Saturday, April 1, 2017

Volume LVII, No. 8, April, 2017

Dear Campers, Parents, Staff, Alums & Friends,

“The Sandlot.” Greatest movie ever. I can concede this is a very strongly held opinion, not a fact – although I have presented it as an indisputable truth numerous times. And now I’ll defend that opinion so you too will agree. If you are a kid, have kids, or care about kids (which covers roghly 100% of our readership), then this movie will speak to you. It has kids as the main stars, and it’s entirely about kids. It involves many scenes and references to baseball (another fan favorite!), but it’s really NOT about baseball.

“The Sandlot” is about growing up. It’s about values like honor and commitment and hard work and friendship and loyalty and dreaming big, and on and on. And this all happens as kids navigate incredible freedoms they enjoy in the summer, while playing baseball together. The main protagonist is a young boy who has a lot to learn about being a boy and how to grow into adulthood.

“The Sandlot” is hysterically funny. Why? Because as kids gain new experiences, they inevitably make mistakes, and let’s face it…that can be hilarious. These kids take care of each other, expect a lot from each other, and ultimately that helps them grow together. Baseball plays a part, but here’s the important point…all of this growth happens independently from their parents. The baseball games are not in an organized league…they’re on a sandlot. There are no coaches or umpires. There are no parents in the stand yelling supportive things like “focus!” or “keep your eye on the ball!” or “play hard!” In fact, the only adults we really see in the movie are the main character’s mom and step-dad, who are really just there to chronicle the progress this boy makes as he’s growing up. On their own accord, the kids do focus; they do keep their eye on the ball, and they play hard and work hard. Why? Because THEY want to and because that’s what their friends are challenging them to do. And when it comes to motivators for kids this age (10-14 ish), self-motivation and peer motivation beat parent motivation almost all the time. It is this self-directed, relatively unstructured play time they have together that is the catalyst of their growth. As the movie concludes, we have witnessed kids becoming more resilient, more tolerant, more socially competent, and far happier. And yes, they seem to develop as ball players too.

In this day and age, opportunities for kids to play independently in unstructured settings are rare, and likely would only happen by purposeful parental action. Got kids in the neighborhood? Got a field somewhere close? Got a baseball and a bat? Or a Frisbee or a soccer ball or nothing at all? If you can get them out there and let ‘em play, you could do them one of the biggest favors of all.

EnrolledMarch is usually a pretty quiet month on the enrollment front, as most of our age groups are full.  We do still have space available in the 2nd session.  Welcome back to DARION STARLING of University Heights, OH.  And welcome aboard to the following first-year campers who will join us this summer.  SOLLY MERVIS of Carmel, IN; and MONTISSE JAMIL of St. Louis, MO.  It’s April!  Summer is coming pretty soon!!


MEMORY BOOKS ARE GETTING A MAKEOVER!  Y’know, after doing the same thing for a few decades, we heard you when you told us you’d like something different.  Don’t worry…we’re sticking with our legendary photographer (ask your kids about him), but he’s redesigned the book to include dozens more photos, including a portrait of your camper, portraits of ALL of the cabin groups from both sessions, all-camp photos from both sessions, and dozens of activity and trip photos.  If you want to see a sample of the new Memory Book, please click here

YO PARENTS: We’re pretty impressed with how the paper work circus is shaping up.  Congrats to all of you over-achieving parents who have submitted forms to us online and through your CampDoc page.  It’s impressive, but if you’re not in that elite group, don’t worry about it!  Remember, most forms aren’t due to us till May 15th.  So throw those feet up, kick back, and then maybe start chipping away at it soon, okay?

Remember, your son’s financial account info is always online on your Keylog page.  So you can email us if you want to know where things stand, but you can also just check it out yourself.  In a few weeks we’ll send you a reminder email that your balance payment is due on May 15th. 

And we want to remind you again that your Parent Handbook has timely and important information with which you should be familiar.  We cannot stress enough how critical it is to each camper’s adjustment and enjoyment of camp that we work together with you and share information.  Your own preparation, as a camp parent, can be a big help to your son’s success as a camper. 

REMINDERS ABOUT MEDICATIONS:  As extremely well explained in your PARENT HANDBOOK (on page 9), any and all medications your son may take during the summer are to be sent directly to camp in their original bottles (with labels) to arrive 10 days before your camper does.  We will then prepare them to be dispensed at the correct time, and that process will not cost you an extra penny!  We are avoiding the middleman pharmacies to make this process easier for you and for our staff.  This includes ANY TYPE of medication in ANY FORM.  Prescription or not.  Pills, liquids, inhalers, etc.  Injections may require different handling and we ask that you contact us to discuss those.  

LATE ARRIVING MEDICATIONS WILL INCUR EXTRA CHARGES.  Please refer to these important date deadlines to avoid having an extra charge added to your account…and making our nurses work unnecessarily hard. 

Date by Which Medications Must ARRIVE at Camp 1st Session    2nd Session/8 Wk Refills
10 Days Before Session Begins - No Fee    June 9th, 2017    July 6th, 2017
5 - 9 Days Before Session Begins - $50 Fee    June 10th - June 14th, 2017 July 7th - July 11th, 2017
4 Days or Less Before Session Begins - $100 Fee    June 15th, 2017 or Later    July 12th, 2017 or Later

And…finally, WE REQUIRE A WRITTEN DOCTOR’S ORDER TO DISPENSE ANY TYPE OF SLEEP AID TO CAMPERS. This includes Melatonin, Advil PM, etc. Camp is an active, healthy place free of blue light from electronic screens. Even kids who are highly sleep-challenged at home fall asleep quickly and naturally at camp. ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS?  If your son experiences a last-minute injury or illness requiring a medication to be prescribed beyond our designated deadline, we will, of course, manage the medication for him.  If a late doctor appointment results in a prescription change or addition, we will manage that as well.  In either event, we will add a Medication Handling Fee of $25. 

And…finally, WE REQUIRE A WRITTEN DOCTOR’S ORDER TO DISPENSE ANY TYPE OF SLEEP AID TO CAMPERS. This includes Melatonin, Advil PM, etc. Camp is an active, healthy place free of blue light from electronic screens. Even kids who are highly sleep-challenged at home fall asleep quickly and naturally at camp.

YO OLD GUYS: We have mailed out Little Brother information to all of our Big Brother guys so far.  All of our returning campers finishing 8th or 9th grade have Little Bros already.  We will have some more new campers on the way, so some of you may be asked to be a Big Bro to another new camper. It is really important that you CALL (which is different from texting, emailing, Facebooking, etc) your little brother in the next week or so. Please reach out and make a new friend. It may feel a little awkward at first, but you have the bond of camp with each other, you're just getting it started a little early. Parents, if your son is a Big Brother, please help him remember to make that call. If your son is a new camper, please let us know if you don't hear from his big brother by the end of this month.

YO ALL CAMPERS: If you are a returning camper, we hope you will heed the call of the wild!  What are we talking about?  Boundary Waters, Isle Royale, Sand River, Apostle Islands…wild places that most humans never get the chance to explore or even see.  Here is your opportunity to GET OUT THERE and experience some true wilderness.  We have emailed everyone their trip histories and a list of what your next possible trips might be.  Take a look at that, and also check out our Trips Progression chart on our website.  If you’re eligible, or can become eligible to get out there this summer, we really encourage you to do so.

A few of our trips are available for pre-registration, including the Isle Royale 10 day Backpack trip (1st session), the Isle 6 day trip (2nd session), the Sand River (1st session), the Quetico (2nd session), and the Apostle Islands (either session).  You can sign up for that online by logging on to our website, clicking the “Current Camp Folks” link at the top, then clicking the “Trips Info” link, and finally, the “advanced registration” link.  Phew.  That’ll get you out there!!

If this is your first summer coming up, never you worry!  You will have some AMAZING opportunities to get out on beautiful, remote trips, if you want.  These longer trips that are available for pre-registration are for kids with lots of camping experience.  Hey!  That could be you in the not-too-distant future!

YO STAFF: We know you may have exams and papers to think about as the school year winds down, and we sincerely hate to distract you from that.  But we will.  Before ya know it, we will be back in the Northwoods again.  So, we need you to start taking care of some paper work for us.  Yay!

  • If you have any certifications that are relative to camp, please be sure we have copies of those.  If you are a returning staff member, and the copies we have from last year are still valid, you're set.  If there are any changes, we need a copy of the new card or certificate. If you have certifications that will expire before the end of the summer, please be sure to contact us and either sign up for one of the courses we are offering at camp (Lifeguard Training, Lifeguard Challenge, CPR Challenge, etc), or tell us what course you will take before you arrive at camp.  If you have already taken care of this and informed us, you don't have to do so again.  REMEMBER, WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO BECOME A CERTIFIED LIFEGUARD!  The more, the merrier, and this certification, which lasts 2 years, is FREE!.  Beat that deal!  To see who we have signed up for certification courses at camp as of the publication of this issue, please click here.  Thanks very much.
  • Check your Staff Keylog Page!!  There, you’ll find:
    • Your “official” way to sign up for extra training like Boat Driver, LGT, and LGT or CPR re-certs. 
    • Your Travel-to-Camp plans. It’s definitely not too early to get that sorted out.
    • Your Tax forms.  Uncle Sam (a.k.a. the US Government) requires a new form every year. 
    • W4 and WT4
    • Packing Lists to use as a guideline.  Separate list for international staff who need to travel lighter.
    • Child Labor Permit form (a requirement for 1st Year JCs only)
    • STAFF MANUAL COMING SOON!  We are tweaking and updating our Staff Manual, and will upload a PDF version to your Staff Keylog page soon.  We’ll notify you when it’s ready.  Then you get to read, read, read!
    • Trip Leader Manual.  We’ll hand all trip leaders a paper version when you arrive at camp, but it’s a great idea for trip leaders to preview this and become familiar with it. 
  • Please don’t forget to log into your CampDoc account and complete your Health Profile.


GreatNewStaffOur staff for the summer is almost complete, and we have had the luxury of being highly selective to fill our last few remaining spots.  We still have room for a few trippers, so if any of you out there are interested, or know of some qualified guys who could join our illustrious tripper group. please let us know.

Welcome aboard to the following first-year staff members who will join us this summer:

BDay-Fish2BRAVO TO OUR APRIL BIRTHDAY BOYS & GIRLS: Sean Fehrenbach - 4/2/2003, Michael Gordon - 4/4/2003, Jordan Plocker - 4/4/2005, Charlie Callen - 4/8/2004, Owen Monieson - 4/8/2003, Ethan Letwat - 4/10/2001, Brian Barlow - 4/11/1995, Aleja Rodriguez - 4/11/1992, Daniel Solot - 4/11/2003, Kobe Cerra - 4/13/2007, Nate Gale - 4/13/2008, Zachary Liss - 4/14/2005, Jared Burgdorf - 4/17/1992, Evan Bloom - 4/18/2004, Daniel Friedland - 4/18/2003, Josh Meyer - 4/18/2002, Eric Roberts - 4/18/2004, Rory Evans - 4/19/2006, Adriana Otero Vargas - 4/20/1995, Aaron Berns - 4/21/2006, Zach Kallmeyer - 4/21/2001, Matthew Paley - 4/22/2004, Evan Goreham - 4/23/1995, Noah Coen - 4/24/2007, Nikki Moscinski - 4/24/1996, Cole Peterson - 4/24/2006, Noah Sexter - 4/24/2006, Jack Becker - 4/25/2005, Adam Stewart - 4/25/2005, Levi Raskin - 4/26/2002, Hitch Hitchens - 4/27/1957, Simon Kanovitz - 4/27/2006, Evan Waldman - 4/29/2006,