How to handle bullying at camp

Bullying at Camp

Bullying has received a lot of recent press, especially as more and more schools adopt anti-bullying programs in their curriculum. Witnessing school shootings that were, inDr. Chris Thurber part, retaliation for relentless bullying may have increased our empathy toward both bullies and their targets, as well as our motivation to change. But tragic events, additions to curricula and press coverage have all made it seem as if bullying is new. It might surprise you to learn that camping professionals have been taking a systematic, proactive role in preventing bullying since 1929. That year marked the publication of Camping and Character: A Camp Experiment in Character Education.

In Camping and Character, authors Hedley Dimock and Charles Hendry reported on the results of a multi-year study conducted at Camp Ahmek in Ontario. The study sought to uncover the changes evidenced in campers’ behavior during six weeks at camp and to understand the mechanisms behind those changes. Among the more than 50 behaviors the authors tracked was bullying. Dimock and Hendry recognized that even small increases in bullying behavior needed to be addressed by the camp leadership. They were also encouraged by huge increases in many prosocial behaviors, such as “Making a friendly approach to [an] unlikable boy.”

Nearly 80 years later, what are the most important things we’ve learned about bullying? The answer has three parts. First, bullying itself is only half the picture. For every bully, there is at least one target. Second, bullying is cyclic. A recent study by the Center for Disease Control confirmed that about three quarters of bullies are also targets and about three quarters of targets turn around to bully another child. Third, bullying is social. Antisocial, to be sure, but it represents a dynamic, complex, interaction whose origins lie in unhealthy relationships. Therefore, the solutions lie not in simple punishment, but in the formation of healthy relationships.

Summer camps Girls having fun at Camp Alleghanyare uniquely suited to deal with bullying because they are such healthy social environments. At camp, leaders supervise children and have opportunities to educate bullies and targets. Leaders can teach the kinds of prosocial behaviors Dimock, Hendry and their pioneering predecessors saw so often at camps. This is easier to do than most people think, partly because bullying is so often a misguided attempt to make a social connection. If you can teach a bully how to make a social connection without using coercion, threats or violence, you have actually met that child’s needs instead of simply punishing his or her misbehavior.

Specifically, camps help children in the following ways:

• By having the camp staff set a sterling interpersonal example for all children to follow.

• By seeing beyond the bully alone and including his or her target in an intervention.

• By strengthening bullies’ fragile sense of themselves by providing opportunities for authentic achievement and human connection in various athletic or artistic domains.

• By teaching bullies to make social connections through healthy interaction.

• By teaching targets to stand up to bullies in ways that makes bullying unrewarding.

• By setting, early and often in the camp session, strict guidelines for kindness and generosity…and then heaping on the praise when staff witness prosocial behaviors.

• By providing the kind of close supervision that allows both bullies and targets to replay unacceptable or unassertive interactions under the guidance of experienced adult staff.

• By deliberately creating a culture of caring that is perhaps different from school or the neighborhood at home…and then immersing children in that culture.

• By allowing positive peer pressure to exert itself such that children feel appreciated and rewarded for gentleness, honesty, kindness and unselfishness.

Camps are not a bullying panacea. Outside of camp, there are powerful forces, such as violent media, that infuse children with the notion that violent, even lethal solutions to vexing social problems are both effective and glorious. Nevertheless, camp is a powerful, positive force for change. Educating bullies and their targets is just one of the many ways camp enriches lives and changes the world.

So next time you’re talking with your child’s camp director, don’t ask whether they have a bullying prevention program. If all your camp is doing is trying to prevent bullying, that’s not enough. Instead, ask, “When instances of bullying occur, what are the ways your camp’s leaders teach bullies and their targets alternative, prosocial behaviors?” and “How does your camp create a culture that exerts positive peer pressure?”


Enjoy the summer!

Dr. Christopher Thurber

Look into grabbing 'The Summer Camp Handbook' for yourself right here!

Everything Summer Camp Pop Up Soft Trunk and Patch Set

Hey, Camp Fans!

No matter how many different items of camping gear we carry, here at Everything Summer Camp, our pride and joy will always be our C&N Footlockers. Our big, strong, durable trunks, unfortunately, may not always be what you’re looking for to send your kid off to camp with—it’s understandable. Our camp trunks are large, and sometimes, you Pop Up Soft Trunkmight not have a place to go with it after camp is over.

Well, we’ve already thought of that. It’s the reason why we offer our amazing Pop Up Soft Trunk™ duffel bags. Once summer camp comes to an end, Pop Up Soft Trunk™ can be collapsed to lie it flat for easy storage underneath a bed or tucked away in a closet!

This summer you can take this soft footlocker that’s got plenty of pockets to camp with you. The Pop Up Soft Trunk™ is just what you’ll need to move your camp gear with absolute convenience and ease! Rolling on smooth inline skate wheels, the Pop Up Soft Trunk™ is the best soft trunk for you at summer camp!

It may not be a C&N Footlocker, but you can certainly live out of this soft trunk with comparable comfort for the duration of your camp stay. This wire-framed Pop Up Soft Trunk™ is built to last. It maintains its traditional camp trunk shape even after you empty its contents. The frame is really what separates the Pop Up Soft Trunk™ from other ordinary duffel bags.

And now you can personalize your Pop Up Soft Trunk™ with a set of customizable name patches. You can choose your camp logo (if available) or icon, background color, and text. The Pop Up Soft Trunk™ can accommodate two small patches, one on the front and one on the top. This Patch Set includes both patches.

That’s all for today, Campers!





Vendor Spotlight: Speedo Swimwear

Hey, Swim Fans!

If you love the water just as much as the next summer camper, then this blog post is for you! Read on to learn all about one of the most recognized brands on the planet! Kicking for the last 85 years and now sold in more than 170 countries, Speedo has becSpeedo Zebra Side Splice Racerbackome the world’s top-selling brand for girls swim suits and general swim wear.

They use advanced materials and designs that they’ve developed themselves to allow their customers the freedom and speed that they need. It doesn’t matter if you’re just learning to swim or training for the Olympics, Speedo can help you.

All Speedo swimwear absolutely brims with purpose. They all look the way they do from every detail right down to each color used. It all has a purpose that goes along with the functionality of the piece. It all started way back in 1928 with the Racerback suit. It was the first non-wool suit the world had seen. It allowed greater freedom of motion.

Speedo Velocity eBoard Boy swim trunksIn the 50’s, Speedo came out with the first water short and the 70’s brought the first swimwear made of nylon/elastane. In 1994, Speedo introduced Endurance, the first chlorine resistant fabric. In 2000 they made the LZR Racer®, worn by Michael Phelps.

Speedo’s continuous achievements in product development and advancements in technology have kept them at the top of swimwear for competitive swimming. Did you know that there have been more Olympic Gold Medals that were won while wearing Speedo over any other brand?

Speedo has been closely tied to the Olympics since as far back as 1932 when the Australian Claire Dennis won the gold while wearing Speedo in Los Angeles. A lot has changed since way back then, but only for the better. Speedo is still just as involved in the Olympics! In 2008, Michael Phelps showed the world the greatest swimming performance ever seen and made history.

Skill obviously had a lot to do with it. But Speedo certainly plays a part as well. Enjoy your swimming.




Customer Service Bill Me Later

Hey, Camp Preppers!

At Everything Summer Camp we like to make things as convenient as possible for you. We like to think we do a pretty good job at that. Well, now when you’re purchasing your camp trunk, duffel bags, or any other camping gearCamping Gear from us it’s even easier than it was before!

Today I want to tell you about a new payment method you can use to shop on our Web site. It’s called Bill Me Later. It’s a PayPal service. Secure, instant, and reusable, Bill Me Later is a credit line that lets you make a purchase on our Web site today and pay for it later. It’s perfectly safe and you don’t need to carry another plastic card around with you in order to use it.

Thousands of online stores use Bill Me Later as a payment option. All you have to do is enter your date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number, then accept the terms. Bill Me Later is subject to credit approval. Your approval should take just seconds. After that, just set Bill Me Later as the preferred method of payment and you’ll be through PayPal checkout in no time.

To get Bill Me Later yourself is incredibly easy! All you have to do is log into and apply for an account with Bill Me Later. It should only take a few seconds. It’s that easy!

After you make your purchase using Bill Me Later as your payment method, you’ll get a welcome email. Then some time around ten to fourteen days after we ship your order, you’ll get a billing statement in the mail (or by email if your opened your account through PayPal or eBay).

If you need to see when payments are due you can easily log in to to look at your purchases. Also, it’s wise to link your PayPal and Bill Me Later accounts.


That’s all for today, Camp Fans!





C&N Footlockers come with a Lifetime Free Repair Warranty

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

We spend so much time on these blog posts talking about the great companies that we work with here at Everything Summer Camp—bragging for them, praising them, C&N Footlockers Happy Camperexpressing our gratitude to be working with them. But once in a while, I want to spend some time talking about our own company.

So, you know what’s great about Everything Summer Camp? Everything—of course. However, out of all the great things about us, one notable perk to being a customer of ours is the Lifetime Free Repair Warranty we have on all of our C&N Footlockers. That means we’ll repair any one of your damaged footlockers for you, for free—guaranteed for life. You are responsible for the shipping costs and we are responsible for repairing your footlocker. The only thing not covered is cosmetic damage.

Sound good? It gets better than that! When I say we’ll repair any damaged footlocker for free, for life, you should realize that when we manufacture our footlockers, we intend for them to stand up to a lot. That’s why we say we stand behind and on top of them. Because the cute camp trunks that we construct over here are in reality big, bad strongboxes. These trunks are built solid—no doubt.

So, that’s a pretty amazing deal, right? Well, hang on—it gets even better than that. Check it out—90% of the time there won’t be any shipping involved! No repackaging, mailing, or any hassle because almost all of the parts on our trunks can be repaired by you, in your home using nothing but a Phillips screwdriver! We will send you the necessary parts and instructions for free.

When you purchase a C&N Footlocker we want you to know that you’re covered – for life. That’s just one of the many great things about us at Everything Summer Camp!




BYOB: Bring Your Own bobble

Hey there, Camp Enthusiasts!

It’s my absolute pleasure to tell you about one of the amazing companies with whom we here at Everything Summer Camp have the absolute pleasure of doing business. At twenty-six years old, some might consider Everything Summer Camp a young company. But that’s nothing compared to our friends over at bobble.

If we’re young, then bobble’s a baby. It was only three years ago that they got started. And since 2010, bobble’s retail network has grown with ferocity! You can find a bobble water bottle in more than 35,000 stores across each and every one of the United States. They’re in nearly thirty-five countries spanning five continents! In only three years, bobble has sold millions of water bottles the world over!

That’s quite a feat.water-bottle-bobble-group-on-white

The good folks that work at bobble are like-minded, creative individuals with a love for design and the planet. Their reusable, filtered water bottles both change people’s drinking habits for the better and help to remove millions upon millions of discarded, single-serve, plastic water bottles from our planet.

bobble has given the world a sustainable, reusable, portable, filtered water bottle. bobble makes a good point that tap water, unfortunately of wavering quality, has become a second-rate source of water despite the fact that it’s free and widely available. The smart design of a portable, filtered bobble water bottle is you can still use tap as a source of water without concerning over the water’s purity!

Single-serve plastic water bottles all sell nothing but the concept of pure water. But you don’t know that bottled water is really any purer than the tap that comes out of your faucet! That’s why the filter is kind of ingenious! After achieving so much in their first three years, you might wonder to yourself, what else can they do?

To answer the question in their own words, “We’ve only begun. We’re peering around every corner, at each item in our everyday life, and asking ourselves, can we do better?…More often than not, the answer is yes.”

Till next time, Camp Fans.




The Key to a Relaxed Camper is a Relaxed Parent!

How to Ensure Success by Taking Care of Your Own Stress

It’s normal to be anxious about how your son or daughter will do at camp. Yes. That’s right. So relax. It’s normal. And if you’ve read my blogs on homesickness prevention and followed mDr. Chris Thurbery advice, then chances are your child will thrive at camp. (Behind on your prep? No time to read more? Check out this anti-homesickness DVD:

I know you. You’re still worried. Will Sam make friends? Will Pat pass his swim check? Will Robin change his underwear? Will Francis take his medication? I’m a parent, too. I know what it’s like to fret about your kiddo’s future. I also know that fretting openly generally ramps up my kids’ angst.

If you’d perused clinical psychology journals in the late 1990’s, you’d have read Lisa Capps’s research on anxiety transmission from parent to child. Her studies showed that when parents spoke nervously to their elementary school children about things that could go wrong on the walk to and from school, the kids developed school phobias of varying intensity. Worry, as it turns out, can be contagious.

The key for parents who may be worrying about what might go wrong at camp (and that’s all of you reading this) is to share those concerns with another adult. Your son or daughter needs to hear a consistently positive message of confidence and optimism, such as: “You’ll love camp” and “I know you’ll do great” and “It’s gonna be a terrific experience” and “I can’t wait to hear about your new friends and the new things you try.”

With your spouse, partner, colleague or best friend, you can say, “I won’t sleep soundly until I get his first letter” or “I’ll be checking the camp’s website every hour” or “I don’t know what I’ll do without him” or “I’m not ready for her to go away this year…I should have waited until next summer.” But beware of sharing those thoughts—and other nervous notions—with your child. You’ll create worry where there wasn’t any.

If I’ve convinced you to keep your public pronouncements positive, I’m pleased. But now you’re wondering, “What if—after all I’ve done to keep my concerns among trusted peers—it’s actually my child who rings the alarm bells?” I’ve already told you the answer: Express confidence, optimism and positivity. The trick is being ready to respond.

Almost every child headed to summer camp for the first time will ask, “What if I feel homesick?” Well-intentioned parents will sometimes make the monumental mistake of saying, “If you feel homesick, I’ll come and get you.” But think about the subtext of that remark. What you’re really saying is, “I have so little confidence in your ability to cope with this normal feeling, that I think the only solution is for me to come and rescue you.”

That shaky message is not what any youngster needs to hear, directly or indirectly. So be ready with: “There are many things you love about home, and I’m sure you’ll miss some of them. You’ll probably be having so much fun, that you’ll barely notice any homesick feelings. But if anything starts to bother you, I’m sure you’ll know what to do. And remember, your counselor or cabin leader is also there to help.”

Still have a few unanswered questions? You’ll feel better if you had the answers. So now is the time to read everything the camp has sent you. And check out the website one more times. Then call the camp director if there are still lingering pre-season queries. Remember, information is the best antidote to your own anxiety. And when that’s under control, your child will sense your calm. That, too, is contagious.

Enjoy the summer!

Chris Thurber Signature




Dr. Christopher Thurber

Look into grabbing 'The Summer Camp Handbook' for yourself right here!

The Versatile Headwear: Wind X-treme

Hey, Camp Lovers!

I have quite the product to tell you about today. It’s another new product that we’ve now started to carry here at Everything Summer Camp, your one-stop online shop for all your summer camp needs. You’re guaranteed heavy-duty protection with a lightweight feel wearing this innovative headwear from Wind X-treme.

More than just a bandana, this headwear is actually, in essence, simply a stretchy sleeve. Yet, with a little imagination, and a slight amount of skill, this ingenious piece of fabric transforms into more than ten different uses! Similar to buff headwear made popular by the reality shoWDX-Main-bordeuxw Survivor, Wind X-treme headwear is sure to soon be all the rage.

The fabric is designed for many different kinds of action-sports. Whether you’re into skiing, biking, running, hiking, climbing, or tennis, Wind X-treme headwear is essential! The reason you can wear it for so many different occasions and in so many different ways is because of the fabric’s amazing elasticity.

You can wear this headwear as a facemask, a helmet liner, a skull cap, a neckerchief, a neck gaitor, a headband, balaclava, a pirate cap, for a more stoic look you can wear it as a sahariane, use it as a hairband, a scrunchy, a wristband, or a scarf! So as you can see, this garment is truly as versatile as it is soft and comfortable.

It’s made with high performance microfiber technology that’s moisture-wicking and quick to dry. Wind X-treme headwear gives you exclusive protection no matter what the season. It insulates the cold winter air as well as summer’s heat. This fabric has built-in warmth without having any additional weight. Yet it’s still highly elastic and breathable too.

This fashionable headwear is sure to be one hot item this camp season. How many uses can you wear it? Till next time, Camp Fans.





Camp Spotlight: Camp Laney

Why Send Your Son to Summer Camp?

Today’s world is becoming more complex each day. Children are exposed to many different lifestyles and values and must choose among them.

At Camp Laney we emphasize many traditional values, and our staff and program are directed toward helping each boy lead a happier, richer and more fulfilling life. The camp activities will provide your son with some of his most exciting boyhood memories. He will talk about his adventures at camp for years to come.

IMG_9647With the successes he experiences in his activities, a boy’s self-confidence grows daily. Living as part of a group, a boy learns to give and take, and get along with his counselors and cabinmates. Away from home, he becomes more responsible for himself and his belongings.

Surrounded by rugged natural beauty, many boys begin to appreciate the outdoors for the first time.

The most rewarding aspect of camp is the warm friendships that develop between the campers and between the campers and staff. The staff is the most important aspect of any camp. Our senior staff members must have completed a year of college. These young men serve as models for our campers. We are looking for young men of outstanding character who are mature, have a natural liking and ability to get along with boys, and have the ability to teach a skill. Camp is a growing and educational experience. We sincerely feel that by sending your son to camp you are making a priceless investment in his future.



Leading Outdoor Apparel: Red Ledge

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

Today I want to tell you about a great company whose products can be found right here at Everything Summer Camp. Red Ledge—a leading brand in outdoor apparel and rain gear  for the avid outdoorsy folk—provides its customers with attractive, comfortable, technical, and affordable products.

Red Ledge, a very charitable company that’s been developing their products and satisfying their customers for over fifteen years, seems to really enjoy thinking outside of the box and going above and beyond in order to help those who are in need.Red Ledge Youth Jakuta Jacket - Red - Front

The Red Ledge mission statement reads, “Rain doesn’t have to be such a bad thing, it does so much good for the world and WE can too.” Everything Summer Camp is more than honored to be working alongside such a charitable business that gives so much back to emerging countries and the people in the world who are truly in need.

How does Red Ledge help others who need it? Well, this year they’ve funded their first water project completely through charity. Water, Red Ledge’s non-profit organization helps brings clean drinking water that’s actually safe to consume to the people in developing nations who don’t always have clean, safe drinking water readily available like we do in America.

And so, Red Ledge painstakingly designs an attractive rain-jacket along with other rain gear, producing performance-driven fabrics with technical features to provide their avid outdoorsy customers with suitable clothing that can stand up to the elements only to selflessly dish their profits out toward funding projects that help the needy.

They did it this year and they aim to continue funding future water projects in the coming year. In doing so, Red Ledge hopes to cut down the stereotypes and typical behavior of successful companies. Showing the world some class and initiative about issues in our modern world is a great way to start! When you buy a Red Ledge rain jacket, you are vicariously helping those who can use fresh and safe drinking water.

The gang here at Everything Summer Camp salutes you, Red Ledge. Thank you for showing the world the compassionate side of a company.