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Camp Trunk Pick-Up - Camp's Around The Corner

FOMO. For those who do not know what it means, FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. It can also be described as experiencing jealously. We’re writing to you with a severe case of FOMO this Friday afternoon, as we are reminded on social media that campers’ bags are being picked up by Camps and staff orientation starts today (if not a few days ago) at most summer camps.

Chelsea shares: Between my older sister and I, my mother packed (and as we got older we helped) for summer camp for 15 years. Every June my mom would uncover our black duffel bags from the attic and give them a few days in the sun room to “air out”. (I don’t know why that was significant or how it would ever erase the pungent smell of camp). Nonetheless after a few summers packing up for my older sister, by the time my summer camp debut came along she had packing down to a science.

As I got older we’d go through the list thoroughly like the camp veterans we were, did I really need to pack rollerblades that summer? Was I ever going to actually use them? And we’d always revaluate what I needed more of, from the summers past (you can never have too many pairs of socks). While official camp packing starts about a month before bags are picked up it really hits you the final few days.

I’ll never forget the thrill, stress, and excitement of bringing all the other “camp stuff” together the night before the bags were being picked up. Grabbing my tennis racquet out of the garage, trying to squeeze the huge fan into the smallest compartments, and grabbing last minute toys and games for the bunk. In the final hours of packing I could finally feel camp creeping up around the corner. At this point my mom was yelling at me since I forgot to bring something like beach towels down from upstairs, but I didn’t care since though I was physically present, my mind was already miles ahead of me in Maine.

I recently asked if my mom was upset we weren’t packing up for camp this week. We both laughed because it was obviously a more stressful experience for her. However, we’ll get nostalgic when next Saturday will be the official start of camp, and we’ll be home in Connecticut instead of at the bus stop in Rye, New York. Now that’s the day where all the alumni, such as myself, feel VERY FOMO.

Jill shares: nostalgia; memories. As a parent I really, really miss this. Seeing friends and parents post photos of their campers’ trunks being picked up leaves a bittersweet pit in my stomach. The past several days no matter what apartment building I visited in Manhattan, trunks lined the lobbies (with camp names I could spell in my sleep). All I can do is smile, teary-eyed. I remember my secret packing methods passed onto my sister and her kids; the thank you’s from counselors when they saw me visiting day for being so organized. The love notes I packed in special spots so when my kids went to wear something, they’d find a special message I sent them. And you know, they remember all of this too.

When the trunks go, camp is really here. School is over. The true countdown to the best days of your children’s lives really begins.

Teaching Naked (In College)

Goucher College’s latest president, Jose Antonio Bowen, has trailblazing ideas about changing higher education today. I was fortunate to hear him speak firsthand at the recent IECA annual conference. He was beyond engaging. For those not familiar with his book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning , I highly recommend you read it. Or check out TeachingNaked.com.

He had so many important insights, especially that colleges will become obsolete if faculty and teaching methods do not incorporate and address the technology that students today take for granted. And that the college curriculum and experience must prepare students to enter the workforce.

Here are some of my key takeaways from his keynote:

  • Education helps students discover how to transform themselves, to become self-regulating learners. Of note, most of the jobs you will apply to you need to learn about when you leave college, so it is important students become self-learners
  • Education and learning needs to be about change; faculty have been too focused on content
  • Technology requires major changes: 1. Adjusting to social proximity – professors can better engage students by thinking social media first. Students think it’s safer to start online; be where they are. 2. Customization and gaming – remember Burger King, have it your way. Students and even adults now, are used to getting what they want. Why can’t class be like plug and play?
  • New technology means thinking is more important than ever. So the design of courses is paramount; Integration is critical. Professors need to make content stick
  • Colleges need to make massively better classrooms, so students do not think their education can/should consist simply of MOOCs (this massive open online course movement is only 3.5 years old). Colleges need to make information that’s there, matter. College should be a transformative place for education; it’s about building character and growth.

Learning Goals should deliver what employers want: Skills matter to employers, not the major. Students should graduate with a MISSION, not a major.

Employers want/require:
- Critical thinking
- Ethics
- Intercultural and life skills, more important than the major
- Innovation
- Writing, communications, data, computer coding
Colleges need to prepare the mind for the unknown – and the jobs of the future – employers want people with more complex thinking and solving skills

The NEW model: The new professor = cognitive coach.
This Teaching Naked Cycle includes:
- Email to prepare (personal entry point)
- Content for first exposure (read/watch)
- Exams to evaluate (retrieval)
- Writing to reflect (elaborate on context)
- Class to challenge (failure, complexities)
- Cognitive wrappers for self-regulation (abstract)
- E-communication to reinforce (connections)

This model needs to be the integration of ‘A New 3 Rs’:
- Relationships (people) – build community of students and professors. When you ask alumni 40 years later about college; their greatest memory involves a professor relationship – that lasts a lifetime
- Resilience – most important skill needed post-college. Ability to fail and recover
- Reflection – critical part of learning

The real job of educators (at college) is to help students change their mind. Critical thinking matters more than ever.

The real goal of a teacher – is to be a hero, a role model. The real definition of what it means to be smart; is to have the ability to change your mind in front of others. We should find a way to measure how you changed cognitively in college.

What do parents want? For their student to get a job when they graduate college; and not move back home. Colleges need to adjoin at the hip, liberal arts and jobs.

We think Jose Antonio Bowen has an importantly strategic vision for the future of college education. We hope we can look back in 10, 15 years hence and see his vision became a (more of) reality.

Your Everything Summer Reading Guide

There’s no season that is associated more with reading than summer. School’s out, families go on vacation, and there’s no better way to spend a gorgeous Sunday afternoon outside, getting lost in a great book (kids, teens and adults!). The Everything Summer team researched their top summer book recommendations ranging from genres in parenting to comedy. We just can’t wait for some of these books to come onto the shelf (or online to download)! Our summer 2015 recommendations are a mix of thrilling, light, thought provoking, funny and helpful books.

1) Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat — Geared towards young adults, though older readers could enjoy this novel too! Protagonist Ivy is forced to move to a low income neighborhood due to tough family financial times. She realizes not everyone, or everything, is as bad as it may seem. Release date June 16, 2016.

2) Circus Mirandus by Deckle Edge — Micah Tuttle believes in magic. He believes in all of the stories told by his grandfather to be true at Circus Mirandus. We recommend this book to our youngest readers, and hope they bring it with them to camp this summer! Release date June 2, 2015.

3) Finders Keepers by Stephen King — King’s latest thriller depicts a crazed reader whose obsession towards their favorite author goes too far. This blood boiling novel is sure to be a page turner. Release date June 2, 2015.

4) Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee — You know her as the one who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird. Go Set a Watchman takes place is the small town of Maycomb where Scout returns home to see her father and struggles with personal and political issues. Release date July 14, 2015.

5) How To Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims — As the former Dean of Students at Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims saw the harms firsthand of overbearing “helicopter” parents and how it affected her students. This book explains an alternative philosophy for raising kids and preteens. Release date June 9, 2015.

6) In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume — Like Harper Lee, this noteworthy author is releasing her first novel in the 21st century after timeless bestsellers beforehand. Blume portrays the grieving town of Elizabeth, New Jersey as they grapple with an unfortunate plane crash. Release date June 2, 2015.

7) Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid — For our YA readers, characters Dave and Julia create a pack to never be cliché high school students, they even write them down. Some clichés become easier to avoid than others. This isn’t your Mean Girls Burn Book, but Dave and Julia realize that by ostracizing themselves from the clichés of high school they’ve ruined their experiences. Release date August 4, 2015.

8) Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow — What could be the most anticipated book of the summer from the Everything Summer Team, Apatow is rumored to tell a collection of interviews from comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Harold Ramis, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham. Release date June 16, 2015. P.S. The Everything Summer team will see Judd speak live about his book and get it signed in person!

Do you have other top summer books for the season? If yes, we’d love to hear about them.

Running With Camp Friends

Guest Blogger, Rikki, Everything Summer Intern, Camp Lifer & Millennial

I attended camp for ten years. For those who were fortunate enough to have some of the most important and meaningful summer experiences like I was, know how difficult to put into words something that means so much. In short, it was (and still is) my home away from home.

At camp I learned the meaning of independence, courage and true friendship. I say with confidence, I met some of my best friends at camp, and I know they are always there for me, regardless of the decisions I make. So, when I decided to check an item off my bucket list – run a half marathon – I knew I would have their support.

Initially I signed up on my own, not knowing who was running or what to expect. I was nervous, but determined to accomplish this goal, even if it meant running on my own. However, I quickly discovered that many people I attended camp with also decided to run. Some had run a half marathon before, and others, like myself were first-timers but we joined forces and created a plan to train together. Though we were all different ages, we easily meshed and worked together toward a common goal.

We would train together on weekends and discuss what to expect on race day. Each of us ran at different paces, which was okay because we planned to meet at the end, which was so helpful. I may have been running independently, but I definitely wasn’t running alone. Knowing I had camp friends there to support me made the long run in the rain seem so much easier.

Then as if I wasn’t already overwhelmed with support, some of my closest friends who didn’t run in the race surprised me at the finish line. At 9am on Saturday morning, the day they should be sleeping in, there they were, holding neon signs with hilarious slogans and cheering me on at the finish line. The love and support from my camp friends was overwhelming. After many (sweaty) hugs and what seemed like a million pictures, runners and supporters decided to celebrate together. Even though we weren’t at camp, it was like nothing had changed or time had passed. Camp, made me stronger; both physically, and mentally to develop into the person I am today.

To me, it’s clear that running this half marathon proved that camp still has this positive effect on me; I am pushed to be better, do more and grow into someone I want to be. Camp gave me a family and home that doesn’t necessarily need to be on camp grounds, and I am forever thankful for that.

Summer Camp Friendships Get You Through Life

While we love to associate the power of camp friendships with lifelong happy memories and rites of passage, one we do not often discuss is their ability to deal with bereavement.

Recently I experienced how nearly 20 year camp friendships got a dear young adult woman through one of life’s toughest moments, losing a parent with decades left of life to live. At the funeral and grief events, camp friends from near and far gathered to console their good friend. Their favorite camp counselor even sent a most touching note and flowers. While each of these lovely young women live their lives apart, the extraordinary bond that connects them is what they count on to get them through life’s highs and lows. Words cannot express what I saw and felt.

Beyond friendships, this young woman began her eulogy with the letters her parent wrote to her that very first summer of sleepaway camp. While the message was more about her parent’s altruistic character, an underdog champion, the fact that her memory of this was so vividly ingrained in her memory with camp was quite poignant.

When we share with parents the unbreakable bond of summer camp friendships, and why going to sleepaway camp should be a rite of passage for children, nothing speaks louder than actions.

We wish for every child the strength of summer camp friendships.

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