As educators and parents, we’ve dedicated ourselves to exploring every available resource that might help us create a better environment for both our own kids, as well as for our camp family; we constantly read through new (and old) books on parenting, and we also attend industry conferences and workshops every year.

As our philosophy of camping expands and evolves, we want to share what we’ve found helpful with our extended community. Our hope is that we can all work together to cultivate an incredible network of support and learning here at Parent University, a place for us all to share information, engage in dialogue about family life, and help each other become the best parents we can possibly be.

Parents

We have developed a four-part video series to help first-time campers and their parents get ready for a summer at camp. The videos cover packing for camp, how to write positive, uplifting letters that will encourage growth and how to minimize and deal with homesickness. Check out this video series here.

Articles

Internet and Technology

  
  • Why Instagram is the worst for your kids.

    There are so many social media sites these days. A public health group recently conducted a study of Instagram and 4 other Social Media tools. Read this article to see how Instagram affects it’s users. https://www.usatoday... Read More

  • The secret language of girls on Instagram

    At first glance Instagram seems like a great alternative to Facebook- it’s just photos- how wonderful, no bullying! But for girls there is a secret culture to Instagram, where they can obsess over each post (best time of day to... Read More

  • Adored by teens, Snapchat is getting popular with their parents.

    Parents are downloading Snapchat more and more. Most parents love Snapchat for it’s content. Learn about the features that appeal to different generations and more in this article. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/... Read More

  • How Social Media is affecting your parenting.

    Oversharing on social media is the now the norm. Kids pose for photos and ask about likes at an alarmingly young age. Parent blogs, photos and more, what’s the long term impact on our kids? Read this article to find out. ... Read More

  • Social Media 101

    This website has some great links and articles related to social media. Have a question about social media sites, the basic things you or your child need to know, this is a great place to start. https://www.commonsensemedia.... Read More

  • What parents don't get about Snapchat

    Snapchat is more than just photos. Kids get news from Snapchat, perfect storytelling with “mystory” and create content. Perhaps most importantly there is less pressure for the photos to be “perfect” as they are “delete... Read More

  • Why slowing down stimuli to real time helps a child's brain

    Kids today spend a good portion of their day in front of a screen. Years ago that time would have been spent doing more traditional “real time” activities. This fast paced screen time hurts our children’s ability to proces... Read More

  • It's Digital Heroin: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies

    Digital devices like iPads and smartphones are a digital drug. Children can get addicted, in fact research is showing that they affect the brain in the same way as cocaine. Read this article to learn about screen addiction, treat... Read More

  • Exclusion in the Instagram age: how can they be having such a great time without me?

    Kids feel left out when they see photos and video of their friends having fun without them. This story has some useful real world strategies for dealing with FOMO. Read about them in this article. https://www.raisingdigital... Read More

  • Kids and Screen time: What does the research say?

    In this article two groups of 6th graders were tested on reading emotions and non verbal ques. One group went without phones for 5 days and the other group kept their phones. Which group do you think performed better? Read this... Read More

  • How using social media affects teenagers.

    This article talks about how using social media is affecting our children. From feeling hyperconnected (you are now always available) to constantly comparing the number of likes your photo got to a friends. What affect does texti... Read More

  • Cyberbullying

    Ninth grade was supposed to be a fresh start for Marie’s son: new school, new children. Yet by last October, he had become withdrawn. Marie prodded. And prodded again. Finally, he told her. Read the full article here.... Read More

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Parenting Articles

  

Understanding Your Child

  
  • Girls and their frenemies

    Being a part of the group is imperative for adolescent girls. Relational aggression and exclusion play a big part in determining who is and who is not part of the group on any given day. Read this article to find out more about t... Read More

  • Bff's forever? Understanding Middle School Friendships.

    Tweens change friends often- this is part of growing up and should be expected. Some of these changes may be difficult (especially if they were not the one who initiated the change). However by knowing why these changes occur, p... Read More

  • Giving good praise to girls: what messages stick.

    Carol Dweck’s research on the growth vs fixed mindset is groundbreaking. Did you know that it has a stronger impact for girls? Read this article to learn how to give praise to girls. https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/04/2... Read More

  • The silicon valley suicides.

    What is behind the suicide clusters in Palo Alto? Why do these things happen and what can schools and parents do to stop them? Prepare yourself and read this well researched and powerful article here. https://www.theatlanti... Read More

  • Our push for 'Passion' and why it harms kids.

    Childhood is about exploration- but all too often we seems to be pushing our kids to find a passion and be able to quantify that passion on their college application. Read this article to find out why “finding a passion” has b... Read More

  • The difference between praise and feedback.

    Are you a master of the growth mindset? Do you have a scripted line for every occasion free of the dreaded “good job." Read this article to learn about two different approaches from leading experts; see what they disagree abou... Read More

  • Why one kid gives up while another bounces back.

    Have you ever wondered why some kids seem to be more resilient than others? Are they just born this way? Read this article for a better understanding and a great info graphic that illustrates the answer. https://blogs.psychc... Read More

  • Why kids today are out of shape, disrespectful- and in charge.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents take their children’s phone at night so that no child has a phone unsupervised. Many parents think there is no way they could do this and feel that they have no authori... Read More

  • Is the drive for success making our children sick?

    High pressure schools, constant homework, school sports, resume padding extracurricular activities. Is our education system making children sick? Read this article to find out. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/opinion/su... Read More

  • This might be why depression is rising among teen girls.

    Depression among adolescents has been rising and the rates are higher for girls than boys. What’s causing this increase- cyberbullying, negative text messaging? Read this article to find out. http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14... Read More

  • Creating advantage in College

    Adjusting to college can be tough, so can adjusting to camp. Kids who have gone to camp typically have a much easier time adjusting to college. Read this article to find out why. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/smores-a... Read More

  • Causes of students' emotional fragility: five perspectives.

    Peter Gray wrote a fascinating article on the declining emotional resilience of college students. In a follow up to that article he delves deeper into the problem. Read this article to find out more. https://www.psychologytod... Read More

  • Lessons from camp. Free from school year demands, summer camps are a key venue for social-emotional learning

    We know that summer camps are fun, but did you know that lots of learning happens at camp. Social-emotional learning is built into the core philosophy of most camps. Read this article to learn more about Social Emotional learnin... Read More

  • Raising your successful 35 year old.

    Lighthouse parenting, where you make sure they don’t crash into the rocks but also that they can ride the waves on their own. provides the backdrop for this article. Read this article to learn more about how to raise a successfu... Read More

  • Why your teenager gets so annoyed with you.

    Is your teenager ever annoyed with you? Congratulations, you and your child are normal. Read this article to find out why it’s so easy for teens to be annoyed with their parents and what you can do to help. http://www.huffi... Read More

  • Why kids are getting more aggressive on the playground

    Schools banning tag? Kids becoming too aggressive in school because they have not learned the appropriate amount of force to use when playing games? Read this article to learn why kids are not developing the proprioceptive sense... Read More

  • Why so many kids can't sit still in school today.

    Ever increasing numbers of kids are being diagnosed with ADD. It’s not due to better diagnostic criteria. Read this article to learn about the combination of poor core strength (due to restricted movement) and children being ma... Read More

  • Surgeon to the stars pleads with parents to give young athletes a break.

    “Give them time off to recover. Please.” are the words that Surgeon James Andrews is pleading to parents. Specialization and year long dedication to sports (often at the command of the coaches) is physically hurting our kids.... Read More

  • 12 empowering children's books to add to little girls' bookshelves.

    What we read can help mold our morals and values, especially at a young age. These are 12 children’s books recommend for young girls. Read this article to find out which books. http://bust.com/books/13817-12-empowering-chi... Read More

  • Why teens are impulsive, addiction prone and should protect their brains.

    New research has shown us that the prefrontal and frontal cortex of the brain don’t fully develop until your 20’s. What does this mean for our teenagers? Are they more prone to addiction? Will alcohol and drugs impact them ... Read More

  • Secrets of the teenage brain.

    Brain science is teaching us so many new things. Recently we have learned about the teenage brain and WHY our kids do some of the things they do. Read this article to learn about the Why behind your kids behaviors. https://www... Read More

  • Sleepovers and summer camp teach kids important life skills.

    Parents today are so invested in their kid’s lives; and that’s both good and bad. It can make it so much harder for parents to separate for them children; even when they know they need to. Read this article to learn about ho... Read More

  • 10 ways to get your kid out in nature and why it matters.

    Being in nature has so many physical and mental benefits. Even with busy lives we all need to take time and connect with nature. Read this article to learn 10 fun and easy ways to connect with nature with your family. https... Read More

  • Why camp counselors can out parent parents.

    Do you sometimes struggle to get your kids excited for chores, is taking away electronics a constant battle in your house? Parenting expert Michael Thompson explains why camp counselors are able to get your kids to do these thing... Read More

  • Mindfulness can literally change your brain.

    Mindfulness is not just a new age practice, it can literally grow your brain. New studies have shown increases in the density of gray matter in people who participated in an 8 week mindfulness program. Read this article to learn... Read More

  • 6 rules to live by when you discipline your child.

    Discipline is a tricky business. As parents we need to model good behavior and that’s not always easy. Read this article for 6 great rules to help with discipline. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-firestone/six-rules-to... Read More

  • Want to stop mean girls? Raise nice girls instead.

    In adolescence girls want to fit it. However this process of wanting to be included always involves some exclusion. Read this article to find out the things we should be teaching our girls so that exclusion and bullying are not t... Read More

  • Top 15 things your middle school kid wishes you knew

    Your kids want you to understand what they are going through. They want you to know how they are feeling. However, they don’t want to actually tell you these things, you should just know them. Read this article so you know th... Read More

  • More active play equals better thinking skills for kids.

    Children are supposed to play and be active, this is the first sedentary generation of children. New studies are showing the impact that activity has on our brains (and the negative impact that being inactive has). Read this art... Read More

  • Beyond grades and trophies. Teaching kids the definition of success.

    There are many definitions of success, but perhaps the tradional one is not working anymore. A good job and career is not what makes people happy. Read this article to find out the type of success that will truly make your child... Read More

  • Why kids today are out of shape, disrespectful- and in charge.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article56473378.html#fmp... Read More

  • The difference between praise and feedback.

    https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/03/28/the-difference-between-praise-and-feedback/... Read More

  • Bff’s forever? Understanding Middle School Friendships.

    http://yourteenmag.com/teenager-school/teenager-middle-school/middle-school-friendships?platform=hootsuite... Read More

  • Fun, fun and more fun

    At camp, we like to have fun. However, like most things at camp, our fun has a reason behind it. Almost everything that we do at camp happens with planning and intention. Take our world famous game of Biffer (a very messy variat... Read More

  • Letters from camp

      I gave a tour this morning to a really nice family. The mom was a social worker and totally got Birch Trail. Her work background allowed her to see all the intentionality behind what we do. It was a very fun tour, and al... Read More

  • Traditions

    Greetings from camp, Our second session color war, TIAD took place over the last two days. TIAD is about tradition, sportsmanship, teamwork, and healthy competition. Especially for our older girls, it is an anticipated and foca... Read More

  • Messages from a friend

    One of my best friends sends his daughter to Birch Trail. He spent three years on staff here when we were in college, and has witnessed the positive impact of summer camp on both campers and staff. His wife, however, never went... Read More

  • Messages

    We have been having a great summer at camp. It’s hard to believe our first session campers will be going home in a few days. A group of campers and I were talking yesterday about how people really seem to listen to one another a... Read More

  • Letting her find her camp home

    We've been having a huge amount of fun in a short period of time. Friday was five year camper day, a special day dedicated to campers who have been at Birch Trail for 5 summers or more.  We had over 100 campers at five year c... Read More

  • Breaking up is hard to do

      “You didn’t call.” “I’m sorry,” I said. I felt bad, like I was talking to a boy in high school rather than the owner of my daughters’overnight camp. We were standing at the buses. I’d walked over to Gab... Read More

  • Themes

    Thursday night was our first campfire of the summer.  At Birch Trail we have our own lingo and campfires are called council fires.   I love all our council fires, but this first one I both love and fear.  I’ll start by ... Read More

  • Father's Day Drive

    Hello from Chicago, We can't wait for camp to officially start tomorrow when the buses roll into camp.  Our campers will be welcomed by 140 enthusiastic staff wearing Birch Trail Staff T Shirts and huge smiles.  The verses of... Read More

  • The big speech

    It’s hard for me to believe that second session will be over in just a few days; this summer has gone by incredibly fast.     On a tour this morning we stopped to talk with one of our TM campers who was writing her TM sp... Read More

  • You've got this

    Last night was our International council fire. It’s one of my favorite council fires of the summer and I love watching all the stories and skits. We have campers from Israel, Germany, London, China, Mexico plus more than 30 ... Read More

  • It's a camp thing

    Resilience is a trendy word these days. Camps have been teaching resilience for decades and to me the process of resilience involves some struggle. What happens in that moment of struggle is what allows resilience to grow. Whe... Read More

  • Camp in your soul

    At camp our campers all have cabin chores. Some of them are easy and some are difficult. One of them is called being the “Stupie”. BT legend has is that Stupie is the Norwegian word for waiter. This, of course is not true,... Read More

  • A Special Place

    At our campfire this week we decided to try something new. Instead of a traditional theme we opted for an open mic night and the kids jumped at the idea. Campers sang original songs, danced, performed skits; we even had stand ... Read More

  • A different perspective

    It’s been a beautiful few days here at camp. Our weather has been perfect and the kids have been having a blast. Erin and I often talk about how lucky we are to have such a wonderful job. Part of our job is interacting with ... Read More

  • Gratitude

    It’s been a wonderful first week of camp. Our cabin counselors have been incredible at helping the campers get adjusted to camp life. Our activity staff has been helping the campers learn new skills and our trip staff has be... Read More

  • Growing up

    Every year on Father’s day I make my annual pilgrimage down to Chicago. A bunch of staff and I hop into the van and talk as we drive from the Northwoods back into civilization.  The following morning we bring back our Chica... Read More

  • Limb by Limb

    Camp is literally buzzing today. A little more than 12 years ago we started working with a respected lumberjack named Brett. Birch Trail is lucky to be set in 430 acres of pristine wilderness. One of the responsibilities of be... Read More

  • The Things that Remain

    Happy holidays and happy trails to our extended community out there in BT land! From wintry Wisconsin, where we've got lots of holiday excitement, the whole Chernov family is thrilled to wish all of you a joyous and healthy 20... Read More

  • Where We Belong

    For those of you who have had a chance to check out recent pics, you're probably psyched at the sight of our recent sailing regatta, which was a huge success! The water was absolutely gorgeous, and there were some nail-bitingl... Read More

  • The Big Welcome

    The past two days have truly been worth celebrating! Though we were sad to see our first-session campers go home on Saturday, it was fantastic to catch up with parents, siblings, family, and friends during visiting day, and we... Read More

  • On Any Given Summer Day

    It’s hard to believe how quickly the last few weeks have flown by; already, we’re staring down the final days of the session, complete with all the final-week traditions that help the campers prepare for their return to ... Read More

  • Color Wars: Birch Trail Style

    For those parents who went to summer camp as kids themselves, or for anyone who ever even watched a movie about going to summer camp, the idea of color wars will probably sound pretty familiar. The tradition of splitting up th... Read More

  • In Praise of Praise

      Wednesdays at Birch Trail offer a bit of a change of pace. On Wednesdays of every week, we have Cabin Days, where every camper spends the day with her cabin group, enjoying special activities and treats, apart from t... Read More

  • Not Just Another Sunset

    Happy Friday from sunny camp BT, everyone! I’m delighted to report that the sun is shining in the sky, the birds are chirping overhead, and it is a great day to be here in gorgeous Northern Wisconsin! These bright, boisterous an... Read More

  • The Wait is Over!

    After months of preparation, planning, countdowns and waiting, it’s finally time for the first day of camp! Welcome, everyone, to Camp Birch Trail for our 2014 summer season! This is a most exciting day (even though it sure... Read More

  • Recipe for Summer Success

      Throughout the winter months, I often say that the preseason weeks are typically my most exhausting and challenging of the whole year. There's a whole lot of crucial work that takes place as we orient the counselors,... Read More

  • Digging Deep

    Just as we do at the beginning of every June, we’ve kicked off this month with an outstanding—and very busy—start. The weather has turned from snowy to balmy seemingly in a flash, and camp is quickly filling with the fri... Read More

  • Rituals and Readying

     If you’re reading this right now, then you’re probably as ready to leave behind the dreariness of the polar vortex as I am… and jump past spring straight into summer! Who's with me on that one?! Here we are with the end o... Read More

  • Color Your Days Bright…Literally!

    Happy Sunday from BT! And what a very special Sunday this is, because…today is Birch Trail’s 54th birthday! And for a middle-aged gal, she looks pretty fresh-faced, doesn’t she? To commence the festivities, Barbara and t... Read More

  • The TIADS That Bind

    We amplified the energy of camp the last two days by holding our annual second session colors wars festivities, better known around BT as TIAD (short for There Is A Destiny). And what a fun-filled burst of energy these two da... Read More

  • To Recharge

    Camp gives kids a safe, supportive place to grow and change within a community they've helped to create. This kind of personal accountability is a crucial life lesson, but of course not always the easiest to learn. Just as ... Read More

  • Time on Our Side

    Attending summer camp is a special gift for any kid, and as parents, we should feel fantastic about the sacrifices we make in order to give our children such rich experiences. Forming solid, life-long friendships is one of the... Read More

  • Training Days

       The excitement has officially exploded now that we've welcomed our full staff to Birch Trail. Roughly one hundred skilled and eager women and a dozen or so very brave men have arrived and jumped into what we fondly refer to ... Read More

  • The Brave Few

    Greetings from sunny Camp BT! Well, it seems as if that brief period of blissful, pre-camp isolation and quiet has officially ended because things are humming right along up here! After spending 26 summers of my life at Birch ... Read More

  • A Camp Director's Tale

    There and Here and Between and Back again, A Camp Director's Tale Looking out my office window here at a windswept but sunny Camp Birch Trail, it's hard to believe that in just another month or so, first session will begin ... Read More

  • In These Final Hours

    We've had a truly magnificent season, everyone. Here we are, with the campers all going home tomorrow morning. Hard to believe how fast the summer has flown by!   The end-of-session traditions are a huge deal at... Read More

  • The Lucky Ones

    Hello from camp! Things just couldn’t be better up here in Northwoods of Wisconsin. Last Sunday we played a longtime camp favorite, Jewel of the Brule, which is always incredibly fun. Monday evening, after a fantastic day... Read More

  • Where the Children Play

      Many happy hellos from a beautiful Sunday evening here at camp BT! And what a beautiful Sunday evening it’s been—we’ve had a sublimely gorgeous day with the perfect summer weather. The TM campers led a wonderfu... Read More

  • Full Steam Ahead!

    What a great day in the land of Birch Trail! Sunday, the second session campers arrived and the whole camp dove into the session feeling energetic and ready to party. Despite the warm weather yesterday, spirits were high amon... Read More

  • Where Kids Can be Kids

        Well, here we are. Nearing the end of first session already! It's hard to believe that we had so much happen in four weeks! I watched it fly by in a flash, and have been so thrilled to see this incredible g... Read More

  • A Special Show of Thanks

      What a whirlwind week we've had! After wrapping up Pandemonium, the whole camp jumped into the action of a fabulous 4th of July! Sometimes parents will ask if it’s strange for our girls to be at camp during the 4th... Read More

  • Creating Something Wonderful

    What an incredible week we’ve had! With absolutely gorgeous weather and some pretty exciting programs, camp is definitely grooving right along. Tuesday had us enjoying an “Evening at the Races,” where the counselors race... Read More

  • ...And One Giant Leap for Children-Kind

    Today has been a lovely Monday and first session has gotten off to such a wonderful start! The weather has been fantastic and has been giving us the perfect setting to enjoy a whirlwind of favorite programs and activities. Amo... Read More

  • Sunshine, Smiles, Activities, and More!

      First Session is happily in full swing! After only these few days together we’re singing the songs louder and more confidently, taking on higher level activity challenges, and most importantly, happily greeting so ... Read More

  • Bring on the Summer!

    School is out and summer camp is in! It’s the first day of the 2012 camp season and already there is so much to be excited about! I'm delighted to report that everyone arrived safely at Birch Trail, and the buzz of so many happy... Read More

  • A Walk in the Woods

      Hello from sunny Camp BT! Things have been positively buzzing around here the last few weeks, and we’re getting so excited to usher in yet another incredible summer! It’s been a beautiful spring that is quickly turning int... Read More

  • Hearty Thanks and the Fondest of Farewells

    Well folks, we are coming to the end of an incredibly fun-filled summer, and I can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by. I can declare with confidence that no one at BT is ready to go home. I know that I say this eve... Read More

  • Where the Real Friendships Are

    How many Facebook “friends” do you have? And how many of them are also your “real” friends? Of those, how many do you actually see or talk to regularly? It’s a strange modern American phenomenon that paradoxically, w... Read More

  • The Best Lessons On Earth

    Good evening from Birch Trail, folks! We've had a glorious few days up here and are having no trouble at all keeping to good time flowing. Yesterday, I managed to sneak out of the office for a few hours to enjoy one of my ... Read More

  • Color Wars and Birch Trail Lore

    Good evening from gorgeous camp BT! I can’t even tell you how fast the summer is flying by—we really are having the time of our lives up here! In fact, this weekend has seen the glory, mayhem, and fun of second session... Read More

  • For All-Things Fixable; Cabin meetings and cabin bonding

    Hello from a blissful and lovely day at Camp Birch Trail! We've been enjoying some perfect summer days here, sunny and warm with fantastic breezes. Now that we've had a week or so to get settled, the whole camp is enjoying the... Read More

  • Hot Weather? No Problem!

    For those of you tracking the weather in these parts, you’ll notice that we’ve had a heat wave up here the last few days. Though we don’t usually get such warm temperatures in this region of Wisconsin, we certainly kno... Read More

  • Second Session 2011, Here We Go!

    Second session is officially underway, and I’m thrilled to report that we had a happy and successful travel day yesterday. We had a wonderful time visiting with the families of our eight week campers over the Big Switch, too... Read More

  • Lifelong Memories

    Good afternoon from sunny Camp BT! Though we've had some really warm temperatures the last few days (and lots of great beach parties), it's been much more mild yesterday and today—sunny and mid-70s—and looks to stay th... Read More

  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Cabin Bonding

    I hope everyone at home had as a great 4th of July as we had up here in the Northwoods. After a very special traditional breakfast of red-white-and-blue waffles with strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream, the camper... Read More

  • Absolute Pandemonium

    Pandemonium 2011 has begun! No, I'm not referring to the general state of fun and excitement that exists at camp pretty much all day, every day, but 1st session’s color wars extravaganza, called Pandemonium. A gloriously w... Read More

  • Everything In Life I Need To Know I Learned From Driving A Golf Cart At Camp

    Greetings from camp! We’ve been having an absolute blast the last few days, soaking up lots of sunshine and splashing in the lake. A special thanks to our first week’s camp doctor, Sue Nankin, for a great week. This was Su... Read More

  • Gagayonce, Spuh, Biffer, and Boomshakalackah

    What a busy few days it's been! Even though the weather has been a little chillier than we like to see, we've managed to stay much more rain-free than the local weatherfolks had predicted. And no matter how much the weather ch... Read More

  • 330 Smiling Faces and One Very Fun Day

    Birch Trail summer of 2011 has officially begun! All of our campers have arrived safely at camp and we are so happy to have everyone together at long last. I'm sure that all of you back at home are experiencing some mixed feel... Read More

  • The Best is Ready to Begin

    Today was another busy and fun-filled day of staff training week, and I can hardly believe that camp officially starts just a few days from now! Camp is looking great, with some incredible improvements including a huge pea p... Read More

  • These Simple Joys

    These Simple Joys A hearty hello and welcome to all of our camp families! It's been a busy few weeks here at Camp BT, and we are counting down the days, hours, and minutes until the campers arrive. But before your daughters h... Read More

  • Hello from Camp!

    It’s hard to believe we are coming to the end of such a fun-filled summer! The season has flown by, but we still don’t feel ready to put these girls on the bus tomorrow morning! To prepare the girls (and us) for thei... Read More

  • Girls rule

    Going to summer camp is a long-held tradition in some families, and a brand new activity in others. At camp kids learn new skills, try different activities, gain independence, enjoy the outdoors, play games, and--best of all--... Read More

  • BT Idol

    Over the last few days, we’ve been deeply and seriously immersed in a rousing round of BT Idol. Though our version of the famed talent competition might be a little sillier and a lot less glamorous than the original TV show, I... Read More

  • Little Leaders and Big Learning

    Last week, I talked a bit about how our activities programming works here at BT, and about how we design our projects so that they allow campers to grow and progress as their interests increase. In this regard, I am especially... Read More

  • Destiny Realized

    At the start of each session when we have our very first dinner together, we have a tradition of reciting a special grace that campers have been using here at Birch Trail since the very beginning. This grace is a poem that rem... Read More

  • Activities

    We’re about one week into the first rotation of activities for this session, and everything is in full swing. We’ve had campers reaching the top of the climbing wall, getting up on one water ski, learning dances, and creatin... Read More

  • Second session story time

    All is well these happy days at BT, and I have to admit that I love best this time of year when we are right in the middle of the summer—right in the middle of all the good stuff. The first rotation of activities has begu... Read More

  • Second Session

    All of the arrivals yesterday went off without a hitch, and it feels great to have second session 2010 officially underway. I’m pleased to report that everyone made it to camp safely and on-schedule, and that all the campers... Read More

  • All Good Things…

    It’s hard to believe that first session will be ending in a few short days; it has been a truly remarkable session. I’ll be sad to see our first session campers go home, but then it will be time to take one big breath and ... Read More

  • Summer Storms and Sunny Mornings

    Greetings from camp! We’ve had quite a bit of excitement over the last few days, but I suppose it’s impossible for things to ever be boring at Birch Trail! Some of you may have been following the weather in Northwestern Wi... Read More

  • BT Unplugged

    The last few days at camp have been absolutely gorgeous. Projects, trips, and evening programs are all in full swing and the campers are having a blast. It’s hard to believe that first session is already entering its last we... Read More

  • Duct Tape Really Does Fix Everything

    We’ve hit the midpoint of first session now, and with that midpoint comes some changes in the cabin dynamic. As always happens in new groups and new friendships, conflicts do occasionally arise. Some of you might have receiv... Read More

  • These Brightly Colored Days

    We have a saying here at camp: “Color Your Days Bright.” The phrase is painted on signs, printed on t-shirts, and repeated almost daily here. It so perfectly sums up what Birch Trail is all about, and seeing the campers in... Read More

  • Campfires, Key Logs and How

    At last night’s council fire, we talked about acknowledging and respecting the Native American heritage that is such a rich part of the Northwest Wisconsin history. We have always believed that it was our responsibility to edu... Read More

  • Free Play

    We’ve had some great weather the last couple of days, and though I know the rain does the Northwoods of Wisconsin a lot of good, I’d had enough of it! I was thrilled to see the entire camp running around during evening progr... Read More

  • Lesson in Ice Cream

    It has been one busy day here at camp! Sundays are special days for many reasons. First, campers are allowed to sleep in a little extra, coming to our “Lazy Breakfast” whenever they please (as long as it pleases them to co... Read More

  • Activities

    It’s day 4 of first session and I am so pleased to see camp in full swing. Though all the activities are running and evening programs have been fantastic, there is one special development that always acts as a true signal of c... Read More

  • First day of camp

    Birch Trail summer of 2010 has officially begun! All of our campers have arrived safely at camp and we are so happy to have everyone together at long last. It is one of the great joys of my job to see old friends reunite as they... Read More

  • Getting ready for the campers!

    Staff training will soon be drawing to a close, and the whole crew here is very busy getting the last-minute touches all set for the campers to finally arrive. And though we should all be enjoying the last few nights of real sl... Read More

  • Staff Training

    Staff training began today with a wonderful group of new and returning staff members taking part in a special BT tradition. Each staff member was given a small coleus plant seedling, a flower pot, and some potting soil. As they ... Read More

  • Wilderness Trip Leader Training

    It’s a beautiful spring day here at BT, and camp has begun to fill up enough to set up three tables in the lodge. Our Wilderness Trip Leaders have been in training for over a week now and I couldn’t be more excited about o... Read More

  • Back at camp

    I’m going to do something new this year, trying to keep up with the increasingly digital world; I’ll be posting a blog two or three times a week this summer in order to help inform our camp families on the daily happenings a... Read More

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Resources

These are a collection of parent resources and references.

Hardy Girls Blog

Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well-being of girls and women.

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Girls in the Game

At Girls in the Game every girl finds her voice, discovers her strength and leads with confidence through fun and active sports, health and leadership programs.

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New Moon - eMag for Girls

Girls are powerful, active, interesting makers in charge of their lives. We open minds with our girls world magazine.

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Click Here for A List of Recommended Books