Do YOU Like to Mountain Bike?

Hey, Pedalin’ People!

Mountain Biking is a popular activity found at summer camps all across the nation. Maybe you’re just returning from a great camp experience where you got a lot of Mountain Biking time in. Keep the fun going post-camp and hit your local biking trails! Nothing hits the spot like a rugged ride through a woodsy park trail or the sights along a rocky terrain! Strap your helmet on and get out there!Get on your bike and ride!

While mountain bikes are certainly designed to endure the tough trails they’re made to travel, they aren’t actually necessary for the sport of Mountain Biking. All it takes for this sport is off-road riding on a bicycle of any sort actually.

So, knowing that, the history of Mountain Biking goes back to the invention of the bicycle which—believe it or not—goes all the way back to 1817. Of course, it probably took people a while to muster up the courage to traverse any rough terrain on these early bicycle designs.

Mountain Biking is an exhilarating ride that gets your blood pumping and makes you feel good! Why is that exactly? Well, here’s a quick look at some of the boosting benefits that comes from Mountain Biking:

Heart
Regular exercise is known to improve cardiovascular fitness. Mountain Biking requires lots of oxygen which makes your heart work steadily and builds heart fitness.

Joints 
Mountain Biking puts less stress on your joints as opposed to other activities such as running. Cycling offers seated aerobic exercise taking the pressure off your joints!

Immune System
Consistent, moderate exercise strengthens the immune system and keeps you healthy. Mountain Biking typically doesn’t push you too hard and is habit-forming!

Sleep
Mountain Biking decreases a hormone in us that keeps us awake called cortisol. Lowering this hormone brings you regenerative sleep!

Mood
Mountain Biking entices your body to release natural endorphins and boosts serotonin—the body’s way of feeling good, getting more energy, and feeling happy.

In conclusion, how better to experience the gorgeous majesty of Mother Nature than taking a seat as you cruise along her beautiful sights while also getting some exercise in?! Mountain Biking is the perfect activity during and outside of your summer camp experience. Enjoy hitting the trails and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Paint at Camp

Hey, Painting People!

Summer camps all over recognize Painting as a choice camp activity. Across the country, they’re offering Painting in their activities to encourage all the young painters out there. Camps provide all the Painting supplies for your camper to explore their creativity with a paintbrush and hone your artistic skills.

The history of Painting goes back to our time as cave dwellers when our ancient Get paintin' when you head off to camp.ancestors first discovered the ability to create images by dragging certain materials across the cave walls. And voila—a new art form was born!

Lots of people are drawn to Visual Art and use Painting as a preferred medium. What’s the attraction to this interesting camp activity? Here’s what Painting does for people:

Cultivates Creativity
A blank canvas makes a painter’s imagination run rampant, grow, and ponder on the best way to execute their vision for the finished work.

Builds Hand-Eye Coordination
Detailed adjustments to the angle of your wrist and the perfect amount of pressure to apply as you move your brush across the canvas achieves incredible hand-eye coordination.

Relieves Stress
Focusing on putting the paint on the paper in a specific pattern is a powerful tool to relax our bodies and minds and reduce stress levels.

Induces Positivity
Something about working in colors to give yourself creative and artistic outlet tends to leave us with a positive demeanor.

Furthers Emotional Maturity
Putting your own internal dialogue or messages that are important to you expressed through paint is a fantastic way to process your emotions and grow.

If you’re passionate about Painting, then I recommend you look into a summer camp that offers it as an activity to boost your techniques and skills with a brush. Check out Painting With a Twist camps by clicking here. Or, if you already have a camp in mind, call them up to ask about their Painting program. And, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

You’ve Got The Moves!

Hey, Movers and Shakers!

If your favorite form of self-expression comes from moving your body and feeling the energy of a rhythm (or lack thereof), imagine yourself performing your art in front of an astonished audience! This could very well become a reality if you find the right summer camp! They’ll teach you a thing or two and give you the opportunity to work it and show off your talent.

Playing an important part in ceremonies, rituals, celebrations, and means of entertainment Get your moves out on the dance floor at summer camp!across the world, the art of Dance was first performed before the earliest civilizations ever existed and who knows how long before that? It’s a piece of who we are—something that’s built into us and part of our DNA. Dancing is in our blood.

More than just a fun thing to do at parties, Dance is an art form that people devote themselves to in body, mind, and spirit. Check out what people love so much about Dance! This is one art form that truly promotes healthy living! Dance comes with a laundry list of physical benefits:

  • Improved condition of your heart and lungs
  • Increased muscular strength, endurance, and motor fitness
  • Increased aerobic fitness
  • Improved muscle tone and strength
  • Weight management
  • Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • Better coordination, agility, and flexibility
  • Improved balance and spatial awareness
  • Increased physical confidence

But practicing this art form can improve some other aspects of your well-being as well…

Mental Function
Focus, Timing, Memory—there’s a lot going on in the mind of a Dancer while they produce a flawless visual show. It takes great attention to achieve the physical precision necessary to deliver the show the way it was intended to be seen.

Psychological Health
As mentioned above the list of physiological benefits, Dance promotes a healthy lifestyle. Living in a way that makes your body feel good spreads to your mind as well. Dancers dedicated to the art are typically happy and positive people.

Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
As is the case with pretty much any Performance Art, being on stage sounds scary for many. But you’ll find that facing your stage fright and developing your courage is a strangely addictive feeling that feeds your sense of self-worth and gives you confidence!

There are lots of different styles of Dance from Ballet to Belly-dancing. What style performance are you into? Discover what makes you want to move your body and look into a camp where you can Dance as much as your heart desires such as the Long Lake Dance Camp! And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Kiss the Cook!

Hey, Kitchen Characters!

No matter what kind of vocation you’re interested in for yourself down the road, the craft of cooking is one that everyone can benefit by honing their skills in this art form. The kitchen may not seem like such an exciting place compared to a soccer field or hiking trail, but you might be surprised at how much you enjoy your time preparing food for you and your friends. Luckily you can try your hand at cooking with some guidance if you go to a summer camp that offers Cooking for an activity!

Coinciding with logical sense, people have been cooking for as long as we’ve mastered the art of fire-making. There are many uEnjoy honing your cooking skills at camp.nknowns about our original diet when our species had yet to leave the Fertile Crescent—but the idea is that our initial diet consisted of nuts, berries, and other fruits and vegetables which required no cooking to consume. However, evidence that we’ve been fishing since 40,000 B.C. would suggest that we’ve been cooking for as far back as that.

Self-Esteem
Cooking isn’t at all easy to master, but perseverance will show you that you can learn quickly from both your mistakes and your triumphs in the kitchen! Unlike so many things in life, Cooking is one activity that offers instant feedback based on taste-tests and reactions from others. Learning a skill like Cooking is proven to reflect your capabilities and build your confidence!

Communication
Cooking can offer you some nice time alone just as well as create a cool environment for quality time between friends and family. Unless it’s Thanksgiving Day, the kitchen tends to induce a relaxed energy, making it a great place to talk about anything you want. This is a great moment to talk with your kids, Parents!

Life Skills
Much like driving a vehicle or developing reading skills, Cooking is something you’ll use for the rest of your life. After all, one day the responsibility of providing food will land solely on them as they grow into adulthood. The younger cooking skills are introduced into your kids life, the easier that shift in responsibility is going to be later on in life.

If you know your way around the kitchen, Cooking is definitely an enjoyable activity. But the best is when you rekindle your roots and cook outdoors over an open fire. Browse our products on our online shop for outdoor food prep and storage. Look into a summer camp that offers Cooking as an activity to boost your confidence in the kitchen and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

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