Helping Your Family Get Ready For Camp

Hello again! This is the third of four emails designed to share the key info needed to "Blaze the Trail" for a smooth and successful camp experience. This week's focus is the time during camp.


During Camp 

Camper Pictures & Email
To provide daily pictures from around camp and one-way emails to your camper, we use a service called Bunk1. This online tool offers a secure gateway for parents to view camp photos as well as an efficient way for us to process around 300 camper emails per day. Y ou'll receive Bunk1 login info in your check-in email as well as in a flyer during check-in. Viewing photos is free. The fees for purchasing photos and/or sending emails are set by Bunk1. Please know we offer these services as a convenience to you and without any expectation that you'll make purchases. Every camper receives a photo of his or her living group as a keepsake; and we offer standard mail service or drop-off mail service if you'd rather not pay to send one-way emails (see "Check-In Day").
  • PHOTOS:  Our staff's primary goal is to create safe and fun faith-forming experiences for your camper. Knowing the value of getting to see a glimpse of camp life each day (chapel, living group activities, etc), we have a system in place for sharing daily visuals of that faith-forming fun in action. We also understand that many parents regularly check Bunk1 hoping to see their child's smiling face and that it can be disappointing when that face is absent from the daily batch of photos. Though our photographer and videographer aim to photograph as many campers as possible each day, with 300+ campers per week in small groups spread across 367 acres (and off-site Outpost trips) we cannot guarantee pictures of your camper. Even providing 3-4 daily images of each camper would require taking, organizing, and uploading 1,000-plus photos per day. Besides the logistical challenge, that level of camera presence would be a distraction for campers and detract from the many important moments it takes to build and maintain Christian community within a small group environment. Thank you for your understanding and for helping us provide your child with an experience full of meaningful connection and minimal distraction. (Outpost Parents: Due to the nature of the program, Outpost uploads are less frequent than Village and Sparrowwood.)
  • EMAILS:  Emails have a base price of $1 each. Borders, graphics, games, and other add-ons cost extra. Please note that we do not print emails in color - save your money! When you add up the cost of postage and trouble of finding time to write and mail a letter (along with the possibility that the mail service will deliver after camp) you may find the convenience of the email service to be well worth the cost. Write cheerfully to your camper affirming the great experiences he or she must be having and that you're looking forward to hearing all about his or her camp experience.

Summer Theme: Transform
We put 90+ years of experience into creating an environment where every moment -- whether in a worship service or out on the water, around the table or 30 feet off the ground -- is about practicing faith in Christian community. The framework for this faith formation each year is our summer theme, which is based on professionally developed camp ministry curriculum that's age-appropriate, based on scripture, and respectful of God's creation. Counselors plan their living group's schedule with the theme of the day and week in mind.  This summer's theme is "Belong", which will help campers understand what it means to live in community, respecting one another and how we were created. Each day's theme and scripture guide our time in chapel and activities throughout the day
  • MONDAY Aloha (focus on hospitality) | Luke 14:15-24
  • TUESDAY:   Ubuntu (focus on community) | 1 Corinthians 12:1-27
  • WEDNESDAY:   Heiwa (focus on self-sacrifice for community) | Mark 12:28-31
  • THURSDAY:   Cuidense (focus on peacemaking) | Luke 10:25-37
  • FRIDAY:  Aloha (focus on going forth) | John 14:25-27

Mid-Week Worries
It's natural to wonder how your camper is doing at camp. Below is some helpful info in case you find yourself with a case of the mid-week worries:
  • STORE MONEY:  Logistics of software and computer equipment prohibit our checking your camper's store account and adding money to the store account during the week. Please know that the camp store is a learning experience both for campers with money remaining at the end of the week and for those who are out on Monday. 
  • HOMESICKNESS:  Even at Glisson we have a few campers each summer who feel homesick. We're adept at helping them successfully deal with their homesickness to succeed at camp. Parents may worry about these campers however, especially if they receive a "Monday Letter" or see a "Sad Face" in the daily online photos (see below).
  • MONDAY LETTER:  A "Monday Letter" is mail sent home (often written early in the camp week) when the camper has yet to fully adjust to being away from home. Sometimes the camper will pull out all the stops in writing these letters, leaving the parent receiving this letter on Wednesday frantic about their child's week at camp. Please know that it's just a "Monday Letter" and that we'll have already called you if your child is struggling with homesickness past Monday.  
  • SAD FACE:  "Sad Face" is a photo of a camper on Bunk1 looking less than happy. While it's likely the camper was deep in thought or preoccupied at the exact moment the photo was snapped, parents sometimes interpret the lack of a smile as indication of their camper not having a good time. Know again that we want every single camper to enjoy Glisson and, if necessary, will call for parents' advice to create the best possible experience.
  • CHILD-SICKNESS:  If you're a parent immobilized by the anxiety of being away from your camper for a week, please let us help. We're glad to check on your camper and give you a call with feedback from your camper's counselor and from our observations of your camper in his or her living group. We want you to have a great Glisson experience too!

New For 2019: Village Campout Roofs
An overnight campout has long been a core component of our Village program. Venturing out as a living group to build a fire, cook your own dinner, and sleep outdoors is a powerful experience of creative dislocation -- when being out of our normal context prompts us to try new things, take on challenges, and see things from a new perspective. It's also just a ton of fun sharing stories, having a campfire devotional, and making s'mores! We're thrilled that this long-standing tradition will be made even better this year as our 11 Village campsites (two shelters each) have been upgraded from tarp roofs to tin! Thanks to volunteer work teams and metal roofing repurposed from the Chapel expansion, Village campsites now have more headroom, increased protection from the elements, and, of course, that uniquely soothing sound of raindrops falling on a tin roof (should it happen to rain). 

Thanks for reading! We hope it was helpful.  In case you missed it, the previous two emails were "Between Now & Camp" and "Check-In Day". Our final email next week will cover "Checkout Day". If you have any questions, check our FAQs, call the office (706-864-6181), or Email Us. Our 2019 Summer Support Team and Outpost counselors arrived for staff training last week; Village and Sparrowwood counselors are arriving tomorrow; and in just 11 days, we'll kick off 9 weeks of faith-forming adventures in God's creation. We can't wait!
Grace and Peace,
The Glisson Team

We know how to have fun - our passion is forming faith in the process.

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