On Spinners & Slime: Surviving the Latest Kid Trends:

If your life includes teaching or parenting middle schoolers, you’re probably aware of these popular tween obsessions—slime, fidget spinners, and water bottle flipping. Whether you’re getting a break from these trends or about to start dealing with them in your camps and classes this summer, here are some of the pitfalls and payoffs of these crazes, according to these news articles: Continue reading

Promote Kids’ Health with Global Running Day & Get Outdoors Day

How many times as a kid did your mother or caregiver urge you outside because you needed to “run off some energy” or “get the wiggles out” or “soak up some good, old-fashioned sunshine”? (Sure, she also wanted you out of her hair for a while, but that’s beside the point.)

On the heels of Mother’s Day, I’m realizing that many of us believe fresh air and exercise are good for us because our mothers told us so—not just because of all the research studies we’ve read that indicate kids’ playtime in green outdoor spaces reduces symptoms of attention disorders and improves results on standardized tests.1

Continue reading

Do This Now: The Best Last-Minute Marketing Tactic for Summer Programs

How & Why To Make a Selfie Video

May is your last chance for a quick promotion to fill capacities for your summer programs. If you’ve still got room for more registrations, here’s an easy, cheap, last-minute marketing idea: Create a short, selfie video like the one below.

Even if it’s not your favorite medium, there’s no denying the power of video. By 2019 experts say that video will represent more than 80% of all internet traffic; for the U.S. it will be more than 85%.1 Continue reading

Earth Day is BIG. How Will You Commemorate?

More than 1 billion people will participate in Earth Day 2017 on April 22, now the largest civic observance in the world.1 With your collective interests in the health and wellness of young people, nature, and the community, many of you care deeply about environmental issues. But whether you’re a tree-hugger or not, Earth Day is a great opportunity to connect with your tribe, which most definitely includes lovers of Green. Here are some last-minute ideas: Continue reading

National Single Parent Day: 6 Ways to Make Participation More Doable

Tyra Damm was widowed in 2009 when her husband Steve died of a cancerous brain tumor at 40 years old. Since the time of his diagnosis, Tyra has written a beautiful and penetrating blog about their journey as a family, including her transition to single parenthood. She also writes related columns for The Dallas Morning News.

Since today is National Single Parent Day, we called on Tyra to share some practical ideas about how camp and class directors could broaden their reach to children of single parents. Continue reading

Father Knows Best: Stories of Love at Camp Part 3

If you’re just joining our Valentine’s Week tribute to love stories that began at camp, be sure to read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Meet Josh & Rosie Bogard

Josh Bogard has been an overnight camper for 30 years – first as a camper and now as Head Boys Counselor at Iroquois Springs in New York. Every summer as a child, the night before Josh’s 8-week adventure, his father repeated these words:

“Be nice to all of the girls because you never know who you’ll meet.  Remember, I met your mother at camp.” Continue reading

More than Skin Deep: Stories of Love at Camp Part 2

Today’s Valentine’s Week tribute to married couples who met at camp starts with 2 stories from the same camp: Camp CILCA in Cantrell, Illinois. Love for these two couples blossomed from seeds of faith and friendship at this Lutheran overnight camp. They say the ups and downs of camp make it the perfect place to test a relationship and deepen a romance. Continue reading