Camp Helps Children Be More Civil

Kingsley Pines helps children become more positive in their social interactions.  Kingsley Pines camp is a place when staff demonstrates through their works and deeds how to be a better friend. By teaching children better listening skills, and how to better phrase their words in a more constructive manner, children learn the skills of being civil with each other.  Disagreement is a human activity like any other, but it requires practice to do it well.  Our counselors treat each other and campers with respect providing excellent role models of how to get along with others.

 

The more interactions occur online, the less opportunity there is to develop crucial interpersonal social skills.  Responsible online behavior can best be nurtured though direct interpersonal contact where reactions to ones behavior and comments can be more closely observed, and directly responded to.  Unfortunately, we are often deficient in the intellectual virtues necessary to engage in productive, respectful discourse. Individuals who are open- minded, possess intellectual charity, and intellectual humility are more civil with aquaintances, friends, and family.

 

Our camp counselors encourage our campers to be respectful when disagreeing with another person, to create a dialogue, and to repeat what you heard another camper say, before responding.  When putting forth information, to verify it fist, and not simply repeat what another person said.

 

Online communication is here to stay, and can be very helpful; however, there remains an important role for critical thinking, thoughtfulness, curiosity, and respectfulness.  Technology can set the menu, BUT at the end of the day, each person must make their own choice.


One of the Things Kingsley Pines is About is Building and Maintaining Friendships

To have friends you have to be there! Friendships are built from those thousands of shared moments that bond us together.  Unfortunately, Covid has deprived our children of numerous experiences and exposure to their peers.  I cannot stress how important it is to stay connected.  Technology has provided many substitutes for “togetherness”, but nothing beats “being there”.

Most children made their “Best Friends” during their teenage years.  It is an age when Friendships begin to be made on VALUES and lifestyle more than activity and proximity.  Ask yourself when and where did you make your best lifetime friends?  If you went to camp as a child, I can guarantee that it was there.

One of our important goals at Kingsley Pines is to bring out the BEST in one another.  We help campers develop the positive aspects of their personality while discouraging negative behavior!  It becomes a place where it is SAFE to express oneself, and try new activities in a supportive atmosphere.

Basically, campers spend more time with each other in in a session of Kingsley Pines than to do with classmates in an entire year.  Kingsley Pines provides a “Supercharged” lesson in friendship.


Observations about Camp from a KP camper

It was another August day at camp, my cabin mates and I could hear the bell for breakfast down in the distance as we slowly began to wake up and get ready for the morning’s activities. The mornings were always freezing, I remember getting goosebumps on my leg dangling off the end of the bed. I could smell the pines in the air as me and my cousin George walked down to breakfast groggily. We could see all of our fellow campers emerging from their bright red painted cabins coming down to get a hearty meal. As we surfaced out of the woods, we could see the beach leading to the lake down the hill. The lake was silent, there was almost no wind and it was still and calm. As we entered the dining hall, I could see one of my favorite counselors, Steve from England, easily identifiable by his loud laugh and bright red hair, serving eggs so I went over to his line. I could smell the salty bacon and the sweet syrup for the pancakes cooking in the back. As we exited the dining hall, we saw the rest of our cabin sitting at one of the mahogany picnic tables. As I was eating, I could feel a slight breeze blow the cold remnants of last night’s rain onto my back off of the tall oak beside us. I was praying a hard acorn wasn’t going to accompany it on the way down. I could taste the real maple syrup, much better than the fake walmart brand, attention to detail was really important to me. In the distance, I could hear a pontoon boat that I quickly sighted, returning from the early morning fishing trip, there were many other residents living on Panther Lake. As we put our dishes back in the dining hall and started walking back up into the woods to our cabin, I could feel the sun slowly heating up my back, I knew it was going to be a hot day. My first activity was sailing, with one of my good friends Ethan Jackson from Upstate New York. We weren’t in the same cabin this year, but we still remained close. As I put my bathing suit on, I could feel yesterday’s adventures, I forgot to dry them out and I paid the price as I felt the damp sand coming out of one of the pockets. I felt excited for the day. 


ISOLATION is Hurting our Children

Isolation and lack of social connection is proving extremely detrimental to the mental health of children.  Recent data from the Center for Disease Control show mental health related emergency room visits for children ages 5-11 has increased 21% since April of 2020.  Mental health visits for children ages 12-17 have gone up by 30%. VERY DISTURBING!

Much of this increase is blamed on social isolation!  Dr Poulsen of the University of Miami Health System said: “One of the most persistent issues that affects the risk for mental health exacerbations has been the social isolation of our youth that is required for reducing the spread of the (Covid19)virus.” The best protections against depression are family, peer, and school connections, which have all been negatively impacted quarantine.  This isolation has been particularly devastating to children who have been deprived of counseling and treatment for specific difficulties.

Experts tell us that there are several thing parents can do to keep their children more involved and happy.  1) Prioritize counseling and treatment.  Video calls can be very helpful.  2)  Help your child maintain social connections.  Unconventional approaches such as video calls with friends and relatives, socially distanced outdoor activities, and parental/family conversations are helpful.  3) Keep social interconnections to the extent feasible with support systems in the community, family, and school.  Take hikes with friends, go cross country skiing, help underserved families, encourage hobbies.

Clearly the ability to have something to look forward to also plays an important role.  Many of you are aware that Kingsley Pines Camp successfully (No Covid19. Happy and involved staff and children) provided a 4 ½ week summer experience in the woods of Maine in 2020.  Parents have told us that their children who attended the session developed more resilience, curiosity, and responsibility for themselves.  We are counting on providing equally safe and meaningful sessions during the Summer of 2021.


The Importance of Friends

In this stressful time of Covid19, it may seem  strange to be thinking about improving relationships, but this is, in fact the perfect time since we have a little more time to think and consider what we want and need from relationships, as well as what we can give to others.  Now is certainly a time to be reaching out to others, and offering your friendship and support.

An aspect of friendship we rarely consider is the impact that our friends and acquaintances have on us.  The impact how you feel when you are around a negative person?  When your friends only want to talk about their health, how do you physically feel?  Maybe it is time to express to our friends and family, what you want in a relationship.  You need not be confrontational, but you can be direct: “I feel depressed when it feels to me that so much of our conversations are negative”.

Warren Buffet, when talking to some students a few years ago said:

“You will move in the direction of the people you associate with.  SO IT IS IMPORTANT to associate with people that are better than yourself.  The friends you have will form as you go through life.  Make some good friends, keep them the rest of your life, but have them be people that you ADMIRE as well as LIKE.”

Reading his words reminded me about one of the most important benefits that camp offers children: The opportunity to associate with people who were also willing to leave home for part of the summer, travel, meet new people, and make friend that will support, help, and inspire them.  What a unique opportunity camp gives children to expand their horizons, be exposed to new opportunities, all the while being in a supportive community.  Friends made at Kingsley Pines Camp last a lifetime!


Gratifying and Successful 2020 Camp Season (WE DID IT)

Kingsley Pines Camp opened successfully this Summer and provided a fun, and meaningful camp experience for our campers.  We would like to acknowledge our 2020 camp parents for their confidence and support.  Without their hard work in complying with our rigorous pre-camp guidelines, we would not have been able to keep camp open.

When our owners and administrative staff made the decision to open Kingsley Pines for the summer, we were confident we could provide a safe, fun, and fulfilling experience to children whon needed camp more than ever.  The expertise and commitment of our staff, combined with parent support, allowed our entire community to have a truly exceptional summer.

What we were able to accomplish should provide hope to all of us that by working together, we can find ways to foster meaningful in-person engagement for our children even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If we can be helpful to any of our campers, families and alumni during the challenges of this Fall and Winter, please contact us.  Our staff is ALWAYS willing to reach out to Campers and help them through any rough spots.  We truly care about all of you.  Please stay in touch with us and your camp friends!  Being a friend means helping each other through good and bad times!

We wish our families the best in the upcoming months, and look forward to seeing everyone back at Kingsley Pines Camp next Summer!

Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Kind


WE ARE OPENING CAMP in 2020

 

Through the extremely hard work of our staff, Kingsley Pines is opening on July 12, 2020. We have had to adjust our camp season (No multiple sessions) with one 3 or 4 ½ week session. Campers must be tested within 72 hours of arriving at camp, and furnish their negative test to KP when they arrive. Basically, we are creating an isolation bubble for the camp community, where campers and staff can enjoy the many activities that KP has to offer without interacting with outsiders (See kingsleypines.com for more information).

It is amazing what motivated, intelligent, dedicated, hard-working people can accomplish when working together as a team.  The opportunity for children to be outdoors and interact together is invaluable!  Especially this year! 

Joyce & I are very proud of the camp team, and we look forward to a fun, creative, and healthy summer.


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!