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Confidence, Curiosity, and Character

Hi CJ Family!

As the summer draws to a close, I want to bring your attention to a video by Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association.  Peg talks with families about the “3 Cs- ” Confidence, Curiosity, and Character-  the skills kids learn at camp that they take with them into the school year.

Please enjoy this short look at how we can keep the learnings of camp alive year-round!

http://www.acacamps.org/news/take-camp-skills-school

Until next time,

CJ Love

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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.

If Only Every Child Could Go to Camp Jorn

Making "campfire apple pie" for our LITE (Learn It This Evening) night

After each session of resident camp, we ask parents and kids to let us know how the Camp Jorn experience was for them.  We are eager to hear about the things we can work on so that we can make the changes we need to make, and we also love to hear what we’re doing well so we can keep doing that!

We thought we’d send out a “feel-good” blog post today with some of the wonderful feedback we’ve heard from campers and their parents in the recent past.

Enjoy!

From Parents:

My daughter had a wonderful time and experience.  She loved her time at camp and we hope she has the opportunity to participate in the future.  Thanks to everyone for all of your efforts!

My daughter had such a good time she didn’t want to come home!  She asked if she could go 2 weeks next summer!  Way to go Camp Jorn!  You guys rock!!!  The lessons you teach the children are just phenomenal.  My daughter not only learned to be independent, but she learned that having fun doesn’t have to include video games, iPods and cell phones.  I LOVE the fact that you guys keep them busy all day long doing actual activities.  I would recommend Camp Jorn to everyone I know that has a child.  I LOVE you guys!!!

I love to hear the stories [my child] tells when she gets off the bus, and how excited she is to tell us.  I think Camp Jorn’s staff is doing a wonderful job with these kids!

Camp was a great experience overall.  It was my daughter’s first time and she will be back next year.

Keep up the good work.  You can tell by the pictures that he is a happy kid while he is there.

Great camp- she had a fantastic time!

Everything was great, and the staff was awesome!

This was her first away from home resident camping experience.  She had a wonderful time and was disappointed on Saturday morning when she had to board the bus to come home.  Thanks to everyone for making her first experience an enjoyable one.

I was unsure at first about sending her for two weeks…  BUT I must say your staff all around helped me be more comfortable with her gone.  She had the best summer experience anyone could have ever given her.  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

This was the best experience for my daughter who left shy and reserved but returned full of life, independent and eager to make friends.  Thank God for Camp Jorn!

The experience is better each and every time for my children and they are planning on attending next year already.  Thank you for all that you do.  You absolutely make a huge difference in the children’s lives.

Top notch!  My kids loved it!

This has been an awesome experience for my son.  I haven’t seen him this happy in a long time.   He’s looking forward to being in camp next year.  Thank you once again.

Great job…  thanks for treating my daughter with kindness.

Everyone in our group grew personally from their CJ experience–  thanks to the staff for a job well done!

From Kids:

What did you like best about camp?  EVERYTHING!

I loved bonding with my fellow TEVA girls!

I loved the overnight camping, waterskiiing and sailing.

I like being away from my usual schedule and being able to do things that I wouldn’t be able to do at home

I liked meeting new people and learning how to make different crafts.

Friends, activities, FUN

I liked meeting new people and making friends, the beautiful scenery, and fun classes

Friendly people, my counselor, and I was busy all the time

I like being around kids my own age that treated me with respect.  I LOVED horseback riding and water skiing.

I feel like I belong at CJ

Camp Jorn is changing lives!  Tell us how it’s changed yours!

 

Staff Training: What Sets Camp Jorn Apart

 

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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!!!

Building “Strong Kids” through Servant Leadership

March is the kick-off of Camp Jorn YMCA’s annual Strong Kids Campaign.  This campaign raises funds from the many friends of Camp Jorn in order to ensure that any child, regardless of ability to pay, will have the opportunity to engage in a Camp Jorn experience.

You may know about Strong Kids, because you’ve given to the campaign in the past, or even because you’ve received scholarship dollars through this fundraiser.  What you may not know is that this is one of the most important things we do here at Camp Jorn.  Of course, our program is important, as is hiring an excellent staff, following licensing and ACA standards, ensuring the safety of all who come to Camp Jorn, and creating opportunities for kids and families to grow, learn, and recognize and develop value in themselves and in the world around them.  But if we didn’t have Strong Kids, Camp Jorn would be missing an essential component to fulfilling its mission.

More than 20% of CJ campers receive some form of assistance through the Strong Kids Campaign.  It’s vital that we provide these scholarships, because camp is for ALL kids.  Whether a family has fallen on hard times, or the camp experience is just too much of a luxury that summer, or funds are being saved for something else, we know that everyone needs a hand up at some time to make sure their kids have camp in their lives!

The Strong Kids Campaign is one of the most important ways that we who are a part of Camp Jorn can be “servant leaders.”  According to Robert K. Greenleaf, founder of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership in Carmel, Indiana, The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is a leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

Greenleaf goes on to say, “The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?

This is the essence of what we do at camp.  We have to ask ourselves, “Do those served grow as persons?  Do they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”

They’re great questions to ask ourselves every day of our lives.  It’s a huge, but worthy, challenge to become, and help others to become, servant leaders in every way.