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Kupugani Blog

A Scary Study on the Sexualization of Young Girls

Another Halloween...and with it, I noticed the increasing sexualization of costumes aimed at young girls. For a while, we've battled the sexualization of women; in a scary continuing development, there is a significant impact on girls at younger ages, even kindergarten age girls!  Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois have performed research using paper dolls to study how six-year-old girls react to sexualized women. This study raises interesting statistics and discusses why your daughter may have sexualized thoughts. At our all-girls summer camp program, we are intentional...

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12 Things Happy People Do Differently

As a camp director at a multicultural summer camp, I'm aware of our focus on empowering children at our girls-only and boys-only programs. As adults though, we should also focus on our job of taking care of ourselves, so we can be better people for ourselves, our families, our friends, and our children. I came across an article by Jacob Sokol (citing positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky) recently with a nice checklist of 12 things happy people do differently. For more details, including the scientific basis behind how and why these strategies work, check out this link. Express grati...

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Strong Women

Many of the influential leaders of the past are men—glorified and well-regarded for their works—but what about women? It is a societal problem that women are frequently seen as weak and submissive beings. What gave us that stigma? Perhaps it is the typical stereotype of taking care of the children, cooking meals for the family, and keeping the house clean that informs the view of women as being weak and feeble-minded. We are popularly exposed to few pioneering women. Nonetheless, I recognize some who took great strides to change our society and break through those stereotypes—women li...

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The Importance of Child-Directed, Mixed Age Group Play for Children’s Development

I recently read a book called Free to Learn, by developmental psychologist Peter Gray, which argues that—our children, if free to pursue their own interests through play, will not only learn all they need to know, but will do so with energy and passion. As a camp director who has seen children thrive in our girls-camp and boys-camp programs, I agree. [Below is a blend of paraphrases, direct quotations, and personal thoughts regarding portions of the book that stood out to me...there are as many cites as I can recall...] Children should be in charge of their own education, with play and self...

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Challenging Reads Regarding Individual Consumption

Sadly enough, though I make sure that the programming and mission of our multicultural summer camp is consistently progressive and forward-thinking, my attention to my personal behavior is harder to change—although no less important. Here are a couple of recommendations for books that challenged me to think differently about our household consumption. As they did for me, they may help see the world in a new perspective. Check out Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, and A World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. Great reads, and challenging! Share what you think if/when you get a chance....

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Loving Yourself Unconditionally

At our multicultural summer camp, especially during our all-girls camp, we cover many topics from diversity, empowerment, to self-expression, leadership, and body image. One of our well-loved activities at camp is “Letter to a Body Part”, where we write a letter to one of our body parts expressing how much love we have for it—such as our eyes, stomach, hair, brain, etc. Why should we tell our body we love it? I was recently browsing internet feeds and noticed a variety of posts either encouraging body acceptance or encouraging diets and other ways to change your body to look like the mo...

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White Female Staff Reaction to 5 Ways White Feminists Can Address Our Own Racism

Kupugani camp director passed an article onto me titled “5 Ways White Feminists Can Address Our Own Racism”.  Given my work at a girls-only summer camp, I was instantly intrigued; how can feminists be racist when their cause is for gender empowerment and equality? This article put an array of subjects into perspective for me. A particular quote stood out for me: “People don’t remember what you say or do but rather how you make them feel.” The article essentially outlined many of the things Camp Kupugani stands for. We aim to explore the themes of acceptance, diversity, gender differ...

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How can you encourage your kids to celebrate and appreciate diversity?

At Camp Kupugani, as a multicultural summer camp that is intentional in our empowerment and safely challenging our campers, we teach about and bleed diversity. It's part of our mission and as such we are in a structurally and intentionally diverse environment. But what can you do if you're at home and not necessarily in a diverse and supportive environment? How then to facilitate those important lessons? One article I checked out recently emphasizes: “Parents are uniquely positioned to guide their children to appreciate the differences that make each of us special. Explaining diversity ...

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Are You Overscheduling Your Kids?

I recently came across a good piece regarding our tendency as parents to overschedule our children. Even with the best intentions (we are guilty of this at times even at our multicultural summer camp), we want our children to gain so many skills, languages, and other personal development tools that we lose track of what really benefits their self- and character-development. Check out this podcast discussing “Are You Overscheduling Your Kids?” The basic points raised in it are that, to develop truly well-adjusted children need sufficient daily doses of play time, down time, and family ti...

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How to Embrace Your Own Ideas

Today's blog concerns the issue of how to love your own ideas and not compare yourself to others. This is a partnership with confidence because it involves belief in yourself and your creation. Everyone compares themselves to a friend or a colleague of their every once in a while thinking the other person has a perfect life or is at least better off. Remember: you are comparing yourself to a perception. You only see the positive things you wish you had, but in reality, their true selves could be tumultuous and you may not have any clue how hard they have to work for their successes you see as e...

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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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