Corn Sprouts At Home

September has come and September is going. By now we are all back into the swing of school and activities and the many new rhythms that come with each and every year. In some ways, summer feels like a distant memory full of nostalgia…yet it was only four weekends ago. Similarly, it feels like so…

The Dabbling Effect

Our kids today are often hit with the message that they need to be the best—not the best they can be, but the absolute best. Current research is showing heightened anxiety in adolescents driven by the fear of failure. This ideal of perfection is holding kids back from trying new things. Yet we all want…

Puddle-Wonderful

Do you remember the thrill you felt when a muddy puddle splashed so high it sent water down your rain boots? Or the satisfaction you felt when you successfully caught a raindrop on your tongue? While the uncommon amount of rain we have experienced this season may be putting a damper on playground recess and…

The Sweetness of Affirmation

Do you remember those cardboard Valentine boxes you made in elementary school? It’s true, every child looks forward to the 14th, anticipating what treats will come in pink packaging. Even deeper than this sugar rush, kids are longing to hear a good word of affirmation. It’s in all of us; we are hard-wired to thrive…

Watermelons & Rituals

It’s a new year and with it comes a whole slew of encouragement to set resolutions and goals. When it comes to growth, creating a resolve to make a change or try something new is a powerful thing, when followed through. We are forgetful people, it’s true. Yet one remedy to forgetfulness is tradition. Traditions…

All is Calm, All is Bright

The frenzy of December is no small thing: tree lightings, parties, shopping, and endless cookie exchanges. We know it’s impossible to be in two places at once, but often we try—so much so that we end up only half-way present just about everywhere. At camp, pace is important to us. It’s why we schedule “story…

Just Sing

It’s no new news that grateful people are often happier and healthier. Perhaps that’s why our inboxes, mailboxes, and storefront windows are often flooded with mantras of “give thanks”, “be grateful”, or even “#blessed” during the month of November. What about the other eleven months of the year? At camp, gratitude isn’t on a billboard,…

Try On Some Imagination

Pumpkin-spice lattes have been on the menu for a month now, and Costco is selling Christmas decorations. It must be October. During these early weeks of fall, the notion, “What I want to be for Halloween” holds more weight than “What I want to be when I grow up.” And rightfully so. The gift of…

Change the Present

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The stockings are hung from the chimney with care and signs of Christmas are everywhere. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Let the panic shopping begin! The act of giving gifts can be traced back to the earliest days of humanity. Gifts – some elaborate and others simple – have…

When Gratefulness Rubs Off

Gratefulness tends to rub off on people.   We see it at camp: the staff model relentlessly grateful hearts and behavior to our campers. When campers return home, parents often report their kids are more grateful.   Numerous research studies show the benefits of being grateful – everything from increased happiness to better sleep. But…

Five is a Magic Number

I am always amazed at how many put downs our kids hear in a day – often followed by “just kidding” (or j/k) as if that makes it all better. Negativity – even when constructive and well-intentioned – comes from so many places in a child’s day – coaches, sports teams, friends, school, media, snaps,…

Why Traditions Matter

We often think about traditions in the context of holidays – some wonderful thing passed from generation to generation each year. But, traditions also come in small-sized, daily rituals and it’s these that are often the most meaningful. Truth is, family rituals and traditions matter.   Research show traditions are important for us. They give…