Archive for May, 2014

Happy, Healthy and Moving

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Staff Gaga Ball...Practicing Best Practice!

Just yesterday, there was a piece on NPR that basically said our teenagers are getting fatter.  Based on the nation’s recognition of the childhood obesity epidemic and PSA’s from the NFL, the First Lady, and a wide variety of Sesame Street characters, our kids should be moving more right?

Maybe.

As the pendulum has swung, and children have been spending less and less time outdoors (this generation has spent less time in the outdoors than any generation in human history)—I will posit—that they have actually FORGOTTEN how to play.

During a recent training session with the High Trails Ridge Leaders, we actually had to look up the rules to “Kick the Can” (granted, it was because there were competing theories…and we realized it is a much easier game to play in an urban environment where there are a lot of cars and basement stairwells to hide in).  Active play has been endangered by hyper-vigilant playground monitors, fear of strangers, children’s access to and us of technology, and a lack of adults who model outdoor play.

Yet, at camp, all of that changes.  Kids walk everywhere.  They hike, they bike, they look at the stars instead of screens, they carry saddles long distances (ask any Sanborn Junior camper what is the hardest thing they do at camp and it is carrying those gigantic, awkward saddles).  It isn’t hazing, it is helping—we help these campers recognize the potential of their bodies.

Our staff are wildly active—pick-up Frisbee games after every meal, Gaga ball, riding bikes to commute to work, walking up and down the High Trails hill and back and forth from the ridges to the lodge and all of these crazy games.  During our afternoon training, our comprehensive pack-packing clinic was a bit rushed because we couldn’t stop playing games (my new personal favorite is a tag game where everyone is trying to tag everyone on the backs of their knees, and when the person who tagged you gets out, then you are back in again…ran and laughed so hard I thought I was going to throw up…which was NOT an unpleasant feeling in this case).

Adults love to run and play, too, and when we model it for our own children, students and campers…AND TEENS, we WILL help the pendulum shift back to an understanding that play might be the job of childhood, but it is a requirement of of healthy, happy adulthood, too.

News from Camp: May 1, 2014

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

The Big Spring Field is looking green enough to play in! We can't wait for the campers and staff to come join us in our games!

May is a busy, exciting month here at camp.  In a week or so, the tents will go up along the Big Spring ridges, after, of course, the annual ritual of repainting them.  All the Big Spring buildings will be opened up, cleaned, and prepared for summer. All of STUW Ridge has new tent frames this year, and the ABC washhouses have been renovated.

At High Trails, the cabins and Lodge are already open, but everything will be cleaned and given a fresh coat of paint. In addition we will put up tennis nets, order crafts supplies, organize the backpacking tents, and put the final touches on all of our facilities and programs.  The Lodge office will have a whole new look and we have built a brand new campfire circle.  Both camps have a fun new field game called “9 Square in the Air”.
Maren, Jaime, and Bryan will bring in the horses from the pastures at Fish Creek and get them fixed up with new shoes for all the great rides this summer.  There are plenty of things to keep us busy, and everyone is excited about these projects because they mean that a new season of camp is almost here!
The Aspen are showing catkins now and we’ll begin to see the first leaves later in the month; the bluebirds and robins are back, and a herd of deer has been hanging around Big Spring and High Trails.  The Pasque Flowers have already bloomed and it won’t be long before we begin to see Indian Paintbrush and the spectacular wild Iris in the field in front of the Witcher house.  The first hummingbird has been sighted and a couple of porcupines have been seen lumbering along the road at night.
Late this month, we will begin staff training for our ridge leaders and trip leaders.  During the weekend after Memorial Day (not a holiday here) we will do a leadership training with our Ridge Leaders and Wranglers.  On Monday and Tuesday, any members of our leadership staff who do not have current certification in Wilderness First Aid will take that class taught by instructors from the Wilderness Medicine Institute.  On Wednesday, we’ll be providing more first aid instruction and a full day of driver training. On Thursday, June 5, our entire staff will arrive for a 10-day training period before the first campers arrive.  And on June 15, first term campers arrive and we’ll be off…
We are still accepting enrollments in some age groups in the Second Term at Big Spring, so let us know if you are interested in receiving our brochure and DVD.  Summer—2014 promises to be a fantastic experience for everyone!

May is a busy, exciting month here at camp.  In a week or so, the tents will go up along the Big Spring ridges, after, of course, the annual ritual of repainting them.  All the Big Spring buildings will be opened up, cleaned, and prepared for summer. All of STUW Ridge has new tent frames this year, and the ABC washhouses have been renovated.
At High Trails, the cabins and Lodge are already open, but everything will be cleaned and given a fresh coat of paint. In addition we will put up tennis nets, order crafts supplies, organize the backpacking tents, and put the final touches on all of our facilities and programs.  The Lodge office will have a whole new look and we have built a brand new campfire circle.  Both camps have a fun new field game called “9 Square in the Air”.
Maren, Jaime, and Bryan will bring in the horses from the pastures at Fish Creek and get them fixed up with new shoes for all the great rides this summer.  There are plenty of things to keep us busy, and everyone is excited about these projects because they mean that a new season of camp is almost here!
The Aspen are showing catkins now and we’ll begin to see the first leaves later in the month; the bluebirds and robins are back, and a herd of deer has been hanging around Big Spring and High Trails.  The Pasque Flowers have already bloomed and it won’t be long before we begin to see Indian Paintbrush and the spectacular wild Iris in the field in front of the Witcher house.  The first hummingbird has been sighted and a couple of porcupines have been seen lumbering along the road at night.
Late this month, we will begin staff training for our ridge leaders and trip leaders.  During the weekend after Memorial Day (not a holiday here) we will do a leadership training with our Ridge Leaders and Wranglers.  On Monday and Tuesday, any members of our leadership staff who do not have current certification in Wilderness First Aid will take that class taught by instructors from the Wilderness Medicine Institute.  On Wednesday, we’ll be providing more first aid instruction and a full day of driver training. On Thursday, June 5, our entire staff will arrive for a 10-day training period before the first campers arrive.  And on June 15, first term campers arrive and we’ll be off…
We are still accepting enrollments in some age groups in the Second Term at Big Spring, so let us know if you are interested in receiving our brochure and DVD.  Summer—2014 promises to be a fantastic experience for everyone!