S'more About Camp: A Blog for Camp Families

ACA New England Camp Spotlight!

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On week #6 of our Camp Spotlight Series we are thrilled to profile YMCA Camp Coniston! Located in New Hampshire next to the beautiful lake Coniston, YMCA Camp Coniston is a co-ed residential camp for campers ages 8-15.

The Boys and Girls camps are on opposite sides of the lake separated by activity areas for swimming, canoeing, archery and much more! Camp sessions are available for one-week and two-week periods to best suit the camper’s needs.

Here, community is emphasized and camp is a place where campers learn respect, new skills, and grow individually. In addition, YMCA Camp Coniston offers other great programs such as, Adventure Trips across New England, and Service Trips for Teens, as well as a variety of after-school programs!

 

Learn more about YMCA Camp Coniston and its unique programs by visiting: http://www.coniston.org

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ACA New England Camp Spotlight!

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Welcome to week #5 of our ongoing Camp Spotlight Series! This week we are excited to profile Camp Matoaka in Smithfield, Maine. Situated on over 150 acres of flatlands, woodlands and lakefront this private, all girls camp has a lot to offer! 

Girls ages 7-15 can enjoy everything from gymnastics to water sports, English riding, ceramics, photography, stained glass making, tennis and more in their state-of-the-art facilities. A typical day at camp focuses on five instructional periods of the day, and two elective periods where girls can select activities that they are interested in.

To further foster camper relationships, Camp Matoaka facilitates a Big Sister/Little Sister program where older campers are assigned to write a letter to a younger camper over the winter before camp. This program encourages older campers to be role models and helps younger campers adjust to camp life. Camp Matoaka, “one great place” for over 66 years! 

Learn more about Camp Matoaka and its unique programs by visiting: www.matoaka.com

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ACA New England Camps in the News - August

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Lessons in Being Human at Sleepaway Camp: So as good parent-consumers, we did as much research as we could. And when it looked like Camp Caribou was in the lead, we spoke to the Lermans (Caribou’s owners for three generations), as well as parents of current campers, and of course watched the camp video. In the end, we chose it because something felt different. What stood out more than anything was not its sports facilities, food, or bunks – it was its culture and values. One of the things the folks in charge often say is, It’s cool to be nice at Camp Caribou. And it’s true!

As we pulled into camp this year, I noticed something that may have always been there, but it caught my attention this time (maybe because I am writing a book about culture and values?!). Attached to the trees that flank the long windy road into the camp are flags flying for each of the camp’s values: kindness, fun, friendship, sportsmanship, and spirit.


SSYMCA 125th Anniversary Moment: In a 1950s marketing pamphlet for the Y’s overnight camp for boys on Cape Cod, Camp Burgess, special attention was paid to the availability of good food. “The best of food is served,” it read. “Pasteurized milk is delivered daily. As far as possible, fresh vegetables are used. The food is well prepared by a competent lady cook, experienced in satisfying the needs and desires of healthy boys’ appetites.”


Bug Juice Revival Coming to Disney Channel–Who's Ready to go Back to Camp Waziyatah?: "Bug Juice took viewers on a journey of adventure and self-discovery. Now, nearly two decades later, we are thrilled to be back in Maine at Camp Waziyatah with the creative team from Evolution Media and many of the same crew members who produced the original series," Susette Hsiung, executive vice president of production at Disney Channels Worldwide, said in a statement.

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ACA New England Camp Spotlight!

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On week #4 of our Camp Spotlight Series, we are profiling Camp Horizons of Windham, Connecticut. Founded in 1979, by sisters and special education teachers, Chris and Kathleen McNaboe pioneered the first away-from-home camp for children with developmental disabilities in the area after a push from their students' parents. Each summer campers ages 8 - 40 enjoy eight weeks of fun focused on each individuals capabilities and talents. Campers days are filled with swimming, horseback riding, fitness, drama, boating, education crafts and more! For campers over 40, Horizons also offers a Special Masters Program. 

Horizons is much more than a camp, offering "Weekends in the Country" September through May, where campers arrive on Friday evening and return on Sunday afternoon. Educational Support Services, help high schoolers transition to adult life after graduation by teaching employment skills and independent living skills.

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ACA New England Camp Spotlight!

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As we roll into week #3 of our Camp Spotlight Series we are taking a closer look at the University of Rhode Island’s Alton Jones Camp. Situated on 2,300 acres of forests, ponds and farmland this eco-focused camp has A LOT to offer that differentiate them from the rest!

Their hands on programs for campers ages 5-16 include several day camps such as a Farm Day Camp (located on a 19th century farm) and Eco-Zone Day Camp. As well as overnight camps that cover everything from marine madness to outdoor skills.

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ACA New England Camps in the News - July

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Portland agency, Standish camp changing kids' lives for nearly 60 years: For the first time in their young lives the Ogbogu children will have the chance to enjoy a quintessential Maine summer camp experience. Thanks to the Salvation Army, the three youngsters will get a chance to go swimming and boating on Sebago Lake, learn new things and interact with their peers in a fun, carefree environment. For nearly 60 years the Salvation Army Corps in Portland has been sending kids to Camp Sebago in Standish, where they are introduced to the great outdoors.

“Sending William to camp means the world to me,” [his mother] said. “His personal growth, friendships and the multiple activities (all) assist in providing him with lifelong memories. Every year when he returns from camp, I sense a difference in my son.”


Camp Communicate: Adventure and imagination aren't just allowed, but expected when you're taking part in a safari at Camp Communicate.

A five day session on the property of Pine Tree Camp in Rome where 21 campers got the chance to spend time with other non-verbal kids their age. Adam Bodreau has been attending the camp for the past 13 years. Each summer learning more about advances in technology that helps him communicate. 

"At home he signs more, but out in the community if they don't know his signs he automatically knows right where the words are and goes right to it," said Adam's mother Carol Bodreau. 


Pistons Inspired by Visit to Seeds of Peace Camp: At the Seeds of Peace international camp in Maine, the focus isn’t on drills or making baskets, but on inspiring the next generation of leaders to deal with conflict. The camp, in its 15th year, attracted about 180 teenagers from the U.S., Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Pakistan and India this week, as well as several NBA players, including the Pistons’ Ish Smith, Henry Ellenson and rookie Luke Kennard.

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ACA New England Camp Spotlight!

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Welcome to week #2 of our Camp Spotlight Series featuring Dexter Southfield Summer Camps. Perched on a hilltop in Brookline, MA, Dexter Southfield Summer Camp is not just one summer camp but ten!

Their ten camps include: Junior, Day Camp, Enrichment, Girls in Science/Sci-tech, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Rowing, Tennis, Flag Football and a Leadership Training Program. From Science to sports and everything in between, Dexter Southfield truly has it all! 

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ACA New England Camp Spotlight!

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Welcome to a new regular series, where we will introduce you to the many, wonderful ACA-Accredited camps with whom we work. There are hundreds of them and our goal is to profile each and every one! Here is our first – Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA 

Founded in 1903, Camp Becket for Boys and Chimney Corners Camp for Girls are two great reasons that New England is considered the true home of summer camp. 114 years after its founding, Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA is still going strong!! Located on 1350 acres in Becket, MA, the camps offer the chance to canoe, swim, and explore the Berkshires all while building strong character and leadership skills, making new friends and experiencing life away from home…many for the first time. 

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ACA New England Camps in the News - May & June

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As a kid, summer camp was an adventure. As a parent, it’s bittersweet: When I was growing up, my parents sent us, all four of us, to overnight camp each summer. For 7½ weeks. My father had run a camp. My parents believed in camp. Though in my adulthood, I came to wonder if they also believed in 7½ weeks of child-free adult living, date nights, and movies. But whatever the reason, it was heaven, the definition of wholesome. No TV, no electronics. Living in wood-frame tents without electricity. Swimming every day, riding, campfires, and games. Field trips, theater productions, arts and crafts. I had awesome counselors who provided a road map for what kind of person I wanted to be. I went for 12 summers, as a camper and then a counselor. I made lifelong friends. I dreamed of my daughter one day going there. I sang my babies to sleep with songs from Alford Lake Camp, and those are still the songs they request each night before bed.


Ashby camp gets highest safety rating: Michael Swain, senior loss-control specialist for Markel Specialty, said, "Camps and clubs must meet stringent criteria to qualify for the Safety 1st designation. They must have a proven safety record, undergo formal assessments and inspections, and participate in continuing education and certification programs. These camps deserve to be recognized for keeping safety a top priority."


Emagination Computer Camps Offers 10 Exciting New Tech Workshops: Some of the new workshops include: Augmented Reality, 3D Printing, Motion Graphics Programming, and Minecraft Engineering.

In total, Emagination offers 26 technology workshops covering a variety of STEM related activities, such as creating digital media, video game design, computer programming, and engineering. During each two-week camp session, campers choose three technology workshops plus a recreation activity.

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ACA New England Camps in the News - March & April

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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. 

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