This week at camp there was a color war breakout! For those of you that don’t know what a color war is, it is the most hilarious and fun series of games, ever. The campers were split into their teams with Georgia leading the blue and white team, Lo leading the pink and black team and Joseph leading the red and yellow team.
The teams battled it out, to be claimed the 2016 color war champions (part one). Check out the video below to see who was victorious!
Every summer an influx of international counsellors arrive at Mountain Camp Woodside, with wide-eyes and a lot of enthusiasm; excited to be working in the beautiful Portola Valley. Recruiting counsellors from all over the world is an intentional decision. We believe that the unique atmosphere created by this cultural exchange, adds to the camp experience. However it is not just the counsellors that fly in from all over the world to experience California, the campers do too. Just this week we had children from Italy, Egypt, Ethiopia and China to name a few.
In today’s interconnected world, it is important to prepare children and educate them about other cultures – the world has got smaller and employers are looking for globally aware candidates that can work in this new world marketplace. Having counsellors and campers from all over the world, provides an opportunity for children to enjoy cultural exposure through play, in a safe environment. By interacting with people from across the globe they are learning to appreciate and communicate with other cultures, not only learning cultural sensitivity, but also igniting a passion and curiosity to enjoy cultural diversity.
Learning about other cultures at a young age makes children more accepting as they go through life. It improves their social skills and opens up their eyes to the big world that lies just outside of their home bubble. It is a great opportunity for the kids to see how other people live and broaden their minds, allowing them to see things from other people’s points of view.
Aside from making children more accepting and well-rounded people as they grow up and preparing them for work in the global environment, having exposure to other cultures and travel has been found to improve children’s growth in other ways. A study from the US Department of Education showed that international travel contributes to cognitive growth and achievements in math, reading and general knowledge. Children exposed to foreign cultures develop higher empathetic understanding, which results in higher grade-point averages and higher-order reading comprehension skills.
Being immersed in other cultures is an amazing opportunity for kids to experience at a young age, not only that, but it is extremely fun. The kids love asking the counsellors all the weird words they say different and about the funny accents they have. They especially like finding out if the English counsellors are friends with Harry Potter! Check out our latest video the CIT’s helped with – looking at Culture.
Following on from last week, our CIT kids helped put together the next ‘Thought of the Week’ video. This week we decided on the theme ‘outdoors’. See what our campers and staff had to say about the outdoors!
Wacky Wednesday. If you have been to Mountain Camp Woodside, you will have been subject to one of the most fun days ever! It is a day when normal camp activities is put on hold and for one afternoon only there are an array of exciting and some slightly random, activities on offer. It is also the day that the kids and counsellors get to dress up. Each week is a different theme and we take it pretty seriously here at camp, especially Director Jim – who always out does everyone with his costumes!
The Wacky Wednesday activities do change quite often, but to give you an idea of the activities here are this week’s activities.
- Slip n Slide
The longest slip n slide this side of the Mississippi (we think). Slip n Slide is one of the most popular activities, especially on a hot California day. Pretty self explanatory, slip n slide is where the kids get to slide down a slippy water slide.
- Rock Climbing
Another popular activity that makes an appearance every week is the rock climbing wall. Brought in specifically for Wacky Wednesday, the kids can race to the top to push the button.
A relatively new activity to MCW, Larping is Live Action Role Play. This basically means that the kids enter a real-life video game, with princess’ and wizards, and they have to complete a quest.
- Outdoor Cooking
This again is a huge favourite. New for our recipe book this year is the ‘Campfire Cones’, delicious waffle cones filled with fruit, chocolate and marshmallows, roasted on a campfire. For the recipe to try at home click here!
Everyone has heard of zumba! The fun dance craze has taken over camp, as well as the rest of the world!
Spa is a hugely liked activity, not just with the girls. Checking into the MCW spa lets the campers paint their nails, get their hair braided, get a face mask and even paint some of the male counsellors nails too.
- Mad Hatter Tea Party
New for this week, is the Mad Hatter Tea Party. The kids will discover party etiquette, design a tea cup and have a mad old time with the mad hatter.
The wizard activity, although relatively new, does extremely well with the kids. In wizard class they will learn spells, potion making, quidditch and get sorted by the sorting hat.
There are a lot more activities on offer for Wacky Wednesday, check out our video below for an in-depth look at everything that goes down on the day!
We love making friends at Mountain Camp Woodside, so we thought we would talk to some of our campers about friendship. They had some interesting ideas on what friendship means.
We love a bit of outdoor cooking at camp! Every Wednesday we have some delicious delicacies for the kids to cook at camp. This week we had Campfire Cones – here is our secret recipe so you can try them at home.
- Tin Foil
- Waffle Ice-cream Cones
- Chocolate Chips
- Kiwi and Strawberries (cut up into small pieces)
- Place into the cones the; chocolate chips, then the fruit, then the marshmallows on top.
- Wrap the cones in tin foil.
- Place on a campfire (or in the oven if you don’t have a camp fire handy) for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Let them cool for a few minutes, so you don’t burn your fingers unwrapping the foil.
Staff training week is over and camp has officially started! Training is very important to us at Mountain Camp Woodside and we had an awesome week getting our new counsellors, ready for the campers arrival. It has been a hectic five days of training, covering all aspects of camp in our comprehensive staff program.
We pride ourselves on having the best staff in the world, having hand-picked them based on their experience, enthusiasm and their ability to be an excellent role model. This year our counsellors are from; England, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, Wales and from all over America. We believe that the unique atmosphere created by this cultural exchange, adds to our camp experience. Our highly qualified staff is truly the heart of the program.
So we thought that you might want to have an inside look into our staff training program! To see just what the new staff gets up to in staff training, check out our staff training video here.
It can be hard deciding what to pack for summer camp, I know I always pack too much in my bag. So we thought we would help you guys out and share with you our packing list for campers.
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 1 set of pajamas
- 3 pairs of shorts
- 6 T-shirts
- 2 pairs jeans/ sweatpants
- 1 jacket
- 1 beach towel
- 2 swimsuits
- 6 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of athletic shoes
- 1 pair of flip flops/ sandals/ water shoes
- 1 bath towel
- Toiletries (toothbrush/paste, soap, shampoo, condition, sun block, lotion, lip protection, & carrying case
- Sleeping bag/ comforter
- Fitted sheets (twin bed)
- Reading materials
- Musical instrument
Awesome, you found our brand spanking new blog! Go you! We are extremely excited to be updating you all through this new platform this summer.
The blog will be the place; where we update you on all the exciting camp news, give you our camp tips, find out more about our campers or counsellors and where you can hear from our director.
We are looking forward to an amazing summer for 2016 and we can’t wait for it to get started! Make sure you keep checking back for the latest news, or give us a follow to keep up to date!
Wacky Wednesday Themes for 2016.
For those of you who haven’t been to Mountain Camp Woodside before, you may not know that Wednesday is ‘Wacky Wednesday’. This is the day that camp gets really exciting. For one day only, we completely change the program and introduce random activities like; slip’n’slide, rock climbing, outdoor cooking, and many more. Check out our video on youtube explaining exactly what happens.
Alongside the activity switch up, we also get dressed up! This is a huge deal for the counsellors and the campers, and especially Jim – who takes his costume decisions very seriously. Below are the themes for each week this summer, so you can prepare your costume early, you know we will be!
Session 1: Mis-Match Day. You CAN wear stripes and plaid.
Session 2: Favorite Disney Character Day – including Star Wars
Session 3: Favorite Animal Day
Session 4: Red, White and Blue Day (Happy Birthday America)
Session 5: Favorite Superhero or Villain Day
Session 6: Favorite Sports Team / Player
Session 7: Camper group color day (each camper group will pick a color)
Session 8: PJ Day