Camp Kupugani Blog

Break Activities for Families

For most families, winter break brings with it celebrations, decorations, a ton of food and a whole lot of holiday fun. But what happens once the gifts are open, the New Year rings in, and there are still days left before the break’s over? Christmas has come and gone and New Year’s is only hours away, but most families still have a while before their kids make the trek back to school. With nothing but time, cabin fever can set in quick, making the start of school look like a Read more…

How to Live the Good Life Even When not at Camp

At our summer camp near Chicago, living the good life is pretty easy.  Sun, fun, and connecting with friends on the daily–who can beat that? In the cloudier non-summer months, with less sunlight and shorter days, it’s important to focus on strategies that can help us continue to live the good life.  Here are some good tips from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.  Summary below, with the full article available at this link. Smile: Flex that happiness muscle.  Laugh: How many things prevent divorce and can help you deal Read more…

We Need to Know This

We Need to Know This (by Tirien Angela Steinbach, exec. director of the East Bay Community Law Center, Berkeley, CA) We got here because of fear and hate and anger – powerful motivators. They drive our economy, our media, our consumption culture, and our laws. We need to know this. We got here because of the continued legacy of bigotry motivated by power – real and imagined, held and craved. When people have privilege – even a thin thread of it – equity feels like oppression, and people will clutch Read more…

7 Active Listening Tips to Get People to Like You

During the summer at our Midwest summer camp, it’s relatively easy to connect with new and old friends–mostly by just being yourself, but sometimes by being intentional about using good socializing techniques, like the good active-listening techniques below. Here are some good tips from a former FBI agent about how you can get people to like you.   Summary below (from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree), with the full article available at this link.   The single most important thing is non-judgmental validation. Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions Read more…

Some Rituals to Help Make You Happy

Here are some good tips on rituals you can incorporate to facilitate being happy.  Summary below (from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree), with two relevant articles available at this link and this link.  Here’s what brain research says will make you happy: Ask “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps. Label those negative emotions. Give it a name and your brain isn’t so bothered by it. Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.” Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch. Here’s Read more…

6 Ways to Keep Your Family Happy

During beautiful summer days at camp, within our Midwest summer camp community, the challenge of keeping our camp family happy is not overwhelming.   Hanging out in nature, playing with friends, and enjoying the beautiful weather are almost guaranteed to keep one happy.   When not at camp, it might take a little more intentionality to maintain family harmony.  Below are some good scientifically-backed research tips on ways to keep your family happy longterm.  Summary below (from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree), with the whole article available at Read more…

Kids Lives Matter

Here’s a link to a recent op-ed piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by camp director Kevin Gordon detailing the importance of interaction among children of different backgrounds: Kids Lives Matter. 

4 Warning Signs Your Child Might Be Being Bullied

At all times, and especially during Anti-Bullying Month, we should be aware of how our children are doing socially. At summer camps for kids, it can be easier to see if bullying behaviors are present.  The challenge can be at home, where much social behavior takes place away from families or online. Here are 4 useful warning signs that a child might be being bullied: Frequent headaches A drop in grades (even in just one subject) Being upset after social events Excessive concern about being popular A link to a Read more…

7 Steps That Will Make You Happy All Day

When we’re at our Midwest summer camp and playing GaGa, rock climbing, or just hanging out with friends, it’s pretty easy to be happy.  After all, communing in nature, having fun, and having a great time in the sun are easy ways to create smiles.  When we’re not at camp, we might need to be a little more focused to make those smiles last all day.  Below are some good scientifically-backed research tips on what you can do to get that good feeling all day.  Summary below (from the folks at Read more…

3 Scientifically-Based Ways to be More Assertive

At our multicultural summer camp near Chicago, we practice assertiveness techniques to help empower our campers and staff. A recent blog from Barking Up the Wrong Tree has a few useful tools.  Bullets are below, with the full blog available at this link.  Focus on controlling only your own behavior, i.e. not other people’s If you want something, ask! Try to get people to change their behavior, not their personality.

5 Fun Ways to Be More Successful

It may be easy to have fun and thrive at summer camp. Sometimes it might take a little more intentionality. Luckily, science has some ways to help us out regarding how we can be more successful in life. Below are some good scientifically-backed research tips on how you can do exactly that. Bullets below, with the whole article available at this link.   Happiness brings success (i.e. not the other way around, as is commonly misconstrued). See problems as challenges, not threats. Having more work means you need more social Read more…

10 Things You Should Do Everyday to Feel Good

While it’s relatively easy while at summer camp to do things that make you feel good, when not at camp, it might take a little more intention to do so. Below are some good scientifically-backed research tips on what you can do to maintain a good mood. Bullets below, with the whole article available at this link. Get out in nature Exercise Spend time with friends and family Express gratitude Meditate Get enough sleep Challenge yourself Laugh Touch someone Be optimistic  

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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