Posts Tagged ‘october’

2013 North Carolina Camp Dates

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

We are excited to announce that we are planning
to have two NC sessions again this fall, running from Saturday-Wednesday.

NC 2 color circle2

Camp Blue Skies – NC 2013 Dates:

Session 1: October 5-9 (volunteer Orientation Oct. 4th)

Session 2: October 12-16 (volunteer Orientation Oct. 11th)

 Camper applications are open:

May 13th for returning campers

June 10th for new campers.

Volunteers can sign up anytime!

Just in case you need a reminder of why we love North Carolina….check out these pictures from our past camps…

Camp Blue Skies North Carolina

Volunteer Q&A from our NC 2011 Camp.

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Here is a little window into the volunteer experience from our last camp. Thank you to Mike Harris and Millie Cox  for their time at camp and for taking the time to answer some questions.

Q:What was your favorite memory? 

A: I would have to say my favorite was getting a camper to sing ‘I Can Fly’ to our cabin after lights were out.  It was quite moving, as the campers respected his work, and he took the opportunity very seriously.

A: Seeing Scott do the Zip line. Being asked to dance by one of the campers.
Q:Favorite Camper quote(s)?

A: ‘Ughhhhhhhh’, ‘How tall?’.  And ‘Hey Mike, I will take care of you.  We have to smell good for the ladies.’  And then he sprayed me with his special John Valvartos cologne.

Q:Any surprises? 

A: I was extremely surprised at how close I became to the campers.  Separating at the end of camp was surprisingly hard.

A: Feeling so at ease and comfortable around the campers. One, I had never been to camp in my life. Two, I had never been around adults with developmental disabilities. Three, I had always walked funny and crooked my whole life and felt self-conscious about this. On games day, I got to join a team and do the egg walk and other fun things. I had never had the courage to do this before. I figured that everyone would be staring at me but at Camp Blue Skies, no one cared — and there were others who walked funny like me!

Q: Anything you would do differently?

A: The camp did soooo many things right.  I did offer up a number of suggestions during camp.  I do like the idea of helping make the campers have a higher sense of value via hair cuts, mani and pedicures, etc. 

A: Can’t think of a thing. I think it’s great the way you have it.

Q: Proudest moment?

A: When virtually every cabin member came up to me at one time or another and said things like “Love you Mike.”  Or, “You are a great friend Mike.”  This gave me a feeling of adequately fulfilling my role.

A: One of the campers (who throughout the week, was not having much fun) came over and sat down with me, during free time, outside the cabin and after a few minutes, opened up to me and started a conversation. I feel like I really connected with him. 
Q: One thing that surprised you?

A: I was totally surprised at how functioning most of the campers really were.  It was just great to communicate with them, to hear their honest feelings on many different subjects.

Q: Something you would never change about camp?

A: Somehow you have created a special ‘family feel’ that makes the experience so special.  Never change that.

A: Location. Camp Harrison is THE perfect place.

Directors Corner- Highlights of North Carolina 2011

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Thought it might be nice to see what our Founder/ Director thought about our last camp. Here are some insights and highlights from the man himself, Dick Sesler.

Q: Favorite part of NC 2011?
: Observing the maturing of the campers and the volunteers - as each day progressed.

Q: Funniest moment for you, camper or staff?
: The skit with Liz – banana/bandana. 

Q: What would you never change about Camp Blue Skies?
: The dance and the award ceremony line of volunteers.

Q: What would you change for next year?
: More rest time or free time in the afternoon.

Q: What was your proudest moment?
: On our last day, the conversations with the parents, the campers and their Cabin Captains about all the great things that happened during the week.  After camp, the stories from the volunteers about their experience and what they learned at camp.

Q: Coolest activity?
A: The drumming class and the artificial campfire (for our indoor campfire on the first night).

Q: One example from this camp that reminded you of why you started this in the first place?
: Again this year we had a new camper that had never been away from home without his parents.  His mother had high hopes that he might make it through one night at the most.  Not only did the camper stay the entire session, but he was engaged in every activity and never stopped smiling.

Thanks Dick for your insight, foresight and ability to make Camp Blue Skies a reality.

If you would like to personally ask Dick any other camp questions, come to our next camp March 12-16th in Atlanta, GA.



Exciting New (Four Legged) Additions to Our North Carolina Host Camp’s Staff.

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Just when you thought camp couldn’t get better, it does thanks to some four legged additions. 

Camp Harrison, our North Carolina host camp, has added some interesting additions to their staff this year. For what this personnel lacks in personal hygiene, they more than make up for it with love and character.

You can find them at their office, the beautiful barn and stable that is the heart of the brand new Camp Harrison Dude Ranch.

School Bus, ATV, Truffles, Genesis, Moses, Peppermint Patty, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Rebel, Nutmeg, Chocolate Chip Milkshake (Chip for short), Linus, Shrek, Rusty, Sweet Potato, Jones, Nancy and Momma Eleanor are just some of the animals who will welcome you on your drive into camp. They may also be described as 24 horses, 4 goats, 10ish chickens, 4 donkeys, 1 alpaca and 2 kittens.

Thanks to Denise Hammond and her family, campers and volunteers will be able to enjoy the company of these four legged friends while experiencing a taste of working on a farm.

Even if you have never wanted to put on some chaps and live in the Wild West, the Camp Harrison Dude Ranch experience promises something enjoyable for everyone. Their “human” staff  understands that participants come with differing comfort levels and promise to provide a variety of ways to take part of the fun.

Regardless of what role you play while at the ranch, it has been proven that there are many emotional, physical and psychological benefits to being around animals.  We see this program as one more opportunity for campers to widen their comfort zones and learn something new.

Can’t wait to hear all the stories from our happy campers as they mosey in from a great time on the ranch!

Program Spotlight- David “Drummer Dave” Boardman

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Do you ever feel like the stars have aligned? We sure do. Seems like every day another great person becomes part of our Blue Skies family.

One example of this type of thumbs-up from the universe is the involvement of David Boardman with our camp. We found David through Camp Twin Lakes our Atlanta host camp.

From the first “thump”, Camp Blue Skies was in love with his get-ya-dancing-in-your-seat-even-in-cold-rainy-weather-drumming program.  With a blend of humor, games, drums and simple instructions,David transformed each group from a bunch of people to musicians creating beautiful music and rhythms.

Not too bad for an hour lesson.

A second example of star alignment is HE’S COMING to our North Carolina camp this October!  Takes a special person to sign on for the 292 mile one way drive in order to bring drumming to camp. We are also super excited for a second program  by “Drummer Dave” making it’s Camp Blue Skies debut this October. (Sorry, you’ll have to wait for camp for details!)

So who is the man behind the magic? Here are his stats:

David Boardman holds a degree in Music Education from Florida State University and is an active percussionist, teacher, conductor and composer.  He is percussion instructor at Morgan County Middle School and directs handbells at Madison (GA) Presbyterian Church.  David has performed with the Savannah, Macon and Augusta symphony orchestras, and with his own percussion ensemble at the 1996 Olympics, 1982 World’s Fair and on commercial and public television. 

 “Drummer Dave” also facilitates wellness drumming at Camp Twin Lakes near Atlanta, Georgia.  Camp Twin Lakes offers year-round recreational, therapeutic, and educational programs for children and adults facing serious illnesses and other physical, emotional and life challenges.

Needless to say, we hope the stars will keep aligning for many years to come and we can’t wait to see what special tricks David has for us this October.

Keep on drumming!

Liz- Camp Blue Skies Program Director

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