Hi there! I'm Tasha Bekris, your Camp Director for 2023.
I grew up attending St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. Each summer of my childhood, I attended All Saints Camp and it's always been a very special place for me. I begin serving as a counselor at 16 (back in 2006 when you could do that!) and was a counselor until 2012. I served as co-director in 2019, ran our one-day camp program in 2021, and directed last year's All Saints Camp. I joined the All Saints Camp Board in 2020.
Outside of camp, I've been an educator for 10 years. I'm an alum of Gonzaga University (Go Zags!) and received my Masters from Loyola Marymount University. I started my teaching career with Teach For America, teaching middle school environmental science in Los Angeles, and taught 4th & 5th grades for four years in Everett, WA. For the past four years, I've taught STEAM (STEM + Art) K-5, which I absolutely love! It's important to me to bring new experiences to kids, foster a growth mindset, and help them discover what they're passionate about.
For me, this year's theme, Adventure Awaits, is more than about just being outdoors. It's about setting goals, facing challenges, having fun, and learning more about yourself and your faith in the process. I am so excited about our staff this year and the program we have planned for your campers. Take a moment to check out our Staff for 2023, and reach out if you have any questions at email@example.com.
I can't wait to meet your camper at All Saints Camp!
Need a summer activity to do before camp? Spend some time outdoors, break in those camp shoes, and practice going on a hike with your camper to get them excited!
Packing for camp can be a daunting task, but we've prepared a list that you and your camper can use to pack together here. Encouraging your camper to pack with you will help them know where everything is and you know exactly what they're bringing (and not bringing!) to camp.
Find packing boring? Use a timer and turn it into a scavenger hunt!
Have more than one camper going? Turn packing into a race!
Check your camper's bag for contraband items like electronic devices, candy, etc. and see the packing list for more information about what not to bring to camp. Check out our new kid-friendly printable packing checklist here. And, as much as we love doing our "Lost and Found Fashion Shows" at camp, we don't want your camper to lose their favorite sweatshirt - don't forget to label ALL of your camper's belongings!
Homesickness happens to everyone at some point, and it's entirely normal. How you go about talking about homesickness with your camper will determine how they cope at camp, especially if it is their first camp experience.
Remembering that camp is a wonderful life experience, but just as in life, camp will have its highs and lows. Preparing campers ahead of time for understanding that camp is super fun and also comes with its challenges. Celebrating those challenges is important because that's where growth happens!
Practice being flexible and following the group plan. At camp, we have set routines throughout the day, but life happens! Practice having a positive attitude and knowing when it's important to follow the group's plan, even when things don't go our way, when we lose a game, or when plans change. We have a variety of activities that are tons of fun, but not every child is going to love every activity one hundred percent of the time, and that's normal and okay! Practice going with the flow and know that fun is just around the corner.
You're all registered for camp, awesome! Now it's time to prepare. Has your kiddo had a successful overnight or weekend away experience lately? It can be helpful to practice some of these "camp experiences" ahead of time to build confidence and excitement. The more you can practice independence and daily routines with your camper prior to camp, the more successful of a camp experience they will have!
We suggest practicing:
Forget to mention something on your camper's registration form? Have any questions about camp? Don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You sent your kiddo to camp. Relax and enjoy! We've been preparing for camp for many months and your camper is bound to have a great time. Give yourself a pat on the back knowing that you've provided your camper with a new life experience. They are growing more independent, building resilience, confidence, life skills, and so much more. Camp is like a classroom without walls and they're learning so much while taking risks in a safe environment. Not everything at camp will be perfect, but remember that growth often stems from overcoming challenges.
At the end of the day, providing a camp experience will support your child's overall development. Planning and preparing can be exciting — and for new camp families, even scary — but know that you're giving them a positive, life-changing opportunity. And when camp arrives, take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and do some self-care! Rest assured in the knowledge that your kids are developing independence, experiencing the outdoors, relaxing, unplugging, making new friends, and taking a new journey in their faith.
Thank you for sending your camper to All Saints Camp! We can't wait to meet them!
Tasha & the All Saints Camp Staff
Adapted from the American Camp Association's articles: