Why Camp Is So Important!

Posted by Crestwood on March 10, 2014

The following blog post was written by a friend of ours named Andy Pritikin, Owner/Director of Liberty Lake Day Camp.We’ve made a few changes to better reflect Crestwood’s program.

Today's NY Times featured a superb article by renown columnist and author Thomas Friedman called "How to Get a Job at Google."

In this piece, Friedman interviews Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies, and a model for companies in the 21st century. Bock states that Google has determined that “G.P.A.’s and test scores are worthless as a criteria for hiring... We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” — now as high as 14 percent on some teams.

This is an interesting proposition, given that I am currently looking at colleges for my daughter, most of which retail at well over $50,000 per year...

Bock tells us that for ALL POSITIONS AT GOOGLE, they look for five "hiring attributes" (character traits) which have nothing to do with GPA, SAT scores, or college alma mater: "the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information." Thinking quick on your feet, being able to take various pieces of knowledge and put it into a tangible plan. This is stuff that campers and staff learn through experience at summer camp each and every day- especially at Crestwood, with our dynamic program filled with electives, clubs, and opportunities to take on additional challenges.

The second character trait is one that the Partnership for 21st Century Skills pointed out is the most important life skill which is the most DEFICIENT in new job hires at fortune 500 companies: LEADERSHIP, "in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club? Were you vice president of sales? How quickly did you get there? We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.” 

At Summer Camp, leadership opportunities abound in camper groups/bunks, at activities, and at special/spirit events like the "Crestwood Games”. It's the basis of our popular Apprentice Program, where young, aspiring staff grow from apprentices to counselors to group leaders to even division heads and administrators at Camp- at each step of the way taking on more and more leadership responsibilities.  Camp churns out dynamic leaders on a regular basis, like a high functioning workforce development program!

Other hiring attributes include Humility and Ownership: "Sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in, to try to solve any problem — and the humility to step back and embrace the better ideas." Campers and staff at Crestwood and most other camps have tremendous sense of ownership, MUST work together with their group/bunk, problem solve regularly, defer to their peers, and learn from their failures on an everyday basis.

The least important attribute that Google looks for is actually “expertise.” According to Bock, Google prefers creative out-of-the box thinkers, rather than "experts" who have spent years in specific areas. Proof that being a well-rounded leader and creative thinker is of utmost importance.

Friedman eloquently ends his piece by stating "for most young people, going to college and doing well is still the best way to master the tools needed for many careers. But Bock is saying something important to them, too: Beware. Your degree is not a proxy for your ability to do any job. The world only cares about — and pays off on — what you can do with what you know (and it doesn’t care how you learned it). And in an age when innovation is increasingly a group endeavor, it also cares about a lot of soft skills — Leadership, Humility, Collaboration, Adaptability and Loving to Learn and Re-learn." These are all life skills which are honed on the fields, pools, stages, and bunks of Summer Camp every day each summer.

So to summarize, summer camp provides a unique, experiential environment in which our children learn and practice the character traits and hiring attributes which the best companies in the world are seeking- all for far less than the $50,000+ per year that many parents are willing to pay, or put their children into years of debt for. Sounds like a great idea, huh!

Feel free to share this blog with your friends, including those who do not send their children to Camp!!!

Crestwood's New Gymnastics Pavilion

Posted by Crestwood on March 4, 2014

Our brand new Gymnastics Pavilion is a success!  Campers learn basic skills, coordination, body awareness, and balance from the professional staff of instructors from HotShots Gymnastics.  From handstands on the horse to tumbles, back handsprings, and back walkovers on the spring floor, our campers love this new area.  They even learn to balance, walk, and jump on the balance beam as well as perform pullovers on the parallel bars.  Campers will be surprised at their own strength!


2014 Crestwood Theater Production

Posted by Crestwood on February 24, 2014

This Summer, Disney's Peter Pan brings Neverland to Crestwood for our 2nd thru 6th grade campers! Come and be part of the talented cast that will perform the classic Disney story, complete with Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys and many other Neverland characters. You can live Peter Pan's timeless adventure and take to the skies right here at Crestwood!

Join Director Arielle Cooperman and Assistant Director Emily Edwards on a magical adventure this August! Auditions will be held the first week of camp and all who audition will get to be a part of the production. Please note, you must be enrolled through the end of the summer to participate.  Any questions, please email

Our Drama Directors will also be available to meet you and your child plus answer any questions about the program at Family Fun & Clothing Day on Saturday, June 21st 10AM-3PM.

Remember, save a little pixie dust for Crestwood this summer!

Crestwood Thinks You Can Dance!

Posted by Crestwood on February 14, 2014

We are happy to announce that Bari, owner of the Dance Arts Centre in Port Washington, will return to run Crestwood's dance program again this summer.  Bari, along with her other dance instructors, will work with our campers on flexibility, movement across the floor, as well as a variety of age appropriate dance styles.  Older camp groups will learn individual dance routines set to current pop songs to perform at the camp talent show.  Younger campers love Bari's dance program as well since they get to play dance related games like the "bean bag dance" along with the ever popular "freeze dance".  This summer she may even have a surprise dance competition in store for our campers!

Look What's Happening at Crestwood!

Posted by Crestwood on November 22, 2013


We're Expanding Our Science Program

Crestwood is excited to announce that we are enhancing our science and nature program by expanding our Science building.

Our Science and Nature teacher, Miss Christine is turning our Crestwood students into little scientists. Through the use of observation, exploration and hands on experience the children are exploring multiple aspects of the scientific world. 

For our Toddler children, Miss Christine is allowing them to get comfortable interacting with her friendly animals, reptiles and insects.

For our Nursery children, Miss Christine is teaching them about experiments through the use of test tubes. The children used test tubes to mix colors with water, making orange, purple, yellow and green.
The Pre-K children all learned about the different bones in the body working with a replica skeleton. All the children made a scientific drawing of a skeleton and then added different types of macaroni to highlight the different bones in the body! This lesson was a stepping stone into their dissection of an owl pellet.

This expansion will also benefit our summer Nature program.

School Early Bird Enrollment

Posted by Crestwood on November 21, 2013

At this time, Crestwood is commencing our enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year.  We are happy to announce that due to this year's increase in school enrollment and our expected increase next year, we will be able to freeze tuition rates for next school year for those who take advantage of our early bird discount. A 10% deposit is due by January 31, 2014 to lock in our early rate. Additional discounts for those who wish to pay in full by 1/13/14 and also for those who participate in our 2014 summer camp are also available. To view our enrollment form click here.

We know how important these early school age years are in preparing your children for their future.  That is why we have been constantly adding to our already robust advanced programs, talented staff and varied curriculum.  In addition to the smartboard, our new iPads have been a big success and help us teach and reinforce concepts in an engaging and interactive way.  We have recently begun expanding our science building to offer more Science classes with even more exciting activities and experiments.  We have also begun a new Balance Bikes program during Phys Ed with our students which should make learning to eventually ride a two-wheeler easier.  These are only a few examples of our commitment to reinvest in our school and continue to be the innovators when it comes to pre-school education.  We look forward to sharing many more new ideas and programs with you in the months ahead.