Are You Climbing at Camp?

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

If you’re a regular climbin’ Simon, then you’re no stranger to the strength, endurance, and overall health that goes hand in hand with the climbing life. You can imagine that there’s really no telling just how old Rock Climbing is; people have been climbing rock for as long as it has stood in our way. We’ve been doing it out of necessity since the expansion of our species when we first encountered towering rock formations that had to be surmounted.

Rock Climbing as a sport, however, is something that came along in the late 1800s, gradually growing in popularity as it changed its face from its origin of necessity to an athletic accomplishment. So why do people choose to get into Climbing when it’s no It's a good timin' for climbin' when you head to summer camp!longer a necessity? Well, like all activities at summer camp, it promotes a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Check out just a few of the benefits that Rock Climbing brings with it:

Valuable Life Skills
Rock Climbing may feel like an incredibly physical sort of activity—and it is! But don’t let that take away from the character-building traits that this sport can instill in you. Along with Rock Climbing comes strength, determination, perseverance, stamina, and more.

Reduces Stress
While the process in itself is certainly no stroll in the park, Climbers often experience the equivalence of a runner’s high once they’ve hit their summit, resulting in a lightness and almost invincible sort of feeling. Ella B. gave us a Climbing account for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest a couple years back saying, I feel so small and so big at the same time. I close my eyes and let all my worries melt away.” Check out the whole submission by clicking here (http://blog.everythingsummercamp.com/climb-r-ella/).

Builds Muscle and Endurance
It goes without saying that Climbing takes incredible upper body strength in order to hoist one’s own body into higher and higher places. Other times, Climbers need to use their legs to push themselves upward to the next position. I posted a number of years back about training techniques Climbers can utilize before they hit the wall (or real rock) Check it out by clicking here (http://blog.everythingsummercamp.com/time-to-climb/).

Boosts Brain Function
More than muscle strength, flexibility, and finger dexterity, Climbing calls upon constant consideration and problem-solving skills. Climbing a route requires body awareness and extreme focus to know where your next grab is going to be and where you can place your foot.

And, as Ella’s camp submission alludes, the cherry on top of all these Climbing benefits spending your time in the outdoors (assuming your climbing rock). Simply spending time outside shows signs of decreasing ADHD symptoms, improving memory, boosting creativity, and more. Always take the proper safety precautions when Climbing and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

The Facts of Acting

Hey, Thespians!

To be or not to be: that is the question. Well, it’s A question, anyway. I guess my question is more so, do you have a passion for Acting?  Y’know—drama, stage performance, the theatre! If you love attention, if you have a passion for storytelling, and if you are fascinated with breathing life into fictional characters, then you certainly belong on the stage!

Folks have been flexing their Acting muscle since ancient times. The oldest surviving play that we’re aware of would be ‘The Persians’, a tragedy from the playwright Aeschylus—first performed back in 472 BC. Perhaps there were other productions that precede this, but there is no existing evidence of one. In any case, people have been acting for thousands of years!
Lights! Stage! Action!More than just a career, people devote themselves to truly building and becoming all sorts of characters. Check out what people get out of the Acting experience and why they love it so much:

Develops Confidence
Performing in front of an audience can seem daunting to some people (I know it would make me sweat)! But if you can muster up the courage to see yourself through your first production, you’re likely to find yourself hooked on the limelight!

Teaches Empathy
Acting IS putting yourself in another person’s shoes. Actors quickly develop their abilities to understand what other people are going through—a trait of maturity that some people never attain.

Builds Memory
Memorizing lines—not to mention, the rundown of entire productions—certainly helps keep your mind sharp and your memory keen! Exercise your memory; you never know if you can commit all your character lines to memory until you try!

Thinking outside the Box
Philosophies behind acting can often lead to profound, paradigm-shifting concepts that end up tweaking our perception of life. For instance, many people believe Acting to be about pretending to be a different person while a good actor knows it’s about finding and magnifying the part of you that’s similar to your character.

Enjoy developing the actor in you during your summer camp experience. Don’t be afraid to ask camps about the level of focus they have on theatre productions so you know if it will be suitable for the level that you’re seeking for your kid. Break a leg this summer and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Cast your line at Summer Camp!

Hey, Fishing Aficionados!

Waterfront activities are pretty much essential to every summer camp experience! And no matter what your favorite thing to do is when it comes to the water, everyone knows that the water welcomes us into almost another world. From Swimming to Kayaking to Canoeing and Wakeboarding, summer camps offer lots of activities involving the water. But one of the most relaxing ones is Fishing.

People have been Fishing since…forever ago. You can check out this Blog post from a Fishing is sure to give you some time to yourself or to enjoy with a close friend.few years back in which we look into the history of Fishing by clicking here. Fishing is an age-old sport—like prehistoric kind of old. It goes WAY back. Even long before ancient Egyptians caught Perch and Tilapia in the Nile, Stone Age cavemen would fish for their food. We see evidence of our ancestors Fishing as early back as the ‘Paleolithic Era’ which was around 40,000 years ago.

More than just a sport—more than just a pastime, some people love spending their days Gone Fishin’ just as often as they can. Check out what people get out of the Fishing experience and why they love it so much:

Peace and Serenity
It’s easy to understand what people love about Fishing. Sitting out on the serene surface of the water out in the wilderness provides an immediate sense of peacefulness. We could probably all benefit by breaking from out busy lives and finding some stillness as Fishing offers.

Teaches us Patience
Whether the fish are biting or not, you can enjoy a day out on the water. Fishing doesn’t require excitement. It’s enjoyable to just look out on the water, soak in the sun and relax. Fishing brings enjoyment even when nothing is happening and we welcome stillness into our lives. It teaches us to be patient with our time.

Adrenaline Rush
The thrill of the catch brings an edge to this patient, peaceful activity. It’s not all about resting and waiting. And you better be ready when the moment comes that you get a bite! The battle can go either way. Feel out the motion of the fish on your line and reel it in with steady force!

Atmosphere
Like many things, your time Fishing depends on your company. But whether you go with friends or you go alone, Fishing offers you time away from everything else. It creates the atmosphere for bonding time among friends and can be a meditative time to know yourself better for times you go alone.

Remain peaceful and patient with Fishing as your guide. A common activity at summer camps, find one where you can Fish to your heart’s content with other kids who love Fishing just like you and be sure to enjoy your time on the water. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Schoolery for Jewelry

Hey, Creative Campers!

Summer camps are fun factories. They’re all different, but most provide their campers with somewhere between 50 and 100 activities! Some activities are an outlet for your sense of adventure while others indulge your quieter side to enjoy a simple activity that provides a creative outlet. Jewelry-Making definitely lends itself to the latter.

The art of Jewelry-Making dates back to ancient times. Jewelry artifacts have given archeologists some insight into the culture of civilizations from long ago such as the Ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, and Romans. We can trace jewelry through history of ancient times to the Middle Ages, to the Renaissance, the 18th Century, and beyond.Hands across the water...wearing jewelry!

Depending on the style, jewelry can either add a spark or gently complement the outfit you’re wearing. They typically consist of such valued materials as gemstones, amber, beads, shells, precious metals, and an assortment of other alternatives. Culturally, jewelry is appreciated for its beauty, sentimental meaning, status symbol, and more. Wearing jewelry makes you feel good, special even—sort of like wearing a good luck charm as you go about your day.

This list of benefits for actually MAKING pieces of jewelry, however, are much more than simply wearing it. Take a look at some of the different healthy effects jewelry-making has on us:

Therapeutic
First of all, Jewelry-Making is an absolutely therapeutic hobby. It helps creators to unwind and zone in on this one, simple task. This hobby helps quiet the mind and gives you time to do some other less-busy things like listen to music and enjoy a cup of tea.

Creativity
Assuming you have an abundance of supplies and pieces from bead shops at your disposal, there’s really no limit to the creativity you can put into your creations. Make them as unique and as beautiful as your artistic vision drives them to be!

Healthiness
Committing your time to a hobby is always as good for the soul as it is for the body and mind. Jewelry-Making offers your body decompression time that relaxes the mind and eliminates stress from the body. And you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction in your soul over your creations.

Social Skills
As intimate and personal as your projects may be, Jewelry-Making can be fun with the right group around too. Making jewelry with friends can give you the chance to compare designs, get advice, or simply share stories as you pass the time. It could be a great way to make friends too.

Personalized Jewelry
You’re sure to love your jewelry that much more when it bears your own creative touch. Make your jewelry YOUR jewelry when you create your own pieces! The jewelry you make is an extension of yourself so it can feel very rewarding to wear what is essentially a piece of yourself.

Gifts
As good as it feels to wear your own jewelry creations, it can feel just as good to share your skills with family and friends by gifting your pieces to the loved ones in your life. And a homemade gift that’s from the heart is sure to be appreciated.

A great hobby to keep you happy and healthy, Jewelry-Making at summer camp is bound to provide you with awesome materials and people with whom you can share your creative passion! Enjoy making your jewelry pieces at camp and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Wrestling up a More Hands-On Activity

Hey, Competitive Campers!

Summer camp activities range from artistic to adventurous and some challenge you in a thoughtful, contemplative manner while others bring test your abilities in a way that’s a little more hands-on. With Wrestling, you get the best of both worlds as any good wrestler must always be thinking ahead to their next step, but also physically execute a takedown of your opponent in order to claim victory.

Wrestling is one of the oldest forms of combat. It entails at least (and typically) two competitors or sparring partners who use grappling styles such as clinch fighting, throws, joint locks, holds, takedowns, and pins. Styles vary greatly with influence from both historic as well as modern styles. It’s at the core of a plethora of other manners of fighting such as martial arts or hand-to-hand military combat.

To achieve success, wrestlers need to build a slew of beneficial skills that include but are Wrestling is a world of exciting takedowns and pins!far from limited to their physical fitness. Here’s a breakdown of some of the things that are sharpened in the world of a wrestler:

Basic Athletic Skills—First and foremost, of course, wrestlers must be athletically equipped. Most sports feature your coordination with your arms and your legs, but Wrestling commands the taxing control of places like your neck and your back and the whole body in general.

Personal Responsibility—Wrestlers accept and assume responsible for their training, their weight, their clear-mindedness, their commitment, their score. They recognize that it’s on them to keep themselves in check on the disciplined lifestyle they need to lead.

Mental Fortitude—Wrestlers need to have the mental perseverance in order to push their body far past a state of comfort. Wrestling doesn’t feel pleasant, but a Wrestler’s mind can’t be afraid to endure the pain.

Nutritional Dieting—Good Wrestlers turn down cake and savor their fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Forget the soda pop and go for some water. Wrestlers know that the better their diet, the higher their energy. And the higher their energy, the better their performance.

Camaraderie—Bonds form quickly over the daily challenges a wrestler must face and, being a sport based in diversity itself, it unites sparring partners and competitors alike who come from all around the world.

Focus—Wrestlers have a wide array of techniques at their disposal, but learning them all isn’t necessarily the smartest route. The best wrestlers dedicate their focus to a few different moves that they master and attempt with unfailing determination in matches.

Fun—That’s it. It just is. That’s why young kids roughhouse and baby animals fight each other in play. Wrestlers increase the fun they have in their world simply by doing what makes them happy.

A beneficial sport indeed for kids to get involved with, find a summer camp that offers a wrestling program if you’re passionate about playin’ around with a developed strategy. Enjoy the journey of mastering your wrestling moves and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Let Me Show You the Ropes…Benefits

What’s up, Summer Campers?

Some of the activities that you’ll participate in at summer camp may challenge how much you thought you were capable of achieving. The thrill of seeing just how far you can go can come as you calmly sit behind a canvas or it can strike you alarmingly as you traverse a Ropes Course at high altitudes. Today I’m talking about the latter.

Get a load of these fearless Ropes Traversers!Ropes Courses are a challenging outdoor experience with elements that may have ground level obstacles along with portions just above the ground as well as elements that are rather high up, constructed in trees or made using utility poles with the participants suspended for safety with anchored llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllropes called belays.

An extension of ground-level obstacle courses, Ropes Courses have been a part of military training since the days of the Ancient Greeks. They were used as a means of training Herculean individuals into states of physical fitness—now able to be experienced when you head to summer camp!

And sure, this activity is one that can whip you into shape, but its benefits far surpass the physical level. As campers conquer the Ropes Course at their summer camp, here’s a list of ways this exercise can help build your character as well as mental—and even emotional—maturity:

  • Problem-Solving
  • Brainstorming Ideas
  • Goal-Setting
  • Decision-Making
  • Self-Confidence
  • Positive Risk-Taking
  • Leadership
  • Enhanced Cooperation
  • Teamwork
  • Trust

A couple people were quoted in ‘The Mirror’—the official student-run news site for SPASH, the Stevens Point Area High School. Ryan M. said about his experience on his school’s Ropes Course “I enjoy the course very much. It has taught me to face my fears.” Eliza S., a former student, remarked that “The course gives you amazing opportunities to find yourself.”

Maybe you’ll find yourself on a Ropes Course this coming summer camp season. Good luck up there! And have fun attaining awesome character traits as you swing from rope to rope! And, as always, have fun!

- John

Who Goes Mare?

Hey, Summer Campers!

Welcome back for our second installment of our fresh, new Everything Summer Camp Blog category, Summer Camp Activities. In these posts, I’ll review the basics of specific activities that you may find at your summer camp and see just what exactly it is that kids like so much about these fun and campy pastimes.

Today, I’m speaking to all you equestrians out there as well as anyone who has no experience but lots of interest in riding on the back of mankind’s other best friend. Today, we’re talking horses!At the right camp, you'll have the opportunity to ride on, cowboys and cowgirls!

Horseback Riding is a display of mastering the partnership between yourself and your horse. It’s a sport that works the rider’s core muscles and builds abdominal strength, as well as strength in back and pelvic muscles. It sharpens coordination as well as stability and increases focus on anticipating the motion of the horse.

But as you can see from this young woman’s account, Horseback Riding isn’t just good for the body—it typically has a desirable mental effect as well, quieting the mind and bringing the rider to a meditative state of mindfulness:

Maddy M. shared with me how she has battled depression for years now, but one thing that always helps is going to see her horse, Bambi. “On my bad days I’ll go out there and she takes it all away like it doesn’t exist. She makes me feel free. When I’m on her back riding it’s like no one can touch me.”

Maddy’s description coincides with a common sense approach to explain the connection and peace of mind that riders tend to feel—when you’re riding, all you’re thinking about is riding. Riding and balancing. It induces a level of mindfulness that requires constant focus on the proper posture for riding. It makes sense that it quiets the mind.

Follow your heart. If you love horses, then I’m sure you’ll be sure to do some Riding this summer when you head off to your exciting camp experience. Find the Horseback Riding equipment you’ll need at Everything Summer Camp by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading, Riders—I mean, Readers!

 

- John

Sharpen the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Camp Fun

Hey, Camp Fans!

Today launches a brand new category of posts on your favorite Everything Summer Camp Blog. This post is the first among many that will belong to the ‘Summer Camp Activities’ category in which we’ll review the basics about individual camp activities and what it is that kids get out of performing that particular activity.

And what better activity to lead the way than such a traditional (and my personal favorite) camp activity: Archery.

This sport establishes the skill of projecting arrows forward by use of a bow to pierce a traditional target a set distance away. It requires focus, patience, and a keen eye. While it was the weapon of the skillHow sharp are your Archery skills?ed archers in historical combat, Archery is revered nowadays as either a hunting or recreational activity. But it also remains the competitive sport that it used to be.

Bowmen have made their way into our folk stories and myths like the iconic archery tournament in which Robin Hood splits his competitor’s arrow directly down the middle with his own arrow or the rebellious William Tell who displayed his skills when ordered under cruel rule to shoot an apple clean off his son’s head.

An adolescent named David was interviewed by ‘Behind the News’ reporters from the abc.net news site about his blossoming passion for Archery. “I got into archery,” he mentioned, “Because when I was a little kid I watched a lot of TV and that had a lot of bows in it and I just thought it was just really, really interesting.”

We can’t help but connect with these heroes of old when eyeing up our shot and drawing back our bow. But aside from making us feel awesome, Archery lends an abundance of benefits to the avid performer such as improvements in coordination, balance, finger dexterity, strength, focus, and patience!

Be sure to try your hand at Archery when you head off to your summer camp experience and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John