Summer 2016 Highlights

We had an INCREDIBLE summer at Camp Fletcher, and we can’t believe it’s over already! Between the swimming, canoeing, archery, field games and more, the summer definitely flew by, and we can’t believe it’s already time for our campers to head back to school. We hope you enjoyed the summer as much as we did, and we can’t wait to see you again next year. Here are a few of our favorite moments from summer 2016!

DSC_0849 (2)

13620037_10153709483673715_1276531808137396325_n

13891855_10153774392733715_3983831611538172396_n

13606521_10153709628598715_5537048240330688404_n

13669697_10153774294253715_5399865373060142328_n

13901556_10153774282878715_9032492828919742377_n

We hope our resident campers has a great time, too!

13510801_10153677413453715_2862236895901485994_n

13891947_10153774402943715_189308159080103020_n

DSC00025

We had a great summer, and we’re already hard at working planning our awesome fall events and field trips. If you want to see more photos from the summer, be sure to check out our Facebook page!

Advertisements

VISTA Spotlight: Jade

Summer is always an exciting time at Camp Fletcher, but this summer has been especially exciting with the addition of two new VISTA members, Cynthia and Jade. Jade joined Camp Fletcher and Camp Fire Alabama in June as our Education Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA. She has some fantastic ideas for our garden education program, and we know she’s going to have a great time serving with us!

JadeVistaSpotlight

Jade is 23 years old and was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from The University of Montevallo. We’re so excited about all of the passion and experience Jade brings to our VISTA team!

What made you decide to serve as a VISTA with Camp Fletcher?
I decided serve as a VISTA with Camp Fletcher for two reasons. First, I want to have experience in the education field and, secondly, Camp Fletcher matches with my goals for a future career in school counseling.

What previous experiences do you have that you feel will equip you for your position?
A majority of my work and volunteer experience has been in youth service. During college, I worked as a teacher’s aide at Child Study Center, a senior camp counselor at YMCA Camp Cosby and mentored for two years with Blueprints College Access Initiative.

What are your goals for your year of service? What do you hope to accomplish?
My number one goal for my year of service is to make sure every garden exploration lesson plan is up to course standards and is fun! Also, I want every day to be a day of learning, not just for kids, but every adult — as well as myself.

What aspect of your position are you most excited about?
I am most excited about interacting with kids, but I am so excited about doing a job I love. With this mindset I know I can give more than 100% to achieve success for everyone involved in the garden education program at Camp Fletcher.

What aspect of your position do you feel will be the most challenging?
This job is a new adventure, the most challenging aspect of this job is to make a curriculum that everyone will like and find successful.

We know Jade is going to do a great job, and we can’t wait to share the garden education program she’s designing with you next spring! For more information about Camp Fletcher’s garden and the VISTA project, visit us online!

 

VISTA Spotlight: Cynthia

It’s an exciting time at Camp Fletcher – summer camp just kicked off and we’ve also welcomed a new VISTA member to our team! We’re excited to introduce Cynthia, and we know she’s going to have a great year of service with us at Camp Fletcher.

Cynthia will be serving as our Community Mapping Specialist. She is originally from Dayton, Ohio but has lived in the Birmingham area for many years. Cynthia currently holds a B.A. in English, a Masters Degree in Business and is finishing up a B.S. in Psychology. We are so excited to welcome her, and we know she’s going to be a great addition to our VISTA project!

cynthia glenn spotlight photo

What made you decide to serve as a VISTA with Camp Fletcher? I am very active and engaged in my community and when the opportunity to serve as a VISTA presented itself, I was very happy and honored to accept the appointment.

What previous experiences do you have that you feel will equip you for your position? I currently serve as the Special Events Coordinator for the Title I Parent Leader Counsel as established under Federal guidelines, and this volunteer position has afforded me the opportunity to serve my community in a number of capacities that range from working with school administrators, parents, students and key policy makers throughout the Birmingham City School system and surrounding areas.

What are your goals for your year of service? What do you hope to accomplish? My goal during my 1st year of service is to connect with and establish lasting relationships with the educational communities that surround Camp Fletcher.

What aspect of your position are you most excited about? I’m excited about bringing awareness to the surrounding area that Camp Fletcher is true Alabama history and that it should be seen as our gold mine.

What aspect of your position do you feel will be the most challenging? Initial contact and establishing the connections with the persons that can move the cause forward will be the most challenging.

If you would like more information about our VISTA project, you can visit us online to learn more about all of our service members!

Staff Training 2016

DSC_0784
Camp Fletcher Summer Staff 2016

Today is the first day of summer camp and our staff has been hard at work getting ready over the past few weeks! Each year our Program Coordinator, Kasey, spends countless hours recruiting counselors for summer camp. Staff members have to be hard-working and full of energy, and Kasey hires and trains counselors that can facilitate a great summer at camp. Each counselor must participate in an extensive training program following the American Camping Association and Camp Fire’s policies and guidelines. We held staff training last week, and we wanted to give you a sneak peak into what our counselors learn!

Lifeguard training comes first, and all of our Lifeguards are trained and certified by the American Red Cross. Counselors who serve as lifeguards spent an additional week at Camp Fletcher with lifeguard trainer Jordan Barksdale. We have a great group of lifeguards this year and we’re looking forward to safe swimming at camp this summer!

DSC_0276
Lifeguards Mia and Courtney during Lifeguard Training

 

All of our counselors spend a week at camp for staff training. Many of our counselors are returning, and they are great at leading songs, following directions and setting a positive tone. We are so thankful for the counselors that return year after year, and they do a great job of welcoming new counselors to the camp family, too!

Staff training was all about learning and growing. Our counselors received First Aid and CPR Certification from the McAdory Fire Department; they spent time learning to lead camp activities – from canoeing to archery to the ropes course. They sang songs, shared meals and got to know one another. They practiced common camp scenarios, learned problem solving techniques and focused on camper health and safety.

DSC_0380
Camp Fletcher staff with Firefighter Kevin Allred from the McAdory Fire Department after First Aid and CPR Certification
DSC_0404
These counselors have been friends since kindergarten, and we’re so excited to have them working together at camp this summer!
DSC_0485
Counselors learning elements on the ropes course.
DSC_0387
We love to tie-dye at camp! Check out these counselors learning one of our favorite crafts!
DSC_0638
Hiking is a favorite camp activity and our counselors know the trails well by the end of staff training!

Learning to be a good counselor is all about thinking fast, working together and putting the needs of the camper first. It’s important that our counselors are having fun and loving camp, but our main focus is always safety. Staff training teaches our counselors how to be great leaders that can insure a safe, fun summer environment for each and every camper. We’ve got a great group of counselors this year, and we’re so excited for everything summer 2016 is going to bring! For more pictures from staff training, head over to our Facebook page!

Counselor Spotlights: Brianna & Mia!

Staff training started over the weekend, and we are so excited to have all of our awesome counselors at Camp Fletcher for seven days! Great counselors are key to a safe and fun summer, and staff training is an important part of making sure our counselors are ready and excited for the next nine weeks. So far, it’s been great, and we’re so excited to welcome back familiar faces and meet many new counselors, too! Today we’re introducing you to two new counselors, Brianna and Mia! This will be their first summer at Camp Fletcher, and we know they’re going to love being part of the Camp Family!

Allen

Brianna is 24 years old. She is from St. Petersberg, Florida and currently attends Judson College, where she majors in social work. Keep reading to learn more!

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to help the youth we serve!

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
My studies to become a social worker will help! Also, I help my younger cousins through dilemmas as they grow older.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I think it’s going to be a great experience!


Mia  is 18 years old and is from Birmingham, Alabama. She attends Samford University, and her major is currently undeclared, but she is considering a double major in International Relations and French!

mia

What made you choose Camp Fletcher?
I have always loved working as a counselor at summer camps, so when I found Camp Fletcher’s job announcement on the Samford University’s job searching database, I knew I had to apply! I was hired for the job and I am so excited to serve as a camp counselor at Camp Fletcher!

What previous experiences do you have that you think will make you a great counselor?
As a child who spent a lot of time at summer camps, I remember how much I looked up to my camp counselors as role models and knew that I wanted to be just like them. Ever since middle school, I have had the opportunity to work as a camp counselor at a variety of camps including Girl Scouts Rocky Mountain Day Camp at Kanawahala Program Center and Dawson Music Academy’s Music Camp at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church. My past experience as a camp counselor has helped me grow in patience and leadership, skills I will continue to hone as a counselor at Camp Fletcher.

What are you most excited about for summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I am so excited to have the opportunity to spend my summer with some incredible campers, counselors, and staff members! I can’t wait to see how much the campers grow during their time at Camp Fletcher as they create new friendships, memories, and experiences!

Welcome to Camp Fletcher, Brianna & Mia! It’s going to be a great summer!

5 Tips For First-Time Counselors

Staff training starts later this week, and many of our counselors this year have never worked at a summer camp before! While we have lots of returning counselors, as well, we’re so excited to welcome a group of brand new faces to camp. We know this summer is going to be fantastic, and we can’t wait to get everyone together at staff training!

staff 2015

If this will be your first summer working as a counselor, keep reading for five helpful tips for a great summer at Camp Fletcher!

  1. Have the right mindset: If you come into camp with a positive mindset and a flexible attitude, you will get so much more out of it! Our campers look to you to set the tone for each day: they get excited about camp when you are excited about camp. A little energy goes a long way in making sure campers are happy and having fun!
  2. Be in the moment: Cell phones and other screens are a no-go at camp because we think unplugging is vital to a successful learning environment. Our counselors need to be focused at all times for the safety of our campers, and being present in every moment insures that our campers are always safe. Plus, they will follow your lead – if you’re engaged and interested in an activity, they will be, too!
  3. Pay attention when you pack: You don’t want to under or over pack for a week of camp. Staff training is a great time to learn what you’ll need each week, so pay attention to what returning counselors bring. Make sure you have a great pair of tennis shoes – you’ll wear them every day!
  4. Learn constantly: Our returning counselors have a lot of helpful experience under their belt, so working with them will teach you a lot. It’s also important to have a teachable attitude and to ask questions. You’ll learn a lot from a summer working at Camp Fletcher if you make the effort!
  5. This is the toughest job you will ever love: Our counselors work hard, but they gain so much from their time here. We know you will learn and grow, and that a summer at Camp Fletcher can change you. There’s a reason so many counselors return each summer – it’s an experience you will never forget!

If you are interested in applying for a summer staff position, you’ve only got a few days left! Staff training starts this week. You can get more info & apply online at http://www.campfire-al.org

Counselor Spotlight: Jeral!

Counselor training starts NEXT WEEK, and we are so excited to welcome back another great counselor. At Camp Fletcher, Jeral is better known as J Money, and we’re so glad he’s returning for his third summer as a counselor! Keep reading to learn more, and be sure to check out his counselor spotlight from last summer!

j money
J Money at Camp Fletcher, Summer 2015

J Money is 23 years old. He attends UAB, where he majors in Information Systems.

What made you want to return to Camp Fletcher for another summer?
Camp Fletcher is my second home and the staff is my second family so I have to visit every now and then, right? Working at camp allows me to enjoy hard work while having fun with the campers at the same time. It’s an experience, among several others, that will always draw me back for another summer.

What was your favorite memory from summer 2015 at Camp Fletcher?
I’ll cheat and tell my favorite camper memory and counselor/staff memory. My camper memory is seeing the stumped looks on all of the campers when I perform my magic card tricks. I smile when they keep asking me to do the trick again, show them another trick, or teach it to them. I still remember showing one trick to a camper; he vowed to learn how I did that trick and show me the next time we meet at camp.

My counselor memory is that I made crystal heart ornaments for my co-counselors who had to leave camp for a day due to an illness. I made them just to show that they were not forgotten and I’m sure I made them feel even better when they returned. The funny thing about it was that I was keeping it a secret from everyone and I was walking back and forth between my cabin room and the kitchen with jars of hot water every night. I got interrogated a lot, but it was all for a good cause!

What are you most excited about for summer 2016 at Camp Fletcher?
I’ve learned a lot more magic card tricks and I’ll be bringing even more new, crazy fun ideas to camp. I’m expecting another fun summer with all of the campers and counselors.

We can’t wait to welcome J Money back to camp next week for staff training, and we know it’s going to be a great summer! If you’re interested in working as a counselor this summer, there’s still time to apply. Visit us online for more information and to apply today!