Archive for the ‘Parents’ Category

‘Tis The Camp Fair Season! February 14, 2012

The first thought that comes to mind as I reflect on the past month is where did it go?? January and February are very busy months in the summer camp calendar because it’s the time of year also known as the Camp Fair Season.

We kicked off January and the Season with our first Supervisors meeting. The Team joined me for a delicious meal at a local bistro. We used the time to catch up, talk camp and make plans for the upcoming year.  I always enjoy spending time with this particular group. I sent them away thinking about their specific personal goals in their role, for the upcoming summer, in preparation for our next meeting on March 3rd.  

January 8th marked our first Summer Camp Open House of the season. Cindy and I, with help from the Supervisor Team spent the day giving camp tours to families. Children and parents are always very excited about camp after seeing the Gill St. Bernard’s campus. (If you missed it, be sure to see check the schedule for upcoming Camp Open House Events at our Somerset County NJ campus.)

We spent the remaining weekends of January and into February at Camp Fairs in various locations across New Jersey.  Those cold winter days indoors always get everyone excited for the summer days outside at Hi-Hills!

Hi-Hills Camp Fair
Hi-Hills Day Camp, Camp Fair

Camp Fairs also provide the opportunity for parents to find information about our camp and summer programs for kids; to meet the Directors and Staff; and to ask questions in search of the best camp for their children.

We find that parents are always interested in the unique qualities that set Hi-Hills Day Camp apart from neighboring camps. There are many, but I will share 5 with you.

  1. The Hi-Hills Philosophy, which emphasizes the overall development of the camper. 
  2.  Our Unbeatable Facilities: Gill St Bernard’s School is a beautiful 73 acre “New England” style setting with  facilities that allow us to offer numerous programs in all weather conditions. (And for days when the summer heat gets out of control; parents love the AC!).
  3. We provide Flexible Scheduling options to suit the ever-changing needs of parents. Whether parents request a shorter day, week or require extra care, we are able to tailor our program to accommodate.
  4.  Our extensive (and health-conscious!) Food Menu, provided by Flik Independent School Dining Services. (Click here to view a sample menu.)
  5.  Convenient Door-To-Door Transportation options. We provide services throughout Morris County and areas of Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Warren, Sussex, Union and Essex Counties.

For more information on Hi-Hills Day Camp feel free to contact me at the camp office: 908-234-0067 or email, jdinwiddy@gsbschool.org .

Throughout February I will meet with returning staff and focus on program planning. Stay tuned for more news to come soon!

Jack

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A New Camp Tradition! December 9, 2011

Hi-Hills’ new camp tradition, our CAMP REUNION.

Originally scheduled for October but due to the unseasonable snow the reunion was moved to December.  This turned out to be a great way to kick start the holiday season. It was such a delight to see so many of our “summer” friends again. GSB’s Bruckner Hall was crammed with holiday craft activities and games, Mr. Nature brought along some of his animals, including Dalmatian the rabbit. Hi-Hills’ Athletic Duo John and Marc were on hand to lead camp games in the old Gym and we even had a 5 in one inflatable castle, outside. That’s correct, “outside” on December the 4th!  We made snowflakes, had face painting, lucky dip and guess how much candy was in the candy cane.  It’s tough to decide which of the games was more fun: “pin the Nose on Frosty” or “fill Frosty’s hat with snow balls”. I have uploaded a few picture highlights of the afternoon.  Next year and weather permitting, we will revert back to our original theme, the Hi-Hills Halloween Party.  

 

Hi Hills Summer Camp Reunion

Our First Ever Camp Reunion

 

December is a busy month here at camp. We are planning for January 8th Open House and New Jersey Camp Fairs in Bridgewater and East Hanover. I want remind all parents that our “referral” offer is still available into 2012, so be sure to tell your friends and colleagues to stop by at one of our camp fairs and many summer camp Open House events, (1/8,  2/12,  3/4,  4/1, 6/3). I would be more than happy to lead a private tour also.

Camp Calendars and Teen Travel Update-

In early 2012 we will announce on our Day Calendar and Teen Travel Schedule with details of our overnight trip on hihills.com

Kids Zone –

A big announcement at the reunion was the unveiling of our new “kids zone” on hihills.com. This area of the website is packed with year round camp games, craft projects you can take on at home, competitions, Birthdays, a camp countdown (coming very soon) and more. The kids zone will be updated monthly with more fun than you can handle.

Calling All Staff!

If you are interested in working at camp, whether you are new to Hi-Hills or looking to return for the summer of 2012, please fill in the following application form and send them to the camp office. We will be interviewing from January.

Please stay tuned for more exciting blogs including some special guest bloggers!

Take care,

Jack

 

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The Reunion Must Go On November 3, 2011

Dear Hi-Hills,

I certainly had no idea what I was signing up for when I moved to the USA. Snow in October? What an out of the ordinary Halloween. I hope you are all safe, well and with power.

GSB finally had power restored yesterday afternoon and once I had packed away the remains of what would have been our first ever camp reunion, I was able to catch up with camp correspondence and find time to write this blog.

Hi Hills Day Camp Pumpkins | Hi Hills Day Camp Holiday Party

No Pumpkins Were Harmed

Hi-Hills Holiday Party!

Having been so excited about the Hi-Hills reunion since we announced it back in August, cancelling Sunday was a real a shame. The Pizza’s had been ordered, the 5 in 1 gigantic inflatable bouncy castle was packed into a van ready to be transported from Staten Island, Mr. Nature had prepped the animals for their day out, 60 Pumpkins were laid out waiting to be painted, decorations were up, staff were excited to see all their summer friends and then….oh well, I was sad to see this extreme weather prevent our celebrations. But my sadness didn’t last too long, because…. we are delighted to announce a new reunion date, December 4th, between 2pm-4pm. The Hi-Hills Halloween Party will now be the Hi-Hills Holiday Party!

We hope you will join us in celebrating the Holidays early, in true Hi-Hills Day Camp style!

More details to follow on hihills.com

Best wishes,

Jack

Sportsmanship Week at Hi-Hills Day Camp October 27, 2011

Hello Everyone,

The weather is beautiful out here in Gladstone, NJ. We have fall in full glory! In the UK, Fall months, or as we refer to them, autumn, often become blurred with miserable dull rainy days and we do not have the opportunity to fully appreciate this remarkable season. Also, back home seasons switch from summer to winter a lot sooner. So while most are complaining about the drop in temperature, I am admiring the beauty of this time of year.

Camp Reunion-

Everything in the camp office is well. This week I have busy making arrangements for Sundays FIRST EVER Halloween Camp Reunion. I even found my costume, but you’ll have to wait until Sunday to see it.

In other news,

I have also been working on our Marketing and Advertising for upcoming publications and camp fairs. Here’s one of the new ads. What do you think?

 
Hi-Hills Day Camp 2012
Hi-Hills Day Camp 2012

 

Sportsmanship Week at Hi-Hills Day Camp

Each year at Hi-Hills we dedicate Week 6 to Sportsmanship week. Sportsmanship week is part of the camp culture and goes way back. The Directors introduced this concept to educate and promote Sportsmanship, teamwork, fairness and respect in healthy competition.

How Sportsmanship Week Works

Each camper is assigned to one of two teams and throughout the week within their bunk group compete and work together in various activities to earn points for their team. Each team develops a team name, a flag, a team chant/ song and with the help of their counselors discuss the meaning of teamwork and sportsmanship.

At various points during the week, teams come together for all camp events. These include, the Pasta Hunt, Apache Relay, Tug’o’war and of course the final event (The chant off and the Flag awards). This year was a huge success. I have uploaded some short highlights from this years Tug’o’war event. It’s a real gem, Enjoy!


Early Bird Discount- Extended!

I have great news for all un-registered parents. Our Early Bird Enrollment has now been extended another week and is open until November 4th. See our website for further discounts.

I hope to see you Sunday, at the reunion.

Jack

info@hihills.com

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Meet the New Summer Camp Director for Hi Hills Day Camp May 12, 2011

Hey, Hi Hills,

Leaders of Hi Hills Day Camp Gladstone NJ

Jack Dinwiddy and Cindy Wyatt - making this summer your child's Best Summer Ever!

My name is Jack Dinwiddy and I will be the new Camp Director this summer! You have no idea how excited I am to be here, I cannot wait to meet you all. We are going to have the BEST SUMMER EVER!!

Okay, a little bit about me. I was born in London, England, and grew up in a small seaside town on the South Coast. I moved to New Jersey this year. I have two younger brothers, Adam and Simon, and a wonderful fiancee named Stacie. I studied for my BA (Hons) degree in Sports Studies with Business at Southampton Solent University. In my spare time I like to travel the world, play soccer and surf.

I never went to camp when I was young, so when you see me acting like a camper it’s because I’m making up for lost time. When I was 19 I spent a summer as a soccer coach and bunk counselor at a residential camp in New Jersey. It was an incredible experience that changed my life. So much so that I continued to return to camp for four more summers before joining a day camp full time in the UK. I absolutely love everything about camping, from playing in the sunshine and making all types of awesome friends, to laughing all day and trying new activities!

Only 46 days until camp. We are counting down the days!

See you soon,
Jack

P.S. Remember to keep up to date with the latest Hi-Hills news via our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hihills. Simply click the “like” button and the most recent updates for parents and campers will appear in your news feed.

The Case for Camp — Why Kids Need It Now More Than Ever January 5, 2011

This week we share with you a post by Peg L. Smith, chief executive officer of the American Camp Association.

NJ Day Camp, HI-Hills Day Camp, Outdoor Adventure Camp

Tug of War 2010

Change is a part of life. It is often directly related to survival and can enrich one’s life in ways unexpected. Childhood is in essence a time of profound change and development. It is exciting and disquieting at the same time. When it comes to our children, we need to be sure that change is made for the better.

Youth Camps Offer Opportunities in Healthy Living

We’ve been so concentrated on the brain, we forget about the rest of our bodies. This change in focus has lead to an obesity rate that is unacceptable. Our kids are not as healthy as the generation before.

Families used to live in a community. We’ve lost that, keeping kids inside and losing a sense of neighborhood.

Add to that the fact that our kids stand to inherit all the economic, social, and environmental challenges we’ve created, and the legacy we have left our children and youth begins to look bleak.

So, how do we prepare our children with the skills and more importantly, the competencies they will need to tackle changes in our world?  We could start with a positive camp experience. A quality camp experience provides our children with the opportunity to learn powerful lessons in community, character-building, skill development, and healthy living — a meaningful, engaged, and participatory environment.

Kids Adventure Camps Provide Community

Camp promotes community. It creates this great space that shows kids how to live together and care for one another. There are norms and negotiation of boundaries; there are rules. Camp is a place where kids can “practice” growing up stretching their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive muscles outside the context of their immediate family. This is what childhood is supposed to provide.

Summer Camps Provide Critical Thinking

Camp teaches critical thinking. We need to remember how important it is to be actively involved in the learning process, and camp affords that. We’re going to need really strong problem solvers in the next century. We need the science, math, and biology, but without the ability to relate, connect, empathize, or inspire innovation, how will our kids be able to make a difference in the challenges now facing us?

Fun Natural Activities for Kids

The camp experience embraces the natural environment. While children have fewer and fewer opportunities to be outdoors, the camp experience advances the outdoor learning environment. As we become more concerned about saving the planet, we run out and make DVDs and videos about it. But the environment needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Kids need to catch tadpoles in the creek, wander among the trees, and feel the sun on their faces to understand the importance of those things. What happens to a generation that may grow up not seeing stars in the dark of the night?

Leadership Opportunities within Summer Camps

Camp creates future leaders. The camp experience offers kids a close-up look at compassionate leadership through the camp director, counselors, resident nutritionist, and other camp personnel. And kids get loads of opportunities to practice being a leader themselves — song leader, lunch table leader, team captain, the list goes on and on.

Camp is an equal opportunity life changer. It addresses universal childhood needs not specific to a particular racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group. Nobody is left out. It’s all about childhood development.

Summer Day Camp Pals

Summer Day Camp Pals

Camp has a lasting impact. One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is a sense of success and achievement. Camp teaches kids how to be active participants, ask questions, ask for help, and try new things. They leave understanding that it’s okay to feel a little uncomfortable sometimes, because that’s generally what happens when you’re getting ready to learn something. The camp experience translates back in real-world experience — in an “I can” attitude.

Advocate for Fun Summer Activities for Kids

We need to advocate for our young people. We should promote opportunities for kids — give them camp experiences that serve as an antidote for the world’s challenges. We need to recognize this is not a series of frivolous activities. We often think if it looks like fun it must be unimportant, but “fun” is a young person’s “work” — to learn, to grow, to be productive, creative, and happy. If they don’t do that work, they won’t turn into healthy adults.

Now more than ever, kids need camp. Visit www.CampParents.org to find out how you can change a life by helping make it possible for every child to have a camp experience.

How to Pick a Day Camp for Your Child December 15, 2010

Before you know it you’ll be looking to fill the summer weeks with exciting activities for your son or daughter. I know what you’re thinking, we haven’t even gotten through the holidays yet! Why should I begin thinking about next summer?

Winter is a great time to start sorting out the summer day camp choices with your youngsters. If your child has never been to day camp before, they will certainly have many questions. If you begin planning now, you won’t feel rushed into a decision as Memorial Day approaches.

Swimmers Having Fun at NJ Summer Adventure Day Camp

Swimming Summer Fun

New Jersey Camp Shows

Your first stop should be a camp show, sponsored by the local chapter of the American Camping Association (ACA). These are held at locations around the New Jersey and metro area, and are a great first step towards finding out what different camps offer. Most of the shows are in January, and you can find a list of them by clicking here.

Bring Your Kids to Camp Show

When you go to a camp show, bring your kids and ask lots of questions. Don’t worry about trying to absorb all of that information at once – it can be overwhelming. Pick up materials from camps that you might be interested in, then go home and do your research. Check out their websites, call and ask for a visit (yes, most camps will offer you tours year round). And don’t forget one of your valuable resources – your friends. Find out where they’re sending their kids, and why they like the camp.

Prepare Early, Ask Lots of Questions

Preparing early will result in less stress for you, the parents, and a more enjoyable experience for your child. Of course feel free to Contact Hi-Hills Day Camp or call 908.234.0067 with any questions regarding how our Day Camp, Kinder Camp, CIT Program or Teen Travel works.