Camp Kupugani Blog

Good Intentions & Bad Ideas Setting Up for Failure

At Camp Kupugani, our overnight Midwest summer camp (located two hours west of Chicago), we empower our campers to be independent both at camp and home. While reading a book called Coddling Of the American Mind, camp director Kevin Gordon came across some interesting excerpts. Read below for some ways we as parents inhibit our children’s ability to fend for themselves. Check out the book’s website for more details by clicking here. We should allow our kids to struggle on their own and avoid trying to “fix” or “manage” everything Read more…

10 Ways to Ease the Homework Struggle with your Child

At Camp Kupugani, our overnight summer camp in the beautiful Midwest (just two hours northwest of Chicago), we recognize that great campers often make great students, who often become great adults.  As child development professionals, we recognize that it’s sometimes a challenge to navigate the craziness of parenting! A recent article from the Washington Post elucidated some of the challenges and proposed ten ways to take the struggle out of homework. Kids procrastinate or shut down because they fail to see the relevance of a task, prefer other distractions, or Read more…

Empowering Children to Minimize the Potential of Abuse

Unfortunately, child abuse occurs with unnecessary frequency in the U.S.  A video recently aired reporting sexual abuse at American summer camps. We are concerned to hear of child abuse and appreciate courageous children who report abusive treatment.  Indeed, as stated in the video, “parents need to do the work, have the conversation with your children, and be aware.” Our number one priority at camp is the safety of each child.  Below are just a few ways we protect your children while at camp and some family resources to minimize the Read more…

Takeaways from iGen

Kevin Gordon, Director of Camp Kupugani in Leaf River, IL–located two hours west of Chicago–recently read Jean M. Twenge’s iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us. We recommend this book to any parent or potential parent that is struggling with: “When (or should) does my child get a smartphone?”; or “How much daily screen time should my child have?”; or “What harm does excessive screen time do to my child’s social, Read more…

4 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life

At Camp Kupugani, our multicultural summer camp in Leaf River, IL. two hours west of Chicago, we believe that each person deserves to be happy.  Indeed, if you could find a way to give your life meaning, you would be happier; we try to empower each camper to find what makes them happy and go for it.  A recent article from the folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree speaks to this topic. See below for our summary and click here to see the full article. “There’s no shortage of Read more…

8 Fun and Easy Ways to Bond with Your Child

At Camp Kupugani, our multicultural overnight summer camp in the Midwest (in Leaf River, IL, two hours west of Chicago and 75 minutes south of Madison, WI), we are all about parents having positive connections with their children. Connecting with your child can sometimes be hard.  Sometimes you might feel compelled to focus on teaching them “life lessons” and less just enjoying your time with them. Well, you can have both!  Bullets below from a recent article from iMom, with the full article available by clicking here.  Find a “fishing Read more…

How to Talk to Our Kids

At, Camp Kupugani, our multicultural overnight summer camp in Leaf River, IL–less than two hours from Chicago, IL and Madison, WI–we believe in helping parents provide their children with the tools to be productive and self-sufficient.  Generally, as proponents of independence and empowerment, children (and adults) should strive for positive behavior not from fear of punishment nor desire for a reward, but because they intrinsically want to do what is right.  ParentSpeak: What’s Wrong with How We Talk to Our Children–and What to Say Instead, by Jennifer Lehr, provides a Read more…

10 Tips to Express Gratitude in Your Life

At Camp Kupugani–our multicultural overnight summer camp two hours west of Chicago and 90 minutes south of Madison, Wisconsin–we help our campers express gratitude. Below are some tips from a recent great article from the University of Minnesota, to help you us be thankful during this season! Bullets below; you can read the full article here.  Every day, say aloud three good things that happened Make time to see the positive Studies have shown saying something out loud helps you to remember it better Keep a gratitude journal Write down Read more…

Strengthen Your Bond with Your Mother (or Child)

At our multicultural overnight summer camp two hours west of Chicago, we place great value in the relationship between a mother and her child.  We offer Mother Daughter and Parent Child weekend retreats where mothers and their children can connect. We facilitate this connection by working on teamwork, not allowing technology to get in the way, and allowing them to spend valuable time together.  Here are a few ways to foster that important mother-child connection at home.  It was originally written from one perspective; we feel that it can apply Read more…

3 Ways to Work Smarter Not Harder

Our multicultural summer camp in Leaf River, Illinois–two hours west of Chicago–is a camp where everyone works hard!   As someone outside of camp, you likely entered your career with intention.  However, no matter how much we love the work we do, we can all experience burnout.  From the good folks at Barking Up the Wrong Tree, here are three ways to help you experience less burnout and enjoy the job you are doing!  Bullets below. You can check out the rest of the article here to learn the best Read more…

7 Ways We Can Help Girls Build Each Other Up

At our residential multicultural summer camp in the Midwest–located less than two hours from Chicago–we urge girls to be the best they can be while empowering other girls to do the same. Although we now have blended- and boys-only sessions to complement our girls-only sessions, we started with a single two week girls-only camp in 2007. We take great pride in helping our girls maximize their own and others’ potential. Indeed, especially when society can impose additional challenges that come from men and boys, this world needs women who are Read more…

Help Your Child Advocate for Herself/Himself

Our summer camp located in the heart of the Midwest makes empowering our campers our number one priority.  Culling from a recent article, we summarize a few tips on how to help empower your child to become a strong self-advocate. Minimizing your own involvement while helping your child be involved in her/his own education is key to helping them grow and be ready for life after they leave your home’s cozy confines.  Bullets below, with the full Washington Post article at this link.  Teach your kids how to advocate for 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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