16 Mar How Integrity & Self-Responsibility Helps Children Become More Confident, Happy Individuals


How Integrity & Self-Responsibility Helps Children Become More Confident, Happy Individuals

I want to share with you a wonderful 3-minute video.

Here, Jessie Diggins a Gold Medal winner and Susquehannock Truesport Ambassador – talks about the value of integrity and self-responsibility.

Learning the value of integrity at a young age helps children become more confident, happy individuals. Sportsmanship and a “team first” mentality are just a few of the high integrity lessons taught at Susquehannock every day.


24 Feb 6 Simple Foods Your Child Can Eat for Bone and Joint Health

6 Simple Foods Your Child Can Eat for Bone and Joint Health

Our relationship with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency/TrueSport has provided us access to a wealth of information that can benefit your children. This week I want to share with you some great nutritional information. I hope you find this helpful.


You might think of bone and joint health as something older adults have to contend with as they age, but in reality, childhood and adolescence is the time to lay the foundation for bone and joint health. In fact, the National Institutes of Health points out that “up to 90 percent of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and by age 20 in boys.”

Fortunately, bone and joint health can be supported by food choices. Here, TrueSport Expert Kristen Ziesmer, a registered dietitian and the owner of Elite Nutrition and Performance, is sharing how to eat for bone and joint health.

Why does eating for bone health matter for young athletes in particular?
“Anytime that a young athlete is doing any type of exercise, that puts stress on their bones and joints. This is especially true of sports with a lot of repetitive movements,” says Ziesmer. “And that includes most sports young athletes are doing, since even sports that aren’t super repetitive often will have repetitive drills in practice. That repetition, especially when it’s high impact things like jumping, puts a lot more stress on their bones. Injury is obviously a concern, so we want to help our athletes proactively prevent that.

Calcium
You probably remember from high school health class that calcium is the mineral necessary for growing strong bones. Calcium provides structure and strength to your bones. “Making sure young athletes eat enough calcium now is so important for them later,” Ziesmer says. “As early as our 30s, we start slowly losing bone density. So, we want to make sure that athletes are stocking up on calcium when they’re young.”

She recommends aiming for roughly 1500 to 2000 milligrams per day. Dairy is the obvious source of calcium: milk, Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, and kefir are all great sources. But you can look beyond dairy too, including leafy greens, broccoli, and fish with the little bones in them (sardines or canned salmon with bone in).

Vitamin D
What you may not remember from high school health class is that without enough vitamin D, calcium can’t be absorbed properly. And this is tricky, since vitamin D is almost impossible to get from food alone—it requires exposure to sunlight (or doctor recommended supplementation).

Ziesmer suggests getting vitamin D levels checked regularly because many young athletes end up deficient in this vitamin since outdoor exposure is limited during school hours and many northern climates lack the opportunity for sun exposure. “Vitamin D is an important hormone that controls so many things in our body, including bone health,” she says. “The best source is from the sun, so try spending 30 minutes a day outside during prime sun hours.” You can also get small amounts from foods, including egg yolks, sockeye salmon, and shiitake mushrooms, as well as dairy and other foods like orange juice that are fortified with vitamin D. Before you consider adding a vitamin D supplement, make sure you check with a doctor.

Vitamin K and Magnesium
Vitamin K and Magnesium are also essential to help the body absorb calcium. “Both of these can also inhibit bone healing if people are not getting enough,” Ziesmer adds. The good news is that these two micronutrients are relatively easy to find in a whole food diet. “Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains—all of these offer plenty of vitamin K and magnesium,” she says.

Glucosamine
Many older adults supplement with glucosamine or glucosamine chondroitin to improve joint health. But while glucosamine does have positive effects on bone health, young athletes can likely skip the supplement (unless directed by a doctor). Like collagen, your body is born with a certain amount of glucosamine and you don’t naturally reproduce it. It just goes away slowly as we age. But a healthy diet that includes the appropriate vitamins and minerals can go a long way to protecting your athletes’ bones and joints without resorting to supplements.

If you do want to add glucosamine to your athlete’s diet, consider buying or making a bone broth. Because bone broth is made by breaking down connective tissue and cartilage, it actually does contain glucosamine, as well as collagen, which can potentially help with joint and muscle protection, says Ziesmer.

Protein
While we’ve been focusing on micronutrients, a healthy diet that contains a good blend of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is also critical for bone health. Protein in particular is important, though not specifically for your bones. Rather, Ziesmer says, we need enough protein to protect and develop the muscle that attaches to your bones and serves as their primary protection from injury. The stronger and healthier your muscles, the more protective they are. She suggests aiming for one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight at least. If an athlete is injured, increase that number to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to promote healing.

Eating Enough
The last, and arguably most important thing to remember about eating for bone and joint health, is simply eating enough. A young athlete who isn’t getting enough calories overall is more prone to injury, bone loss, bone damage, and other negative health repercussions like a loss of periods for young women or issues with illness and fatigue. Unfortunately, there are many young athletes who are chronically under-fueled, and that can have disastrous consequences. “Athletes should eat consistently throughout the day with a balanced meal or snack at least every three hours, and really focus on eating to a comfortable fullness,” says Ziesmer. (You can see what a balanced plate should look like right here.)

Takeaway
Strong bones and joints can lead to stronger performances and healthier bodies for young athletes who strive for optimal performance. Eating enough of the right foods, including calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin D, can help improve bone density and strength.


 

18 Feb Greetings from TrueSport Ambassadors

Greetings from TrueSport Ambassadors

Hello Everyone!
I am so excited to tell you about a wonderful relationship and opportunity we have put together for our campers and staff…

As you know, we promote multi-sport athletic development and confidence-based learning for children between the ages of seven and sixteen. We use sports and other activities to develop confident, high character, independent, resilient, happy, gritty, young girls and boys.

We recently established a relationship with an organization called TrueSport whose philosophy aligns directly with ours. With the help of Trueport, we will be able enhance the impact of our teachings with all campers.

In addition, campers will benefit from the guidance of our new Truesport Ambassadors and their impact as role models. That said, please take a few moments to meet our new ambassadors. They would like to say hello to all of you!

18 Feb The Impact of Teamwork and How It’s Taught at Susquehannock

The Impact of Teamwork and How It’s Taught at Susquehannock

At Susquehannock we use sports and other activities to develop confident, resilient, independent, gritty, happy young girls and boys. One of the key lessons your children will learn is the value in Teamwork. Teamwork does not just apply to sports but to life. Teamwork is one of the key foundations of a family, groups of friends, clubs and our professional careers.

Take a moment now to watch and share this short 2-minute video with your children: Olympic Medalist TrueSport Susquehannock Ambassador DeeDee Trotter shares the fundamentals and value of Teamwork.

Click Here to Watch Video

18 Feb Critical Leadership Qualities Learned at Camp Susquehannock

Critical Leadership Qualities Learned at Camp Susquehannock

This past summer one of our weekly educational themes was leadership.

The skills of a true leader can be practiced and learned. A good leader leads by example; they focus on solutions and allow others to shine.

Team USA Volleyball member and Truesport Susquehannock Ambassador Candace Vering discusses the key leadership skills that all campers can learn and use in their daily lives.

Please take a moment to watch this 2-minute video. I am sure you will enjoy it! And if you have not registered yet for Summer 2022, please do so now. Your child can attend our 2-week program, 4-week program or stay for all 6 weeks. Click here to register now!

Click Here to Watch Video

18 Feb Girls and the Positive Impact of Susquehannock

Girls and the Positive Impact of Susquehannock

I was recently on a call with a family interested in sending their daughter to Susquehannock for Girls. A question they posed, and one I usually get is “What makes your camp different from others?”

I have been blessed to raise two wonderful daughters. As a father, I wanted to my daughters to mature into confident, independent, resilient, happy adults. If they possessed these traits, they would be well equipped to handle the challenges that life would eventually throw at them.

As I watch the transformation young girls go through at Susquehannock, I can see the development of these traits taking place. The first step in the growth actually begins at an early age when a 7, 8 or 9-year-old girl comes to Susquehannock for the first time. The obvious first step is simply being away from home. This is where they begin to explore independence.

As the first week progresses, they begin the exposure to new sports and activities. In the first week alone, they will be introduced to Softball, Soccer, Basketball, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Swimming, Lacrosse, Street Hockey, Tennis as well as new songs, dances, cheers, and the initial stages of learning to respect each other, share, and being part of a small community.

We talk about how Susquehannock provides multi-sport athletic development and confidence-based learning …well, this is how it starts. This is how it all begins.

Imagine your young daughter coming home from camp and having this new set of experiences and skills. This is her tool chest of confidence. She can now begin to walk through life with the confidence and courage to try new things.

As the girls get older each year they will be exposed and challenged to more new things and take on new responsibilities. Their toolbox of confidence will grow, and they will become increasingly independent and resilient. This overall confidence will allow them to handle the challenges of life.

The confidence will help limit anxiety, help them become less self-conscious and ultimately spend more of their life with a big smile on their face. Isn’t that what we all want for our daughters?

I could go on and on, but I think you can feel my message.

18 Feb 3 Mental Health Benefits Campers Experience During a Summer at Susquehannock

3 Mental Health Benefits Campers Experience During a Summer at Susquehannock

“Exercise is an actionable, daily habit that helps shift the perception of ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’.”
-Dr. Justin Ross, PsyD.

For many children, their first few days at summer camp can include homesickness, anxiety over what to expect and more recently, depression caused from the pressures of social media and the side effects of the pandemic.

However, it amazes me how most children gradually begin to release these feelings, smile, and eventually head home as confident, happy young people.

Many parents will call or send me emails thanking us for the positive change they see in their children. Their comments include, “what did you do to my child? He or she is confident and willing to try new things, clean up after a meal and even make the bed.”

I recently read an interview with Dr. Justin Ross, PsyD. He is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in athlete mental health and performance. He addresses issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, and stress. He works with athletes of all ages and abilities, including the NBA and NFL players associations.

As I read the interview, it became clearly apparent the techniques and advice Dr. Ross is promoting are being incorporated at camp. Here are the three items I want to share:

1. “A Deep Belief that We Will Be Ok Should We Fall Short of Our Goals.”

At Susquehannock we run a structured and pre-planned program. A program that exposes children to a multitude of sports and activities with the goal of developing confidence in the fact that all will be ok if they make a mistake or fall a bit short.

Let’s face it: we all stumble and make mistakes in life. If your child can learn at an early age that it is not about the mistake or stumble but how you react and bounce back from the mistake, they will undoubtedly become a more confident and resilient individual.

2. “Exercise is Not Only a Treatment Strategy but Also a Preventative Mechanism for Depression.”

The structured program at Susquehannock provides planned, consistent exercise through a variety of sports and activities that allows for both physical growth and the growth of mental happiness. Based on the research of Dr. Ross, it is not surprising that children return home from camp happier and more confident than when they arrived.

Dr. Ross goes on to say, “there are certainly psychological variables that occur with regular exercise, which include shifting perception, increasing a sense of empowerment, willingness to endure discomfort, improved self-esteem and self-worth, and commitment to goals. If depression is the paucity of hope, then exercise is an actionable, daily habit that helps shift the perception of ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’.”

3. “Give Yourself Permission to Feel Anxious. That Experience is 100% Normal and Shows that You Care About Your Performance.”

At Susquehannock, campers are provided an environment where anxiety can be managed because regardless of a child’s skillset, experience or athleticism they have a place. A place where they can stumble and fail without the risk of embarrassment.

This teaches them anxiety is ok …it’s normal. And when children begin to realize this, life begins to open. The children begin the first step to understanding they have power over these feeling and can let them go. They start to recognize “they have tremendous power over regulating experiences in mind and body, but that regulation needs to include not trying to get rid of or push anxiety away (that almost never works).”


I hope you enjoyed this bit of information. Developing a confident and positive outlook on life begins at an early age. It opens the world and all its incredible opportunities. It provides happiness with oneself and ultimately the environment we live.

18 Feb 6 Traits of Confidence Children Develop at Camp Susquehannock

6 Traits of Confidence Children Develop at Camp Susquehannock

As the summer ended and the dust at camp settled, it gave me time to reflect on the campers and what they took from their experience.

For many it was their first time away from home for an extended period. For others it was learning new sports and activities or being exposed to a completely new environment. Children were challenged, they persevered, they grew, and they learned to live within a small community.

In doing so, they went home with newfound confidence – something we as a staff take pride in producing. That said, I want to share with you something I’ve written about in the past. Please enjoy!


Confidence! Why do some have it and others don’t? What makes a confident person? Are people simply born with confidence? There is no simple answer to these questions but we do know that confidence can be developed and needs to be developed, especially in children.

Confidence is the springboard to success in so many different aspects of life and those who have truly developed this trait seem to possess a certain aura.

True self-earned confidence – confidence that is originated from deep within – is very different from false, egotistical confidence.

People with true confidence carry themselves in a very different manner than those who simply pretend to be confident.

At The Susquehannock Camps we pride ourselves in developing young confident girls and boys. Here are few confidence traits we strive to develop in children at Susquehannock…

Self-Responsibility

Confident people believe they can make things happen and they take responsibility. They don’t blame setbacks and failures on others. They don’t make excuses. They don’t blame a poor grade on the teacher. They don’t blame a loss on a referee or their poor performance in a game on the conditions of the field. They accept responsibility for the situation and move on.

Persistence

Confident people persist. They don’t give up at the first sign of a problem or failure. They see their current inability to do something as nothing more than a challenge rather than an excuse to give up. They concentrate on the objective at hand, learn from their mistakes, create new strategies and adapt to the situation.

Action-Oriented

Confident people have a plan and act on it. They don’t need the acceptance of others and they don’t assume others will handle it. They take the initiative to get things done and they do it now!

The Right Attitude

Confident people have the right attitude. They don’t whine or complain. They don’t look at a challenge and say, “this can’t be done.” They look for ways to get it done. They are appreciative and value the effort of others (their teammates). They believe the most avaricious thing you can do is to be selfless in the short-term.

Acceptance

Confident people look for the strengths and positives in others. They want to be around people with assets, skills and personalities that vary from their own. They realize the acceptance of others will broaden their skill set and knowledge.

Resourcefulness

Confident people are resourceful. Confident people don’t get upset because they don’t have the best equipment, teammates, field conditions or support. Confident people figure out a way to adapt and succeed or they dig deep and get by without it – which leads to grit and the development of a hardy soul. We will talk about these two attributes later…


These are just a few of the many things children will learn when attending Camp Susquehannock. That being said, if they only leave camp having further developed these six traits their lives will be much improved as a result!

18 Feb How to Develop the Proper Mindset to Accomplish Your Goals & Achieve Your Dreams

How to Develop the Proper Mindset to Accomplish Your Goals & Achieve Your Dreams

Achieving your dreams, accomplishing your goals, perfecting a new skill are all based on one’s ability to develop and maintain a proper mindset.

Without the Proper Mindset, Procrastination, Failure, Frustration, and Lack of Results Become a Way of Life Rather Than a Mere Bump in the Road.

Every year at camp I talk to the staff and the campers about the mindset needed to build confidence which ultimately leads to greater and greater levels of success and happiness with oneself.

Society has told us that if you “try your best” all is good; there’s nothing more you can do. The problem with this mindset is that there is a built-in excuse for quitting and failure.

If you try something and you run into a challenge that seems tougher than expected you can always bail-out and say, “I tried my best, it just did not work out?”

If you really have a passion or goal or something you really want to achieve, don’t set yourself up for failure by saying your going to try your best. Trying is for flavors of ice cream, shoe sizes, clothing you think might look good. It’s for new games, a crazy trick shot or listening to a genre of music you have never heard before. It is not for accomplishing goals, fulfilling your passion, or achieving your dream.

So, how do you create the proper mindset? I was truly fortunate to be taught this lesson years ago…

If You Have Something You Really Want to Achieve Don’t “Try Your Best” to Make it Happen. You Need to Intend to Make it Happen.

There’s a huge difference in your mentality when you try to do something vs when you intend to do something.

When you intend do something, you’re going to make it happen. It might not happen right away. You might fail numerous times before you achieve what you intended, but you will ultimately succeed.

Sir Edmund Hillary did not try to climb Mount Everest. He intended to climb Everest and succeeded. Michael Jordan did not simply try win six NBA titles, he intended to win each one of those championships.

A few years ago, a young boy came to camp with little to no swimming ability. He quickly realized if he wanted to go off the diving board, the sliding board and play in the free swim zone he had to swim his 20 laps (500 meters) before being permitted.

Every day he would head to the lake telling the entire camp today is the day he would swim his 20 laps. Finally, on the final day of camp, after 3.5 weeks of swim lessons and countless attempts to swim the 20 laps he succeeded.

He succeeded, not because he tried to swim the 20 laps. He succeeded because he intended to swim the 20 laps. He had the proper mindset needed to accomplish his goal.

It’s fine and it’s fun to try things. We should all try new things. At Susquehannock we encourage children to try new things every day. However, once you identify a passion for something you want to achieve don`t tell yourself you are going to simply try your best. Tell yourself and those close to you that you intend to make it happen!

Don’t Think You Need to Have a Big Audacious Goal to Set an Intent. Start with Little Things.

It can be as simple as making 10 straight free throws, washing your car – today or finishing a project you have been putting off. The point is, the more you do this the more successes you will have so when your passion and big goal become clear you can intend to make it happen.


At Susquehannock we use sports and other activities as a platform to develop confident, resilient, gritty, independent, high character, happy young girls and boys. It does not happen immediately but over time the results become clear …because we intend to make it happen!

18 Feb 7 Reasons to Send Your Child to a Multi-Sport Camp

7 Reasons to Send Your Child to a Multi-Sport Camp

I want to share with a recent article published by Truesport – a national organization devoted to promoting a positive youth sports experience. Enjoy!


If you’re considering sending your young athlete to a camp this summer, you may want to look into a multi-sport camp rather than a sport-specific camp.

“Anything we can do to give kids diversity in physical and physiological ways is a win,” says Steve Smith, PhD. Smith is a professor of clinical psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara and focuses on working with young athletes and parents, especially around topics like early specialization in sport.

Smith sees multi-sport camps as a great way for young athletes to experience other sports and develop new skills without the pressure of playing for new teams or committing more time during already packed seasons.

“A multi-sport camp is ideal for helping young athletes avoid early specialization,” says Smith. While tacking on extra sports during the year might be stressful for an athlete and difficult to handle from a time management perspective, a multi-sport camp allows young athletes to explore new sports without adding to an already-busy schedule.

Here are seven more reasons why you should invest in a multi-sport camp…

Promote Chances for New Teamwork and Friendships

When young athletes are involved in one sport, they tend to end up with a tight-knit group of friends from that one team. While it’s great to have close friendships, young athletes should be branching out, meeting new people, and learning to work with new teammates. In college, and in life, athletes aren’t always going to be surrounded by teammates they’ve known since kindergarten, so developing social skills is key to long-term success.

“I work with a lot of collegiate athletes now, and I notice that they travel, practice, and live with their teammates — and if you’re not able to become friendly with those new teammates, you’re going to have a really hard time,” says Smith. “By only knowing one set of teammates, you lose out on interpersonal skills,” he adds.

It’s important that kids develop their ability to interact with different types of people. A multi-sport camp offers a diverse group of athletes from different disciplines, locations, and backgrounds. Young athletes will have the chance to get outside their comfort zone by participating in a multi-sport camp.

Learn to Accept Loss and Failure

In the world of sport, being able to lose is just as important as being able to win when it comes to longevity. If your young athlete has been naturally talented and successful from a young age, it might be beneficial for him or her to experience not being the best on the field. “We learn more from failures than we do from wins,” says Smith. “Giving kids the opportunity to be in an environment where they aren’t the best, where they have to step outside of their comfort zone, that’s what teaches them about life and those important life skills.”

Learn New Skills

Enrolling athletes in a multi-sport camp can also help them develop in a more well-rounded way. Skills often blend from one game to another: footwork from Soccer agility practice may be helpful on the Football field and throwing a Baseball may make a shot-putter tweak his stance.

Youth athletes exposed to multiple sports have been shown to be more consistent performers, experience fewer injuries, and stay in sport longer than early-specializers.

In a study of 700 professional baseball players, Smith even found that late specializing Baseball players were “more likely to get college scholarships and that they consistently practiced more than early specializers.”

Remember How to Simply Play

“Competition is hard, and it’s hard to be in that place all the time. Young athletes now don’t have a lot of time to just simply play, and camps can offer that,” says Smith.

“Taking away the competition and giving a kid an opportunity to just be playful and not results-focused is a huge win.” A multi-sport camp can offer young athletes a chance to rediscover the joy of playing, not for a result, just for the sheer fun of running, jumping, throwing and dancing.

Help Athletes Recover from Injury

“There’s a benefit to having a horizontal kid—one who can run fast but also play Basketball and paint and play an instrument. You shouldn’t be pinning hopes and dreams on one thing. When athletes do that and get injured, it can be devastating,” says Smith.

A multi-sport camp can offer opportunities for cross-training so that your young athlete can continue to build skills and fitness without pushing an injury. Be sure to talk to a doctor before picking a camp in this case, as certain sports may be better for specific injuries than others.

Find A New Talent or Passion

Discovering new passions is a great thing for a young athlete. “If a kid specializes early, it increases the likelihood that they’ll get injured or burned out and increases the likelihood of them being sedentary as adults,” says Smith. “That’s not what we want for our kids.”

Helping children find sports that they can play for life is just as important as winning a championship. Many young athletes won’t go on to be professionals, but they can go on to lead happy, active lives, and finding hobbies outside of that one focus can help them achieve that goal.

Learn Independence

No matter how close you are with your young athlete, it’s important that they get some time outside of your sphere of influence to discover what they are truly passionate about. “You need to let your child figure out who they are, and to do that, you need to separate yourself from the equation,” says Smith.”Letting a child get away from the pressure can be a great thing for them.”

Parents and kids are often told that an athlete has to do one sport, do it early, and do it year-round. But as Smith and the research indicate, that’s not always for the best. So this summer, try enrolling your young athlete in a multi-sport camp.


I hope you enjoyed this article. The Susquehannock Camps provide multi-sport athletic development and confidence-based learning to children between the ages of seven and sixteen. We use sports as a platform to develop high character, independent, resilient, gritty, confident, healthy young children.