Pine Needle Express – Week 1

Camp starts tomorrow, and we know it’s going to be a super busy week! We’re so excited to kick off this summer, so we’ve got the first camp issue of the Pine Needle Express for you. We’ll be posting our newsletter here on the blog each week to keep you updated about what’s going on and give you lots of important reminders. Take a look at the newest issue of the Pine Needle Express, and we will see you bright and early tomorrow for our first day of camp!

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An Open Letter to Camp Parents

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Dear Camp Parents,

We are so thankful for you. You’ve made it possible for your kids to join us at Camp Fletcher this summer, and we know they’re going to have a great time. Camp can be a little scary, though, especially if it’s your first time. And it’s not just scary for the campers; it can make parents nervous, too. We want you to know that’s normal, and that it’s okay. Everyone gets nervous – even parents – but we’re here to tell you that Camp Fletcher is going to be an amazing experience for your kid.  We cannot thank you enough for trusting us with your children, and for letting them live the Camp Fletcher experience.

Before we get started, we want you to know why we’re here. We think your kids are awesome. The children who come to Camp Fletcher are so much fun, full of energy, and we are so glad we get to spend our time with them. Camp is like a second home to us, and we’re so glad that your kid is joining the family this year. We love working with kids, and there’s nowhere else we would rather be this summer.

Each day at camp, your child is going to get to explore, create, grow and learn. We know you want your child to learn as much as possible, so we make sure they’re learning in a hands-on way, so they’ll be more likely to pay attention and develop an interest in these areas. Your kid will swim, canoe, hike and play on 300 of the most beautiful acres in this part of the state. We make sure no one gets bored because we stay busy and active, and our campers get to try new things every single day.

We also know you want your kids to make friends, and that’s one of the most important parts of camp. Your child will make new friends, and they’ll learn to get along with people who might be different from them. Everyone is part of the camp family, and we make sure that no one gets left out.

At camp, we have a lot of adventures, but safety is out number one priority. All of our staff members are well trained, and they were specifically chosen for their ability to work with kids. We keep a close eye on every camper because while they’re here, they’re our life. We’ve trained for this, and we’re so excited to be able to have a positive impact on your child.

Camp isn’t just about making friends and having adventures, though. Even though those things are really important, the most important thing we want our campers to get each summer is the concept of WoHeLo. This means work, health and love, and it’s the driving force behind everything we do at camp. We try every day to teach all our campers to work hard, stay healthy and love the world and the people around them. We want our campers to be kind and caring, and we know that WoHeLo is something they carry with them all year.

We are so thankful for you, camp parent. We are honored to care for your child and to teach them everything we know about having fun, working hard and trying new things. We couldn’t do it without you, and we can’t wait to meet your amazing kids next week.  Your kids inspire us and make us better. We love this job, and it’s all because of them.

The Camp Fletcher Staff

Counselor Spotlights: Kyra & Daniel

Today we have two counselor spotlights for you! Both of these counselors will be joining the Camp Fletcher team for the first time this summer. We are so excited to introduce you to Kyra and Daniel. Keep reading to learn more about them!

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Kyra is 19 years old and from Birmingham, Alabama. She currently attends Lawson State Community College, where she majors in Criminal Justice. Next fall, she plans to transfer to Alabama State University and pursue a Forensics Science minor. This summer will be Kyra’s first time at Camp Fletcher, and we’re so glad to have her working on our team!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I heard about this camp from My Honors College adviser. When I looked over the objectives, I immediately fell in love! I said to myself, “I absolutely have to get this job”.

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
I think I will make a great counselor because I’m the second oldest of 7 children (a lot right?!). I constantly have to keep moving and working to keep my brothers active and on their feet!

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
Working with the children, living in a cabin, and having bonfires will be the highlights of my summer!


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Daniel is 20 years old and from Huntington Beach, California. He currently attends UAB, where he majors in Neuroscience and minors in both German and Chemistry. Daniel has volunteered with Camp Fire Alabama in the past, but this will be his first summer as a counselor at Camp Fletcher!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I volunteered with Camp Fire Alabama in the past, but I stumbled upon Camp Fletcher almost by accident, actually. I went to a summer jobs fair at UAB, spoke with Tiffany about the camp and the position, and decided that this would be a good thing.

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
I’ve had the opportunity to work with kids through a number of different groups, including Camp Fire Alabama’s Links-Up Mentoring program, the Sunshine School tutoring program at Children’s Hospital, and the Crisis Center of Birmingham, where I currently volunteer with the Crisis & Suicide Line. I have also been a counselor for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s summer camp.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I think I’m most excited to have my own camp experience. As a kid, I was not the most “outdoors-y,” which is something I now regret, so I’m really looking forward to being a part of that time for other kids.

We are so excited to welcome Kyra and Daniel to Camp Fletcher, and we know they’re going to have a great time working as counselors this summer!

If you haven’t registered for camp yet, time is running out! Camp starts in less than a week, and our registration is filling up faster than ever before. It is extremely important that you send in registration forms and deposits as soon as possible in order to reserve your spot. For more information, visit us online or contact the camp office today!

Counselor Spotlight: Welcome Back Rachel!

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That’s right – camp starts in just ONE WEEK, and we could not be more excited! We kicked off counselor training this weekend, and our summer staff is so excited to meet all of our amazing campers next Monday. If you haven’t registered yet, there are still a few spots left, but you must register ASAP. Visit us online or contact the camp office today for more information about availability & how to register!


In honor of staff training, we’ve also got a brand new counselor spotlight for you. We’re so excited for you to meet Rachel!

Today we’ve got another amazing counselor spotlight for you! Rachel is 22 years old and from McCalla, Alabama. She just graduated from Jacksonville State University with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Rachel grew up just a few miles from Camp Fletcher, and she will be returning this summer as a counselor for her 5th year. We are so glad to have Rachel back, and we know it’s going to be a wonderful summer!

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What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
Originally, I chose Camp Fletcher as a transition between high school and college. However, what I found was much more than a transition. I found a home, a family, and a love for the camp experience. It’s the camp family and living the Camp Fletcher experience that keep me coming back year after year.

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
Besides working at Camp Fletcher for the previous four summers, I spent the last five semesters of school working with and teaching children in a classroom setting. I’ve worked with the children at my church for as long as I can remember, and I pretty much grew up outdoors.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I’m most excited about being with my Camp Family—new and old—as we lead the campers into the best summer ever of living the Camp Fletcher experience.

We’re so glad Rachel is joining us again this summer. We can’t wait to meet all our campers in seven short days!

Counselor Spotlight: Liz!

We’re so excited to introduce another brand new counselor to you today! Camp is just around the corner, and we’re working hard to get everything ready for our summer programs. We know it’s going to be a great summer at Camp Fletcher, and we’re so glad to have all our summer staff – new and returning – join us this year.

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Today, we want you to meet Liz! This will be her first summer at Camp Fletcher, but we know she’s so excited about this opportunity. Liz is 20 years old and from Hoover, Alabama. She is a junior at UAB, where she majors in Broadcasting. Liz tells us that she loves all things film and photography, and hopes to become a film editor after graduation. Keep reading to find our more about Liz!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I chose Camp Fletcher because one of my best friends has been a counselor for a few years at the camp. I’d hear her talk about how much she loves being there and how it has been a life changing experience for her, and that is something that I would love to have as well!

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
My whole life I have always been around children – both my younger cousins and children I babysit . I also have been an after school care worker and volunteered at Jesse’s Place, where I provided child care to some pretty sweet children! I basically think kids are the coolest people on earth, and I love to hang out with them as much as possible. Though I am an adult now, I still very much have my inner child come on out on a daily basis! I think this will make me a great counselor because I know how to connect with kids and have fun with them because I am just a 20-year-old kid myself.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
What I am most excited about this summer at Camp Fletcher is just getting to become close to the other counselors and staff, and especially the campers! I think it is going to be a wonderful experience, and I am expecting nothing less than having a blast all summer and making awesome memories!

We know all of Liz’s expectations will be met this summer, and we’re sure she’s going to have a wonderful time at Camp Fletcher!

If you haven’t registered for camp yet, time is running out! Our registration is filling up faster than ever before, and it is extremely important that you send in registration forms and deposits as soon as possible in order to reserve your spot. For more information, visit us online or contact the camp office today!

Counselor Spotlight: Meet Piper!

Camp is less than two weeks away, and we want you to get to know all our wonderful counselors for this summer! Today we’re introducing you to Piper, and we are so excited to have her join our team this year.

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Piper is 18 years old and originally from New Smyrna Beach, which just so happens to be the shark bite capital of the world! She moved to Alabama when she was 10, and will be finishing high school in just a few weeks as a member of the graduating class of 2015! Piper tells us she loves nature, and she spent most of her time on the beach and in the water when she lived in Florida. Keep reading to see what else she has to say about working at Camp Fletcher!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I’ve wanted to work at a camp since I was little, and I went to a few that weren’t the normal; my favorite was surf camp. When I came across Camp Fletcher, I knew it was what I wanted to do. When I got the interview scheduled I was a nervous wreck, and I had no idea what to expect. When I came for my interview for the counselor all of my nerves faded. Camp Fletcher immediately felt like home. That was when I knew I wanted to work at Camp Fletcher.

What previous experiences do you have that you feel will make you a great counselor?
In the past, I have worked with children as a lifeguard, a babysitter, and I was my high school’s mascot. Being the mascot let me handle kids in many different situations, from the kids who would cling to my leg all game to the kids who would scream when they saw me. This gave me a great perspective and knowledge on how to help kids work through difficult times. Usually, by the end of the game, the child that cried when they saw me would hug me goodbye. It is truly a heart warming moment when you know you helped a kid overcome a fear.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I am super excited about this summer all together. If I had to pick one thing I was most excited about, it would be being able to inspire the younger generation to love nature and to take care of it. That’s all they are guaranteed in the future, and if it’s destroyed, what will they have? Letting the kids know about the earth will be exciting for both them and myself.

We are so happy that Piper will be joining us this summer, and we know she’s going to have a great time living the experience at Camp Fletcher!

If you haven’t registered for camp yet, time is running out! Our registration is filling up faster than ever before, and it is extremely important that you send in registration forms and deposits as soon as possible in order to reserve your spot. For more information, visit us online or contact the camp office today!

Why we unplug @ Camp Fletcher

When your child comes to Camp Fletcher, they’re going to learn a lot of new things: swimming, canoeing, archery, leadership skills, team building and so much more. We spend a lot of time creating opportunities for our campers to build character, become responsible citizens and learn more about themselves. In order to do this, though, they have to be invested and engaged in what’s going on around them. For our campers, this means unplugging. At Camp Fletcher, we do not allow our campers to have cell phones, video games, tablets or any other electronic devices, because we highly value the time your child will spend with us. Camp isn’t just a babysitting service; we know your kids are there to learn and grow, and unplugging plays a vital role in that process.

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For kids who spend time watching tv, playing games and surfing the internet, we want camp to be a drastically different experience. While we recognize the importance of technology and the role it plays in our lives, we also have come to learn the importance of unplugging for three distinct reasons.

  1. Unplugging allows kids to be fully engaged: When kids aren’t checking their phones, they’re able to be fully present in each and every activity at camp. Campers try things they’ve never imagined doing, so we want them to take every opportunity to participate. We want all the kids at Camp Fletcher to learn something new every day, but they have to be paying attention in order for this to happen. This is especially important when kids are listening to instructions: if they’re distracted, they’re more likely to miss an important piece of information, and this could mean their safety is compromised. We never want a child to be so worried about keeping up with their device that they miss an opportunity or don’t hear important directions. By removing phones and other devices from the equation, we’re ensuring that your kids are able to participate 100% in the safest way possible.
  2. Unplugging allows kids to connect to their community: Cell phones often mean kids are texting or chatting with their friends from school. While we understand that our campers have friends outside of camp, we also know how valuable camp friendships can be. Camp Fletcher is extremely diverse, and we want all our campers to meet people who are different from them. When they have to put down their devices and connect to those around them, it becomes much easier to make new friends. While this might be more difficult for shyer kids, we’ll help them break out of their comfort zone – and this can only occur without devices. We want all of our campers to get to know the people around them and to find their place in this new community.
  3. Unplugging is fun: Even though kids might be reluctant to give up their cell phones and video games, we know they will have just as much (if not more) fun without them! Our campers stay busy, and they spend their days swimming, hiking, canoeing, and playing outside. While technology is an important part of their life, we know camp can be a life-changing experience. Our campers will always value the time they spent at Camp Fletcher connecting to nature and to their fellow campers.

At Camp Fletcher, we are working hard to create a fun, safe environment for your kid to experience new things! Our campers are our #1 priority, and we wouldn’t have this rule if we didn’t feel it was in their best interest. We want your child to have the best summer of their life at Camp Fletcher, and we believe that unplugging is key to that experience.

If you have any questions about our policy, or for more information about how you can get in contact with your child during camp, feel free to visit us online or contact us today.