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June 26, 2018

A Summer Camp Lesson: Good-bye, and Go Away, Thank You Very Much

Dropping a kid off for camp can test a parent’s resolve. But standing back to let a child develop autonomy is one of the most important things a parent can do. by JESSICA LAHEY in The Atlantic Three years ago, when he was eleven, my son Ben set down a very specific parental code of […]

June 23, 2018

Notes from PreCamp 2018

All our staff are here and it’s been a fabulous PreCamp training thus far… One nugget: In a session with our full staff last night (about 165 staff) I asked them to go to one side of the room if they put their own needs first, and to the other side if they look first […]

June 15, 2018

We know it seems early, but here are the 2019 camp dates

2019 Camp Dates: Camp starts June 27 1st session ends July 23 2nd session starts July 25 6 week session ends August 7 Camp ends August 19 1st session Junior Camp is June 27 – July 10 2nd session Junior Camp is July 25 – August 7 Mini Camp is Saturday August 10 – Sunday […]

June 4, 2018

Parties at the Cottage? They have issues….

‘Tis the season. Of cocktails on the dock and long leisurely swims, of a good book, a Muskoka chair and a lazy afternoon, of the sun setting over the lake, of good friends loving the north country together. Such is cottage life. Until you introduce the factor of the older teenager/young (not-so-adult) adult who knows […]

May 31, 2018

About Camp Counsellors, in Our Kids by Joanne Kates

Age4 & under56789101112131415161718+ When I was a camp counsellor, my father, the camp director, used to say that counsellors were like elastic bands: You take a young person, who at home can’t remember to feed the cat, and you give them 10 children to look after. Suddenly – as if by magic – young people […]

May 7, 2018

Anxiety, the new epidemic

My camp team has been going to the biggest camp directors conference in the world, the American Camp Association Tri-State Conference, for years. 4000 camp directors, four days, about 20 workshops on offer in every time slot, all day every day. Many learning options for us. But not as many these days. Why? Because they’re […]

April 10, 2018

More Risk = More Child Development

There’s a new movement to bring risk into children’s lives in Britain and Australia, and some European countries. Australia has introduced new standards for playground equipment, telling professionals to look at the benefits, not just the risks, of activities that might produce injuries. But not, heaven forbid, North America. According to Ellen Beate Hansen Sanseter, a […]

February 28, 2018

Words of advice for March break

I have a terrible memory of March break the year my daughter was 15. We – our family of four – are out for dinner in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands. Sounds like a hamburger in paradise, right? Just to set the scene, we’ve chartered a live-aboard sailboat for March break. […]

February 22, 2018

Getting Through to Tough Boys

An excerpt from Arowhon Head Counsellor Jonny Reed’s recent article on #Metoo and teenage boy culture. This perfectly reflects Jonny’s (and Arowhon’s) approach to mentoring young men. Worth a read for everyone with a boy in their life. “In the three months since the rise of #MeToo, I’ve seen an upswing in the conversation about […]

January 9, 2018

Can we protect our kids from sexual assault?

I am a woman, a mother of a daughter, and a leader of young women in my role as a camp director. It is both my job and my passion to think about how to keep young women safe. Judging by the firestorm of women coming forward to name (literally) bad actors sexually speaking, the […]