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How this mustached woman hopes to send a Brookline boy to summer camp: Jessisca Colgan-Snyder co-director of the camp will sport a mustache every day - all day - for the entire month of April in an effort to raise money to send 10-year old Dominic Fricke of Brookline to her New Hampshire camp for two weeks this summer. 

It takes some passion about the value of summer camp to ask a woman to wear a mustache for four weeks and use it as a way to get people to donate for her cause. And Colgan-Snyder is nothing if not passionate about how her camp can make an impact on someone like Dominic. And how Dominic can help affect the other kids at camp if he’s able to go.

“Oftentimes kids and even adults can get in a bubble and have trouble seeing outside their blinders ... But there’s such a larger world out there. We want to help build individuals self confidence and so they can feel they can be their best version of themselves and be aware and open to people that are different from them. And take away that scariness that difference sometimes can create.”


Your Kids Will Have the Time of Their Lives at These 10 Summer Camps: If you had the opportunity to attend sleep-away camp, you know camp friends take the special bond of childhood friendship to the next level. But so much more than friendship bracelets and kumbaya sing-alongs filled the lakeside Casco air. In this article from Psychology Today, the author of Nurturing Resilience, Michael Ungar, explains that summer camp is the perfect place "for children to optimize their psychological development."

Ungar explains that camp teaches us how to get out of our physical comfort zones while also providing a sense of purpose, authenticity, belonging, and tradition away from social or familial pressures at home. 

The Nitty-Gritty: Camp Laurel South is a three-and-a-half-week summer camp, with a sister camp called Laurel for a seven-week experience. Though run separately, both camps have similar picturesque grounds and state of the art facilities that attract campers from around the world. 


West Suburban YMCA Strengthens Foundations of Newton Community: The West Suburban YMCA is, in short, a place to belong, where the highest priorities are placed on developing character and values within an environment that encourages healthy living and social responsibility. The Newton-based Y is a community staple with wide-ranging programs, from the creative arts to group exercise for adults and children.

Patch: Tell us about the Camp Frank A. Day overnight camp.

West Suburban YMCA: Camp Frank A. Day is our gorgeous, 52-acre overnight camp, located in East Brookfield, Mass. — just one hour west of Boston and easily accessible from the Mass Pike. Our Y camp staff, who are trained in CPR and first aid, welcome kids from ages 7-15 to make the most of their summer amidst bugle calls, camp fires, archery, swimming, sports matches and talent shows. Three-day and two-week programs are available depending on the comfort level of the parents/children. 


A legacy of  joy at summer camp: But that doesn’t mean they aren’t thrilled to hike the same trails, sleep in similar platform tents, and enjoy the campfires, flag ceremonies, and other rituals that meant so much to their mom.

“When we went to the open house, it was exciting to me to show them where mom went; to tell them, ‘I ate in that dining hall. I swam in that lake.’ I showed my children the units I stayed in, the tents,” says Magee. “Instantly, it was more familiar, more endearing.”

Legacy camps — where generations attend — are as varied as the interests of the families who choose them. Some, such as Camp Bauercrest in Amesbury, a sports camp for Jewish boys, are specialized. Others, including Wind-in-the-Pines and the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston’s Camp Grossman in Westwood, offer everything from boating and swimming to nature and the arts.

What these camps have in common is family tradition. When a boy attends his dad’s sports camp, or a girl spends a week at the same Girl Scout camp as her mother, they share experiences that bring them closer, and extend the bonds of friendship and love.


Summer camp fair at Bangor Mall draws prospective attendees: Representatives from 26 Maine summer camps were at the Bangor Mall on Saturday for a fair designed to recruit prospective campers and to let the public know what the Pine Tree State has to offer.

The camps represented at Saturday’s fair spanned a wide range of interests.

Want to learn how to speak Chinese? Or how to sail, or paddle a canoe? Or build your own computer or develop and market an invention of your own creation? Or are the arts more to your liking?

There are camps in Maine that cater to all of those interests and more and in many cases, financial aid, according to Ron Hall, executive director of Maine Summer Camps, a nonprofit organization that represents 125 of the state’s 175 summer camps.

The organization’s website features a camp-matching tool that allows the user to search camps by type and session length, by keyword or by reviewing the list of all camps or Maine Summer Camps’ yearly catalog.


Summer Camps & Activities 2017: Pilgrim Lodge Hosts Summer Camp For LGBTQ+ And Ally Youth: Pilgrim Lodge, in West Gardiner, Maine, will be hosting Camp Pride, a summer program devoted to creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ high school age students to come together to discuss identity, faith, and what it is like to be them in 2017. Youth allies who support the LGBTQ+ community are also welcome to join Camp Pride.

This unique camp experience allows campers to openly share their fears, joys, and spiritual yearnings, all in an environment where everyone is accepted. Even people who do not consider themselves religious are invited to attend Camp Pride.

Reverend Bryan S. Breault of Pilgrim Lodge said, “[Camp Pride] is a group for support, for education, for learning, for letting young people know that they are loved no matter what, and to know that there is a place for them in some religious communities…They are welcome to discuss and present their identity if they choose, but no one is going to be forced to disclose where they are.”

Pilgrim Lodge was established in 1956 and has been developing Camp Pride for two years now. The idea for the camp was met with unanimous support from their ministry team.


Camp Hazen Staffer to Attend European Conference: Kath Davies, camp director at Camp Hazen YMCA in Chester, has been chosen as one of two United States delegates to attend the Eastern Platform Camp Conference sponsored by the YMCA of Europe. The conference is designed to help Eastern European countries develop overnight camping programs for YMCA facilities in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and Moldova, countries without a strong tradition of either overnight camping facilities or non-profit, non-government funded organizations.

The emphasis on developing a camp structure, Davies said, reflects YMCA studies that show of all the programs the Y offers, including swimming and child care, camping has the biggest impact on the kind of character development that the organization advocates.

“I’ve started to think about [the conference] because camp has not been a part of their culture. It will be a time to share ideas and to learn,” Davies said.


Running Brook Camps Wins 'Friend of the Year': Over the past 13 years Running Brook Camps has provided scholarships for their summer camp programs to Waltham Family School children. The scholarship started out with the two Waltham Family School students in 2004 and grew to 23 kids having the opportunity to attend camp in 2016. Throughout the summer of 2017, the camp will host over 30 Waltham Family School students.

Running Brook Camps received the award at Waltham Family School’s annual Fiesta!. There camp director Jim Bellanca accepted the award on the camp’s behalf stating, “We are very humbled and honored to be connected with the Waltham Family School. We love kids and we know that camp is a very profound opportunity for kids to grow and make social connections.”

 


Beyond the Self: Camps Fostering Spiritual Growth: “A lot of it is by being a good person,” he says. “Our counselors are modeling that, and talking about it when it doesn’t happen.”

Campers give thanks for each meal, Douglass says, and each morning the camp gathers for “Morning Devotions,” a short period of contemplation modeled after Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac.”

“We have a different theme for it, and we talk about it,” including conversations about how it connects to a “bigger picture,” Douglass says. The camp also holds “Evening Devotion,” which is not biblically based but may include poetry or song. Each Friday night, an Episcopal priest from the diocese holds traditional Eucharist service. “The kids love it,” Douglass says.

“We’re a very accepting kind of place,” Douglass says. “In general, Episcopalians are very open, and Bishopwood is a welcoming community. We’re a safe place, and we value that.”