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Author Archives: Alan Kissack

Campers Gain Confidence and Independence – Survey Results 2016

We always knew campers had an incredible experience at Kingsley Pines, and now we have the numbers to back it up! At the end of each session we give campers a survey asking them to give us feedback on their time at camp, and this year a whopping 75% of kids rated their experience a 5 out of 5. 96% of campers rated their experience a 4 or 5 out of 5.

“The friends you make here are real friends and this is the place where the best summers happen,” said one camper. The people you meet at camp was far and away the top answer about what kids liked most about camp. Activities was next on the list of favorite things about camp, and the favorite activity across each session was waterskiing and wakeboarding. Sailing and archery were consistently mentioned as well.

75% of campers say they have changed since the beginning of camp. “I have learned a lot about myself and how to make friends and be the best person I can be,” said one camper. More confidence, independence and maturity were frequently mentioned as ways campers have changed. One of the goals we set for staff is “Camp is a life changing experience, where campers learn things about themselves they didn’t know when they arrived – Independence, Responsibility, Group living skills, New activity skills, Decision making skills “ These numbers prove we are making great strides to achieve this and other goals.

Adventure Day, with trips for rafting, sailing and the beach is the one special day that was repeated across each session, and for good reason as it was the most popular special day of the summer. In session 1 a close runner up was the 4th of July special day, in session 2 it was the KP Olympics Day put on by the Teen Leaders. Session 3 saw A Journey Through Time narrowly edge Disney Day as the next most popular special day.

Numbers will never be able to tell the whole story about a child’s experience at camp, but we take pride knowing the impact we see each summer is confirmed by statistics. Each child’s experience at camp is different, but in many ways this quote sums up the experience for so many. “At the beginning I was homesick and now I’ve had fun and am sad to leave.”

Maintenance Team Has Been Making Amazing Improvements

Streaked - New PorchThe KP Maintenance Team has been extremely busy making great improvements to many of our cabins this winter.

On the boys’ side, the cabins of Studio and Sugarloaf received a complete interior remodel with new windows and finished walls. Many boys cabins have new porches and stairs.

On the girls side, we remodeled the interior and bathrooms of Crescent, Thompson, Belgrade and Rangeley. Most girls cabins were jacked, leveled and received new stairs. Several cabins were painted in the fall and there seems to be something “Crooked” about this one.
Belgrade - Interior Under Construction

And, not to forget the truly fantastic KP staff, we have remodeled the interior and bathrooms of Oak and Wetstone.

You can see photos of all the projects here. Some are completed and some are still in progress, but we will be ready to go by June 11.

Some folks think the maintenance crew hibernates all winter long.  As you will see in these pictures that is definitely not the case.

We would like to give a big THANK YOU to the team that keeps our facilities, clean, safe and looking great, Ziggy, Merritt, Seth and Derek.

The Top Five Benefits of Sending Your Child to Summer Camp

The s’mores. The campfires. The freedom… The sunscreen. The camaraderie. The songs…

There’s just something about summer camp that creates the fondest memories of childhood. And while any former camper will gush about the new friends made, songs learned, and new activities tried, the benefits of summer camp extend far beyond stories to bring home to family and friends.

In fact, summer camp has been scientifically and psychologically proven to be beneficial to children, based on numerous studies that have examined the impact these programs have on their campers. Though choosing to part with your child for any amount of time can be a difficult decision, the facts are undeniable: sending your child to summer camp is one of the best things you can do for them.Waterskiing at Kingsley Pines Camp

At Kingsley Pines Camp in Raymond, Maine, the staff and counselors put a premium on keeping kids happy and parents at ease – as well as capitalizing on what makes summer camp so psychologically constructive. Kingsley Pines is full of discovery and adventure – the campers are swept up in the enthusiasm and dizzying array of fun and activities from the moment they first arrive, and they quickly form friendships that often last a lifetime. Read on to discover some of the proven benefits of summer camp, and how Kingsley Pines Camp ensures your child will come out stronger, happier, and more adventurous.

Independence

For many children, summer camp represents the first time away from parents, home, and the comforts that come with each. Counselors substitute for parents, bunkmates for siblings, and daily routines are transformed. While this can sometimes spark homesickness in campers, kids who overcome this challenge are more likely to be independent in the long run – leaving them with an increased sense of bravery, reduced separation anxiety, and better college preparedness. The American Camp Association notes that independence is one of the top areas of growth measured among campers.

At Kingsley Pines, trained, mature counselors help campers transition from depending on their parents to self-reliance. Additionally, the camp’s older camper and teen leadership programs offer a scaled level of independence, helping to customize the programming and opportunities for campers of any age.

Curiosity and adventurousness

The simple act of going to camp – to a destination away from home, often immersed in nature – is an exercise in stimulating curiosity. While we all fall into comfortable routines in our own hometowns, offering a child a new landscape, social structure, and breadth of activities to explore helps to foster a sense of curiosity and adventurousness that they will carry with them far beyond the days of camp. Kids will have a chance to explore various interests, and hone in on what stimulates them (and often, what they think won’t)!Fencing at Kingsley Pines Camp

At Kingsley Pines, the non-regimented sessions help foster an additional level of independence, as all campers have the opportunity to choose their own activities. Offerings range from water activities on the lake, arts and theater programs, outdoor adventure opportunities, and land sports. Campers will be able to explore a wide range of interests through the independently structured programming.

Risk-taking

Often, curiosity and adventurousness translate into an increased likelihood of taking risks. The new experiences at camp – ranging from simply leaving home, to performing at a talent show or climbing a rock wall – have been proven to help reduce fear and anxiety related to unfamiliar experiences in children. The support of counselors and new friends can help foster a sense of confidence in these new areas of exploration, as well as ensure that the camper leaves with a positive relationship toward trying new things.

Kingsley Pines offers a range of activities and opportunities for campers to test their own limits and expand their comfort zone, all while under the watchful eyes of camp staff. These opportunities can range from physical and outdoor activities, such as the high ropes course, rock climbing, or windsurfing, to social ones, such as evening dances.

Unplugging

In a world where most children are connected to social media and reliant on technology, summer camp offers an opportunity for kids to be exposed to unplugged fun. In an environment where everyone is away from their phones and many modern technologies, your child will be expected to interact face-to-face with friends, counselors, and staff. By showing them that there are plenty of ways to have fun without a device, your child is more likely to return with a heightened sense of comfort with interpersonal interactions offline.Wood Working at Kingsley Pines Camp

Kingsley Pines strives to create an environment that encourages offline activities, and thus does not offer video, computers, or video games as part of the program. Additionally, campers are not permitted to have cell phones, video recorders, gaming devices, e-readers, computers, access to the Internet, or any technology that can play video.

Friendship skills

One of the top benefits of summer camp researched by the American Camp Association is the development of supportive relationships, which includes friendships made between campers. There’s a reason that most campers describe their cabinmates as their “sisters” or “brothers” – the bonds created through living, eating, and playing with other campers often feels stronger than those with friends made in less immersive environments. Additionally, activities such as team challenges, songs, and group activities help campers feel included, something that can often be a challenge when navigating new friendships – especially for adolescents.Archery at Kingsley Pines Camp

Overall, campers acquire a sense of self-confidence in making and maintaining friendships that they’ll carry with them long after the summer is over.

Campers at Kingsley Pines are offered the opportunity to make these deep friendships both within and outside their cabins, where they meet other campers in daily activities, the dining hall, or camp-wide programming.

Additionally, the diverse demographics at Kingsley Pines allow for campers to interact with kids their age from across the world, exposing them to cultures that extend far beyond their own.

Ultimately, Kingsley Pines Camp in Maine is one of the most valuable and authentic summer experiences you can provide your child. For more information about Kingsley Pines Camp, call 855-799-7788 (toll-free) or visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website.

Still Time to Register for Kingsley Pines Camp

There is still time to register for Session 3 at Kingsley Pines Camp. The third session is only two weeks long, allowing for more affordable pricing  and will take place from August 2 – 15, 2015. This is an opportunity you and your child will not want to miss.

Wakeboarding at Kingsley Pines CampKingsley Pines, located on Panther Lake in Raymond, Maine, offers a variety of exciting and memorable activities. Possibilities include water activities on the lake, such as canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and waterskiing, as well as other outdoor options such as rock climbing and ropes courses. The camp also offers land sports, including baseball, basketball, volleyball, and archery. Artistic activities include theater, painting, jewelry making and woodworking. No matter what your child’s interests are, the wide range of activities available at Kingsley Pines ensures that boredom is never an option.

In addition to its daytime activities, Kingsley Pines offers several meaningful evening activities that all campers are invited to participate in. These include carnivals, luaus, dances, water fights and other energetic games. Evening schedules also include more traditional camp activities, such as campfires with s’mores and marshmallows, as well as times of reflection with opportunities for self-expression through music or poetry. The activities available at Kingsley Pines provide opportunities for creativity, fostering of talent, and personal growth.

Kingsley Pines packs the daily schedule with activities. Each day provides five different activity periods of 50 minutes or more in which campers can choose from any of the daytime activities listed above, in addition to periods of free time and rest, meal and snack times, and open swimming times. Aside from the normal schedule, every camp session includes one day of rafting or a beach trip. Sessions can also include Special Days, which involve unique themes such as Pirate Day or Medieval Day, and include skits and camp-wide games.

Ceramics A summer session at Kingsley Pines is full of fun activities and unique chances that will create lasting memories for your child. If you’re still looking for the right camp, then be sure to register for the third summer session (http://www.kingsleypines.com/rates-dates/) for two weeks in August while there’s still time (and if you miss that session, then you can always register early for next summer). Adventure, excitement, and the opportunities of a lifetime await at Kingsley Pines.

Call Kingsley Pines Camp in Raymond, Maine toll free at 855-799-7788 or 207-894-9030, email us at info@kingsleypines.com, or find us online at www.KingsleyPines.com. We can answer any questions you might have, schedule a tour of our camp and assist you in registering your child for camp.

4 Homesickness Prevention Strategies

Summer camp is an opportunity for children to gain independence while making friends and enjoying a range of activities, from canoeing and kayaking to campfires and baseball. For some kids, feeling homesick is a part of the camp experience.

Homesickness is a common source of stress for parents, but the good news is parents can also play a major role in helping their children overcome homesickness at summer camp by preparing them ahead of time.

How Common is Homesickness?
About 96 percent of campers who spend at least two weeks at summer camp have some amount of homesickness at the start of their stay, according to the American Camp Association. Homesickness is a normal response to being separated from a familiaFreinds at the beach | Kingsley Pines Campr environment, and the degree of homesickness often depends on the child’s age. Children with previous camp experience, as well as those who were involved in the decision to go to camp and those who can use coping strategies like writing letters home, generally have reduced anxiety.

This homesickness usually passes quickly. It’s often a short-term interruption to what is otherwise a very positive experience. In fact, most kids who initially felt homesick look forward to returning to camp the next year.

Prepare Your Child with Sleepovers
If your child has never spent a night away from home before, it can help to prepare your child with sleepovers at a friend’s house. The first few times your child can call or text you if they need to, but make it a goal to get through the sleepover without contact, because that’s how it will be at camp.

Discuss What to Expect at Camp
It’s also important to address any concerns your child has about the camp experience. If your child is worried about something specific, try to help him or her figure out some solutions themselves. Visit the camp website with your child. Looking at pictures of the camp grounds and facilities, along with the schedule of activities, can make the setting more familiar before they arrive. Give your child as many details as possible about what to expect, including what his or her days will entail. This can help reduce anxiety and create a sense of excitement.

Write Letters
Feeling isolated at camp can worsen homesickness. Writing letters back and forth lets your child express his or her feelings and feel closer to home. Let your child know you will send regular postcards and letters, and pack them plenty of paper and pre-stamped, addressed envelopes so they can write you, too.

Encourage Friendship and Connections
Let children know you want them to have fun and make friends, and express how proud you are that they have the courage to go to camp. Let them know their new friends will be there to help when they need it, and they can always get help from camp counselors, who can help them adjust to camp life and get through any anxiety. Encourage your child to not only make friends but also participate in plenty of activities.

At Kingsley Pines, we know it can be difficult for kids to be away from home for the first time. Our staff offers the support and guidance first-time campers need to relax, have fun, and enjoy the benefits of attending a summer camp. Your child will have a positive experience; in fact, we guarantee it.

Call Kingsley Pines Camp in Raymond, Maine toll free at 855-799-7788 or 207-894-9030, email us at info@kingsleypines.com, or find us online at www.KingsleyPines.com. We can answer any questions you might have, schedule a tour of our camp and assist you in registering your child for camp.

Guess Which Staff Members You’ll See at KP This Summer?

Archery at Kingsley Pines We are building another awesome team for this summer, with both new and familiar faces. Our staff does an amazing job of creating a positive and supportive environment at camp. To all our returning staff, we are so happy that you are back! To all of our new staff, we would like to extend a big KP welcome! Check out the most up-to-date list for 2015 below.

Counselors
Abby Trusler
Alison Swayne
Amanda Richter
Angela Kriese
Cameron O’Doherty
Chrissy Adler
Christine Shirkey
Clara Hatcher
Clare Flynn
Conor Little
Emily Andersen
Emma Michelmore-Brown
Eric Hook
Evan Kendall
Grace Farrington
Griffin Davey
Hannah Givertz
Jason Snyder
Jesse Guerrero
Jessica Blau
Jesus Velazco
Joey Garofano
Judith Oguguo
Katie O’Leary
Kelsey Suanders
Laura Klepinger
Luke Schindler
Marty Martin
Matt Klepinger
Nate Adams
Quin Wessels
Sarah Brown
Sarah Garrison
Sarah Shimer
Sask Ryan-Munden
Skylar Shuman
Steph Stanglin
Stephanee Bridges
Stephen Clark
Suds Suder
Susannah Phillips
Teal Otley
Teke Sieben
Tom Meregalli

 

Alanna Jordan – Waterfront Director
Brenna Hatcher – Art Director
Dave Magill – Dining Hall Supervisor/Awards Coordinator
Derek Smith – Trip Director
Geoff Fisher – Campus Head
Jonathan Swartout – Teen Leadership Director
Kate Miesle – Adventure Director (Family Camp only)
Logan Mutz – Assistant Program Director
Maureen Dougherty – Assistant Program Director
Meebz Boyle – Campus Head

Will Kingsley Pines Provide a Quality Maine Summer Camp Experience for my Teenager?

Parents of teenagers know that it can feel nearly impossible to find fun activities for young adults to participate in during the summer. With the world at their fingertips on smartphones and mobile devices, how can you get them off the couch this summer?

Summer camp gives teenagers a safe place to smoothly transition from one school year to the next. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the teenage years (12-17) are the most important time for social development. During this stage, nearly 25% of adolescents are exposed to tobacco, drugs and alcohol, while much larger percentages are dealing with concerns about self-esteem, peer pressure and other overwhelming social issues.

Friends at Kingsley Pines CampKingsley Pines Summer Camp provides a strong support network of friends, counselors and staff to make sure that camp is a positive experience.

Our team schedules activities and trips suited for these older campers, including trips to Portland Sea Dogs baseball games, bowling, mini golfing, and summer tubing.

In addition to keeping teens busy and active, we also recognize that teenage campers should be allowed more independence and opportunities to socialize. We work with our campers to incorporate unstructured time for them to just be teenagers and interact with each other.

At Kingsley Pines Camp it’s important that each camper leaves with memories of an unforgettable summer and the excitement to return the following year. Enroll your child for a summer of memories and fun now!

Call Kingsley Pines Camp in Raymond, Maine toll free at 855-799-7788 or 207-894-9030, email us at info@kingsleypines.com, or find us online at www.KingsleyPines.com. We can answer any questions you might have, schedule a tour of our camp and assist you in registering your child for camp.

Oobleck Recipe – Creative Fun at Kingsley Pines

We find that at Kingsley Pines Camp, the words messy and fun go hand-in-hand. This recipe was a pretty big hit, so we thought we would pass it on. Making Oobleck is great for parties, rainy days, or even a pretty cool science project. In some ways, Oobleck is similar to slime. But it has some very strange differences. Oobleck is both a solid and a liquid! “Impossible!,” you say? Experience it for yourself.

Oobleck Recipe at Kingsley Pines Camp