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  • Posts found under: Summer Camp Archives |

    Making the Transition from Day Camp to Sleepaway Camp

    It’s that time of the year again when making summer plans jumps to the forefront of all of our minds. Although the thought of falling into the same day camp routine as last summer might seem tempting, for many families, it is time to consider sending the kids to sleepaway camp. Sleepaway camp provides opportunities for campers to gain independence, build interpersonal skills, and explore new interests.  Although day camp provides campers with fun and fulfilling summers, there is no comparison to the happiness and friendships that sleepaway camp can bring a child.  After a few summers at day camp, sleepaway camp is a natural progression for children.  While choosing sleepaway camp this summer might seem like a huge change, there are some steps you and your camper can take to make sure that the transition is easy for the whole family.

    Include your camper in the decision-making process

    Although you might be the chief decision maker, making your child feel like they are part of the discussion around camp can help to shape a positive attitude around their summer plans. Giving kids some say in their destiny helps children to take ownership for the decision to transition to sleepaway and can make a child more confident going into camp. Let your child weigh in pros and cons of sleepaway and day camp options and validate any worries they have about changing their summer routine. Be sure to research some camps in advance so you can highlight activities and events at your child’s potential sleepaway camp that will pique their interest and get them counting down the days until summer!

    Plan some sleepovers

    Practice makes perfect- and that is certainly the case when preparing your child for sleepaway camp.  Give your child lots of opportunities to “practice” for heading off to camp by scheduling some sleepovers at a friend or family member’s house.  Having your child spend a few nights away from home before camp can help them to become more comfortable with the idea of being away from their own bed for a portion of the summer.

    Talk to the experts

    Camps are well-trained in easing the transition for first-time campers.  Camp directors and counselors alike have had plenty of experience helping children from all walks of life settle into the residential camp life, so rest assured that your camper will be in good hands.  Contact your camp staff and let them know that your camper is leaving home for the first time and inform them of any concerns that you and your camper have.  Many camps can arrange to have you meet up with other campers or counselors prior to heading off to camp so your child has a familiar face to look out for once they arrive at camp.

    Don’t make camp an either/or

    If your camper loved their day camp (there’s plenty to love at day camp!), be sure to let your camper know that going to sleepaway camp isn’t necessarily taking their beloved day camp’s place.  Let your camper know that, like day camp, sleepaway camp is a great experience that they have the opportunity to try, and that doesn’t mean that it is replacing their tried and true day camp indefinitely.  If it fits into your summer schedule and your budget, you might consider enrolling your child in both day camp and sleepaway camp so they can have the best of both worlds.  Once campers experience the joy of residential camp, they’ll be too excited to even think about their previous camp!

    Expect the best

    In most cases, the transition to sleepaway is over before it even begins.  Once your child gets to camp, they will likely be swept up into the excitement of new activities and the opportunity to make new friends.  The majority of campers hit the ground running and acclimate to camp with ease. Expect the transition to go smoothly and make sure your camper knows that you have confidence in them. A confident camper is a happy camper!

    The decision to transition to sleepaway camp is a big one but one that you won’t regret.  In many cases, the transition is more difficult on parents than it is on children, so take a deep breath and rest assured that your camper is going to be just fine.  With a little preparation and a positive attitude, sending your child off to summer camp will go off without a hitch!

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    Why Summer Camp Is Worth Every Penny

    It’s the beginning of the year and a time that typically inspires introspection. Is it a good time for a career change? Should we have another child? Is it time to up-size or downsize the homestead? And yes, is summer camp worth the cost? While we cannot help you decide if you should relocate or start a new career, we can outline our case for yes, Summer Camp Is Worth Every Penny!

    Whether you’re an old pro at sending your child to summer camp, or brand new to the idea, here are but a few reasons why it is well worth it:

    Friends

    Your child WILL make friends at summer camp! At the end of each summer, my daughter would become very anxious about the upcoming school year, always wanting to know who would be in her class, would she see old friends, who would she sit with at lunch, will the teacher like her. Summer camp taught her how to make friends, and eased her social anxieties long after camp ended.

    Social Media/Cell Phones

    I don’t particularly care for the term social media as there doesn’t seem to be much socializing going on. Every parent recognizes the safety-net cell phones provide for our children these days. It’s tough to strike a balance between being able to get in touch with your child at the drop of a hat, and all the other ‘social media-ing’ that goes on with kids and their phones. Camp is the perfect place and time for disconnecting. When not dependent on their phones, children engage with each other in real settings, enjoying real life experiences.

    Real Life Experiences

    Experiences! Think about it. Not reading about doing something, or watching a video about doing something, or seeing pictures of others doing something, but actually doing something and being engaged in the moment. Whether it’s learning to barrel jump in the equine arena, sailing atop the lake on a wave runner, star gazing in a sleeping bag on the ground, or finally mastering that backflip on the trampoline, camp is the perfect place to make friends and to learn new skills, and thus, developing independence.

    Independence

    As parents, we strive to protect our children all the time, from everything. To our own detriment, and at our own expense, we would gladly take every disappointment and hardship away from them if we could. Even at 22 and 30 years of age, I still worry about my children’s safety and happiness. It is, however, inevitable. Our children will become adults. They will become independent of us. How are they to know how to act, or which decisions are good ones, when they are away from us if we never allow them to be away from us? Camp is the perfect place for children to be safely away from home.

    New places, new people, new activities, new skills, living it up in the great outdoors, getting pushed from comfort zones, making decisions, and reaping rewards from all of this, camp is a safe and nurturing environment like no other. An invaluable experience overall.

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    Why Parents Should Send Their Kids To Camp

    Choosing a camp for your child is a very important decision, and it’s one that we don’t take lightly at Canyon Creek. Parents browse hundreds of camp websites, carefully selecting camps that appeal to their child’s interests. All of this work can often leave the parent (and camper!) unsure of which camp to choose. This is why word of mouth is such a vital aspect to the growth of a camp, and is one of the biggest reasons why we have seen such a large growth at CCSC.

    Parents are great at finding information to help guide their decision, but hearing personal stories and testimonials are key in helping make the final choice of a camp. Don’t want to take our word for it? Great! Take the word of some of our parents! 🙂

    • “My son’s first camp experience was everything that we could have hoped for. He had a great time and cannot wait to go back!”

    • “My child can’t wait to go back to camp. Every day she keeps talking about her canyon creek experiences (she calls it her happy place). She comes back from camp with so much confidence, enthusiasm, and lifelong friendships. She literally counts the days until next summer.”

    • “Canyon Creek is my daughter’s happy place! She counts down all year until she can get back there to be with her friends and get on that lake!”

    • “I love Canyon Creek, I feel at home and Family and Respect does come home with me, it’s one of my favorite places on earth, I feel purified and I feel like myself.”

    • “We love CCSC! Our family completely trusts that our daughter will have not only have an awesome time at camp but will be safe and happy during her time up at the Creek!”

    • “My son loved the huge variety of activities, from Scuba to yoga to the weekly lake trips. But what really blew me away is how invested the directors are in the success of every camper. Canyon Creek has so much heart.”

    • “Canyon Creek is my daughter’s favorite summer place to be! She absolutely LOVES it! “It is fun and the counselors are superb!” We love everything from the T-shirts (which she wears daily) to the Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and all the great times in-between! • Canyon Creek brings out the best in your child. Finds strengths you didn’t even know they had.”

    • “CCSC is my happy place in the summer”

    • “Benjamin began attending Canyon Creek Summer Camp in 2013 at age 9. He attended a 2-week session that first year and has built up to staying at camp for six weeks each summer, including participating in the NBA All-Star Basketball Camp for three years! Benjamin found a place where he can be himself, is becoming independent, tries new activities and continually increases his confidence. There isn’t an activity at camp that he doesn’t love and he truly considers Canyon Creek to be his “home away from home.” Benjamin gets excited when he talks about all the wonderful counselors he’s had over the years and is counting down the days until he is old enough to become a CIT, then a counselor and someday becoming Camp Director. Thank you CCSC for making Benjamin’s summers an experience he’ll always remember!”

    At camp we are often so caught up in the moment, that it’s tough for us to take a second to appreciate the amazing things that we accomplish every summer. That’s why getting testimonials from our parents is so rewarding for us. Testimonials are a collection of personal affirmations on why camp matters, and to us, there’s no better thing!

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    25 Things We Will Miss About Summer

    img_1031-2 As the leaves begin to change colors and the weather gets a little chillier, we can’t help but think of summer and all of the amazing things we miss already. We thought what better way to help us get through these winter months than to think of 25 things we will miss about Summer Seventeen.

    1. Tournament
    2. Lake Days
    3. Chill Campfire
    4. Campfire
    5. Night Activities
    6. Trying to make it through the haunted house without screaming
    7. Jet Hawks Games
    8. Philly Cheesesteaks
    9. Yodi sleeping at the dining hall door
    10. Slurpies at 7/11 (or ice cream at Foster’s Freeze!)
    11. Spin It To Win It (No Whammies!)
    12. Tearing up the minibike track
    13. Go-karts
    14. Double Pool for Free choice
    15. Making the best tie-dye
    16. Breakfast at 9:00 (9:01! 9:01!)
    17. Spending all session long making the perfect friendship bracelet
    18. Dominating the ping pong table in the game room
    19. Water fights at the ropes course
    20. Seeing your tournament team and randomly doing your cheer with them
    21. BIRTHDAY RAVES
    22. Laser Tag
    23. Pizza at the lake!
    24. Building forts with Nature Rob
    25. Getting a hug 3 times a day by Camp Mom Jill

    Now that we made that list, we aren’t too sure if it’s going to help us get through the winter months as much as it’s going to make us wish Summer started RIGHT NOW!  What are things you miss? Let us know!

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    Getting Ready for Camp

    Summer break is just around the corner and campers are counting down the days until they head off to camp.  Before any camper can saddle up for a trail ride or head out to the ropes course, a whole lot of steps have to be taken on the homefront to ensure that they are thoroughly prepared for their summer away.  Getting kids ready for a summer at camp can be a daunting task, but here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you to make sure your camper is well prepared and excited for their adventures at camp.

     

    Do make a packing list

    Most camps send out a packing list, but in the event that you don’t have one, it is a good idea to write out a loose plan of what you intend to pack.  Be sure to pack clothing and shoes that will allow your camper to participate in a wide variety of activities and will allow your child to be confident and comfortable while doing so. Check the camp’s website for any spirit days or events you might want to pack special outfits for. And don’t forget to throw in some sunscreen!

     

    Don’t pack more than is necessary

    Keep in mind that your child will be living in a bunk with several other kids, and the more you pack, the more stuff your child will have to be responsible for.  Packing hundreds of outfits will only result in a messy bunk and likely, a lot of lost clothing.  Don’t pack things that are uncomfortable or that your child doesn’t like to wear.  Keep it simple and when in doubt, less is more!

     

    Do talk to your camper about the possibility of homesickness

    Discussing the possibility of homesickness can help a camper be better prepared to cope if they do indeed find themselves missing home during their time at camp.  Make sure to let your camper know that homesickness is normal and talk through some strategies for handling it.  Keep your conversations positive and encouraging- remind your camper that you are confident in their ability to be successful and how sure you are that they will have a blast at camp.

     

    Don’t expect the worst

    As a parent, you send your kids to camp because you know that your child will learn, grow, and most importantly, have endless amounts of fun, so don’t second guess yourself!  Send your kids to camp full of positivity and your kids will surely get the most out of their summer.  Ditch the “pickup plan” for just in case they don’t like camp. Promising you will pick up your camper if they don’t like camp only works to plant seeds of doubt into your camper’s mind and could cause your kids to head off to camp with unnecessary stress.  Encourage your camper to head into this new experience with an open mind and get them excited about their summer plans.

    Do pack postcards, stationery, and stamps for your camper

    There’s no better way to encourage your kids to communicate with you during their stay at camp than by sending them with some awesome cards that they can’t wait to get writing on.  Help your camper to pick out a pack of stationary or two and get ready for the mail to pour in.  Kids these days don’t usually have a lot of experience with snail mail, so make sure you give your camper a quick review of how to address an envelope. For younger campers, you might opt to send your camper with several pre-addressed and stamped envelopes to help facilitate a smooth letter writing process while away.

     

    Don’t help your camper hide a cell phone in their luggage

    We get it- you are dying to hear from your camper after their first day or two at camp, but helping your child to break camp rules is a recipe for disaster.  Hiding contraband items, like cell phones, in your camper’s luggage will only force your camper to sneak around and could lead to disciplinary action- not an enjoyable way to spend the first days at camp.  Reassure your camper that, despite what they might believe, it is indeed possible to survive a couple of weeks without checking their Snapchat and help them to part ways with their beloved iPhone.

     

    Do make sure to send your camper some positive letters or emails on the first few days of camp

    The first few days of camp can be nerve-wracking for both you and your camper, but sending encouraging messages to your kids can bring some peace of mind to you both.  Tell your camper how excited you are for them and all the opportunities that camp is going to provide them with. Don’t be discouraged if your camper doesn’t respond right away- the first couple of days at camp are especially busy, but we’re sure you’ll hear from your camper in no time.

     

    Don’t fixate on what your camper is missing out on at home

    Life goes on, even when the kids are at camp, but don’t make your kids feel like they are being left out of fun happenings at home.  Instead of telling your camper every detail of what you are doing without them, be conscious of how your camper will feel reading your letters.  Hearing about family events or trips that are taking place while they are away can encourage homesickness, so be sure to keep your letters upbeat.

     

    Going to camp is the opportunity of a lifetime, and getting your kids prepared will make your camper feel confident and excited about their camp adventure.  There is no time like the present to start getting your camper mentally and physically ready for an unforgettable summer so get to packing, building the enthusiasm, and making a game plan for camp because your campers are in for the time of their lives!

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    How Camp Teaches You To Plan Ahead

    A summer of camp means endless fun and memories- but time at camp can also provide you with the opportunity to build important life skills.  One such skill is the ability to plan ahead.  Strong planning abilities are critical for success in school, future jobs, and in the day to day life and it is a skill that is regularly practiced and developed through experiences at camp. Here are a few of the many ways that you can work on your planning skills during your time at camp.

    Pre-camp packing

    Before you even set foot on camp property, your ability to plan ahead is put to the test when you start packing your bags for your stay at camp.  Packing involves planning for a wide range of activities that are available to you at camp to ensure that you have the appropriate clothing and supplies necessary to feel confident and prepared for each camp event.  Packing for camp also carries a great weight with it since as soon as you head to camp, anything that was left at home is no longer accessible- so planning out what and how you will pack is of the utmost importance.  Although you might enlist the help of a parent or other adult while packing for camp, you are the one who directly benefits from smart packing decisions, so pre-camp packing is a great time to start gauging the importance of having strong planning skills.

    Scheduling activities

    Once you make it to camp, you are thrust into a world full of fun and options.  As you decide on what activities you might choose to pursue, you again get the chance to work on planning ahead. While signing up for activities and thinking through your plan for the day or week, you must think about not just the immediate future but also the days and even weeks ahead of you.  Not only are you challenged to make decisions about the types of activities you might wish to pursue, but you also need to think through the logistics of your schedule and how to navigate making the most of your camp experience. Putting in some forethought can save you a lot of stress and time during your time at camp.

    Getting Ready for the Day

    Each and every day at camp is full of fun and excitement from the moment you wake up until the second you close your eyes at night.  Getting the most out of every waking moment at camp requires some planning in order to keep the days running smoothly.  To keep from wasting time and missing out on activities, you often have to plan out your day before you even leave your bunk for breakfast.  Thinking through the clothing requirements for the activities you plan to attend and any special events coming up that day can help you utilize your time well and can get you on your way to being a strong planner.

    Preparing skits and performances

    One of the best parts about being at camp is that there are so many opportunities to showcase your skills and talents.  Whether you are interested in participating in the talent show, putting on a skit for campfire, or simply performing your greatest skills for your bunkmates, planning, and organization is required to ensure that your performance goes without a hitch.  Preparing for shows or skits is a great way to gain time management skills since you will need to find time in your busy days at camp to create your routine, plan any costumes or props, and practice for your big show.  Preparing for skits and shows is also a great way to expand your ability to work with others and can be great practice for engaging in group work and projects at school or in future job settings.

    Planning is a skill that can lead to great success and far less stress in school, daily life, and in future employment opportunities.  With some practice, you could find yourself better prepared to take on school projects, college applications, and whatever else life throws your way. And really, can you think of anywhere better to build you planning skills than surrounded by friends, laughter, and fun at camp?

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    Going to Camp With Your Siblings

    Sibling rivalry might be a fact of life, but one place your kids are sure to find some common ground is at summer camp. At camp, arguments over who got the bigger piece of the cookie or what movie to watch are nothing but distant memories and children are instead able to focus on building confidence, independence, and fostering positive relationships- including those with their brothers or sisters. Every sibling dynamic is different, so every sibling camp experience is equally different, but camp is often a place where sibling relationships can grow and flourish.

    For some siblings, going to camp together carries feelings of excitement and joy. Every step of the camp preparation process- from selecting a camp to packing up the bags and loading the bus- provides opportunities for siblings to come together and share their enthusiasm. While at camp, kids have the chance to spend time together while also finding time to be independent. Many campers carve out a special time to meet up with their sibling each day to catch up on the latest events and share the excitement of the day. Having a sibling at camp means you are sure to have someone cheering you on at the talent show, someone to share your pride with after scoring a goal on the soccer field, and someone to proudly wear the friendship bracelet you have been working on all week. Sharing a camp experience can teach children to appreciate their siblings unlike they ever have previously. Siblings with a positive relationship going into camp are likely to leave camp with a stronger relationship than ever after some time away at camp together.

    For other siblings, the idea of going to camp together may be less endearing. It might seem counter-intuitive to send kids who often argue and fight away to camp together, but camp is the perfect environment for siblings who have a tumultuous relationship. Camp enables children to be as independent or dependent from each other as they choose. At home, a certain amount of “forced togetherness” can create tension between siblings, but at camp, children have the freedom to choose how and with whom they spend their time. When kids gain the ability to hangout and spend sibling time on their own terms, we often find that kids are much more open and willing to build positive relationships with their sisters or brothers. Oftentimes, kids who normally cannot stand to hangout with their little sister or older brother at home actually choose to spend bonding time with their siblings when they head off to camp.

    First time campers often find comfort in knowing that their sibling is accompanying them to camp. Even though campers spend much of their time with other children in their bunk or age group, having a familiar face and someone to check in with at meals and camp events can make being away from home a little easier. The passing hug between activities or special lunch periods that many camper siblings plan together help kids to support each other and build strong sibling bonds that are able to withstand anything that comes their way.

    Regardless of the type and strength of the relationship that siblings share outside of camp, a summer at camp is an experience that provides some common ground for kids to share and build a stronger relationship from. While at camp, your kids will become a part of something special that they have been through together, over which they will able to reminisce over for decades to come. After returning from camp, you might find that your kids suddenly have a lot more in common than they did when they left home- inside jokes, stories of wild camp events, and a little more respect for one another than you ever would have dreamed of before time at camp together.

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    What I Learned About Friendship At Camp

    We all know that California summer camps are a great place to learn how to make friendship bracelets, but camp can also teach you a thing or two about making the friendships themselves. Kids Camp Los Angeles provides campers and counselors with endless opportunities to grow and learn, and one of the most important opportunities that camp provides you with is the ability to meet countless new friends. And while making friends at camp might seem a bit nerve wracking, the friendships that grow from camp are well worth the effort and experience. Of all the important things you can gain from a summer at camp, friendship tops the list. Here are a few of the many lessons to be learned about friendship from your time at camp.

    Everyone is in the same boat

    Regardless of whether you are heading to camp with a bus full of friends or you are making a solo journey to camp, everyone departs on their camp experience with a similar goal in mind – to make new friends. Everyone also feels a little nervous about venturing out to meet new people. Even counselors come to camp each year with butterflies in their stomachs in anxious anticipation of the friends they will make. Once you realize that everyone at camp- both campers and counselors alike- is just as nervous and excited to meet people as you are, you might just realize that you are surrounded by future friends who are ready to get to know you.

    It’s easier than it sounds

    The idea of making friends can seem like a daunting task but once you get down to it, making friends at camp is easier and far less scary than it sounds. While at camp, you are constantly surrounded by potential friends at activities, evening programs, meals, and during bunk time. Each activity period or meal time presents itself as an opportunity to strike up a conversation or work cooperatively with other campers, which are great first steps towards building a friendship. Since camp is a place without the constant interruption of cell phones or computers, there is more time and less distraction to forge genuine bonds with those who surround you. With all of this time dedicated to genuine interaction, it is nearly impossible not to make a few great friends while enjoying your time at this Kids Camp Los Angeles. Making sure the camp is accredited is very important. Canyon Creek is proud to have become accredited by the American Camp Association in its very first year.

    Every friendship is different at Kids Camp Los Angeles

    The friendships you form at camp are as unique as the people you meet at camp. There are literally no two that are quite the same. Campers come from all different walks of life and with very different life experiences that shape their friendships with others. Some friends rely on constant communication and togetherness, whereas other friends find themselves content in giving each other independence and freedom. A friend you meet during your bus ride to Kids Camp Los Angeles will likely lead to a much different friendship than that with a friend you meet in your bunk and choose to spend every waking moment with. Regardless of how a friendship begins or how the relationship is structured, all friendships can bring a whole lot of fun, laughs, and memories. Having diverse friendships can be complex but the reward is immeasurable as each different friendship brings its own benefits and lessons. It does not matter if you are from California, Utah, New York or even from outside the Country, having diverse friendships can be complex but is so worth it as each different friendship brings its own benefits and lessons.

    What you put in is what you’ll get out

    Like all relationships, friendships take effort, but the time and energy you put into meeting new friends and maintaining friendships will benefit you long after your summer session ends. Being at Kids Camp Los Angeles might also put certain demands on your friendship- whether those demands are finding time to spend together, overcoming disagreements, or balancing several different friendships- that might take work to navigate but ultimately make your friendship grow. When camp ends, new challenges may arise as you are forced to leave many of your new friends who might live in different cities, states, or even countries. Distance might make maintaining friendships challenging, but putting energy into being a good friend, even from afar, often leads to relationships which are resilient and some of the best. Logging some hours on the phone or on Skype can lead to lifelong friends that you will be so glad you chose to commit to.

    Kids Camp Los Angeles friends are unlike others you meet at school or on a sports team. With your camp friends, you have so many shared experiences that form an unbreakable bond. While you might feel nervous about making camp friends, rest assured that year after year, the friendships are what keep campers counting down the days until their return to camp, where they can pick right up where they left off with some of the best friends they could possibly ask for.

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