Phone: (815) 713-4110 | 6903 West White Eagle Road, Leaf River, IL 61047

Empowering...Challenging...Diverse...Fun!

Where Has the Summer Gone?

Now that summer is officially drawing to a close, let’s take a stroll back through memory lane.

We had a wonderful and fun-filled 8 weeks with our boys- and girls-only camps and the ever-growing blended camp.

We had campers who: conquered their fears on a 60-foot limestone rock wall, crate stacked 21 milk crates, dam jumped, slept under the stars and peed in the woods.

During the Kupu-Olympics, the red and blue teams competed in the three-legged race, gaga, potato sack race, and canoe relay, and somehow they tied every single session!!

During the all-camp soccer games, well, let’s face it, the counselors rocked… as well as the campers!!

During the summer, everyone showed great teamwork, team-building, empowerment and self-growth.

So see you next summer! 

Peace, love, and soul,

The Kupu-family

 

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The Final Two…

Today, is officially the last day for the remaining two summer camp counselors, Hannah and Leah.

[From Hannah and Leah]

We both want to say a huge thank you to Camp Kupugani, Kevin, Natasha, our fellow co-counselors and the amazing campers for an amazing summer, filled with new friends, laughter, growth and memories. We have had a blast!

Reflecting back on the 2017 summer…

We both learned that it was okay to be an original individual and not to compare ourselves to others. We also challenged ourselves in activities we were at first hesitant to do–like Mud Volleyball and Night Hikes–each of which were amazing!

We have had an amazing experience working here at Kupugani this past summer; now, it is time to continue traveling the world!

“Mm-mmm, and come September, mm-mm, I will remember, mm-mm, our camping days of friendships true.

Mm-mm, and as the years go by, mm-mm, I’ll think of you and sigh, mm-mm this is good night and not good bye.

Mm-mm, I want to linger, mm-mm a little longer, mm-mm, a little longer here with you.”

-Hannah and Leah

 

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How to do the Kupugani Beat!

Have you got that beat? That Kupugani beat?  This is a fun camp song that takes some campers and counselors (and camp directors) a lifetime to master! You arrive at camp on the Sunday and are having a great time, when dinner time arrives and returning campers start with the Kupugani beat!

So they do it really slow and you think you’re starting to get it, when two words you don’t want to hear happen–“full speed”! And suddenly all that you thought you had disappears and you know nothing again.

Don’t despair thought, because the light bulb moment will happen. When you finally get it, that is the best feeling in the world. This is what Kupugani is about–challenging oneself by taking on a difficult task and persevering until you get it done!

 

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No Challenge is Too Big

Have you ever tried slack-lining? No? Neither had I, until I came to Kupugani.

There is no feeling like standing on a two and a half inch wide piece of fabric and feeling every muscle in my body functioning to keep me balanced. Determination rushes through my mind that I just want to keep bettering my previous effort, even if it is just one extra step. It’s addictive.

I may only be two feet above the ground, but I feel on top of the world, challenging myself and conquering something that I didn’t think I’d be able to do beforehand.

Every step I take, every move I make, I’ll be slack-lining!

 

 

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13 Reasons You Know You’re a Kupugani Camper…

  1. You have a camp song for any occasion.
  2. You never say Wu unless that is your cabin.
  3. You have enough camp swag to last you two weeks.
  4. You look above doors to see if they are “In” or “Out” doors.
  5. You say you’ve stacked 10 crates and everyone thinks you are crazy.
  6. You say oopaa at home when someone drops something.
  7. You feel guilty when you’ve started the sixth minute of your shower.
  8. You have recurring dreams about coffee cake and Chicken Kiev.
  9. You wake up with “Ain’t Nothin Wrong with Me” in your head.
  10. You often take two friends when you want to go to the bathroom.
  11. At restaurants you go to other tables to ask for extra food and demand that they measure the food waste when everyone’s done eating.
  12. When you find something you’ve lost, you begin singing “Grey Squirrel.”
  13. When you do a countdown, you never say “one,” you just walk away with attitude.

 

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Memories of a First Time International Counselor

What it’s like to be an international counselor?  It is a totally strange experience flying four thousand miles from England to a small place called Leaf River Illinois to work as a camp counselor.  Nonetheless, at the beginning of this summer, armed with a bag full of sweets and other home comforts, I set on my way.  After arriving in America and being picked up at the bus station by the lovely (food service manager and co-camp owner) Natasha, I arrived at Camp Kupugani, thinking I would be greeted by a whole bunch of Americans.  How surprised was I that there was an international posse of a Canadian and three Aussies with not an American in sight.

People gradually started to join us with a lot more Americans joining the mix. Turns out they needed some correction on certain things about English people like we don’t go for tea at 4 o’clock every day.  (We wish we did, but we don’t.)  The other thing is we don’t all live in London…there are many other places in England (but London is great.)

Over the course of the summer, I really enjoyed meeting people of various backgrounds and learning about all the different cultures and differences between people. I hope to come back soon.

Camp was the most incredible summer of my life.  Leah (from England).

 

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Creative Camptivity

Having had a touch extra of water in the flats of camp at the beginning of the session, we were temporarily without the use of some of the usual camptivities.  Undeterred, in a creative effort by the counselors and staff, camptivity periods filled with counselor specialties. From Mud Creations to Stage Combat, the offerings are as unique and fascinating as the counselors themselves. Each camptivity is exciting and especially engaging not only because that’s just what we do as camp counselors, but also because the subject is something that the facilitator has a genuine passion for. When life gives you the chance to think outside of the box, go rock collecting, mud sculpting or learn to braid hair!

 

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To-do List for Change-Over Day

  1. Clean cabins from top to bottom
  2. Make sure bathrooms are sparkly clean
  3. Move into a new cabin and set up your bunk
  4. Decide on a crazy cool theme for your cabin
  5. Prepare the grill for some delicious grub at the potluck
  6. Work on memorizing the songs written by campers last session so you can sing them during Session Two
  7. Put the finishing touches on the curriculum for next session’s teams and evening activities
  8. Restock LaTienda with delicious snacks
  9. Join the 4-week campers at the waterpark for lots of fun and a picnic lunch
  10. Get good night’s sleep so you can be at your best for a whole new group of campers tomorrow!

 

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Mirrors on Monday

“The women I know best speak from their chests, not from their adenoids, and they laugh from the gut or even lower. The women I know best walk freely, loosely, claiming their space, taking their place. They do not apologize for existing.”

                                                – Anne Cameron

Every year at Camp Kupugani, we cover the mirrors all over camp with white paper. Over the next few days, the papers fill with encouraging words and “love letters” to eyes, and thighs and hair. An essential part of Camp Kupugani’s mission is encouraging girls to consider themselves perfect inside and out. Covering the mirrors allows our lovely ladies to consider what physical beauty means to them. The next couple days are about taking the time to stop and consider how often we get stuck in our heads because the mirror doesn’t show us what we want to see. It’s going to be so exciting to watch the girl’s self-image shift from what they can see to what they can be. 

 

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Today’s anonymous shoutouts…

…To the camper who faced their fears and scaled the tough side of the Rock-wall.

…To an excellent comment given during the “label me” activity during teams this morning.

…To a certain dynamic duo who made the camp office run a little smoother today.

…To the camper who helped a cabin mate with homesickness.

…To the wonderful friendships that are beginning in our first few days at camp.

…An anonymous shout-out to every single empowered lady of camp Kupugani: Each and every one of our diverse campers and counselors contribute to camp in a unique, essential way!

 

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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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