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Kingsley Pines Summer 2020 Update

Because we take the safety of children so seriously, we wanted to make sure Kingsley Pines Camp could fully comply with CDC and State of Maine Guidelines for opening camp before finalizing any plans.  Although the Maine Guideline were only published on May 22, 2020, we have been discussing safety measures since COVID-19 first appeared in late January.  We have carefully reviewed our operating procedures to assure that we can make them safe while providing a fun and challenging environment for children.

We are altering our calendar to provide a single session of camp that offers families a choice of 3 or 4 ½ week stay.  By being a “single” session camp, we are able to provide a much higher degree of safety for our campers, since “new” children will NOT be arriving part way through the camp season.  We will NOT allow visitors during the summer, drop off and pick up will be contained to a specific area, and Staff will stay on our property all summer. In effect, Kingsley Pines Camp will be a quarantine space.

Unfortunately, many children’s summer camps do not find themselves in a position to open in 2020 for various reasons individual to their situation.  We believe that children are in desperate need of outdoor activities, social experiences, and just plain fun.  We are working hard to make the summer as safe as possible.

Please tell your friends that Kingsley Pines camp is OPEN this summer!!  We expect to be fully subscribed due to demand and capacity limits we have established!

Please see kingsleypines.com for rates and dates!

Our motto for the summer is :

BE SAFE

BE SMART

BE KIND

 


“What would I do if it were my own child?”

The following was written by our son, Drew Taylor, to address how the owners of Kingsley Pines were going to make decisions about opening Kingsley Pines Camp.  I believe his letter shows the “HEART” of how decisions will be made by our family.  By the way, Drew has 2 children who attend camp.
 
“What would I do if it were my own child?”
 
This is the question I ask myself as I gather the information I need to make the “right decision” about camp for the 2020 season. It guides my thinking as I speak with parents, doctors, epidemiologists, other camp owners, and our administrative team. There are still many specifics to be spelled out, but I want to share with you where I am in my thought process.
 
We are currently waiting for guidelines from the CDC, which is working directly with the American Camp Association. Child care and camps are considered essential functions under the federal plan, so I remain optimistic that we’ll open this summer. Assuming this is the case, I think it makes sense, for many reasons, to shorten the camp season to five weeks. This will give us extra time to see how events unfold and make sure we have everything in place. It will also allow us to create a fun, high-energy experience while maintaining the right pace from start to finish.
 
Our thinking is to open on July 12 and, essentially, quarantine everyone in camp once they arrive. What better place to be sequestered than on Panther Lake! Our plan will require staff members to arrive at least two weeks before campers to begin the quarantine and make sure everyone is properly trained before camp officially begins. 

To protect our community, we plan to not allow parents to visit and are considering cancelling all off-site trips.  We will limit outside deliveries to essentials, like food and supplies, and will monitor very closely anyone coming in or out of camp. We are increasing our medical staff and creating specific protocols to manage any contingency.
 
We anticipate receiving the guidelines from the CDC very soon and will send more detailed information at that time. In the meantime, we are spending every waking minute speaking with medical professionals, planning with my administrative team, and putting best practices in place to minimize exposure and avoid any unnecessary risk this summer.
 
When all is said and done, I want you to have peace of mind with your decision to send your child to Kingsley Pines Camp this summer. My pledge to you is that when I ask the question, “What would I do if it were my own child?” I am doing so with your child in mind.
 
Kind regards,
Drew Taylor
Kingsley Pines Camp 


Will Kingsley Pines Open This Summer?

The answer is YES if permitted by the Maine governor and CDC. We expect that workable and safe guidelines will be developed by the end of May which will permit camps to open in July!

We have cancelled our first session of KP from June  28 – July 11 to permit our staff to quarantine in place before campers arrive on July 12, 2020 (We offer 2, 3, & 5 week sessions). We also plan to provide reasonable screening of campers. Once on our property, campers will have over 100 acres to enjoy without outsiders anywhere nearby. Our facilities are ½ mile from the nearest public road, and there are over 500 acres around us owned by camps.

We are paying special attention to all guidelines developed by CDC and the American Camping Association.  There is no doubt that children need to get back outdoors, safely socialize, and develop new friends, and have fun again!  Worry, concern, and depression is edging into their lives. Camp offers a fresh start and new opportunities.

Unfortunately, a number of camps are not able to open this summer for various reasons.  If you have friends or family looking for a summer overnight camp, please tell them about Kingsley Pines Camp, and refer them to our website: kingsleypines.com.

Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Kind!


“Where Have All The Children Gone, Long Time Ago?”

They are home stuck inside and facing difficult challenges of isolation, boredom, lack of socialization, and exercise.  Too much togetherness can be difficult. We are all hopeful that children’s camps will be permitted to open this summer. After all, children have the lowest risk of catching C-19, and have a statistically insignificant chance of being seriously sick. Camp can be the perfect place to quarantine children away from vulnerable populations (Counselors are generally below 25 years old and camper ages run from ages  8-15).

At camp children can run, play, and socialize in an outdoor environment, all the while being isolated from the general population. They have outstanding role models in their counselors, and have many opportunities to learn new things, and meet new friends.

Joyce and I are very concerned about the negative impact enforced isolation will have on children. They are surviving on TV, computers, and mobile phones. They need interpersonal contact. At Kingsley Pines Camp there are NO electronics. Children develop their imaginations, and interpersonal skills while living in a group.  Our counselors are fun, and helpful.  The opportunity for children to “run free” was missing in society before C-19, and has only been made worse by “staying at home” orders. We have 100 acres consisting of forests, playing fields, beaches, lake, and creative arts area. Children choose their activities based on their interests.

Kingsley Pines Camp in Raymond Maine (kingsleypines.com) considers the safety of our campers first and foremost. We have consulted with some of the leading experts about how to run a safe camp in our current situation, and comply with American Camping Association guidelines.

 

 


There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel

A positive outlook is good for your health and your family’s health!

At a time when almost every news broadcast and many emails focus on the Covid-19 Virus and the danger it poses to us, our family, community, country, and world, it is very difficult to be optimistic about anything.

The endless negative news stories and e-mails keep us hyper with concerns. If you want to feel better about yourself and life, reach out to others, and be supportive.  Call/skype/WhatsApp someone who is alone and lonely. Send positive notes and emails to neighbors. Use programs like ZOOM to connect with a group like book club, discussion groups, and friends.

Programs that allow you to see people in real time are the most effective. They are VERY easy to use, and create a fuller experience than the telephone.  Stay connected!


Importance of Kingsley Pines Camp in child development

Studies by three universities show that attending camp is becoming ever more important. Schools are no longer helping children develop the essential life skills they need to succeed. Basically, children are NOT being provided sufficient guidance on “how to be a decent human being.” The core foundational skills of kindness, honesty, empathy, work ethic, communication skills, teamwork, and interpersonal skills are being substantially ignored. By providing a group living opportunity under the supervision of well trained staff, children learn to get along with each other, be sympathetic to other campers when they are experiencing difficulties, set and achieve goals, get along with others, and work as a team. There is NO other opportunity that so successfully encourages children to develop these life skills in so short a time. Kingsley Pines is a special place!!


Children can learn WISDOM

Through experience and observing role models kids develop wisdom. At Kingsley Pines Camp, our staff demonstrate kindness, caring, and empathy! It is a child-centric place where children are exposed to a new place, people, and activities. The social skills developed at camp, such as meeting new people, improving conversation skills, and developing conflict resolution skills, are invaluable in a child’s development.

The Kingsley Pines Camp community is built around the philosophy of “Doing the right thing!” This is a skill the one best learns through experience. If errors in judgement occur in a caring and supportive environment, a child has the opportunity to make a course correction, rather than becoming defensive or even aggressive.

At camp, we teach judgement and common sense with an emphasis on thoughtfulness and morality. Our staff work as a team to make sure “No Child is left behind.” They are always guiding, role modeling, and being supportive.

Character is the MOST important thing a child can learn at KP. It involves respect for one’s self and for others. Campers learn to ask themselves: “Am I doing the right thing?” Children learn to do the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons!


Boosting Children’s Confidence

The importance of unstructured play is terribly underestimated. Kids need time to simply play, both alone and with other children. As parents, we tend to over-organize our children. We want to plan out their activities and days.

Sports are an important element of play. They foster teamwork, cooperation, and self-confidence. However, as adults we have over-organized sports with too much emphasis on “winning” and not enough emphasis on developing skills such as running, catching, jumping, and throwing. Children need to develop their motor skills. Innately, children enjoy the opportunity to play with each other, and even make up activities and games.

Our emphasis on competition has reached absurd extremes. It often seems that parents are more invested in their child’s sports, than the child themself. We start competition at too young of an age. Let your child develop physically before involving them in competition.

Childhood is supposed to be FUN!


Change the World

Changing the World

We may think that we cannot change the world. However, we can set an example for others to follow. WE are responsible for OUR actions and behavior. By setting an example for our family, friends, acquaintances, and others, we do influence others. It is not what we say that counts as much as how we behave. If we set an example of thoughtfulness, kindness, and civility, others will emulate our behavior.  If you influence the behavior of just one more person, and they influence one more person, and so on, you have Changed The World!

 


Want to Jump Start Your Child’s Imagination?

A walk in the woods can accomplish miracles. In an age when lives are dominated by lighted screens, and outdoor activity is generally coached, taking a child on a walk is calming and expands their imagination. Asking kids to be aware of what they see and smell heightens their senses. It can also strengthen your bond. Take the opportunity to listen, be silent, and simply enjoy the peace and quiet. Three books that are worth reading are: The Nature Principal, Last Child in The Woods, and The Nature Fix. Enjoy! PC-You will benefit as much as your child.