In recognition of Veterans Day

Hey, Readers!

Today, we observe Veterans Day—a day to show our appreciation of those who served their country in the armed services. We call those people veterans and we, here at Everything Summer Camp, extend our immense gratitude to those who have fought fearlessly for our freedom. Thank you.
Veterans Day means a lot to a lot of people. How can you help honor veterans?
In a show of our appreciation—and to help you show YOUR appreciation—I’m continuing a list of great ways you can observe Veterans Day that I posted last year. You can check out the suggestions I gave last year right here, but today’s post is chock full of more ideas on how you can show your veteran appreciation!

Simply Show Up
It’s easy to find a Veterans Day event in your area that you can attend. Parades and services for veterans are being held all over the place today. Cowboy actor Roy Rogers once said, “We can’t all be heroes; someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” Veterans Day gives you the opportunity to wave to and cheer on the heroes in our world. All you have to do is show up!

Fly the Flag
A grand showing of respect, fly your American flag today if you have one. It’s a great way to honor Veterans in your neighborhood and (given the proper equipment), it’s a pretty easy thing to do. Be sure that you’re following the proper rules for display—you can look into proper flag-flying rules right here (http://www.military.com/flag-day/us-flag-code.html).

Spend Quality Time with a Vet
Simply showing an interest in spending some time with a Veteran will certainly mean a lot to any Veteran. Ask them about their service. Volunteer at a local VA Hospital. Or you can just spend some good outdoor time together fishing or doing something they enjoy.

You can do any of these things, the previously mentioned ideas from our post last year, or come up with your own way of honoring our veterans. Happy Veterans Day to everyone whether you’re a hero or an onlooker and, as always, thanks for reading.

Enjoy honoring the veterans you know today!
- John

Only you can prevent forest fires, but we can all prevent house fires.

Hey, Students of Safety!

Today is National Fire Prevention Day and the rest of the week is dedicated to bringing awareness of effective tips for preventing uncontrolled fires. Last year, I posted tips about the proper way to start (and put out) an outdoor fire. The year before that, I shared tips to avoid uncontrolled indoor fires. There’s an important piece, however, that should be stressed from the latter post—

Outlet and electrical appliance safety!

Electrical fires are within the top five causes of house fires. And having recently said goodbye to the summer season, we’re all about to spend a lot more time indoors which inevitably means plugging even more things in on a regular basis. A great way to observe National Fire Prevention Day is to scope out your home in search of electrical connections that violate the following rules:
Frayed or otherwise damaged cords aren't worth using.
Don’t Use Electrical Cords in Poor Condition
The exterior of a cord is known as the jacket. If you happen to spot any cords with frayed jackets, these cords are at risk of using exposed wires which is never a safe practice. Older appliances are notorious for having loose or otherwise unsafe cords so pay special attention to older appliances like vintage lamps, radios, or old television sets.

Don’t Overload Outlets  Don't plug in more than your outlet can handle.
You certainly don’t want to draw too much electricity all to the same spot. A full surge protector can be too much for one outlet to handle. Try spreading out the source of power for so many different plugs.

Be Safe Using Extension Cords
Extension cords are handy, but they can also be a fire hazard when not used properly. Extension cords should never be ran under rugs or heavy furniture. You suse extension cords with caution!hould also be careful not to overuse an extension cord. They easily deteriorate when overstressed which can lead to an unhappy electrical shock to you. Extension cords are not permanent solutions to your power needs.

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Ensure your safety and check your house to make sure you’re following these rules. For further safety, you can check to make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working and discuss an emergency exit plan with your family. Have a safe day today, and as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Suggestions for a Successful School Year

Hey, Back-to-School Preppers!

It’s been a fun-filled, coming-or-going three months of summer. But as August comes to an end, it’s time to change gears and get yourself and your kids organized and ready for going back to school. There’s a lot that goes into getting ready for the return of the school year, so we thought we’d help by giving you just a few little tips that you can put into action before the school season is here!

Sleep Schedule
Sleep is essential for everybody!This is a big one! From helping you remember to boosting your confidence, a good night’s sleep does so much for us and greatly affects our demeanor throughout the following day. A night of sleep can literally make or break the next day for you. Learn a great deal more about the importance of sound sleep in a previous Blog post I shared on January 3—the Festival of Sleep—right here.

Leftover Labels
If you ordered our Clothing Name Labels, Stick-Ons, or any of our other labeling alternatives and you still haLabel your school clothes---it's a good idea!ve some leftover, put it to use on your school clothes, rain coats, snowpants, shoes, and boots. And of course, you can order more if you need right here. Labeled school clothes and school supplies are a surefire way to avoid any confusion in the classroom!

Consider your ComebackDon't just say your summer was fun. Share a part of it with your school friends.
It’s happened to everyone. People ask how your summer was and you respond with a flat, resounding “Fun.” Instead of always giving a dud response, try scanning your summer before school starts for fun stories that you can share with school friends. It’ll make for much better conversation and might allow your friend a chance to tell a fun story from their summer too—something that never would have happened with a, “it was fun” kind of response.

Head into your upcoming school year with confidence and organization with these helpful tips and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Safe Trick-or-Safe Treat?

Hey, Trick-or-Treaters!

It’s October 30! And you know what that means! Sometime between tonight and tomorrow night, it’s time to don your creepy, crazy costumes and weave about the neighborhoods, going door-to-door with a demanding request for sugary treats. HallAre you into the spooky spirit yet?oween is the one time of the year when scary things are celebrated and people WANT to be frightened.

But all in good fun! It isn’t any fun to really be scared. And even though Trick-or-Treating is all in good fun, it can actually be a dangerous activity on account of the poor visibility you might have while you’re out there. To help, I’ve jotted down a few tips to help you stay safe when heading out for Trick-or-Treat.

Trick-or-Treating popularly takes place from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. It starts when it’s getting dark and ends when it’s pitch black. That’s why my first tip is to:

Being a bat is great, but better make sure drivers can see you!Be Mindful of Costume Visibility
Black is a popular color for Halloween costumes, but it can’t be seen very well at dusk. It’s smart to use Trick-or-Treat bags with reflective tape and stickers to increase your visibility. Incorporate reflective materials or even glowing elements (with glow sticks or flashlights) into your costume if at all possible to help drivers to see you.

Also, masks can often times reduce the visibility of the people inside them. Try non-toxic face paint if you can instead; otherwise, be mindful of your restricted vision and try removing the mask before crossing streets.

Reduce Risk of Tripping
When putting together your costume, make sure it’s the right size. Make sure it doesn’t hang too low—how embarrassing (and potentially painful) for a mummy to trip on his own wraps or a princess to stumble over her own dress! Avoid nasty spills with a cautious costume.

Arrange Adult Supervision
Kids should always have adult supervision when out Trick-or-Treating unless their parents feel their kids are mature enough to go without. Many parents feel like 12 is old enough, but some kids mature faster than others. If your kid is old enough to Trick-or-Treat without you, remind them to only visit familiar, well-lit areas and that it’s safest to stay in groups.

These tips ought to keep you safe so you can have a spooky, but fun time Trick-or-Treating this year! Happy Halloween and, as always, thanks for reading!

- JohnTrick or Treat in safety this Halloween!

How to build a fire

Hey, Safety Kids!

Today is Fire Prevention Day. I wrote about this day on October 9 of last year, offering tips on fire safety around the house so you and your family can learn what to do to increase your chances of preventing a fire. Today’s post, on the other hand, covers the proper way to safely build, maintain, and extinguish your fires OUTSIDE of the house.
Learn how to make a campfire the SAFE way!First of all, you should only build fires in a designated fire pit that is provided for you in a state park or one that belongs to your family in your own backyard. If a camp site does not provide you with fire pits, check with the park to see if digging your own pit is allowed. Some may allow it while others do not.

If you can dig your own, you should do it 15 ft. away from any tents, shrubs, or trees around you and steer clear of low-hanging branches above. Pits should be about a foot deep and lined with a circle of rocks.

Now you’re ready to starThe teepe formation is popular and effective.t preparing your pit. Place your smallest pieces of dry wood on the bottom and lay your firewood on top of each other around the small twigs and other kindling. It’s smart as you get your fire going (and as it burns) to have a bucket of water close by as well as a shovel.

Furthermore, keep your fire to a manageable size as you continue to add firewood. And never leave your fire unattended!

Potentially the most important part about outdoor fire safety is putting your campfires out and making sure that they STAY out! The best method is to let the wood completely burn to ash, if you can. Then you should pour lots of water on the fire until the logs stop hissing. It helps to stir the ashes and embers with a shovel in between pouring. Make sure everything has gotten wet and cold to the touch.
Practice your fire safety this campfire season!
If you don’t have water, you can use dirt to extinguish the fire, but do not attempt to bury the fire as it will continue to smolder underground and potentially crawl back up to the surface through plant roots and cause a wildfire.

Kids should always have adult supervision when making fires inside OR outside! As Smokey the Bear says, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” As always, thanks for reading and—of course—thank you, Smokey.

- John

What KIND of day?

Hello, Good Folks out there!

Kindness is a pretty big deal. Everyone appreciates it, it spreads its goodness everywhere it goes, and it benefits the doer of the kind deed as well as the deed’s recipient by delivering a well-deserved feeling of self-satisfaction. It’s no wonder that there are so many days on the calendar for the celebration of kindness.
You're all so NICE!!!Not only is today ‘Do Something Nice Day’, but there are four other days on the matter—three of which we’ve posted about on this Blog! January 24 is ‘Compliment Day’, a great day to spread your natural sunshine by saying something nice about someone. February 17 is ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’ in which you do something nice for someone. There’s also ‘Make Someone’s Day Day’ on October 29 and ‘World Kindness Day’ just a couple weeks later on November 13.

For the Blog post I wrote on World Kindness Day, I put together a list of good deeds people Everyone can be super nice!can do for one another. For the ‘Make Someone’s Day Day’, I discussed altruism and how a selfless act can actually benefit not just the recipient, but you as well (as the doer of the good deed).

To touch on another, somewhat self-serving benefit of kindness for today’s post, treating others with kindness will typically return to you. It’s true! You can call it Karma if you like, but really it only makes sense to think that if you treat someone kindly, they’ll respond with kindness—treat everyone kindly and you’ll receive nothing but kindness back!

What goes around certainly does come around, so make today of all days, a kind day and see what you get back in return! It’s a great incentive to doing something nice! Happy ‘Do Something Nice Day’ and, as always, thanks for reading!

- JohnDo unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Happy Dads’ Day!

Hey, Everybody!

Happy Fathers’ Day! Fathers across the world are honored on this day for their dedication, unconditional love, and support. Last year I told you how the holiday of Fathers’ Day came to be, whereas today I’m going to give you gift ideas you can buy (at little or no cost) for dear ol’ dad. After all, often times, he’s the HARDEST to buy for!Happy Fathers' Day to fathers everywhere!

Dads are interested in more practical gifts, so ideas like wallets, watches, swiss army knives, keychains, grilling accessories, bottle openers, shaving razors, kitchen cutting boards—are all fairly low-cost great gift ideas that your fathers will be happy to receive because they’re gifts that they can USE!

Another great way to show your appreciation is with a card. Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, you can give him a little message of your love and appreciation that’s sure to touch his heart! Making your own card is easy! Just fold a normal 8.5” x 11” piece of paper and voila—you have a front, an inside, and a back!

Go the extra mile with your card too and include a coupon that offers your services for aFathers' Day is a day to give your dad something from the heart! night of dishes, taking the trash out, or some other random chore around the house. Your father’s sure to enjoy a gift that gets him out of daily chores.

Draw a picture for your dad. A picture says a thousand words and, often times, the thought of this gift alone is enough to put a twinkle in ol’ dad’s eyes. Whether it’s a family portrait, a picture of you, or one of dad himself, it’s sure to be treasured.

Lastly, nothing says ‘Happy Father’s Day’ like a creative arts and crafts project. Get inspired with a bunch of great ideas—click here for a dad-dedicated Pinterest page. Check it out and make something nice for your pop today! Happy Father’s Day and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Have your tea and drink it too!

Hey, Tea Drinkers!

Of course, there’s nothing like a hot cup of tea on a rainy day or the dead of a chilling winter, but what do you do for all those summer scorchers? You might want to try a cooler beverage. Chill your hot drink and throw some ice in there to keep your drink refreshingly COLD! If it’s a hot day in your neighborhood, then today’s perfect to celebrate Iced Tea Day.get your fill of nice, cold tea today!

One amazing wonder about tea is that it’s such a versatile drink. You can prepare it so many different ways. Hot or cold—the temperature of this beverage is just the tip of the versatiliTEA iceberg. In honor of Iced Tea Day today, I’ll just talk about all the different ways to make ICED Tea.

Served with or without ice, there are many different styles to iced tea:

1.) Some iced tea is sweetened. Lipton offers their iced tea powder—just add water and stir; and you can find Iced Tea in a can from brands like Peace Tea. These popular, packaged cold drinks are typically sweetened with syrup flavors like raspberry, lemon, strawberry, etc., and are usually available in unsweetened versions as well.

2.) Some tea is made infused with loose tea leaves while most chilled, herbal tea makes for good iced tea. This type of iced tea is made by steeping your tea in boiling water for somewhere around five minutes (depending on the type of tea you’re using and how hot your water is) and then chilling it.

3.) Another way to prepare iced tea is called ‘Sun Tea’. While the result is essentially the same as #2, it prolongs the steeping process as water at a cooler temperature shows some resistance to infusion of tea leaves or bags. Leaving a pitcher out for an hour in the sun gives the tea enough time to permeate the pitcher. Fill a glass full of ice and pour the contents of your pitcher for yourself. This takes the longest, but it’s pretty simple. It’s my preferred method.

Always a great way to cool off on a hot day, enjoy Iced Tea Day and, as always, thanks for reading.

- Johniced tea is one refreshing drink on a hot, summer scorcher!

Happy Mothers’ Day, Kids!

Hey, Everybody!

Happy Mothers’ Day! Mothers across the world are honored on this day for their graceful selflessness and undying love and support. Last year I told you the reason why mothers are honored so and gave a brief history of this holiday, whereas today, I’m going to give you five ways you can honor your moms!Happy Mother's Day! Put a smile on your mom's face!1.) Design your own maze, word search, word jumbles or other fun paper and pen games.
Lots of Moms enjoy putting their brains to these fun, little recreational activities. They’re easy entertainment and a fun diversion. And Word Searches can be easy to design if you have some graph paper handy. Just scrawl your motherly-themed words into an allotted ‘board’ and then fill in the remaining grid squares with random letters! I used to make them all the time when I was little.

2.) Make your own card and/or Mother Coupon.
Making your own card is easy! Just fold a normal 8.5” x 11” piece of paper and voila—you have a front, an inside, and a back: a card! Write your mother a little message to express your love and gratitude to her. You can even go the extra mile and give your mom a coupon that offers her uninterrupted, quiet time, a dinner you prepared, a solid housecleaning done by yourself, or some other nice service.

3.) Draw a picture for your mother.
A picture says a thousand words and, often times, the thought of this gift alone is enough to put a tear or two in your mom’s eyes.

4.) Write your mother a poem.
You can always put your rhyming skills to action and write a Mother’s Day Poem. Express your appreciation in verse if you’re a poet and you know it.Make this craft for your mom's gift today

5.) Build your mother a craft
Lastly, nothing says ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ like the well-executed result of a creative arts and crafts project that you make. There are a bunch of great ideas out there. I found this one.

Check it out and make something nice for your mom today! Happy Mother’s Day and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Celebrate Girl Scout Leader Day!

Hey there, Girl Scouts!

You know what makes Scouts so much fun? Your Girl Scout Leaders! Ever committed to leading by example, Girl Scout leaders work wonders in youth development by teaching young girls the qualities of honesty, fairness, courage, strength, resourcefulness, respecting each other, and making the world a better place.  It only makes senGirls Scout Leader Day. Celebrate it well.se to have a day dedicated to our Girl Scout Leaders. Today is Girl Scout Leader Day.

This organization that started with just 18 Scouts and Juliette Gordon Low (or ‘Daisy’ as all the Scouts called her) took off just three years after the their original outing in 1912. Once an official organization, girls all over the nation started attending Scouts.

Nowadays, the Girl Scouts Organization spans 100 local councils across the country, headed by the Chief Executive Officer, the National Board of Directors, Headquarters Staff, Professional Staffers, and Volunteers. Thanks to these women involved in the world of Scouts, young girls get the chance to learn valuable lessons and healthy lifestyles.

Providing girls with an experience that gets them out of their routine, domestic lifestyle is what Girl Scouts are all about.  Knowing how restorative and refreshing the great outdoors are for the mind, body, and soul, Daisy had no idea that her intuitive desires would blossom into a nationwide movement. Her dream has stayed alive for all these years.

Daisy got these girls to embrace their community by giving back to it. They went hiking and camping. They played basketball, learned to tell time by looking at the sky, and studied first aid. Girl Scout Leaders are still showing young Scouts these useful skills.

Since today is Girl Scout Leader Day, celebrate by writing to your old leaders that made a difference in your life and let them know what a great job they did and where you are now! As always, thanks for reading.

- John