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Monthly Archives: June 2015

And we’re off…

You know when you’re on vacation and everything is better when the sun is out? We have a 49 day vacation here at the Realm and today was a homerun! We started the day loading 29 Saxons and Scribes, 8 staff members and a nurse, into 3 vans at 6:45am. They were nervous to say the least. I told them this was the first step in their magical journey this summer. They are our oldest campers and the leaders of Robin Hood’s 88th summer.

Revile went off at 8:00am to sunny skies and warmer temps. The energy was electric as the kids were ready for a BIG day. This morning was our first day of intensives. We ran 4 speed boats and all our new KyPads were in full use. I love to sit and watch the waterfront in action. There’s music playing, kids laughing, all here without any screens!!! Imagine that?! I really believe that the ability to play and interact without screens is vital today. Since this is Day 3 of the summer – our kids have just started to adjust to walking around with their necks up. They walk and talk – not text. They engage with verbal skills and are creating new, life-long friendships. Overnight camp’s were created in the 1900’s to get kids out of the city and away from the disease that came with hot summer days. I believe that camp today serves even a bigger purpose – children need to disconnect and interact. They need to play outside in games that they make up. This morning at 7:15 – 20 junior camp boys were outside their bunks shooting hoops, swinging on swings and playing card games. All this happened under the eyes of our staff but the children were in charge – making up rules and dealing with issues. The way life used to be, the way life ought to be.

As the sun was shining in The Realm today, campers started their day in activities that they chose. Our intensives are designed to allow campers to focus on one specific activity for five days, an hour per day. They might choose a sport they are hoping to improve upon or try something completely new. The most important thing is that these kids are where they want to be. Tennis, Volleyball, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Sailing, Drama, Fitness, Dance… the list goes on and on, and our campers were active and having fun.

As the day went on, double booking found both our Bows and Foresters at the Home Run Diamond. This is a very popular spot on camp as the girls were scheduled for a Softball clinic with Me and the boys were eager to work for a coveted spot on the Home Run Derby plaque. In true Robin Hood fashion, there was only one way to settle this conflict – with a good old-fashioned challenge. There, in the Gaga pit by the HR Diamond, the Bows challenged the Foresters to see who would, in fact, play on our softball field! The Bows, girls who have completed 5th Grade, put up quite a fight against our second oldest boys group! With the boys using their less dominant hand, the Bows showed that they are not a group to mess with. It was far from a blowout, as the Bows made it to a one on one final round where the Foresters took home the prize. It was like Day 3 of Green and White….

As we walked the bunk line tonight – I saw nothing but happy smiling faces. None bigger then ours….

Thank you so much for sharing your kids with us!
–Woody

Magical Moments

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Life is made of magical moments.  The key is recognizing them.  For when you do – and pause and take it in – it smells fragrant, looks dazzling, sounds musical and is beyond delicious.

Our job as camp directors is to make sure your children are safe.  Happy.  Active.  Inspired to try new things.  Excited to make new friends, and strengthen existing bonds.  But just as important in our mission is to move our campers to take it in.  Breathe in the fragrant pine.  Cherish a pink-tainted, purple and red sunset.  Dance to the dining hall cheers.  Relish a rainy day for the mud offers a different kind of fun.    Our mission is to encourage that pause.  That quiet moment where you honor and celebrate the magical moments in life, and in the summers – in the Realm.

The buses pulled in as Chuck dropped his hand down, bringing them to a halt while conversely catalyzing the start of what will be Chuck’s 50th summer as Head Counselor.

Kids sprinted off from states including Illinois, Ohio, Florida, California, New York, Massachusetts,  …. And then the vans pulled in bringing children from – as Dick would say  -“across the pond.”  We have campers from England, Japan, Italy, Spain, France and Kuwait.   (Please forgive me if I have left any states or countries off the list!)

Friends reunited, new members of the Robin Hood family were welcomed.  Staff led everyone to their cabins, and our summer began.

Dinner was alive.  Yensi and his staff made a spectacular pasta feast, complete with an overflowing salad bar and moist, delectable fudge brownies for dessert.

With a perfect temperature and blue skies, groups engulfed every corner of camp in lively evening activities.  The sound of children sings through our trees once again. As tradition would have it, DC, Woody and the Brass will make their way through the bunks to sing the Robin Hood goodnight song and wish everyone a good night’s sleep.

And that, my friends, will be yet another magical moment for us…

With gratitude and warm greetings from The Realm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep In Touch – How We Communicate at Robin Hood

Duffels have arrived, fields are being lined, counselors are orientating… now we wait for the campers to arrive for the summer of their life! But what happens when the buses have pulled away and your camper is off to The Realm? In a world with text messaging, snapchat, FaceTime, skype, (you get the idea…) parent’s who seem to always know where their children are and what they are doing wonder how they’re going to know how they will communicate with their camper during the summer.

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Communication throughout the summer is a top priority at Camp Robin Hood.  Not just for the parents but for our campers too!  Kids LOVE receiving letters and if you haven’t already sent a note for your camper to receive on Opening Day, now’s the time to start your letter writing routine.  As an option, we offer our families the opportunity to send eLetters directly to their campers through our Camp InTouch system.  You can even request a hand written letter back from your camper which we’ll scan and email back to you!  But if you’re worried that you’re child is not much of a letter writer – DON’T – every Wednesday and Sunday, letters home are campers meal tickets to lunch.

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Life may have been simpler before all of the technology that has come into our daily lives, when letters home were the ONLY way parent’s knew how life at camp was, but we know you want daily updates.  Every evening, we upload anywhere from 150-350 pictures of our campers, to Camp InTouch, participating in various activities throughout camp.  We do our best to make sure your child will be featured in photos, but we like to think if you don’t see your child, it means they were too busy having FUN to stop what they were doing to take a picture!  Haven’t seen your child in a few days (which is rare,) shoot us a note and we’ll make sure to snap them in action (discreetly of course!)

 

Not only will you be able to see what’s happening at camp through photos, we post daily WoodChuck blogs, giving families a birds-eye view of our camper’s day in at Robin Hood.  It’s a great way to include Robin Hood specific questions in your letters to camp and gives you a sense of how camper’s spend their time in The Realm.

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With all of these ways for you to follow your child’s experience at Robin Hood, we make sure to keep the lines of communication with parents wide open. While many of your campers are holding onto their cell phones for dear life in the last few days before going “screen free,” we keep phone calls during the first two weeks to families with birthdays (either camper or parent.) A phone call can be arranged between parent and camper after the second week of camp has ended. We find from past experiences that a phone conversation may end up causing harm to the child’s adjustment at camp, as campers who are perfectly adapted and happy at camp can become homesick from a few short words with you on the telephone.

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We understand that the transition to camp can be hard on parents, even after years of experience, and welcome the opportunity to speak to our families not just during the summer but all year round. Give us a call, shoot us an email… we’re ready to take care of your child(ren) this summer and thank you for trusting us with your most prized possession(s.)

Share the Magic In The Trees

“Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees.”

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Anyone who has experienced Camp Robin Hood knows about the “magic in the trees.”  The Realm is truly a place like no other. Each summer, campers participate in a day where “Robin Hood Gives Back”, working with various populations who have overcome hardships. At Camp Robin Hood, we find importance in creating a diverse camp environment, while simultaneously heightening the awareness and sensitivity of our campers to others’ unique backgrounds. We are proud to be a camp that gives back and even more pleased that this has carried over into our camper’s and alumnus’ personal lives.

The Magic in the Trees Foundation, Inc. was established in 2013 by a group of Robin Hood alumnus, including Andrew Arnot, Eli Fuchsberg, Duncan Mendelsohn and Emily Schorr. Camp Robin Hood had a huge influence on their growth as individuals and because of that they were driven to create an opportunity to provide the same experience to other young men and women.  Since it was founded, Magic in Trees Foundation has been able to send a family with 2 children to camp and is excited to send them to The Realm again this upcoming summer.

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On June 6th, 2015 the second annual Green & White Softball Game in Central Park was hosted by the Magic in the Trees Foundation. Generations of Robin Hood Alumni (and their future RH offspring) gathered in New York City for some friendly competition “Green & White” style.  While the sun was shining and the weather was a 10, the fields were closed due to rain earlier in the week.  In true Robin Hood fashion, everyone at the event rallied, beans were picked, and the first Green & White “paddle ball” game was played!

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Magic in the Trees Foundation is a 501c3 organization, making your 2015 donations eligible for tax deductions. The support from RH alumni has been amazing and while they haven’t met their 2015 goal, yet, they are committed to sending even more children to camp. Green & White in Central Park is just the beginning. To find out more about Magic in the Trees Foundation or to donate, please visit magicinthetrees.org. To get involved and participate in fundraising ideas, contact magicinthetrees@gmail.com.

First Time Camper? What to Expect…

IMG_9312As we head into our 88th summer, it’s incredible to think that over 25,000 kids have started their lives at Robin Hood. That’s a lot of first-time campers! Families can trust that from the moment they say YES to Robin Hood they will be taken care of with the best care and attention, that which can only be found in a family. With over 50% of our staff being alumni, it’s clear that Robin Hood is a family and at it’s core are the people who have become part of our incredible legacy. With more than 250 combined summers at Camp Robin Hood, our Leadership Team understands the unique responsibility of preserving the Robin Hood experience that shaped us each as individuals, and we are dedicated toward providing that same experience for our campers. You’ll see it in the assistance we provide before camp, the care and attention we devote during the summer and our dedication even after the season has ended.

Before Camp

  • Our comprehensive Parent Handbook is available online and is your one-stop shop for everything Camp Robin Hood.
  • Get to know Camp Robin Hood through our online videos!  When we find ourselves missing camp (which is pretty much all the time,) we schedule an evening activity of “Night at the Movies” and watch our online videos. They truly paint a picture of what “life in The Realm” is all about which is a great way for the whole family to get ready for camp!
  • Parents of newcomers appreciate the fact that our office staff is always available to answer questions and offer friendly advice. If you have a question, call us.  We’re here to help!
  • “Dear DC” letters and our Parent & Camper Questionnaire allow families to address camper goals and parental concerns/goals for their child
  • Robin Hood’s Big Sister/Little Sister Program pairs older campers with newcomers and our Boys side can write letters and correspond with Group Leaders if they have any questions about what to expect for their first time at camp
  • Campers and their parents can visit our FAQ page and stay connected through our various social network sites by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and of course, The WoodChuck blog!

During Camp

  • As soon as your camper arrives at camp they will be under the care and supervision of our incredible leadership staff. Daily “bro-sessions” and “girl talk” with each Division and their GL (Group Leader) allows campers to talk about the good and bad of their day, both as individuals and as a community
  • Campers live in bunks with both specialty staff and GC’s (general counselors.) GC’s are all returning campers who know first hand what your child is experiencing and provide support and leadership throughout the summer as your child participates in various activities throughout the summer.
  • Regular staff meetings and check-ins ensure our Head Staff, GL’s, GC’s and specialty staff are all working to meet the goals set forth by your family in your “Dear DC” letter and Parent & Camper Questionnaire.
  • Homesickness is normal for campers (first-timers or not) and is healthy. It means your child likes being at home and that is great! We encourage families to send letters to camp so that there is mail waiting for your camper when they arrive. Remember to keep your letters positive and upbeat.  Of course you can tell your child you miss him/her, just don’t go on about how miserable it’s making you. Camp is the time to instill confidence and independence in your child. Mentioning things he/she can’t control can lead to homesickness, anxiety and depression, which we are trying to avoid. Not to worry, your campers will be sending you mail too! Once a week, their meal ticket is a letter home, so don’t forget your stationary and stamps.
  • There are no strangers at Camp Robin Hood, only friends we haven’t met yet. Campers at Robin Hood are from all over the country and the world, making our community geographically diverse. With the help of older, experienced campers, it’s easy to make friends in The Realm and new campers feel welcomed and accepted.
  • We know how difficult it can be transitioning to an overnight camper so we make sure to keep our campers busy throughout the day!  From the minute they wake up to lights out, our days are filled with programs that are fun, energetic and engaging.  At Robin Hood, there’s something for everyone!

After Camp

  • The friendships you make at camp are ones that will stay with you for a lifetime.  Memories of Robin Hood will be with you forever and we work hard throughout the year to help keep you connected.  Our newsletters keep our campers in touch with Letters from DC & Woody, What’s New at Camp, Camp Robin Hood Congrats and more.  There’s nothing like getting something in the mail from camp and it’s fun to read too!
  • Reunions are scheduled in the fall and winter in both NYC and Cleveland, respectively, and are great ways to reconnect with your friends from the summer. Campers, staff and families are invited to reminisce about camp and is a great way to keep those friendships alive