Whadda Day! June 20, 2021

It’s the HAPPY FATHER’S DAY edition of Whadda Day, featuring some of the Shaver Watersports Specialty Campers!

Whadda Day! June 13, 2021

It’s the first day of GAC 2021. Cabin 28 kicks off Whadda Day!

Echo

Episode 64

 

Soy is joined by a woman who talked her mom into sending her to camp at age 6 and has been coming ever since! Echo came to camp on the shirttails of her older sister Nox and has learned everything from independence to how much she loves being unplugged in nature.

Penguin

Episode 63.

Soy is joined on the POG-Cast by longtime camper and brand new staff member Penguin. She and Soy talk about the Junior Counselor program, what it’s like to have a sibling at camp, and how GAC has changed her life. Soy also delivers a really great home improvement-based Joke of the Day.

Sunshine and Michael Thompson

Episode 62.

For this very special episode of the POG-Cast we were joined by long time parenting and camp guru Michael Thompson, Ph.D. to talk about independence, life success,  raising children in the modern world, and how camp can help with all of that. Dr. Thompson is the author of Homesick and Happy, which we send to all of our first-year camp families.

This interview was originally recorded for Sunshine’s podcast, the Sunshine Parenting Podcast. You can find all of Dr. Thompson’s books at michaelthompson-phd.com/books/

 

Be You: Be your Best Self

BE YOU Week 10: Be your Best Self

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”
-Oprah Winfrey

For many years we have heard both campers and staff say that camp is where they can be their most true, authentic selves. Being your true self is an important value and we want you to celebrate your differences and what makes you exactly who you are.

We want to encourage you to continue focusing on being your best self all year long. Depending on where you are in life, the focus might be something different. Let’s take a look back at our deeper questions from each week of our Be You series, to help you find an area that applies to where you are in life right now.

This Week’s #GACbeyou Challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question: 

What are you going to do to be the best, most authentic version of you? You can take something we talked about over the course of this series or you can find another area of your life that you want to focus on. By focusing on being your best self, you are going to be giving the world and those around you something special. Everyone and everything will benefit from who you are and what you have to share.

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

Assign a family member, friend, and yourself to each day of the week to be the focus of that day. For example, your mom could be assigned to Monday, assign yourself to Tuesday, your best friend can be Wednesday, your sister on Thursday, etc. Whoever is the focus of the day, make sure you are doing something to help them see the best version of themselves. By bringing out their best qualities, you are, in turn, bringing out yours!

We are so glad that you have joined us on this journey of discovering how to truly be you!

Resources

Be You!

BE YOU: Change the World

BE YOU Week 9: Change the World

“This world needs somebody like you.”
– Anthem Lights

At GAC, we believe in bringing positive changes to the world. In fact, it’s one of our core values that our campers and staff leave GAC ready to be leaders by bringing positive changes to the world.

There is a lot going on in the world today. We can choose to complain about what we don’t like about the world (what many adults do) OR we can take a small action ourselves to help bring a positive change.

What bothers you most about the world? What’s something you’d like to change or help fix? Instead of complaining about it, do some research about how YOU can contribute your time or skills to make a positive impact. 

Change starts with one person believing in something and being willing to take action.

Adults need to stop asking kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “Where do you want to go to college?” Instead, let’s start asking, “How will YOU bring positive changes to the world?”

This Week’s #GACbeyou Challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

How will you use your unique combination of strengths, skills, and interests to make this world a better place?

Examples of bringing positive change:

Make a list of ways you will bring positive changes to the world and reflect back on them from time to time!

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

Create a world-changing calendar for yourself! At GAC, we have monthly kindness calendars and we want to encourage you to create monthly calendars with ways to bring positive changes to the world. Think of daily or weekly tasks where you can do something nice for a neighbor, your community, or a friend. Create the calendar and print it for easy viewing!

Resources

Be You!

30 Days of Kindness

7 Ways You Can Change the World

BE YOU: Get Stronger

BE YOU Week 8: Get Stronger

“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”
– Tony Robbins

There are many ways to get stronger. We get stronger physically by exercising or playing sports, but we can also get stronger mentally or emotionally by pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones. Sometimes we need to test the waters and see how our bodies and minds react to trying something new. We might start to climb the ladder at high ropes and realize that our heart is racing and our body is tensing. That’s okay. You tried and now you can create a goal to try again. Maybe next time you will push yourself to finish climbing the ladder. Then the next time you will push yourself to climb the ladder and stand at the top for ten minutes. While we are pushing ourselves physically, we are also pushing ourselves mentally. We are becoming mentally stronger knowing that we can trust our body and mind to accomplish great things.

At camp, we like to set goals. Whether you are a camper or a staff member, setting goals is important to the growth you experience during your time at camp. The goals you set for yourself help you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and in turn, make you stronger emotionally, and maybe even physically. Sometimes our goal is to try a new physical activity, like high ropes or waterskiing, and sometimes it is to emotionally challenge ourselves, like learn three fun facts about a new friend.

This Week’s #GACbeyou Challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

Small things that we commit to doing every day can make us stronger. We get in the habit of doing these things and they become easier and part of who we are. At GAC, we like to use BJ Fogg’s model of Tiny Habits. A tiny habit is something that is so small that if you do it over and over again you will get a changed outcome. Here is a way to create and accomplish your tiny habit:

1. Trigger: After I ______ (pick something you do regularly, like brushing your teeth or picking up your phone)
2. Tiny Habit: I will ______ (do three pushups, write a gratitude note, drink a glass of water, etc.)
3. Celebrate: AWESOME! (pick a celebratory act, like high-fiving yourself in the mirror or giving yourself a fist bump)

When you celebrate your changed behavior, your brain reacts in a positive way and wants that praise more, therefore you will want to keep doing that habit. Once your tiny habit has become easy or part of your everyday routine, you can adjust that habit to keep pushing yourself further.

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

Think of ways that you can get physically and mentally stronger that are outside of your comfort zone. What are some physical things that you can do to become stronger? Try to make a tiny habit out of one of those and push yourself to where you are more comfortable doing that activity. Now think of ways you can become mentally or emotionally stronger. Sometimes those physical and emotional actions will overlap. Over time, you will become stronger and more confident!

Resources

Be You!

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg

Grit, Goals, and Growth

BE YOU: Celebrate What Makes you Different

BE YOU Week 7: Celebrate What Makes you Different

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
– Dr. Seuss

One of the most important things you can do in your life is to be yourself by being different. Your differences and quirks are the coolest things about you. Let’s embrace our differences to truly be our best selves!

Camp is one of the best places to completely be yourself. You are encouraged to dance silly, play crazy games, and embrace others’ quirks. When we all come together at camp, everyone’s differences in a cabin group are what make the experience so special. We all bring something unique to the table through our personalities, interests, and talents. We need to be recognizing those unique character traits and celebrating them!

Sometimes it’s easier to think that an interest or your personality is not “normal,” but really what does that even mean? We throw around the word “normal” about certain things, but who ultimately decides what is normal and not? Instead of thinking about things as not normal or different, just think of them as the unique set of traits that sets you apart from everyone else. Doesn’t that sound cool? You are different and that’s the best part about you because that means you are truly being who you are!

This Week’s #GACbeyou Challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

This week, think about things that make you happy and that you love doing, but others may view as “interesting” or “weird.” Those are the things that make you stand out and that your friends appreciate about you. If we were all the same, how boring would life be? The things that make us different are the very things that make us stand out from the crowd and make us unique. Embrace the things that make you YOU. Celebrate your differences and keep being you!

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

A fun activity to get you thinking about things that make you stand out from the crowd is creating an acrostic with your name! To create an acrostic, write out your name with one letter being on each line of a piece of paper. Next to each letter, write out a character trait or something you enjoy doing that sets you apart from others that starts with that same letter. Here is an example for Henry (the dog):

Hairy
Energetic
Nurturing
Regal
Young at heart

Have fun creating your acrostic! Feel free to share them on social media and tag us using #GACbeyou!

Resources

Be You!

The Artisan Life’s Positive Adjectives

Celebrating Strengths

BE YOU: Positive Self Talk

BE YOU Week 6: Positive Self Talk

“The more I like me, the less I want to pretend to be other people.”
– Jamie Lee Curtis

The self-talk you do in your own head can help or hurt you. If you are talking negatively to yourself, it will hurt your confidence and your self-love. If you are talking yourself up and speaking positive things, you will in turn help yourself be more confident, and will hopefully love yourself all the more!

The way we think changes how we feel and our behaviors. To be more confident, you have to change the way you think about yourself. Sometimes we say mean things to ourselves when we should be speaking to ourselves the same way we would speak to a friend. Before saying something to yourself, think, “Would I say this out loud to a friend?” If not, erase it and move on. If so, say it and celebrate!

We know ourselves better than anyone else. We know our strengths and our weaknesses, and we know the areas we need to improve upon versus the areas where we are stronger. It’s often easier for us to notice the more “negative” areas in our lives and be more critical with ourselves. Instead of focusing on those negatives, let’s try to solely focus on the positive parts of our lives. Tell yourself you are proud when you accomplish something you have strived to complete. Tell yourself you are a good friend when you help someone in need. Tell yourself you can do it when you are facing something difficult. When you talk to yourself in a positive light, you will likely spread happiness and positivity to others. When you think of yourself with positive thoughts, you will be more confident in your own skin. Nothing looks better than confidence!

This Week’s #GACbeyou Challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

What are some positive things you regularly say to yourself? Write these things down and keep them handy. When you need a reminder of how awesome you are, look back at your list. Looking back at the nice things you have said about yourself will remind you of all of the positive attributes that you have noticed in yourself. Since we sometimes tend to focus on the negatives instead of the positives in ourselves, choosing to notice all of the great qualities about you will help you focus on those positive things.

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

Develop a mantra. A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated to help aid concentration in meditation. Come up with some pep talks for yourself for when you need a boost or a reminder of how awesome you are! Make some mantras for different situations that you may encounter. Write them down or memorize them and say them when needed. You can do it!

Resources

Be You!

The Power of Positive Words

Being Me