effort to get kids off the couch and onto the field. If your kid is taking some time to warm up to the idea of playing a game, then try these strategies to encourage them to develop a love for sports that will last a lifetime.

 

Attend a Live Sporting Event

The ambiance at a sporting event is enough to get anyone excited. Let your child pick a favorite sport and arrange to watch it live. As they watch professional football, baseball or basketball players show off their skills, kids will be inspired to practice and improve their own skills. Keep in mind, however, that watching slightly older kids play can also be inspiring. Attend a high school gymnastics or track meet or football game so your kids get the opportunity to see what their future can hold.

 


Try New Sports at Camp

For some kids, it is all about finding the right sport. Camp is one place where your child can be exposed to a variety of new sports, many of which might not be possible in your community. For example, your child may love water sports such as wakeboarding or skiing, and being near a lake is the only way to find out. Alternatively, they could prefer gymnastics or rock climbing and heading to camp gives them the equipment and coaches they need to experiment until they find a favorite sport.

 

Celebrate Successes

Kids thrive on praise, and it is important to acknowledge your child’s efforts as they learn how to play sports. Take some time to watch them practice and cheer when they make a basket or score a soccer goal. Start a special tradition after every game to celebrate your child’s efforts during the competition such as enjoying a special dinner or taking a picture for their scrapbook.

With a little bit of encouragement, your child will find the sport that gets them excited about practicing. Exposing your child to new sports also provides a chance for them to learn new skills and build friendships. By making practice sessions and competitions positive experiences, your child will be looking forward to playing their sport every day.

Is Swimming Important for Kids to Learn?

swimming kids

The short and simple answer is ‘Yes’. Swimming can actually save your life or help you save someone else’s during an emergency. So, there is no doubt that swimming is an important skill. However, if you need more convincing, here is the long answer to help you understand the importance of kids learning to swim.

Safety

Among all unintended-injury deaths in kids under 14, drowning comes in second place. That is a scary statistic for any parent. You cannot stop your kid from playing in the water which is everywhere from lakes, community swimming pools, and the backyard pool at home. It is fun to play in water and no matter how many restrictions you impose, kids are going to find a way. So, instead of having to be on guard 24/7, teach your kid how to swim. During summer months, you can enroll them at summer camps offering swimming classes in a lake or a heated pool. They don’t have to learn swimming on a professional level but, should that happen, then you just found another reason for them to practice the skill and sport.

Great Exercise

Swimming offers a full-body workout. If your kid is not outdoorsy, then swimming may be the perfect way to help them get the necessary exercise. It will help them work their shoulders, arms, lungs, legs, and the core muscles. All the different strokes will require them to use different sets of muscles. Even if your child is a little heavy set, they will find it quite easy to swim because water will not let them feel their entire weight.


Swimming is a fun routine. It will not only help your child burn calories but it also will help them adopt healthy habits pretty early in life. This is an incredible life lesson that your child will never forget.

Loving Nature

Once you teach your child how to swim, they will be able to experience nature up close and personal. They can swim with you in the lakes, go to the beach with family, or enjoy swimming with other kids at summer camp. This will bring them closer to nature and help them become a more responsible citizen in the future.

The Fun Part

Every parent wants their children to get the best of all things life has to offer, right? Isn’t it amazing when they are able to enjoy the pleasure of swimming in the ocean, playing in waterfalls, floating down the river on an inner tube and more? From waterparks to pools to beaches…all these places become accessible and safe for kids when they know how to swim. Your kids will also get to participate in a lot more activities such as diving, surfing and jet skiing. It always helps them develop a well-rounded personality when they get to socialize with so many people enjoying different watersports.

Swimming is a life-training camp in itself. It helps children understand their body, prepare themselves for challenging situations, improve their health, appreciate their surroundings and make new friends. Giving your son or daughter the opportunity of learning to swim may be the best gift you ever give them.

Important Social Benefits of Outdoor Play

outdoor play benefitsIn this day and age where everything from shopping for clothes, buying groceries and even socializing has moved online, it is not a surprise that playtime for kids has also gone virtual. Playgrounds are not as crowded because kids have their tablets to tap on. While being well-versed with technology is one thing, it is also equally important to appreciate outdoor play benefits which helps kids absorb a lot of social mannerisms that would be difficult to learn in online game rooms. Kids who just cannot get away from their beloved gadgets can be introduced to the world of outdoor games by the way of summer camps. Here are just some of the ways a summer at camp can help your child develop a better personality.

Knowing the Meaning of Society

When children go to a summer camp, they are assigned outdoor tasks which are usually done as part of a team. In such a scenario, where the kids have no gadgets to turn to for help, they must learn to rely on their fellow teammates. This will help them understand how dependent you are upon others to accomplish even the smallest of tasks. This inter-dependency will create a mini-version of society which will help them understand how important people are to each other. Gadgets tend to make people think it is easy to live without person-to-person contact and this can turn them into socially awkward individuals. Outdoor team activities will help the child discover that feeling of belonging to a bigger group. This is a very important experience to counter the feeling of loneliness that so many of the youth suffers from today.

Decision Making Abilities

At summer camp, outdoor activities test your decision-making skills. While kids may only need to make choices in order to win a small game, it will help instill a confidence in them that they are able to make decisions.

As they make decisions for a team, they will see the outcome of it right there and then. This will help them overcome the fear of making a choice.

Confidence Building

At a camp, a child is put in a new environment amongst new people. During a trek or a campfire game, they have no option but to open up to these strangers and work with them. This kind of a completely new environment gives them confidence that they can overcome any challenges.


Also, this will introduce the child to a whole new world outside of their home and school. This will also make them realize that the world is a much bigger place. They will get a new perspective towards life and will be more confident in their approach.

Stretching Limits

Whether a summer camp is about skiing, trekking, swimming, or any other type of outdoor activity will teach a camper endurance. Such exercises encourage kids to stretch his or her limits. It helps them understand that they are capable of doing much more than they give themselves credit for. This is a big lesson on appreciating self-worth and every child should be given a chance to learn it.

The great outdoors has a lot of lessons to be learned but only if you are committed to being a good student, and summer camps are a great way to get a kid get interested in them. They will not only make them healthier but will also sculpt them into a much improved and wholesome version of themselves.