Tulsa Summer Camps : Summer Camp Programs

Micheal: Hello, my name is Michael stairs and I’m the summer camp director at Camp Loughridge. I’m here today to talk about one of Tulsa summer camp, one of the most unique camps in Tulsa, Tulsa summer camp, Camp Loughridge. We’re here to talk about the program and what we have to offer this summer, particularly for middle schoolers. We have summer camp day camp programs for kids 6 to 12 years old but this summer we’re offering a new program for 13, 14 and 15-year-olds called the CREW program.

That’s what I really want to dive into today. Just to remind you that Camp Loughridge is unique among Tulsa summer camps because of its location. We’re located just five minutes west of the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center, west of Highway 75 which makes it a great location for dropping kids off or picking them up after work for those who commute along highway 75. We are very handy. We run day camp programs that start at between 8:30 and 9:00 in the morning and they go until 4:30 to 5:00 in the afternoon.

We’ll go the four weeks of June and then we take a week off for the 4th of July and then we’ll go the last four weeks in July, it ends on the August 4th. We’ve got eight sessions of summer day camp for kids. Loughridge is a Christian summer camp and so we’re always going to be bringing about the scriptural or the spiritual emphasis on summer camp. That’s what the summer camp program is but because our programs only go from six to 12-year-olds and then staff, the earliest that a kid can apply to be on staff is aged 16.

We’ve got this gap up of 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds, and 15-year-olds that we really felt like we needed to be able to offer something for. Instead of just offering maybe a little bit more intense camp program, we really decided to fill what we saw was an niche that wasn’t being filled among Tulsa summer camps and that was a leadership development program for kids who are 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds and 15 year-olds which is really a threshold between kids and adults. It’s when kids begin to really try on their adulthood a little bit.

They’re taking steps toward independence. Of course, that will culminate when they become 16 and get their driver’s license. We wanted to help parents. We really, Loughridge I think is unique among Tulsa summer camps in that we see ourselves as a tool in the hands of parents to really instill a lot of the same values that they are trying to teach their kids at home. We’re going to be a tool in the parent’s hand to help teach those things in a camp setting.

What is the CREW? Well, the CREW program is a leadership development program for kids ages 13, 14 and 15. CREW stands for character, responsibility, equipped, and wisdom. Character, which is understanding that your character is that person you are when no one is watching and how it’s important to have good character. Responsibility to understand what the weight of responsibility feels like and to begin to get used to being a responsible person, what does that mean and how does that implement itself in our lives.

Then equipped, we want to equip these kids with some basic tools that they’re going to need as they step into leadership positions, as they go through their later middle school, high school, college years and beyond.Then wisdom, everything starts with wisdom. We want these kids to be wise. We’re going to spend a lot of time in Proverbs and understanding, of course, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. I think that that offers, that verse actually offers some clues into where we are, what kind of program this is going to be.

See in the mornings, the CREW will actually be assigned to various tribes with other counselors. They’ll, for lack of a better term, they’ll be counselors in training. I believe that there’s probably a lot of great counselors in training program throughout Tulsa summer camps but where the Loughridge CREW program is going to be different is that in the morning they’ll be with counselors and at around the lunch hour, which is where I want to focus this conversation, they’ll be learning service.

Then in the afternoon, they’ll be in undergoing or they’ll be going through some leadership classes. But we’ve talked about the leadership classes previously. This is where we will really want an opportunity to talk about that service opportunity.Part of a growing up is is understanding what a job is. That I’m trading my labor for pay to get some money or to get some other kind of benefit. Now the CREW program, the kids do not get paid but this is an early lesson of what it is to work.

Of course one of the more difficult things to understand for any of us but especially for a kid that’s just beginning to branch out and understand who they are and where they fit in the total scheme of things is this aspect of the duality that we see so often in the Kingdom of God.

If you want to be rich, you have to learn to give everything away. If you want to be the head then you have to learn to be the tail. If you want to learn to be a leader then you need to learn to be the servant of all. Being a leader is not just being in charge of everything. Being a leader in God’s kingdom is understanding that you lead by example, that you go in low.

Let’s talk about that just a little bit. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. How does wisdom, how does leadership actually begin? What’s the seed?

The seed is the fear of the Lord and that’s understanding that fear not in terms of being scared but fear in terms of awe and wonder and a healthy attitude that compared with God Almighty, we are nothing. I think that forces us down and the way– that’s why we bow our heads when we pray. That’s why many people choose to get on their knees when they pray or even fall on their faces to actually physically go low.

My wife has a saying that she says, “I’ve never been disappointed when I’ve gone in low.” When we understand humility when we understand what that really means to go in low and to be a servant, to be willing to take the lower place, that’s a powerful, powerful lesson to learn. That is the seed of a great leader that you’re willing to take the lower place. God says– James wrote in the book of James that God stands opposed to the proud but He gives grace to the humble.

Well, I don’t know about you but I tend to have enough problems in my life without having God standing opposed to me. I want to be in a place of humility. I always want to be in a place where I am choosing to go low.

I think that as we look at the landscape of so many young people today, one of the words that you hear, a lot of school teachers and youth directors and community recreation leaders, anyone that works with kids consistently one of the things that they will say is the kids tend to have an incredible sense of entitlement that they deserve. They deserve to win or they deserve to be first or they deserve that price or that award or they deserve that higher salary or they deserve a brand new car or they deserve to be considered before anyone else.

These are all very dangerous attitudes to have for an effective leader.  Tulsa Summer Camps We’re going to do battle with that attitude because we’re going to say “No, you’re not entitled to that.” As leaders in the kingdom of God, we choose to go low.

How does that work itself out? At Camp Loughridge which is a unique Tulsa summer camp at Camp Loughridge, we do that over the lunch period so that kids will have an opportunity, the CREW kids will have an opportunity to set up for lunch, to make sure that we’re ready for lunch, to wipe down tables after lunch, to clean up spills, to empty trash, to sweep the floor, to get the dining room back to the way it should be when all the campers leave.

This is a very important place for the CREW kids to actually learn the value of service.  Tulsa Summer Camps We get some kids we have in the past that they’re not used to doing this kind of work and they really buck against it. That’s not something that they thought that they were getting inline for. They thought being a counselor in training meant that they just sat back and told people what to do. Sadly, a lot of people have their view of leadership, and they want to be leaders for all the wrong reasons. Those are some of the things that we want to do battle with this summer. The CREW program is a 10-day program, two weeks.

You can find a lot more information on the CREW program on our website, camploughridge.org. Just look for the CREW program and you can get that. There’s also a place for you to contact us if you have any questions.

One other thing, kids who are involved in the CREW, not only enroll, but they also have to apply.  Tulsa Summer Camps There’s a short application. We believe that part of this leadership development is understanding how to fill out an application, just even at it’s very base version. It’s not complicated but we think it’s time that kids learn to articulate some of the answers to the questions that we ask.

This has been Michael Stairs, the summer camp director at camp Lockers, talking about the CREW program.

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