Kupugani Blog

9 Healthy Ways to Communicate

As winter continues and we often spend more time indoors than in the warmer months, it's an especially important time to be mindful of being kind to each other, and trying to communicate in healthy ways. Here's a tip sheet on healthy ways to communicate from renowned facilitator Lee Mun Wah, from Berkeley, California. Reflect back what is being said. Use their words, not yours. Begin where they are, not where you want them to be. Be curious and open to what they are trying to say. Notice what they are saying and what they are not. Emotionally relate to how they are feeling. Nurture t...

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Children Need Healthy Risk-Taking

It can be a challenge for many parents to let go. Especially in our age of "helicopter parenting", media reports of dangers lurking for your child around every corner, it can be easy for parents to imagine untold mayhem everywhere if you let your child out of your sight. We want to protect our children and want the best for them. However, for children, and especially teens and older pre-teens, they need to develop their sense of independence and need to grow by having us parents let go... [caption id="attachment_477" align="aligncenter" width="480"] dam jumping at camp[/caption] Here's a g...

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Why a Two-Week Camp Experience is a Good Minimum

I attended a recent camp fair, where a prospective camp parent was concerned whether a two-week camp experience was too long for her would-be first-time-camper child. Her not necessarily articulated concern was that her child wouldn't thrive in a two-week program—that it might be too long for her. I responded that it's not necessarily the length of the experience, but whether the child is “ready.” Two-week minimum experience encourages independent growth My two decades of camp experience at camps of all sorts of lengths—from single-day programs to two-month summer experiences—has sho...

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Tips to Keep Your Girl Age Appropriate

At our multicultural girls camp, we are very intentional and mindful of doing activities that empower our young ladies, giving them the tools to be stronger in the outside world. Sadly, however, in that "outside world" there is increasing pressure seemingly everywhere for girls and young women to look older, sexier, and more mature than they are. Children's cartoons have female characters wearing skimpy clothes; shows that are popular with teens and pre-teens, like Glee and America's Next Top Model feature "kids" twice their age. Retailers directed at teens and pre-teens sell clothes with plunging n...

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Appreciating MLK by Tackling Race and Identity Issues

It has been almost 45 years since the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. A good time to reflect on the issue of race and racism in America. Despite a lot of fear and denial that race is still an issue or being used as an issue, dialogue seems to proceed in fits and starts in this country. Unfortunately, race and racism continues to permeate American institutions, corporations, schools, and communities. Our avoiding the difficult conversations with our families or in our workplaces makes our children pay for our silence and our fears, as unfounded ignorance persists. If you look at a typical lunc...

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Encouraging Independence So Children Can Thrive

Steering Children Toward Healthy Risks Children need to develop a sense of independence to successfully navigate an increasingly complex world. As parents and youth professionals, we need to give them space to grow. But how to do that, given societal pressure on parents to obsess about perceived safety? How do we help parents overcome the pervasive culture of fear so that they can feel comfortable allowing children the opportunities to take on new situations? How do we facilitate children's growth, via mindful risk-taking, to evolve into competent, independent adults? What we need to do—ins...

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Determine Whether Your Child is Ready for Sleepaway Camp

How can you tell if your child is ready for camp? There’s no tried-and-true perfect formula, but you definitely want to make sure that your child is ready before you send her/him away; the camp experience is far too valuable to turn your child off because s/he isn’t yet ready; it’s better to err on the side of the caution if you’re not sure. That said, here are ten questions for you to consider. How old? While there is no specific magic age for a first-time camp experience, the best age is when the child is "ready," which can typically be between age 7 and 13.  Camp Kupugani is tailore...

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We’re in Charge of Our Own Happiness

At our multicultural summer camp, we're always mindful about intentional ways to empower girl campers and boy campers, as well as how we can better our own lives. I came across an old article the other day (a blog post by Stephanie Jacobs, citing the work of M.J. Ryan, executive coach and author of "The Happiness Makeover"--the link has since disappeared). It described the link between positive psychology and happiness. The main takeaway is that, whatever your innate happiness level, you can cultivate additional happiness by acting and thinking positively. The original article was phrased in the...

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Progressive Camp Program

I got an inquiry today from a prospective staff member wanting to get a sense of our Camp Kupugani philosophy and approach to multicultural community-building, and what kinds of skills camp teaches kids in order to help them work through differences and address inequalities. I was excited for the question. The cool thing is that--at Camp Kupugani, we uniquely combine the fun of the camp experience with an empowerment program, to allow our campers to have fun while changing their world. As far as the kids know, they have a great camp experience, make excellent friends, and laugh, sing and smil...

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7 Positive Psychology Parenting Tips

We've talked a bit in the past about the importance of positive psychology—basically, the more we can focus on the positives of things rather than the negatives, the more happiness will be created. This is also a technique we try to emphasize at our multicultural summer camp, and something that empowers our girl campers and boy campers. The positive psychology applies quite a bit to parenting. An old article I recently came across again does a good job of summarizing some good parenting techniques that can really help. Below are some tips excerpted and paraphrased from the Kidshealth.org art...

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Request more information about the camps at Camp Kupugani

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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