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Kupugani Blog

Is Your Child Resilient?

Protecting our kids is an impulse deeply woven into our parental DNA, but no parent can shield their child from every disappointment. Whether it’s personal —a failing grade or the death of a grandparent — or misfortune on a wider scale — Hurricane Katrina or atrocities in Syria — loss is an inevitable part of the human experience. You can’t protect your child from every setback, but you can help her develop skills to navigate and even learn from them. According to Robin Stern, associate director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, resilience is essential for success in s...

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7 Reasons to Eat Family Dinner Together

Over the last 20 years, dozens of studies have confirmed what parents have known intuitively for a long time: Sitting down for a nightly dinner is good for the spirit, the brain and the body. Research shows that shared meals are tied to many teenage behaviors that parents pray for: reduced rates of substance abuse, eating disorders and depression; and higher grade point averages and self-esteem. For young children, conversation at the table is a bigger vocabulary booster than reading aloud to them. The icing on the cake is that kids who eat regular family dinners grow up to be young adults who...

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12 Tips to Raise Truthful Kids

Brace yourself for the cold, hard truth: all kids lie. They do it for many of the same reasons adults do: to avoid getting into trouble, to avoid hurting another person’s feelings, or to make themselves look better. The ability to tell a lie develops early — as young as 2½ for some kids — and it’s a normal and important stage of kids’ cognitive and social development. By age 4, all kids lie; by age 6, some estimates are that kids lie as often as once an hour. How can you convey to your preschooler the difference between the truth and the whoppers she tells you about her day? Or tea...

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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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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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