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Kupugani Blog

10 Ways to Help Your Middle Schooler Thrive Emotionally

At our summer camps with girls-only, boys-only, and blended sessions in the Midwest U.S., we strive to empower the campers through enhancing emotional skills.  We're not around so much during the school year; here are some tips from a recent Washington Post article by counselor Phyllis Fagell.  Summary below, with the full article available at this link. 1. Make good friend choices. Kids figure out quickly which friends instill a sense of belonging and which ones make them feel uncomfortable. It can be helpful to ask your children these questions: Do you have fun and laugh with this pers...

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Tips to Prepare First Time Overnight Campers

Okay, so you have made the excellent decision to give your child the gift of an overnight summer camp experience, and he/she has never been to sleepaway camp.  Yikes, what now?  No need to panic, everything is going to be fine.  In fact, everything is going to be great.  Throughout this process, always keep in mind that sending your child to summer camp is one of the best things that you can do as a parent to help you raise an emotional healthy, well-adjusted, and self-sufficient human being.  Just take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee and read these tips for first-time camp families. ...

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Essential Parenting Tips from Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child

A child psychologist friend recommended Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child, Ross W. Greene, PhD, Scribner, 2016. In it, renowned child psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Ross Greene offers great insight on maximizing the parent-child relationship, while developing the critical character skills of empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence. As parents, we have the important task of helping shepherd our child(ren) move toward an independent life with important beliefs, values, traits, and goals. To be a good parent is to navigate the balance ...

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Simple Ways to Have More Joy in Life

During summers at our camp outside of Chicago, it's pretty easy to find joy amidst the smiling campers, shining sun, and refreshing water in the pool and lake.  Sometimes during the non-summer, we have to be more intentional about maintaining and creating joy in our daily lives.  Here are some tips from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.  Summary below, with the full article available at this link. Those things that make you happy? Do them: Take a break from “new.” Listen to the music that has always made you happy. Spend time with the people who have always made you happy. ...

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Ways to Spend More Time with Your Family

Most of us are caught up in a hectic whirlwind of activities which start on Monday morning, end on Sunday night and then begin all over again. Time slips by as we rush to complete urgent tasks which relate to juggling jobs, running the household, chauffeuring our children, our parents, relatives and spouses to work, school, appointments and commitments. Yet, we all acknowledge, that spending quality time together is the best way we have to show each other that we care and that our families are important. Some families solve this problem by organising big family holidays together. This allows ...

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5 Ways to Make Yourself More Resilient

As camp professionals, we recognize the importance of developing grit and resilience in forming strong character.  Indeed, at our Midwest summer camp near Chicago, we work towards that goal both for our campers and for ourselves as staff.  Here are some good tips from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.  Summary below, with the full article available at this link.  Your conscious mind isn’t always accurate: And this leads to problems. You will feel better: Because you don’t know yourself all that well, you’re terrible at predicting how you’ll feel in the future. You...

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4 Good Tips on How to be Your Best Self

At our summer camp near Chicago, we strive to model for our campers how to be our best selves.  Here are some good tips from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.  Summary below, with the full article available at this link.  “Treat yourself as if you were someone you were responsible for helping.” To Make Better Decisions, Think Of Your Best Friend: Take the “outside perspective” and follow the advice you would offer a buddy in the same situation. For Health, Think About Fido: Look after your health the way people do for their pets, and you’ll probably live to be 150....

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6 Fun Ways to Expand Your Social Circle, Teach Empathy, and Unlearn Prejudice

[FROM http://www.doinggoodtogether.org/bhf/blog/6-fun-ways-to-grow-your-social-circle-teach-empathy-and-unlearn-prejudice] Now's the time to broaden our tribes. We need to intentionally throw open the gates to new friendships and new social experiences if we’re going to expand our cultural boundaries and unlearn the prejudice that's unraveling our country. It's hard. I know. We're all so preoccupied with finding a tribe and maintaining our small community. In this odd new world where families live far from one another and parenting is a 24-hour-a-day, 18-year marathon, finding like-minded,...

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Camp Mentors Set Children Up for Success

At our Midwest summer camp outside of Chicago, we recognize that camp counselors' impact on campers is a strong example of positive mentoring.  Recent research shows that middle and high school students reporting a high level of mentoring are significantly more likely to avoid risky behaviors.  And, for folks considering sending children to camp, youth who have attended summer camp are 28% less likely to drink, 56% less likely to use illicit drugs, and 28% less likely to engage in sexual behavior than are their non-camper peers.    Of course, this may be due to good parenting ov...

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Anxiety in Children and Tweens

Despite the negative connotation of the word, anxiety in children is relatively common, with full-blown anxiety disorders affecting about 13 percent of tweens and teens. Even more children and tweens experience anxiety to a lesser degree. Here is some key information on anxiety in children. 1. How to Know if Anxiety in Children is Normal When you observe possible anxiety symptoms in your child, it can be hard to know whether they’re cause for concern. If the symptoms are causing distress or impairing your child's life, they may be considered problematic. If not, it's possible that you...

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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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