Camp Philosophy

Aloha Camps Spring Blog Round-up!

By The Aloha Team

Aloha Staff Member Shel blowing the bugle.
Work Gang

With eight weeks to go until Aloha, Hive and Lanakila’s Opening Day, Horizons’ Session I and Ohana’s first family campers arrive, there is a lot of activity in Fairlee these days! There is plenty of work going on across our five campuses and within the Foundation office as well.  The Buildings & Grounds crew are getting water turned on, docks and tents prepped for assembly, and buildings spruced up after their winter hibernation. Before we know it, Work Gang will be here putting the finishing touches on each campus.

In the office, all our important camper and staff paperwork is being put in order, supplies being ordered and stored and camper travel plans organized. Every spring the momentum gathers and we get excited for the coming summer.

We know that campers and parents and staff are getting ready too, in a variety of ways. Parents are ordering and filling trunks, campers are thinking about the fun that is to come and staff are dreaming up the way to make the magic happen.

This post has links to blogs that may help you prepare for the summer of 2015. There’s blog wisdom for everyone here!

If you are sending your child off to camp in Fairlee this summer for the first time, Abby King’s post about your survival will come in handy. We know that drop-off is often tougher on parents than it is on the kids. As King explains, “Sleepaway camp isn’t just a great way for a kid to take some safe space and gain independence, it’s that for a parent as well. And you will survive.”

Unplugged family camp fun.
Unplugged family camp fun.

It can be hard for children and adults to unplug from their familiar electronic devices when they get to camp. Whether your family is spending a week at Ohana Family Camp this summer, or your ‘tween will be at Aloha or Lanakila, there can be a reluctance to cut the cord with our favorite devices. Great incentive for anyone to put down their phone comes in a post from Academic Minute in which Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA, reveals,”Our research group recently found that six-graders who spent five days at nature camp without even glancing at a smartphone, television or any other screen were better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who continued to text, watch TV, and play video games for about four-and-a-half hours each day.

Finally, in another take on leaving electronics and technology out of our camp experiences, is this poignant New York Times article, Remembrance of Things Lost, about memory by Walter Kirn. In our programs we either discourage, or do not allow digital cameras. There are a number of reasons for our policies, but one of the most important is to keep participants in the moment. How many times have you taken, or been the subject of, a digital photo and wanted to review the image the instant it has been taken? How many times have you witnessed a sunset with a camera in front of your eyes? It often feels like we have few moments that we aren’t instantly trying to capture, edit and share.

Memories are made of this.
Memories are made of this.

Kirn muses on how technology is changing the way we remember.  “If I’d had a smartphone with a video camera back in my early adolescence, I doubt that I would have trained it on the things that matter to me now, like the sight of my mother reading in her blue armchair, underlining passages from Proust.” No matter where you or your child spend part of your 2015 camp summer, you will likely create digital-free memories. No matter, the important ones will remain vivid for years to come.

Laura Gillespie is the Director of Communications & Alumni Relations at The Aloha Foundation, an alumna of Aloha Hive and Aloha Camp, and has been a Horizons and Lanakila parent.