10 Parenting Tips from Camp Counselors

At one time in their lives, many of the parents I know were camp counselors. Those same people have told me that their time spent as counselors was great training ground for parenting. Among other things, they learned to comfort, encourage, set goals, and resolve disputes — all things we experience daily in our lives as moms and dads.

However, not every parent has had the benefit of camp counselor training. In fact, most parents have had NO training at all. Perhaps they took a Lamaze class or two, but we all know that having the kid is not the hardest part!

I’ve often lamented that all parents should be required to go through some training, at least the same training camp counselors do (a minimum of one week at most camps). Unfortunately, that is not the case, nor is it realistic. So the best we can do for those who were never camp counselors is offer a few tried and true tips from a few outstanding folks who were:

1. Practice catching kids doing the right thing.

2. Check in with each child one-on-one every day.

3. Establish fun daily traditions: share highs & lows at dinner or bedtime, do riddles, read a book out loud, play games together, collect family memories.

4. Sing and dance together A LOT.

5. Smile and stay positive. Apologize for any crabbiness.

6. Address difficult issues privately and by focusing on the ISSUE not the child.

7. Do team-building activities like sharing goals and dreams.

8. Get unplugged and focus on face-to-face communication.

9. Get outside and get dirty.

10. Follow a predictable schedule and enforce rules consistently.

2022 GAC Events Calendar

Happy New Year! As we gear up for another summer of fun, friends, and growth at GAC, we have planned some online events in the coming months. Download a calendar for home and be sure to visit the Upcoming Events page for links and details.

Give us a call at 800-554-2267 x.0 or send us an email if you have any questions or need additional information about any of our events.



GAC Families Rock!

A HUGE thank you to our camp families for your trust in us this summer and for your support in keeping GAC safe and healthy.

Because of the sacrifices you made and the care you showed for the health and safety of everyone in our camp community, we had a COVID-free summer at GAC. This remarkable feat was only possible with the commitment and flexibility from our camp families and staff to execute an ever-changing plan. We appreciate your understanding, as our procedures changed before camp and throughout the summer. Your vigilance, and your children’s willingness to comply with our guidelines, kept us all safe and healthy this summer. For that, we will always be grateful. 

Our 2021 summer theme was “Better Together,” which is something we have always felt about the GAC community. This year, more than ever, we were grateful to have the opportunity to come back together at camp for face-to-face interactions with our friends. It was refreshing for all of us to move from the isolation of the pandemic to the connection our camp community provides. 

It was such a delight to share the summer with your children, who showed us everyday what we knew to be true, which is that we are indeed, “Better Together.” 

We look forward to next summer when we’re together again!

Raise Thriving Kids Online Course Opens Soon

The Raise Thriving Kids Parenting Course is back and this time it’s ONLINE!

Camp Directors Audrey “Sunshine” Monke (Gold Arrow Camp) and Sara “Salsa” Kuljis (Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp) can’t do their all-day in-person workshop this fall, but they are offering an amazing online course with ten, easily-digestible 30-minute lessons, two live coaching calls, and a TON of resources (more than 40 pages in our downloadable workbook)! Join “Sunshine” and “Salsa” this fall for strategies, inspiration, and some much-needed laughs. Course starts in mid-October and videos will be available for you to watch or listen whenever you have time.



GAC History Book – Perfect Holiday Gift!

Are you looking for the perfect holiday gift for your Gold Arrow Camp friends and family? We have just the gift for you! Sierra Summers is filled with many wonderful pages about your favorite happy place. It shares the rich history of GAC and how it has come to be the place that many people call their home away from home. Click here for more information about the book and to order your copy today!