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Kupugani Blog

How to Minimize the Effects of Gender Bias on Your Daughter

At our girl summer camp programs near Chicago, we have always been about empowering young women.  As we put it, we exist for girls as they are so they imagine the women they can become. Lynn Johnson of Go Girls! wrote a recent blog detailing how gender bias negatively impacts young women.  Below are some takeaways from the article, with tips on how you can minimize the effects of gender bias.  The whole piece is available at this link: http://blog.spotlightgirls.com/gender-bias-is-hijacking-our-girls-right-to-lead-what-to-do 65% of Americans believe that women are more compassionate leade...

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Recognizing Bias to Work Toward Cultural Competence

At our summer camp outside of Chicago, we strive to achieve cultural competence as an organization, as counselors and staff, and as role models for young people.  Our goal is not to be "colorblind" or to negate differences, but rather to celebrate and appreciate ourselves as individuals, while striving to be a community that continually progresses positively.  Part of being able to be culturally competent is recognition of innate biases that we may have, so that we can act accordingly to adjust or realize our behavior. Check out this link for a great tool to help recognize automatic preference...

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20 Minutes in the Day of a Brown Man in America

Today was a good day...I guess. A cop followed me for 15 minutes as I drove from small town Illinois to next small town Illinois...staying 5 yards behind me consistently, while I, wary and weary, locked the cruise control to exactly the speed limit. First 30 miles per hour, then 40, then 45, then 55, then back to 30. The last time I had been followed for that long for that distance—that time in medium town Illinois—I had locked the cruise to 5 miles per hour above below the speed limit, before being pulled over for purportedly driving too slow. Another time in the same medium town, being...

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The First Cell Phone: Rules for Responsibility

You're not worrying too much. Research shows that virtually all kids who are allowed to keep their cell phone in their room overnight will answer a late-night text, and most of them have spent at least some late nights sending texts. Only 11 percent of parents suspect their teens have ever sent, received or forwarded a sexual text, while 41% of teens admit they’ve done so.  Only 4 percent of parents believe their teens have ever texted while driving, while 45% of teens admit that they routinely text while driving. Studies show that texting begins in the fifth grade, on average. Porno...

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Raising Kids with the Right Values

"Values" has become a popular word in recent years, especially when preceded by the word "family." To talk about them is to talk about what kind of person you want your child to be. Most parents, whatever the flavor or fervor of their faith, or whether they live in a red state or a blue, aspire to a short list of universals: honesty, compassion, trustworthiness, generosity of spirit, courtesy, fairness, self-respect, self-discipline. Of course there are many more. How you rank virtues in importance, and what shape they take in your family, depends on many factors. Religious, cultural, and politic...

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Ten Things I Want My Tweens to Know About Social Media

The internet is not private. Nothing you share online is private, ever. It may feel private, but once you share information online, in any format, you loose some control over it. This is especially true for social media. You may think you are only sharing the information with a select few friends, but you can never know what happens to something after you put it out there. Use that information to inform your choices. Social media moves like wild fire and it’s very hard to put out. Part of the joy of the internet is that you can reach a whole lot of people, super fast. That means you ca...

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4 Ways to be a Great Parent

Although I'm still waiting for my imaginary go to guide on how to be a great parent (I'm thinking it must be lost in the mail for the last 11 years or so...), I've tried to do my best by my son.   Here are some good tips from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.  Summary below, with the full article available at this link. Gardener not carpenter: Your job is to provide a safe space to grow, not to systematically build Frankenstein. Under 6, they need play: Having an imaginary friend who happens to be a dragon named “Larry” is a good thing. School-age kids need teachin...

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25 Tips for Raising Middle-Schoolers

1. Become a student of your child. Because early adolescence brings so many maturational changes, learn all you can about your child from his teachers, pediatrician, youth director, and other parents. 2. Insist on respect and show respect. Remember that love and respect fit together like hand and glove. Give it and insist that your kids speak to others politely as well. It may be tough going, as this age can be mouthy and naturally rude. But insist anyway. 3. Use straight talk. Talk to your child about her friendships openly. Make sure you know where she fits in. Remind her that having...

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The Art of Peace in Times of War

1. Staying in the Room to Work Things Out: This is not always easy, especially if we morally, spiritually, politically or religiously disagree with someone. Also, we might emotionally leave, even if we’re still physically in the room. So, the real the commitment here is our willingness to remain emotionally and physically present and open to working things out. 2. Remaining Curious: It is often convenient to stop listening when our truth is in competition with someone else’s truth. The hard part is being curious about what they mean and how their experiences impacted who they became and a...

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10 Parenting Habits to Develop Before Your Child Becomes a Teen

These habits will help you create a positive relationship with your teens. 1. Eat dinner together. So much of successful teen parenting is about getting face time with them. So many other things vie for their attention that parents have to be diligent about getting noticed. Setting a habit to have one meal together every day carves out a time for all of you to reconnect. 2. Put away your phone at the table and when you drive. I'll admit that this decision was first driven by fear and guilt. In other words, I felt guilty for wanting to surf Facebook while eating dinner, and I was fearfu...

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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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