The Twitter hashtag #gno stands for “Girls (& Guys!) Night Out”. Once you are on Twitter, do a search on the hashtags #gno and #sanborncamps to join the chat or follow the chat and tweet using Tweetgrid. This promises to be a very informative, fun conversation with folks from all over the country. It will get you pumped up to get your whole family outside this weekend (and maybe even tomorrow morning) as well as give you information about the importance of play, summer camp, the Children in Nature movement, educational trends, and much, much more!
As some additional motivation to stop by, Sanborn Western Camps is giving away a full Sanborn Junior tuition (or a 1/2 tuition for the full term) for summer 2012 or 2013, based on availability. Visit momitforward.com for more details on how to enter.
We wanted to take a moment to thank all of our panelists for tonight’s #gno party. They are incredible people to follow on Twitter and in the blogosphere. We look forward to their insights and contributions during tonight’s event. Play on!
Our tremendous panelists include:
@acacamps The American Camp Association (formerly known as the American Camping Association) is a community of camp professionals who, for nearly 100 years, have joined together to share our knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. Because of our diverse 7,000 plus membership and our exceptional programs, children and adults have the opportunity to learn powerful lessons in community, character-building, skill development, and healthy living — lessons that can be learned nowhere else. Dawn Swindle, head of ACA Publications (both print and web) will be tweeting using @acacamps and also @acacampparents during tonight’s #gno Twitter party. With her years at ACA, and as a long time camp professional, Dawn is a great resource for parents and camp professionals alike. Learn more about ACA and their rigorous camp accreditation process by visiting www.acacamps.org.
@acacampparents CampParents.org is a comprehensive summer camp resource for families—offering expert advice from camp professionals on camp selection, readiness, child and youth development, and issues of importance to families. ACA helps you find the right camp for every child. Learn more about ACA and use the impressive camp finder tool at www.campparents.org.
@activekidsclub Kari Svenneby is not a professional tree hugger, though she is a proud wildcrafter and self-proclaimed “Polar Bear Mother.” She is an urban mother, librarian and classically trained chef championing the benefits exposure to nature gives children. She is so passionate about getting kids outside, Kari made it is her business. When looking for inspirational ideas about the natural world in magazines and online she found very little. Her passion turned into a business idea. She has set out to make an exciting website connecting children with nature for adults and kids. Thus activekidsclub.com was born. Kari is a “love refuge” from Norway who speaks 6 languages, and her posts and tweets offer a unique cultural perspective on natural play that are not to be missed.
@banteringblonde Fiona Bryan is a techno-goddess. She blogs about social media and all things “banter-worthy” at Banteringblonde.com, was a 2009 Top #50 Tweeple on PRSarahEvans.com, and writes regularly for the popular blog Technorati. Her passion for motivating and empowering women to be positive role models for their families led her to found MomActive in early 2009. Momactive is a multi-media outreach initiative that includes a weekly Blog Talk Radio program, MomTV live stream video program, and the MomActive.com community and blog. Fiona hope to check off a bucket item list sometime this spring when she takes a trip down The Nature Place’s zipline with her friend, Ariella Rogge from @sanborncamps. As a former camper and current Director of Marketing and Public Relations for New England Music Camp (@nemusiccamp), Fiona appreciates and understands the growth and wisdom that comes from a summer camp experience.
@ChildrenNature The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children with nature. The network provides a critical link between researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children’s health and well-being. Typically hosted by Suz Lipman ( see below for more info about @slowfamily) who is a writer, blogger at www.slowfamilyonline.com, soapcrafter, jammaker, hiker, retro-enthusiast, and who claims she will work for peace, justice & cheese. For @ChildrenNature, Suz shares incredible information, research, and cutting edge ideas with parents, educators, researchers, camps and like-minded organizations who are passionate about getting kids outdoors.
@GoExploreNature Debi Huang is a Los Angeles-based wife, mom and adventure guide for two young boys. Her blog, Go Explore Nature, is a place for her to share her family’s nature adventures. She hopes to inspire you to get your family outside, too. She has weekly reviews of nature adventures (her recent holiday beach trip was a favorite of the frigid mountain set); she also shares stories, inspirations and lessons learned from nature; and she has THE cure for the #FF blues: “Fun Friday” activities that feature simple ways to connect your kids with the natural world (reader favorites include a winter scavenger hunt and taking a color walk.) She is a prolific blogger and an anchor in the Children in Nature movement. But our favorite thing about Debi? She has been writing letters (REAL MAIL!!) to her Big Explorer and Little Explorer since before they were born.
@hoo_dee_hoo Meredith Sinclair is a Chicago-land mother hung up her teacher hat after having kids, started a blog to “find” her writing voice, and now writes and vlog on her own site and Chicagoparent.com about daily life as a full-time mom of two young boys and the challenge of maintaining her vengeful girlie side in a home fueled by undistilled testosterone. She believes PLAYtime is vital to our health and well being…not to mention it makes us all WAY less grumpy…however, if you ARE feeling grumpy, you should just take a moment to watch Meredith talk about the game Pajaggle in her Holiday Play-list post. Her enthusiasm, and great ideas, are contagious!
@ImaginationSoup Melissa Taylor is a freelance writer, an award winning educational blogger at ImaginationSoup.net, an award winning teacher with a M.A. in Education, the Book Editor-at-Large for Colorado Parent Magazine and a parent of two children, ages 5 and 8. As a teacher, she won Outstanding Teacher in Douglas County Schools. She worked or the non-profit P.E.B.C. as an instructional coach and trainer and hosted groups of teachers in her classroom for learning labs. Taylor understands instruction, literacy, assessment, differentiation, learning styles, multiple intelligences, learning disabilities and curriculum. Taylor hopes Imagination Soup will gives parents plenty of ideas to keep their kids learning every day…mostly by keeping learning fun and playful!
@JylMomIF Jyl Johnson Pattee lives, works, and breathes a special kind of magic. As the founder of MomItForward.com, Jyl combines a passion for communication and people, and she launched the site in 2008 with the mission to “change the world one mom at a time.” We think the concept is a perfect use for value-added social media (and a great metaphor for human relations all the way around)—great ideas are TOO great not to be shared. She is THE hostess of the weekly #gno parties on Twitter, which started in September 2008. Jyl is known as a “connector” who brings good ideas and people together both on and offline to make a positive impact for causes and brands through education and sharing of experiences. Jyl is also a tremendous mother to two active boys, an intrepid traveler, the creator of the EVO conference, a wonderful writer, an occasionally irreverent wife to Troy, and a great friend to any parent online. Please take the time to visit her and learn more about Jyl, the EVO conference, the Mom It Forward movement, #gno and much, much more at www.momitforward.com.
@kaboom KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this play deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 89,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.
@sanborncamps Ariella Rogge, Program Director/Assistant Director/Outdoor (and indoor) Educator/Social Media Junkie/Mom of Two Boy Wonders/Toilet Plunger, manages the @sanborncamps Twitter account both day (and more consistently) by night. Ariella has been involved in some capacity (see “Toilet Plunger”) at Sanborn Western Camps since she was 12. She is a true believer in the transformational power of the camp experience for all children because for her, like Richard Louv (author of “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder) says, “The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.” She would love to answer any questions you might have about summer camp (or help direct you to the right person!)—either at Sanborn or anywhere else—feel free to email her at ariella at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.
@slowfamily “Slow down. Enjoy lost arts and each other. Trade frenzy for fun.” Suz Lipman’s About Slow Family page is about as far from a traditional bio as one can get…and that is exactly as it should be. Conceived to connect to that part of ourselves and our families that somehow got lost in the shuffle of our busy lives, the Slow Movement speaks to all of us who have had enough: “Enough” to super-parenting and consumerism and running around (“racing to yoga”, as it were) and not being happy anyway. As Suz says, the Slow Movement is really about having more fun. It’s also about being authentic, deciding what’s really important, restoring a sense of wonder, appreciating and helping one other, and taking time to enjoy and honor life’s simple pleasures in the relatively short time we’re all here together. Amen to that!
@TroyPattee Troy Pattee is a Man Among Women. Troy is THE “G” in #GNO. Troy’s wife, Jyl, founded the Twitter #GNO (Girls Night Out) party—and has brought her affable “Guy” with her to every event. @sanborncamps first connected on Twitter with Troy—and later with Jyl—because he has an unnerving propensity to be skiing EXACTLY when we wish WE were skiing (and, we’ll admit it, sometimes the snow IS better in Utah). Troy has a fabulous blog called Dadventurous.com where he will be sharing tales and adventures with other like minded dads…and—knowing Troy–probably moms, too. Check out the blog at www.dadventurous.com and hang with him during the weekly Tuesday night #gno Twitter parties.
@windycitymomma Renee Keats is an urban mom living in the suburbs who defies classification, writes thoughtful blog posts about her adventures in (and out) of her neighborhood (which she calls Utopia/Pleasantville) that can be found at Windy City Momma. She lives in Pleasantville with her husband, daughter (K), and a wickedly funny cat named Sabine who has changed family dog’s (Maya) name to “Beast.” She loves having green space, growing a mostly organic garden and quotes from John Hughes movies almost as much as a circa 1987 Big Spring camper.