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Proper Hydration is Key

Staying properly hydrated is important for adults and youth.  Hydration is an aspect of health that requires a conscious daily commitment.  Fuel Soccer shares some important reminders on hydration, from author and nutrition consultant, Molly Morgan.  “The biggest rule of thumb for athletes is to arrive to games, practices and workouts hydrated and focus on hydration every day,” Morgan said. “Athletes should sip fluids throughout the day with the goal of having most of their daily fluid intake from water.”  Here are some tips to stay properly this summer season:

  • Players aged 14 to 18 should be drinking 11 cups of water a day.
  • A football player should drink eight to 16 fluid ounces of water two hours before practice and another eight ounces 15 to 30 minutes before the training session.
  • During practice, a player should drink four to eight ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. After practice, replenish with 24 fluid ounces for every pound lost.

Some symptoms of dehydration include but are not limited to:

  • noticeable thirst
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • cramping
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • difficulty paying attention
  • decreased performance
  • dark urine

***

For details:  Hydration Tips from a Professional

For more information about the variety of sports programs at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Future Stars Camps page,  today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

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Spotlight on Josh Kurzban

Future Stars Camps has been around for 38 years and keeping it fresh while maintaining the values that have made this summer day camp a family tradition are why parents, who attended as kids, want their children to come here.”

—    Jordan Snider

We are proud to be a family tradition.  Enjoy getting to know our Future Stars Camps family. If there is someone at Future Stars Camps that you want to know more about, please let us know at:  purchase@fscamps.com

***

Discover Josh Kurzban as he weaves his magic at Future Stars Camps, Purchase.  Josh returns for his 3rd year as Director of Future Stars Magic Camp.  Josh also loves performing in 100+ memorable magic shows every year.  Magic, Rubik’s cubes and musicals are his life.

What was your most memorable 2018 winter moment?

Josh:  Performing my own Off-Broadway 90-minute Illusion Show at NYC’s Theater Row on 42nd Street.

What are you most looking forward to at camp this summer?

Josh:  The jokes, the laughs; basically returning faces and the personalities of the new future of magic!

What are your hobbies?

Josh:  Going to Broadway Musicals, playing Yugioh, Harry Potter and other CCG’s, hanging with family, solving puzzles—especially Rubik’s cubes— and making puns.

What is your favorite memory from camp?

Josh:  Seeing magic campers compete to perform for the most people.

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?

Josh:  Making people feel both entertained and mystified, and seeing so many smiles.

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What song do you play most often?

Josh:  Full Musical Soundtracks: “Be More Chill”, “The Lightning Thief” and “The Other Josh Cohen”

Which exercise do you enjoy the most?

Josh:  Tongue Twisters and squats.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Josh:  Milano’s and Brussels cookies, mashed sweet potatoes…..and sushi.

If you could be the better at something, what would you choose?

Josh:  Business, patience, socializing, decision-making, musical instruments, instincts, having a clear mindset, brevity….and using Instagram.

What do you miss most about being a kid?

Josh:  Good health, less stress, and more imagination.

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Who is your favorite fictional character?

Josh:  Harry Potter and Spider-Man.

What kind of movies do you enjoy?

Josh: Comedy and animation.

What’s your favorite outdoor activity/indoor activity?

Josh:  Outdoor: laying in a hammock and  Indoor: watching Broadway musicals.

What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

Josh:  Probably a snack.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be the person you needed when you were younger.” — Ayesha Siddiqi

***

For more information about the Magic program at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Magic Camp page,  today.

Explore and See a glimpse at www.JoshyKmagic.com

Image Credit:  Josh Kurzban

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Have You Seen These Card Tricks?

The origin of card tricks are as nebulous as the magic themselves.  Some say that playing cards  were created in either China or India and brought to Europe in the 14th century by traders.  Cards have been used for entertainment for many centuries.  Here are a couple that might pique your interest:

Bill practicing what he preaches, flexibility!

An Interview with Future Stars’ Co-Founder, Bill Griffin

Bill Griffin has a storied history as a tennis player and instructor. He played tennis at Boston College and, after graduating in the late seventies, he was the Director of Tennis at the Larchmont Yacht Club for 28 years.

He is credited with popularizing After School Tennis programs in more than 30 local elementary schools in the eighties and played the early professional Platform Tennis circuit while also directing some of Westchester’s best indoor junior tennis programs at several top clubs.

A Love of Tennis

Bill partnered with co-founder of Future Stars Charlie VanDercook in 1995. Says Bill, “What initially brought me together with Charlie and Future Stars was a mutual friend and a shared love for tennis. I played high school tennis at Mamaroneck and after college lived and worked with a teammate who  later partnered with Charlie and began Future Stars.”

“As much as anything, what ultimately drew me to Future Stars was the love for sports my father fostered in me at a very early age. After the yard work and house chores had been done, Dad and I would spend endless hours as pitcher and catcher, or quarterback and receiver, shooting jumpers, hitting golf balls, lacing them up for a little hockey when the pond froze, playing ping pong, swimming and diving, wrestling or hitting the heavy bag and the 50 yard dash.  I didn’t win too often, but I got a good education on how to blend hard work and play hard. Last but certainly not least, we did play tennis.”

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(L-R) Charlie VanDercook,  Chris Griffin & Bill Griffin

The Early Years

Bill played many of the above-referenced sports as a youngster and throughout high school. He gradually began focusing more and more on tennis. “I was fortunate to play college tennis at Boston College,” says Bill. “It was during those years that my passion really blossomed.”

Bill also played a lot of Platform Tennis during those years and competed on a national level. It was through a Platform Tennis mentor that he landed his first job teaching tennis.

Says Bill, “Doug Russell was offered the job as Tennis Director at Beach Point Club and was looking for some young assistants to support his efforts.  When he discovered that I played college tennis and lived just miles from Beach Point, he decided to take a chance on a young kid with no prior teaching experience.”

For Bill, it was a no brainer. He got to work teaching a game he loved. “I got to wear shorts, sneakers and short sleeve shirts to work,” Bill says. “I got paid five times the weekly pay I made the previous year with the Town Parks & Rec Department. The rest, as they say, is history.”

From Playing to Teaching

Bill had caught the teaching bug. He enjoyed teaching tennis and people seemed to appreciate the coaching he was espousing. Following his inaugural season at Beach Point Club, a tennis comrade from juniors introduced him to an opportunity at Colony Beach Club to run their fledgling tennis operation.  

Says Bill, “I was extremely fortunate and basically put myself through college with the earnings from these positions.”

Following graduation and my second summer at Colony, I began teaching Paddle Tennis at several clubs in the area, notably: Larchmont Yacht Club, Westchester CC, Manursing Island Club, Wykagyl CC, Pelham CC, and others as paddle was enjoying a boom in the 70’s & 80’s.”

Following six months on the paddle courts with very active adult and junior programs at Larchmont Yacht Club, Bill learned the summer tennis position had opened up and was asked to interview.  

“My good fortune was I had just spent six months working with the membership on the paddle courts,” Bill explained. “Based on that sample of work, the selection committee decided maybe this young 23-year-old could handle the position. In retrospect, following twenty-eight years of enthusiastic service, I think they were right!”

In the late eighties, interest in Paddle Tennis began to wane, so Bill decided to teach indoor tennis. He approached Charlie at Future Stars, who at the time, was running the instructional programs at New Rochelle Racquet Club.

Says Bill, “once again, the timing seemed right and I was asked to direct the tennis programs at NRRC. After a very strong run at New Rochelle, it was time to move on and spread our wings. Charlie and I formed our initial partnership at Harbour View Racquet Club in Mamaroneck.”

Their partnership flourished. Future Stars added Armonk Tennis Club to their portfolio of clubs, and built out Armonk Indoor Tennis & Turf, and subsequently, Southampton Indoor Tennis & Turf.

“We specialized in Junior Instructional Programs and employed an extraordinary staff of dedicated professional that mentored many juniors who went on to have great success at the high school and College level,” Bill says.

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Bill making his way around Purchase campus 

Future Stars Summer Camp at Purchase College

Shortly into their indoor tennis partnership, Bill and Charlie decided to join forces in the Future Stars Summer Camp at Purchase College which Charlie had started many years prior.

“Our partnership was thriving,” Says Bill. “We were a very complimentary team. We shared many of the same interests.  We loved the outdoors, the fresh air, playing sports and games, competing, an entrepreneurial spirit, working with people, and most of all teaching eager young campers how much fun tennis can be when you work at it.”

Just as Bill and Charlie’s indoor tennis business had taken off, their camp business began to skyrocket. They realized that their passion for tennis and teaching youngsters crossed over perfectly into all the other sports.

Says Bill, “We started adding new camp programs like basketball, baseball, lacrosse and then circus arts to the roster. Following our success at Purchase College, we decided to explore new opportunities at other sites.

Now all our campus programs include nearly 25 different programs, not only in sports but in the arts & sciences, technology, engineering, and education. We adopted a very holistic approach. We try to offer a wide range of programs that will appeal to families across a broad spectrum.  Our primary goal is to help campers enrich their talents, explore new frontiers and develop appropriate social dynamic skills that will serve them well as they move through this complex and challenging world.”

A Childhood Filled with Fun = the Future Stars Experience

In carving out their niche, Bill and Charlie together with their valued site directors Jordan, David, Chris, Sean and John, have worked hard to find the perfect balance between proper technique, focused hard work, good natured fun, and the proper respect for the various talents and expectations each individual brings to the party.

“We like to help each camper get as much as they choose to get out of each day they are with us,” Bill explains. “Our coaches, teaching staff, and counselors are the best in the business. They have all trained and studied very hard to refine their individual gifts and they are prepared to share and guide our campers through the best and worst of days.”

Although, most of these opportunities were serendipitous, when thinking back on his childhood, what Bill loved more than anything was playing with his friends.  Says Bill, “Everywhere we went, the park, the river, the basement, the movies, the museum, the pool, the backyard, the back sat of the car, we would invent fun and games.  We would see who could launch the farthest off the swing. Who could go hand over hand the farthest on the bottom of the pier before falling in the water, who’s leaf, or twig, would race down the stream fastest. We designed miniature golf courses in the dirt using pine needles to frame the fairways.

“Cardboard box races down the stairs turned into homemade boxcars racing down the street.  Building cities of sheets in the living room on rainy days turned into climbing through unfinished new home construction. Walking on the top of fences like balance beams and climbing apple, cherry and chestnut trees, and building snow jumps for our saucers were as common as throwing down the boots for an ice or street hockey game, playing some 3v3 basketball in someone’s driveway, or ping pong and pool in someone’s basement.  The creativity, fun and exploration never ended, until of course it was time to crack down and study!”

Bill didn’t attend camp as a child, but he participated in local town swimming, tennis, football and baseball, boy scout, and teen programs. Says Bill, “In retrospect, it feels like this wonderful business Charlie and I have developed is the perfect fit for me. I certainly didn’t know it would turn out like this. I feel extremely lucky that I was fortunate enough to turn my passion for fun and games into a thriving business.  I have always been happy in this business and hope that I have inspired some young campers to enjoy themselves along the way.”

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Bill and his buddy enjoying the outdoors

The Next Generation of Sports Enthusiasts

Bill reflects on how his appetite for summer camp has spilled over with his children. “Four of my five children have worked for me at various summer programs,” says Bill. “My son Chris has decided to make a career of it and currently runs our program at Farmingdale State College on Long Island. I think they’ve all recognized the enthusiasm I wake up with each day and the positive impact you can have on people’s lives when you spend days and weeks and months and years working with them, training them, mentoring them, caring about them and supporting them.

“We like to empower our staff at the start of every year and challenge them to add value to the program. Bring something vibrant and new that will engage and inspire the campers. “Give it the Moxie” my father used to say.  Give it a 110% everyday and I guarantee you will be richly rewarded. The kids will love you. You will be exhausted at the end of each day. You will sleep soundly and at peace with yourself. And when it’s over you won’t have a clue how it went by so fast.”

***

For more information about the variety of sports programs at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our Future Stars Camps page,  today.

Image Credit:  Bill Griffin

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Be a Supportive Sport Parent

Jim Taylor Ph.D., Psychology Today, shares some of his concerns about the ‘sport parenting’ culture and he shares  suggestions on how to be a supportive sport parent.  Jim noted that while attending his daughter’s sporting event, he observed quite a few incidents that were disconcerting.  He noticed that many young athletes, the majority of whom were aged 12 and under, were reduced to tears at the events which are supposed to be fun.

Jim says, “If you dig down one layer to examine the causes of such painful reactions in young athletes, you’ll find expectations and pressure, primarily from parents, but also from peers (by way of comparison rather than ill intent) and our intense youth-sport culture. The weight of expectations is a crushing burden on the shoulders of young athletes. Imagine your children having to put a 50-pound weight vest when they enter the field of play and you’ll get a sense of what they feel and how it will make them perform.”

So how can parents help lift off this unwieldy, harmful and crushing burden from young athletes?  Here are some things that Jim asks you to consider:

  • Re-think why you encourage your kids to compete in sports (its not just about results).
  • Attend sporting events being light-hearted, it is catching.
  • Stay in control of heightened emotions and if you can’t, skip them.
  • Pre-competition edginess is contagious, stay away from your kids.
  • Pre-competition coaching/motivation is pointless so avoid it.
  • Pre-competition comments should include affection and affirmation.
  • Post-competition connections should be light-hearted – smile and offer a snack.
  • Post-competition stress/frustration should not be shared with your child.
  • Toughest task is to to NEVER, EVER talk abut results.  Encourage talk about effort and emphasize FUN in sports.

Not all of these things are easy to do, since research shows that about 70% of kids drop out of organized sports by early teens, it seems change is necessary.  “What matters in youth sports are not the results, but rather that young athletes have a passion for their sport, are willing to work hard and accept its inevitable highs and lows, and continue to develop physically, technically, and mentally in preparation for when it starts to matter in their late teens when college athletic scholarships and invitations to join national teams arise.”

***

For more details:  Sports Parents, We Have a Problem

For more information about the variety of programs at Future Stars Camps, or to enroll, visit our website, today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

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Have Fun with Science

EdSurge shares an interview with Sophia Shrand, host of a comedic science show on YouTube, “Science with Sophie.”

Sophie has degrees in neuroscience and theater from Northeastern University in Boston. Sophie shares that on the surface her degrees seem to be unrelated but she says, “they are, I think, looking at the world from different perspectives to answer similar questions. Like, why are we humans here? What are we doing here? What does it mean to be human? Why do we do what we do?”

Sophie refined her comedic acting skills at Second City, a big comedy theater based in Chicago. Sophie also works at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago where she teaches 24,000 students a year. Sophie uses her experience from these sessions to fine-tune her craft. Loving both theater and neuroscience, she melds her two passions in her YouTube show.

Some of her goals for the show include, “to provide strong female science role models to everybody”, and “What I hope to provide with “Science with Sophie” is a resource that teachers can use”.

***

For more details:  You Know Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Now Meet Comedic Scientist Sophia Shrand.

For more information about the variety of STEAM programs at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our STEAM page today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars

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An interview with Future Stars’ STEAM Camp Director, Josh Arbo

Future Stars is proud to welcome Josh Arbo as the newest STEAM Director for our Purchase Location. Josh brings with him a wealth of experience including a background in music and a love of science.

We sat down with Josh to get to know him, including getting a better understanding of his early influences, how he formed his current teaching philosophy, and his approach for the STEAM program at Future Stars.

The Early Years

Josh attended nature camps as a child and elaborated on his experience as a young camper. “I was always a little nervous on my first day of camp, but soon we all made friends and had a great time.” Josh attended the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz, NY from grades one through eight and this influenced his approach to learning and teaching.

Says Josh, “In 8th grade, we went to a very intense wilderness camp called Deep Wilds where we learned basic shelter construction, making fire with a bow drill, strategies for moving through the forest quickly, and quietly, and all the things a person needs in order to survive alone in the wilderness.”

Josh’s Wilderness camp experience culminated in a 24-hour solitary survival experience with nothing more than the clothes on his back and two liters of drinking water. It was a tremendous character building experience.

“Obviously the STEAM program will be pretty different from my camp experience out in the woods as a kid,” Josh explained, “but I expect it to be a similar confidence building, skill sharing, and bonding experience. I really believe that many of our subjects – coding, 3D printing, robotics, electronics, and the like, are only going to become more important as these kids grow up.

“The more of a handle they can get on these subjects now, the farther ahead they will be when it comes time to apply those skills. I can only imagine where I would be today, if I had learned this much about these subjects at a young age.”

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[Josh (age 5, right) with a now lifelong friend, at Free Spirit Nature Camp]

Early Influences

Josh’s brother, Clayton, influenced his interest in technology. “Clayton built his first computer at age 13 with nothing more than a ‘For Dummies’ book, a pile of parts, and an early Internet search engine to guide him,” Says Josh. “Which reminds me, we have a build your own PC course on week three that I’m very excited for!”

Both of Josh’s parents are musicians, so a love of music was instilled in him very early on. Says Josh, “My dad is a professional bass player and my mom composes music and has sung in choirs for many years. From a young age I was interested in music and often would play around on the piano.”

Josh was a very scientifically minded kid with a deep interest in paleontology,  biology and chemistry, but it wasn’t until he attended college that he was able to combine the two disciplines of music and science.

Advanced Education

“At Purchase College, I went for a mixed music composition/music technology degree and started to seriously pursue an interest in technology,” explains Josh.For me, the technology is so much more than a means to an end. Part of what separates STEAM from STEM is the A (art) aspect.

“At the music conservatory, we talked a lot about the intersection of art and technology, and whole genres of music and literature have arisen out of that. STEM is the hard science, number crunching side of the equation. STEAM incorporates more self expression and artistic applications. It’s the perfect marriage of two of my favorite things: science and art. So while this wasn’t my plan from the get go, it makes sense that I would end up here.”

Josh goes on to explain his approach to STEAM Education. “In a way, the idea of STEAM almost mirrors the Waldorf education I had as a child,” says Josh. “They both function on the premise that there is an artistry to everything, and that incorporating art into education has a positive impact on creative thinking, originality, and emotional development.

“I originally started teaching for MacInspires almost four years ago, doing music technology related classes, and expanding out from there. It just sort of fell into place. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed the parallel in the way I was educated, but it makes sense.”

MacInspires was founded by one of our other STEAM Camp Directors, Travis Sluss.  “As it turns out, Travis and I met at Purchase, we both went for music degrees, though his was pure production and mine was mixed composition/production.”  We asked Josh what he feels separates Future Stars STEAM Programs from other camps in the area.

“This will be my first year with Future Stars,” Josh said, “But so far one of the things that sets it apart from other camps I’ve worked at is a serious commitment to giving our campers a way to pursue their interests and get a running start in life. One of the things, I valued greatly about my own education was that I was given some freedom to decide what interested me and what I wanted to learn about. I’ll be very happy to play even a small part in providing that to the next generation of talented people.”

This year the Future Stars STEAM program at SUNY Purchase will be offering the same subjects that campers enjoyed last year. “I’m hoping to incorporate some more advanced circuit design concepts during our Circuit Adventures session,” says Josh.

“A lot of what I’ve been learning the last year involves fixing or building audio circuits, but I’m also excited for filmmaking. We will have a 3D printer on the premises and I’m looking forward to surprising some of the athletic programs with 3D printed trophies (did I say surprise? Whoops!)

Josh’s Vision for STEAM Camp at Purchase

Josh’s goal as a STEAM camp director is for his campers to delve deeply into subjects that fascinate them, and also to be exposed to other subjects that they didn’t know they were interested in.

Says Josh, “Technology can be such an enigma. How ‘it all works’ is only getting more complicated. I think demystifying these subjects goes a long way toward really understanding our relationship with technology and its role in our lives. It’s more important now than ever before.”

“People often say that one shouldn’t compare themselves to others – that the only person you are ultimately competing against is yourself. I feel such pride when a student can look back on themselves and really see the progress they’ve made. For them to see that a sustained effort always gets results, and that learning new skills can be a really fun and exciting experience too.”

Josh highlighted his deep belief in the power of educators to help influence children. “Our counselors are invaluable in terms of making sure every camper has the guidance they need,” Josh explains. “When the counselors are as excited about the subjects as I am and as the kids are, it really helps everything fall into place. I expect we’ll have a great time!”

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Josh’s Philosophy

We asked Josh to share a favorite quote or mantra, something that he lives by and hopes for all who work or attend Future Stars camps.

“People use the phrase “Namaste” a lot these days,” says Josh, “It can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but my favorite translation that really helps me put my head on straight is:

“The light in me acknowledges the light in you”

“I think education in general is as much a practice of recognizing the light in young people and allowing them to focus in on what they’re interested in, as it is introducing them to new subjects, and encouraging them to keep an open mind. If there’s one thing I really owe to my Waldorf education, it’s that. They really try to teach each individual person, and I try to do that as well.”

***

For more information about the variety of STEAM programs at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our STEAM page today.

Image Credit:  Josh Arbo

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Some Fun STEAM Activities to Try Out

Summer will be here soon enough and you will have more time to spend with your children.  Here are some fun STEAM activities to try with your kids (some may require parental supervision):

Paper Plate Ladybird Craft – and Learn About 3 Different Ladybird Species! – leveled for preschool – older kids

Bird Beak STEM – Animal Adaptations STEM Adventure – Bird Stem challenge with a story for elementary aged kids and older

ENGINEERING FOR KIDS | BUILDING IGLOOS WITH MARSHMALLOW – for elementary aged kids and older

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON CRAFT – FELT AND PIPE CLEANER DRAGONS – tween and up

The Chemistry Behind Candy Making With Delicious Recipes – for tweens and teens and parental supervision

***

For more information about the variety of STEAM programs at Purchase, or to enroll, visit our STEAM page today.

Image Credit:  Future Stars

 

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Defense Tips

Basketball for Coaches, shares that though “crossovers and dunks make spectators stand up from their seats and cheer and get players excited.  It’s defense that will have a bigger impact on the amount of success you have individually and as a team.”

So here are some of the 47 defender tips that they encourage you to work on:

  • Focus on Forcing Tough Shots
  • Commit to Becoming a Great Defender
  • Always Defend the Opposition’s Best Player
  • Prepare Physically and Mentally to Play Great Defense
  • Always Give Multiple Efforts
  • Learn How to Close Out Correctly
  • Watch Your Opponent’s Chest or Waist
  • Stay Lower Than Your Opponent at All Times
  • Know Your Opponent
  • Be a Student of the Game

“Since few players put a focus on defense, doing so is one of the best opportunities a player has of separating themselves from the crowd and advancing from a mediocre player to a great player.”

***

For details:  47 Basketball Defense Tips (Become a Great Defender)

For more information about the Basketball Camp at Purchase college, visit our program page which includes session dates, weekly itineraries, and enrollment information.

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps