Author: Kim Aycock

Happy New Year from Sunrius!

Let’s hear what the CIT’s from summer 2017 have to say:

What is the highlight of your summer?

Molly A: Getting to watch the starts, bonding with my cabin, and eating lunch on the bridge during our canoe trip

Vale: Learning about persistence and being able to reach my goals with my friends by my side.

Cayley: Seeing my friends, trying new things, coed show practices, and Rec Swim.

Kelly: Seeing my friends again and getting to know people in my age group I hadn’t been in a cabin with.

Parker: Making new friends and having so much new responsibility (being O.D. was a lot of fun!)!

Molly J: Being able to spend time with all the CIT’s planning Sunday activities.

Jae: Bonding with Sunrius and being a CIT; I’m so glad to have gotten close with everyone.  They are my 2nd family!

Josune: To pass my levels in riflery, tennis, and archery.

Barbie: Being a CIT was amazing because I have waited 5 years to be one.  There is a great difference between being a camper and a CIT.  Having friends, passing levels, and being at camp for 6 weeks is incredible!

Sam: Being a CIT and having more responsibility.  I love being in Co-Ed Show and going to practice and getting close with all the CIT’s at both camps because they are amazing!

Sofi: Co-Ed Show practice and Woodland Fair.

Paula: Co-Ed Show and spending so many moments with my friends.

Estefi: Having the opportunity to be a CIT because you learn new things and try new things.  My entire summer was awesome!

Amelia: Making new memories with my friends and taking part in all of the CIT activities.

What are some ways you were able to enjoy just being a kid and getting to play at camp?

Molly A: Disconnecting from my phone so my only worry was about having fun!

Vale: By always being around my friends, laughing and being silly together.

Cayley: Movie night, coed show practices, and tennis class.

Kelly: Rec Swim on Sunday’s, Camper Council nights with my cabin, and playing Spoon Assassins.

Parker: Getting to try new activities that I would not have the chance to do at home.

Molly J: Not having my phone; it is nice to be away from it and all the stress it brings with it.

Jae: When we had a beach party Rec Swim for evening activity and a bunch of us CIT’s just played fun games together.

Barbie: At camp you can do whatever you want.  I got to play with my cabin mates during cabin night and other activities.  Being a camper is awesome because you get to play, play, play!

Sam: All of the special events when I can scream and get myself and everyone else hyped up and excited.

Sofi: Doing my activities, playing games, and making friends.

Paula: Playing games like Mafia or Capture the Flag.

Estefi: Playing Sunday games.

Amelia: Participating in all the games we play and working together with all the other girls.

What is an achievement for which you are most proud?

Molly A: Passing 4 levels in archery this year.

Vale: Passing my level in archery and getting closer to achieving Golden Archer; it was a challenge, but I kept going.

Cayley: Stepping up as a role model for campers and being someone they could rely on.

Kelly: During the Ropes Course I was able to do a lot of the activities even though I am super scared of heights.

Parker: Getting out of my comfort zone – I was so much bolder this summer and it felt great!

Molly J: Growing as a leader, rider, and individual.  I have learned many new skills this summer that will continue to use outside of camp.

Jae: Everything we did for Co-Ed Show.

Josune: That I can make new friends and learn so many new things this summer.

Barbie: I’m really proud of teaching dance and being an assist in riflery.  All the little girls see me as an example, and I love how they always come to me if they need something.

Sam: For stepping up and being a leader.  It wasn’t obvious at first how much my leadership skill helped everyone until I got to camp.

Sofi: Making new friends and improving my skills in sailing.

Paula: Being able to become a leader and a role model to others around me.

Estefi: Passing my levels in riflery and tennis.

Amelia: I passed my Bar 7 in riflery!

What did you learn about yourself?

Molly A: I am not afraid to do things differently than everyone else.

Vale: I learned that it’s OK to take a break when I feel like I have a lot on my plate.

Cayley: Never get down on yourself and keep a positive attitude & positive things will happen!

Kelly: I learned about my dependence on others; I was always looking for other people’s approval, and I realized that needed to change.

Parker: I can handle so much more than I thought I could.  I can crawl out of my shell and try new things I would never imagine myself doing.

Molly J: I like to be challenged.  I like being able to do something that was hard, but I can say that I was still able to do it.

Jae: To stick up for myself and be proud of who I am and let myself have the best summer ever!

Josune: That I can do anything I put my mind to and that I don’t have to be afraid of anything – just do it!  I can learn something new every day.

Barbie: Being persistent because I never give up.  I just keep saying that I can do it; I will pass and have a positive attitude towards everything.  Also that I can be a leader in activities such as dance.

Sam: That I am looked up to by a lot of younger girls – I never really saw myself as a role model until camp.

Sofi: I can be patient.

Paula: What others think of me is irrelevant, and I should just do things that make me happy.

Estefi: I can always try new things.

Amelia: I really enjoy trying new things, and I look for the good in every situation.

 

Reunion Rap #2 2017

2017 CIT’s

What is your favorite thing about school this year?

Izzi: Being in high school

Abbey: Freedom

Irene: Being at a new school and making new friends

Amelia: I love meeting new friends, and I really enjoy cross country!

Cayley: Meeting new people, and experiencing a new environment

Kelly: The school swim team and my friends on the team

Sofia: My friends

Sam: Meeting new people and spending time with friends

Molly: Going to a new school and meeting new people

Jae: Getting to see all of my friends every day

Hilltop 2017

What activities do you participate in or what do you like to do when you are not in school?

Izzi: Field hockey

Abbey: Play the ukulele

Irene: Volleyball and lacrosse

Amelia: I do cross country and track at school which are a lot of fun!

Cayley: I play volleyball, and I like to read.

Kelly: Swimming and soccer

Sofia: Horseback riding and tennis

Sam: I love playing soccer, hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing with my dogs

Molly: I horseback ride every week

Jae: Figure skating, band, vocal jazz band, choir, acapella


2017 JC’s

What is something learned at Woodland that has been helpful to you at home or school?

Izzi: Leadership

Abbey: Making conversations NOT awkward

Irene: To stay organized and calm

Amelia: To always try my best and work towards my goals

Cayley: Leadership, adaptability, and interaction skills

Kelly: Leadership skills and the ability to make new friends easily

Sofia: Friendship

Sam: Leadership and social skills have definitely helped me a lot

Molly: Camp has taught me how to be a leader and get out of my comfort zone & try new things

Jae: Leadership and being able to make new friends

 

Reunion Rap #1 2017

Silver Birch 2017

As you can see, we had a FABULOUS turn out for the annual Chicago reunion the weekend before Thanksgiving!  In a series of blogs in the upcoming weeks, we will give you an update about the Woodland girls who joined us for the afternoon to watch the 2017 camp video, flip through the new scrapbook, relive camp memories, and of course, to eat yummy treats.  Thank you to our long distance travelers for joining us from Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Florida, and Mexico!  If we were not able to connect with you at this event, please feel free to share your news with us for a future post.

Favorite thing about school:

Delia: being the oldest in the school

Eleanor: reading a lot of books

Kaitlyn: chorus

Lou: I like having many teachers and classes

Molly: teachers and friends

Lucy: the administration is super nice

Lauren: learning new things

Lilli: they built a new school that is really nice and modern, and I like spending time with my friends

Rachel: spending time with my friends

Libby: socializing

Starshine 2017

Activities (when not in school):

Delia: I like to do tennis

Eleanor: I like to go outside and play

Kaitlyn: gymnastics and dance

Lou: I like to do gymnastics and hang out with my friends; I also love to play soccer

Molly: cross country and tennis

Lucy: I like to write

Lauren: softball and gymnastics

Lilli: volleyball and confirmation class

Rachel: I like to dance

Libby: horseback riding

What is something you learned at Woodland that has been helpful to you at home or school?

Delia: tennis, I’m better at serving

Eleanor: to go outside a lot and be more healthy

Kaitlyn: for gymnastics I could do a back hip circle and a handstand forward roll

Lou: I learned how to aim for my goals

Molly: I learned about better interaction and relationships and how to deal with different situations

Lucy: definitely social skills

Lauren: how to make new friends

Lilli: to be more tolerant of people

Rachel: learning how to play tennis and archery

Libby: how to be organized

Tamarack 2017

Stay tuned for more reunion news in future blog posts!

Happy Thanksgiving from Starshine!

As families gather for the holiday season, our camp family will be coming together in Chicago for the annual camp reunion.  We are truly grateful for the campers, parents, staff, and alums who are part of the Woodland community!

Find out a little more about Starshine through their “best moments”:

What was the highlight of your summer?

Katie: There’s a lot, but I really enjoyed the Red, White, and BOOM campfire!  It was so much fun to see and perform skits and songs.  I also loved seeing my brother; that was important to me.

Ellie: Sailing for the first time was so cool, and I’m glad I tried it.

Lucy: I was able to stay 6 weeks!

Aubrie: Winning Lip Sync was really amazing – we did “Survivor”!

Katherine: Landing a good dive.

Annie: Sailing with Paige and doing fun activities with my cabin.

Katie (CIT): Getting to spend time with my cabin during our last year as campers.

What are some ways you were able to enjoy just being a kind and getting to play at camp?

Katie: I could dance, sing, laugh, cry, and be me without ever being judged.  It’s hard to find places like that in this world, so I treasure that.

Ellie: There was no stress of school or home; I felt left off a leash.

Lucy: You aren’t put under a lot of pressure.

Aubrie: By just being able to be myself.

Katherine: At camp I don’t care what anyone thinks about me; I just have FUN.

Annie: Singing songs and dressing up.

Katie (CIT): Getting to compete in canoeing relay races.

What is an achievement for which you are most proud?

Katie: I was really proud of myself when I made my first mooring in sailing and when I sailed by myself (still others in the boat).  That made me feel strong and independent.

Ellie: Passing 2 levels in riflery.

Lucy: I passed multiple levels in each of my activities.

Aubrie: I passed into level 5 in swimming.

Katherine: Passing to level 5 in swimming.

Annie: Getting really close to my aeriel in gymnastics class.

Katie (CIT): Passing my Blue Archer after not getting qualifiers for most of the summer.

What did you learn about yourself?

Katie: That I definitely have unique ways of thinking about things, but also that I shouldn’t worry one bit about those who judge of those beliefs.

Ellie: Sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back and chill with my camp friends.

Lucy: I love meeting new people.

Aubrie: That I am super energetic.

Katherine: Having fun is more important than winning.

Annie: I love to play in the lake.

Katie (CIT): I can be very competitive and get very excited about things with my cabin when I am being the example and role model.

Translating Working at Camp to the Real World – Part 1

We have started a new format for connecting with staff this year and are holding monthly meetings via Zoom as a way to see each other (think mini-reunion!) and discuss pertinent topics of interest relating to camp.  Recently we asked 4 alums to join us and share their insight on how working as a counselor at Woodland or Towering Pines has benefited their career (and life!) success.  Let me just say that we were BLOWN AWAY by what our panelists shared – each person had very specific skills and experiences learned at camp that transferred to the ‘real world’, be it in the workplace or at home and raising a family.

Let me introduce you to Becky Coady Langton (on right in above photo), a former camper/staff member and now camp parent, who was one of two Camp Woodland representatives on the panel.  Becky was a camper for one year as a CIT in 1988 and worked several summers as a cabin counselor teaching gymnastics and anything that involved “jumping around.”  She is an exercise physiologist and currently works as an instructor in the Health and Fitness Science Division of Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Becky’s two kids, Sydney and Sam, attended camp for the first time this past summer!

Becky recalls gaining confidence and the ability to publicly speak as skill sets that were most developed during her time as a staff member.  She feels that this pushed her ahead of her peers, many of whom today have an intense fear of speaking in front of others.  Becky finds that having the ability to work with diverse experience and talent levels and massaging that atmosphere in way so that everyone is having fun (even if all you have is a paper bag!) were some of the biggest takeaways from her camp experience.  Camp certainly is the stage for learning how to make the best of every situation!

Becky teaches about the positive effects of exercise and a healthy lifestyle on longevity and chronic disease prevention.  One of the things that speaks to Becky the most about her experience at camp is being active and always doing something.  In the health world, physical activity rounds out and provides balance along with the emotional, social, environmental, intellectual, spiritual, financial and occupational dimensions of the wellness model.  Becky allows how all of these areas melded together describe the camp experience on steroids!  She attributes being at camp on her own without her tribe and THRIVING was a catalyst for her to seek out a career in health science and promotion.  So cool!

When talking about different aspects of applying for a job, Becky reminded us how important the first phone call can be because this is when the applicant has the opportunity to engage in a conversation with a potential employer and share about themselves.  According to Becky, the candidates who do this best find their voice, find their WHY and know in their gut what they want to do and are connected to it.  Being able to then verbalize who they are in a way so that the person conducting the interview can FEEL the energy and passion is what helps a person stand out from the masses of job candidates.  Becky believes the “amazingness” within each person that fuels this energy and passion grows at camp.  Being leaders of crazy and fun and being children ourselves as camp counselors fosters that amazingness!  So true!

Becky also pointed out how being able to communicate well verbally, utilize active listening and motivational interviewing, and understand nuances such as making eye contact and offering a firm handshake count as social collateral in a world where people are lacking in these areas.  This is another chance for job applicants with work experience at camp to shine because face-to-face interactions and being unplugged are the norm and not the exception.  Working at camp nourishes the exact skills that make for a strong candidate in just about any career field!

Next up – meet Rachel Davidson in Part 2 of how working at camp translates to the real world!