Blog 1

Birch Trail Idol

Last night’s evening program was so much fun (and not just because M-2 asked me to be a surprise guest in their dance). At Birch Trail, fun is everywhere, but it’s not even close to the most important part of our program. Growth and practice are what makes an evening program great.  For this evening program, each cabin choses a song, choses a costume and then creates a dance routine. The campers came up with amazing dances, and there is always positive encouragement and wild applause. What really mattered though, was what happened before the dancing. That was the preparation

continue reading

Blog 1

External pressure

Hello from the amazing Northwoods of Wisconsin! I woke up today with a sense of appreciation for where I am and the environment I get to share with all of your kids. The air is crisp, the sun is out, and I’m looking at the glassy lake right now, taking in the peace as I write this. Your kids get to experience this every day. You have allowed them to get away from the chaos and pressures of the world. They are thriving. Camp seems to calm our insides. The anxieties and stress we see in our kids at home

continue reading

Blog 1

Sense of Community

Hello from beautiful Camp Birch Trail. As I walk around Birch Trail it reminds me of the incredible sense of community I felt when I was at Timberlane. I’m seeing the girls settling into the camp family and a few things are quite clear. The girls are beginning to feel that sense of belonging. They are bonding with friends and connecting with counselors. Everyone seems to matter to one another, and it’s a breath of fresh air to watch. With this rising sense of connection I can see how growing confidence and self-esteem are inevitable outcomes. As a camper in

continue reading

Blog 1

Todd’s Talks- first blog. Collaboration and respect.

As I walk around camp the first week, I’m seeing kids doing cabin clean-up for the first time. Every morning after breakfast the girls need to work together to clean up their cabins. They are each assigned specific jobs in the cabin that they are responsible for, and they also take care to keep their own space tidy. It’s quite clear as I watch that this is teaching responsibility, collaboration, and respect for others in the group. I’m writing this after watching a cabin work as a team to get the job done. I watched a scenario play out in

continue reading

Blog 1

Connection

One of the themes of camp is creating connections. From activities to evening programs, our campers learn how to interact with one another and navigate the challenges that arise. One of the challenges that we have seen over the past two weeks is that our campers are remembering how to spend time with their peers in a way that used to be commonplace. Our campers have been interacting with peers, older campers, staff and younger campers around the clock. That’s a lot of socializing for children who haven’t had much opportunity for social time these last 16 months! This process

continue reading

Blog 1

All my life’s a circle

When I was a kid my parents used to listen to Harry Chapin all the time. One of the songs that was on repeat in our house was “All My Life’s a Circle.” I loved the tune, but didn’t understand the meaning until I grew up. About ten years ago we had a very homesick camper. This little girl would wake up every morning and wait for me to walk by her cabin on my way to the office. Then she would follow behind me and join my dog Brooklyn and I at the office. I typically get to the

continue reading

Blog 1

In the swing of things

Hello from camp, We have been having a great second session. The weather has been perfect the past few days and our second session color war, TIAD, was almost too much fun. If you want to read more about TIAD please click on this link to read an earlier post: https://birchtrail.com/destiny/ The kids are fully settled into their routines at camp and you should be getting lots of fun letters from camp. Hopefully those letters are full of information and stories. Maybe there is a need for us to fill in the blanks when it comes to parts of our

continue reading

Blog 1

BT Meals and Cheering

Hello from camp, We’ve had a great first week of second session. As the kids are getting settled into their routine I want to spend a few minutes telling you about the why behind what we do at camp. During the first session we started a theme for this year’s blog posts of social and emotional learning (SEL). To read more about SEL and why it’s important at Birch Trail, please click this link: https://birchtrail.com/an-introduction-to-the-why-of-birch-trail/ For today’s blog let’s take a look at part of our daily routine at Birch Trail and why it’s structured the way it is. Family-style

continue reading

Blog 1

BT Idol and Pandemonium

It’s been a busy few days here at camp. Sunday night marked the mid point of our session and it’s hard to believe that it’s going so fast! After dinner I watched one of my favorite programs: BT Idol. It’s a perfect example of how campers can learn life skills at camp without having any idea that they are learning (because they are too busy having fun). In this method of “dancing through personality differences” every cabin competes in a lip-syncing and dancing competition. This activity encourages the fun of dance parties and self-expression, but also provides an invaluable opportunity

continue reading

Blog 1

Birch Trail Wilderness Trips

Hello from camp, Today is our first cabin day and it’s a perfect camp day. The sun is shining, there is plenty of wind for sailing and it’s a great temperature for water activities. All the campers in camp are having a wonderful day. But I wanted to talk with you about our campers who are out of camp today, the campers who are on wilderness camping trips. We offer two different types of trips at Birch Trail: cabin trips and optional trips. Our cabin trips are a progression starting with an overnight trip, followed by a three-day van trip,

continue reading