After our final Morning Cove of Staff Orientation, busses, vans and cars from all over began pouring into camp. Excited campers met eager counselors until, finally, the entire Laurel South family was together again. After tonight’s delicious cook-out dinner, each campus has their own active evening program. Tomorrow is Moosestomp, when campers will pick their schedule, have a S’more at the outpost, play games, bumpertube and get acquainted with their new friends and reconnect with their returning ones. We can’t wait until Saturday when full program begins!
Parents: Camp is near. You’re packing bags, making last minute preparations, and listening to endless stories with increasing enthusiasm about what happened during the summer of 2010 in eager anticipation for summer of 2011 to begin. You’re checking and re-checking to make sure all of the paperwork has been submitted and the bag pickups have been scheduled. So we figure now is the perfect time to talk about the importance of maintaining good communication with your Camp Directors—now and throughout the summer.
Camp is a big deal for your children and for you. Whether you’ve planned a quiet summer at home or have an awesome vacation planned, we know that your top priority is to know that your children are having an amazing summer. You can help, simply by being informative.
We’re first and foremost concerned for your child’s safety and well being. Some of you probably wonder why we ask for photos of your children prior to camp. It’s so that we can show them to your children’s counselors when we discuss your children’s activity preferences with them so that they can greet campers by name from the moment they step off the bus and have full knowledge of how to make their summer successful.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of communicating medical issues. Whether it’s an allergy to certain foods or insects, perhaps a dietary restriction, asthma, a vitamin deficiency, or wetting the bed, your camp directors need to know so that these matters can be handled appropriately as situations relating to them may occur throughout the summer.
We also want to know what your children’s interests are. If we know your child can’t get enough soccer, for instance, we can make sure that he/she gets maximum exposure to soccer during the summer. Knowing what your children like only helps us guarantee they have the summer of a lifetime.
Personal family matters are never easy, but if there is something happening at home—a divorce, illness in the family, academic issues, etc. it helps us to know. Perhaps it’s a positive development. Your child has landed a new role in a film, has made a particularly competitive athletic team, has earned a special honor at school. Whatever IS your children’s lives at the moment they come to camp, we want to be able to channel it into an amazing summer for them. And we’re confident we can. Otherwise, we wouldn’t ask. As your child’s “summer family”, we want to know how we can help them be at their best.
If anything comes up between the time you put your child on the bus or plane to come to camp and the time we put them back on the bus or plane to come home that might affect his or her summer, please call us. We want to know what’s happening. We want to understand how we can make your child’s stay at our camp effortless and memorable. Even if it’s minor, if you have any reason for pause, please call us. We want to be proactive in making your child’s experience memorable.
Staff Orientation has been amazing and the weather has been spectacular. With counselors now assigned to cabins, we are focused on learning all about our wonderful campers, learning the Laurel South culture, readying the cabins and program areas and bonding as a cohesive unit. Camp looks great. In fact, the only thing that could make it look better is the faces of 400 campers arriving this Thursday!!! We can’t wait to see you!
It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Casco. The morning started quietly, but soon our staff began arriving. Old friends reunited and new ones became acquainted. We can’t wait for this awesome group to transform into the best team anywhere. Over the next week, we’ll meet as cabin and activity groups to prepare for the 2011 summer. Get psyched, Arrival Day is just a week away!!!
As Pre-Camp draws to a close, the action has picked up. Our Adventure staff concluded their Wilderness/First Aid certification and are embarking on a trip to all of the awesome destinations our campers will visit this summer. Our Waterski Staff has arrived, and they are already out on Crescent Lake testing the beautiful, new Mastercrafts. All our Campus Leaders and Area Directors are busy planning super new activities for the 2011 summer. The entire staff arrives tomorrow to begin Orientation, as the countdown continues until Arrival Day. We can hardly wait…
The big day is near. Soon, your child leaves home for a summer of fun, excitement and growth.
Scary, isn’t it?
Sure. New experiences usually are. But we’ve got some ideas to help.
Talk with your child. And we mean “talk honestly.” It’s great to chirp about the wonderful days ahead. But be sure to acknowledge that fears and worries are okay. They’re normal.. Let your son or daughter know that everyone – even you! – gets nervous before doing something different. Remind your child that directors, campus leaders, counselors and staff members know about nerves – and they’ll be there to talk, day or night.
Don’t say, “And if you get homesick, you can come home!” Though reassuring, it sends the wrong message. It focuses on the negative – and undermines the idea that you’ve selected that camp because you trust the directors and counselors so much. Emphasize instead that while homesickness is normal, it goes away – and everyone at camp will help make it disappear. (It’s also a good idea to not say too much how much you’ll miss your child – or how badly everyone will feel that they’re not at the annual 4th of July fireworks or family reunion.)
Prepare together. Read the packing list with your child. Go shopping with him or her. Your child will pick out items he or she really likes – while at the same time sharing a quiet, unhurried conversation about camp.
Reinforce camp policies on things like cell phones. You may want to give your child a phone to call home “just in case” — but that’s the wrong “call.” For one thing, it contradicts what you’re saying about the counselors’ and directors’ ability to help. For another, it encourages “bending the rules.” For a third, it shifts your child’s focus from having fun and making new friends, to sneaking off and being alone.
Don’t let your own anxieties affect your child. As a parent, you may feel trepidation too. You’ll miss your child – and fear you’ll miss out on his or her growth. That’s natural. But don’t burden your kid with those thoughts. Tell your spouse and friends instead!
Camp is a time of independence. Of spreading wings. Of making new friends, forming strong bonds and creating vivid memories in a non-family, out-of-school environment. The days leading up to camp may be anxious – for campers and their parents. But the rewards will be well worth a week or two of very normal nerves.
We can’t wait to see your son or daughter at camp!!!
10 Things to do before Your Children Leave for
10. Complete all of the camp paperwork. This provides the camp with valuable details about your child that they can pass onto their health center and counselors. Knowing your children’s interests before they arrive helps the camp place them into cabins or bunks in which they’ll thrive, provide them with the best program options, and be able to supply them with any medication they may require.
9. Buy stationary, pre-address and stamp envelopes for letters home. Many camps have specific time set aside in their daily schedules for writing home. Pre-addressed envelopes help ease the process of sending the letters campers have so lovingly written. This is particularly the case for younger campers. Also, familiarize yourself with your children’s camp policy regarding camp packages to avoid disappointment that may result from sending items that are undeliverable to your children.
Our hardworking Pre-Camp Staff has continued their great work. Each day, Laurel South looks better and better!! Last night, we all headed to Windham for a well- deserved night out for pizza and a movie. In just a few days, we will welcome our Adventure and Equestrian Staff for their training sessions. As we see camp shaping up, it only heightens our anticipation for the start of the 2011 season, when the entire Laurel South family will be reunited on the beautiful shores of Crescent Lake! We can’t wait to see everyone soon.
What do celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Aniston, Brody Jenner, Matt Damon, and Kate Hudson have in common? They’ve all fallen victim to the latest craze in water sports and fitness: Paddle Boarding. Paddle Boarding combines the tranquility of being on open water with the benefits of an incredible full-body work out that especially targets the core. The origins of Paddle Boarding, or Stand up Paddle Surfing (SUP), are ancient. Hawaiian kings have been practicing Ku Hoe He’e Nalu (to stand, to paddle, to surf, a wave) for hundreds of years. In the 1960s, Hawaiian surf instructors began using Paddle Boards in order to watch over large groups of students at one time. Not long after, surfing legends such as Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama started to take up SUP as a way to train when the waves were not high enough for surfing. Today, Paddle Boarding has been gaining popularity at breakneck speeds as celebrities, fitness gurus, surfers and countless others have touted its tremendous benefits.
One of the great things about SUP is that, unlike surfing, it is extremely easy to learn. Most Paddle Boarders become very comfortable standing on their board within an hour of getting on the water. SUP also has incredible versatility. You can think of it as either a competitive racing sport, a great workout, or a peaceful way to experience nature. Lately, Yoga on Paddle Boards has even been gaining in popularity. No matter what you’re interested in, Paddle Boarding is a fun and exciting activity that people of all ages should experience. This summer, Laurel South is adding Paddle Boarding on Crescent Lake as a new activity that we’re very excited about. Try it out, you’ll fall in love!
Our incredible pre-camp crew has begun the process of readying Laurel South for another amazing summer. Our crew of 30 counselors has been here for almost a week and they’re hard at work cleaning, painting, raking, mowing, moving, weedwacking and more. We’re excited about the new girls’ cabin on hillside – Robins. It looks awesome. The newly lit North Field will create a buzz about evening programs and special events, and our extended Equestrian Center will make our riding program better than ever!
In just two weeks our entire staff will be here for our week-long Orientation. We can’t wait to see all of our returning counselors and are so excited to have our fabulous new staff members join the Laurel South family. Of course, we are most pumped for Camper Arrival Day, which is just 3 short weeks away! We hope you have a great end to school, and we can’t wait to see you soon. As always, it’s a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!