Posts Tagged ‘being a camper’

Icebreakers Are Uncomfortable, But…They Also Work Really Well

Monday, December 5th, 2016



We all know that feeling you get when you hear someone say “Now we’re all going to stand up and say something about ourselves…” or “find a partner and….” Or “we are all going to stand in a circle and….” We look around, wondering if we are the only ones who feel uncomfortable or want to sink into our chair and pretend to be invisible. These icebreakers are common on the first day of school, a training class, or anywhere where there is a big group of people that need to get comfortable quickly.  Icebreakers can be uncomfortable at first, but they really do work. They help get people talking, which quickly build comfort and trust within the group.


Normally, shy people hate icebreakers the most. The thought of walking up to a stranger and asking about their favorite color, or standing up in front of a group and talking about their favorite sport, I won’t give them a heart attack.  But icebreakers are the best for shy people, because it allows other people to approach them and gives them a chance to talk about themselves and connect with others.


There are many opportunities to “break the ice “the first few days of camp.  There are a lot of new people, and everyone is a little nervous or a little shy.  Camp counselors know that “get to know you games quote can be a little uncomfortable, but they tried through and get everybody involved. By the end of the game, people who are shy and hesitant are now laughing smiling and making new friends.


Icebreakers are good for:

  • Sharing an experience, during, or skill that you’re good at with the rest of the group.
  • Finding other people who have the same things in common as you.
  • Lightening the mood in a typically awkward situation.


More often than not, campers credit icebreakers to introducing them to people who become their best friends for the entire summer.  At camp, some common icebreakers include: two truths and a lie, the toilet paper game, hula hoop and volleyball games, and celebrity bingo.


It’s very normal to be nervous when you arrive at camp, especially for the first time. It’s also very nervous to be uncomfortable when the counselors set up a game or activity that make you step out of your comfort zone.  However, if you can just trust in the process, you may come out of it with a new best friend, or 10.

8 Things about Camp that Will Change Your Child’s Life

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

8 Qualities of Summer Camp that Will Change Your Child’s Life

1.)    Opportunities to try to new things

While opportunities to try new things certainly exist outside of the summer camp realm, camps facilitate the opportunities to try new things and foster environments that encourages campers to venture outside their comfort zones.  Many a former camper attributes acquiring a new interest or hobby at summer camp.

2.)    Traditions

Tradition is the foundation of summer camp.  Summer camp itself is an American tradition.  Beyond that, however, individual camps have unique traditions that have been passed down through generations of campers.  Not only do campers gain an appreciation for the observation of tradition at summer camp, but they learn to understand the lifelong bonds that are created through shared traditions.

3.)    A View of Life beyond electronics

There is no doubt that we live in a society that values any and every gadget or gizmo that simplifies life and makes living convenient. Children are constantly surrounded by smart phones, gaming consoles, tablets, electronic readers, etc.  Two months at camp without technology overexposure not only reminds campers that life is possible without constantly being surrounded by electronics, it can be fun without them as well.

4.)    Solidarity

Whether it’s as a bunk or as a camp, campers learn how to co-exist with others in a harmonious manner.  They also learn to value the talents and skills that each person contributes to the success of the group and that shared successes can help people form connections that last long beyond their camp years.

5.)    Independence

Spending time away from Mom and Dad for several weeks every summer helps children learn how to function as individuals.  Campers make decisions every day that develop social, problem solving, and living skills.

6.)    Goal Setting

Whether it’s a goal to pass a swim test, reach the top of a climbing wall, stand up on water skis, do a cartwheel on the balance beam, or earn a solo in a camp show, campers often come to camp with goals.  Counselors and camp staff are eager each summer to tune into those goals and provide encouragement that helps campers focus on achieving them.

7.)    Open Mindedness

At camp, campers are encouraged to keep open minds about activities and each other.  Camps go to great lengths to provide positive programs that help campers understand and deal with many of the more challenging aspects of being adolescents and teenagers.  They also de-emphasize the aspects of tween and teen culture that promote social exclusivity.

8.)    Lifelong Connections

It’s no coincidence that a lot of camp staff members and parents who send their children to summer camp are former campers themselves.  Former campers understand and value the connections that are made at summer camp.  Such connections are more than just friendships.  The people at summer camp become a second family for campers and associations through camp have helped many a former camper gain admission to college with the help of reference letters, obtain employment, and establish a social circle that extends far beyond their school years.