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  • Posts found under: California Summer Camps 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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    Why I Return To Camp Because…..

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a seasoned California summer camps veteran, I get questioned frequently about my journey through years of summer camp life. A few summers into my camp life, a friend asked, “Haven’t you already done camp?  Why do you want to go back again?” With such a simple question, I was immediately filled with an overwhelming wave of emotion and a desire to explain something that, to me, was so obvious.  And with that question, I was taken on a trip down camp memory lane.

    That first summer of camp was so novel and new- each day brought a plethora of wild and exciting things to explore.  The days passed so quickly that it felt like it was over in the blink of an eye.  After that summer, I’d had a taste for camp and I thirsted to go back and get another chance to experience it all over again.

    But with each passing summer, the question of why I return to camp became more and more complicated. Camp became something I looked forward to all year and going to camp seemed so natural that it no longer even felt like a decision- I just knew that I had to return to camp. But over the years, I’ve had the chance to think through how camp has become such a critical part of my life and some of the many reasons that I choose to go back each year.

    I return to camp because camp friends really are some of the best friends out there.  As crazy as it seems, you might start a session of camp with a cabin full of strangers, but you’ll leave with lifelong friends. Camp has an unmatched way of bringing people together and creating the strongest of bonds.

    I return to camp because of the amazing activities and experiences.  No matter what mood you’re in, there is always something exciting going on and a new adventure to seek out.  Where else can you go tubing and scale the rock wall at the ropes course all in a day?  There truly is never a dull moment at summer camp life.

    I return to camp because camp spirit brings out the best in me.  Camp is a place where I can be myself in all of its wild and crazy glory.  I can slosh around in mud or sing at the top of my lungs and just enjoy being who I am.

    I return to camp because I wholeheartedly believe that s’mores should be their very own food group.

    I return to camp because just thinking about camp is guaranteed to make me smile. The culture of camp brings me joy all year long, and even the longest of days can be cured by thinking back to my days at camp.

    I return to camp because the tears I shed as I get on the bus at the end of the camp session are well worth the memories that make those goodbyes so difficult.

    I return to camp because as I have become a part of camp, camp has become a part of me.  Every summer at camp has helped me to learn and grow as a person, so much so that camp has become part of my identity.  I can’t remember what I was like before I started going to camp, but I love who camp has helped me to become.

    It is nearly impossible to put into words all of the reasons that I go back to camp year after year, but what it all comes down to is love.  Camp is a place I love, and that, above all else, is why I return to camp.

    Write or share your story on our Facebook page, and let us know, why do you return to California summer camps every year?

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    Why Looking for a California Overnight Camp now is Important

    The leaves are changing colors, pumpkin spice lattes are back in season, and summer camp is likely the last thing on your mind. Although the summer seems to be only a distant thought, there is no time like the present to get thinking about summer plans- especially if summer camp is on your kids’ to do list. Getting an early start on finding and enrolling in a great California Overnight Camp is essential to finding the perfect camp for your children and making sure that their camp experience is a positive one. Here are five of the many reasons that starting the search for a summer camp early is a worthy cause:

    Secure a spot at your California Overnight Summer Camp

    Getting a spot at some summer camps is nearly as coveted as scoring tickets to the Superbowl, so getting an early start on scoping out camps and even making an early enrollment decision is key to success. The popularity of summer camps is on the rise and many camps, especially some specialty programs, fill up long before the summer months. Most California Overnight Camps offer partial or full refunds until late in the spring, so you can often enroll early with little or no financial risk if things don’t end up working out.

     Time to find a good fit

    Starting the California Overnight Camp search early means there is more time to get to know the camps you are interested in. Finding a camp that is a good fit for your family is of critical importance, so you might need to interview several camps before making your selection. Scouring websites, talking to camp staff, and even chatting with other camp families are some of the many ways you might figure out which camp is the best choice for your child. Since researching and reaching out to camps is quite a time consuming endeavor, the sooner you get started on the process, the better.

    Make time for a visit

    Looking for a California Overnight Camp early allows for more opportunities to really get to know a camp- and what better way to get to know a camp than to pay the camp a visit? Most camps allow for potential campers and families to visit their facilities to get a better feel for the camp life before the summer actually starts. Seeing a camp can give both a child and a parent some peace of mind and more confidence when choosing a camp. Even if visiting camps is not an option, attending camp fairs or information sessions are also great ways to get to know camps you are interested in. The earlier you start thinking about camp, the more opportunities you will have to get familiarized with various camps.

    Savings

    If you are looking to save a few dollars, the early bird really does catch the worm. Many camps offer early enrollment savings that could result in a big discount if you get thinking about camp early. Selecting a camp early also often gives you the ability to spread out enrollment payments over several months, which can make funding camp more manageable on the budget. 

    Build excitement

    Camp is something that children look forward to all year long, so it is never too early to start getting your campers enthusiastic about the summer. Having an exciting summer to look forward to can keep kids motivated at school and throughout their day to day commitments. New campers (and some returning campers as well) will likely be nervous and unsure of what to expect at camp, so giving kids plenty of time to look through camp websites or brochures and to ask questions about camp can help to prepare campers for camp. Both parents and children feel more confident and excited about the summer to come when camp is discussed often and early.

    While the summer months are still far out of reach, getting your kids ready for camp does not need to be. Now is a great time to look for camps in order to save money, find the right camp, and ensure that your kids feel confident and excited for a summer away. So take a break from the holiday shopping and start checking out camps- summer will be here before you know it!

     

    About Canyon Creek Summer Camp

    Canyon Creek Summer Camp provides a safe, non-competitive environment where boys and girls build confidence and independence, learn teamwork and develop problem-solving skills. We are a California Overnight Camp based just about an hour outside Los Angeles, California.

    Our 81-acre complex features prime athletic facilities, state of the art equipment and the ideal setting for children to escape the distractions of city life. Through dedication to our camp families, and steadfast commitment to our campers, Canyon Creek is proud to be among the top California summer camps on the West Coast.

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    Healthy Habits You Learn At An Overnight Summer Camp

    Overnight Summer Camp is full of fun, sun, and games, but camp can also help children to pick up some important healthy habits. While most kids at camp are more focused on taking on new adventures and meeting new friends, healthy habits are developed naturally during a stay most California summer camps. While at camp, children are given endless opportunities to make decisions and push their own limits, which can ultimately lead to the development of healthy habits. Here are four of the many healthy practices that kids might learn from their time spent at camp.

    Making smart food choices

    Camp often presents itself as the first time a child gets to experience true food freedom. While counselors and camp staff might suggest healthy meal choices, when the options are endless, kids will often test the limits. Although loading up a plate with pizza and french fries might yield some short-term tummy trouble, kids ultimately learn from their unhealthy food choices and figure out how to find balance in their diet. In time, allowing children some freedom in what they eat, as is often the case at camp, can help children to develop healthy eating habits that will keep them choosing healthful options and feeling great in the future.

    Staying active

    Kids today spend more time in front of a screen than any generation of children in the past, and thus our kids spend less time being active and outdoors. At this Overnight Summer Camp, where the distraction of computers, televisions, and phones are removed, kids can truly discover the fun there is to be had beyond the screen. With the fast pace of a day at camp, kids are swept up into activities that they might have previously shown no interest in. All summer long, even the most resistant campers gain interest in sports, art, dance, music, and so much more. Although these interests might or might not have been born at camp, the experience of a summer free of screen time forces kids to think outside the box when trying to stay occupied. Camp kids enjoy more than just a summer of engaging activity- camp often inspires children to continue exploring their interests and to stay moving all year long.

    Getting rest when needed

    Children, especially when in exciting environments, do not have the ability to regulate their energy the way an adult usually can. Camp, with its abundance of high-energy activities, is a recipe for exhaustion among children, teens, and even camp staff. Rest time is embedded into nearly every Overnight Summer Camp day to prevent campers from completely tuckering themselves out, but kids are still ultimately responsible for ensuring that they get the rest they need. After a few long days of fun in the sun upon arriving at camp, nearly every camper realizes the importance of getting rest- both during the day and at night. Campers learn the happy balance between pushing themselves to the limit and taking it easy, which allows kids to better regulate what their body needs in terms of rest both at camp and at home. By the time campers get back home at the end of the summer, they might have a whole new appreciation for sleep and bedtime!

    Keeping up with hygiene

    While the thought of camp probably renders up images of filthy children frolicking through mud, in reality campers tend to learn a thing or two about hygiene during their stay at camp.  After a full day of swimming, playing, and sweating it out, even the most slovenly campers find pleasure in getting to hit the showers and freshen up. Overnight Summer Camp activities often encourage kids to get in touch with their messiest selves, but camp also encourages kids to take responsibility for their own cleanliness at the end of the day. And while brushing teeth might be a nightly battle at home, at camp, keeping their smile clean is an enjoyable and social part of each day. Good hygiene is all about establishing positive routines, and camp is just the place for kids to take ownership of their daily practices and to begin taking better care of themselves.

    While your child might not return from camp loving kale and flossing twice a day, camp can help your child to discover ways to keep themselves feeling at the top of their game. At camp, children are constantly challenged to find healthy balances in their eating, play, and rest time, and these experiences can help a child to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside of camp. A summer at camp is a great step in helping your child become the happiest and healthiest they can be all year long. Learn more today!

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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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    Five At Home Activities for When You Miss Camp

    You just spent the ultimate adventure at the California Summer Camps of a lifetime with us at Canyon Creek Summer Camp. With the summer wrapping up and if you are anything like us, the annual feeling of being ¨campsick¨ is starting to sink in. Getting back to post-camp life can be difficult when you are constantly missing the fun and excitement of the summer, but the fun of camp doesn’t have to end as the summer comes to a close. Instead, here are five tricks to try when you start missing camp the most. With the help of these year-round activities, you can make the camp spirit last all year round.

    1. Take a trip down memory lane

    Nothing brings back great camp vibes like looking through some pictures of the time you spent at camp. Flip through pictures you took during your time at camp or check out videos posted of your session at camp. If you are feeling particularly crafty, print out some of your most hilarious pictures and make a scrapbook that captures the best of your camp experience. Show off your pictures to your friends and family to spread your camp spirit with all those around you. Seeing photos and telling stories from your time at camp will be sure to put a smile back on your face.

    2. DIY a day at camp

    Although camp might be months away, you can bring some of your favorite activities into the comfort of your very own home to get yourself back into the camp spirit. Make a run to your local craft store and grab a tie-dye kit and a pack of friendship bracelet string to get a good taste of some quintessential camp crafts. THIS video will help you in case you are stuck or do not know where to begin.

    Build a tent or a fort in your backyard and rock out to some of your favorite camp songs. To top of a perfectly California Summer camp inspired day, make some at-home s´mores. Grab some graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows- even if you don’t have a campfire readily available, try putting your marshmallows under the broiler for a few minutes and voila, a camp delicacy from your very own kitchen!

    3. Get outdoors

    Not a lot screams out camp spirit like the great outdoors, so instead of missing the summer season, head outside. Camp often inspires a love for the outdoors, so spending some time appreciating nature can get you back into a great camp mindset. Gather some friends and take a hike around your local park or hiking trails. If you have missed out on the daylight, push back your bedtime and head out to your backyard for some reminiscent stargazing. A little fresh air and sunshine can cure even the worst case of campsickness.

    4. Keep in touch

    Unquestionably, saying goodbye to camp friends is the most difficult part of leaving the summer behind, and missing those friends who live far away can make waiting for the next summer terribly challenging. Luckily, our tech savvy world has made staying in touch easier than ever. Whether your camp friends live close by or are out of state or even out of the country, sending a text or calling one of your camp besties can keep your camp friendships strong all year long. Using Skype or Facetime to video chat your California Summer camp buddies can make you feel like your bunkmates never left your side. Feeling a little more old school? Get out your favorite stationary or some paper and craft supplies and write a good old fashioned letter to your camp friends from afar. Sending and receiving snail mail might just give you some flashbacks of letter writing at camp and can add some serious excitement to checking the mailbox throughout the year.

    5. Start a countdown

    It is never too early to start preparing for next summer, so get your countdown started! Get out some construction paper and make a paper chain- one colorful loop for each week (or day, depending on your time commitment) until you head back to camp. If you aren’t feeling too crafty, check out It’s Almost to personalize your fun, online countdown that will keep you counting down the minutes and seconds until the summer returns. Creating a countdown can make the wait for camp seem manageable and exciting all year round.

    The end of the California Summer camp season can be tough, but bringing some of the spirit of camp home with you can make all the difference. With a little effort and some at-home camp inspired activities you can kiss your campsick feelings goodbye. Start the countdowns, make a few s’mores, sing a couple camp songs, and the summer will be here before you know it. We look forward to seeing you next year. And don’t forget, follow all the off-season fun on our FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM accounts, there is always fun competitions and prizes given out.

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    Why California Summer Camp CCSC is the right choice

    We have heard it before- why waste a season at one of many California summer camps while our kids could be doing something “productive?” With summer options out there like SAT prep camps and competitive sports training programs, it is likely that traditional summer camps like Canyon Creek might be slipping to the bottom of the summer priority list. But choosing summer camp isn’t choosing to allow your children to waste a summer- instead, it is choosing to instill skills in your child that are otherwise unteachable. Independence, creativity, and character develop when kids are given the chance to explore and experience things that are different, challenging,

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    Why California Summer Camp Fairs are GREAT!

    It’s that time of the year again- camp fairs are coming to town. Between baseball practice and dance recitals, it might be hard to find the time to get to a camp fair, but these fairs are extremely important and useful events for you and your camper. Searching California summer camps for the right one for your kids are a challenge.  Camp fairs offer an amazing opportunity for new and old camp families to learn about and explore hundreds of camps and to enjoy themselves while doing so. Still not convinced? Check out these five highly important reasons for making the time for camp fairs: (more…)

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    Benefits of California Summer Camps

    Benefits of California Summer Camps

    Sleepaway camp is a wonderful, growth-filled experience. Parents, however, may underestimate the benefits of residential camp and what it will do for their child. “Some parents think their money is better spent elsewhere, particularly if they themselves did not attend sleepaway camp as a youngster,” says Nick Coffing, Camp Director for a California Summer Camp. (more…)

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