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  • Posts found under: California Summer Camp Archives |

    What Do We Really Do All Year

    You see us running around all summer long, playing, laughing, micromanaging…but have you wondered what it is that our camp staff does outside of the summer months?  After a few busy months, what is it that we all do when the kids head back to school and the weather cools down?  Contrary to popular belief, we do not make like a bear and hibernate for the cold months, nor do we travel to the southern hemisphere to get a second dose of summer camp.  Instead, we spend our entire year devoted to the thing we love most: camp.  For some of us who are lucky enough to make a life out of camp, we get the pleasure of working hard all year long to get ready for each and every camper that comes through our gates and for the exciting summer that is to come. As busy as we are during the summer, our non-summer months have become nearly as hectic as we constantly add to our camp to-do lists.  Here are a few of the items on the long list of things we do when camp is not in session:

    Get in contact with other camps

    The camp community is like a huge family, and throughout the year, camp directors and camp staff work together to make sure that the summer runs smoothly for every summer camp.  In the off season, we work to build a network of camps that support each other all year round.   At camp conferences and events, we get a chance to meet with other camp staff and to learn important new skills and guidelines for summer camps. Building positive relationships with other camps means that there is always someone to bounce ideas off of or to help answer tricky questions.  Plus, it sure is fun to hang out with other people who love camp as much as we do!

    Hire staff

    Our counselors are what make camp great, and recruiting high-quality counselors is a huge priority in the off season.  Every year, we go to great lengths to make sure that our counselors and staff are the very best around.  Whereas many jobs have a simple, quick recruitment and hiring process, hiring for a summer camp job often requires traveling around the world, college visits, and several rounds of interviews.  Even after potential staff members have been interviewed at length, background checks have to be processed and references must be checked.  Although it is time consuming, hiring and getting to know our new staff members is one of the most rewarding parts of our off season.

    Prep and plan

    They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if you ask us, the saying should be camp wasn’t planned in a day.  As soon as the last camper gets loaded onto the bus at the end of the camp season, we begin planning for the next summer.  Every aspect of each camp session has to be perfectly organized and coordinated.  We brainstorm for weeks around spirit days, evening programs, campfires, and all the events in between.  Just when we start to think we have it all figured out, we shift our focus to the most appetizing area of our planning- our meal menus.  Once we are sure that our vegetable-to-dessert ratios are perfectly balanced, we move on to planning bunks, making sure every camper will be happy in their cabin group.  Although all the planning gets exhausting, watching camp run like a well-oiled machine makes it all worth it.

    Reach out to campers

    Our campers mean the world to us, so spending time talking to our campers and their families is one of our favorite ways to spend our time.  Throughout the year, we constantly field emails, chat on the phone, plan visits, and find various other ways to make sure we stay in touch with our past campers and start to build relationships with potential campers.  We love to hear our veteran campers’ feedback from their summer at camp and their excitement for the next summer.  We also spend time reaching out to potential future campers to let them know about camp and all of its glory.  Camp tours, home visits, and community events are great opportunities for families to get a good taste of camp, and for us to begin getting to know our future campers. We even attend camp fairs all over the country in hopes that we will be able to share camp with more and more eager kids each year!

    The ultimate goal of the off season is to make sure that we go into each summer feeling prepared, invigorated, and excited for the triumphs and challenges that are to come.  While the non-summer months are an incredible amount of work, as soon as our campers arrive and we see those radiant smiles on their faces, we are instantly reassured that it was worth all of the blood, sweat, and tears.  Speaking of which, we we had better get back to work, the spirit days aren’t going to plan themselves and there are checklists calling our names!

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    Back to Camp 2017

    Back To Camp has come and gone, and the official countdown to summer 2017 has begun! The weekend was filled with laughter, new friends, plenty of hot chocolate, and even some snow!

    Counselors traveled from around the country to join in on the amazing weekend back at camp. On Saturday morning we picked up a bus load of eager campers, some veterans and some first timers, from Los Angeles and made our way up to Canyon Creek.

    Once we arrived, the campers met their counselors and began to settle into their new bunks. After a quick lunch, we were out at the soccer field playing a camp classic; Barnacle! You could tell the campers were in for a fun weekend as they followed the counselors instructions to act like a mermaid, roll around on their back like a ‘crazy crab’, or to pile into the largest make believe boat and sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.

    The rest of the afternoon was filled with Free Choice activities ranging from Arts & Crafts to Minibikes to Soccer; there was something for every camper!

    Back To Camp always holds a special place in our hearts as a time to remember what we miss about the days of summer camp. At Back To Camp it feels as if anything is possible. There’s a special magic in the air, even the hot chocolate tastes a little better! 🙂

    Saturday night found our Back To Campers in a lively game of Bingo which somehow turned into a spontaneous karaoke/dance party in between each number called.

    After an electric first campfire that saw classics such as “Moose Alpaca” and “Ronald McDonald” belted out from our oldest campers to our newest, the campers made their way back to the bunks for a much deserved sleep.

    Sunday saw our campers tackle the heights of the ropes course, race around the go kart track, and try their hand at scoring a bullseye at archery.

    The surprise of the weekend was after lunch…a Winter Wonderland! Being a sleep away camp located in Souther California, we don’t see much snow during the year, but that didn’t stop us from bringing in the ‘white stuff’.

    There was a snowman building contest, snowball toss, and of course…sledding! Campers took turns flying down the sled run and then making their way over to the snowman building area.  Appropriately enough, the Winter Wonderland ended in a big snowball fight!

    Back To Camp is a taste of summer packed into one weekend, which meant Sunday night was Lip Sync! During the summer, cabins select their Lip Sync song, but this weekend we switched things up! Counselors picked from a bag of songs and had to make up a performance based on what song they selected. To say it was a huge hit would be an understatement!

    The cabins brought so much energy to songs like, “Don’t Stop Believing” and “It’s Tearin’ Up My Heart”.  Each performance seemed to bring the house down and it was a definite highlight to the weekend.

    The power of camp is a special thing to witness, and this weekend was no different. In just three short days we saw new friendships form, fears conquered, and memories made. The only thing that it made us long for were the days of summer.

    Another Back To Camp has come and gone and that has us counting down the days until we are reunited back at The Creek this summer. The only question is…will you be there?!

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    Teachers Love Having California Overnight Summer Camp Kids As Students

    Every first day of school, as students share what they did over the summer with their friends, teachers quietly listen in, hoping to hear those magic word- ¨I went to California Overnight Summer camp.¨ Those five words are music to a teacher’s ears and teachers all over hope to have at least a handful of students who spent the summer away at camp. Why are residential campers so desirable in the classroom? Kids who go to camp have gained experiences and skills that other children often don’t possess. These skills make students more successful in the classroom and in interactions with their peers. Check out four of the many reasons that teachers love having camp kids as their students.

    California Overnight Summer Camp kids know how to be independent.

    If there is one quality a teacher hopes for in their students, it is independence. The ability to work independently is important for student success in the classroom as well as for increasing a teacher’s productivity.   Students who have been to camp have copious practice in developing independence throughout their time at camp. Camp challenges children to make and stick to a schedule, prepare themselves for a day full of activities, and to make choices on their own throughout the day. When children practice managing themselves and making decisions (even small decisions like what to eat for breakfast), children become more prepared to continue being self-sufficient outside of camp. Independence in the classroom allows for teachers to work with small groups, enables students to keep busy if they finish work early, and makes students more ready to work on homework or classwork with little support.

    Students who spent time at camp are resourceful.

    In a California Overnight Summer camp setting, kids are often forced to make something out of seemingly nothing- whether they need to plan a last minute skit for campfire or they are tapping into their creative side during an arts and crafts period. Working with limited time, supplies, or help can make campers grow into more resourceful and innovative young people that can make them successful throughout their stay at camp. This ability to be resourceful is a benefit to students in the classroom as well. Students are constantly pushed to meet deadlines and to adapt to different classroom conditions. Since kids who have been to camp understand how to think outside of the box and to make due with what is available to them, these students are more prepared to meet the demands of school.

    Residential campers are able to work well in groups.

    Collaborative learning is a huge part of most classrooms today, and collaboration requires students to have a wide range of social skills. Students who have spent time at a residential camp have extensive practice in meeting new people, getting along with bunkmates, and working through problems that arise between campers. These experiences translate into an ability to work with new and diverse partners or groups in the classroom and an understanding of how to make group work a success. Spending time with groups of other campers around the clock at camp can make working in groups for projects or classwork seem like a breeze.

    Camp kids have heightened confidence.

    Summer camp provides children with a wide range of opportunities for success. Campers learn new activities, perform skits and talents in front of peers, and form new friendships. Each of these small triumphs helps children to build confidence in themselves and their abilities. The confidence that camp inspires outlasts the child’s time at camp and is carried with that child to home, school, and beyond. Self confidence is a quality that makes students more successful at school and in their relationships with peers. A confident student is more likely to take healthy risks at school and is more able to overcome setbacks. A student with high levels of confidence is also better able to make and keep positive relationships with other students and adults.

    The California Overnight Summer Camp experience at Canyon Creek has benefits that far exceed the length of the summer. Many of these benefits make children better prepared and more successful at school, as well as adored by their teachers. Although academic success rides on a wide range of characteristics and skills, the happiness and growth that can be attributed to a summer at camp is sure to make any student feel more prepared than ever to take on the new school year.

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    Why Canyon Creek Is the best California Summer Camp

    As sleepaway camps in California continue to gain popularity, the title of “Best Camp in California” is always a debate. Canyon Creek’s great range of activities, coupled with its fantastic staff and facilities, have enabled Canyon Creek of the top California Summer Camps on the west coast. (more…)

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    All about the Justin Holiday NBA Basketball Camp

    The summer of 2015 ended in a slam dunk when the Justin Holiday NBA Basketball Camp found a home at Canyon Creek Summer Camp.  After a championship-winning season, Justin took some time away from the spotlight to share his love for basketball with some of his youngest fans.  (more…)

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