Let’s Work Together to Prevent Bullying

Since Camp Friendship started over forty years ago, we’ve learned a thing or two about cooperation. To get along with others it helps to practice open communication, understanding, respect for others, responsibility, accountability and kindness. Hopefully we can all see how important it is to promote cooperation and most importantly how we need to work together to help our children grow and flourish in a positive environment where they can feel comfortable and safe.


October is National Bullying Prevention Month. I don’t think our problems with bullying will go away without our becoming more aware of what’s going on in our homes and communities with our children. We need to be discussing causes and possible solutions and implementing them. Visit http://www.stopbullying.gov/ to know more.

Bullying is an intentional aggressive behavior towards a person or persons by someone perceived to have more power. It is usually someone picking on someone else who most likely won’t or can’t stop them. It might be physical, verbal, or emotional. It can happen out in the open, away from the public or online. Kids can be mean. They can say or write mean things, and sometimes it can be snarky, sarcastic or teasing meant to be funny. But there’s nothing funny about demeaning another person, or showing disrespect towards someone just because you can. Yet for some bullies it’s a way to show off, and usually their acting out for a reason. In a video I veiwed the other day, the phrase “hurt people, hurt people”, gave me food for thought. The reaction for some to bully a bully is not addressing the problem. The action itself needs to be stopped.

Kids who bully aren’t bad kids, but need to understand why their behavior is unacceptable and hurtful. They need to get help to stop this behavior. Many times schools, camps and even families are unaware of the bullies or who the victims are. We need to create an environment where kids feel safe to report situations and become more aware and informed so we can prevent bullying in the future.

Many times a victim will not talk about it, so it’s important to notice changes in behavior that could signal that your child is being picked on. Kids who’re bullied often become anxious and diminish in self-confidence. Help your child if they’ve been bullied by being their advocate and try not to be judgemental. Talk to teachers or other adults and try to work as a team to resolve the problem. Kids need to be able to speak up safely to stop the cycle of aggression. Get them engaged in activities they love and that make them feel good about themselves. Praise their strength, courage, and perseverance.

Also difficult, is when parents find out that their own kid is the bully. If you find out your child has been exhibiting this type of aggressive behavior, take the opportunity to be the example of a good empathetic friend. Talk about it and your expectations. Keep looking for good resources to understand the problem better. It’s so important for all of us to be good role models and show our children good ways to deal with conflict and frustration. They watch how we talk about people and interact with people. If kids see us act mean or aggressive towards others, admitting to the child that we were wrong and shouldn’t have acted that way helps them learn what to do in their own friendships.

It’s too easy for kids to feel isolated in today’s world. They need to know there is help and that someone cares and notices what’s going on with them. We have to be conscious of our children’s social skills and give them opportunities to practice dealing with their emotions, showing respect to others and learn how to assert themselves in positive ways with their peers. They need to know help is available to guide them through challenging circumstances. Sometimes that’s hard at school with limited time and supervision. That’s why it’s necessary to encourage team sports or other positive situations.

The unique experience of camp is just one thing that helps. I have seen kids progress in just a few months at summer camp, communicating better and building self confidence through their accomplishments individually and with team activities. The important thing is for each of us to do what we can. Let’s work together to be the example, and to help our children practice understanding and kindness. I’m so glad that the discussion is out there and not being ignored. Our kids are, and our future is, counting on each of us to help prevent bullying and promote caring and respectful behavior.

Riding Horses at Fall Camp in Virginia

IMG_7563[1]Imagine riding horses at our Fall Camp in Virginia. Autumn encompasses so much of what Virginia is all about. Leaves changing to a rainbow of colors, cooler weather calling you to grab your scarf, and crisp apples hanging from trees in our many countryside orchards. Fall time at Camp Friendship is that and so much more. We take this special time each year to reach out to our friends and show our thanks to the people and animals that support our vision of encouraging a love for the outdoors in youth around the world. As Equestrian Director, I can’t wait to share with you all the changes that Fall brings to our Equestrian Center. Our staff is hard at work maintaining our facilities by rebuilding paddocks to make sure the best horses in Virginia get the home they deserve. We even have an exciting new addition to our herd – Kodak is just as handsome as his name hints. His show name is Paparazzi because he’s sure to catch your eye with his cute face and black and white spots. With his large body, and in your pocket personality, he is pretty hard to resist snuggling with.

We can’t wait to show you everything that is happening at Camp Friendship Equestrian Center and thankfully we won’t have to wait long!

We hope to see you at our Halloween themed girls horseback riding weekend October 31-November 2. Sign up and bring a costume, it is sure to be spooktacular!

We will also have a booth at the Washington International Horse Show at the Verizon Center in D.C. again this year October 21-26. Please drop by and see us.

We love every opportunity to reunite with present and former campers, and hopefully meet future campers that have yet to learn what Camp Friendship is all about. Call 800-873-3223. Bring your horsey friends. The more the merrier!


A Fallen Leaf – A Summer’s Goodbye

A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbyeIMG_4037[1]

As the seasons change and the leaves begin to fall, things tend to quiet down here at Camp Friendship…but this year we’re keeping the summer dream alive with our Fall Camp Weekend in Virginia!

Campers will have the chance to take in the beauty of the season whilst sampling or re-enjoying some of our most popular activities from the summer.

Perfect for your camper’s first time at sleep away camp, this fun-filled weekend in Virginia will give them a sneak-peek at what camp is all about. If you’re already in-the-know about the wonders of CF, why not bring a friend and share the joy – after all, fall fun is fun for all!

The spook-tacular Halloween overnight camp weekend will take place October 31st – November 2nd and is bound to be a real treat, with a haunted hay ride and other fang-tastic Halloween festivities sure to delight even the pickiest of pumpkins. Get your ghosts and ghouls into the spirit of Halloween by daring them to dress up – best costume wins a prize!

Your camper is sure to return home with a harvest of special memories after meeting new friends and getting to know our fun-loving staff in Virginia.  For more information or to register your camper for the weekend, visit the Upcoming Events page on our website, www.campfriendship.com

We’ll spice up our Archery targets with pumpkins galore, and cozy up by the campfire to cook our s’mores. Our evening activities are sure to be great, just like in the summer but you don’t have to wait. The weekend is set for October 31, get ready for bushels of fun for everyone!

Have a good fall, y’all!


Fall Family Fun This Saturday – Visit Camp Friendship

Join us at our fall family fun day this Saturday. Take in the beautiful fall scenery and enjoy FREE pony rides, pumpkin painting, archery and more! Visit us at Camp Friendship in Palmyra, VA. We’ll have fall foods and warm apple cider available for all, so bring a friend or 10 and join in the fun, all ages welcome. Please RSVP with an email to info@campfriendship.com to let us know you’re coming!

Fall Family Fun Day this Saturday is going to be a blast. Activities like these are always a bonus for kids who can’t get enough of Camp Friendship. They’re usually so thrilled to show their friends and family around “their” summer camp, pointing out favorite things and telling stories of their experiences. If you’re new to Camp Friendship and thinking about sending your child here, take this opportunity to have some family fun, check out our facilities and meet our staff.

We know that selecting a summer camp for your child is an incredibly important decision. We welcome visits, so families can see what, and who, makes Camp Friendship so special. Surfing the web for summer camps based on what you think your child might like has its limits. Visiting a summer camp can help you make the best choice for your child.

In a typical summer camp visit, you can learn a lot from talking to directors and seeing first hand that the facility is safe, interesting and fun. If you’re lucky enough to visit “during” camp you can get a realistic impression, and see that kids are having a good time. You can also observe how the counselors are relating to their groups. Unfortunately visiting a summer camp during the summer, during the week is not always possible. Especially if you’ve started to look after the summer is over. At Camp Friendship we schedule events and activities throughout the year. Kids that miss camp can return for more fun, potential campers can check the place out and see what we have to offer, and local kids and their families can have a good time.

At Camp Friendship we’re very proud of what we do and what we’ve been doing for over forty years. We provide an opportunity for kids to experience a great time while they discover, develop and strengthen high standards of living and a realistic sense of values among themselves, recognizing the inherent worth of every individual, a feeling of unity, and awareness of and concern for nature and the world around them.

This coming weekend enjoy our
11 am – 2 pm
Fall Foods, Warm Apple Cider, Beautiful fall scenery, FREE Pony Rides, Pumpkin Painting, Archery and more! All ages welcome.
RSVP with an email to info@campfriendship.com to to let us know you’re coming.

Come to our FALL CAMP WEEKEND for ages 7-16
October 31 – November 2
$200 per camper
You’re invited to a weekend of camp in the fall that is sure to be spooktacular. Join us if you dare! Campers will have the chance to sample or re-enjoy some of our most popular activities from the summer of 2014. We’ll have all the favorites as well as campfires, evening activities, s’mores and more! Don’t forget to dress up – best costume wins!

Download the Registration for our Fall Camp Weekend here
As always, we look forward to seeing you!!!

Keep up with what’s going on at Camp Friendship by checking in on our upcoming events page.

Enjoy the Benefits of Being Outdoors

Most children that spend time at Camp Friendship in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, learn to appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors. Hopefully that appreciation and enjoyment can be encouraged during the rest of the year. You might realize after a hectic week that your child has not been outside a whole lot and neither have you. It may be time to plan a family outing so you can all enjoy the benefits of being outdoors and in nature.

Family outings and spending time together outdoors doesn’t have to be complicated. It can  be a simple walk around the neighborhood together or investigating what good hiking trails are in your area. It can be strapping on the bicycle rack and enjoying a bike ride for a few hours. It can be going to the park or just going out in your own backyard and playing a group game of some sort. These can be some of the best times and fondest memories, experiencing something new or different together in a change of environment.

Enjoying the outdoors and exploring new places is good fun. But it’s also a great way to ease away the stress and stay healthy. Give yourself a break from technology and get out in nature, where you can experience a clearer, more focused mindset. Tune into some new surroundings of sights and sounds and awaken other sensibilities. Even the family pets can join in some of the outdoor activities. Interacting together in exercise and fun can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels.

By making the effort to spend time outdoors, your family has the opportunity to get out of their everyday routines. Fresh air and the vitamin D from the sun does worlds of wonder for the body and soul. Being outdoors in the natural sunlight helps normalize the body’s internal clock that tells us when to eat and sleep, and re-adjusts our hormonal functions that occur at specific times of the day. Not only will your kids most likely get a good nights sleep from spending some time outdoors, so can you!

Right now is a good time to gather your family and go outside! Plan an outdoor adventure so you can release stress and enjoy being together doing something good for your health. It’s time to have fun and feel good. Take a break from the norm!

Here’s some events happening at Camp Friendship in the next few weeks. Come enjoy the beautiful outdoors with us!

Join us for our
October 18th from 11 am – 2 pm
– – – – – – – –
Come to our
for ages 7-16
October 31st – November 2nd 
$200 per camper
Check out our Events page or call 1-800-873-3223 to see what’s happening next or for more info.

The Best Mother and Daughter Relationships

Even the best mother and daughter relationships can be complicated or difficult at times. There is always room for improvement, and like most things in life, it takes effort to get the best results. Here’s a few suggestions on how to enhance your connection and help you to have the best mother and daughter relationship.

1. Communicate Better-even though they might think they know everything, daughters aren’t the mind readers we wish they were. We need to try and explain ourselves better so there is less assuming or misunderstandings. Try and avoid sarcasm, facetiousness and teasing that could be misinterpreted or hurtful.
2. Listen-during a conversation, reflect back what your daughter is saying. This helps confirm she’s being heard and that you understand. Listen for the feelings or real message she is trying to convey.
3. Deal with conflict, but pick your battles-not resolving conflict can cause resentment and stunt the growth of your relationship. If you avoid resolving conflict, it can become a repeated pattern in your daughters future relationships.
4. Practice Empathy and offer a compromise when necessary-your daughter needs to feel like you recognize her as an individual.
5. Balance Independence and Closeness-sometimes daughters think they need to break away to be their own person, or it may be hard for them to let go of the apron strings. Let her find her own voice and identity in the relationship. You can take a position on important issues, while other times agree to disagree.
7. Forgive-this doesn’t mean you don’t address bad behavior. Forgiving is something that helps you experience more peace and continue in a more healthy relationship.
8. Boundaries-key for any healthy relationship. Connecting with your daughter is made easier by setting clear boundaries. Asserting yourself with your daughter can be a great example for her to follow, and have a positive effect on her future relationships.
9. Share more quality time with your daughter-not much will happen if you’re not available. 

Mother Daughter relationships are a unique and special bond. Putting effort into the relationship will keep it growing and help you raise a daughter with confidence, to be better equipped in life. Make the best of your mother and daughter relationship! Time passes quickly and before you know it they’re all grown up. Every minute counts! 

For a great way to bond with your daughter, enjoy a
MOTHER/DAUGHTER Horseback Riding at Camp Friendship-
scheduled for Fri, October 10 – Sun, October 12
Spend quality time together!

Call Camp Friendship in Palmyra, VA to find out more
at 1-800-873-3223.