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Kupugani Blog

We’re in this Together

If you're reading this, you're likely disappointed that events of recent months have revealed apparently deep societal fissures. If you're reading this, you're likely feeling uncertainty and fear about this country's future. Even as the holiday season approaches, you may be wondering what new bad tidings the new year may bring. If you're reading this, you might be asking yourself, “How can I make my part of the world a better place? How can I address looming challenges that seem much larger than they did only a few months ago (when they still loomed, but not as ominously...)?” If you're readin...

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13 Fun New Year’s Eve Activities for Kids & Adults

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to play some fun games together.  Here are 13 fun ideas of activities to play with your friends and family!  Enjoy! 1.  Guessing the resolutions Make everyone write down their resolutions, each on its own slip of paper. Pull one slip of paper out of a basket at a time and read it out loud. Everyone has to write down who they think made each resolution. At the end of the readings, the person who guessed the most correctly wins a prize. Read some of the wrong guesses out loud for fun! 2.  2 resolutions and one lie Have everyone tell the group 2 of the...

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DIY Holiday Gifts Kids Can Make

There's no better gift from a kid than a homemade one. Here are some super-easy, crafty gift ideas that are perfect for teachers, family, and friends! 1. Lunch Bag Scrap Book Store holiday cards and photos in the pockets of a book crafted from folded brown paper bags. What you'll need: Three brown lunch bags, scissors, hole punch, pencil, thin ribbon, glue, assorted embellishments (we used patterned papers, gift wrap scraps, buttons, stickers, rickrack, and photos) Make it: Cut off the bottom of the lunch bags, stack them, and fold in half. (If necessary, trim edges to make pages even....

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10 Tips for Parenting Your Pre-teen

It’s typically between the ages of nine and twelve that our cute, cuddly little children, once so willing to climb into our laps and share their secrets, suddenly want little or nothing to do with us. Your pre-adolescent is not the same person he was just a year or two ago. He has changed—physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. He’s developing new independence and may even want to see how far he can push limits set by parents. What he may not know is that he needs you as much as ever, because a strong parent-child relationship now can set the stage for a much less turbulent ...

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8 Winter Break Activities for Families: Fun Ways to Keep Kids Busy While They Aren’t at School

For most families, winter break brings with it celebrations, decorations, a ton of food and a whole lot of holiday fun. But what happens once the gifts are open, the New Year rings in, and there are still days left before the break’s over? Christmas has come and gone and New Year’s is only hours away, but most families still have a while before their kids make the trek back to school. With nothing but time, cabin fever can set in quick, making the start of school look like a sweet reprieve for everyone. We understand that playing with Christmas gifts can only go so far in keepi...

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How to Live the Good Life Even When not at Camp

At our summer camp near Chicago, living the good life is pretty easy.  Sun, fun, and connecting with friends on the daily--who can beat that? In the cloudier non-summer months, with less sunlight and shorter days, it's important to focus on strategies that can help us continue to live the good life.  Here are some good tips from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.  Summary below, with the full article available at this link. Smile: Flex that happiness muscle.  Laugh: How many things prevent divorce and can help you deal with the passing of a loved one? Touch: Telling them how...

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We Need to Know This

We Need to Know This (by Tirien Angela Steinbach, exec. director of the East Bay Community Law Center, Berkeley, CA) We got here because of fear and hate and anger - powerful motivators. They drive our economy, our media, our consumption culture, and our laws. We need to know this. We got here because of the continued legacy of bigotry motivated by power - real and imagined, held and craved. When people have privilege - even a thin thread of it - equity feels like oppression, and people will clutch that thread so tight even as it cuts them to the bone. We need to know this. We got here b...

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7 Active Listening Tips to Get People to Like You

    During the summer at our Midwest summer camp, it's relatively easy to connect with new and old friends--mostly by just being yourself, but sometimes by being intentional about using good socializing techniques, like the good active-listening techniques below. Here are some good tips from a former FBI agent about how you can get people to like you.   Summary below (from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree), with the full article available at this link.   The single most important thing is non-judgmental validation. Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions witho...

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Some Rituals to Help Make You Happy

Here are some good tips on rituals you can incorporate to facilitate being happy.  Summary below (from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree), with two relevant articles available at this link and this link.  Here’s what brain research says will make you happy: Ask “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps. Label those negative emotions. Give it a name and your brain isn’t so bothered by it. Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.” Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch. Here’s how ...

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6 Ways to Keep Your Family Happy

During beautiful summer days at camp, within our Midwest summer camp community, the challenge of keeping our camp family happy is not overwhelming.   Hanging out in nature, playing with friends, and enjoying the beautiful weather are almost guaranteed to keep one happy.   When not at camp, it might take a little more intentionality to maintain family harmony.  Below are some good scientifically-backed research tips on ways to keep your family happy longterm.  Summary below (from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree), with the whole article available at this link.  Create a family ...

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Camp Kupugani is one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids

Camp Kupugani has been named one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids.

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Kupugani touches on all the core values and enrichment that we hope to instill in our [child]. My husband and I absolutely love Camp Kupugani. Our [child] gained immensely from camp.

Lisa G.

Everyone…was just so, so personable, kind, and the kind of person I want
my [child] looking up to and spending time with.

Laura V.

[My daughter’s] face lights up when she speaks about camp, it’s a priceless experience.

Kenya P.

I have never come in contact with such a wonderful group of people at a camp before. Everyone did an outstanding job, the camp was so organized, it was unbelievable.

Joe M.

She absolutely loves the camp, the staff, and all the friends she makes there. I consider Kupugani to be a big influence in helping her grow and expand her mind each summer.

Luci A.

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