Counsel for a Summer. Impact for a Lifetime.

Counsel for a Summer. Impact for a Lifetime.

Working at sleepaway camp for the summer is fun, challenging, and rewarding. You have the opportunity to live in a bunk with our campers on our beautiful campus in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. You will work with campers during each of our six activity periods. However, you will be with the kids so much more often than that. In fact, you’ll be with them from wake-up to bedtime. Mealtimes. Rest Hour. Shower Hour. Activity Periods. All-day long, you have the chance to interact with our amazing campers. And as lucky as you are to be with them, they are equally fortunate to have you as one of our amazing staff members.

Through all the time that you spend with your campers, it only takes a single moment…a single moment to change a child’s life. This may sound like something out of a fantasy novel, but it is absolutely true. We can all think back to a single conversation we had with an adult when we were younger that still impacts us today. The strangest part about this “moment”? You will never know it’s happening, and neither will the child. You may say something that seems inconsequential to both of you. Then, days later, that child is still thinking about it and you have long since forgotten about it. Years later, you’ve changed that child’s future based on a single conversation, and while they frantically search for your phone number to say “Thank You,” you may hardly remember that camper.

At the conclusion of my third summer at camp, I received a Counselor Appreciation letter from a camper who wrote about something that had happened the summer previously. The letter detailed a very intellectual and emotional realization that the camper had due to an interaction we had. However, this interaction wasn’t a profound conversation or a disciplinary issue. This interaction was me turning off the water while he brushed his teeth. He turned it back on. I turned it off. We went back and forth several times, and, amidst our laughter, I finally convinced him to leave it off once I left the bathroom. In my mind, that was the end. However, for reasons he explained in the letter, this was genuinely a meaningful moment in his life that he still thought about over a year later. Without his Counselor Appreciation Letter, I would have never known this “moment” existed.

As a counselor at sleepaway camp, we only ask that you come as you are. Athletic, quirky, nerdy, shy, outgoing, or anything in between. We’ve seen it all and appreciate it equally. As a staff member, we don’t expect your summer to be filled with life-changing moments. In fact, looking for these moments would be counterproductive. By simply being yourself, you will build strong relationships with your campers. So, don’t search for this “moment.” Embrace your individuality and cherish the summer with these amazing children because as much as you can impact them, they will certainly have an impact on you.

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Camp Robin Hood Fall Semester at Camp

Over the years many people have joked around with us saying things like «if only camp were year-round!» and «my kids would stay all fall if they had the chance – they don’t want to come home!» Well this year they might just have that opportunity. 

 

COVID is forcing many schools to continue remote learning this fall. With proper screening, quarantining, testing and diligence Camp Robin Hood kept our community safe in a protective bubble for summer 2020 operating for 5 full weeks with no cases. We have the opportunity to continue what we started this summer over the course of the fall in what we call Robin Hood’s Semester at Camp.

If pre-teens and teens are being taught virtually this fall why not have them learn virtually from their happy place – CAMP – and not from their dining room tables? We can offer a safe space for kids, grades 6-11, to learn and also to spend time with their friends in small groups and to take advantage of all that our facility has to offer. Plus fall is the most beautiful time of the year in New England, with fall foliage creating a stunning backdrop for camp activities.

Designed for self-motivated students who thrive in an independent learning setting, the fall session will enable campers to study virtually during the day, and enjoy traditional camp experiences during the evenings and weekends – including bonfires, canoe races, sailing, tennis, and more, along with Camp Robin Hood’s treasured all-camp events. Students will work independently for the majority of the day, with two optional classes offered: Art and Sports.

Program Highlights:

  • Instruction and work online from 9:30am – 3:30pm, Monday – Friday (or however long it takes to get their homework/camp work done!)
  • Daily scheduled camp activities
  • Special events and social time
  • Camp fun all weekend until class starts again on Monday morning.
  • Bunks staffed by our regular camp staff with a 10-1 ratio
  • Enhanced wifi and plenty of workspace
  • Camp staff will hold campers accountable for being present in class, staying on task, and completing schoolwork (but not for reviewing or enhancing the work).
  • Your child’s school will supply the academic part of your child’s experience and we will provide the social, emotional, and physical side of their experience.
  • All Inclusive Tuition: Accommodations, Meals, Testing, Supplies, ALL CAMP ACTIVITIES!

Want to Learn More?

Visit our Semester at Camp page or call us at 312-404-1828 to learn more about this unique opportunity of remote schooling from camp this semester!

The Importance of Downtime

From wakeup to daily activities to songs at Evening Cove, every day at Laurel South is jam-packed with energy and enthusiasm. Campers are constantly on the move. And it’s interesting to point out that campers and counselors often forge theirdeepest connections during structured down times.

Harvard’s Graduate School of Education has several recent studies on the importance of down timefor children. Leah Shaferlooks at the benefits of playing during downtime and concludes that the best camps offer “opportunities for kid-directed play.” Included in her many benefits of playtime are intellectual development, social development, emotional development and physical development. Shafer says the best indicators for getting the most out of playtime are “choice, wonder, and delight.”

At Laurel South, campers improve their skills in daily activities, but are also able to explore choice, wonder and delight, as Shafer puts it, during Rest Hour, after dinner and before bedtime. The best part? Any downtime activity can help a child’s development. Making bracelets, playing cards,reading,creating an entirely new game and even cleaning up can be labeled ‘play.’(Just ask Mary Poppins!)

Playing during downtime sparks the curiosity and imagination of those involved. It’s often the foundation for inside jokes, creative stories and uninhibited laughter. More than anything, it’s part of the development of children and helping them create unique friendships.

Creativity at America’s Finest Summer Camps

Arts activities and studios at America’s Finest Summer Camps help campers unleash their creativity in many different ways!

In Sports Broadcasting, campers have the opportunity to gain experience with real studio microphones and go on the air, discussing camp sporting events. Those participating learn the fundamentals of speaking clearly and audibly on-air, as well as how to properly phrase sentences in the most convenient way for the listener. Campers can also experiment in an on-camp science lab. Some activities include exploding watermelons with rubber bands, making ice cream, and even shooting rockets into the air!

There’s also Digital Photography, where campers can use professional cameras to document their adventures around camp and capture moments that can be held on to for a lifetime. Right next door is Video Production, which is another area where campers are able to utilize professional equipment. There’s also a green screen, so videos made can have any setting, with no limits.

Campers can also find their voices in singing! Campers learn songs and perform them for each other, with the coaching of incredibly talented voice specialists. For more hands-on fun, campers can try sewing. They are given sewing projects for them to complete and take home with them. This includes scrunchies, tote bags, and even headbands. Sewing campers also help out with making costumes for the plays currently being produced at camp.

At America’s Finest Summer Camps, creativity and imagination are key. At the end of the period, every camper walks out with new knowledge or a new project. The possibilities are truly endless!

Visiting Day at America’s Finest Summer Camps

Visiting Day

It’s safe to say that on the eve of Visiting Day, the bunks at America’s Finest Summer Camps were filled with pure excitement and energy. Visiting Day is one of the most anticipated days of the summer, and with good reason; it’s the day where campers and their families are finally reunited, in a party of laughing, crying, and eating.

With the day finally here and the excitement levels high, campers began the day with the annual visiting day singalong. After, it was time to head back to the bunks and prepare for the moment that campers and their parents have been waiting so long for.

As cars filled with gifts, candy and excited parents began to pull into the camp road, the parking lot quickly filled up with parents and their families eager to secure a spot along the blue rope. 11 o’clock couldn’t come soon enough, as the lineup of moms, dads, grandparents and siblings continued to grow. They’re carefully counting down the seconds until they are able to run and greet their kids for the first time in weeks. As soon as the tape is cut, America’s Finest Summer Camps are instantly flooded with hundreds of people: The sight is like no other.

Once the hugs were hugged and the tears shed, it was time to enjoy the day, with many families opting to set up along the grass facing their camp’s beautiful lake. Chef and the entire kitchen staff spoiled everyone with a delicious barbecue lunch, packed with hot dogs, delicious burgers and the most amazing grilled chicken. Although many campers were already too full from the mouth-watering treats that their parents brought from home.

Most activities are available to partake in, including tennis, Gaga, volleyball, and free swim in the lake, allowing campers and their families to cool off and relax in the lake together and catch a break from the heat.

Fortunately, this is not only an opportunity for families to reunite, but for parents to finally meet the counselors who have been watching over their kids this summer.

Sadly, all things that are happy and exciting must come to an end. In the afternoon, the families must say goodbye as they wish campers a great second half of the summer, All campers are incredibly glad that they were able to invite their loved ones to camp for the day, and can’t wait to tell everyone at home about the incredible summer that they experienced this year.

The Courage to Connect at Camp

Connecting at Camp

When you strip everything away, it’s connection that we crave, isn’t it? I know that is what our new campers want to start right now. They just want to find a friend. And our returners come back for one reason: to rekindle the connections they love so much.

At camp, we remove all the barriers and do our best to connect. We drop our masks. We let our true and best selves shine through. We remember who we are and those around us join in on the party of that knowledge.

We talk about the summer burning brightly at America’s Finest Summer Camps. The light of camp, though, does not come from the nightly campfire by the lake. It comes from the light of connection created between the campers who run through our forests, sleep in our bunks, and play… together.

Friendship without borders: a day of international summer camp life

 

Summer camp life is centered around the three core values ​​of friendship, family and tradition – and of course the experience of international camps is no exception!

Whether it is a foreign camper who wants to experience American culture or a local camper who wants to experience the culture of the international summer camp, America’s Finest Summer Camps offer campers a chance to get in touch with new cultures. (Plus, you’ll enjoy the fun of sports, singing around the campfire, and playing by the lake!)

Common values

Campers in the international camp may come from different countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, China, South Korea, etc. But the common reason for everyone to participate in the international camp is: a traditional American cultural experience that is still fresh in memory.

After arriving at the camp, the counselors will emphasize that the campers learn to appreciate the differences in various cultures and also emphasize the commonalities of people.

Every one of us loves the family, and everyone loves to laugh. Regardless of whether you have seen bonfires, marshmallows or fireflies in the past, the first time you sing around the campfire with the international campers will be an unforgettable memory for every camper.

Fun: Common Language

Although English is the official language of the international camp, campers from different countries can share and experience different languages ​​and cultures. Perhaps you will accidentally find other campers who speak the same language to joke with you. «Wow, you speak Spanish too!»

Experience the United States

The main reason for attracting international campers to come to North America is to hope to experience the traditional American culture… Of course, the experience of culture after the international camp is two-way!

When it comes to American tradition, it is hard to have a more typical example than the summer camp. From the flag-raising ceremony in the morning to the ridiculous songs around the table at dinner, the seemingly normal routines for the old campers returning to the summer camp are fascinating for the youngest partners from Europe and Asia. Plus, who doesn’t love an evening spent making s’mores around the campfire?

Thanks to the excellent counselors of the camp and the traditions of the past decades, every international camper can come home with good memories and countless stories.

Camper Friendships

Friendship has no borders. In the era of rapid modernization of the world, most of the partners are still unable to effectively contact and communicate with their peers in other countries.

The international camp offers children the ability to make face-to-face friendships with other campers from around the world.

Happy Times at Camp

Whether camper’

Whether it’s making good friends overseas or learning about a country’s language and traditions, the experience of the international camp will be a wonderful and profound memory for every camper.

Even if you have never gone abroad, a summer at America’s Finest Summer Camps will definitely bring you an international experience!

 

 

‘Twas the Night before Camp

‘Twas the night before camp and all through the land,
The day many had awaited for months was at hand.
The bags were all packed and sent off to camp,
The envelopes and stationary pre-addressed and stamped.
Of their new campers the counselors wondered,
Of how awesome it will be to meet them, they pondered.
The cabins were ready, the beds assigned.
Welcome signs for the morning, carefully aligned.
The Directors and Senior staff feverishly prepared,
For all of the campers who soon would be there.
The campers, they slept hardly a wink,
That they would soon be with their camp friends was all they could think.

Moms and dads sat together working through lists,
Careful to make sure there was nothing they’d missed
Sing-alongs, special activities, and the opening night show,
The countdown was almost over, it was nearly ready-set-go.

In the morning, there would be lots of cheerful well wishes,
Before the campers boarded buses and planes for a summer sure to be auspicious.
The parents would wave as the campers  rolled out of sight,
And assure each other, “They’ll be alright.”
Soon summer camp would come alive,
As buses full of campers began to arrive.
Some hugs, laughter, and maybe a cheer,
The summer of 2011 would finally be here.

And as the first day of camp turns into the first night,
A happy to summer to all, and may every day excite!

Three Reasons Why Campers Love Camp Laurel

Children are gearing up for the final push in the school year. College students are finishing up projects and studying for finals. If you couldn’t hear the buzz in the air signaling summer right around the corner, here are some extra reasons camp people are getting excited for this summer.

Friends

During the school year, children might be lucky to have classes with friends, but their primary focus is learning. Peer interactions are limited to hallway conversations, lunchtime, passing friends between classes and recess for younger children. At Camp Laurel they spend all morning, afternoon and evening interacting with their peers. Whether they’re huddling up in flag football, finishing a project in ceramics, rehearsing their lines for the upcoming play or hanging out in the cabin, campers are always encouraged to interact with their friends.

Time is Different

Campers learn that time at camp works differently. Throughout the school year there are several countdowns usually measured in months. Two months until winter break, six months until spring break and nine months until summer. At Camp Laurel, we’re counting time both ways. We know there is always something fun and exciting on the horizon, but we also measure time in weeks that have passed. Everyone realizes their time at camp is limited and they’re looking to make the most of it. Camp has so many “you had to be there” memories because campers are living so vividly in the moment and those moments stick with them.

Built for Children

Thinking about the “real world” from a child’s perspective reminds us that children are often told to prepare and wait until they are grownups. Camp, on the other hand, is an environment dedicated to youth. Campers create incredible memories because camp focuses on who and where they are now. Camp is a place all about children living in the moment and being themselves.