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Kupugani Blog

Why Spanking Is Bad for Child Development

I still have fond memories of hanging out in the back of our family station wagon, without a seatbelt, looking at the drivers immediately behind our vehicle. Many of us growing up in that era also remember well-meaning parents who spanked us. Although many easily appreciate the wisdom and safety regarding current child seatbelt laws, some struggle with whether spanking is still a good idea.  Our summer camp near Chicago is always focused on positive child development. So we encourage some potentially reluctant parents (including—according to a recent NBC News poll—the majority of America...

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10 Ideas: Creating Quality Time With Your Kids

Here are ten things to do to develop my relationships with my kids, in spite of a hectic schedule.  Road trips: I take a child on many of the daily errands I run, whether to the dump, to the bookstore, or to the grocery store. I often speak at functions several hours away. If I can afford it and it works, I will take one of my children with me. They love the quality time alone with dad (maybe it's all the fast food we eat?). The time we spend together is invaluable. It's often an adventure both of us never forget, and it's a great chance for me to connect with one of my kids.  Nicknames:...

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How to Enjoy (Objectively) Deciding About Camp

Often at this time of year, families thoughts turn to summer planning. As director of our camp near Chicago, I'll often get questions from families trying to figure out whether their child is ready for a camp experience. Sometimes the question is disguised as a comment that their child can't possibly be ready, but that comment often belies the parent's own misgivings. We've designed a couple of fun, insightful tools to help provide answers for questioning families. Check out Are You Ready to Send Your Child to Camp here. Check out Is Your Child Ready for Sleepaway Camp here. Have fun and let us...

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Quirky Discipline Rules That Work

These rules have an internal logic that defies easy categorization, but their clarity and enforceability make them work. Several of them are not, technically, rules at all, but declarations of policy or fact. And they're all easy to remember. Rule #1: You can't be in the room when I'm working unless you work, too Goal: Get your child to help, or stop bugging you, while you do chores It might seem odd, but I don't mind doing laundry, cleaning floors or really any kind of housework. But I do mind my kids, oblivious to the fact that my arms are full of their underwear, asking me to find their mis...

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The 10 Most Powerful Things You Can Say to Your Kids

Negative comments can often shape a conversation in a way we don't realize and it's important to be aware. Your words and conversations create your reality, your future and your relationships. What you talk about—or don't talk about—defines your relationship. The primary conversations that surround your children are your conversations—both with them directly and with others while your children are present. And those are the conversations you have the power to change. And you can start by using this list of the 10 most powerful things you can say to your kids: 1. I like you. This is a di...

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The Art of Negotiating with Your Kids

You say, "It's time for bed." "It's time to go." "It's time for homework." "It's dinnertime!" But your child says, "Five more minutes." You are tired of saying "No" and tired of fighting. So, what do you do? Give in? Blow up? Or — negotiate? Life with kids often involves negotiation, whether we like it or not. According to Scott Brown, author of How to Negotiate With Kids Even When You Think You Shouldn't, "The negotiation between parents and kids can actually be a great learning experience for your kids. If you don't negotiate, your children may not learn how to deal with conflicts constructively. If you don...

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Random Act of Kindness Helping Feel that Healing is Possible

An open letter to the white lady at Subway... You don't know how you made me smile. When I went to check out and pay for my sandwich, the cashier informed me that it had been taken care of by the lady who had just left the store. Involved in my order, I didn't really take note of you, beyond seeing that you were maybe 60-ish year's old and had smile lines on your face. When the cashier told me my sandwich was free, and why—I turned to the store entrance and you were gone. You don't know how your simple kind gesture helped to restore just a little bit of faith in the majority of a country that ...

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We’re in this Together

If you're reading this, you're likely disappointed that events of recent months have revealed apparently deep societal fissures. If you're reading this, you're likely feeling uncertainty and fear about this country's future. Even as the holiday season approaches, you may be wondering what new bad tidings the new year may bring. If you're reading this, you might be asking yourself, “How can I make my part of the world a better place? How can I address looming challenges that seem much larger than they did only a few months ago (when they still loomed, but not as ominously...)?” If you're readin...

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13 Fun New Year’s Eve Activities for Kids & Adults

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to play some fun games together.  Here are 13 fun ideas of activities to play with your friends and family!  Enjoy! 1.  Guessing the resolutions Make everyone write down their resolutions, each on its own slip of paper. Pull one slip of paper out of a basket at a time and read it out loud. Everyone has to write down who they think made each resolution. At the end of the readings, the person who guessed the most correctly wins a prize. Read some of the wrong guesses out loud for fun! 2.  2 resolutions and one lie Have everyone tell the group 2 of the...

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DIY Holiday Gifts Kids Can Make

There's no better gift from a kid than a homemade one. Here are some super-easy, crafty gift ideas that are perfect for teachers, family, and friends! 1. Lunch Bag Scrap Book Store holiday cards and photos in the pockets of a book crafted from folded brown paper bags. What you'll need: Three brown lunch bags, scissors, hole punch, pencil, thin ribbon, glue, assorted embellishments (we used patterned papers, gift wrap scraps, buttons, stickers, rickrack, and photos) Make it: Cut off the bottom of the lunch bags, stack them, and fold in half. (If necessary, trim edges to make pages even....

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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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