Camp Wood YMCA

What’s In A Solution-Maker?

February 23rd, 2015 by admin

Blog pic-What's In A-001The world is full of unique people. And you are one of them! We all are. Your kids are; their friends are; we all are. We all have a personality that is unique to every other person around us. When it comes to how we step into each new day, how we deal with situations we encounter, how we see the world, we all do it in our own way. Some of us want to know the next step now. Some of us enjoy dreaming about the future. And some of us are good at getting others from the now to the future; keeping the dreams alive. How we carry out the uniqueness in each of us is what makes life interesting!

Summer Camp is full of unique kids with unique ideas! By the middle of the week they get even more unique; full of energy and on the tired side at the same time! It’s an amazing trait of kids of all ages. How we help them deal with new situations and new people is often about helping them find solutions to their situations. When kids get frustrated in a moment or are unsure of trying something new; we can let them stay in the moment or we can help them find a solution for moving forward. Helping them move beyond the frustration or into the new excitement of trying something they have never even thought of trying and may never have the chance to try again, is where we see the smiles return!

Accomplishment thrives on their faces. That’s where solution-makers thrive and where solution-makers are developed. Some kids are natural at coming up with solutions. Some kids are learners in the process. Somehow they help each other with the guidance of an awesome team of summer camp staff.

We hope when campers return home that you hear all about what they achieved; and if they had to be a solution-maker, we hope they tell you so that you can celebrate their moment of success with them!

Will you be a solution-maker today? All things are possible when we put our heads together to see what can be done!

What’s In A HuRah!

February 15th, 2015 by admin

Last week we asked the question: What if a Grrr! can be turned into a HuRah? And what if Summer Camp can help our kids turn a Grrr! moment into something great? As we start this day, instead of starting with the Grrr! moments to see what they are; we’re starting the morning with the celebrations! Celebrations, those HuRah moments, are what we want to help kids do at Summer Camp…to find the things we can celebrate about each other, especially in our differences.

So what do we have to celebrate?  To say HuRah! about? 

  • A child who sees a swarm of grasshoppers for the first time in a fly by as the cabin group walks down a pathway. Exploration.
  • A camper who goes down the mudslide tube and lands in a big SPLAT of mud for the first time ever, and comes out with a smile of shock on his face. Fear overcome!
  • Your child, our camper, who slips off the edge of the waterslide into lake water, after being encouraged by her counselor and an entire cabin that she can most definitely do it! The camper was standing at the bottom of the steps up to the slide refusing to even think about it 4 minutes ago. Encouragement.
  • A camper who is feeling homesick but is suddenly surrounded by a group of cabin boys telling him stories that make him laugh. Soon he lays down and goes to sleep. Success!
  • A thank you given to you in the middle of what feels like your very bad, horrible, no good day. Hope.
  • A miracle felt in a situation where there seemed to be no answer. Life.
  • A stewardess on an airplane who made you laugh at a point when the turbulence felt as if your airplane might blow sideways. A cabin counselor brings out a similar laughter in an unsure camper. Caring.
  • Campout night. A campers first time to see a million plus stars, with no street lights in sight. Awe.
  • A camper who wrote you a letter home to tell you he thinks he should now help you clean his own bedroom (no promises!). Responsibility. Love.


Life. It’s worth celebrating. We can look at the “what is going wrong” side of life…or we can find the other side; the HuRah! side. This week we hope you find life’s little things that make you go HuRah! We look forward to finding the HuRah! moments at Summer Camp when our campers arrive!

We’d love to hear any of your HuRah! moments this week. The comment section is open for comment…



What’s In A “Grrr!”

February 7th, 2015 by admin

Does it happen during Summer Camp? What will we do with it?

This month is about what bubbles up inside of us as things happen. And they do happen. Does our mental attitude during the bubbling have an impact on Healthy Living? What do our kids do with the bubbling? Exploring the “Grrr!” will help us get started as we consider the possibilities.

To understand what’s in a “Grrr!”; it may be helpful to first understand a meaning of the word “Grrr!” as used in this situation; if it is indeed a word. What response does your body have when you hear the word “Grrr!”? Does it force a smile? Does it make you sigh? Maybe it makes you want to leave the room! Maybe you have no idea what I’m asking. For me it makes the hair on my skin stand up. And it makes that thing we call the pit of our stomach make itself known! It can be a sinking feeling. However, if caught in time, could it be used for good?  This may be the question to explore.

I looked up the word Grrr! online (even without the exclamation point). Two dictionary resources gave me an error message. Maybe it is actually an error. A Grrr! could quite possibly be viewed as an error; if not handled with care and made to work for good. A Grrr! as defined here is a big, huge, Grumble! It’s a grumble that returns again and again. It’s a grumble that has no solution in mind. It’s only there because it’s allowed to be there. A grumble can cause much pain. It can make a person or a group of people feel bad; both the giver and the receiver. Why? Because it spreads! Imagine for a moment what kids refer to as a “cootie”; that imaginary thing that jumps from child to child until someone says stop it! Kids actually yell it. “Sto-o-o-o-p It”! And they yell it out of frustration or hurt; or they run from it.

So what can we do about a cootie-sized grumble, referred to as a “Grrr!”? Can it actually be used for good? Maybe it’s all in how we handle the Grrr! that is stirring up inside of us. When we adults have Grrr! moments, what do we do with them (and we have lots of them if we’re honest)? What do kids see?


What if a Grrr! can be turned into a HuRah? A sort of celebratory action that comes out of finding a solution to that thing that made you Grrr! (HuRah…also not in the dictionary, but related to the word hurrah). And what if Summer Camp can help our kids turn a Grrr! moment into something great? Something that helps a friend. Check back next Saturday on some thoughts about getting a HuRah out of a Grrr! in “What’s In A HuRah?”

As this unfolds, we’d love to hear your own strategies.

Comment here or email Cheri at

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What Makes YOU Smile?

December 15th, 2014 by admin

Unplug - March BOTHStories are being told, laughter is being heard, and big smiles can be seen on the faces of kids as holiday traditions are being celebrated. Moments of “what matters most” seem to be shared around the world.   It’s that time of the year for family and friends, as you gather together with laughter and hope to celebrate the season, maybe the year, and what matters most to you.

It’s said that laughter is the best medicine, so rather than sharing oodles of ideas on what we think can bring a smile to those around you, we’ve found you a year’s worth of ideas on what makes a smile happen!

Before you watch, I do need to suggest that one idea was left out…

Camp Wood YMCA brings out a BIG smile! Check out the new Family Camp July 1-4: “The Great Family Escape”.  It’s an opportunity for your entire family to smile together at camp.

Enjoy the video as you consider: What makes you SMILE?

Some Healthy Living thoughts at laughter-is-the-best-medicine can be found below:

The Benefits of Laughter
Physical Health Benefits:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience
Social Benefits:

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding


ABC’s to Winter Fun

December 9th, 2014 by admin

ABC bubblesOh the weather outside is chilly!  So what will you do with this winter chill?

As the cold settles in, it’s easy to nestle inside for something like a long winter’s nap.  Although it may not mean sleeping, it often means a less active lifestyle until the winter wind turns back into a warm breeze. Will you join us this winter on an adventure to stay healthy?   We invite you to explore new and old activities, fun and creativity; while moving through the ABC’s of some holiday fun.

Adventure hikes. Imagine a hike to a new place with your family and write a story about what you see.
Bubble break out. Add some food coloring to your bubble mix and let the bubbles land on white paper and see what you create.
Camp Christmas S’mores over the fireplace or a candle. Add a thin mint for a new s’more flavor as you read the Christmas Story.
Draw a picture of your favorite holiday activity
Eat SNOW ice cream (
Fruitcake: Let your kids throw in what they like and eat it with them!
Gumdrops: Make a batch of Gumdrops and read Twas the Night Before Christmas (
Holiday songs: Rewrite an old song with your kids with words that describe their favorite things about the holiday season.
Icicles! Go on a search for the longest icicles after a storm. Build an ice castle.
Joy to the World. Create a sing-a-long!
Kites for the big kids (adults and teens): Most of us only fly kites in the warm weather. Try a sled kite for the winter!… Kites for the little ones:
Laugh a lot
Make a Movie time: create your own video to watch on a cold winter’s break afternoon
Nutcracker soldier:
Offer a stranger a helping hand
Play a lot
Quiet times: Find a quiet place with a warm drink to think thankful thoughts
Run a race with your kids (in your yard, at a community run, down the street…)
Sled on a new trail or start a new family tradition this month
Turtle pie: (use the easy recipe!)
Understand that fun is waiting for you to make it happen!
Vicks can be helpful for some fresh holiday air!
Wind behind a kite: a site for those who wonder what makes a kite fly:
XYZ…what will you do?
Yummy healthy treats load you up with energy: OR
Zip up your coat and go outside for some fun in the sun! Make Snow Angels!