Hi, this is Kenzie Rhoads at Camp Loughridge and I am with Michael Staires, our program’s director for our summer camp Tulsa. And Mike, I just was going to ask you a couple of questions about– just taking us through what a summer looks like at Camp Loughridge, and how those next steps of how a kid can make it out to camp this summer.

Michael Staires: Okay. Fire away. I love talking about summer camp Tulsa. Wedding Venues Tulsa

Kenzie: [laughs] Okay. First of all, I guess, the first question should be, what does the schedule look like for this summer?

Michael: Okay. We do weekly day camps. We have eight sessions and a session is a week long. Sessions are from Monday to Friday. We go the four weeks of June, then we take a week off, the week of July 4th. It’s pretty interesting because we work out an arrangement with the American Diabetes Association, here in Tulsa, and they do a camp called, Lo Be Gone, and it’s for children with diabetes.

It’s a really unique experience because the campers are– they have diabetes but then the counselors also have diabetes, so they talk– not only do they get a great camp experience with all the fun and activities that we have to offer, but they actually have classes where they talk about blood sugar, and they talk about what is the disease and different ways to manage the disease, because this is something that these kids really need to learn to live with.

Kenzie: Absolutely.

Michael: It’s a really cool weekly camp. Then, the last three weeks of July and the first week of August, those are the last four sessions. So we go from– I think June 5th, is the first Monday of our first camp and August 4th, is the day of the last Friday of our last camp. We have eight different sessions, four in June and then four in July and August.

Kenzie: And what are the average ages of the campers? Wedding Venues Tulsa

Michael: We’ve kind of toyed around with that a little bit. Last year we took ages 7-12, and we had a few parents that– they thought that their 6-year-olds were ready and they said, “Can we send our 6-year-olds?” and we sad, “Sure bring them on.” And they did that, and everything worked out great. So, we’re going to include the 6-year-olds this year up to 12. At 12-years-old they age out of the program. They can apply to be a counselor at age 16. So we’ve got this gap, and what we are hoping to do, well, what we will do, is do something that’s very unique in summer camp’s Tulsa.

We’re going to do a CIT program which is counsel and training, and it’s for those 13, 14 and 15-year-olds. It’ll be equal parts of camp experience, a service experience, where they will learn servant leadership, then they’ll also be some class time ,where they will learn leadership styles, they’ll learn about personality styles and those kinds of things. Because we really want to instill some strong leadership principles in them. And then, the idea is, after they turn 16, then they would be able to step into a some of the staff job.

Kenzie: Can those counselors in training– do they sign up for one week? Do they sign up for three weeks?

Michael: That’s a good question. In the past, we’ve just taken it a week at a time and counselors in training can come as much as they want or as little as they want. But we’re trying to standardize that a little bit more. So, we’re going to take 10 kids who will come for, one of four two-weeks session. I kind of threw a lot of numbers out there, let me break that down. Wedding Venues Tulsa

You will apply, CIT’s will need to apply, they don’t register. They will need to go through an application process and they will come for two weeks at a time. The design is that they’ll just come for one, two-week session. Like I said, part of that, they’ll actually be assigned to a tribe, which is what we call our groups of campers. They’ll get some camper time in there. But then, they’ll also have time where they’ll help set up, and clean up after lunch and then, like I said, there will be class time too.

Kenzie: Okay. That’s great. I think the elephant in some other rooms might be, how much does sending your kid to camp a week cost?

Michael: Great question. I know when anyone considers summer camps Tulsa, one of the questions that is going to come up is, “How much is the cost?” Wedding Venues Tulsa

Kenzie: Right.

Michael: The four June sessions are $260, and the four July, and that one in August, but the four July sessions are $240. That’s per child. Wedding Venues Tulsa

Kenzie: Okay. So, why is there a little bit of a price difference?

Michael: It’s interesting because I’ve been a camp director for a long, long time and most camps that I’ve been affiliated with, June is the slow month. It’s kind of the slow ramp up with attendance, and camp doesn’t really start filling up until July rolls around. And then, the July weeks are really big, so it kind of tapers. It’s a slow build, and then it ends big. For some reason, Camp Loughridge is just reverse for that. We start off really big and then through to July, we taper off.

For those parents that have options of when they want to send their kids to camp, we’re hoping that the lower price in July will encourage them to send their kids in July. That’s when we need more people to come because it just naturally tapers during that time.

Kenzie: If someone came to camp, say the first week of June, and then by the end of the summer they’re bored again and they want to come in July, is that possible?

Michael: Sure. Yes. In fact last year, we had a handful of kids that came every single week of the summer. And so we have several kids that come for more than one week. Wedding Venues Tulsa

Kenzie: Okay. Well, I guess I’ll just ask. If someone has this desire to send their child to a summer camp Tulsa and they might not have the means, what do you have in place that might be able to help them?

Michael: We have scholarships available. We have a scholarship fund that is available for people, like you said, that don’t have the means to come to camp. Our desire is to get every kid that can come to camp to come to camp, and that money would not be a hurdle that they would have the jump. We have donors that have given money into a scholarship fund. Last year, we did not do a very good job, frankly, of getting those scholarships awarded. We actually had money in the bank. And what kills me is that we had money in the bank that we did not award. Who knows how many kids that could have come to camp that didn’t just because we weren’t diligent about giving that money away.

That’s really high on my priority list this year, to really work with groups that can get kids to camp. We do have what we call out large scholarships available. If a family just wants to call the camp office and say, “We’d love to send our kids but we don’t have the money, can you help us get connected with scholarship funds.” We can do that. But really, we’re also working with a lot of groups and churches and schools around town, who already work with communities of underprivileged to really let Camp Loughridge to be one more thing they offer.

Like, maybe, they do a food pantry once a month, may be they offer meals, or they offer clothes for school kids, or they help them get to the library, or they give them rides to the doctor or whatever that Camp Loughridge would be one more thing that they can offer those kids. We’re really trying to be intentional about making camp available to every kid who wants to.

Kenzie: Take us through a little bit of the application process for, even camp in general and the scholarships.

Michael: You can call the office, that is probably the easiest way, and that’s 918- 446-4194. You can call the office and talk with Linda, and she will actually walk you through the registration process. She could also send you a paper registration so you can register for camp, that way, and you can mail that registration back in. Or you can go online to camploughridge.org and that’s C-A-M-P-L-O-U-G-H-R-I-D-G-E .org. Wow.

Kenzie: That’s a mouthful [laughs].

Michael: Spell indeed. You can go on the website and you can register for camp online there. And it’s pretty easy. There is a couple of forms to fill out, a medical form and some permission release forms, and things like that. But, it’s a pretty east thing . Linda is available by phone to answer any questions that you might have in the process.

Kenzie: Great. Thanks for your time, Mike. Again, this is Kenzie with Camp Loughridge, sitting in with Mike Staires talking about everything summer camps Tulsa.

Michael: Yes, and don’t forget that phone number is 918-446-41-94 and the website is www.camploughridge.org.

Kenzie: Thanks, Mike.