Camp Kupugani Blog

Riddle me this!

Riddles are a fun way for campers to bond.  At camp, a riddle hangs outside the front office for campers to ponder–switched out only when a critical mass of the campers enjoys the fun and empowerment of figuring it out.  Can anyone solve this recent office riddle (if you can’t read it on the pic, you can check it out at this link)? P.S. The girls in cabin Wu have an ongoing game of trying to figure out the secret to the Green Glass Doors.   

Happy 5th of July!

Happy day after Independence Day! In celebration yesterday, we enjoyed a cookout lunch and watermelon eating contest. In the afternoon, we cooled off with an all-camp pool party. The celebration wrapped up with lighting some sparklers in the lawn! 

Empowering Blended Session

As the daylight faded on the first full day of camp, three campers came into the office looking for some bracelet string. This would typically take about a minute. However, the campers hung around the office for several minutes chatting about life, playing with different accents, and just generally shooting the breeze. Fun with the campers! Day two of blended camp is officially in the books, and we are excited for the rest of the session. 

Life of a first-time counselor

This was my first time at being a counselor at a summer camp. I did not realize how tired, excited, full of energy, and emotionally drained I could be. When someone is responsible for eight campers for two weeks, you are on an emotional roller coaster. This roller coaster is so worth it! The children I called my campers for two weeks went from ” just campers” to my family! Each one of them now holds a special place in my heart!

Super Challenge Hikes!

Today was Super Challenge Hike Day! Campers spent the morning with their team on survival adventure in the forests.  They crossed rivers, built fires, created shelters in the woods, and (tried to) construct rafts for transport.  Big empowerment today!   

The Evolution of Camptivities

Starting this year, Kupugani has added “tracks” as a camptivity option. This session’s tracks allow campers to study more in-depth over four meetings in either the topics of environmental leadership or social justice.  Below shows campers reading an article about racial slurs before engaging in debate.  Additionally, in the ecology track, campers create miniature ecosystems to observe how one species depends on another.  

Fun on the Field!

This past weekend we had our annual boys session staff vs. campers soccer match.  Despite being outnumbered by about a two to one ratio, the staff valiantly competed to conclude with a draw!  The game ended with a 2-2 tie and lots of smiles! 

Being thankful for the rain

The recent rains at camp have brought out some new creatures to explore. Campers have spotted catfish, dragonflies, and turtles, but the favorite by far the tiny frogs found abundantly by the water. These tiny creatures are no bigger than the size of a camper’s thumb. Campers have been practicing zoological skills: catching, observing, and learning about these little animals!   

Why I No Longer Use the Words “Diversity” or “Diverse”

When we started our multicultural summer camp for kids twelve summers ago, we celebrated the word “diversity”.  It was all over our web site and elevator speeches.  I bragged about how we were “diverse” and reveled in our “diversity.”  That was then. Now, the word “diversity” has a host of non-positive connotations.  It has become a negative code word signifier for non-white male.  There are now negative implications of using the word.  Instead of the narrow, now-negative term of “diversity,” we should strive for “equity.”  Perhaps, as we continue to Read more…

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, Read more…

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 of psychology and Read more…

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. Read more…

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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