The Wildwood Write Up

June 30, 2023

The Wildwood Write Up

AKA All the News That Session 3 Printed

Edited by staff Lizzie and Lehanna

Why Camp Helps Mental Health

Written by Milla H.

Camp is a nice place to let go of worries and other bad stuff.

The counselors will always check to make sure that people are ok and well. Making friends is good. You can talk to them and maybe open up.

When you’re here, people make friendship bracelets for each other.

Camp is calm and kind of crazy but it’s fun. There are so many places to relax and take naps. There is rest time, so if people have books or journals that help them, they can use them, which is good. They can also use them when they go to the library.

If people have bad sleep schedules, coming to camp can help them fix it. The breeze is a nice sound that will help you relax.

When people go to camp, they can’t have their phones. It’s nice that they can have a five day break.

When people have friends at camp, they can hangout with them and help them. If people have fears they want to face, friends can help them do that.

The counselors are really nice, but they will be strict. If someone barely drinks water and they want to drink more, then come to camp! The counselor[s] make sure you drink water.

Everyone is super nice and helpful.

My Cabin

Written by Emersyn D

What I like about my cabin is my bunk bed. I sleep on the bottom bunk.

Another thing I like about my cabin is the porch. I put my towels, swimming suit, bug spray, and sunscreen on the porch.

My cabin leaders are cool (especially Alex).

What I like about my cabin is the girls. They’re nice, caring, funny, and cool.

One thing that I’ve done with my cabin is songs like “60’s Party in a 60’s Movie” and “You Can’t Ride in my Little Red Wagon.”

What do you like about your cabin?


Written by Sidney B

At Wildwood there is so much nature. I wrote this because I really like nature.

I like the way it looks, the way it flows, and how it feels. There might be some bugs, but I still love it.

The coolest thing I saw in nature at Wildwood was probably the frogs.

Nature at Wildwood

Written by Delaney B

At Wildwood, you’re surrounded by nature.

There’s a big pond for kayaking or canoeing. Many frogs can be found near it. Lots of kids can fish and explore in the pond! There are lots of trees, too. They provide shade and amazing scenery. Wild flowers grow everywhere and the there’s a beautiful meadow. Most people at Wildwood like the nature here. The beauty of it makes people feel good. For others, nature might push them out of their comfort zone, and that can be a good thing! Although there are negatives about nature. There are bugs everywhere, and you could get a sunburn. That’s why counselors remind campers to wear sunscreen and bug spray so they can still explore the great outdoors!

A Day at Camp

Written by Logan K

Yesterday I did sports and we played kickball and soccer.

After that I did journalism club and interviewed 5 people.

Next I ate lunch, and during rest time we finished “Night of the Ninjas” which was a really cool book.

And then we had KFC bowls for dinner. Next some kids and I started to catch frogs.

Finally we went into our cabins and went to sleep.

Wildwood Years

Written by Ellie P

What I like about Wildwood is that they have changed things from last year. We have clubs now and they are so fun. We get to have plays, go outside, and see animals. There’s so many other things here at Wildwood.

What I also love about Wildwood is that the staff here care for you. They make you laugh when you feel down and sometimes you could get treats, but not all the time.

Overall camp Wildwood is one of the best camps I have ever been to. The food here is so good and so is the sherbet.

One of my favorite things about Wildwood is that my first year here we went down to the lake and we got to catch fish, but we would be careful about the snapping turtles. On my first try, I got a snapping turtle. The snapping turtle would follow me around, but I ran because I was scared of it. I thought it would bite me, but it never did. Some of my friends and I were laughing. It was funny. I have so many memories about Wildwood but that one is my favorite of all time.

My Favorite Memory at Wildwood

Written by Natalie P.

It was my first year, and I was really scared. I thought I wasn’t going to make any friends and plus I was the oldest in my cabin.

When I first settled down in my cabin, my counselor Jessie explained everything.

Then I made my first friend and we bonded really well. I got comfortable with the others in the cabin, too. The beds were really uncomfortable, but it was alright.

I learned how to fish, boat, and other skills I never learned before. There was a bad time, but we got through as a cabin.

I still talk to the girls I had in my first cabin. Wildwood is the most fun camp I have ever been to. I grew as a person, met new people, and got out of my comfort zone.


Written by Jhi’Xe Y

Wildwood is a camp that gives you many fun and educating experiences. However, some campers don’t enjoy their stay. Here are some ways [I think] Camp Wildwood can improve and give campers a joyful experience:

  1. Later Bedtimes — Some campers get along so well with their fellow cabin mates that they don’t want to go to bed at 10:30, which causes arguments and disruption. Maybe 11:15 PM for older kids.
  2. More Options — There are more energetic kids, less energetic, and calm kids. They should have plenty of activities for both.
  3. More Concern about Mental Health — Some kids come to Camp Wildwood to get away and they may need to be checked in on.

With that being said, I hope Wildwood takes this into consideration.

About Camp

Written by Anna E.

This camp is amazing if you want to get away from home because it’s a fun sleep way camp.

Some things that happen in this camp are kids waking up counselors, making bracelets, swimming, rock wall, giant swing, and naps.

There are also camp clubs. Some of those clubs are ropes, farm, nature, and swimming. Most of this camp is fun and amazing. There are a lot of great and amazing food.

That is all about my camp!

Fun Things at Camp

Written by Mackenzie M

Me and Emmy had a lot of funny stuff in the lunchroom. What we were doing was hiding from each other in the cabin. We played family without stuffed animals. We brushed our teeth and then went to bed, and me and Emmy were passing notes to each other. And then we changed to go to bed. We fell asleep.

[The next day,] me and Emmy went swimming in the water. The water was cold. [We] had a camp fire, and I made a s’more and pizza and sandwiches.

I went on the giant swing. I went all the way up.

Reasons Why Camp Wildwood is Good for Mental Health

Written by Truth R

One reason Camp Wildwood is good for mental health is because if campers have something going on at home, they can come here. They can use this as an escape or getaway from their problems. Camp can help take their minds off certain things. Another reason camp is good for mental health is they can learn a lot of things. Usually kids just sit at home on their phones all day doing the same stuff each and everyday. When campers come here, they’re not on an electronic. They can socialize with different people and instead of doing the same things everyday. They can do plenty of different things each day and can learn stuff they didn’t know about nature of different stuff in general.

Camp Wildwood–A Ten Year Program

Camp Wildwood–A Ten Year Program

A camp session at Wildwood lasts just 5 days, but we often talk about Camp Wildwood being a 10-year program.

Why? We focus on having campers come back each year because the research shows increased benefits for campers each year they return, culminating in long-term benefits that will impact campers into adulthood.

What are these benefits? We’re glad you asked!

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Welcome, Americorps VISTAs!

Welcome, Americorps VISTAs!

This year, Wildwood has been lucky to welcome two excellent Americorps VISTA members, Shannon and Katie! Shannon and Katie will be with Wildwood for the next 12 months, increasing Wildwood’s fundraising, volunteering, programming, and camp recruitment and retention capacity.

More specifically, Shannon will be building new camp programs, leveling up our staff training, and planning new ways to recruit and retain camp staff and campers. Katie will be re-building Wildwood’s volunteer program, supporting individual fundraising through community events, and crafting new PR strategy for Wildwood.

They are both making a huge difference at Wildwood already, and we are so excited to have them on board! Welcome to the team!

(You can send a digital welcome to Shannon and Katie here: https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/fMYnTOzu)

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The Wild Robot in the Woods

The Wild Robot in the Woods

Wildwood loves summer reading. Research says that kids who read during the summer retain more school-year learning and enjoy reading more.

At camp, kids read everywhere–on rules for fishing, in directions for sunblock and insect repellant, on signs in the cabins.

Reading at camp is more fun and engaging when we add a sense of community to our reading program. That’s why we are so excited to introduce a common read this year, The Wild Robot written by Peter Brown.

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Volunteer Counselor–David

take a wild guess volunteers

Although we haven’t had volunteers on site in the last year or so, we are so so grateful for their work and support. In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’d like to highlight the experience one of our dedicated volunteers, David, had working with campers in 2019.

My name is David. I work at Cerner. In 2019, I had the opportunity to volunteer as a counselor for a week of camp at Wildwood.

How I Got Involved

You might wonder how I came to spend a week with campers at Wildwood.

I first learned about Wildwood in March 2018 when I was searching for volunteer opportunities. I stumbled across a listing for Wildwood’s fundraiser, Take A Wild Guess, at Boulevard Brewery. Between my background as an Eagle Scout and my fondness for local beer, I knew that this was the perfect volunteer opportunity for me. I volunteered at the event–manning a game station for guests–but I immediately felt I had more I could offer Wildwood than a donation or a few hours of my time.

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What’s In A Friendship Bracelet?

What’s In A Friendship Bracelet?

Making friends is a huge feature of the camp experience. It’s easy to bond in five short days. Campers eat, sleep, and try new activities together. They participate in unique traditions and are encouraged to be their most authentic selves. 

As much as we’d like to believe that the most salient parts of camp are the carefully thought out, academically rich activities we construct, it’s the new friends with whom campers complete these activities that they remember most. 

So when a pandemic came knocking on our door, we decided to do something to keep friendships bright. Specifically, we decided to create a friendship bracelet kit designed to increase campers’ social-emotional learning, and feelings of connection.

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Camp Tricks for A Happier Homeschool Experience

happy campers at a campfire with their counselor

For many parents–maybe even you–this fall will include some degree of homeschooling. Whether it’s full virtual school, a part virtual schedule, or parents leading full homeschool lessons, being tasked with managing a student’s needs can be daunting and stressful.

So, while we might not be able to stay at home with your child, we’d like to offer a few camp tricks to make homeschooling just a little easier.

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The Art of Unstructured Play

Kids engaging in Unstructured Play

As a kid, I made “quicksand” out of dirt and hose water; I picked dandelions and made houses for roly-polies; I played “spy” with my brother and two neighbor boys. Little of this play was directly supervised, and none of it was directed by adults.

As an adult however, un-planned play time with kids leaves me with a deep anxiety. I worry that they will be bored. I’m terrified that they will be hurt. I hear myself reflexively cry out “Be careful!” and watch their every step.

I think, “I must be doing this wrong. Don’t kids need structure?”

But they probably need less regiment than I think. Despite my anxiety, kids thrive on unstructured play.

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Wildwood’s 40 Years

40 years of Wildwood

“Wildwood?! I went there when I was a kid!”

Folks tell me this when I meet someone new and tell them where I work. High schoolers and adults alike remember spending time at Wildwood with their sixth grade class or at summer camp. In fact, we estimate that 160,000 Kansas Citians have visited Wildwood at some point.

What’s wilder is that Wildwood is turning 40 this year!

We created a new 40th anniversary logo, and we think it’s time to re-tell the Wildwood story.

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Why You Should Work for A Camp

Why You Should Work for A Camp

It feels impossible, but summer camp is a mere four months away! We just opened registration, and we’ve started recruiting for summer staff, including counselors, cabin leaders, lifeguards, and more.

Laura, our Operations Director, and I will meet hundreds of college students this spring for recruitment. We’ll try to tell them why they should spend their summer at Wildwood.

But it’s hard to explain all of the “why’s” in a few minutes.

Most broadly, working at camp and, more specifically, Wildwood offers transferable skills, experience working with youth and practice leadership skills, and a chance to change KC-area kids’ lives.

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