February; the last month of winter and the month following January. January was fun. We had the chance to celebrate the New Year and greet the world with a clean slate. It was the time when many of us made a resolution. Well, how are you doing with that resolution? Is it time to restart, or is it time to make a new one?
February is the shortest month, and unfortunately, a month that is often filled with gray and dreary days. Sometimes we are greeted with snowstorms, and other times, just boring, bone chilling cold. So when there is no snow in which to play, what can you do to make February a happier month?
You may not realize that in addition to Ground Hog Day and Valentine’s Day, February holds many titles, such as National Wild Bird Feeding month, National Grapefruit Month, and National Snack Food Month. For some ideas on how to celebrate, you may want to visit https://www.thespruce.com/family-activities-to-enjoy-in-february-4134466.
Often the food we eat influences our response to the dreary weather. Munching on greens, citrus, and even chocolate can help to boost our attitude. Check out “15 Foods to Cure the Winter Blues” at https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1009407-15-foods-cure-winter-blues/ to learn what you can do to turn your boost your attitude.
Making crafts with your children can be a fun way to spread cheer. You can find 150 recipes, games, art projects, and, of course, valentines at https://www.pinterest.com/weekday3s/february-crafts-and-activities/?lp=true . Your kids will love creating something special with you.
You may want to get away from it all and visit some attractions close to home. Maryland offers many things to do, even in the month of February. Check out https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g28941-Activities-Maryland.html for all sorts of ideas.
We hope that you had the opportunity to celebrate Green Acres Camp at our “Summer in the Snow” event in January. February brings us one month closer to the beginning of camp for another season of fun. Find some ways to beat the February blues and before you know it, we’ll be wishing for a brief blast of winter chill as we melt in 90 degree summer heat!
Green Acres Camp; it’s the place to be!
- Lynn Camacho
The Power of Positivity
As the temperatures drop below freezing, and we bask in the warmth of our homes, it is a good time to reflect on the year 2017. Most of us have recently celebrated the holidays with family and friends. Perhaps a special meal or gifts have been shared, and we are looking forward to the New Year. How will 2018 be different? Have you made a New Year’s resolution or plans for a better year? Have there been situations that you are trying to put behind you in order to move forward? No matter what your goals are for the future, it is important to focus on the positive.
The manner in which you greet each day and react to your environment will determine how your day progresses. A positive attitude not only affects you, but those around you. Something as simple as a genuine smile and a warm greeting creates a domino effect that can be contagious. If negativity is thrust upon you in a social situation, a work conflict, or even a family interaction, the manner in which you view it will determine the direction it will continue. Before you react, take a breath. How might your actions be positive, even in the face of adversity? It’s not always easy to stop ourselves from responding in an equally negative manner, but those few moments of determining that you will be positive can make all of the difference.
One method of creating a positive environment is to make a decision upon waking that you will be positive. Take a moment to consider how you will greet the day, what tasks you have before you, and who you might encounter. Decide, before your day begins, that you will be positive. Think about the people and situations that make you happy, and keep those ideas in the front of your mind. Author Remez Sasson offers these suggestions to create positivity in your life. The Power of Positive Attitude Can Change Your Life By Remez Sasson:
Negative attitude says: You cannot achieve success.
Positive attitude says: You can achieve success.
If you have been exhibiting a negative attitude and expecting failure and difficulties, it is now the time to change the way you think. It is the time to get rid of negative thoughts and behavior, and start leading a happier and more successful life. If you tried to do so in the past and failed, it only means that you have not tried enough.
Simple Tips for Developing a Positive Attitude:
- Choose to be happy. Yes, it is a matter of choice. When negative thoughts enter your mind, just refuse to look at them, doing your best to substitute them with happy thoughts
- Look at the bright side of life. It's a matter of choice and repeated attempts.
- Choose to be optimistic.
- Find reasons to smile more often. You can find such reasons, if you search for them.
- Have faith in yourself, and believe that the Universe can help you.
- Associate yourself with happy people.
- Read inspiring stories.
- Read inspiring quotes.
- Repeat affirmations that inspire and motivate you.
- Visualize only what you want to happen, not what you don't want.
- Learn Learn to master your thoughts
For more information, you may want to visit the following websites: https://www.successconsciousness.com/positive_attitude.htm
One of my most positive experiences of 2017 is, of course, Green Acres Camp. Please be sure to join us on January 6 for our annual, “Summer in the Snow” celebration where you are invited to share a taste of what camp has to offer your child. We look forward to seeing you then!
Green Acres Camp: it’s the place to be!
Fall is attempting to emerge despite the lingering 90 degree temperatures. Bursts of color peek through the treetops, reaching towards the sun, while children, with noses pressed against locked fences, yearn for one more weekend at the pool. “The Swimming Pool” song plays in their minds; a not too distant memory of camp. We’ve closed the door on the summer of 2017, yet the planning for the next camp session has begun. It is a time for reflection on successes as well as needed improvements.
Choices, creativity, friendship and fun have long been the foundation of Green Acres Camp. We strive to create meaningful and memorable experiences for campers beginning with the Kangaroos and extending through our senior camp. In addition, respect, responsibility, and resiliency are woven into the fabric of camp activities.
In our constantly changing, and sometimes, overwhelming world, it is comforting to know that there is a place where campers feel secure, knowing that the staff is dedicated to keeping them safe while providing opportunities for personal growth. In fact, campers often “graduate” from our highest level of camper and return to become counselors. The camp connection is strong and bonds are formed. If you have never been a part of the Green Acres family, we invite you to join us. Come and see what we are all about at our “Summer in the Snow event in January. For those who are already family members, we look forward to reconnecting with you again soon!
Green Acres; it’s the place to be!
- Lynn Camacho
July is flying by and we have entered into week four of camp. It has been a pleasure getting to know the campers and interacting with so many on a daily basis. The campus has been full of smiles and laughter as kids travel from one activity to another. Parent Days have begun and the campers have been proud to share their summer experiences.
In addition to developing skills and attempting new activities, a focus of camp is character development. Respect, responsibility, and resilience are three words that are incorporated into our daily activities through making friends, honoring boundaries, sharing, and respecting our environment. Campers learn to compromise and accept difference of opinion. We also hope to touch the hearts of our campers through empathy and giving.
Your child may have shared the story of one of our own campers, Gabe, who has been suffering from a tick-borne infection called Bartonella. As a community, we are showing support by raising money to help with medical expenses. Green Acres is collecting monetary donations as well as selling special sunglasses that sport Gabe’s initials on the side for $10.00. A flier was sent home with more details. We hope you will have conversations with your child about giving, and become a part of our effort. For more information about Gabe, visit https://www.gofundme.com/orioleswarrior.
"Children naturally look for ways to make a contribution and help others," says Deborah Spaide, founder of Kids Care Clubs, a national organization based in New Canaan, CT, that provides information on community-service projects for youngsters. "But just as we give our children opportunities to use their legs when they're learning to walk, we need to give them opportunities to exercise their charitable muscles so they become really good at giving too. "You may also be interested in reading more of Diane Harris’ article from Parenting magazine here.
Thank you for your support. Green Acres’ staff strives to keep you informed through our “What’s Up?” Facebook, blog, and our newsletters. As always, we appreciate your feedback.
Green Acres—it’s the place to be!
We have had a fantastic first week of camp! Staff and campers met for the first time or reunited after a long school year. It was exciting to witness the enthusiasm! Campers got right down to business choosing activities, checking out the beautiful pool, and connecting with friends. Junior Campers started each day at Gully, where they were entertained with songs, jokes, games, and of course, that crazy group of administrators who made everyone laugh! Senior Campers jumped to their homerooms and focused on their activities for the first session. Unit GH campers already went on a day trip to Bowlmor, and the entire camp enjoyed the sounds of “The Human Beat Box.” It was quite a busy week!
Green Acres is a place where we build connections and foster friendships. We hope your camper has met at least one new friend and has enjoyed reuniting with some old ones. Take some time to chat with your child about their camp friends. If he/she is shy, you may want to suggest some ways to initiate a conversation to make a new friend. Check out Olivia Youngs’ article on helping your shy child to make friends.
There will be no camp on Tuesday, July 4th, but we hope to see everyone on the other four days. Fun Friday will be “Super Hero Day” where each camper will dress as his/her favorite super hero! Junior Camp will enjoy an assembly by the “Recycling Pirates” and Senior Camp will participate in the GAC Cup! Of course all campers will continue to immerse themselves in activities throughout the rest of the week.
We hope you enjoy the video newsletter and the photos on Facebook! Have a wonderful and restful weekend!!
Green Acres; it’s the place to be!!
“School’s out for summer!” and you know what that means….camp is right around the corner! Soon the campus will be full of excited kids of all ages, ready to go, grow, and learn. Shrieks of laughter will echo through the gully as junior campers begin their day together. Unit D campers will have the opportunity to bridge the gap between junior and senior camp as they choose workshops for the first time, and senior campers will decide to refine their skills or try something completely new. Camp will be bustling with activity!
Some families will be new to camp and might not know what to expect, while returning campers will need to transition from school mode to camp fun! The following list may help our new friends and refresh the minds of our veteran campers.
1. Label everything, from clothing to goggles, to lunches. When items are labeled there is a better chance that they will be returned to the rightful owner.
2. Make sure your camper has lunch. We are a “green campus” so please pack it in a reusable container. You are also able to participate in the Smart Lunch program. Orders will be taken ahead of time and lunches will be delivered to your child.
3. Pack a water bottle. Campers will drink water throughout the day and water bottles will be refilled as needed. Water bottles will remain at camp and will be sterilized periodically.
4. Encourage your camper to wear his/her swim suit to camp. It will expedite changing for swim lessons. Be sure to pack clothing to change into, as well as a towel, goggles, sunscreen, and pool shoes.
5. Apply sunscreen before coming to camp. More will be applied after swimming and as needed. Spray sunscreen is easier to apply. Sunscreen will also be kept at camp.
6. Encourage your child to try new activities. Taking risks gives campers the opportunity to learn and fosters independence.
7. Ask your child about his/her experiences and take time to try some of the games and activities that he/she has learned.
8. Stay in the car during carpool. Counselors will help campers in and out of the car. If your child is upset, please allow the counselors to take him or her out of the car, despite the tears. Campers will soon be distracted and will quickly settle into a routine if they know you trust our staff.
9. Use the family calendar and check your emails for important dates. You will be prepared for Parents’ Day, and you will know the themes for our Fun Fridays ahead of time.
10. Get ready for camp the night before. Have backpacks and lunches packed before bed so that you are ready to go in the morning.
We are excited to get started and we look forward to seeing all campers on Monday! Here’s to a wonderful summer!
Green Acres; it’s the place to be!
We live in a complicated world, where nothing can be taken for granted. We’re surprised at what is said and done. We’re shocked at what we read and observe. Changes in our world cause us to reflect. What lessons are we being taught?
Patience- We must take the time to listen to what is behind the shocking statement or rash action. What might the person be thinking or experiencing? What do we need to understand? What might happen next if we take the time to contemplate before we jump to conclusions?
Tolerance- People have their own ideas, philosophies, and beliefs. We need to recognize that everyone’s thoughts have value, and we will never agree on everything. We need to find common ground and work together.
Respect- To earn respect you must demonstrate respect in your words and actions. Take a breath and think before you speak or react. Think about how those words and actions will affect others.
Kindness- A kind word can be the best part of a person’s day and can influence the choices he/she makes; a simple smile, the catalyst to a day of fun. We need to focus on the positive.
What does all of this have to do with camp?
When your children come to Green Acres, they will meet people that are different than they are. They will not agree on all of their ideas. They will have different strengths and weaknesses. Some mornings they may arrive in a bad mood. They may be sad about something or not want to participate in an activity. Each day will be different. It’s our job to make each day an opportunity for learning, friendship, and fun.
Green Acres is a place where staff members have patience. We do our best to understand the motivation behind actions and statements and help them to move in a positive direction. When children recognize someone is willing to listen, they develop confidence in themselves and a positive relationship with their counselors.
We teach children to be accepting of different ideas and to be proud of their individuality. This may be manifested in the creation of a piece of art, playing a game, or accepting ideas that are different from theirs. We celebrate our diversity and strive for cooperation.
Campers are an integral part of developing camp expectations for behavior. They contribute their ideas for what a camp needs in order to run smoothly and safely. They express how they and others should be treated. Counselors value campers’ ideas and provide a safe and caring environment.
Green Acres is full of smiles and fun. Our campers continue to return each summer due to the relationships they build with their friends and counselors, and the engaging activities that are offered. Camp provides the opportunity to take risks in a safe environment, to wonder, to explore, and to learn. It’s a wonderful way to spend the summer.
Green Acres; it’s the place to be!
In mid-January, long awaited snowstorms had yet to arrive. Kids and teachers alike were anxiously peering into the never-ending gray clouds, wondering when the fluffy white stuff will start to fall. How fitting that the first precipitation of the season arrived during our celebration of “Summer in the Snow”. We hope you were able to join us to celebrate our preview of camp! Kids had a great time making crafts, jumping on the moonbounce, having their faces painted, and eating snowcones! Counselors and administrators were there to provide information, meet new campers, and reconnect with old friends. That was just a taste of what Green Acres Camp has in store for the summer of 2017!
Each year we focus on how we can make camp an even better place to be. Our commitment to providing a quality program of choices, creativity, friendship, and fun requires us to be cognizant of the learning opportunities we offer to our campers. In addition to the traditional activities that one would expect to see in a day camp, we infuse STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math) into our program.
STEAM enhances camp activities as they are hands-on, reality based, and customized for the campers’ learning experiences. It often requires collaboration among the campers to complete a project. STEAM can be observed in woodworking, where research, measurement, design, and technology are an integral part of creating a variety of projects. Science opens a world of investigation to campers who are able to experiment with items as simple as shaving cream or conduct an investigation of chemical reactions. Senior campers have an opportunity to delve into robotics, digital photography, and computer game wizardry. Art courses, available to both senior and jr. camp, take the campers from their individual levels and develop their abilities as artists, using a variety of materials. If you are interested in learning more about STEAM, you may want to check out http://educationcloset.com/steam/what-is-steam/ or https://steamedu.com/about-us/
Camp will be starting before you know it. If your child has been to camp in previous years, you may want to rekindle friendships by arranging a play date. If your child has never been to camp, you may want to familiarize yourself with our camp by going on the website, reading past blogs, and asking questions. We look forward to seeing all of our campers and their families in June!
Green Acres Camp; it’s the place to be!
The snowflakes are not falling
The air is barely cool
With this warm, spring-like weather
They’ll be no days off school
The children are complaining
No “snow days” seems unfair
The teachers share their feelings
This lack of snow is rare
Valentine’s Day is over
Celebrations are all done
Since winter is not coming
We look to future fun
With spring around the corner
Our snow dreams start to fade
We think about Green Acres Camp
Where memories are made
Old friends will run to greet us
And we’ll make new ones, too
As we all work together
There’s just so much to do
Our counselors and our leaders
Will support us when we try
To take risks unfamiliar
And ask the question, “Why?”
We’ll soon be skilled and savvy
Our competence will grow
As investigations teach us
The things we want to know
Of course, there will be choices
And changes that are new
But we’ll have GAC traditions
That we will follow, too
If you’re new to Green Acres
And your child in Unit A
Come see our camp in action
March 18th, a Saturday
Arts and crafts and science
And even pancakes, too
Will be there waiting for you
Come on and join our crew
Green Acres; it’s the place to be!
The holiday season is upon us. Familiar tunes play on the radio, people rush around in shopping malls trying to find “the perfect gifts” for family members and friends, and neighborhoods begin to transform into colorful festivals of light. The air seems to whisper, “Hurry, hurry, hurry!” as people rush through their days. Despite the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, there is an underlying need for us to give to others; an attempt to find true meaning underneath the superficial.
Giving can occur in many ways, we just need to think outside the box. What kind of gifts would be meaningful to others? Usually, they involve:
- spending our time
- making connections
- creating memories
Visiting a nursing home to entertain the elderly, making and delivering holiday cards to people in the hospital, and volunteering in a homeless shelter are just a few ideas. Children will experience the affect that their time and generosity have on others. When thinking about gifts we can give to our own children, “Wellness Mama” outlines some ways to share experiences rather than just things in her article, “46 Ways to Give Experiences Instead of Stuff” at http://www.parenting.com/ .
Rather than spending money on the latest gadget or toy for their children, parents can think about taking a class together, building or creating something, or going on an adventure. Family members will enjoy the opportunity of spending time with one another, and the memories will last a lifetime.
You might want to check out http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/10-ideas-for-giving-experiences-instead-of-gifts/ , https://www.mainstreet.com/article/why-more-families-say-no-to-big-gifts-and-what-they-do-instead , and http://www.zeit-statt-zeug.de/en/ for more ideas about how to give differently during this holiday season.
Spending time with one another, making connections, and creating experiences can continue throughout the year and into the summer. Green Acres Camp focuses on developing our community by offering choices, incorporating creativity, fostering friendships, and, of course, having fun. Our spirit of giving is supported each summer through a community service project, which involves the entire camp. The camp community has organized several successful book and food drives for the Maryland Book Bank and Mana Food Center.
On January 7, Green Acres Camp invites you to our annual “Summer in the Snow” event, where you and your children will have the opportunity to experience our philosophy of creativity, choices, friendship, and fun first hand! We hope to see you there. Until then, have a happy, healthy, and thoughtful holiday season!
Green Acres; it’s the place to be!
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