Camp Laurel South Blog

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Camp: The Best Environment for Friends

Life is always better with friends, and Laurel South is the ideal environment for children to make new friends and create lasting bonds. These are some of the best reasons Laurel South’s environment facilitates friendships.

Camp is 24/7

Friends can be made during playdates at home, but a friendship grows when children are also livin0g, eating, and brushing their teeth together. They share tasks and work as a team throughout the summer. This constant contact is conducive to making real, true, long-lasting relationships.

Shared Experiences

Shared experiences are another crucial element for friendship bonds. Camp friends are special because they share a unique commonality , experiencing everything together at camp. The memories created during three-and-a-half weeks at Laurel South are amazing. In part because of what’s happening, but also because who campers are sharing it with.

Traditions

Some of the best elements of Laurel South are the traditions. Traditions that go back to our first summers and the mini-traditions that pop-up from summer to summer. By attending camp, campers develop shared traditions that help bond them together. They add a sacred element to friendship.

Camp focuses on the positive

At camp, there’s a big focus on harnessing moments and making them special and fun. This teaches children to have a great amount of flexibility both individually and with each other, and it also teaches them to remain positive. Positivity helps children remain in an open and accepting frame of mind.

Camp friends are definitely some of the most special friends.  Friendships made at camp are bound by a commonality of experiences that may very well be cherished for a lifetime.

Working on the Camp Laurel South Team

We often say being a counselor is “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”  Being part of the Laurel South team is an incredibly fun way to spend a summer. And accepting a position comes with many responsibilities and opportunities for personal growth. The counselor position brings with it an opportunity to give so many children the confidence and independence needed to succeed in today’s world.  Camp counselors provide an unforgettable experience for countless campers every day.

Camp counselors spend their summer interacting with campers and other counselors while being surrounded by nature. Counselors view life through the eyes of a child – an experience that will only feel further away as we grow older. Camp counselors not only teach, they also learn. They learn practical, social and problem-solving skills. They learn patience, trust, teamwork, time-management and how to have an impeccable work ethic.

You could work at the local mall, walk dogs, file papers or wait tables over the summer. But at the end of the day, what could be better than spending the summer as a camp counselor: positively impacting the lives of others, working as part of a team, singing songs around a campfire with friends…The list goes on!

When you’re thinking about what you should do over the summer, consider Laurel South. You’re applying for one of the most exciting and rewarding jobs on the planet. And that’s why we say it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.

Camp: The Ultimate Career Prep

The last thing children are thinking about as they are running, dancing, jumping, singing and playing at camp is what they want to be when they grow up. But parents of Camp Laurel South know the things campers experience and learn can directly impact the adults that they become. Spending a summer at camp fosters valuable life skills in campers that prepare them to enter the professional world.

Teamwork

One of the biggest benefits of camp is that campers learn how to work together as a team. Counselors lead by example and demonstrate practical communication skills, compromise, and listening skills. Campers learn to trust and encourage each other. Campers who feel confident working with others at camp build a solid foundation for teamwork in the workplace.

Time Management

Time management is another important skill campers learn without even realizing it. With a variety of activities available for them to try, campers are responsible for planning their day so they get the most out of each activity. Campers – with a counselor’s help – learn to factor in things like travel time between activities or how much prep time is required between events. Learning the importance of being on time or early will help campers be successful in the real world. They’re also given opportunities to extend grace and courtesy to those who are running behind, and taught to exercise patience when things don’t always go according to plan. Campers learn to be flexible and understanding, while also learning how to prioritize important events during their daily routine.

Organization

For many campers, camp is the first time they share a private space with a group of people they don’t know. They quickly learn to organize their personal belongings in a way that makes them easily accessible and out of the way of others. Campers keep their personal space neat and tidy, and are respectful of the people who share their space.

Learning how to be organized at camp can directly transfer over to being organized at home and in future professional environments.

Spending a summer at camp is one of the best things you can do for the future of your child. It’s a fun way to build character and prepare children for the real world. Campers learn valuable life lessons on a daily basis at camp, all while having the best summer of their lives. Camp counselors focus on developing the whole camper, and embrace the opportunity to prepare each camper for success. When they eventually enter the workforce, campers will be prepared with the confidence and skills required to be successful.

All In

Picture this:  Some friends are out camping and come across a beautiful lake.  It’s a warm day and everyone is in favor of cooling off.  Some in the group approach the water slowly…dip their toes in…maybe go in to knee level.  Little by little, they become more submerged. Other members of the group run to the water…laughing and screaming and cheering before diving in head first.  Before long, everyone is swimming and having a great time. Just like camp!

While each individual is different, camp is the perfect place to dive in head first and be “all in.”  With just 3-and-a-half weeks of camp, we pack so much into each summer.  Campers and staff who dive headfirst and are “all in” will quickly find out what makes Laurel South their summer home:

Laughter

Camp is the perfect place to show off the goofy, wacky, enthusiastic parts of your personality.  Between Roger’s jokes at Cove, inside cabin jokes, playing outside with friends or having fun at an Evening Program, the sounds of laughter echo all over Laurel South!

Cheering and Singing

There’s no place where cheering is more prevalent than at camp. Campers sing for a camping trip or the fact that we have Chocolate Cream Pie for dessert. Or even that they got all their laundry put away during cabin time. At camp, even the smallest moments are immortalized in song and cheer!

Spirit

The Laurel South spirit goes beyond giving it our best effort on the field.  Camp spirit is about community; from the friends in your cabin to the counselors and administrators, all the way to Roger and Dagni. Enthusiasm and spirit at camp can be seen on the basketball courts, but the spirit is equally tangible at a Rocket Launch, Theatre Show, birthday party and more.

Camp

At Laurel South, there is no such thing as too much “camp.” That’s why most campers and counselors can’t help themselves from telling camp stories during the off-season. Campers and counselors agree life would be so much better if “11 for 1” was actually “1 for 11.”

Act Your Age

Kids today have so much going on. The school year is full of schedules, deadlines, and commitments that can sometimes overshadow the importance of play. Maneuvering between school and team practices and recitals – their schedules keep them constantly on the go! Each setting has different expectations and before they know it, the days have turned to months. Camp is different. We want campers to enjoy every moment.

Camp strives to meet kids right where they are. It’s a safe place for kids to act like kids. Laurel South is serious about fun, and is a place where kids can be fully immersed in childhood play. They’re playing sports, laughing, chasing lightning bugs, playing games in the cabins, singing songs around a fire and putting on shows. Campers are being exactly who they are meant to be – kids.

Counselors join in on the fun as well: Mature enough to be caring and responsible, but not too old to have lost their childlike wonder. Counselors utilize their summers to embrace their inner child. They engage with campers every day.

The summer is a time where kids can relax and enjoy this fleeting time in their lives, so vital for their growing minds. As adults, we know how fast this time goes, and we should encourage the children in our lives to spend as much time as they can playing, laughing, trying new things and being with their friends. And that is exactly what Laurel South aims to offer every camper each and every summer.

Inclusivity at Laurel South

At Laurel South, we create a culture where campers respect themselves and others. Camp gives campers countless opportunities to interact in a healthy and positive way with each other and their counselors. Every day, campers share their feelings, listen to others and communicate effectively; skills that are so vital in the world today.

Inclusivity is a foundational element at Laurel South, and from day one campers are taught the importance of teamwork. Everyone is welcomed with open arms, and a friendly attitude is instilled into everyday culture.

 

One of the coolest things about Laurel South is that the options for sports, arts, activities and adventures are endless. Laurel South is a place where kids with all different levels of abilities and strengths find a place where they belong. Everyone finds their place at camp, and is encouraged by other campers and counselors to be the best versions of themselves.

After a summer at Laurel South, kids head into the school year with an eye and a heart for others. The connections and relationships they build at camp are based on respect, communication and inclusivity.

 

Every Summer is Unique

Every Laurel South summer is unique and presents its own opportunities for forming friendships, creating memories and growing as a person. Each camper and staff member experiences moments that shape who they are.

Laurel South has many “big moment” events. Ask anyone who’s been to camp and they can reel off the list: Spirit Days…Carnival…”S” Days…Final Banquet…Theater Shows…the list goes on. These events create a buzz around camp. But every summer is more than the sum of its parts.

 

 

It’s the “in-between” moments that can impact us the most – like walking to an activity with a new friend. It’s as simple as having a great counselor who made bedtime awesome with the stories they’d tell. Or seeing a shooting star for the first time. It’s the jokes, laughter and shared experiences between cabinmates that truly define a camp season.

 

When we look back on what made the past summer so special – it’s about the people. The laughter and singing and cheering and inside jokes that only your camp friends understand…these are the little moments that make Laurel South our second home!

Being a Camp Counselor: Learning Skills That Help in Every Profession

As the school year progresses, college students are faced with the question of where to work and what to do during the summer. While acquiring an internship can give you experience in your respective field of work, the benefits of working as a camp counselor are too large to ignore. For eight weeks, you’re working in a fast-paced environment with people from all different backgrounds. These eight weeks present rewards, challenges and an ability to maximize skills you may have never realized you had.

Recognizing Individuality

Living in a cabin  day-in and day-out with campers and co-counselors is a unique experience. As a camp counselor, you’re presented with the task of nurturing each individual camper in order to establish strong relationships and ensure a safe and fun environment for all. The ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each individual is a valuable skill in any profession.

Building Confidence

The environment at camp allows counselors to discover the best version  of themselves. This environment of acceptance fosters the development of each counselor’s confidence and skill set. With higher confidence comes clearer decision making, better communication and stronger performance in many areas of life.

At camp, you’re both a coach and a mentor to the campers in your cabin,  but also to the rest of the children at camp. Camp transforms counselors into leaders with the drive to be successful. The confidence established at camp can be carried over to all aspects of life; from going on a job interview to giving a presentation to your boss — having confidence allows for the highest success rate.

Team Building and Problem Solving

Working with co-counselors teaches valuable lessons both in teamwork and problem-solving. Although your co-counselors are close to your age, each individual possesses their own unique skill set. This diversity presents the opportunity for understanding and appreciating different cultures, working with varied experience levels and finding a common ground to resolve conflicts and effectively problem-solve..

Becoming a Leader

The combination of the skills learned as a camp counselor include communication, problem-solving, flexibility, individuality and confidence, all of which are key factors in being successful in any workplace. When faced with the decision to apply for an internship or a counselor at a sleepaway camp, take into consideration that in just eight weeks, skills will be developed that are beneficial for life.

The Energy of Laurel South

There is a buzz in the air every morning at camp; a feeling that puts an extra pep in our step even before our feet hit the floor. Counselors wake up with a sense of excitement and readiness for the day. The energy of camp is hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it yourself. Being surrounded by positive people is a natural stimulant that gives campers and staff a boost of energy every day.

It’s easy to be in a good mood when nature is everywhere. There’s the beauty of Crescent Lake, the forest and sprawling fields. It’s the soft breeze between the trees in the morning and the glow of the campfire at night. The beauty of camp is refreshing, and spending a few minutes appreciating the vast beauty is usually enough to get anyone going.

There’s also a beauty and energy in the people of camp. The relationships, activities and memories create a unique sense of contagious positivity. Campers can’t help but run freely across camp because there’s so much excitement surrounding them! Of course, not every moment is rainbows and butterflies, but campers feel upbeat, encouraged and excited for the majority of their time at camp.

Campers and counselors feed off the genuine energy and positive vibes of each other. There is something about camp that keeps the energy alive from sunrise to sunset. Spend a summer at Laurel South so you can feel it for yourself!

Why Kids Need Camp Now More Than Ever

Take a moment and look around. Whether it’s at a restaurant, the movies, a park, or in your own home, there is one constant – a mobile device. Phones, iPads, and other forms of technology have taken over daily life. It has become impossible to have a simple meal with family or friends without the distraction of technology.

Before the influx of technology, children asked for hands-on presents that fostered creativity and adventure for holidays and birthdays. Remember the excitement when you received your first bicycle? Today, children receive iPhone Xs for their birthdays. While technology has a lot to offer individuals, it can have a negative impact on youth development. Creative impulses and a sense of adventure are diminished as children plug in their headphones and sit inside for hours at a time exploring their latest technology.

This is why kids need camp more than ever. Camp offers children a four- week experience they will never forget. In one summer, concrete memories are made and lifelong skills acquired. Time spent outside in the fresh air with friends teaches children to appreciate the outdoors and the joy of unplugging.

Technology continues to grow at a rapid pace. Soon, our world will be filled with artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. The need to be independent will be diminished but the inherit independence that camp teaches will always be present.

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