Campfire Notes

What One Week Of Camp Can Do For Your Child

What One Week Of Camp Can Do For Your Child

Request more information about Gold Arrow Camp.

“My shy, quiet nine-year-old went to camp not knowing a soul. She came home transformed. She blossomed. She made friends, learned a multitude of activities, felt safe, loved, confident, and happy — really, really happy. As hard as it was on me, it was all worth it for her. It was the single best thing I have ever done for her.” – First-time camp parent

In today’s screen-addicted, fast-moving, ultra-competitive world, raising kids who grow into flourishing, kind, independent adults has become more challenging for parents. But research by the American Camp Association shows that even just one week at a quality summer camp program can benefit your child’s development of important life skills. In partnership with parents who are focused on their child’s healthy development, Gold Arrow Camp offers a positive, growth-focused outdoor experience that can help your child develop important life skills including independence, an appreciation for the outdoors, the ability to have fun while being unplugged from technology, and the social skills needed to make and keep friends.

The idea of having your child away from you for a week may seem scary at first, but the benefits of sending your child to one week of summer camp will last a lifetime. At camp this summer, your child will…

DEVELOP INDEPENDENCE

A camper standing on a horse's back with help from a counselor

“Going to camp has made me even more independent and a much better people-person. I am able to go confidently up to someone and introduce myself, or hang out with someone new because of my time at camp.” – Five year camper

Whether due to parenting trends or the constant electronic connection we have with our kids, children are much less independent than we were at their same age. Twenty years ago, we were babysitting infants at 13. Now, some of us hire babysitters for our 13 year olds! By sending your child to camp, you give your child the opportunity to live and thrive without being with you and under your constant scrutiny.  The growth in confidence and independence happen at camp BECAUSE you are not there.  You can read more about why camp experiences help kids develop independence in Parking Your Helicopter.

EXPERIENCE OUTDOOR CHILDHOOD FUN & ADVENTURE

A camper jumps from an RS

Most of the time our kids spend outdoors is during highly-structured organized sports, orchestrated by adults. Little time is spent just exploring, building forts, and appreciating the awesome view that hiking up a mountain trail allows. By sending your child to camp, you give your child the gift of magical childhood memories – dirt, adventure, story, and joke-filled days and nights spent with friends outdoors, under the stars, and around the campfire.  These childhood memories will last forever. And, as Michael Thompson, PhD. So eloquently states, “Our best childhood memories do not include adults.”

GET UNPLUGGED

Two summer camp campers smiling at a table, one wearing a super girl costume.

“Camp has helped me appreciate nature and the outdoors a lot more than I think I would have if I didn’t go. I can go without my phone or connection to social media awhile, because camp has shown me that amazing stuff happens when you put your phone down and have a nice conversation with someone.” – Five year camper

Whether checking to see how many people liked their Instagram post, texting messages to friends, playing video games, or watching TV, our kids are spending a lot of their hours in front of screens. We parents are, too. By sending your child to camp, you are give your child the chance to completely unplug and learn to better connect face-to-face with other kids and positive young adult role models. Getting unplugged is one of our favorite topics, so read more at Five Reasons to Unplug and Get Unplugged to learn about the many benefits of taking a break from technology.

BECOME BETTER AT MAKING AND KEEPING FRIENDS

Summer Camp campers having fun at the carnival with a counselor.

 “I feel like I have become a kinder person and am better at making friends because of camp.” – Three year camper

The bonding and friendships that happen at camp are different from those that occur at school and on sports teams. The intensity of living together and experiencing life together, without distractions, creates the ideal setting to form life-long friendships and really get to know people well. Read more about camp friendships in Friendship: The Gold of Childhood. You can also read the research that shows how camp helps develop important social skills.

Read more about the benefits of camp, hear what experienced campers have to say about their camp experiences, or watch a video about camp to learn more!

Interested in sending your child to camp this summer?
Request more information about Gold Arrow Camp.

 

 

 

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How To Pack For Camp

How To Pack For Camp

Packing for camp is the start of your child’s independent camp experience. Please have your child participate in packing for camp so that he/she knows where to find their clothing and other items. Campers who don’t participate in packing often don’t know what they have or where to find things at camp, which makes it harder to get acclimated to camp. Click HERE for the PDF formatted packing list.

 

Luggage

 

  • For our two-week (and longer) sessions, we recommend campers pack in two pieces of luggage. One larger piece (soft-sided trunk or footlocker) can be used for most of the camper’s clothing. A smaller duffle bag can be used for sleeping bag, pillow, and other equipment that doesn’t fit in the main piece of luggage. The smaller duffle bag will be used for travel to and from Shaver Lake. For campers traveling by air and coming with only one piece of luggage, a backpack or small sport-sized duffle bag can be packed within your main bag and used for the Shaver trip. A small backpack is also useful for carrying a towel, shower supplies, or other equipment around the camp.

 

  • All luggage must be tagged with camper’s name. We will send luggage tags one month prior to your child’s session. Additional luggage tags will be available at the bus stops and camp on the first day of each session.

 

Labels

 

  • All of your camper’s clothing and belongings must be clearly labeled with your camper’s full name. Items that are not labeled are unlikely to be returned to your camper after being sent to our camp laundry or if lost in the cabin or around camp.

 

Shoes

 

  • Our terrain at camp is rough and uneven, and appropriate footwear is a safety requirement. Please make sure your camper has at least one pair of closed-heal and closed-toe shoes that have adequate tread for walking on rocks, dirt, and other uneven surfaces. Running shoes, hiking shoes, or other athletic footwear work well at camp, as long as they fit the camper well and have adequate tread. Other types of shoes (flip flops, Crocs, Converse, etc.) can be worn in the cabin and at the waterfront, but closed-heal, closed-toe shoes must be worn while walking around camp, participating in activities, and traveling to and from camp.

 

Little Ones

 

  • For younger campers, we recommend placing outfits in large zip lock bags or rolling outfits together. Roll together a t-shirt, shorts, underwear, and socks to create one outfit.

 

Climate

 

  • Gold Arrow Camp is located at 7000 feet elevation, and our night time, mountain temperatures can get very chilly. Be sure your camper’s sleeping bag is rated to at least 30o (or lower), so that your camper will be warm at night. Sleeping bags used for indoor, overnight sleeping are not sufficiently insulated for camp use.

 

What Not To Bring

 

  • Do not send any of these items, as they are not allowed: food, candy (including gum), cash, water guns, silly string, water balloons, sling shots (or any other weapons), electronic games, cell phones, fireworks, knives, matches, lighters, tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Items such as cell phones, iPods, game boys, etc. will be sent home and the postage will be charged to the camper’s store account. For campers traveling by air, iPods, cell phones, and travel money can be held in our office.

 

  • Do not send valuable items such as expensive cameras and jewelry. We recommend campers use a disposable camera marked with their name. These can be purchased in the camp store.

 

  • Send old clothes that do not require dry cleaning or special washing. Laundry is done once per session. Do not purchase new or irreplaceable items for camp, as they could get lost.

 

  • Please do not send any personal athletic equipment (water skis, fishing poles, etc.). We provide top quality equipment that is sized for our campers.

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