The American Camp Association Tri-State Camp Conference is the point in the year when it really feels like Camp is around the corner. I was, once again, fortunate to attend the conference and not only network with my “camp” friends…I had the opportunity to LEARN. I learned about how to honor relationships – the concept of putting technology away for the summer and having a face-to-face conversation. I learned why free play at camp is important and possible – thank you Andy Pritikin from Liberty Lake Day Camp.
I also learned how to be a better manager, how to give helpful and positive feedback, how to build a winning camp leadership team AND how to focus on the positive and nix the negative. Lastly, we heard Billie Jean King, the tennis legend and champion for social justice and equality, speak about her experiences and motivate us to be the best we can be! Bring on Summer 2018…I’m excited to teach and more importantly LEARN.
As Rachel said, this is always the week that really starts to feel like camp. Wait, weren’t we wearing winter hats? Anyway…The session that really felt important to me this year was called Stand Up, Don’t Just Stand By and was presented by Corrie Sirrota, M.S.W., P.S.W. She explained that children who are bullies and are not confronted are likely to engage in the “adult” forms of bullying we hear too much about these days.
During our orientation I will share my personal experiences with bullying in addition to excellent talking points and media shared by Ms. Sirrota. We will do an activity with our staff and campers that shows how a person who has been bullied is never exactly the same as they were before the incident occurred. Bullying takes place when there is an imbalance of power, anyone can be a target and only an UPSTANDER can save the day. It is a priority of ours at Shibley, not only to be a Bully Free zone, but to inspire young leaders that will stand up FOR others!
This past week, I had the privilege and pleasure to attend professional development seminars with leaders in the camping industry at the Tri-State Camp Conference. Thousands of camping professionals gathered for 4 days to learn, share, and inspire each other as the official camping season approaches.
The highlight of my week was listening to one of my childhood heroes, and one of the most influential sports figures of our generation – Billie Jean King. As the key-note speaker, she shared her inspirational story of how she used tennis as her platform to champion social justice and equality. Her message was all about inclusion, a topic that is as important today as it ever has been.
This summer, similar to the past, the Shibley team will be focused on a big responsibility – creating a community and environment that allows our campers and staff to feel comfortable being their authentic selves each and every day.
I also enjoyed my 2018 Tri-State experience! My favorite topic is and has always been customer service and two presenters that I enjoyed were Roz and Jed Buck. Shibley has always been known for excellent customer service. We will do whatever it takes to accommodate our camper families if it is at all possible.
When I am out in the world at restaurants and stores I too often see a lack of customer service. Employees don’t come over quickly to greet you and see if they can help you. Many cashiers don’t say thank you for coming or even look at you when they take your money. They make you feel like you are there for them, not that they are there for you. We at Shibley welcome the challenge to solve any issue that that is causing a family to not be satisfied with their camp experience.
We are always willing to go above and beyond for our camper families and we are glad to have the opportunity to do it. If I can come up with a creative solution that solves something for a family, I go home feeling extra good. Camp is only 39 days long so time is of the essence when a camper family needs something to be attended to. We at Shibley feel that if we do whatever we can to make you happy, then you should no longer feel like a customer but instead like a part of our Shibley Family.
Summer Camp Jokes
At camp what does the sun drink out of? Sunglasses.
The seaside summer camp we visited last summer was so boring that one day the tide went out and never came back.
Why don’t mummies go to summer camp? They’re afraid to relax and unwind.
At summer camp, what did the lake say to the sailboat? Nothing, it just waved.
Where did the sheep go to summer camp? The Baa-hamas!
Why didn’t the elephant buy a suitcase for his summer camp? Because he already had a trunk!
Teacher: Where did your sister go for summer camp? Student: Alaska. Teacher: Never mind, I’ll ask her myself.
Where do cows go for summer camp? Moo York.
Where do eggs go for summer camp? New Yolk City!
Where do sharks go to summer camp? Finland.
What do cows wear to summer camp in Hawaii? Moo Moo’s.
Teacher: Please use the words “letter carrier” in a sentence. Student: Yes, ma’am. “My dad said that after seeing how many things my sister was bringing on to summer camp, he would rather letter carrier own luggage.”
Why do fish at camp swim in salt water? Because pepper makes them sneeze!
At camp when do you go at red and stop at green? When you’re eating a watermelon.
Where do canoes at summer camp go when they are sick? To the dock.
Spring has nearly arrived, which means two things: First and most exciting…Summer 2018 is rapidly approaching! But a few months before the campers arrive we turn our attention towards one of the most enjoyable and unpredictable sporting events of the year- college basketball’s March Madness!
One of my favorite parts of the NCAA tournament is the display of teamwork and camaraderie shown on the court. All season long teams develop chemistry and bond together as a cohesive unit with one goal in mind- to be the last team standing so they can cut down the nets. While four talented teams are given coveted #1 seeds in the bracket, we very rarely see those top four teams still left standing in the Final Four. Many times they are defeated by lower seeded “Cinderellas” who play well together and relish the opportunity to overcome the odds against them. One common theme among these underdogs is that they always seem to be having the most fun! Unburdened by lofty expectations, these players simply go out and enjoy playing the game. This often leading to memorable results.
March Madness is an annual reminder that talent and athletic ability may help but working together as a strong and unified team is just as, if not more, important in attaining success and accomplishing the team’s objective. At Shibley we know that each and every camper shares the same objective- having a great time! We play the game to have fun, and win or lose, we always remember to enjoy the ride!
As a mom of a University of Florida graduate and a fan of the Gator Nation, I will go out on a limb and pick # 6 seed Florida to win it all. I love a Cinderella story. I have witnessed many campers experience their own Cinderella stories here at Shibley and I cannot wait for each of them to experience their own “shining moments” in Summer 2018!
Who do you think will win March Madness 2018? Please email or post your predictions on our Facebook page.