She Got Stache
You know that moment. The one where, your favorite song comes on the radio as you’re coasting to who-knows-where, and maybe the sunroof is open, and maybe the sky is torching up like a campfire. That moment, when the beat hits your blood, blooms electric. That is what it is like to know Jessica Colgan-Snyder. Magnetic & dynamic, her generosity infuses everything she touches. (It’s TRUE!) This year’s Stache-for-Cash Dynamo sat down to answer a few questions, and shed some light on how this camp life has become her oyster.   Oh. And did I mention she STACHED her way to $4500 in donations for under-served youth to attend Camp Hawkeye during this summer?   “Stache for Cash gives me an opportunity to talk with people about Hawkeye’s mission to make camp possible for families who without scholarship wouldn’t be able to attend camp. I think it gives people a pretty good idea about how committed I am to our campers and the Hawkeye community”, Jess tells me. Since 2010, commitment has been part of her every morning routine throughout the whole month of April.   Where some wake & slog through the early morning “what heels go best with this dress” debacle, ... MORE
How Our Kids Can Embrace Their Best
Self-Care & Summer Camp: How Our Kids Can Embrace Their Best   A few nights ago, as I looked up from the mirror, minty kaolin mask on my face, I stopped and wondered: if we take the time, to care for our skin, nourish our bodies, grow them in a way that lends itself to health and joy, why then, wouldn’t we do the same when choosing a summer camp for our children?   Stay with me. Magnanimity is best defined as being of great mind and heart. It rejects pettiness and embraces danger for the purposes of being noble. Generous. Kind. Charitable. Every day we wear a multitude of masks. In classes, the mask covers smirks or smudges out worry. Walking down the street, we layer on armour to shut out urban vulnerability, personal anxieties, anxt. At the dinner table, in our homes, in the dance studio or on the rugby pitch, we present mask after mask. We outfit our personas, as young people, as parents, as students, as leaders. Masks clog our pores, shield us from toxins, they lift us up, they seep into our skin, until….we aren’t sure where they/we begin, how to dissolve the clay. And when we do, we hope for glow. We hope for fresh perspective and a feeling, like new. Like summer bloom. Like, whoa,... 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
You Can Do Whatever You Want!
You Can Do Whatever You Want! At Camp Hawkeye we spend as much time in the off-season as possible meeting and spending time with parents and kids.  We do this in lots of different ways; home visits, organic encounters at community events, and camp fairs.  It is great!   No really, we love it!  Jess and I relish getting out of the office and being with the families and kids that make the Hawkeye community so amazing!  Each of these opportunities for interaction carries with it a separate set of social parameters.  It is always very interesting.  When we participate in events open to other camps or similar youth focused organizations I always listen closely to how the programs present themselves.  Even when we get a chance to listen to parents talk about other camps or programs I pay close attention.  In these instances it is very easy to discern what both the parent s value as well as the organization’s core philosophies. One such opportunity had us next to a camp with more than a few basic similarities to Camp Hawkeye.  This camp is also located in New Hampshire, it has a coed program, the campers live in cabins, the sessions are similar in length, and the kids spend... 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
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