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34 minutes | 2 days ago
From COVID to Camp: Preparing Kids (and Parents) for a Great Summer
After months of COVID lockdowns and social distancing, our kids (and parents!) need summer camp like no other time in recent memory. And, while we are all excited about heading to camp, we’ve got to be honest about the rise in anxiety and intentional on how we handle it. Mental Health Counselor and summer camp veteran Rikki Goldenberg is around the campfire to help.
23 minutes | 13 days ago
The idea behind this podcast is to shine a light on those lessons learned at summer camp and figure out how we can apply them in our lives going forward. I hope you’ll enjoy what you hear and put these ideas to work in your life back home. From the outside looking in, I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought summer camp was a pretty insular place. The camp spirit at each camp is very high. The traditions are unique. The staff are fully engaged with how we do it. In fact, you’ll often hear new staff members say ‘Well, at my camp, we used to….’ While each summer camp certainly has many reasons for their kids and staff to think only about themselves, every great camp I know helps to develop generosity, altruism and servant leadership among their campers and staff members. During these hard times in the US and around the world, I thought it would be fun to explore how camp has helped one young person reach out and give back to his community. JT Richman is a rising 8th grader from NY, a great big brother to Robbie and Viv, and a fantastic example of someone who, because of camp, wants to give back.
23 minutes | 8 months ago
A Covid Camp Director
Cole spends some time around the campfire talking about what it's been like being a Camp Director in the time of a pandemic.
38 minutes | 8 months ago
Happy Campers Back Home
We all know the power of camp: the fun, activities we have a hard time re-creating at home, and the joy of learning something new. While many camps have closed for this summer, Happy Camper Live has become a great way to keep the spirit of camp going for kids all across the country. Join me, Allison Miller and Steve Slavkin to learn how we can literally bring camp home this summer.
38 minutes | 8 months ago
Council of Dads
After chatting with the moms last week, it's time for the dads to get into the action this week. Tune in as we assemble the "Council of Dads" to talk about how summer camp makes better Dads.
41 minutes | 9 months ago
What Moms Can Learn from Camp
Camp teaches a lot of great lessons to kids and staff. And, it teaches us parents as well. I thought it would be fun and instructive to find out how camp has shaped the parenting styles of three great moms with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working for many years.
33 minutes | 9 months ago
The Power of Mentorship
Summer camp serves as a launching point for so many people. Thankfully, it’s helped a large number of staff and campers alike become professional helpers as mentors and teachers. LaDarrius Calvin, Vice President of Boy II Men in Indianapolis, IN, spends some time talking about the magic of summer camp the power of mentorship.
39 minutes | 9 months ago
Lessons of the Past, Inspiration for the Future
For the first time in my professional life, I have some concerns about summer camp opening. It’s not what I want to even think about. However, as Mr. Rogers used to say, if it’s human, it’s mentionable. And, if it’s mentionable, it’s manageable. Like many other cultural institutions, summer camp has been greatly affected by Covid-19. Thankfully, there are a number of wonderful resources helping us learn more and devine a future forward. Whether it’s the actions of the American Camp Association national office, our local ACA offices, the Jewish Federation of Camps, our local Department of Health offices: they are doing their all to determine a safe path forward. The other resource we have are those who have lived through something similar. When all this starting happening, one of the first people I thought of was Bobby Harris, the longtime camp director of URJ Camp Coleman. While Bobby has been in camping a little while longer than I have, we’ve got a lot of connections: time spent in Boston, experiences helping to lead multiple camps and the virus that brought originally together 12 years ago. Heck, he’s even got one of our former campers playing guitar on the welcome page of his website! This is a perfect time to learn from past and take inspiration for the future. Bobby Harris is the right camp director to provide both. I hope you’ll enjoy this conversation with my friend, Bobby Harris.
35 minutes | 9 months ago
China, Camp & Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us we are all – everyone on earth – are neighbors dealing with the same situation. We get a perspective on camp and Covid-19 from China with my friends Marco Reyes and Mike Lewis of the YMCE Group. If you’d like a window into their experience, I hope you’ll take a few moments to listen.
40 minutes | 10 months ago
Simple Steps to Organization & Accountability
Ever felt overwhelmed with too many things to do and not enough time? Ever have that organizational system you thought would fix everything simply add more work? We are all feeling this way now with our normal lives turned upside down. Diana Bloom, camp pro, twin-parent, and accountability consultant can help!
39 minutes | 10 months ago
High Achieving Learners and Attitude with Lindsay Boccardo
The idea of achievement is not new but the stress surrounding achievement these days often leads to burnout. These days, with our newly added stressors and uncertainty, we hoped that Lindsay Boccardo, generational coach, would give us insight into high achieving learners, their relationship with burnout, and how a shift in attitude may be the difference in living a life that’s just successful and a life that’s joyful and successful. Take a listen to see what easy and actionable steps Lindsay shares to help all of us find ways to be high achievers who are also kind to themselves and ultimately, others.
34 minutes | 10 months ago
Coronavirus and Continuing Education in Summer Camp
Yes, it’s a big issue facing all of us, even those in the summer camp industry. The good news: most camps still have a long time before we open. Co-hosts Scrappy Stassen and Cole Kelly discuss how the camp industry is approaching this summer and everything else they learned at this year’s ACA Tri-State Conference.
47 minutes | 10 months ago
The Benefits of Being Outdoors with Ruby Compton
Getting outdoors makes us better people. Sometimes we ignore the evidence that supports this idea because getting outside feels like another thing on a to-do list. On this episode of Campfire Conversations, Ruby Compton shares with us why we need to make the time to leave our offices, classrooms, homes, and cars to reconnect with nature, and she gives us some tips on how to do just that. We hope you’ll give this a listen, preferably on a walk outside, and then learn some more about Ruby by visiting her website, rubyoutdoors.com
48 minutes | a year ago
Teach Me to Lead with Professor Dave Malter
There is no better leadership learning lab for young people than summer camp. The opportunities to lead are widely available as are the lessons from watching near-peers lead themselves and others. Professor Dave Malter is around the campfire talking about ways in which camp develops leadership and how we can instill more of those lessons back home.
52 minutes | a year ago
PLAY! It’s Good for Everyone with Michael Brandwein
We all need more playfulness in our lives. As kids, and especially at camp, we play a bunch, whether it’s in the dining hall, the fields, around the craft tables or elsewhere. That play is instrumental in building positive outcomes for kids and adults in physical, emotional, and social ways. Michael Brandwein, one of the most well-known experts in education and youth development in the US, has a lot to say about the positive impact of play and how we can incorporate more of it back home. You can get his newest book, Growing Great Qualities in Kids, here. Enjoy!
43 minutes | a year ago
Campocalypse: The Future of Summer Camp with Dr. Chris Thurber
Change is all around us, whether you are at summer camp or not and questions abound: will cyborgs take over camp? Will camps have to become resource independent? Will our minds become unhinged? Take a moment to listen to Dr. Chris Thurber talk through these ideas in the (very!) optimistic backdrop of summer camp.
32 minutes | a year ago
Tradition & Ritual at Summer Camp with Dr. Elizabeth Corey
The composer Gustav Mahler said “tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” These words echo importantly at summer camp. Dr. Elizabeth Corey has spent a lot of time thinking and writing about the importance and challenges of traditions and how they help us both at summer camp and at home. Enjoy!
44 minutes | a year ago
Becoming Our Best Selves with Steve Nugent
We all want to live our best selves and figure out ways to help others do the same. Steve Nugent, a former NCAA Division I head coach and awesome camp guy has been thinking about this very idea for decades. Want to bring out the best in your people? Pull up a log, grab a s’more, and tuck in.
36 minutes | a year ago
Comfort Zones and Camp with Beth Goldstein
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Beth Goldstein for my entire career in camping. When Kate and I took the reins at Camp Wicosuta, a wonderful girls camp in NH, we spent a lot of time with many referral agents. Beth, who focuses on helping families in the Philadelphia and NYC area find a great summer camp fit, was very helpful to us. By visiting a wide variety of camps each summer and working with a number of unique families, Beth has an valuable vantage point on the Summer Camp world. When we spoke recently, the idea of comfort zones came up along with an article that left her smiling and shaking her head a bit. It was too good an opportunity to pass up for me to get Beth around the campfire.
39 minutes | a year ago
Camp, Curiosity, and Grief with Dr. Dan Wolfson
There are very few spaces in our world that combines joy and friendship, anxiety and challenge in a more fruitful way than camp. Dr. Dan Wolfson, a clinical psychologist with a great deal of summer camp experience, has combined his love of camp and his practical work to help his clients (and us) better understand our relationships, our anxieties, and our grief.
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