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25Nov '16
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If you #blackfriday, now try #givingtuesday

If you #blackfriday, now try #givingtuesday

November 25, 2016

All donations made at www.wiumcamps.org on November 29, 2016 will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to the first $10,000. You can't find a deal that good on Black Friday.

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23Nov '16
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Camp notes: Grandparent Edition

Camp notes: Grandparent Edition

November 23, 2016

"Go home to your own people," Jesus said, "and tell them what the Lord has done for you and how he has shown you mercy." ~Mark 5:19

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22Nov '16
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What is Giving Tuesday?

November 22, 2016

One week from today is Giving Tuesday. Are you ready to give? Wait just a bit longer, then join us at wiumcamps.org/donate.

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21Nov '16
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I Heart Camp photo/essay contest winners announced

November 21, 2016

The prizes have arrived! We're pleased to announce that the following camp supporters will receive an embroidered fleece blanket with the I Heart Camp logo. Thank you for all the great submissions of camp.

Written Word: Julia Colantonio

The day I felt God’s presence.

Everybody was around me crying. Some sad about leaving camp and all their new friends, some sad because of problems at home or school. We had all opened our hearts to each other that night and let everyone share the pain. There was one specific time that night where I had felt God’s presence in me for the first time. One of the counselors was saying “I know you’re all in pain right now…” and honestly I can not tell you what she said next because at that moment, I felt no pain. I felt peace fill up my body as the Holy Spirit filled my soul. My heart felt unexplainable, filled with peace. It kind of felt like a still lake, in the middle of a mountain valley, undisrupted. There was a feeling of such pureness, and at that point, I had not felt pain, and could not come up with any reason at all that I would have pain. All of my problems seemed to disappear in God’s hands. Right after I had that feeling, I started to cry tears of joy, that God will always take away my pain. I will always remember this experience through my life and remember that He can always take away your pain.

Unfiltered Photo: Dave Stettner

Unfiltered Photo: Dave Stettner

Unfiltered, under age 14: James, age 9

Unfiltered, under age 14: James, age 9

Filtered Photo: Amanda Hinthorn

Filtered Photo: Amanda Hinthorn

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18Nov '16
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Overnight summer camps are better for your kids than SAT prep classes

Overnight summer camps are better for your kids than SAT prep classes

November 18, 2016

Okay, we admit it, it's a blog title meant to catch your attention. But is it true? We love camp, but it is really better than SAT prep? It all depends on what your life goals are. The article below talks specifically about sending your kids to camp for the whole summer. But those of us who work at WIUMCamps can tell you we see these same things happening at our camps -- whether it's a week by yourself or even a short weekend of Family Camp. We're putting the finishing touches on our schedule for Summer 2017 -- we hope you're saving a week to join us!

thestar.com

Overnight summer camps are better for your kids than SAT prep classes | Toronto Star

By Laura Clydesdale/The Washington Post

Indeed, every summer, my kids “miss out” on the specialized, résumé-building summers that their peers have. Their friends go to one-sport summer camps and take summer school to skip ahead in math. Older peers go to SAT/ACT prep classes. One kid worked in his dad’s business as an intern, while another enrolled in a summer program that helped him write all his college essays.

Many (this woman included) would say that I’m doing my children a serious disservice by choosing a quaint and out-of-date ideal instead. There are online “Ivy League Coaches” that might say we are making a terrible mistake.

We don’t think this is a mistake at all. It might not be something to put on the college application (unless my child eventually becomes a counsellor), but that isn’t the goal for us.

Our goal is bigger.

We are consciously opting out of the things-to-put-on-the-college-application arms race and instead betting on three huge benefits of summer camp, which we believe will give them a true competitive advantage in life:

1. Building creativity.

2. Developing broadly as a human being.

3. Not-living-in-my-basement-as-an-adult independence.

MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson says in his book The Second Machine Age that we have reached a pivotal moment where technology is replacing skills and people at an accelerated pace. He argues that creativity and innovation are becoming competitive advantages in the race against artificial intelligence, because creativity is something a machine has a hard time replicating.

The problem is that creativity seems so intangible.

Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” He believed that people invent when they connect the dots between the experiences they’ve had. To do this, he argued, we need to have more experiences and spend more time thinking about those experiences.

Indeed. According to Adam Grant’s book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, researchers at Michigan State University found that to receive the Nobel Prize, you need deep study in your field and those broad experiences Jobs was talking about. They studied the winning scientists from 1901 through 2005 and compared them with typical scientists living at the same time. Grant writes that the Nobel Prize winners were:

  • Two times more likely to play an instrument, compose or conduct.
  • Seven times more likely to draw, paint or sculpt.
  • Seven-and-a-half times more likely to do woodwork or be a mechanic, electrician or glass-blower.
  • Twelve times more likely to write poetry, plays, novels or short stories.
  • And 22 times more likely to be an amateur actor, dancer or magician.

You read that right. Magician.

It’s not just that this kind of original thinker actively seeks out creative pursuits. These original experiences provide a new way of looking at the world, which helped the prizewinners think differently in their day jobs.

The beauty of summer camp is that not only do kids get to do all sorts of crazy new things, they also get to do it in nature, which lends its own creative boost.

Most importantly, my kids have such intensely packed schedules full of sports, music, art classes, community service and technological stimulation throughout the school year that it makes finding these all-important quiet mental spaces more difficult.

Summers provide a much-needed opportunity for my children to unplug, achieve focus and develop those creative thought processes and connections.

OK, OK. Creativity might be a compelling tool to beat out that neighbour girl applying to the same college, but what about this “developing broadly as a human being” stuff?

I didn’t come up with that phrase. Harvard did.

William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions at Harvard, has penned a compelling letter to parents. It practically begs and pleads with them to re-evaluate the summer extracurriculars race and to “bring summer back,” with an “old-fashioned summer job” perhaps, or simply time to “gather strength for the school year ahead.”

Fitzsimmons writes, “What can be negative is when people lose sight of the fact that it’s important to develop broadly as a human being, as opposed to being an achievement machine. In the end, people will do much better reflecting, perhaps through some down time, in the summer.”

In terms of “developing broadly as a human being,” summer camp can provide an impressive list of life skills.

Studies over the past decade have shown outdoor programs stimulate the development of interpersonal competencies, enhance leadership skills and have positive effects on adolescents’ sense of empowerment, self-control, independence, self-understanding, assertiveness, decision-making skills, self-esteem, leadership, academics, personality and interpersonal relations.

Now for the cherry on top: independence.

Michael Thompson, the author of Homesick and Happy, has written, “ ... there are things that, as a parent, you cannot do for your children, as much as you might wish to. You cannot make them happy (if you try too hard they become whiners); you cannot give them self-esteem and confidence (those come from their own accomplishments); you cannot pick friends for them and micromanage their social lives, and finally you cannot give them independence. The only way children can grow into independence is to have their parents open the door and let them walk out. That’s what makes camp such a life-changing experience for children.”

So, yes, Ms. Tiger Mom, I am letting my children walk out the door and make useless lanyards for two months.

They might not have anything “constructive” to place on their college application, but they will reflect, unwind, think and laugh. They will explore, perform skits they wrote themselves and make those endless friendship bracelets to tie onto the wrists of lifelong friends.

The result will be that when they come back through our door, we’re pretty sure that, in addition to having gobs of creativity and independence, they’ll be more comfortable with who they are as people.

And just maybe they’ll even bring back a few magic tricks.

Laura Clydesdale lives in Berkeley, Calif., with her husband and children. She blogs at lauraclydesdale.com. Follow her on Twitter @l_clydesdale.

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14Nov '16
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Five Reasons to Reclaim the Chapel

Five Reasons to Reclaim the Chapel

November 14, 2016

The chapel has been our spiritual home in the woods for over 50 years. The history in this place is amazing. Generations of campers have worshiped and prayed here.

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11Nov '16
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How to give on #GivingTuesday

How to give on #GivingTuesday

November 11, 2016

How to give online and double your impact at camp

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10Nov '16
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Camp T-shirt Day 2016

Camp T-shirt Day 2016

November 10, 2016

Don't keep your camp pride to yourself!

On Tuesday, November 15, relive the best of summer (or retreat season) by wearing your favorite Pine Lake or Lake Lucerne wear.

Spread the love even further by sharing on Facebook or Instagram. #camptshirtday

Check it all out here: http://www.summer365.com/camp-tshirt-day-2016/

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