Seven weeks at camp or three and a half?
As veteran camp directors we can enthusiastically attest to the value of a seven-week experience. By the 4th or 5th week of a full summer session, campers can see for themselves the progress they’ve made building new skills, gaining self-confidence and forging important relationships. Youngsters can and do grow in ability and make great friends in a half-session at camp. But in our experience they reap more than twice the reward in seven growth-filled weeks as they do in three and a half. While some families’ summer plans preclude a whole summer at camp, we urge those for whom it’s possible to opt for the full season, knowing that children realize lifetime benefits from the experience. Please call any of our directors to talk over your child’s readiness for seven weeks at camp – or your own.

Why do campers wear uniforms?
“See who I am, not what I’m wearing.” That’s the philosophy behind the camps’ simple uniforms. There’s so much to do at camp that no one wants to worry about what to wear, anyway. It makes life easy just to put on T-shirts, green shorts at Aloha and Hive, gray shorts at Lanakila, or jeans for cooler weather. There are lots of chances to wear other kinds of clothes, for costume parties, talent shows, Sunday cook-outs, and on some trips.

What’s the camper-counselor ratio?
The Aloha camps maintain one of the highest ratios of counselors to campers in summer camping: more than one counselor for every two campers.

Is there water skiing and motor boating?
The Aloha camps emphasize self-powered activities that pay large dividends in personal skills and competence, self-confidence and self-esteem. On the water, campers enjoy motor-and fuel-free canoeing, kayaking, rowing and sailing. The camps’ engine powered boats serve exclusively as safety and utility craft.

Can I bring electronic devices to camp?
Cell phones, computer games or toys, CD or DVD players, video cameras and the like distract attention from the natural environment and outdoor activities children come to camp to enjoy. Away from electronics, campers get in tune with the world around them and become more connected to the community they share. Therefore we ask that campers leave their electronics at home.

What’s the role of competition at camp?
The Aloha camps encourage children to experiment with new activities and challenges in a primarily non-competitive atmosphere free of performance pressure. Campers can choose to pursue activity “ranks” or special honors by acquiring or refining skills they choose to develop, or by designing a personal program of learning and fun for the summer. Healthy competition does have a place at camp, in games, tournaments and sporting events that also put a high value on team play and good sportsmanship.

Are the camps religiously affiliated?

No. Each Sunday morning campers and counselors participate in a non-denominational gathering which highlights special moments of the week past, featuring musical performances by campers and counselors, and incorporating readings and topical talks. Sunday gatherings are times for everyone to reflect upon their camp experiences and come together in a quiet way.

What is “Success Counseling”? How does it help campers grow?
Being a camp counselor is exciting, rewarding and enriching – and it’s demanding work when it comes to dealing with infinite varieties of youthful concerns and behaviors. Our counseling staff comes to camp with good natural instincts for working with children; but just as natural athletes need coaching and training to achieve consistent excellence, naturally capable camp counselors need education and practice to do their best advising and mentoring. To that end, The Aloha Foundation has devoted more than 25 years to developing and refining a comprehensive program of staff training and camper guidance that we call Success Counseling. Based on a thoughtful understanding of human psychology, Success Counseling helps staff and campers alike to address opportunities and challenges reflectively, and to respond creatively in ways that best serve their own interests, those of their peers and the camp community at large.

The central concept of Success Counseling holds that individuals have a greater ability than most people believe to choose how to feel in any given situation. The object of Success Counseling is to help people make good decisions and act constructively to fulfill their desires and achieve their goals. Success Counseling focuses on self evaluation and creative problem solving rather than ineffective reactions to personal problems, such as blaming, shaming, excuse-making or inappropriate anger. Campers and counselors tell us they use the lessons of Success Counseling often, throughout their lives: “In difficult moments I ask myself the questions I was always asked at camp, then I know what to do…”