Join the Ride

girl jumping on horseOver the hill, through Junior Boys Village, to the “WHOA” sign, and you’ve arrived; to Riding Camp obviously! Although our “Horsey Camp,” as we like to call it, is a little off the main drag from the rest of camp, we love our Camp Friendship Riding Camp! We see our riding camp girls sporting “tube socks Tuesdays,” and performing skits at our weekly campfires. But it isn’t often they get to show their skills and talents off to the rest of us; their talent being riding a horse of course! This Friday, all of that will change. Our very own Camp Friendship’s Equestrian Center will be holding their very own horseshow!

So what exactly have our girls been doing to get ready for this awesome event?  Riding Camp Supervisor, Ashley White, was kind enough to share the “run down” of their training days. The girls have riding lessons every morning and ring lessons every after noon. They then practice games that will be performed at the show such as “ride a buck” where the girls riding horse through the forestriders hold a strip of paper between their leg and the horse. Whoever holds the paper the longest without letting it fall wins a ribbon! Not only is this game intensely thrilling, but Ashley informed me it also helps solidify the rider’s leg position on her horse. This is all interesting information, but I was curious as to how Ashley ensures her girls can have fun as well. “For them, training is fun!” said Ashley. She explained that horseback riding is their passion, so training isn’t something they necessarily have to do, but something they love to do.

So what other benefits are these girls getting besides boosting their “awesomeness” for their horseshow? According to the site “Horse Riding Adventures,” horseback riding improves blood circulation and respiration like any exercise does. However, the rider develops better balance and posture because they are constantly having to reposition with the movement of the horse. Also, being able to build that connection and bond, and to be able to control and communicate with such a large creature takes skill. Harnessing this skill can lead to improved self-esteem and confidence. Ashley recalls, “I remember being little, and the one place I could relax was with my horse.” Ashley also shared that her girls learn great responsibility in taking care of horses. There is a lot of work to be done, and Ashley sees her girls being empowered once they achieve this work.

girl riding horseWell, I can’t wait to see our empowered “horsey camp” girls riding in this weeks horseshow. After talking to rider, Cece, I am especially excited for the showmanship class. “I like making my pony pretty!” exclaimed Cece! After taking countless pictures of our riding camp girls with their horse companions, I can’t wait to see both horse and rider look astounding in this week’s horse show. So, go over the hill, through Junior Boys village, to the “Whoa” sign and I’ll see you there!

We got Camplified!

girl play the piano at camp To say we had fun with Camplified is an understatement. Camp Friendship had an extraordinary, Camplified filled day and we were very sad to see it end. The bands, Ali Isabella, Reverse Order, and Audio Revival astounded us with their musical talent and impressed us with their enthusiasm. After reviewing the many pictures I took that day, it was obvious our campers had an insanely great time. There were so many awesome activities and memorable moments that day, so I decided to ask some of our campers which they enjoyed the most.

First I talked to senior village camper, Julian, who had a fantastic experience. Camplified wanted two campers to interview the members of the bands and their fellow campers. Yes, Julian was one of our Camp Friendship reporters that day. “It was great to be able toboys playing the drums at camp hang out with all the bands and do things that other people couldn’t do,” said Julian, who was very appreciative of his opportunity. Not only did he get to partake in interviews, but he was given a High Sierra backpack and other apparel. He even was in a photo-shoot for Camplified!

Julian wasn’t the only camper spending time with the bands. The morning was filled with guitar playing, an Amazing Race Camplified style, and a photo booth. Members of the bands joined in all the activities. They even played some intense games of musical chairs with our campers! “I liked the musical chairs because we got a prize even if we lost!” shared one lively junior camper, Sam. In fact, flashlights, backpacks, and other prizes were given out all morning!

young girls smiling and won prizes Prizes were seen everywhere with our campers all day and later that night at the concert. The music was pumping, and so was the crowd of Camp Friendship campers. First, Ali Isabella got CF geared up with her crazy good voice.  “I love how she sang country!” said junior camper, Arijana. With the amount of cheers I heard when Ali played, I’d say Arijana wasn’t the only country music fan! When Reverse Order played their cover of “Dynamite,” the campers went ecstatic and began dancing and singing along. Then we rocked out with Audio Revival who kept the energy high by jamming on their guitars and letting campers share the microphones with them. The night was epic! To get a little taste of Camplified at Camp Friendship, take a look at this week’s video “A Camplified Camp Friendship!” 

Get jamming with Camplified!

Reverse Order jamming out Alright, so camp is awesome and canadian pharmacy east bay drive we love all the activities we have at Camp Friendship! We get to swim, mountain board, and sing our hearts out in Glee club. We have dances and cookouts, and other activities that do not involve homework whatsoever. Nothing gets better than that, right? What else could our campers possibly want? Perhaps a concert! That’s right! Camplified is coming to Camp Friendship! viagra didnt work for me Camplified is such an extraordinary event filled with loads of fun!

What is Camplified you may ask? Camplified travels all across America and brings various up and coming artists products like viagra to camps. The performers coming to Camp Friendship are Audio Revival, Ali Isabella, and Reverse Order. These bands are sure to bring on the talent, and Ali Isabella in sound checkboy do they have plenty of it! Ali Isabella’s song “Say You’ll Be Mine” reached #1 for our weeks on the Billboard Country Hot Single Sales charts and Reverse Order was even a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent. Its not every day our campers get to meet and hang out with such a talented group of musicians.

Yes, our campers actually get to hang out with the bands! Not only will these bands jam out in an evening concert, but it’s an all day event! certified canadian online pharmacy There is a guitar clinic and jam session where campers will be taught by the bands. Two campers will even get to perform later in the night! Other activities include vocal training clinic, Camplified’s version of the “Amazing Race,” and a photo booth. Throughout the day, campers will be given prizes such as sunglasses, tattoos, and T-shirts! The band members will also join campers during our afternoon activities. For more information about what Camplified offers, check out their blog site!

After the day’s activities, we will finally be ready for the concert! As if getting to listen to Audio Revival having fun jumping in a pool great music isn’t enough, the band members want to talk to CF campers! After the performance, the bands will hold a “meet and greet” so campers get the chance to chat and ask questions. I am especially stoked to hear about each band’s perseverance and hard work they best prices cialis put forth to achieve success. They are really an inspiration and I’m glad our campers get to be involved with the experience. I know the campers are as pumped up as I am, and we can’t wait to jam and partake in a music filled day! I am so ready to see what Camplified brings to Camp Friendship, so be sure to check out our next blog post later this week so global pharmacy canada cialis I can share our experience with you!

Water Polo? I think YES!

“Water polo is a game merely consisting of its players throwing a ball at a goal. Its quiteboy playing water polosimple, really.” After observing water polo this week, I found that the previous statement is a load of silliness. Water polo is way more than just “throwing a ball at a goal.” The sport takes a great deal of skill, energy and teamwork. I had no idea that the players are not supposed to touch the side of the pool and must not only tread their own weight, but the weight of other players when tying to obtain the ball. This takes plenty of power and determination. I saw all of this from our Camp Friendship water polo players, amongst laughing, cheering, and a whole lot of energy.

The first time I observed the class, I instantly noticed the water. Yes, it is obvious that water is involved in water polo. However, considering it was over 100 degrees that day, the average pool looked more like an oasis.  I was envious of the smiling campers enjoying a game without having to feel the effects of the smoldering sun. After talking to Senior camper Joe, he shared that he started playing water polo at Camp Friendship three years ago because he couldn’t beat playing a sport with the refuge of water. Water polo did seem like a great way to go!

So what other benefits does water polo provide other than giving our campers an opportunity to enjoy sports and the coolness of the water at the same time? According to the website Competitive Edge, players of water polo will develop muscle strength, improve their endurance, and increase quickness. In order to progress in the sport, players must have the persistence and motivation to work on the physical demands of water polo and harness the technical skills the game requires. The game also requires concentration, the ability to stay calm and focused, and communication with team members. “Communication is an essential part of water polo,” says Erin. “You need to be aware of not only your space but what’s going on at the weak side (the other end of the pool).” After observing water polo at Camp Friendship, it is obvious that our campers are aware of how to work hard. With music pumping, it is even more apparent the campers play hard as well. You can see this by checkout out our water polo video! So if your child is active and loves being in the water all while listening to music, then water polo at Camp Friendship is definitely their jam!

Your Choice at Camp Friendship!

Girl having fun playing with beads Imagine we still lived in the 14th century where your occupation was based on class rank in society. The phrase, “You can be whatever you want to be” did not exist. Well, that world would straight up stink! At Camp Friendship, we are definitely not living in the 14th century, and our campers have a say in which activities they want to participate in. They can even create a preference list of activities we offer! We think it is important that our campers try a variety of activities, but get the option to switch activities if they find that one is not their forte.

How do we give our campers the freedom to choose? Although it can be a bit Boy happy catching a fish overwhelming, our program staff does their best to let our campers pick the classes they want. Everyone comes to camp with a set of activities they have picked. However, we are aware that sometimes certain activities just aren’t a great fit for everyone. This is why every Monday and Tuesday of the week, campers can come get their schedule changed during their designated time. We have the schedule changes in the afternoon, so campers aren’t stuck with an activity they don’t prefer the rest of the day. Even better, they are allowed to switch as many activities as they want! Say they switch all of them on Monday, and still don’t like what they have chosen? If there are openings in other activities, they can switch them all again on Tuesday. We strive to give our campers the best experience possible during their stay here at Camp Friendship.

girl playing with clay I wanted to get some feedback from our campers on their views of schedule changes. Sometimes, it just comes down to wanting to try new things. Junior camper Noah decided to switch out of newspaper this week because he was already in the class last week. Senior camper, Freja said, “Its nice to make sure you’re doing what you want to do.” We completely agree with Frija. The option to choose classes gives campers a sense of independence. They are given the chance to figure out what they like to do and who they are. Rarely does anyone find out what they like and what they are good at right away, which is why we give our campers as many opportunities possible to figure it out. I asked junior camper, Vivian, what she would do if Camp Friendship no longer offered schedule changes, and with her big imagination she declared, “I would sneak some where and wouldn’t go to that activity!” Well, we sure don’t want our campers sneaking off anywhere! So if your child decides they no longer want to do the activity they listed on the preference form, just know that there is no need to run away. They can just change it!

Are You Fit for Camp?

Girl having fun working outHeart pounding, adrenaline rushing, and sweat dripping down your face. The exhilaration and energy a great workout brings you is unlike any other. The crossfit workout is with no exception. Instructor Trish Mahan says, “The best way to explain it, is it is designed for the elite, but scaled for all.”  Crossfit not only keeps the body healthy, but the positive effects this super workout has on one’s mind and attitude is incredible. Senior camper Claudia loves the workout because, “You can show the qualities you have and improve the next day.” This is exactly why Camp Friendship offers cross fit for our energetic campers, like Claudia, who want to motivate themselves and their bodies.

So what exactly is Cross Fit, and how does it benefit our campers? Crossfit is a fitness-training program that combines cardio and weight exercises for the ultimate workout. In her article “3 reasons your kids should try crossfit,” author Becca Borawski describes her beliefs on the subject. Having coached children daily at Crossfit LA Kids, Borawski has first hand seen the positive effects this program has on youth. Borawki suggests that children who train in Kids in cross fit crossfit are more likely to have efficient and effective movement capabilities as they get older. Also, because they are starting physical health habits early, they are more likely to carry those habits into adulthood. As stated previously, crossfit not only has physical benefits, but emotional benefits as well. Because the activity involves listening skills, self-discipline and teamwork, children are given the opportunity to harness these skills, which they can then apply into a variety of aspects in their everyday lives.

I wanted to know how these benefits applied specifically to our program, so I asked Trish to explain our Camp Friendship crossfit class. She described that because crossfit targets total body fitness, her campers never have to do the same workout twice. Trish also praised the workout for creating “… a team environment because you want your teammates to finish just as much as you want to finish yourself.” Trish ensures her class puts forth a team effort by forming “teamer workouts” where they are given the challenge of finishing a list of different exercises. For example, one task could be to do 100 jumping jacks and 100 push-ups. With one person, this would be very challenging, but with a Kids working as a team to carry a tire group of four, they can split up the workout however they feel best. For instance, if one member dominates at push-ups, they might take on 50 themselves and divide the rest amongst the others while the others may take on more jumping jacks.

Whether they are doing teamers or a self-discipline training, you can be sure our campers are feeling great and having a blast. I asked Claudia what she would say to future campers who are thinking about trying crossfit. “They will love it because you can use your whole body!” she exclaimed, “You’re like super girl and you become a happier person.” Being a huge fan of doing crossfit workouts myself, I completely agree with Claudia. So if your child loves to be physically active but is hesitant about crossfit, ask them this…”do you want to feel like a superhero?” If the answer is yes, then we can’t wait to see them in our future crossfit classes!

604, 800 Seconds

604, 800 seconds. That’s how many seconds your child is at camp if they stay just one boy playing football week. Who is with your child during all that time? Are they responsible and caring? Do they make your child laugh? Do they know what to say if your child get’s scared of the dark or scrapes their knee? These are a few of the millions of questions that go through a parent’s mind.  Camp Friendship appreciates these questions, which is why we don’t hire just any “Joe” off the street. Not only is our staff made up of fun, goofy people, but we have a tremendous group of positive role models.

Being a good role model is not only important, but it’s essential to developing our children positively. You may wonder, how big of an effect do caretakers such as camp counselors and supervisors have on molding my child? Well, according to the American Camp Association, there are a variety of aspects that increase the influence role models have on children. For instance, a person who is physically in a child’s life has a greater influence compared to a person the child may see on TV or media. Also, an authoritative figure that a child is told they should listen to and learn from has a significant influence. Now, I have reviewed only a couple of the several aspects mentioned by ACA. With that in mind and knowing the amount of time your child spends with camp counselors, I wanted to know exactly what our staff at Camp Friendship does to ensure that they are good role models.

Children having fun while playing at camp Junior Girls Supervisor Kristen Healy sums it up well when she explained that being a good role model means leading by example, but realizing we are humans and aren’t perfect. While not perfect, I believe our staff gives 110 percent. This was proven when counselor Rich Swoboda stayed covering a riflery class, even though it was his free period. A camper was self conscious about shooting because he was left eye dominant, so because Rich is left eye dominant as well, he decided to stay and have a competition with the camper. Again, it’s ok to be different and no one is perfect, and Rich did a great job teaching our campers the importance of that idea.

Boy and counselor happy How do some of our other counselors represent their good role model image? Senior Village counselor, Becky Howie, brings her “A game” by keeping it cheery and polite with a smile and a friendly “hello” to her campers. She wants her campers to know that she is there for them, and in turn they should be there for each other. Becky’s co-counselor, James Kudor, discussed the importance of remembering kids are just that; kids. “I try to remember being 12 or 13, and remember that they don’t have as much life experience so I need to be patient with them.” Being patient and teaching children is important, because even though they may not show it, they really do look up to our staff. Junior Boys’ counselor Sam Cocks recalls his childhood P.E. coach as someone he looked up to. “He did loads of surfing and I always wanted to surf.” Like Sam, we want our campers to remember our staff years from now as people they looked up to; people they wanted to be. 604, 800 seconds. That’s how many seconds in a week Camp Friendship works at making a positive impact in our campers’ and your children’s lives.



The Day of all Days!

Kids shouting while giving a victory hugWe hope you had a great 4th of July, Camp Friendship friends and family! We celebrated with music, fireworks, and one of our most famous events, Color Wars! We play Color Wars every summer, and we like to keep it a surprise for campers. After counselors and staff schemed up our fun plan of events, we finally shared with our campers that they were going to participate in the ultimate game for the Independence Day celebration. Some campers had never played the game, while others still talk about games years past; but everyone was instantly pumped!

What is Color Wars you may ask? Well, it’s a competition between three teams; red, white,Kids having fun at camp and blue. No, we do not fight to the death and victors don’t win cash prizes, but they do get bragging rights for years to come as champions of 2013’s Color Wars! The game is an all day event of both water and land games. This year, we held dodge ball tournaments, smallest splash contest in our pool, and even one massive relay race! The relay started at our lake with kayak and canoe races and ended at our lower fields for the big finale. Along the way, campers laughed while they performed tasks such as popping balloons by sitting on them and doing their best frog impersonations in leapfrog. Finally, the teams sprinted to the finish where counselors, doused in pitchers of water, competed in building a fire high enough to burn the rope six feet above. Campers applauded and cheered from behind the safety line. All the teams performed fabulously, but the crowd roared when the blue team burnt their rope first.

young boy riding a bike We then ended the “day of all days” with our final event showcasing team float competitions, lip syncing and dance contests. We then relocated with our flashlights illuminating the way to the beach for our massive fireworks show. Before the colossal explosion of lights, the teams waited in suspense to hear who had won this years color wars. The drum role of hands upon their laps sounded when the blue team heard that they were titled as 2013 Color War champions! All the teams then hugged and cheered in support of one another. It will be a long wait before we see if the blue team can be “dethroned” and a slow few days until our Color Wars video comes out on Friday, July 12. But don’t be discouraged! We do have our video “Action!” highlighting the CF Drama Workshop to get you through the next week!

“THE EARTH” without “ART” is just “EH!”

“To be, or not to be, that is the question.” This phrase from Shakespeare’s Hamlet has Children laughing at campbeen in many movies, comic parodies, and other forms of media entertainment. Even if you may not know where the line originated, it is a part of pop culture. Famous lines like this, and the people who give them life, come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and experiences. Performing Arts does not discriminate, and allows the performer to put their soul into any work of art.been used in many movies, comic

At Camp Friendship, we love performing arts! For instance, our drama program allows children from different cultural backgrounds to share their unique perceptions and creative ability to develop a shared experience. I wanted to know what other benefits performing arts gives our campers, so I found some great information on the Meta Performing Arts website. This site suggested that children develop higher self esteem, confidence, and self discipline. I also learned that children must use problem solving and analysis skills while thinking abstractly and creatively.

So, this is great information to hear, but how does this apply to Camp Friendship and our performing arts activities? How do we make sure our campers are encouraged to use the skills listed above, while giving them the opportunity for a fantastic time? To find out, I observed a few sessions of this week’s drama classes. In our junior drama class, Performing Arts Supervisor, Jenny Childs, had our campers perform in a brilliant activity. One person acted as the narrator, while the other four were the actors. The narrator was then to create her own fairy tale and the actors were to assume the roles of the characters created by the narrator. The narrator was given free range to create any fairytale she wished, and each actor could assume the role of whatever character he or she desired.

I later asked Jenny to reveal some tricks she has learned through her professional drama involvements.  She enjoys using activities with no set boundaries that allow her performers to have a great deal of room to add original ideas. Childs believes this aspect of creative growth and teamwork is essential to building confidence and self – esteem. She shared her own experience as a “cryptically shy” child, and how it wasn’t until she entered the world of theatre where she gained confidence. During our discussion, she was very adamant that confidence doesn’t happen quickly for everyone, but “confidence needs to be built.”

Building confidence can come with a pat on the back, or even with making faces. I saw nothing but these goofy faces when I walked into our senior campers drama group. I soon found out that they were trying to make their best “silly” face. What better way to get to know one another and feel comfortable with each other than acting goofy as a group? No face was the same, but each was hysterical! Next the group talked business. The big question being, what to do for this weeks closing campfire? Ideas were shared amongst the group, and all were considered and thoughtfully discussed. Some ideas thrown in the mix were: “Wizard of Oz,” “Cheetah Girls,” and “God Father.” Of course, the concept would be changed to apply to the camp environment. The counselor recorded group ideas so they may go over the list again, and analyze what would be the best fit for camp this week and for the members performing. Each member had unique ideas, many of which were ludicrously brilliant.

I was thrilled to see how our drama program is run. Jenny likes to keep drama “fresh.” In fact, it was obvious by our campers’ laughs and enthusiasm that they appreciated the many different activities they can participate in. This week’s question isn’t necessarily “To be, or not to be?” but what on earth are our Senior and Junior Campers’ drama groups going to come up with for this week’s closing campfire? I guess we will have to wait until Friday to find out! But believe me…it won’t be just eh!