Somewhere Over the Rainbow…
It is that time of year! Camp opens 68 days from today, and we’re busy preparing for a great summer season in this the 52nd year of Interwindsorlockenmountain. As each day passes, we get more and more excited for staff and campers to arrive. So here we are sharing our excitement with some fun news and important reminders. Without further ado, may I present to you – words on a page!
Uke Can Do It!
Camp just purchased five new ukuleles! So you too can learn how to play like Don Ho (not that anyone under 35 knows who that is) or at least Windsor Mountain’s own Jeremy Betterley. Tiny Bubbles!
Time to Make Some Delicious Soap
Don’t pack the soap because we’ll make it at camp! Well, alright, pack some soap just in case as our soap will take some time to set. We’re excited to offer soap-making this summer where campers will be able to make custom soaps from natural ingredients. Part science and part creativity, campers will be able to create their own natural soaps using various molds, ingredients and fragrances at camp. Who knows, maybe your camper will bring you home a bar of purple lilac soap!
We are so excited about the talented group of returning and new staff members this year. We wanted to share with you some information about a couple of specialists that will be sharing their passion for the outdoors and the arts. We hope you will be as excited as we are about them joining the Windsor Mountain family.
Carlos, el Flaco (ropes course department head) – Flaco started building his passion for adventure at a young age. He began climbing with his father as a toddler and has never looked back. A veteran of the summer camp experience and outdoor education, we are thrilled to have Flaco on the Windsor Mountain team. Flaco has been an outdoor education for many years, most recently working at OpEPA (Organization for Education and Environmental Protection) where he shared his passion for nature, teaching and the arts. He is a highly trained mountain climber and ropes course facilitator. In addition, he is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and course instructor. Flaco recently participated in Smaller Earth’s Your Big Year competition, where he was the runner-up (that’s number two!) out of over 110,000 applicants who made an effort to positively impact the world and promote global citizenship.
Check out his video:
In his spare time Flaco enjoys playing his ukulele (Luna). We feel lucky to have Flaco with us this summer can cannot wait for you to meet him.
Ahmad (pottery specialist) – We are thrilled to welcome Ahmad Qadri of Rainmaker Ceramic Arts to the Windsor Mountain family. Ahmad is a professional ceramics artist and pottery teacher. Ahmad, who currently is teaching English and art in Dakar Senegal, West Africa, has taught classes in pottery, ceramics and art to young people for over 20 years and cannot wait to bring his skills and passion for the arts to Windsor Mountain. I am going to make some awesome pottery this summer and then eat out of it.
Windsor Mountain is excited to announce the development of a new partnership with Local Harvest New Hampshire, a cooperative of eight local organic farmers who will provide fresh and locally grown produce to camp this summer for campers to enjoy. In addition to providing fresh produce, we are working to develop educational opportunities on the farms regarding local farming and sustainability.
Closing Festival Days
Families are encouraged to join us on the last day of each session for our Music Festival in July and Theatre Festival in August. Remember, there is no mid-session visiting day. Our Music Festival features music performed by campers and staff, and during our Theatre Festival campers showcase their acting abilities under the guidance of the performing arts department. Each festival day begins with morning meeting, followed by a delicious and plentiful brunch. The performances begin around 12:30 p.m. and end between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., after which parents are free to take their campers home.
Please don’t forget that we offer a great outdoor adventure trip to Maine during our intersession break (July 21-24, with possible extension to July 25 for those interested). We expect Ron Furst to be leading this trip, which will begin in York, Maine. From there, the trip will head to the Rangeley Lakes region of Western Maine for swimming in the pristine waters of the Sandy River where we will enjoy a water slide and swim under a waterfall, a wilderness canoe trip down the Kennebago River (where we saw four moose last summer), and climbs up Bald Mountain (to enjoy some of the best views in all of Maine) and Tumbledown Mountain to enjoy the surreal experience of swimming in a beautiful lake in the clouds on the very top of the mountain. The trip finishes with a great day in world-famous Ogunquit Beach. If you would like more information about this trip, please let us know.
As the summer draws closer, you will begin to prepare for the summer and may need some reminders about our policies and procedure for various things. All of this information is available on our website: https://www.windsormountain.org/current-families/camp-details/. Also, if you need some help packing, here you go: https://www.windsormountain.org/current-families/packing-for-camp/. There also is information under the “current families” tab on the homepage about transportation details. Please be sure to complete the transportation form soon so we can ensure we have sufficient space for everyone if you are taking the bus.
Let’s Talk About Homesickness!
Going away to camp for the first time is exciting but it can also cause give some campers their first experience with homesickness. It is important that parents and campers know that it is completely normal for campers to miss home. In fact, almost all campers miss home to some extent while away. The best prescription for camper homesickness is a combination of preparation and patience. We strongly encourage families to talk with their camper about what it will be like to be away from home and feelings of missing home before camp. Here are some tips adapted from University of California Psychologist Chris Thurber and the American Camping Association (ACA) for parents to help their child deal with homesickness at camp:
• Encourage your child’s independence throughout the year. Practice separations, such as sleep-overs at a friend’s house, can simulate the camp environment.
• Discuss what camp will be like before your child leaves. Consider role-playing anticipated situations, such as using a flashlight to find the bathroom.
• Honor our no phone call policy.
• Send a note or care package ahead of time to arrive the first day of camp. Acknowledge, in a positive way, that you will miss your child. For example, you can say “I am going to miss you, but I know that you will have a great time at camp.”
• Do not use bribery. Linking a successful stay at camp to a material object sends the wrong message. The reward should be your child’s new found confidence and independence.
• Pack a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal.
• When a “rescue letter” comes from your camper, offer calm reassurance and put the time frame into perspective. Avoid the temptation to take the child home early as it sends the wrong message. Campers feel a sense of independence, confidence and achievement when they overcome their feelings and have a successful stay at camp (and they have an incredible time!).
• Talk candidly with the camp directors to obtain our perspective on your child’s adjustment. Often by the time the first “help, I’m homesick” letter arrives at home, your camper will have already adjusted to camp-life.
• Don’t feel guilty about encouraging your child to stay at camp. For many children, camp is a first step toward independence and plays an important role in their growth and development.
• Be positive in your letters. Although there are benefits in keeping youngsters informed of what’s going on at home, don’t go into great detail since campers might feel they’re missing out. We discourage parents from dwelling on their own feelings of “camper-sickness” and from mentioning that “your dog/cat misses you.”
• Don’t worry. Counselors are trained to recognize and deal with symptoms of homesickness and will provide a lot of support to your camper. And, of course, we are always available to speak with you about your child’s adjustment to camp.
In addition, here are links to two YouTube videos from Chris Thurber that discuss preparing for camp:
SEE YOU ALL SOON!