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"Connect" is CAN's internal newsletter for staff, interns, volunteers, board members, and anyone else who would like to receive bi-weekly updates regarding highlights, announcements, and ongoing training/professional development updates. Welcome and join us in our virtual community-building endeavor!

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Social wellness

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." -- Henri Nouwen

What helps a person feel socially well varies from person to person, but for many, friendships and a sense of strong community are core components of feeling socially well. That is why we here at CAN developed a list of not only the basic needs we strive to help our students and families meet, but a list of foundational needs, a term we coined to touch on the social-emotional well-being needs everyone should have met in addition to their physical needs.

One of the core elements of our programs is relationship building. When we truly and genuinely invest in one another, approaching our relationships with honesty, grace, compassion, mutual respect, and support, we are role modeling the world we want to see for ourselves and for everyone who comes through our doors.

Developing a stronger sense of social wellness at CAN is not only about talking with our students about what they want and deserve out of the relationships in their lives (though very important), but it is also about showing them with our actions what healthy relationships and communities look like.

As we start to think about saying goodbye to the campers and ending summer camp, take a moment to pause and reflect on your experience this summer. What are some ways you feel you have successfully role modeled healthy relationships? What have you learned about healthy relationships from your campers?



  • Lemonade Day was a success!



  • TWO more weeks of summer camp left?! Do a self-check in! How are you doing? Start thinking about how you want to say goodbye to the campers at the end of the summer - I can't believe it's that time already.

  • August 2-6: Wrap-Up Week

    • This final week, even though there will not be any campers, is an important week! Staff can plan to sort and organize leftover bin supplies, clean community spaces and prepare them for After School Programs, reflect and share stories from summer camp for future newsletters, write mini-camper bios for future adults working with the students and/or letters to teachers sharing what the campers did over the summer and advocating on their behalf so they start out on the right foot in the fall, and complete a survey with specific, anonymous feedback on the summer camp training and summer camp experience.

  • Exit Interviews & End of Camp Survey

    • Keep an eye out for more communications about scheduling your exit interview and completing an end of camp survey in the coming weeks.


Tips & Tidbits

This Week's Strive to Thrive Theme

Social Wellness

  • Mindfulness Focus: Kindness Buddy, Gratitude, Asking for Help, Kindness Buddy II

  • Thematic Projects: Social Puzzle, Those Shoes, Boundaries and Consent, Alter Ego

Non-thematic activities with Daily Discoveries:

  • Hickory Dickory Dock!

  • Climate Change

  • Beach Ball Bonanza

  • Food Web Fun

  • Hot or Cold

  • Connecting the Food System

  • Telephone Story

  • Eco-Hunt

A Look-back at Orientation Topics

Educational Summer Camp Overview 2021

  • Why Wellness?

  • How to Read & Interpret Lessons

  • Tips for Lesson Delivery & Classroom Management

  • Student-Centered Learning

  • Understanding Student Behaviors

Access Your Online Training Materials

Access The Orientation Materials


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  1. Click the little profile icon in the upper right hand corner of the website header

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  4. Make your profile "public" so you can add comments below


Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments (or highlights, announcements, etc.), please email Katie at

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