Woohoo! Summer 2014 has officially begun with the arrival of our Session One campers. We could not be more excited! Today was a busy day. The clouds and rain changed into a beautiful sunny afternoon/evening just as the campers on the bus arrived. Campers were introduced to their cabin mates, went on a round robin to various key places on camp, had swim assessments, signed up for classes, and more. We had a yummy spaghetti dinner and ended the night with our opening campfire. All is well at Camp Jorn, and tomorrow looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day. On a closing note, Happy Fathers Day to all of our wonderful CJ fathers and father figures.
Tag Archives: summer
Today has been a crazy day, with hail this morning and thunderstorms this afternoon! Although the kids are having fun making candy sushi, friendship bracelets, and tie-dying! There was a few sunny hours where the kids got to play messy twister!
The White Water Rafting trip went very well! There was not a rain drop the entire trip and everyone had a blast! All the kids said “That was Awesome!” when they got back to camp.
Tonight we have our weekly Sock Hop! Which will be indoors, and everyone will be dressing in their finest superhero outfits.
Hope everyone has a nice Thursday! We are sad that tomorrow is our last full day with Session One Campers, but we will have Friendship Fire tomorrow night!
Another summer is roaring towards us! Every summer brings with it new excitement and it’s own uniqueness, but this year marks a very special place in our history. This summer, we are celebrating our 60th anniversary!! 60 years is an accomplishment, but for CJ it feels like an even bigger accomplishment because it involves so many. In the camping world, we say “we’re in the relationship business,” and it’s true. Our history is only important because of all the connections and relationships we’ve made with the people that have crossed our path. Not only would we not be in existence without you, but we wouldn’t have had such a rich and fulfilling past and an even brighter future to look forward to, without you. For that, we thank you!
This August 16 through 19, we’ll be wrapping up our summer with a 60th anniversary weekend celebration, and we hope you can join us! Friday evening, August 16, will kick off the weekend with a group dinner and performance from Bret & Frisk. Saturday will host many of your favorite camp activities like canoeing on Rest Lake, horseback riding, water skiing, archery, etc. We’ll also have a special celebration Saturday night. Sunday, we’ll host our Up-North community pancake breakfast and leave you to your leisure to enjoy CJ. To register, please check out our 60th anniversary page on our website or call the camp office at 715-543-8808.
We’re also in the process of creating a Camp Jorn History book, with help of author “Buckshot” Anderson. Buckhot, is gathering stories from alumni to add to the book and get a feel of what the last 60 years at camp have been like. If you’d like to share your CJ story to be considered for the book, please go to our online questionnaire. The book will also feature photos from over the last 60 years. If you’d like to see our historical photos you can view them at SmugMug or on our Camp Jorn YMCA Facebook page.
Although things have changed in many ways over the last 60 years at Camp Jorn, many things remain the same. Children still sing the same songs, take the same bus ride up to camp, swim & play in Rest Lake, have camp outs at Fox Island, and come to camp for new adventures and leave as better people than when they arrived. That is what CJ is at it’s heart, and something that will stand the test of time.
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.
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!
Until next time,
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!
Below are some pics from this summer. To see more please visit our Facebook page.
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.
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!
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!
Whether your child has been to Camp Jorn in the past, or any camp for that matter, going to camp is still a “new experience” each time around. As a parent myself, I love to see my kids trying new things and meeting new people- I think it helps them grow in ways they normally wouldn’t during their everyday routines. New experiences can be exciting and scary at the same time, but if there’s one thing I believe in wholeheartedly, it’s that the camp experience is one of the best opportunities out there for kids!
At the website “sandbox-learning.com,” I read about 7 Strategies for Preparing Children for New Experiences. I think most of these strategies are relevant to the camp experience as well, and they have some great ideas for parents to help their kids make the transition to something new (my “camp” notes are in italics):
1. Help Children Understand When an Event Will Occur – Children can become very excited about activities. They may ask days or weeks in advance about plans. Help children gain an understanding of when an event will occur by marking it on the calendar and having a countdown. This is a great tool- count down the days to camp!
2. Set Expectations – New experiences often come with new rules and expectations. Be sure to set rules and expectations in advance. Prepare children by reading books on or role playing about the new experiences. A good strategy- for camp, you can go over the Camper Handbook with kids, check out the Camp Jorn website, and look at photos and information on this blog and our Facebook page. You can even “pretend” to be at camp the first day, and talk about what your child might experience then.
3. Let Children Participate in Planning – Children will have more ownership in an event if they are able to help plan it. These kinds of activities teach planning and independence skills that apply later in life. The camp experience will “belong” to your child- let them check out the “what to bring” list and pack a lot of their own clothes, talk about activities they want to participate in, and go over how to take care of their things at camp.
4. Build on Existing Skills and Familiar Experiences – When children relate past situations or expectations to new ones they are able to build on existing knowledge. This allows children to have a parallel for their expectations and draw on their past experiences. Sometimes it’s tough to draw a parallel to camp, but it can be related to school field trips in which you have a lot of fun, but need to remember to stay together and follow the directions of your leader/teacher, or a family picnic where there will be a lot of people and fun things to do.
5. Leverage Opportunities for Learning –Events offer a multitude of opportunities for developing skills. Use naturally occurring events to teach new skills or develop emerging skills. Talk with your child about all the things he or she will be learning at camp- not just how to water ski, or paddle a canoe, but also how to live and work together in a cabin group, how to make new friends, and how to appreciate nature.
6. Use Visuals – Photographs, drawings, or lists can be used as reminders for rules, expectations, or schedules. Visuals can be viewed before, during, and after an event to set expectations, keep children on track, and review the experience. Make sure the choice of visuals is simple, understandable, and easy to access. This is an easy one for camp- check out the Camp Jorn website, Camper and Parent information, this blog, Facebook, the brochure, and any surveys or communication from camp before and after your child’s session. We love to hear from you, and it helps Camp get a better idea of who your child is and how we can make his or her experience the best it can be!
7. Reinforce Appropriate Behavior – Consistent and immediate reinforcement of appropriate behavior gives children a clear understanding of what they are doing correctly. People tend to note when children do things wrong rather than right. Asking your child open-ended questions before and after their camp experience helps you better understand where your child is coming from, and will help you process the experience later. Also, we strive to be sure that things your child learns at camp will be useful to them in other parts of their lives- things you can positively acknowledge and reinforce with them, like independence, compassion, and self-worth.
Finally, celebrate your camper’s new experiences by listening to their stories, congratulating them on their successes, and giving them a big CJ hug!!
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!