Entries for 'Garrett Colgan-Snyder'

"Say You're Sorry"
Separating the Identity of the Child from the Behavior : At Hawkeye We Don’t Make Campers Apologize   Have you ever been made to say you’re sorry?   That’s not even a reasonable question… we all have.  The more apt question is: How many times have you been made to say you’re sorry?  Once (ha!)?   One Hundred Times (hmm)?  More (yup)? The reality for most people is that as children, and sometimes even as adults, we are forced to say sorry many times over.  Sometimes we are sorry but not ready to say as much.  Other times we’re not sorry at all.   I remember many many times as a child and young adult being made to apologize to my brother.  I have a younger brother, which makes me an older brother and yes like many (most?...all?) older siblings I was not always kind to my brother.  Anyway, I was often made to apologize and many of those times that forced apology made things worse between us.  I am not saying I wasn’t wrong, I often was, but saying I was sorry didn’t help in the short run nor in the long.   We don’t make kids say they are sorry.    At Camp Hawkeye our approach to w... MORE
Stache for Cash - The Untold Story
Eight years ago, I inserted myself into a mustache growing competition fundraiser; Stache For Cash.  Started by 3 guys around a camp fire one night while drinking beer and trying to think of fun, competitive ways to help deserving kids attend Camp Hawkeye.  A1-M1 (April 1 to May 1)was the tagline. The idea was they would get a handful of men to grow mustaches, post pictures of their progress, and ask people to donate based on how much they liked or disliked their mustache. They would spend the entire month of April growing a mustache and at the end of the month a judge would decide who won the coveted Stache Trophy! I have never been someone to shy away from competition, even if it seems like I have no business being in it. At the time I was 25 years old, I had zero hope of any hair growing on my upper lip. Later in my Stache For Cash career I would be threatened by a woman who told me to just wait my turn; I was guaranteed to have a mustache when I was her age and it wouldn’t be so funny then. (she clearly didn’t stop to find out why I was wearing a real hair stage mustache). Did I mention that a woman wearing a mustache is an amazing social experiment?   The first year I wasn’t really su... MORE
National Program Excellence Award Nomination
Camp Hawkeye is a small program in a big world.  I like to think of Hawkeye as "The Little Camp That Could" (like the classic kid's book The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper). With 350 million Americans running around it seems that 200 staff and kids each summer working, playing, learning and growing is less than a drop in the bucket.  However it is nice to know sometimes that the word, and more importantly, the work is reaching farther.  Like the exploratory tendrils from the roots of healthy plant looking to get a deeper, firmer hold the Hawkeye message extends out.  This happened last year for the first time on a national level in the camping industry.  Camp Hawkeye was nominated for a national award; the Eells Awards for Program Excellence. In September of 2016 a pair of representatives from the Board Stewardship Committee for the American Camp Association New England (ACANE) section brought Camp Hawkeye forward as a candidate for nomination for a national award in camping; the Eells Awards for Program Excellence.  This was simply the first piece of communication about being nominated by our regional section.  It was an honor to considered at even this most introductory level a... MORE
My Experience as a Transgender Staff Member at Hawkeye
This post is courtesy of Chevy Whitson, a first year counselor at Camp Hawkeye in 2017 and a lifelong camp person.  It is based on Chevy's experiences growing up going to overnight camp, applying for a job at overnight camp, and flying across the country and working at Hawkeye last summer.  Great thanks to Chevy for sharing a little about his experience.  We've already rehired Chevy for Summer Staff 2018 and look forward to seeing him at Hawkeye then! The first day of school is always going to be nerve-wracking. You're meeting new people who you'll spend eight hours a day with, five days a week, for thirty six weeks. As a new counselor, and new to Hawkeye, I couldn't help but flash back to those feelings on the drive from the bus stop, up the road to camp. I admit, I was scared. I had flown across the country to work with a ton of people from all different backgrounds, and I barely knew anything about any of them. I was already worried about who I would end up friends with. However, the worries were all for nothing. The car door opened, and I was seemingly rushed by a group of people, who I vaguely recognized from Facebook pictures or pictures off the website. That was the beginning of what was, without a doubt... MORE
Blog Excerpt - Carol G Stratton
This post is courtesy of Carol Stratton, journalist and author of two books including Lake Surrender, and, Changing Zip Codes.  It is based on an interview with a Junior Counselor in summer 2017, the subject of the post, Nicholas Keough, as well as her degree in Recreational Therapy and experience working with young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Great thanks to Carol for her patience working with Camp Hawkeye during the busy summer, the time she took with Nick, and her willingness to share some of her writing with us here. The post can be found in its full and original form at the following web address: http://www.carolgstratton.com/camp-hawkeye/   Camp Hawkeye I love to hear stories of organizations who make camp a reality for special needs kids. Camp Hawkeye, is one of them. I’m highlighting one unique camp that opened their arms to a boy from Canada. I hope you are encouraged as to how they made a difference.   This last summer a young man named Nicholas Keough had a dream come true. The high school student from Montreal, Canada became a Counselor in Training at Camp Hawkeye, located on beautiful Lake Kanasatka in New Hampshire. It might seem like an ordinary dream to many but a... MORE
Poetry in Community
Can’t Hold Us   This place. It’ll lean on the eaves of your ribs long after summer fades.  Smoky ochre sunrises, rising to meet the tree canopy, underscored by endless stars, so many stars, filling the night with so much luminosity.   The first time I went to overnight camp, I was nervous.  I overpacked. I underestimated the beauty. I didn’t know how to make fortune cookies (and still don’t, but that’s another story for another day) or how to play Capture the Flag.  I was pretty certain I’d get eaten by a bear (or an inordinately large spider). I’d never written a skit or created a dance on the fly. And I certainly had never been sorted into a tribe.   By the end of my week, I felt I’d been part of the community for 7 weeks. I carried campfire songs in my hip pocket. I loved Capture the Flag & playing pickup soccer since someone was always kicking around. I loved hearing about England & Spain & France & Massachusetts & NYC. The world was everywhere, and everywhere was here, in the dining hall, on the playing fields, on the dock. We were poets, painters, builders, singers, actors, athletes, unicorns, rappers, astronomers, lingu... MORE
My Mom Made Me
My Mom Made Me Go To Camp (Thanks Mom!)   …and it was one of the best things that ever happened!   When I was a kid there was a disagreement in my house about whether my brother and I would go to camp.  In this case I’m talking about sleep-away camp.  We were already attending a local day camp and sports camps too. My mom wanted me to go to camp and my dad…not so much.  The reasons why were obvious for each of them.  My mom had gone to camp and my dad hadn’t.  She “got it” and he had never had the chance. One of the things I thank my parents for now, and it took me well into adulthood to understand (and being a dad helps too), is that they made these types of decisions for me.  When they knew something was good for me, even if I didn’t, they would decide for me…make me do things.  Every parent does this with small things; eating vegetables, going to bed early, brushing teeth, doing homework.  I appreciated that my parents did this with larger things too; auditioning for the city chorus (embarrassing), trying out for the better soccer league or baseball all-star team (nerve-wracking), and going to camp (terrifying). Thank you... MORE
The Solar System Metaphor
The Solar System Metaphor   Social development and the creation of a shared identity in the cabin.   Camp Hawkeye is great for growth, learning, friends, independence, maturity, self-realization, differentiation, and FUN.  Let’s take growth and learning as it relates to social development and group skills for now and focus on one piece of the puzzle here at Hawkeye: THE CABIN GROUP Even more specifically I want to share about the development of a group identity within the bunk.  By bringing together lots of different campers from lots of different places with lots of different backgrounds you can end up with kids sitting around thinking about…well…how different they are.  This is why it is vital to provide them with a set of shared experiences, create a sense of camaraderie and acceptance, and, foster a sense of ownership over the physical and social cabin space. One metaphor we use to discuss this process of group identity development is the Solar System Metaphor.  This is something we discuss with staff and also with parents too to do three things: 1.       Demonstrate more concretely the idea of the cabin group  2.   &... MORE
A Chapter in My Story: Why I loved camp & became a counselor
Late 1980’s: It was an all-boys camp.  Not too far from the highway but far enough that it was a world all its own.  We all felt it, we knew it; we were a thousand miles from everything.  The bell, its familiar tone was the only thing to carry across the tree tops.  The lake, although I am sure there were houses across or around it, was our own. We probably could have even seen them from the beach but we weren’t looking.  Or maybe the girls from our sister camp, and their counselors and waterfront staff, were the only ones who shared our stretch of nirvana-like beach.  I think I noticed them because there weren’t any girls in our universe, no women to speak of.  I am sure that there were female counselors… actually I am not sure.  I can’t remember, all the counselors have faded away; except for two. I remember MY counselors.  Yes, MY counselors.  They were mine, and ours, in the cabin.  I remember our CIT as well.  Even though I was there for two summers, well, two mini-sessions during two consecutive summers, all else has melted away.  Perhaps it was the continuity of being in the same cabin or seeing some of the same boys but it has... MORE
The Diversity of Leaves
Nature is great! Jess subscribes to a science website that sends out little videos and says it a little differently (more fervently and less appropriately) but let me say it again; Nature is great! The reason nature is great this time is that it has reminded me of the central importance and inherent goodness of a core aspect of what we strive for at Camp Hawkeye; diversity. Diversity is good! It’s the leaves of course; the changing palette of color and texture that fall in New Hampshire provides.  It’s the variety of colors; it’s the range of trees that provide it that make the northeast so special. Other places in the country have deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves each year) and many of those trees reach a vibrant peak of color before the leaves drop.  But they can’t compare with New England.  This is where people come to just look, get near them, and be among the riotous range of color.  If you’ve ever been out west for example there are some beautiful fall views as leaves change as well.  One place that my family and I have spent much time is Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We’ve driven cross-country and spent the autumn in the southwest the last two y... MORE