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Happy Fall from Triple C!

October 18, 2016

As the leaves start to change color, and the temperature starts to drop, we can’t help but imagine the warmer summer days at camp.  Learning new games, playing GAGA, s’mores, arts & crafts, and making friendships to last a life time!  Camp is a place like no other.

Here are some post camp thoughts from some of our staff–

Ellen (Arts & Crafts Specialist):

ellenFor me, working at camp this summer was my first proper experience of living away from home and it was an experience that I will never forget. As an international staff member from a country where summer camps in this manner don’t exist, I felt as if I too was a kid at camp every day, being amazed at what was on offer for the campers and the new experiences they had each week. I loved every aspect of camp, the tall trees, sharing of meals, camp songs, morning opening, afternoon round-up, school buses, purple vs. gold, friendship bracelets and so much more. As the Arts and Crafts Specialist, I was able to meet and get to know nearly every child at camp whether they were here for one week or the whole summer and that was an aspect that I really loved. I learned a lot about America, the camp world and working with children as well as about myself and my own capabilities over the few months I spent at camp. Some of my favorite memories were All Camp every Friday when the whole camp would get together for activities, the staff horse riding day, seeing Monticello, and of course having s’mores on the overnights! Now that I’m back in Ireland I am progressing through my fourth and final year of my teaching degree and hope to be finished next May. I loved my time at Triple C Camp and am so grateful for all the experiences I had there!

Aoife (Colt Camp Counselor):

aoifeMy summer at Triple C Camp was my best summer so far! From meeting all of my fellow counselors and staff members to working with all of the campers in Colt Camp it was an amazing experience. I have lots of favorite memories but the most rewarding thing for me was seeing the improvement and development in each rider that I had throughout the summer. Since I’ve left Triple C I have traveled along the east coast of the USA, visiting Washington, Boston and New York. I returned home for two weeks and I then moved to Agen in France to become a language assistant in a high school, where I will be helping all of the students to improve their spoken English, I am also looking forward to the chance to travel around Europe while I’m here!

Rohan (Trailblazer Boys Counselor):

rohanThis was my first summer working at Triple C and what an amazing summer it was!  I had an amazing time working there and got to meet loads of new people along the way.  It was such a rewarding experience for us counselors, getting to see a smile on the children’s faces each day.  I’d love to come back and do it all again!

 

Robin (Trailblazer Boys Counselor):

robinI worked at Triple C for the first time this summer.  It was a fun filled experience that has provided me with many great memories.  I also had the opportunity to work with and meet some amazing people and lifelong friends.  The experience I had has made me want to get back over to the States as soon as possible.  Since I have been home I have been refereeing soccer matches and catching up with other camp counselors. But, I recently applied for a coaching position in America so I hope I can be back over there soon enough!

Megan (Teen Scene Counselor):

meganThis summer at Triple C was as amazing and unique as my past summer at camp.  I enjoyed all of the amazing times with my co-counselors and Teen Scene campers exploring Charlottesville’s parks, trails, and educational attractions.  Our days were always filled with lots of s’mores, silly competitions and constant laughter!

 

Jessy (Pool/Colt Camp Counselor):

jessyMy summer at Triple C was an unforgettable experience!  I had an amazing time experiencing the American culture and the vibrant children that we work with!  The positive attitude at camp always has you wanting to do your best whilst encouraging that of the campers also.  I have met so many incredible people and lifelong friends; it truly was the best summer of my life!

 

Moira (Edge Counselor)

moiraHey Triple C! I miss camp so much. This past summer was one my favorite summers of all time. The Edge program was definitely a perfect fit for me. Before summer 2016, I would have said “high school kids are not for me.” But the incredibly funny, kind, and thoughtful campers that I crossed paths with changed my mind. They let me experience a summer full of learning and laughs – the best combination possible. From van checks, to singing at the top of our lungs, to camping out in the woods, to spit tournaments, to planning trailblazer choice, to free swim, to a multitude of cheez-its, to playing nuk’em every chance we got, those kids made me love being at camp every single day. And isn’t it wonderful to have a job you love? Edge – I miss you all! I’m excited to see where you go these next couple of years. I’ll be expecting updates! I’ve absolutely loved watching each and every one of you mature and grow. After the last day of camp, I moved up to Alexandria, Virginia, where I accepted a job teaching 6th grade in Fairfax County Public Schools. We’ve been in school for over a month now, and I’m happy to say I’ve found another job that I love just as much as camp. My golden bandanna with the Triple C logo hangs up behind my desk, and my students even commented on it the first day of school! (I LOVE GOLD!) Triple C will always be with me wherever I go. Thanks for the endless memories, the friends that I know I’ll stay in touch with for a long time, campers I’ll be forever proud of, and a place to call home away from home.

Sióg’s last week at Triple C!

August 17, 2016

Hi all!

What an exciting week it has been for the fairy! When I went down to the Loz on Monday, I was amazed to see some of the green rice that I had made over the weekend all spread out around Sióg’s door and all of her ornaments and presents laid out on the rice! Her letter explained to us that she had decided to create a garden for all her ornaments and she wanted to have somewhere for Benny, her pet ant, to play in! Remember last week when she told us she would be competing in the gymnastics? Well she came second in her competition! Fairy Sineád won the gold medal and Sióg told us that she performed an amazing routine and really deserved the gold. Well done to Fairy Sineád! Sióg left us her silver medal in her key jar for all of us to see. Sióg also told us that unfortunately, this is her last week at camp! She has had a fantastic summer here at Triple C and has really enjoyed seeing all the arts and crafts, dress up and other camp activities all summer! The boys and girls in Ireland are starting back school next week and she needs to be back home in time for that to happen! We have loved having Sió g here all summer and will really miss her when she is gone! Thanks to all the boys and girls who have written to her and made things for her all summer long!

Ellen

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Fairy Olympics!

August 12, 2016

Hi all,

We received an exciting letter from Sióg this week! She began by thanking a camper for the lovely boat she made for Sióg and telling us that she is going to store it outside her house and use it over the weekend! She also told us that in Fairy Valley, they have their very own version of the Olympics, known as Fairy Olympics! She is competing in the gymnastics section of the games, a very tough section to compete in! She told us that she has been training all summer long for the event but is very nervous as the other competitors are excellent! We all wish her luck in the event and cannot wait to hear the results! Sióg has also received some new ornaments for her garden from a camper! I’m sure she will have lots of fun this weekend laying them out in her garden!

See you next week!

Ellen

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Benny, the ant.

August 6, 2016

Hi all,

We began the week with another letter from our favo rite fairy, Sióg! She told us about her Irish visitor and how much she loved camp, especially last weeks theme ‘Prehistoric Party’! We also learned that Sióg LOVES Wednesday dress up and we all showed her what we dressed up as this week for ‘Shipwrecked’! Last week, she wrote that she has a pet ant and we finally found out his name – Benny! We are all going to be on the lookout for Sióg walking her ant! The more exciting part about this weeks letter was the drawing she drew of herself! She explained that she can’t use a human camera so instead drew a picture for us. We even had some sightings of her yesterday!

She hopes that everyone is having a great week at camp and she will write again soon!

Ellen

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A new letter!

July 29, 2016

Hi all!

We received another letter from the fairy on Monday! When I walked down to Loz, the doors were wide open, a sign that Sióg has left us something! Her letter thanked us for all the lovely presents, letters and pictures that campers gave her for her birthday. She also told us a bit more about her wings! They’re not only one colour, they change colour according to her mood! She said that they are mainly yellow because she is usually happy – except when people are banging on her door!! We also learned that Aoibheann (Ai-veen), Sióg’s cousin from Ireland, is visiting camp this week! We are excited to have another fairy to look out for and we are going to try to keep everything looking neat and tidy for her!

See you next week!

Ellen

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Sióg’s Birthday Week!

July 20, 2016

Hi all,

What an exciting week for the fairy as it was her birthday on Tuesday! She turned 256 fairy years old! Lots of presents were left for the fairy by her door and she celebrated with her friends last night. One camper gave Sióg a birthday cake and tea, her favourite drink! She must have had a great night as there are only crumbs left from the cake! Some groups sang happy birthday to Sióg, Triple C style of course! On Monday we received another letter from the fairy. She described her plans for her birthday and told us more about Fairy Valley, where she lived in Ireland. We learned that she will be returning at the end of the summer as she needs to watch over the children going back to school in September! We hope she had a great birthday and are looking forward to her next letter!

See you next week!

Ellen

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Sióg has answered!

July 14, 2016

Hi all!

We have had an exciting first week with the fairy living in the Loz! Lots of letters were written and pictures were drawn for the fairy last week and she wrote us some new letters this week! She told us lots about herself, including her plans for her upcoming 256th birthday! Some groups are beginning to plan celebrations for her! We look forward to what the following week has in store with Sióg!

Check out the letter she wrote back to the campers below…

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Ellen’s Leprechauns & Fairies

July 6, 2016

Hi campers and families, Ellen here from the Loz!

This summer I have been telling you all about the leprechaun and fairy but for those campers and families who have missed part of the story/need to refresh themselves, I will be writing posts here to keep you updated.

Before we get started there are a few things you need to know about leprechauns!

Leprechaun Facts:

  1. Leprechauns love to hang out at the end of rainbows. They usually try and sit on a nice tree stump with their pot of gold.
  2. A rainbow appears after it rains and the sun comes out and it disappears once the gold has been taken off the leprechaun.
  3. Leprechauns vary in size, ranging from 3 inches to 8 inches, depending on their age.
  4. A leprechaun’s pot of gold is approximately half the height of the leprechaun and is made from delicate glass.
  5. Irish leprechauns only speak Gaeilge (Irish). When you meet one, it will say ‘Dia duit’ [dee-ah gwitch] and you must respond with ‘Dia is Muire duit’ [dee-ah iss murah gwitch].
  6. Once you’ve responded with the correct response, you have three seconds to take the pot of gold before the leprechaun and the rainbow disappear, otherwise it is gone forever.
  7. A leprechaun must remain untouched, otherwise they disappear.
  8. Rumor has it that the leprechauns live in a beehive hut in Tipperary. These huts are 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) high and have a narrow slit at the entrance. It cannot be proven that the leprechauns live there as if you touch a leprechaun, it disappears.
  9. Leprechaun gold has magical powers. If you make a wish on leprechaun gold, you will receive good luck!
  10. If you touch leprechaun gold, it will lose its magic and turn black immediately.

How I met the Leprechaun…

Just before Christmas, I was driving down the countryside with my Mam. It started to bucket down rain so we decided to pull the car over. Eventually, the rain stopped and, just as we were about to drive off, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky very close to where we were parked. I was so excited because I knew that when there is a rainbow, a leprechaun and a pot of gold appear at the end. We got there as fast as we could and parked near the rainbow. My Mam is really afraid of leprechauns but I managed to persuade her to come over with me. The two of us tip-toed over to the tree stump that was just beside the end of the rainbow. Sitting on top of the tree stump was … the leprechaun, AND his pot of gold! I was soooo excited to finally see a real leprechaun! I walked over to him and he said ‘Dia duit!’. I was so happy I knew how to respond to him, by saying ‘Dia is Muire duit’. His eyes immediately shot open wide as he didn’t expect me to be able to respond! He then opened his arms and showed me the pot of gold. My friend found a leprechaun before so I knew from her that I had just three seconds to get the pot of gold before it disappeared with the leprechaun and the rainbow. I reached in quickly and grabbed it nicely from him. At the same time, I asked my Mam to take a picture of the leprechaun with her camera so that I would always have a picture to remember him by. As you can see, he looks a little bit creepy!

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Not all leprechauns look the same but they all have orange hair and a big beard! We ran back to the car as I was so excited to look at my gold. It was so shiny and sparkly. When I was planning my trip over to camp I told Miss Katie about my encounter with a leprechaun and she asked me to bring my gold over with me. I was afraid the lovely glass pot would break in my luggage so I scooped some of the gold out to put in a new container. Suddenly, the gold that I touched started to turn black!

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My friend forgot to tell me that you absolutely cannot touch leprechaun gold as a human touch drains the magical powers from it and turns the gold black! Unfortunately, the gold that I touched is still black, but thankfully I had gold that I hadn’t touched and so could just pour into the container. This gold is now the gold that I can wish on to give me good luck! Another thing to look out for amongst the gold is the purple shell!!! All leprechauns love to play tricks and so they try to confuse people by putting a purple shell in with all the gold! If you wish on the purple shell, it will give you bad luck! Our very own counselor Aoife who works in the barn once wished on the purple shell and now she has a leprechaun stamp on her neck! Those trickster leprechauns!

Try and find some rainbows so you can have the chance to meet a leprechaun and get some gold!

Fairy time…

As well as leprechauns, we also have fairies who live in Ireland. These live in beehive huts just like leprechauns, except these huts are only 2 feet tall and there are always three or five of them together as these are magical numbers in Ireland. The fairies spend most of their time living in these huts, but also spend time living in Fairy Valley where they learn how to be the best fairy possible. Fairy Valley is run by Queen Kate and she trains and looks after all of the fairies until they are ready for their new home. When a fairy is ready for her new home, she has to listen really carefully for a fairy wish. This is done by humans who want a fairy to live near them. To make a fairy wish, you must cross your fingers on both hands, cross your legs and say ‘I wish a fairy lived here’ three times. The wish doesn’t always work and sometimes might need to be repeated. We made lots of fairy wishes in the Loz so we are really hoping that a fairy will move in soon! To tell if an Irish fairy has moved in, you have to look for the green fairy door with a shamrock. Along with the door you will find some stepping stones that your fairy uses to get into her house, a glass container with a tiny key, and a letter from your fairy explaining the fairy rules. Hopefully we will have our very own fairy soon!

Sióg is here!

The fairy has arrived! On Tuesday morning, I was walking to the Loz and I noticed that the main doors were open. This was very odd as I always close and lock the doors at night time. When I walked into the Loz, I was amazed to find a green fairy door, stepping stones, glass bottle, key and letter all down the very bottom of one of the walls. I couldn’t wait to show the campers during the day!

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We read the letter from the fairy and it was a “Fairy/Family Lease Agreement”. It outlines the expectations and rules that both the humans and the fairy must follow to live happily together. We read through them and all agreed to the rules. Our fairy didn’t realise how many of us are now part of her family and so we couldn’t all sign our name on the agreement.

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Instead, we signed our name on a big sheet of paper and left it beside the door over the weekend so that she could see it. The letter she wrote us said that once we have all signed the agreement, she will come back into the Loz, get the key out of its container and move all of her stuff into her new home. Hopefully when we come to camp next week she will have moved in and is ready to start writing us some letters. We also found out our fairy’s name – Sióg. It’s an Irish name and is pronounced [she-oe-g]. We are SO excited for our fairy to move in! Some of us even made some artwork to give to the fairy to make her feel at home!

Check back in next week to hear more updates on the fairy!

Nutrition at Summer Camp!

March 24, 2016

Nutrition for kids is based on the same principles as nutrition for adults. Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. This is the guiding premise for our summer camp menus. We offer a variety of items throughout the week, and encourage campers to try new things. By serving our campers versus them “helping themselves” we are able to make sure their portions are appropriate to their age, size and activity levels.

Proteins, fruits, vegetables and hydration are the foundation of each camp meal. After water campers are allowed “bug juice”. Even the camp “bug juice” is monitored to make sure it is within the US guidelines for our campers, and has minimal added sugars.

So what’s the best formula to fuel your child’s growth and development? Check out these nutrition basics for girls and boys at various ages, based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans1.

  • Choose seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruits — rather than fruit juice. If your child drinks juice, make sure it’s 100 percent juice without added sugars and limit his or her servings. Look for canned fruit that says it’s light or packed in its own juice, meaning it’s low in added sugar. Keep in mind that one-half cup of dried fruit counts as one cup-equivalent of fruit. When consumed in excess, dried fruits can contribute extra calories.
  • Serve a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried vegetables. Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and others, each week. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.
  • Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains.
  • Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages.

Aim to limit your child’s calories from:

  • Added sugar.Limit added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit and milk, are not added sugars. Examples of added sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, honey and others.
  • Saturated and trans fats.Limit saturated fats — fats that mainly come from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Look for ways to replace saturated fats with vegetable and nut oils, which provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Healthier fats are also naturally present in olives, nuts, avocados and seafood. Limit trans fats by avoiding foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil.

If you have questions about nutrition for kids or specific concerns about your child’s diet, talk to your child’s doctor or a registered dietitian.

Libby Rothenberg, R.N.

 

Who says the “off season” has to be…well…off?! (A lesson in winter staff engagement)

February 19, 2016

How do you keep seasoned staff engaged and foster new/junior staff getting up to speed in the “off season”? Provide a healthy online competition, of course! In an effort to keep in touch with our staff this winter (and bridge some winter skills gaps) we introduced a skills competition online: Technical Tuesday!

The first Tuesday of every month we launch a mass staff e-mail detailing the parameters of the month’s competition. For the 2015-2016 winter season, we’ve chosen knot skills. Facilitators receive a link to the “knot of the month” (we currently find animatedknots.com to be a most effective resource). Once announced, they have seven days to review/practice the knot, create a video of them tying said knot (neatness counts!), while providing a commentary of the appropriate applications of the knot universally and within our program. Below is the actual explanation they received when we launched:

Today marks the maiden voyage of Technical Tuesday, your “season-bridge” skill builder/refresher challenge!  The goal is to continue building and reinforcing your technical knot proficiency through our slow months so you are better prepared to jump back into training and programs in early 2016 (and we get to keep in touch more regularly…BONUS!)

How it works:

  1. Each month we will send a link to a knot-tying video (typically we will use com).
  2. You have one week (7 days) to learn/review and practice the knot-of-the-month.
  3. By day seven (7), email us a video of your (unassisted/unprompted) knot tying prowess. Video quality can be low, though it must be distinguishable. Please also tell us about the application (what it’s used for) of the knot.
  4. You can use whatever rope-like medium you have on hand (ie: clothesline, shoe laces, paracord, actual climbing rope) to accomplish your knot. Of course, you are also welcome to, upon communication, swing by and pick up a piece of practice (dead) rope!

What do we get when we participate?

  • Ummmm…..mad, crazy knot skills!
  • Something tactile and relaxing to do while you veg and watch TV, or study, or stare at the wall. aaaannnnd….
  • The first person to submit a video with correct form and finish (dressing the knot) will win…
    • The (soon to be coveted) “Not (un)Neat Knot” Award for the month.
    • Bragging rights and “swagger”.
    • A (soon to be acquired) randomly awesome prize from the (soon to be created) Randomly Awesome Prize Stash.
    • To be happy! 🙂

Given we already have a staff who loves friendly competition; I can firmly attest hilarity has ensued! Within 10 minutes of the first challenge our Assistant Director rolled into my office, grabbed the closest item (and IPod charging cord), and whipped out a figure-8 follow through like a boss! She wasn’t even bothered that I asked her to defer the prize pack to an offsite winner; she just wanted the swagger of being the first submission! Engagement and having FUN! (A happy byproduct that has been more successful than we hoped!)

Not only are we experiencing a fantastic ratio of engagement (at least half of our staff, including internationals, have participated in spite of their already busy off season lives), we are also providing a unique interactive platform to hone and further their technical skills. When they return for spring staff training, they will be better prepared and more technically productive/efficient, thereby reducing the risk of incidences during program. How’s that for a win-win?!

So, as I challenge our staff, I now challenge you…join in the fun and remember….a not neat knot is a knot not needed!  Facilitators!  Are.You.READY?!

The now affectionately monikered Fabulous Facilitator Fun Pack:

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