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Kupugani Blog

How to Tie-Dye Like a Legend at Summer Camp!

With summer rapidly approaching, it is past time to get serious about preparing for camp. So today, we discuss the importance of creating the perfect tie-dye! Tie-dye at camp is like air to a human. If you see someone wearing tie-dye in public, either they love the Grateful Dead or attended summer camp and can’t give up the sweet fashion trend. There are folks who are certified tie-dye masters.  (The author has been considered as such...)  Such masters are often asked at which store they purchased their seemingly-professionally made garb, and respond "well… I made it!" So here are some ...

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Impact of Camp Experiences on Social Skills & Happiness

With depression, anxiety, and addiction rates high among adolescents, and many youth engaged in relational aggression and other damaging social practices like bullying, there is clearly a need to find effective interventions to improve social skills, relationships, and overall well-being in our young people. Camp professionals know from experience that camp can serve as a positive, often life-changing, psychological intervention for youth, but for the "noncamp" world to understand the potential benefits of summer camp, rigorous research needs to be conducted and disseminated. Many in the fields ...

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30 Fun Summer Ideas for Teens and Their Parents

1. Go to a jump park. 2. Go roller skating. 3. Head to an indoor rock climbing center. 4. Go bowling. 5. Take a class. Art, cooking, pottery, archery, gun safety – what interests do you and your teen share that would be fun to explore together? 6. Start a family book club. Find a book that you’ll both (or all) enjoy and have your own family book club. 7. Go to the second run movie theater. 8. Go out for ice cream. 9. Make homemade ice cream or ice pops. 10. Go camping. 11. Go swimming. 12. Take a hike. 13. Do a service project. 14. Go to an amusement park. (Here are tips ...

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4 Ways to Maximize Relationships

During the summer, when we enjoy camp during our girls-only, boys-only, and blended sessions, we strive to have campers and staff be able to maximize interpersonal relationships.  If/when you're not at camp, the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree have some good tips for doing so when supportive counselors and a beautiful natural atmosphere aren't necessarily there to help in the nurturing.  Summary below, with the full article available at this link.  It’s all about bids: If you think the conversation is about what the conversation is about, you’re in trouble. The content isn’t wha...

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3 Ways to Build a Strong Team or Family

During our girls-only, boys-only, and blended sessions of our summer camp outside of Chicago, we emphasize building strong teams and communities.  The folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree have some good tips for doing so during non-camp life too.   Summary below, with the full article available at this link. Here’s what the best teams and families all do: Build Safety: Not the “Hard Hat Area” kind. The “it’s okay to say something stupid” kind. Share Vulnerability: Did I mention my blog posts sometimes have typos? May those errors make you trust me all the more. Estab...

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6 Ways to Connect Well with Your Teen

At our summer camp in the U.S. Midwest, we realize that it can sometimes be a challenge connecting with teens.  A recent article from the Washington Post mirrors some of the techniques we use at camp to foster good communication and maximize empowerment of teenagers.  Below are some positively phrased bullets from the article, with the whole piece (by Kathryn Streeter) available at this link.  Speak to your teens as if they are adults. This includes both the tone and content of conversations. Value conversations with them. Teens sniff out adults who pander to them and suff...

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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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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 be...

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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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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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