RSS Feed

Tag Archives: 2012

WOW

Ahhhh!WOW.  That’s my word for the summer of 2012 at Camp Jorn YMCA.  WOW!!

It was our biggest summer yet in terms of number of campers, but that’s just one part of the story.

The rest of the story can be seen in the many photos below from our sessions at CJ; the rest of the story can be seen in the eyes of the campers, and heard in the words of the campers; the rest of the story is written in the tall pine trees, in the sparkle of sun on Rest Lake, in the sound of laughter and the hush of reverence.

It’s a story of friendship, fun, challenge, and growth.  The story is in all of us who are part of Camp Jorn.

Busiest Summer to Date!

Greetings from Camp Jorn!  Our busy weeks at camp have prevented us from posting very often, but please know that we are thinking of all of you, and having a wonderful time with all our campers at CJ!

As parents prepare to send their kids to camp, there are often some anxieties about how the camper will do- will he or she be homesick?  Make friends?  Worry?  Ask someone for help if needed?

The following link brings the anxious parent and camper to a great article about handling some worrisome camp feelings.  We hope it gives you comfort and helps you manage some of your concerns.  Please let us know what you think!

http://www.acacamps.org/blog/parents-place/messages-anxious-camper

Happy Camping!

Below are some pics from this summer.  To see more please visit our Facebook page.

Camp Jorn YMCA Hosts a New Spring Event; Bringing the love from the Northwoods to Lake County, IL

Summer is so close, we can almost taste it!  The trees and plants are blooming, the temperatures are rising, and the sun is staying out longer each day.  This can only mean one thing…camp is almost here!!  With all the excitement and anticipation buzzing in the air, we (the CJ staff) thought we should have an event to not only use that electric energy and get everyone super excited for the summer, but also allow campers to meet some of their fellow session mates, and some of the summer staff before they get to camp.  We also thought it would be great for parents get a chance to meet the staff, which for many doesn’t happen unless they make the trek to the magical place in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  So, this past Saturday, May 12th, Camp Jorn YMCA had its first ever Spring Campfire where we brought a little bit of the CJ spirit from the Northwoods to the Old School Forest Preserve in Lake County, IL.

From the start, we thought that the idea for the event was a great one, but we couldn’t believe the amount of interest in it until we saw it!  We had over 100 campers, parents, and friends turn out to our little Spring Campfire event!  To start it off, there was a meet and greet for campers, parents, and staff, with two fires going and s’mores for all.  Some awesome field games followed, and then it was time for our main Campfire program.  At Camp Jorn YMCA, we call our evening all-camp activity, our Campfire program.  For this program, we had a great introduction by our Camp Director, Sarah, followed by some of our favorite songs and skits led by some of our summer staff.  For some campers, they were learning these songs and seeing these skits for the first time.  And, for others, they were catching up with old camp friends on what had been going on throughput the past year and embracing the songs and skits like they were welcoming them back from a long hibernation.  Oh, those crazy camp songs that only other camp people understand and appreciate….And, Parents got to enjoy the night right along with their campers, and get a taste of what Camp Jorn is all about.

All in all, the two hour program was a blast, and we couldn’t have asked for a better night!  We look forward to hosting many of these Campfire’s in the future and can’t wait to see all of those campers that attended, this summer!

If you have some great photos or video from the Spring Campfire event, we would love to see it!  Please email Caroline with any pictures or video to caroline@campjornymca.org

Take care, and CJ love

Trippin’

Hi CJ Family!

As we get closer to the most amazing summer of 2012, one of the things we think a lot about is the trips that all of our campers will go on!

Trips have always been an important part of the Camp Jorn experience.  Canoe trips on our beautiful chain of lakes, hiking trips to the Bay, or even day trips on camp property are opportunities to grow and learn.

Some people really love trips.  Some people get annoyed by the weather or the bugs.  At Camp Jorn, we believe the great things about trips heavily outweigh the challenges!!

As a Camp Jorn camper, you will definitely get a chance to learn some true camping skills.  Our staff are eager to teach CJ campers about things like how to set up a tent, how to gather different kinds of wood and start a campfire, how to cook a meal over a camp stove or fire, how to paddle a canoe or pack a backpack properly, and how to leave your campsite looking like no one was there.  It’s the art of minimum impact camping, and we’re proud to show it off!

Usually, our younger cabins go on a “day trip,” or a short overnight trip close to camp as their first trip experience.  Fox Island is a great place for these kinds of trips, as is the Bay, and even the athletic field in the middle of camp!  Some of our younger cabin groups have even been known to set up a tent in their cabin!  In any case, younger campers learn some of the basics about camping, and they play some fun games with their cabin in the process.

Older cabin groups go on a one or two night trip, and learn a bit more about what it takes to live in the wilderness for a short time.  We are so proud watching these campers go out with their counselors and JCs in canoes or on a backpacking trail!  Although sometimes it rains, or the mosquitoes come out to play, everyone who comes back from their trip can say “I did that!”  These kids learn the value of working together to get where they want to go, provide their own meals, and get along in a small group.  And they usually have a great time, and have some great stories to tell when they get back!!

TEVA campers go on a 3-4 night trip when they’re at camp.  CITs are gone for 5-8 nights on a canoe or backpacking trip.  The sense of self-confidence and accomplishment these leadership campers gain while on this trips is clearly evident when they get back into camp.  And the close-knit feeling of the group is a bond that can’t be broken- ask any of the TEVAs and CITs you know!!

Not only do trips help increase self-esteem and bring a group closer together, but research shows that trips help kids learn self-efficacy, or the concept that we can control our own functioning, and the events that affect our lives.  Check out this link for an excellent article on this concept.

I especially like this excerpt from the article:  “An individual’s positive judgment based on their efficacy promotes active involvement in activities and contributes to the growth of competencies needed in that activity.”  In other words, the self-efficacy learned on the trail carries over in a positive way into the life of the child outside of camp.

Let us know your thoughts on trips! We’d love to hear what trips you’ve been on, what you learned from them, and encouraging words for our campers who have not yet experienced a trip!

Staff Training: What Sets Camp Jorn Apart

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As we finish up staff interviewing and hiring for the summer of 2012, we turn to the work of creating the highest quality Staff Training program we can.  Our campers deserve only the BEST OF THE BEST!  Staff Training week is one of the most challenging yet incredibly rewarding weeks of the summer for our staff, as they ready themselves for the amazing job of helping campers recognize and develop value in themselves and in the world around them.

Typically, the management team of Directors arrives early in June, working for a few days on things like getting their program areas ready and putting together lesson plans for classes.  We also talk about aspects of good supervision, helping the counseling staff do their best, and what it takes to run a great program all summer long.

Then the assistants, instructors, counselors and junior counselors arrive and the enthusiasm and level of excitement increase by a million percent!!  Of course, we need to get our certifications in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Lifeguarding completed.  Then we spend the next several days getting ready for the important work ahead of us.

This year, we’re excited to have the folks from uLEAD running some excellent sessions for our staff.  uLEAD is an organization that provides “unique leadership experiences for asset development.”  Based in Indiana, uLEAD offers measurable experiences for leadership, growth, and change, utilizing their Leadership3 model.  This model “was created to affect lasting change and leadership that sticks by focusing on six core principles.”  These principles are: design, balance, community, competence, skills, and vision.  uLEAD works with the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets model, and focuses as well on the concept of Servant Leadership.  We are confident that our investment in this training will result in an extremely valuable experience for staff, that will enable them to provide the highest quality Camp Jorn experience for campers.

The remainder of our Staff Training week consists of SO many things, it’s sometimes tough to comprehend!

  • Trips orientation and training
  • Emergency procedures and drills
  • Child Abuse Prevention and policies
  • Child development, relationship-building, behavior management
  • Role playing camper situations
  • Teaching practices, program progression, recognition of accomplishments
  • Environmental stewardship, conservation practices, appreciating our natural world
  • Evening programs, themes, campfires, songs, fun!

The list goes on!  In the end, we arrive at our first camper session READY and chomping at the bit to get started with the BEST SUMMER EVER, 2012!!!

“Can You Catch That Spirit”

January is the month that Camp Jorn has traditionally launched registration for the following summer’s resident camp programs, sending out new brochures and emails announcing the kick-off of online sign-up for camper families.  We are so excited about the summer of 2012, and hope you have “caught the bug” too and are gearing up to register!

As you think about what your family will plan for your child’s summer, whether it’s a camp program or something else, we know there are many things you take into consideration.  Things like:

  • What activities are available for my child?
  • Which ones would my child be interested in?
  • What will my child learn through this experience?
  • Can we afford it?
  • Is it close to home?
  • Who’s going to be in charge?
  • Is it safe?  Fun? Challenging?

Campers have their own set of concerns:

  • What do I want to do?
  • Can my friend come, too?
  • Will I make new friends?
  • Will I fit in?
  • What if I can’t do something?
  • Will I be scared? Bored?  Will someone help me?
  • Is it fun???!

Older campers might have an even different set of questions:

  • Will all my friends be there?  What if I don’t know anyone?
  • Can I learn something that will help me succeed in high school/get into college?
  • Will we be working hard?  Will there be time for fun??

We at Camp know that there are lots of summer choices for kids.  Of course, we think Camp Jorn is one of the best choices.  We’ve been around a long time, helping kids recognize and develop value in themselves and the world around them.  We have really fun staff who focus on safety and learning in an exciting environment.  We do amazing things at Camp, like learn to water ski or ride horses, canoe, shoot a bow and arrow, play the guitar, sing weird songs, run around with a sock hanging out of our pocket and paint on our faces, dance, swim, hike; we even do things like make new friends, try new things, become more independent, take care of each other, and appreciate nature.  Camp is a pretty awesome place to be!

What will you choose to do this summer?  What’s important to you, as a parent or child, in deciding what’s best?  We’d love to hear what families today think about as they start planning their summer months!  Post a comment here and let’s talk!