Category: In the Press

National Camp Kindness Day

Posted by on July 23, 2018

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. -William Arthur Ward

Camp Woodland is excited to participate in #CampKindnessDay #KindnessEvolution. We are joining camps across the country to intentionally focus our programming around kindness.  Acts of kindness occur every day at camp, and the best part is that campers take that spirit of kindness with them out into the world and spread it around. Kindness in the camp community is visible in every smile, every word of appreciation, and in countless acts of empathy and friendship. It happens every day organically, but we are taking time to recognize it on July 24th.  We hope to fuel a positive cultural shift to more fully incorporate the practice of intentional kindness and care into every aspect of our society.

When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world. -Harold Kushner

Here are some ways that campers FEEL kindness from others this summer:

  • I don’t have to be perfect and it is OK to make a mistake
  • My opinion is respected
  • People are nice to me and include me even though this is my 1st year
  • Things are explained to me when I don’t understand, and I always feel part of the group
  • I am comforted when I am missing home
  • I am encouraged by others in activities
  • Others listen to me and what I say is taken to heart when I am sharing something

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou

Here are some ways that campers SHOW kindness towards others :

  • I try to cheer others if they are having a bad day
  • I do my part to clean the cabin even though I won’t get to take part in a “Clean Freaks” party
  • I let others borrow my stuff (even if I don’t want to)
  • I talk to my cabin mates, respect their opinions and make sure that everyone is comfortable
  • I help others when I am finished with my job during cabin clean-up and explain what is happening to new campers
  • I don’t get upset when others sit on my bed
  • I try my hardest to include everyone in all that we do

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. -Amelia Earhart


We are in the Business of Construction!

Keep reading, this is still the Camp Woodland Blog.   I had a great opportunity to attend the 2016 American Camp Association Midstates Conference in Illinois. It is an annual training opportunity for over 700 camp professionals from various midwest states to learn and keep making camp experiences great for campers, staff, alumni, and parents! It is an energizing weekend where I could learn and immediately add techniques and activities to my toolbox: from a new simple camp game to learning new techniques to build engaging staff training activities.

4-up on 4-8-16 at 2.46 PM (compiled)

Susan, Joanne, and myself having a little fun before learning new things 🙂

I also got to be “Michael Brandweined”. Ah, yes, I totally pulled a Calvin Hobbs and verbed a person’s name. But I believe Michael has earned the right to be verbed. Michael Brandwein is an internationally recognized expert on management, communication, leadership, team-building, and customer service. Anyone who produced and performed with Jim Henson’s Muppets has got my attention!


But I digress from my story……Michael was one of the Keynote speakers of the conference, and he talked about the vision of camp and our professional responsibility to camp. He first had us fill in the blanks:

We teach skills for life in a safe, fun, loving place!

Simple but deep statement and then followed up by getting the whole audience to repeat after him:

“We are the in the business of Construction and we build great kids!”

I heard it the first time and thought yup, that is exactly right, Camp Woodland is in the business of Construction, and we definitely specialize in building great kids. Then we (the audience of 700 camp professionals) were asked again, what is our business and the response got louder, “We are in the business of construction and we build great kids!!” I was now in a room with fully engaged directors and staff who are in the business of construction. There is nothing better than being in a room of 700 energized camp representatives!

LightbulbThe lightbulb was now blinking in my brain – Michael you have my attention, but how do we build great kids? Then there it was, as if Michael and I were having a one on one conversation, he took his vision to the next level. (Ps. this is what he is internationally known for).

Michael continued, we build great kids by developing a nurturing, positive environment for them to learn in. I am paraphrasing of course because Michael is a genius at articulating a big vision, and I am still learning this technique. So instead I will give you the example that he used of an adult/counselor reacting to a child/camper using his vision in the following themes:

  • Problem solving: “We’ve got a problem, this is a good one! How can we solve this? What our options??”
  • Team Work: “Let’s try to do this together”
  • Persistence: “Let’s try again. This is a hard one!”
  • The Mantra: “We can do hard things”

Wow! As I am writing this down, I am thinking, I am going to try this as a parenting technique too. Sure enough, instead of accusing my children or negatively anchoring on the problem of spilling milk or not sharing or not listening (we have all been there), I changed my tone and redirected. The outcome was miraculous!

Maddie (frustrated 4 year old): I spilled my milk – everywhere!

Me (in a happier tone): Oops! We have got a problem, this is a good one! How can we solve this? What our options??”

Maddie: Well Mommy, I think I can clean it up but I can’t reach the paper towels.

Me: Let’s try to do this together. I will get you the paper towel if you wipe the milk

Maddie: Thank you for helping me. I really didn’t mean to spill my milk

Me: We can do hard things Maddie girl!

Micheal ended his presentation with this statement, “What they “see” is how they will “be”. It’s true, children of any age want to emulate what they see in their life. They are demanding tools to learn to be “grownups”. So by training our counselors to focus on a solution instead of the problem, they can provide campers the tools to be caring, do hard things and be great grownups!

Camp Woodland is proud to be in the business of construction!

Camp Woodland is proud to be in the business of construction!

Parents, I am so glad we are partnering with you in the business of Construction and specializing in building great kids! Our goal as camp professionals is to build a positive, nurturing environment where we teach skills for life in a safe, fun, loving place!



I am truly greatful to be part of the team Where Everything Clicks in 1-6!


Me and my family!











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100 Days to Camp!

Today is the start of the 100 day countdown!  We believe this going to be one of our best summers yet!  Keep a close on the mail because the Annual Spring Camp Woodland & Towering Pines newsletter is hot off the presses.  You will be able to find out some of the new activities we have in store too!

To start our summer theme “Dare To Explore in 1-4!” off right, we thought a camp video is in order.  We were able to re-connect with Meg Caswell, Woodland Alumni circa 1980s. We had so much fun talking about one of her favorite activities, wind-surfing.  She told me that Mrs. Jordan really made her feel special about her quick advancement in wind-surfing  and even got an advanced windsurfing counselor from Towering Pines to teach her more techniques.  Meg told me, “looking back Mrs. Jordan didn’t have to go out of the way to make sure I got the most out of windsurfing”.  She said it is still one of her fondest memories of her camp experience.

Check out Meg’s story below or click on this link!


To learn more about Meg and her career, check out her website at


Meg & Lee in Virginia

Meg & Lee in Virginia





We Heart Camp Woodland Families

IheartcampjoanneThank you everyone who took part in I Heart Camp Day!  We had so much fun seeing you change your profile pictures and remarking about all the fun and love your family has at Camp Woodland for Girls and Towering Pines Camp for Boys.  We truly appreciate that you value residential camp and keep referring us to so many other great families from all over the world.  Over the next few weeks we will be sharing videos and posts from current families and alumni about the value of their camp experience. Don’t be shy-share them with your friends and family today and let them know why camp is so special to your family.

Our first Alumni story is from Kelsey Fisher, 2nd generation camper.  Her dad is featured this week in the TP blog.  Kelsey went to camp when she was 11 years old and attended for 5 years from the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. She was asked a few questions about life at camp and how it impacted the world she lives in now. Fun read!


Tell us a little bit about your life today

1902986_10102032145785474_1530117423_nWell for my life now, I graduated from Ohio University in 2010 with a BS in Communications focusing on video production. During my senior year I was able to get an internship on season 1 of “Cougar Town”. After gaining that experience, I decided that after graduation I would move out to Southern California and work in the television industry. So far so good. I’ve worked on a pilot of CBS in the casting office, and season 1- 3 of “The Exes” for TV Land as an associate producer.

The life experiences living in Los Angeles for the past 2 years has made me really grow up. I’ve had to learn what it’s like to be an adult and make real adult decisions but I’ve been able to do it with bubbly personality like every Woodland girl has!

How did the Jordan’s impact your life?

dsc07574The Jordan’s are such a great family and I think the best family to own a camps for young kids. There was a comfort and understanding that they gave to every camper. When Sara and I were very homesick, they knew exactly what to say to make us feel better. There was even a time when one of the metal pieces of my braces was loose and needed to come off. I was very nervous going to a new doctor without my parents around, but Mrs. Jordan knew that I was  scared and she let me call my parents! The Jordan’s brought the touch of home to camp while knowing that the real homes of the campers was always needed to be there.

What was it like going to camp as a 2nd generation camper (your father being in the first generation at Towering Pines)?

Knowing that my Dad went to TP was a comfort. Dad would tell Sara and I about the different experiences he had. When Mom and Dad were driving Sara and I down the dirt road onto the Woodland campus, Dad seemed like he was just as comfortable up in the Northern woods and had a family experience with the Jordan’s.


What did you learn at camp that you may not have learned if you stayed at home?

Camp taught me to self reliant and adventurous. Yes, Ohio is in the Midwest but I would have never been able to try as many things as I did when I was a camper. To think that in the morning I could wake up in the woods surrounded by different, interesting people that I would otherwise have never met before to then do 6 activities throughout the day. Swimming, sailing, horseback riding on trails, to arts and crafts then onto riflery? What kid could ask for anything else?

I feel I really started to become myself at camp. Going through the teenage years there over the summer, I had structure to my life but structure in the sense of being forced to live outside of my element. My parents are always supportive and allowed me to escape to the woods to run free at camp. Sara was right there with me and I believe camp is what made Sara and I more then sisters, we became friends.

Thanks Kelsey for the update!!