We have entered week number 2 of Camp Season. Our staff have been trained and prepared for their groups and the kids have been signed up since March. Now it is just a matter of putting feet to our plans and giving the kids a great week outdoors. During pre-k week campers came for half days Monday -Friday and we took them fishing, on hikes, did some water games and told them stories. At the end of the week they performed the TNI Camp Song and a song about frogs for their parents, siblings, grandparents and everyone else that came out to watch them. The campers also took time to write thank you cards to local emergency support personnel in Calhoun County.
One of the big changes we have made to our overall camp is to modify our “Change for Change” event so that all 8 weeks of campers could participate in their small way. We are asking all campers to write simple thank you cards for the emergency personnel in the different cities, townships and counties from which our campers come. We are also going to collect items that Treehouse Wildlife Center can use in their mission to rehab animals. We will then mail out the cards and take the items to Tree house at the end of the summer. The group that will see the biggest impact from this modification are the 5th and 6th grade campers. Rather than inviting parents out to raise money for charities, these campers will have the privileged opportunity to hang out at TNI in the dark. They will cook their dinner over a campfire, go on a night hike (scary or regular) and will get to learn about constellations and nocturnal animals. Hopefully everyone will enjoy this new opportunity for experiencing nature in a different way.
We have also added Archery to our activity list for campers. The 3rd-6th grade campers and Junior campers will have the opportunity to learn how to properly shoot a bow and arrow and t will practice with our compound and recurve bows. Ramona was recently certified as a level one instructor through USA Archery. We hope to one day start an Archery in the Schools program at TNI.
Most of the other changes we have made are not nearly as exciting. They mostly help us to be better stewards of our time and resources and are helping the parents get their part done as easily as possible. The changes I am thinking of include online registration, and online health packets, light refreshments after the Friday program(which now starts at 2:30pm) rather than a full lunch and all the camp photos online in a safe, secure, and non searchable Flickr account.
We look forward to working with your campers as they attend camp and if you are intrigued by our new changes please feel free to call and ask about camp. We always love meeting new campers and passing our love for nature to them. That is the one thing that will never change. TNI Discovery Day Camp always works to create an awareness and appreciation of nature to all the campers that come through the programs. We foster kindness, citizenship, and stewardship in the kids that attend and our goal is to build great adults one summer at a time.
Ramona Puskar, Education Assistant