Crafts with Teeny: Summer Fun Jar

Posted by Teeny

As I write this blog the first campers of the summer are finishing up their last full day at camp. Time sure does fly by when you’re having fun. We’ve had a great first session at both camps! We’re looking forward to three more great two week sessions and a starter camp for new campers.

I came up with this craft a few days ago as I thought about what our campers do while they are not at camp. I’m sure many are traveling with families, going to sports camp or perhaps hanging out with friends just enjoying not having to go to school. But I know there are campers and families that spend some time bored, wondering what to do next. This craft is a “Summer Fun Jar”.

– Mason Jar
– Paint
– Paint brush
– Scrap paper
– List of activities

The first step is to paint on the outside of the Mason Jar. I chose to call it the “Summer Fun” jar. You could have your campers paint their own name and then choose their own activities that they want to put in the jar.
Have your campers write down, on scrap pieces of paper, some activities that they want to do this summer. I have included a small list to help get the ideas started.

– Go to the zoo.
– Make a bird feeder.
– Bake cookies together.
– Make a fort with mom/dad.
– Play in the sprinkler outside.
– Catch fireflies.
– Play with bubbles.
– Make homemade play dough.
– Go to the park.
– Fly a kite.
– Go on a hike.
– Make S’mores.
– Watch a movie.

Next time your campers are bored tell them to pull out an activity from the Summer Fun jar. Have a great time this summer with your campers!

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Top Priority: Remembering Your Spouse

Posted by Phil

“…When we were dating, it was very easy to make our relationship my number one priority, second only to God.  I would anxiously await the mail every Tuesday because I would get letters or cards letting me know that I was being thought of.  The weekends were spent hanging out with my now-husband and his best friend.  We would rollerblade, go to the park, and spend time at the beach…building memories to last a lifetime. …

Then we got married…first one, then two, and then three kids came.  Work got busier, schedules filled up, and then we added the kids’ activities too…well, I don’t need to remind anyone about how crazy life can get.  And, even though my husband is still the most important person to me besides God, I don’t always do such a great job showing him that.  By the time the kids’ problems are resolved, laundry and other chores are completed, dinner cleaned up – where is there any time to make the one I love feel special? ”

Read more…. at

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A Nation Of Wimps

Posted by Teeny

An interesting article from Psychology Today about kids in America today. 

Maybe it’s the cyclist in the park, trim under his sleek metallic blue helmet, cruising along the dirt path… at three miles an hour. On his tricycle.

Or perhaps it’s today’s playground, all-rubber-cushioned surface where kids used to skin their knees. And… wait a minute… those aren’t little kids playing. Their mommies—and especially their daddies—are in there with them, coplaying or play-by-play coaching. Few take it half-easy on the perimeter benches, as parents used to do, letting the kids figure things out for themselves.

Then there are the sanitizing gels, with which over a third of parents now send their kids to school, according to a recent survey. Presumably, parents now worry that school bathrooms are not good enough for their children.

Consider the teacher new to an upscale suburban town. Shuffling through the sheaf of reports certifying the educational “accommodations” he was required to make for many of his history students, he was struck by the exhaustive, well-written—and obviously costly—one on behalf of a girl who was already proving among the most competent of his ninth-graders. “She’s somewhat neurotic,” he confides, “but she is bright, organized and conscientious—the type who’d get to school to turn in a paper on time, even if she were dying of stomach flu.” He finally found the disability he was to make allowances for: difficulty with Gestalt thinking. The 13-year-old “couldn’t see the big picture.” That cleverly devised defect (what 13-year-old can construct the big picture?) would allow her to take all her tests untimed, especially the big one at the end of the rainbow, the college-worthy SAT.

Messing up, however, even in the playground, is wildly out of style. Although error and experimentation are the true mothers of success, parents are taking pains to remove failure from the equation.Behold the wholly sanitized childhood, without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. “Kids need to feel badly sometimes,” says child psychologist David Elkind, professor at Tufts University. “We learn through experience and we learn through bad experiences. Through failure we learn how to cope.”

“Life is planned out for us,” says Elise Kramer, a Cornell University junior. “But we don’t know what to want.” As Elkind puts it, “Parents and schools are no longer geared toward child development, they’re geared to academic achievement.”

No one doubts that there are significant economic forces pushing parents to invest so heavily in their children’s outcome from an early age. But taking all the discomfort, disappointment and even the play out of development, especially while increasing pressure for success, turns out to be misguided by just about 180 degrees. With few challenges all their own, kids are unable to forge their creative adaptations to the normal vicissitudes of life. That not only makes them risk-averse, it makes them psychologically fragile, riddled with anxiety. In the process they’re robbed of identity, meaning and a sense of accomplishment, to say nothing of a shot at real happiness. Forget, too, about perseverance, not simply a moral virtue but a necessary life skill. These turn out to be the spreading psychic fault lines of 21st-century youth. Whether we want to or not, we’re on our way to creating a nation of wimps….

Click here to read the rest of the article.

By: Hara Estroff Marano
Psychology Today 

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