Egg Day… Food on the Road


Eating on the road is interesting. The best 30 dollars we ever spent was on a simple one burner Colman stove. We have cooked so many stir fries in that thing I can’t believe it, but after a year and a half on the road we have learned some tricks. So here is egg day…

Egg day starts at dinner. We buy a dozen eggs and a few other supplies. Dinner is omelets. 4 eggs, some vegetables and if we are lucky some fake sausage. Laura is a vegetarian. On a side note if you have to eat tofu, fake sausage is the way to go.

The next morning you wake up fry up 3 eggs, 2 for me and one for Laura, make some toast in the pan, and maybe the last 2 fake sausages. Fake sausage is usually sold in 4 packs.

Here is where it gets tricky. While you eat breakfast you boil some water and make the last 5 eggs hard boiled because you guessed it. For lunch, egg salad on the go.

That’s a dozen eggs in 24 hours. The end of egg day gets weird…


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4 Great Summer Camp Program Resources

We are always on the look out for great program resources to build great summer camp experiences. These are 4 great resources we found from our friends at CampHacker, Camp Kern, and Camp Augusta. If you enjoy things like this we would love it if you joined our newsletter, no spam just fun ideas and great resources. The first one will come out next week! http://eepurl.com/KfdRH



Trusting Kids... The Freedom Not to Bully

Bully Map

Bully Map

Bullying Sucks! And it is a huge problem in schools, camps, sports teams, prisons and basically anywhere people aren’t free to do go where they choose. Where some authority figure decides for you where you have to be. At camp we work incredibly hard to create a community where campers aren’t bullied. We talk about it on the first day. We have zero tolerance policies, create a safe environment where campers feel comfortable telling a counselor if bullying is happening, and spend huge amounts of time training staff to supervise effectively and recognize bullying. All these things help. There is almost certainly less bullying at every camp in the country than almost any school, but I don’t think we got to the crux of the problem because against our best efforts bullying still happens and I don’t believe any kid is born a bully or even wants to be one. James Davis, the director at Vanderkamp Center in Cleveland, New York, has taken a radical approach that has lead to 86% retention and a lack of bullying. 

Contrary to the classic group or team building camp model, popular at most camps, Vanderkamp never forces campers to be in groups they don’t want to be in. Vanderkamp has deliberately chosen to focus on individual growth as opposed to team building. Kids are constantly free to choose their own activities through out the day and because they sleep in cool old mansions not in small cabins they are never forced to be with a small group of children where power positions can lead to bullying. This increase in freedom in general helps campers and people feel less anxious. As James puts it

“If I am free to do whatever I want, why on earth would I spend my time tracking down someone to pick on? If I'm in a love centered environment where there are basically no rules, why would I break a rule that so clearly makes sense?”

This flies in the face of the “bully the bullies” scenarios that zero tolerance policies create. James again..

“The reason to bully is no longer "I don't want to hurt someone else," but "If I hurt someone else, someone else will hurt me even more." It's that might-makes-right attitude which fails every time. Even if the mightiest person has good intentions, he is doomed to send the unintended message that the reason not to bully is that there is a bigger, more powerful bully around the corner.”

Much of the philosophy is based on Unschooling and the Sudbury Valley School and played out in the journey of the one ring below

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Laura and I have never seen Vanderkamp in action and certainly will never know unless we do if this radical approach really creates a bully free environment, but Vanderkamp saw an impossible problem and came up with an impossible answer. James explains the lack of bullying at Vanderkamp here.


Afternoons With Jeff Hoben


Lots of camps are searching for simple ways to engage campers year round and create an online community similar to what is created each summer at camp. Our friends Jeff Hoben and Topher Aderhold at Camp Gray are using video to recreate or give a glimpse of the magic that happens each summer. I love that most of the Camp Gray videos are brilliant in their timing and humor but never too complicated to make while giving an honest reflection of what happens at camp.

“Afternoons with Jeff Hoben" is a talk show where Jeff the director interviews camp

They have done music Mondays where each Monday they uploaded music from the summer.

They do periodic webisodes that are sprinkled with humor and a christian message.

Check out more on their youtube channel




Give Campers What They Want… 5 Camp Programs I Wish I’d Thought Of

Every camp is unique in so many ways, and the best camps develop a program that bring their mission to life. In these five cases bringing that mission to life meant bucking the status quo and developing innovative and remarkable programming where the fun and excitement lay the groundwork for developing skills, inspiring awe and wonder, teaching 21st skills, relationship building and many of the other intentional outcomes traditional summer camps are looking for just in a new and incredibly unique way. These are programs that found enormous success by not forcing old ideas of camp on a new generation of campers, but rather making campers wonders and dreams come true in a safe nutrient rich environment. Click on the photos to learn more