Encourage in Four Words

Today’s trending topic on Twitter is #EncourageEveryoneIn4Words or in four words: Encourage in Four Words. With a definition of “Offer up a few words (four to be exact) to give your friends a little extra boost.”

We can think of a lot of ways camp gives people an extra boost but here is one of our favorites:

Encourage in Four WordsAnd a timeless award winning four word bit of happiness:

We Love These Words
We Love These Words

But when you think about it, if we thought of camp itself in these sound bites, what would be say:

Camp Gives Children Lifeskills

Campers Make Great People (substitute: Workers, Parents, Partners, Co-Workers, Citizens, Businesswomen, Scientists, Thinkers – the list goes on and on).

Encourage everyone in four words is a fun way to start the week. We are big fans that something so small has to do with encouragement. We also know that leads to people being clever and funny and silly and smart and taking it all to another level. We like that, too! Why not?

The bigger question we leave you with is “what four words would you use to encourage?”

Have Fun With It!


Big G! Interview with Runoia’s own Gines on Fitness and Nutrition “Holiday Style”

Runoia News Reporter: How did you get started in fitness and decide to pursue your Personal Trainer certification?

  • Gines: Playing varsity field hockey for high school and competing internationally in martial arts made me realize how fitness would be a benefit in my strength and endurance. Plus giving back through outdoor education. I like sharing with others.

RNR: When you were a full time Personal Trainer what was your biggest challenge? Do you have any funny stories?

  • G: Helping people stay committed when they miss sessions. One client, told me he would be fully honest with his food journal and do extra “burpies” to pay back his overeating. After a few weeks he had accumulated 1200 burpies (he stuck to it and we worked it out over a number of sessions together!).

    Integrate Burpees into your Routine for Extra Credit!
    Integrate Burpees into your Routine for Extra Credit!

RNR: Recently you’ve gotten into snow shoeing, how did that come about?

  • G: Moving to Maine and wanting to run. I saw snowshoeing races and recognized that as a running opportunity. Last winter I entered a race and performed well and now I’m really into it. In February, I’m running a snowshoe race in the Waterville, Maine area!

    Winter Activity is Family Fun!
    Winter Activity is Family Fun!

RNR: Your passion for staying active outdoors in NE is backed up by your dedication to Winter Kids and serving on the Winter Kids Board of Directors, what is that about?

  • G: Having a family plays a big part of being inspired to help others get out and enjoy the outdoors no matter what the winter weather is like. And my basic passion for spreading information to others… helping kids get away from the TV and be healthy and fit.

RNR: Nutrition – what part does nutrition play into your fitness regime?

  • G: You really can’t out-exercise a really bad diet. Nutrition is so important as part of an overall regime. Think about what you are eating to nourish your body.

RNR: What food or drink do you like to start your day with?

  • G: I drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. I’m a big coffee drinker (since my early 20s) so, I enjoy a good morning brew J Granola and yogurt is my go-to breakfast food.  After I work out, I like to make a green drink. Look for recipes in our next blogs.

    Banana Green Drink!
    Banana Green Drink!

RNR: Do you have any tips for people about nutritious foods/drinks?

  • G: Change things slowly, introduce new foods a little at a time.

RNR: How ‘bout the holidays? Any hints for people keeping a balance in fitness and nutrition over the holidays and school break?

  • G: If you reach for second cookie or treat, make yourself have a glass of water first. Often you don’t have the urge for the treat afterwards.
  • G: Schedule a group activity. For instance, go for a family walk, meet your cousin to go for a run – committing to other people make you accountable and you’re spreading the cheer!

RNR: The past two summers you have brought two special events to Camp Runoia in the form of 5 Million Step Race and Runoia’s first Triathlon? What’s in store for Runoia this summer?!

  • G: The afternoon “running club” during free time is popular and girls can plan to get fit for school sports when they are at camp. I’d love for girls to discover the joy of trail running – so we’ll be doing quite a bit of that this summer.

RNR: Any final thoughts?

  • G: Don’t be too hard on yourself – enjoy the holidays!
  • G: Regarding a New Year’s Resolution here’s three tips: be sure to write down your goal, set a deadline and make it public!






Maine the Pine Tree State

Camp Runoia in the Pine Tree State

At this time of year with the leaves now gone from the deciduous trees and the ground frozen with the first hard frosts of the rapidly approaching winter, Maine’s state tree stands out tall against the clear blue sky.  The Eastern white pine tree is our state tree for good reason as it is plentiful in our mixed growth forests.  A tall, long living tree that can adapt to many different soil types it can survive the harsh winters and grows quickly during the short spring and summer season.

pine treeWe are lucky at Camp Runoia that the pines are interspersed around camp.  They provide shade for our shacks and cool places to hang out on the hot summer days. The gummy pitch sticks to our fingers on the ropes course and sometimes leaves a patch on our shorts when we are sitting in the grass or on a rock.  The smell of the pine trees gently reminds us that we are outdoors, embracing nature and enjoying every moment of our time in Maine!

pine tree stateDid you ever learn the Maine State song at camp?

“State of Maine Song”

words and music by Roger Vinton Snow

Grand State of Maine,
proudly we sing
To tell your glories to the land,
To shout your praises till the echoes ring.
Should fate unkind
send us to roam,
The scent of the fragrant pines,
the tang of the salty sea
Will call us home.

Oh, Pine Tree State,
Your woods, fields and hills,
Your lakes, streams and rock bound coast
Will ever fill our hearts with thrills,
And tho’ we seek far and wide
Our search will be in vain,
To find a fairer spot on earth
Than Maine! Maine! Maine!

We love our Pine Tree State!

Halloween and Costumes

The name Halloween is said to derive from the Old English ‘hallowed’ meaning holy or sanctified and is now usually contracted to the more familiar word Hallowe’en. It is also known as All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve and is celebrated on October 31st the day before November 1st All Saints’ Day in the western Church.

Possibly evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.  Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults. (History.com)

happy jackThe modern celebration of Halloween which has often been replicated at summer event days or EP’s at camp is a complicated mix of traditions and influences.  Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, playing pranks andtelling scary stories.

Dressing up in a fun costume is the Camp Runoia favorite Halloween pastime! Hopefully our camp Facebook page spotlight on creative costuming has given you some camp themed easy ideas! It’s amazing what you can do with a few props and a bunch of dress up clothes!

zebraPut your arts and crafts skills to good use and enjoy trick or treating!

Maine Orchids



Spring Mystery

One of my first springs in the US I was hanging out with Marsha Cobb at Treetops at Camp Runoia exploring her garden and reveling in how the recently frozen ground was now putting forth many new blooms.  Tucked away under some trees she showed me some wild trillium.  Not only was it beautiful but also mysterious.  It is an elusive and endangered plant that never really grows in the same spot twice.  They are technically perennial herbs growing from rhizomes so tend to travel secretly under the soil.  I looked for it again the following year only to be disappointed as I was unable to find it.

A couple of years ago by my house I came across some in the woods and dared to transplant a piece (don’t do this at home it is illegal in some states!).  The mystery reappeared in my flower bed much to my delight!


Now if only Lady Slippers were not so illusive! I will be waiting for Pam to let me know they have arrived at Camp Runoia in Maine so that I can make my annual visit to see their spring beauty!  http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mnap/about/cypripedium.ht

photograph of a pink lady's-slipper

The mysteries of a Maine spring lead into the majesty of summer!  We are counting the days.



Reinventing Yourself at Overnight Camp


One of the grand moments of going off to camp is feeling independent and having the opportunity to reinvent yourself. At Camp Runoia you have the chance to be a different person than you are in school or in your neighborhood or with your parents.

Fitness is an Integral Part of Camp
Fitness is an Integral Part of Camp

I do not imagine any young girls are scheming about this prior to camp. “When I show up at camp, I am going to be a courageous girl who helps others and is always kind and respectful to adults.”  Or “I cannot wait to get to camp where I can be the first one up in the morning to help others with their morning chores.” In fact, it’s not something we even bring up with campers. It just happens and most campers reflect on it at some point during the summer.

A transformation occurs when girls come to camp that is purely organic. The tendency is that within a short period of time, girls drop their “baggage” from the school year and leave it somewhere between the parking lot and beginning of the two mile road to camp. Layers of pressure unload or the steam slowly seeps out from the pressure cooker of life.

YogaWithin the first few days campers unpack more of their emotional “stuff and become a little more carefree. They try something new without fear of humiliation. They stand up for others without being excluded from groups. As the summer session carries on, more and more of this happens around them and they find that being their true selves is easy and burden-less. Hallelujah!

Camp Runoia, where diversity is celebrated, people are included and valued for who they are and how they grow and what they contribute to the camp community. This leaves a lot of possibility for girls to try being someone else when they get to camp.

Unlike famous 19th century female writers with pseudonyms “nom de plumes”, many who wrote with male names in a male-dominated profession, some campers truly try out a slightly different persona. They try behaving differently and receive speedy feedback in the form of gratitude, attention, cheers, acknowledgment and adding value. This phenomenon may come in the form of a personal victory of getting up in front of a crowd when they

Runoia Riders at All Levels can Excel
Runoia Riders at All Levels can Excel

have previously had stage fright or they find themself climbing to a high height when they have been scared of heights in the past. It starts with talking in front of a small group when it’s their turn and builds to performing in the talent show. Or climbing a little bit higher on the climbing tower and then trying the Runoia “Dragonfly” zipline at the end of the session.


Small steps to success lead to large distances covered in life.

Camp Runoia – building lifelong skills