Camp pour les familles

Pour bien des familles étrangères, aller aux États-Unis se trouve en haut de la liste des rêves à réaliser. Nombreux sont les parents qui veulent offrir à leurs enfants l’occasion de voyager et de découvrir différents endroits et cultures pour mieux comprendre le monde. Préparer un voyage dans un tout nouveau pays peut sembler une tâche énorme car il y a tant à voir et à faire et trouver des activités qui plaisent à tous peut être difficile. Quelles que soient leurs destinations ou leurs activités, les familles qui viennent aux États-Unis veulent passer du temps ensemble tout en découvrant la culture et le style de vie du pays. C’est pour cette raison que beaucoup de familles étrangères adorent le Camp pour les familles car c’est une façon pour une famille entière de s’immerger dans un camp d’été américain et de vivre cette expérience en sécurité dans un endroit où prime la famille.

 

Les familles qui font l’expérience du Camp pour les familles ont l’occasion de participer à des jeux et des activités typiques d’un camp d’été en tant que groupe et individuellement. Les activités sont divisées par groupes d’âge et donc, tous les membres de la famille peuvent trouver une activité qu’ils adorent, même les parents. L’équilibre entre le temps consacré à la famille et aux individus permet à chacun de découvrir ses forces et ses passions tout en encourageant et en inspirant les autres et en se rapprochant d’eux. Lorsque la famille se retrouve, elle s’est créé des souvenirs impérissables. Ces instants précieux, sans distractions dues aux téléphones ou aux ordinateurs portables, leur permettent de resserrer leurs liens et de se retrouver, de rire, de partager des histoires, d’avoir des conversations intimes et d’essayer ensemble de nouvelles choses. Grâce au Camp pour les familles, parents et enfants peuvent enfin avoir ces discussions dont ils ont envie et qui établissent une ligne de communication vitale au développement de chacun.

 

Tous les jours, les membres de la famille participant à diverses activités comme la natation, les courses à la corde, les arts, le softball, la photographie, le yoga et la randonnée. Les programmes de soirée, tels que feux de camp, spectacles et chasses aux trésors, finissent en beauté ces journées de plaisir et des événements spéciaux comme La guerre des couleurs créeront à coup sûr de super souvenirs pour toute la famille. Trois bons repas sont servis tous les jours et offrent encore à la famille l’occasion de se réunir, partager un repas et une bonne conversation.

 

Les familles étrangères font ensemble l’expérience d’un camp d’été américain traditionnel et rencontrent d’autres familles venues du monde entier. Quelle merveilleuse façon pour les parents d’apprendre à leurs enfants la diversité, la tolérance et la culture sous le couvert de leurs meilleures vacances estivales !

 

Une autre raison pour laquelle les familles étrangères adorent le Camp pour les familles est l’emplacement. Après avoir passé 3, 4 ou 6 nuits au Camp, elles peuvent aller voir des sites connus comme New York ou les Chutes du Niagara. Le Camp ne se trouve qu’à 3 heures de l’aéroport de La Guardia, ce qui permet aux familles de sauter dans un avion et de continuer les vacances de leur vie aux États-Unis.

 

Pour des vacances mémorables pour tous, le Camp pour les familles est un tout-en-un que tous les membres d’une famille vont adorer.

 

Mentally Preparing for Brant Lake Sports Academy

Spring has finally sprung here in the Northeast; birds are chirping, the grass is greener and families are starting to get ready for camp. So, what exactly does that mean? Of course, you need the proper gear, but once you’ve put name tags on all of your clothing, flashlights, goggles, toiletries, etc., you should be good to go, right? Not always! Some kids (and parents) need to prepare for what is about to happen – getting on that plane or bus and leaving home. Whether it’s for one week, three weeks, or seven weeks, all first-time campers have that feeling of butterflies in their stomach. So the real question is: how do we mentally prepare for our first successful camp session?

  1. Talk about camp with your child. Sharing camp stories will give you something to bond over with your son or daughter.
  1. Talk to your camp director. There is a reason why camp directors do what they do and it’s because the LOVE their job. And they have this magical ability to set a camper’s mind at ease.
  1. Connect to your camps social media pages. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are just a few amazing ways to get an insider’s view of what your camp is all about.
  1. Have a positive attitude. SMILE. You are sending your child to an excellent camp, so be confident in the staff and let your kids be kids for a few weeks.

 

Many of our first-time campers are dropped off smiling, but with a bit of fear of the unknown. As we know, that is the greatest fear of all. With that in mind, our goal is to have them leave with memories filled with unique experiences, loving friendships and massive smiles that will last them until the next summer.

Brant Lake Dance Camp is Where I Feel at Home

When I was 17 and applying for college, one of the questions on the common app was: “Where do you feel most at home?”. Brant Lake Dance Camp was the first place I thought about and still do to this day whenever this question is posed. I started attending Brant Lake as a baby because my dad was the modern dance teacher, and when I was old enough to be a camper I jumped at the opportunity. When I was looking for a summer job before going off to college, I knew exactly where I wanted to be.

Now here I am three years later, a rising senior at American University, and Brant Lake is the only place I could image spending my summers. While my peers clutter their resumes with unpaid internships and “real-world” experiences, I count the stars in upstate New York and think about the invaluable lessons I have learned at such a unique place.

I reminisce about learning a double time step in Tap 2 when I was 13 and about winning lip-sync my final summer as a camper at 15, but mostly I think about how my life continues to be shaped by the incredible people who also call Brant Lake home. I have joined a family for life, and I hope I can emanate that sensation to every new camper, parent, and visitor who steps on our grounds and into our lives.

Brant Lake teaches leadership. It teaches commitment and confidence. It fosters friendships and mentorships the supersede any that I have experienced to this day.

While nothing beats the thrill of a great afternoon swim in gorgeous Brant Lake… or leading a camp-wide evening activity called “LassaPallooza”, the moments I will never forget are the sing-a-longs on the arts and crafts bead porch, the hours spent sipping hot chocolate on the Adirondack chairs, or the numerous times giving advice to campers the way it was given to me nearly a decade ago.

The amount of pride I have in the work we do at Brant Lake is unmatched. Seeing my campers grow into intelligent, empathetic, caring, and beautiful young women year after year is what keeps me coming back. There is a lot that changes in a year, and I love hearing about all of the incredible things they have done. We have less then two months until drop-off day, and I can’t wait. With a walkie-talkie on my hip, a clipboard in my hand, and enough bug spray to make it through five weeks…I am home.

So while my peers clutter their resumes, I count down the days till I can jump in the lake and walk up that hill.

How Camp Helps Children be More Inclusive of People Who Have Different Life Experiences

One of the most amazing things about camp is all of the different people who come together to make it the place that it is. Kids from all different backgrounds, races, cultures, religions and life experiences spend the summer laughing, playing and learning together. In most cases, kids meet other kids at camp that they may have never met in their small hometowns. Even campers who come from big cities have an opportunity to meet other kids from small, rural farming communities. Spending the summer at camp is a great lesson in inclusion and creating a global community.

Being surrounded by kids who come from a different place and have different life experiences helps to teach acceptance, tolerance and an appreciation for diversity. It also requires campers to step out of their normal cliques and interact with kids who they may not normally interact with in their everyday lives. Athletes and musicians bond over campfire s’mores, theatre lovers and adventure seekers team up during camp activities, bookworms and dance enthusiast’s share late night conversations in the cabins. Campers expand their social horizons by putting away their preconceived notions about people who are different than they are and confronting stereotypes head on.

When you get hundreds of young people together with different views, lifestyles, beliefs and opinions, it is a great opportunity for them to learn how to overcome differences in a respectful way. When they ask questions instead of making assumptions, they make steps towards educating themselves, which develops into understanding and acceptance.

Campers always come away from camp amazed at how much they learned from their new friends. Some campers come home with a brand new perspective on the world around them, and a new appreciation for how big and diverse the world really is. They teach each other new languages, educate each other on how their families celebrate holidays, explain traditions and rituals, and expose each other to a way of life different than their own.

Being at camp prepares campers for the real world, where they will constantly be working, living and playing with people from different cultures, races, religions and backgrounds. Camp instills the importance of respecting others from day one, and teaches to celebrate and embrace diversity.

There’s Nowhere Like Camp Laurel

Campers come to camp with a lot of different things. They bring different life experiences, different expectations, and different strengths, ideas, and interests. But they all leave with the same things: lifelong memories, increase in skill and a whole bunch of new friends. Camp Laurel has a unique way of calming nerves of first time campers, and making everyone feel included. Counselors know their campers as if they were their own children.. It is a great camp for kids who are outgoing and kids who may be a little shy –because everyone finds a space where they belong. And speaking of space, the facilities at Camp Laurel are top-notch, and the high-tech equipment makes each activity that much more enjoyable.

From lush green fields for outdoor sports to a nine-mile-lake, fifteen all-weather tennis courts, to a modern fitness gym, , a 2,500 square foot dance studio to  a full Equestrian Center with 22 horses, not only does Camp Laurel offer incredible experiences, but beautiful spaces to do them in. In a world where kids try to navigate the “us” vs. “them” dynamic at school each day, Camp Laurel is a welcome change fostering inclusion, community, and togetherness. Campers come to Camp Laurel as strangers and leave with best friends for life.

Summer Discovery

Ready to have the best summer ever? Learn more here!

The average high school student has a lot on his/her plate. There are tests to study for, sports to practice, social events to attend and of course, college to think about.  Whether they’re the first in their family to be serious about going to college or they come from a long line of PhD’s and Master’s Degrees, navigating the college selection process can seem overwhelming.

The Summer Discovery program allows high school students to explore their college options and prepare for the transition into college life. Summer Discovery gives students the opportunity to participate in college activities, take classes, play sports, and meet new friends all before they even graduate from high school. For students interested in learning more about some of the highly accredited schools in the country, (UCLA, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Michigan, just to name a few!) this unique program is a must! Students can get a real-life “trial run” and get to know the campus, see what it is like to live independently and balance classes and a social life, and exit the program prepared and confident to make a decision about which college is right for them.

This incredible internship opportunity also provides guidance for students who have always wanted to travel abroad and attend schools all over the world. While other students are having a lazy summer, Summer Discovery interns could be exploring a different country!  Students will live on campus and experience the true college dorm life with pre-selected roommates, an opportunity that many first time college students do not have. Summer Discovery offers a more diverse pre-college experience program than any other organization, and has been privately owned by the Musiker Family for more than 50 years. Year after year, parents, students and educators have raved about the incredible experience Summer Discovery offers. Interns are a vital part of the university community, and are lead by expert staff who has been with the program for years and strive to make interns feel welcomed, prepared, educated, safe and well-supervised.

On the weekends, students can participate in scheduled trips, events, and activities that allow them to become familiar with the area and strengthen relationships with other interns. There are different sessions for each school, ranging from a six-week program to a two-week program, all held in June and July. For high school students who already have college on the brain, this chance of a lifetime internship is an excellent way to get to know some of the world’s best universities, and helps them feel confident and prepared to take on the next chapter of their lives.

 

Ready to have the best summer ever? Learn more here!

Brant Lake Dance Camp

As young girls, Rachel Kerchman (better known as “Kerch” at camp) and I trained together at the Ballet Arts Studio in Beacon, New York. Our summers were spent apart; hers enjoying the life as a Brant Lake camper, and mine vigorously training at either the School of American Ballet in New York City, Miami City Ballet or the San Francisco Ballet. While maintaining our close friendship through care packages and letters, our life paths became very different. Kerch went on to study math education, and I left New York to take my first professional job at the State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara. Kerch’s passion was not only in math, but in the well-being of these young girls who came summer after summer to Brant Lake Dance Camp. After years of listening to Rachel rave about the wonders of this beautiful place, she invited me to be a guest teacher. I happily accepted.

This June will be my third year teaching in the picturesque dance studios up in the woods of Brant Lake. After nine years of dancing for the Smuin Ballet in bustling San Francisco, Brant Lake has become my summer oasis where I can share my twelve years of experience as a professional dancer with these energized young women. With my strong ballet background, I’ve enjoyed teaching the girls the more contemporary repertoire that I have learned and performed throughout the years. The campers in all three dance levels are learning works from world renowned choreographers: works that I’ve dreamt of dancing ever since I began ballet. Sharing the studio space with these fun and talented young ladies has been an honor and a privilege. I am really looking forward to coming back, taking in the fresh pine air, and hearing all of the laughter as the girls walk down to the lake, or to their next meal.

Being in an environment where everyone involved comes together to share their craft is truly inspirational. As a dancer, we use movement to motivate people, to provide comfort, hope and joy to those surrounding us. These summers at Brant Lake Dance Camp are special because I watch the girls develop a newfound confidence through dance, I watch them take artistic risks, and I watch them discover new ways of interpreting the music. After the class, the students are smiling, gladly drenched in sweat as they walk out of the studio onto another wonderful activity provided at the camp.

One of the very unique opportunities that Brant Lake Dance offers to the girls is the chance to choreograph for their peers. I also love how the campers and teachers share meals. This time allows for us to get to know the each other on a personal level.  Each teacher, whether in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, or contemporary is around to mentor, support, and lend an ear for them through their creation process. For these young women to be able to have the chance to stand in front of the room and explore what their new friends can do is incredibly special. Brant Lake Dance Camp is a place where you not only gain tons of knowledge, but you meet lifelong friends along the way.

 

 

Looking forward to dancing with you all this summer,

 

Terez

Farm To Camp

If you are looking for something fun, exciting and different to do on your next date night or a group outing with your friends, look no further than America’s Finest Summer Camps’ newest adventure: Farm To Camp. It is held August 26th-27th and is for adult campers 21 and up. It is a unique experience where guests can experience an eight-course gourmet meal, explore and play on the expansive Camp Starlight campground, and rest soundly in fully furnished cabins or private rooms. This “adults only” night under the stars is a great option for a romantic weekend getaway, a girl’s trip or an outdoor adventure with the guys, where you can eat, sleep and play like you haven’t in a while.

 

The incredible eight-course meal is served under the stars.  It is prepared by a highly skilled chef and is made with locally grown, organic produce, grass-fed beef and chicken, and fish caught in local lakes and streams. But before you devour your meal, you’ll take part in a sophisticated lakeside wine tasting to get everyone in the mood. In the morning, enjoy a delicious brunch made with farm fresh ingredients.

 

You may eat like an adult, but Farm To Camp gives you the opportunity to play like a kid. Try your hand at tennis, basketball and softball during the day, dance the night away to a late night DJ or make the perfect S’more around the campfire after the sun goes down.

 

Do something different this summer and experience Farm To Camp at Camp Starlight.

Challenging Yourself on the Rock Wall

One foot in front of the other, don’t look back, stay focused, keep your eyes on your target. All of these are popular phrases we hear throughout our lives; timeless advice that encourages us to be persistent, dedicated and to face our fears. In many ways, when campers scale the daunting Rockwall, they hear and learn many of the same principles. Climbing the wall can be used as a metaphor for camp, and camp prepares kids and teen for the real world. Campers may think they’re just doing anther camp activity, but a lot of foundational and character work happens on the wall as well.

There are some things at camp that are easy, and some things that aren’t. Climbing the rock wall is hard work. It takes muscles and skills you aren’t used to using, it is unfamiliar and can seem overwhelming; f you’ve never done it before, you may feel like it is too much, too hard, or too scary. Camp can bring about many of the same feelings. In the beginning, it can feel like it is too much to take on or that you struggle to get a hold on this new and unfamiliar experience. You may lose your footing, have a slip-up, or even make a mistake that sends you a few steps backward. All of this uncertainty is part of the learning process, and with encouragement from friends, campers slowly begin to embrace the newness of climbing, and of camp and find the courage to step out of their comfort zone.

Another way climbing the rock wall is like camp is that as you go through the process, you learn things about yourself. As you get further and further up the wall, you learn that you are stronger, more capable, braver and more determined than you did when both feet were on the ground. You learn that instead of focusing on climbing the whole wall, you simply focus on the next move. Camp is the same way, as you spend your days at camp trying new things, you uncover parts of yourself that you never knew. You discover strengths and passions that you never knew existed, and you learn to enjoy the moment instead of worrying so much about the big picture. A lot of these principles are true for life as well. You learn a lot about yourself when you step out of your comfort zone, and when things feel overwhelming, focusing on the next right step can help any problem seem more manageable.

When you finally make it to the top of the rock wall, there is a sense of accomplishment that can’t be put into words. It makes you realize that with hard work, persistence and a good support system, you really can do anything. Finally making it to the top proves to yourself that ever when things look challenging or even impossible, you are strong and capable, as long as you put your mind to it. Most of the time, campers who make it to the top are eager to come down and climb again, this time with a new perspective and confidence. Similarly, most campers find themselves ready to come back and try the adventure of sleep away camp once the summer has come to a close. They are excited to take the journey again, even if it means there will be days and activities that are hard, even if it means they may make mistakes or feel frustrated, they know that the end result is worth all of the hesitation and fear, and the sense of accomplishment and the self-realization that comes from taking the journey.

Climbing the rock wall can be a life changing, eye opening, pivotal moment for many campers. It may be the first time they’ve faced a fear, or it may be the boost of confidence that they need as they navigate the teenage years. Climbing the rock wall is more than just a fun summer camp activity, just like camp is so much more than a place to go when school is out. Climbing the rock wall builds strength, character, self-confidence, teamwork and encourages campers to face their fears, and the goal of America’s Finest Summer Camps is to do the same thing.

Why We Love Laurel South

If you were to ask campers what made their summer at Laurel South so memorable, most of them would not tell you WHAT made it so memorable, but instead WHO. Campers are surrounded by a professional, caring, and dedicated staff of counselors and directors whose primary focus is their safety, well-being, and personal development all summer long. Students and recent graduates from schools all over the country apply to change lives at Laurel South, and only the most qualified are accepted. Campers are surrounded by counselors who possess integrity, honesty, self-discipline, a strong moral character and a fun, kid-friendly personality. The camper-to-counselor ratio is better than 3:1, ensuring each camper gets personalized attention from their counselors.

 

Many counselors have been at Camp Laurel South since they were young campers, and have moved up the ranks and proven themselves worthy of one of the most important jobs they’ll ever have: building the foundation of our future generations. These counselors are dedicated to empowering and encouraging campers, to help them safely test their own limits, to foster friendships and self-confidence, to be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Laurel South’s campers are happy, productive and confident because they are surrounded by adults who believe in them, listen to them, and bring out the best in each of them. What better place to spend a summer then surrounded by positive adults who are dedicated to making sure you have the best summer of your life?!