Let Them Shine

Written by Aaron Goldschmidt


tumblr_ojzwihj1tK1si0kwmo1_500.jpg
.jpg

When it comes to children’s programs, Shine is going beyond the usual finger painting and story time. Not only is the organization our partner in creating amazing workshops for kids, but everything the founder (and M.O.F - member of the flock). Aaron Goldschmidt does seeks to unlock a child’s individuality and potential through exploration, creativity, and acceptance. Shine is based in traditional teaching philosophies, but with a modern understanding of today’s child, inspiring children and their families through experience and community. Whether in New York or the Hamptons, we turn to Shine for everything child-related. This summer, as our thoughts turn to camp, we sat down with Aaron to talk summer camp options and how to make the right decision for both your child and your family -


4218be26da79ac65e0d66a8b9249bfa7.jpg


A Wild Dove

OK so we are obsessed with everything you do. Can you break down the general philosophy of Shine?

Aaron Goldschmidt

Shine is for families of all make ups to learn, play and party. We provide an array of services but most importantly we create custom children’s enrichment programs providing creative-based opportunities for them to explore ideas and concepts that come up in both school and the world around them. All Shine classes focus on practical, social, and life skills helping to create critical thinkers, responsible citizens, and thoughtful humans.

 
 

A Wild Dove

Love that. And what are some unique programs or collaborations taking place at Shine?  
 

young-summer-love_012.jpg

Aaron Goldschmidt

Currently we are working with you guys to create workshops for kids based on art happenings in NYC, LA and the Hamptons. We just did an amazing collaboration for The Met Gala. This summer we are partnering with iconic East End locations for Pop-Up Mondays.Every Monday we run camp at places that have often been reserved for very few, including Nova’s Ark, LongHouse Reserve, Wölffer Estates, Guild Hall, Amber Waves Farm, Historic Sag Harbor and more. Children will get a behind the scenes look at these locations and we will be inspired for a week’s worth of activities at our regular camp locations of CMEE and Madoo.

4218be26da79ac65e0d66a8b9249bfa7.jpg
 

A Wild Dove

Can adults come too? Kidding. But truly this sounds incredible. As parents start to think about camp options, how does the Shine philosophy extend into the idea of summer camp?

 
f2fc7de07345d8d81e1a75541ccd0097.jpg
 
4218be26da79ac65e0d66a8b9249bfa7.jpg
 

Aaron Goldschmidt

I saw a need in the market for a small, creative-arts based program that provided authentic, local experiences as well as traditional camp ones. I am child of the 70s and camp for me was always very special. We sang Cat Stevens and Harry Chapin around bonfires, made boondoggle bracelets, and spent all day outdoors in nature. I wanted to recreate that feeling for a more modern, city kid. Camp should be a place that supports a child’s interests, doesn’t feel like school, has a relaxed attitude, and provides a one of a kind experience. We are now entering our fourth season and each year we continue to grow and change along with our campers and community.  

 

A Wild Dove

What do parents need to know in advance when deciding whether or not to send their kids to camp?

 

Aaron Goldschmidt

First and foremost, what works for the family? What is your budget? What are the transportation logistics? How does it fit into your vacation plans, work schedule, or other fun summer activities with the family? Once these basic questions are answered, do some good old fashioned due diligence. Ask your friends, go online, see what’s out there, read reviews, make some calls. Just because a camp is the most popular doesn’t mean it’s the best one for you.  

4218be26da79ac65e0d66a8b9249bfa7.jpg
 
12.jpg

A Wild Dove

That’s so true. If you do decide to send them, what are some of the benefits?

Aaron Goldschmidt

While summer is a great time to loosen up schedules and have fun, two and a half months without some form of structured activity can lead to family meltdowns and a struggle getting back into the groove come September. Whether it’s a few days a week, a few weeks over the summer, or full time, camp provides a structure to a season without one. Many families have working parents so camp is sort of a necessity. For others it provides a great opportunity for children to make new friends, have new experiences, and spend time doing things they really love.

 

A Wild Dove

What do you do when your child is not a typical or "ideal" camper?

Aaron Goldschmidt

Something I think we can all agree on is that no child is typical.  If they were it would make planning and creating programs so much easier.  I think it’s crucial to have an understanding of your child and who they are. Camps nowadays vary in what they offer and there is usually a camp for every kid. Just know whether or not your child thrives in large group settings or smaller, more focused ones.  Understand if they want to spend their days playing sports, making art, learning to sail, or all three. Putting a small child through a new experience can be a challenge so communication is important. Go for a visit first and let them see how cool it is, what it looks like, and get a feeling for what they will be doing.

 

A Wild Dove

What is the greatest misconception about summer camp or a factthat would surprise most parents?

 

Aaron Goldschmidt

I'd say the most popular camps often have big marketing schemes but aren't always the most inspired. They've been in business for a long time and often lack freshness or modernity. Do your research. Also, parents should know that often times at big camps your children are not able to be supervised as closely as they'd wish.

 
                                                                    All Photos Vintage

for more info

visit shinenyc.net

As modern mamas living in the over information age, (where everyone is an expert and parenting opinions are shared as freely and easily as an Instagram post) it can be tough to filter through the white noise to find the facts. Naturally, we’d love to consider ourselves wise in all sorts of ways, but the truth is sometimes we’re scrawling SOS in the sand. Good thing we’ve got the guidance and expertise of our own personal rockstars: the people who inspire us on the daily. Our rockstars (our flock) are enthusiasts, professionals and influencers in the fields of wellness, travel, education, style—the list goes on. Each one brings a profoundly different perspective to the table, one informed by their own experiences and outlooks. And that perspective is priceless.

They say it takes a village…we say it takes a flock.