Author: Geoffrey Newman

  • What to Do When Their Letter Says “I Hate Everything!”

    If you’re lucky, you might have already received some mail from your camper! Or maybe a Bunk Note reply! Maybe your reading about how much they enjoy their counselors or their favorite activities, or perhaps they’ve only been writing about how much they hate everything – their bunkmates, the mosquitoes, or just about anything else they can list. These feelings may appear early on, but by the time you receive a note from your camper, they may be feeling totally different about camp. If you get one of those dreaded letters, we’ve got a few hints to help ease the shock.

     

    Mind the Date

    When was this letter or Bunk Note reply sent? Cabin and behavior issues happen, are usually quickly addressed, and the campers quickly move on. On Monday, your camper might hate everything, but by Wednesday, everything is back to normal.

    Reach Out to Camp Staff

    If you’re worried about something you’ve read in a letter, please reach out to us at camp! If we don’t know about your concerns, we can’t address them. If you reach out to camp, we can talk to counselors and unit leaders to get more information to make sure your camper is having a great camp experience.

    Reply to Your Camper

    Mail time is always a fun time at camp! While campers love getting mail, writing too much may increase homesickness. If your camper writes home, do take the time to reply and keep it upbeat! Share some news from home so they don’t feel like they are missing out and ask questions that invite another reply. Offer your love & support, but remember that letters are meant to add value to your camper’s experience, not to make them miss you or life at home.

     

     

    Consider It a Learning Experience

    When you send a child to camp, it’s great practice in the art of “letting go.” This helps parents AND campers. While campers are learning to “let go” of their parents, that’s when the real growth is happening. They may have moments of “hating camp,” but they are making their own choices and showing their own independence. Each time they accomplish something new, it turns into a great opportunity to gain some self-confidence. A little struggle builds character.

     

    If you get one of those “I hate camp” letters, don’t stress out. These are completely normal feelings, but they are fleeting. Be encouraging, be positive, and know that they’ll have an incredible time at Indian & Forest Acres.

  • How to Handle that First Phone Call Home

    Campers are in the full swing of life at camp! Songs are being sung in the dining halls, sports are being played, and there’s a ton of activity happening under the pines. Now that campers are settling into the swing of things, it’s almost time for their first phone calls home. Phone times are something that parents and campers look forward to during the course of the summer. It’s a great time to ask about your camper’s experience so far, but phone time can just as easily cause a few tears. When your camper calls, here are a few things to keep in mind when it’s your camper’s phone time.

     

     

    Everyone May Cry

    Tears are totally normal during phone time. Sometimes all it takes is hearing a familiar voice for tears to start. If you’re sad, try to keep it to yourself as campers easily pick up on that and it may cause a new bout of homesickness. Stress the positives during your calls to help keep the tears to a minimum.

     

    Plan Ahead

    Phone times are pretty short, so knowing what you may want to bring up with your camper is key to maximizing your 15 minutes. Asking about what they like the most so far or what activities they are looking forward to are usually a safe place to start.

     

    What Do They Need?

    Phone time is a great time to see if your camper needs anything. Socks, toothbrushes, and other necessary items often run out or get lost during the summer and they may need a replacement. If you’ve been wondering what to send in a care package, this is a great way to fill up a box.

     

    Don’t Tell Them Too Much

    If you’re telling your camper all about the fun things you’ve been doing while they’re gone, they may be a little sad that they are missing out on the adventure. Instead, focus the short phone time towards them and their experience. Many times, once they start talking, it’s hard to get them to stop.

     

     

    As always, if you have any concerns that arise after a phone call with your camper, don’t hesitate to call camp. Let us help address your concerns so that your camper can enjoy a great summer here with us in Fryeburg.

     

    Happy Summer 2018!

     

  • At Camp, The Play’s The Thing!

    One of the biggest things that campers look forward to each year, is the Coed Play. While the final touches are still being added to the script, the Coed play to be performed during Parents’ Weekend this summer is going to be a mix of the old and new!




    The very first Coed Play, Lil Abner, was performed in 1970 on the outdoor stage at Indian Acres. Since then, the plays have moved to the Tip Top stage at Forest Acres. Over the years, campers have performed in such shows as Guys and Dolls, Bugsy Malone, Grease, Annie, and plenty of other classics. At the helm of the Coed play is Andy “Ang” Cornblatt, who is returning to direct this summer’s show.

     

    Bert and Ang working out details for the play!

     

    Our oldest campers this year have the opportunity to perform in a combined show called Give My Regards to Broadway! The musical features some classic oldies found on the jukebox and a few standards that you’ll probably recognize. Get ready for some catchy tunes and some hits from the “King of Rock & Roll!”

    There are always more performance opportunities at camp! Aside from the Coed Play, there are opportunities for our younger campers to get onstage. Whether it’s music, dance, or drama, there are plenty of ways for campers to perform.  This year at Forest Acres, the junior campers are performing A Year with Frog & Toad. This silly musical follows two best friends – Frog & Toad – as they go through the four seasons and celebrate what makes an individual special. Intermediate campers at Forest Acres are performing Dear Edwina, Jr. – all about a young teenage girl who’s dishing out advice to all of the neighborhood kids.

     

     


    Drama is just one of the many activities that our campers have the opportunity to try over the summer. Over Parents’ Weekend, this is just one of the ways you can check out what your camper has been up to while they are at camp. Campers get so excited to show off what they’ve been working on and we hope you’ll check it out while you visit camp this year!

  • Counselors, Counselors – Are You Ready? We’re Ready!

    That’s right – we’re welcoming campers and getting Summer 2018 underway!

    Over the past several days, all of our staff has settled into Indian and Forest Acres to complete pre-camp training. Our pre-camp training covers just about everything our staff needs to know for their summer in Fryeburg.

     

     

    We’ve been diving into all of the traditions that make Indian & Forest Acres so special. After 95 years, there’s a lot to learn! For many of the staff, this is their first time working as a camp counselor. During the week, our sessions have covered the nuts & bolts of camp – policies, procedures, and where you can find the things you need around camp. Once the staff gets the basics down, they work within their cabins and units to start planning activities for the summer. They also to get to work within their activity area – gathering supplies, making lesson plans, and general prep work that needs to be completed before campers arrive.

    Even with all of the training, there have still been plenty of opportunities for fun! After long days of pre-camp training, the staff has had the opportunity to enjoy some fun in the evenings. From co-ed staff competitions to an evening karaoke party, we’re soaking up the last few calm moments before the campers arrive. Creating a strong community amongst the staff is one of the first steps to having a successful summer at camp.

    We’re so excited for camp to start! The summer of 2018 is going to be one for the record books! Our 95th summer under the pines is here!

  • 10 Thoughts Campers Have on the First Day of Camp

    The start of Summer 2018 is fast approaching – we’re 14 days away! Some pre-camp staff is already in Fryeburg preparing for the rest of the staff and campers to arrive! As your campers are getting ready to join us at Indian & Forest Acres, they might be feeling a range of emotions – excited, nervous, ready, curious, and maybe all of the above! On the first day, there’s a ton of activity and new people to meet! No matter if it’s your first summer or your fifth summer, the first day at camp is always memorable.

     


    We’ve gathered a list of 10 thoughts campers may have on the first day of camp. It’s important to remember that it’s totally normal to anticipate coming to camp and definitely feel nervous at the same time!

    10) How much longer ’til we get there?
    Depending on where campers come from, the journey to Fryeburg can make for a long ride! Camp is approximately 2 ½ hours from Boston and 6 ½ hours from Westchester County, including a stop for lunch.

    9) Who’s going to be in my cabin?
    That’s something campers will find out once they arrive!

    8) I wonder who my counselors will be…
    A counselor from your cabin or a unit leader will greet you once you arrive.

    7) Are my friends from last year here yet?
    Campers arrive at different points in the day. Your friends may arrive at the same time, maybe they will arrive after you or maybe they’ll already be at camp!

    6) I’m so excited!
    Good! We’re also very excited that the campers are arriving!

    5) Aw, I miss my mom/dad/sister/brother/dog, etc…
    That’s ok! It’s totally normal. Once we get into the swing of our camp activities, you’ll be busy trying new things and hanging out with your friends!

    6) Did I pack my _____?
    If you forgot something, we can try to help you find it and if need be, we can reach out to your parents if you need a replacement for an important item.

    5) I’m nervous!
    Again, totally normal! Once things settle down at camp, you won’t be nervous anymore.

    4) What are we going to do first?
    That’s a good question! There will be plenty to do once everyone arrives!

    3) What’s for lunch/dinner?
    After the trip to camp, it’s no surprise that you’re hungry! The first meals at camp are often some of the most fun!

    2) I’m tired.
    If it’s been a whirlwind travel day, that’s not surprising!

    1) I can’t wait for tomorrow!
    It’s true! There’s so much to look forward to once campers arrive at camp! The fun is about to begin!

     


    In these final days before camp, there’s a lot to do! Hopefully, you are finishing up packing and gathering last minute essentials. If you want your child to have some mail waiting for them upon arrival, this is a great time to prepare a letter to send to camp. Another summer under the pines is upon us and we can’t wait to get started!


    Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have last minute questions or concerns!