Friday, 30 November 2012

Out-Parenting Parents


To those of us who have children in our lives, whether they are our own, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or students... here is something to make you chuckle.
Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said was 'DON'T! ' 'Don't what ?' Adam replied.
'Don't eat the forbidden fruit.' God said.
'Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve..we have forbidden fruit! '
' No Way! '
'Yes way! '
'Do NOT eat the fruit! ' said God.
'Why? '
'Because I am your Father and I said so ! ' God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.

A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked!
'Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit? ' God asked.
'Uh huh,' Adam replied.
'Then why did you? ' said the Father.
'I don't know,' said Eve.
'She started it! ' Adam said.
'Did not !'
'Did too!'

Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.

If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself.

If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you ?

Camp counselors, on the other hand, do not seem to battle with these same issues. Because children see counselors as cool, hip rolemodels (and not parent figures), they are less inclined to rebel.

Read more about this in this Times article:

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Benefits of Camp: Psychological Aspects

Camp And Youth Development Outcomes

Parents want the best opportunities for their children. They want them to have whatever it takes to be happy and successful - good health, ability to get along with others, thinking and problem solving skills, a good self-concept. Children need resiliency skills: self-esteem, life skills, self-reliance, and pro-social behaviors. The camp experience offers a nurturing environment away from the distractions and, in some cases, the hostile environment of the city.
Peter Scales, Ph.D., is a senior fellow with the Search Institute in Minneapolis. A noted educator, author, and psychologist, Dr. Scales says, "Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment. Most schools don't satisfy all these needs."
In recent years camps have put a greater emphasis on what leaders in the child development field have been saying about the needs of children today. Camp activities and group living in a natural environment are the tools used to create camp communities that provide for successful, healthy development and a place where having fun is a daily criterion. In such a structured environment, children interact with positive role models who have time to listen, talk, relax, and reflect. They learn to work together, make choices, take responsibility, develop creative skills, build independence and self-reliance, and gain confidence. All are necessary steps on a child's path to a healthy, productive life.
While fees to attend camp vary, the average weekly fee for resident camps ranges from $325 to $780 per week, and the average day camp fee is $100 to $275 per week, and can be as low as $75 per week. Nearly 90% ACA-accredited camps offer some level of financial assistance to over one million children who are from economically deprived families, have special medical needs or have special situations that might preclude them from attending camp.

Advice from the Experts
The camp experience is recognized by child development professionals as valuable in helping children mature socially, emotionally, intellectually, morally, and physically.
"The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning, and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas and even beyond home and school."
Michael Popkin, Ph.D., family therapist and founder of Active Parenting
"The biggest plus of camp is that camps help young people discover and explore their talents, interests, and values. Most schools don't satisfy all these needs. Kids who have had these kinds of (camp) experiences end up being healthier and have less problems which concern us all."
Peter Scales, Ph.D., noted author/educator, and Senior Fellow, The Search Institute
"At camp, children learn to problem-solve, make social adjustments to new and different people, learn responsibility, and gain new skills to increase their self-esteem."

Child Development Experts Endorse Concept of Camp as 'Community' for Children
Noted experts in child development have expressed their thoughts on summer camp as a valuable resource for giving children the value of belonging to a community of their own. This position is being forwarded by the American Camp Association, which believes that the critically important sense of community for children is rooted in enabling and empowering children to be belonging, cooperating, contributing, and caring citizens.
Bruce Muchnick, licensed psychologist who works extensively with day and resident camps, said, "Each summer at camp a unique setting is created, a community is constructed that allows participants to get in touch with a sense of life that is larger than one's self. The camp community seeks to satisfy children's basic need for connectedness, affiliation, belonging, acceptance, safety, and feelings of acceptance and appreciation." 

Bob Ditter, licensed clinical social worker specializing in child and adolescent treatment, added, "It is in the crucible of this community that children gain self-esteem with humility, overcome their inflated sense of self, and develop a lifelong sense of grace and wonder."

Michael Brandwein, noted speaker and consultant to the camp profession, continued, "What makes camp a special community is its focus on celebrating effort. In this less pressured atmosphere, children learn more readily what positive things to say and do when they make mistakes and face challenges. Brandwein also said, "The traditions and customs of each different camp are like a secret code that allows those who know it to feel embraced by something unique and special."
He continued, "Campers are urged to include, not exclude, others. They are praised for choosing new partners and not always the same ones. They are encouraged to respect the differences between people. In an increasingly sarcastic, put-down-oriented world, camps aim to be an oasis of personal safety where demeaning comments and disrespectful behavior are not tolerated, and children are taught responsible and positive ways to resolve conflicts."

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, former chair of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth, had his own perspective on the value of a summer camp experience for children: "It gets them away from a neighborhood or situation that may exist in their neighborhoods that isn't healthy . . . It teaches them how to get along with other people - both other young people as well as adults. To give our children a safe place to learn and grow–camp does that."

Monday, 8 October 2012

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

Posted on
Everyone has talents–some obvious, some hidden. At camp, it’s easy to see who the athletes are, somewhat harder to see who the artists are, and almost impossible to see who the intellectuals are.

Find new ways to help all of your campers shine.
Because enhanced self-esteem is a cornerstone outcome of most camp programs, it is worth reflecting now–post season–about the ways in which your program identifies, cultivates, and showcases talents of all types.
Self-esteem, after all, is grounded in feelings of competence. And feeling good about at least one thing is essential for authentic happiness.
Most camps heavily emphasize physical prowess, as evidenced by the surfeit of inter- and intra-camp athletic competitions. These competitions are especially wonderful when they allow all children a chance to play, when they focus on fun, and when they include non-traditional games and sports that level the playing field a bit.
In addition to physicality, I advocate competitions and activities that shine the spotlight on musicality, intellectual creativity, and artistic abilities.
The idea is to give every child a chance to improve skills they already have, develop competence in emerging skills, and (of course) sample a few things they have never tried before.
To accomplish this range, directors and their staff need to think outside the box of the tired old talent show. Sure, it’s fun to see who is double-jointed and who can play the harmonica with their nose, but the real interest is in activities that require some skill, such as group mural painting, camper choirs, and short-story competitions.
This summer, I enjoyed watching new activities blossom alongside the traditional ones. For example, one of our division heads took a group of campers out in our largest motorboat and surprised each one with a small easel, paper, and charcoal pencil. Once out in the bay, he cut the motor, dropped anchor, and asked them to draw what they saw.
The results were stunning, especially to the campers who didn’t think they were artists.
Another pair of leaders took a group of campers for a short hike into the woods. They then sat them in a circle and had them meditate for a bit, eyes closed, and write a poem to which each person could contribute just one line. The group read a selection of their poems–some funny; others serious–in the dining hall before lunch. The readings were met with thunderous applause.
On the waterfront, I created a level beyond advanced, called “instructor aid.” These AI’s could apprentice with a staff member who was teaching swimming. Have you ever seen a 10-year-old teach a 16-year-old how to do the breaststroke? It’s remarkable, on a number of levels.
Humbling for the older camper, but strangely motivating. Hey, if this little kid can pull-kick-glide, then I should be able to, as well.
Encouraging for the younger camper, but uniquely challenging. Gosh, I’m better than the big kids at something, but I better take my leadership position seriously.
And, of course, it’s edifying for the staff member. I’ve been teaching this stroke for a decade, and I just learned a new way to explain the rhythm and the breathing.
This weekend, give some thought to how you might juice up your existing program with some non-traditional activities that nurture talents and self-esteem in new and meaningful ways.
Then sit back and watch, next summer, as people show each other what they can do and share how to do it.
Along the way, you’ll be helping them cultivate the one talent set that we all come to camp for: interpersonal skill. Heck, you might even awaken a hidden desire in some of your campers to step up and join your staff when they are old enough.
Dr. Christopher Thurber is the school psychologist at Phillips Exeter Academy and the co-founder of Learn more by visiting

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Bodyboarding & it's benefits....

Bodyboarding & it's benefits....

Here at Sugar Bay we have the most awesome stretch of coastline. One of the many amazing sporting activities we offer is Bodyboarding. As you may or may not know, we have top equipment here at Sugar Bay; bodyboards, fins, rash-vests & wetsuits as well as a professional trainer that can teach you all the busting moves you can do while bodyboarding.

I just wanted to write down a few reason's why bodyboarding is so beneficial to you. Firstly, being out in the warm water, close to nature & becoming part of the ocean & all it's glories is an experience you will never forget. Bodyboarding teaches you balance, co-ordination, helps build self-confidence & self-esteem. Catching your first wave... Riding it from the back-line to the shore break will leave you craving more & more! It's a great thing learning about the ocean & bodyboarding can teach you all this. You learn to read when it's safe, when the low & high tides are, how to look for rips & strong currents...all the time growing in confidence.

One lesson we must always keep in mind.... The ocean can be unpredictable & you must learn to respect it at all times.

We at Sugar Bay can't wait to have you with us & to share this experience with you.

Hope you all have an awesome day.

Debbie Patterson
EX SA & KZN Bodyboarding Champion

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


So we got a few of our Pro-Counselors to give us a bit of information with regards to the activities that they are in charge of here at Sugar Bay. Here is what they had to say.

Life Guarding:
"So ya watsup I'm Falcon & I'm Sugar Bay's very own Head Lifeguard. I think I have one the best jobsin the world because I get to spend most of my days on the beach with all the kids here, swimming and having fun in the sun. So if you guys wanna see what I do, then come down tp the beach and I'll see you there."

S.U.P. (Stand Up Paddleboarding):
"Whats up guys, this is Finch. I'm the Stand Up Paddleboarding Instructure here at Sugar Bay. S.U.P is a very sick sport, and one the quickest growing sports in South Africa. S.U.P is all about fun and love for the ocean. In my classes you learn the basics of S.U.P, and how to shred hard in the sea. Come join the S.U.P class, be that guy or girl who can shred hard."

"Lifes a sand pit, DIG IT!!!"

Awe, peace be the journey..... See you all at Camp.

Climbers Club:
"Climbers Club at Sugar Bay is AMAZING!!! We offer High Ropes, and amazing Obstacle Course in the trees with a Foofie Slide at the end. We have 2 climbing walls, which you get to climb and challenge yourself on the walls. We also have the Jacob's Ladder, which you and a friend get to climb and use team workto get to the top. Our newest 1 is the King Swing, like a giant swing, you climb up a ladder get to a platform and jump off, super fun + gives you a big adreneline rush.Crate building is an awesome activitywhich you get to stack and climb on crates and get as high as you can."

Body Boarding:
"Watsup all you cool Groms out their! Dis Rooi-Boss coming live to you from the Bay, bringing you a whole new experience of Body-Boarding with all our sick new gear, from Boards to Finz and even cool Wetsuits. So come join the fun and complete all levels and go from Grom to PRO!!! Learn cool tricks, moves and how to rip it like a pro on a wave! Sweet check you in the water! Because life is always better at the beach!

"All  kids should learn how to ride a bike and how to have fun at the same time, thats why you should come to BMXing. You can learn how to do cool tricks and progress to different levels based on how good you are on a BMX. Learning how to ride a BMX can have a big impact on your young life. It can make having fun anywhere, anytime possible. So if you want to have fun riding around everywhere, come to BMXing!"

There will be more for you all to read about our other exciting activities real soon! So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!!!

Friday, 7 September 2012


We have just had our 11th Birthday camp this week and a few of our campers write up what they have experienced here at Sugar Bay.

Junior Camper
Simona Cutifani (13)

"Sugar Bay has effected me tremendously. It's a place that helps me get away from the cruel reality that is life. Here, I know I can just be myself and not be judged. Coming here is a chance to reinvent myself and be whoever I want to be. Bullied at school, it's a hard for me to be outgoing and loud, but here I feel I can do absolutely anything. The counselors are encouraging and joyfull and I love being around them. Sometime I wish I could be here all the time. Thanks for making me realise how great life can be".
"I love Sugar Bay!"

"Sugar Bay is the best camp I've ever been to and its my first time and its already the best."

Senior Camper
Tahlia Cutifani (15)

"Sugar Bay is a totally awesome camp which gives young people to experience different things and further their talents. It is so much fun and I have an amazing time everytime I come here. The Counselors are always vibrant, energetic and full of zest! All thye counselors are always so helpful and knowledgable during sessions. I hope I can grow up slowly so I can keep coming back!"

We can not wait for the next bunch of campers to arrive, we are going to miss you the campers that we have had here for the last three weeks.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Dear Mom and Dad,
     I'm a little sad. It's the last week of camp. I've made a lot of new friends, learned how to Stand Up Paddle Board, and over come my fear for hights by doing the High Ropes Course and Climbing Wall. I miss both of you a lot but I wish camp would last forever. See you Sunday.
If this is the letter you hope to receive at the end of your child's stay at camp then now is the time to begin planning. You ask yourself how can you plan for the hot, hazy days of summer when rain drops are falling everywhere? Yes, this is the time. The majority of summer camps are filling up quickly. You don't want your child to go on a waiting list and miss the best possible summer of his or her life!
If you are ready to begin, you want to be sure that you have time for you and your child to make a well considered decision of where to go. A camp experience may have a significant impact on your child's life. If you wait too long before looking at camps, you will regret the decision you made because it was made at the last minute.
Where can you go for help? Names of camps come to parents in many ways - word of mouth, an advertisement, or an article. These approaches may sound simple and quick, however, their consequences are often less than satisfying. Each family's needs and the interests of each particular child vary. You must begin evaluating such issues as - type, size, cost, location, and philosophy of each camp.
Give us a call on +2732 485 3778 or email

Monday, 20 August 2012

The Meaning of Summer Camp

By NANCY GIBBS Thursday, July 03, 2008 - Time Magazine

I never went away to camp, even though--or maybe because--my father became president of the American Camping Association (ACA) when I was a kid. He liked to joke that my idea of camping was room service. I might have resented this had it been any less true.
I suspected it was time to send my daughter off to camp even before the day the power went out in our neighborhood and she and a hungry friend tried to roast a hot dog over a candle. Absent electricity, they spent the days making ankle bracelets and playing board games and writing a play together because no power means no screens, no iChat, no Sims. So I wasn't looking for some fancy culinary camp or robotics camp or whatever is fashionable now, just for someplace that teaches the appropriate interactions of sticks, weenies and flame. With no plugs.
Camps have always reflected children's dreams and parents' fears. In the 1880s, many rising middle-class families worried that industrial society had broken off some piece of the American soul, some tie to the frontier. Boys were growing soft: too much time with their mothers and their teachers, not enough manly activity. So the early camps promised, as a founder put it, to take "weakly boys out into camp life in the woods ... so that the pursuit of health could be combined with the practical knowledge outside usual academic lines."
Those first campers were wilderness tourists; today a wilderness is anyplace without bandwidth. I did send my daughter to tennis camp two years ago, but that didn't really count since it lasted five days and she was allowed to use her cell phone. This defies what I suspect is now the whole point of sleepaway camp: if 19th century campers were meant to retrieve lost survival skills--trapping, fishing, gunnery--21st century campers need to work on their social skills. The winter issue of Camping magazine noted that today's campers are often missing some basic interactive instruments; fantastically digitally aware, they are less familiar with the ideas of sharing their space, their stuff or the attention of the adults around them. For kids who are allowed to text during dinner, who have their parents on speed dial for whenever they get in trouble or need a ride, who communicate using more acronyms than a four-star general, a little autonomy is probably long overdue.
So I applaud the effort of traditional camps to pull the plugs: the ACA found in a 2007 survey that at least 3 out of 4 camps make kids leave their gizmos at home. It probably tells us something that the resistance often comes not from the kids but from Mom and Dad. Parents have been known to pack off their children with two cell phones, so they can hand over one and still be able to sneak off and call. Camp expert Christopher Thurber reports that parents grill directors about why they can't watch their kids' activities from a webcam or reach them by BlackBerry. Services like CampMinder and do let camps post news and pictures to "help our families to feel as if they are with us at camp," as a Texas camp owner puts it. But that just invites inquiry about why Johnny looks sad or how Jenny's jeans got torn.
Even as they yield in varying degrees to the demands of hovering parents, camps have all sorts of nice ways to tell us our kids need a break from our eager interest and exhausting expectations. Camps talk about building "independence," argue that having kids learn to solve their own problems and turn to peers and counselors for support is a key part of the experience. The implications are clear. They're lighting campfires, hiding and seeking, doing the spooky things campers do that feel wonderfully illicit if just because they involve getting dirtier than usual. Nothing to worry about, Mom.
I'm betting that more and more parents will find that our concern about kids' wired ways overtakes our desire to be in touch. I'll hate not talking to my daughter. But I agree with MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle, who says our gizmos are a "tethering technology," a new kind of apron string, strong albeit wireless, a safety net woven a bit too tight. When colleges report kids explaining their lateness to class with the excuse that their mother forgot their wake-up call, when a professor finds undergraduates communicating with parents more than 10 times a week, I look back on my once-a-week calls home to the parents I was very close to and wonder if this really counts as progress. Maybe it wouldn't be bad to practice distance, not just physical but psychological; let our kids take a walk alone in the woods, maybe do the same ourselves, and relish the fresh conversations we'll get to have when we are together again come summer's end.