Planning for Mental, Emotional, and Social Health (MESH) This Summer

The smiling faces and laughter heard across camps each summer result from days, weeks, and months of planning. We spend considerable time meticulously planning our themes, activities, equipment, food, and schedules, not to mention the weeks spent hiring just the right staff members. As we approach summer, how prepared are we to deal with a MESH situation in camp? Have you planned for MESH?

Why Every Camp Should Be Teaching and Practicing Meditation with Campers

The wonder of a child — it’s something we strive for in adulthood. Imagination, amazement, and the simple appreciation for life’s little treasures: the gold spray of sunlight through a window, or the taste of cool rain on your tongue. Kids are accustomed to using their senses to experience life. They look, touch, smell, and even taste their way through the world. This natural inclination toward mindfulness makes teaching kids to meditate easier than we thought. In fact, it’s a no-brainer.

Mental, Emotional, and Social Health Situations at Camp

Linda Ebner Erceg, RN, MS, PHN, shares some mental, emotional, and social health (MESH) situations that may occur at camp and how to respond appropriately.

Suicide Prevention

The effects of suicide are not limited to those who die. Suicide is a serious public health problem that has shattered the lives of millions of individuals, families, and communities nationwide. We can all act to reduce its toll.

Nellie's Gift: A Story of Trauma-Informed Care

Nellie was a conundrum. She didn’t smile very readily and preferred hanging out at the edge of camper groups. She didn’t initiate conversation either; she generally waited until someone approached her. She rarely spoke to counselors and tended to do so when others weren’t around. She didn’t get excited over things like other campers. Indeed, it was challenging to get a read on what she was feeling because she seemed to disappear among the other kids.

Nellie was easy for us to overlook. She was simply an OK camper.

How to Get Kids to Calm Down

Working closely and networking with other camp professionals is one of the best tools for growing our own camp programs. I am fortunate to have a dear friend, Audrey Monke, who is the owner/director of Gold Arrow Camp in California. Audrey is passionate about sharing her experiences and skills as a camp director beyond the scope of her campers, staff, and camp. Besides running a camp, Audrey’s goal is to be a resource on how to raise healthy and happy kids (and share the many benefits of sending kids to camp).