The end of year holidays is a popular time for many of us to volunteer our time and give to those who are less fortunate. There are many different ways to perform community service - donating unwrapped toys that will become Christmas or Hanukkah presents to those who can't afford to buy them, delivering food to those who otherwise would go without a traditional holiday meal or spending time at a senior citizen facility with those who may not have frequent visitors. All of those examples are great ways to help spread the holiday cheer.
Community service is also a great family activity. It's a terrific opportunity for a family to spend time together while teaching your children the importance of giving assistance to those who could use a helping hand. Watch a child knock on a door to deliver a meal to a needy family or look at a child playing bingo with the elderly and you'll see a happy child who has learned that community service can be both rewarding and fun.
Helping those in need doesn't have to mean giving money. There are a number of places in your neighborhood that you can contact if you want to volunteer:
• senior citizen centers
• school, churches or synagogue who have "adopt a family" programs
• children's ward of a hospital
• soup kitchens
While there is a natural connection between the holidays and community service, this doesn't have to be the only time of the year to get involved. At Diamond Ridge Camps, we include community service projects as part of our Leader in Training (LITs) program. LITs are 14 and 15 year olds who are transitioning from being campers to becoming Junior Counselors. This past summer some of the projects our LITs participated in were: restoration and beautification of the trails at Peace Valley Nature Center, organizing a clothing drive to benefit Impact! Thrift Stores and assisting the residents of Neshaminy Manor Nursing Home with their shopping.
This coming summer our LITS will be taking part in some new projects to benefit other organizations in Bucks and Montgomery County.
Diamond Ridge's innovative elective based program for Upper Camp (ages 8 - 15) includes campers choosing a Minor activity each day. Minors allow campers to select a new activity to participate in every afternoon. Some of the popular Minors are traditional camp activities like boating, tennis, tie dye t-shirts and gaga. Other Minors are more Enrichment based like yoga, improv, gardening, cupcake wars and mosaics. Each summer we also introduce new Minors based on current trends, popular culture and suggestions from the campers.
This past Summer the Minor that quickly became a camper favorite was Quidditch. What is Quidditch you ask? If you are fan of the Harry Potter books or movies you know the answer. Quidditch is a game played in six of the seven Harry Potter books. It's played by fourteen players at a time riding flying broomsticks (we use pillo polo sticks), using four balls and six elevated ring-shaped goals. At Diamond Ridge we play the game on the Lower Camp Soccer Field with the ring-shaped goals attached to the soccer goals. Quidditch became so popular that our campers insisted that we offer it as a Minor multiple times a week which we were glad to do.
Quidditch isn't just a game played at camp. This past weekend in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, the second annual Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament was held. Fifteen college teams competed in the tournament with Chestnut Hill College defeating Penn State 110 - 40 in the final. There are now approximately 300 college club teams across the country competing in Quidditch on a regular basis.
The popularity of Quidditch is clearly going to continue. New this coming summer at Diamond Ridge, Quidditch will be a part of the specialty activity Camp Games for Upper Camp. It will also be offered frequently as a Minor.
Wednesdays are one of the favorite days of the week for both campers and staff at Diamond Ridge Camps because every Wednesday is a different Dress Up Day that is associated with the theme for the week. This week is "Theme Parks Week" and today was Disney Dress Up Day.
Campers came dressed as Mickey, Minnie, Belle, Ariel and Jasmin. There were lots of Mouse Ears being worn by the campers as well. When the campers got off the buses and vans this morning, they were greeted by Snow White and Peter Pan. By far the most popular Disney characters were Disney Princesses for the girls and Captain Jack Sparrow for the boys.
There are 6 more Dress Up Days left this summer....
• Sports Dress Up Day, July 13th
• Harry Potter Dress Up Day, July 20th
• Twins Dress Up Day, July 27th
• Clash Dress Up Day, August 3rd
• Diamond Ridge Dress Up Day, August 10th
• Tie Dye Dress Up Day, August 17th
Dressing up is certainly not required for campers. Rather it is an easy way for campers to get into the spirit of the theme for the week. We look forward to seeing all the Sports Jerseys and T-Shirts next Wednesday. No doubt the Phillies will be well represented amongst the campers.
Four days from now we begin the Summer of 2011 at Diamond Ridge Camps. All of our counselors, specialists, support staff and leadership team of directors are anxiously awaiting the campers' arrival. Over the next three days, we will be busy continuing our Staff Development Training.
Today we start out with New Staff Members who are joining our Team for the first time in 2011. They will be attending sessions that are led by members of our Leadership Team and cover the policies and procedures needed to run a successful day camp. This evening, we will have out Parents Panel. It is a terrific program that allows our staff to hear directly from our camp parents about their expectations for their child(ren). And a special thanks to all our parents who will be on the panel tonight. Last year, this was one of our most beneficial sessions.
On Friday and Saturday, all our staff, veteran and new, will learn how to work together to provide the best possible day camp experience that our Diamond Ridge families have come to expect. We are bringing in Professional Speakers to cover topics on bullying, inappropriate behaviors, discipline strategies, safety, supervision and health care.
Staff Training actually began almost a month ago with our on-line training for all staff and Directors. Diamond Ridge Camps (and our sister camp in Montgomery County, Sesame/Rockwood) are the only two camps in the area providing continuing education for all staff through our on-line service which is packed with courses on behavior management, being a good role model and numerous other camp and youth development topics. Our staff really enjoy this method of learning.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday for our annual Meet the Counselor Day. It is the perfect opportunity for parents and campers to meet the counselors, say "hi" to the Directors, drop off the Bundle Bag, and pick-up pre-ordered camp uniform shirts and free backpack or sports bag. Lower Camp Meet the Counselor Day is 1:00 - 1:30 pm and Upper Camp is from 1:45 - 2:15 pm.
Are you and your family looking for something fun to do this weekend or next weekend? Then check out the NJ Renaissance Faire being hosted by our friends at Liberty Lake Day Camp in Florence, NJ. If you love our Friday Theme Day Events at Diamond Ridge Camps - the Carnivals, Dances, Diamond Day, Ridge Rally, Pool Parties, Bunk Shows, etc. - then you'll have a fun day at the Renaissance Faire.
The Faire is being held June 4 - 5 and June 11 - 12, from 11 am - 6 pm on all four days.If you have never been to a Renaissance Faire it's a fun experience. Here's what you can expect to see.
• Jousting - yes, real live jousting
• Sword fighting
• Comedy Shows
• Live Music
• Human Chess Battles
• Over 50 diverse vendors
• Wolves and Falcons
• Metal Forge
• Fight Circle (sword fight your friends)
• Great Food including huge smoked turkey legs
Each day you'll enjoy 7 hours of entertainment including Outdoor Improvisational Theater mixed in with a little Lord of the Rings and King Arthur. The admission fee is $20 for adults and $12 for children. If you order tickets on-line there is a discounted rate available.
For more information and to purchase tickets click here.
If you are looking for a fun event for the whole family, this Sunday is the 9th Annual Gia Nicole Bowling Benefit at Thunderbird Lanes in Willow Grove from 2 - 5 pm. The afternoon will be highlighted by Bowling, Food, Games, Face Painting and Children’s Entertainment, DJ, Chinese Auction, Silent Auction, Door Prizes and a Raffle with Grand Prize Trip To Jamaica. There's plenty of fun for the whole family!
The mission of the Gia Nicole Angel Foundation is to enhance the daily functioning of a child with special needs and his or her family by awarding assistance through the purchase of a specific item or items. This includes children with any physical disability (such as, but not limited to: spina bifida, paralysis, missing limbs) or illness (such as, but not limited to: cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, cancer).
The foundation was created by one of our camp parents, Amy Nadell. Her husband, Jordan, and camp staff member/camp parent, Jodi Frankel, are also board members. This event is the foundation's primary means of fundraising for the year. The foundation has donated more than $130,000 to needy children throughout the area.
Diamond Ridge Camps is proud to be one of the many sponsors of the event. So join Uncle Steven and his family and many other Diamond Ridge families for a fun afternoon all for a great cause.
For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, click here.
Earth Day is a great time to think about what you and your family
can do to help preserve and maintain our natural resources. At Diamond Camps we continue to strive to leave less of a "footprint" on the Earth. Some of the steps we take include..
• Recycling all commingled plastics and paper throughout camp
• Using less disposable plastic cups at meals
• Changing standard light bulbs to CFLs
• Installing timers on light switches so we conserve electricity
This year will be creating a new garden at camp full of vegetables and plants. With some hard work and cooperation from mother nature, we'll have our own sustainable garden that will yield a variety of vegetables for our daily salad bar at lunch. Campers will learn about maintaining the garden and will take part to help grow and pick the vegetables and plants during Nature in Lower Camp and in Outdoor Adventure and our new Gardening Minor in Upper Camp.
There are many things that you can do in your own home if you are interested in Going Green.
• Switch to energy efficient light bulbs. CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs and use two-thirds less energy.
• Use Eco-Friendly Shopping Bags instead of plastic bags. Plastic bags take from 400 or 1,000 years to photodegrade and contaminate the soil and water.
• Unplug any electronic equipment when they are not in use. Battery chargers use 40% of their regular running energy when left plugged in or on standby.
• The next time you need to purchase a household appliance, look for one with an energy star label.
• Pay your bills online. You'll save money on postage and cut back on the use of paper and envelopes.
• Switch to cleaning products that are natural and non-toxic such as seventh generation.
If you are interested in learning more information about Going Green, visit these Eco-Friendly websites:
Earth911 - Making every day Earth Day
Eartheasy - Ideas for sustainable living
Ecological Footprint - Find out just how big or small your ecological footprint is
The Daily Green - A consumer's guide to the green revolution
World Watch Institute - A vision for a sustainable world
Simple Organic - sustainable and healthy living for mainstream people.
There are numerous Earth Day events throughout the Philadelphia area this weekend including family friendly things to do at the Philadelphia Zoo, Franklin Institute, and Longwood Gardens. For information, click here.
Bowling is a great family activity. It's a terrific way to spend a weekend afternoon. Bowl for Kids' Sake is an easy way to combine family fun while supporting a great cause that raises much needed funds to help kids in Bucks County continue on a positive path towards adulthood.
Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters largest national fundraiser, raising over $20 million annually for children in need across the country. Because of Bowl for Kids' Sake, more Bigs and Littles in Bucks County can be paired up, more friendships can be gained and improved outlooks on life can be started.
The best part? All of the event expenses are completely underwritten by our corporate sponsors. That means 100% of the money raised by bowlers goes directly towards supporting children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County.
Diamond Ridge Camps is proud to support this event. Big Brothers Big Sisters is our community neighbor, located just on the other side of York Road (Route 263) in Jamison. Community Service is an important part of who we are and what we teach our campers at Diamond Ridge. During the summer our Leaders in Training (LITs) will participate in social action programs such as a visiting a senior citizen home or conducting a food drive. Diamond Ridge Camps is also happy to donate "Camperships" to area charitable functions and school fundraisers. It's our way to give back to the community and pay it forward.
Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a fun and easy way to positively impact a child’s life. The event will be held at three Bucks County area bowling facilities during the next 6 weeks.
March 13, 2011 10am - 5:00pm
Bristol Pike Lanes, 2501 Bristol Pike, Croydon, PA
March 20, 2011 10am - 5:30pm
Thunderbird Lanes, 1475 Street Road, Warminster, PA
April 3, 2011 11am – 3:30pm
Earl Bowl Lanes, 251 North West End Boulevard,
For more information on the event or to register click here.
Diamond Ridge Camps in Jamison, Bucks County, is proud to announce that it will host Camp Erin Philadelphia for the fifth consecutive year. The weekend long bereavement for children ages 6 through 17 will take place May 15 - 17, 2011. Diamond Ridge is pleased to once again donate our entire property and food service to this worthwhile program.
The camp is run through a partnership between The Moyer Foundation and Penn Wissahickon Hospice. Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen are co-founders of The Moyer Foundation.
Camp Erin Philadelphia is a weekend-long experience filled with traditional, fun, camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support -- facilitated by grief professionals from Penn Wissahickon Hospice and trained volunteers. At Camp Erin, children are comforted knowing that there are other children who understand exactly what they are feeling and experiencing. At Camp Erin, grieving children have an opportunity to address their feelings and memorialize their loved ones. They are provided with tools and resources for use during and after camp, including memories and friendships that last long after camp is complete.
Here is a first hand look at what Camp Erin Philadelphia is all about
For more information about Camp Erin, including learning how to register, click here. Or you can call 1-800-700-8807 or e-mail email@example.com
This weekend is the Kids Kloset Swap at the Warwick Fire Hall in Jamison, Bucks County. The Kid’s Kloset Swap sale is an opportunity for families to sell their gently used children’s clothing and equipment. Because there are so many sellers and a greater selection of merchandise, buyers will be attracted to shop at this sale as opposed to garage or yard sales.
Dates & Time
Friday, January 28th: 10 am - 3 pm
Saturday, January 29th: 8 am - 2 pm
Sunday, January 30th: 8 am - 2 pm
Warwick Fire Hall
2390 York Road
Jamison, PA 18929 Click here for map/directions
Families will find amazing bargains on everything you need for your kids. The sale is very organized so everything is easy to find. You can find new and gently-used:
Infant and Childrens Clothing
Toys and Video Games
Outdoor Play Equipment
Baby and Children's Linens
Children's Furniture and Accessories
Books, DVDs and Music
Some of the brand names you will find at the Kids Kloset Swap include - Gymboree, Gap, The Children's Place, Hartstrings, Disney, Melissa and Doug, Peg Perego, Stride Rite and more.
Diamond Ridge Camps is proud to be a sponsor of this community event. We look forward to seeing many of our camp families at the Kids Kloset Swap this weekend.