Posts Tagged With: Sunshine

“Life Changing” Lunches

Written by Audrey Monke for Gold Arrow Camp

45 hours.

That’s a conservative estimate of how much time I spent making my children’s lunches each school year.  I used 15 minutes a day for my estimate, because I am not at my best in the early morning.  I spent a lot of time staring at the lunch boxes, trying to remember what was still needed — fruit group? dairy?  protein?

After seeing my friend Stacey’s Facebook post last week, where she said she had “finished making lunches for the next two weeks,” I read further to see that she had made and frozen sandwiches.  I remembered my mother doing the same thing when I was a kid.   Mine were turkey and cheese on wheat, and they always were thawed and tasted great at lunch.

I had an epiphany.  I’m a big proponent of teaching kids independence and responsibility, so why was I still packing my kids’ lunches?  I think it was because I feared the choices a few of my kids would make if given free reign, and I wanted to make sure that they were getting the nutrients they needed to be healthy.  So, I came up with a solution:  “Sunshine’sLunch Packing Instructions,” which my children could use to pack their own lunches — the night before or even several days at a time.

The timing was perfect for my new discovery.  I was going to be out of town for — gasp — three school lunches!  I went over the instructions and watched — giddily — as my sons, ages 8 & 11, packed three lunches each.  Ta – da!  Done!

I am sharing my Instructions with the caveat that my kids often are packing all that they will eat between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm, so it is definitely lunch plus snacks before sports, etc.  You may need to edit according to your child’s schedule.

I had to organize my refrigerator and pantry a bit, but it was well worth the time.  I put all of the dairy items in one area on the lowest shelf, and I made a lunch fruit and veggie drawer out of one of the produce drawers.  I put apples and other loose fruits in there, but also bagged up some baby carrots and grapes.  I also made a “chip/extra” bin in the pantry with chips, granola bars, etc. and a “treat” plastic drawer with some pre-bagged cookies, fruit roll-ups, and other sweet items.

When I shared the story of my lunch-packing epiphany with my friend Julie, she said I had “changed her life.”  I like that kind of positive reinforcement, so I was encouraged to share more!  So, here, for all of your enjoyment (and hopefully use!) are:

Sunshine’s Lunch Packing Instructions
1.    Main Entrée:
  • Sandwich
  • Lunchable
  • Pasta
  • Trader Joe’s Salad or Wrap
  • Salami & Cheese + Crackers
  • Other approved main entrée
2.     Dairy:
  • Yogurt
  • Gogurt
  • String cheese
  • Milk or Chocolate milk
  • Yogurt drink
3.     Fruits/Veggies (Pack 2)
  • Piece of fruit (any)
  • Canned fruit (mandarin oranges, pineapple, etc.)
  • Apple sauce
  • Bagged veggies/fruits (baby carrots, grapes, red pepper slices)
4.     Chips/extra
  • crackers
  • chips
  • Goldfish
  • pretzels
  • granola bar
5.    Dessert/Treat
  • Oreos/other cookies (2-3)
  • Tigers Milk bar
  • Caramel sauce with apple slices
  • Candy (if you have from some event)
6.     Snacks/Extra
  • Chose any extra item from 2, 3, or 4
Don’t forget water bottle, napkin, and spoon/fork (as needed)!
Have more lunch ideas?  Email

Let me know if you have any fun ideas of good lunch items, or any suggestions for improvement.   And, I’d love to hear what you plan to do with those extra 45 hours.

Categories: Being Positive, Communication, Family, Fun, Health, Healthy Lunches, Kids, Optimism, Organizing, Packing tips, Parents, Raising Happiness, Self-Esteem, Social Skills | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Parking the Helicopter

By Audrey “Sunshine” Monke

"I'm just going to Science Club!"

As parents of this generation, we have been told that great parenting means
being super-involved with our children and always being in constant communication with
them. We give them cell phones as soon as we feel they are ready to have a bit of
independence, so that we can be assured that they will call us the minute they need us.
There are many benefits to this parenting style. We know our kids well and have
developed close family relationships. We also know each of their homework
assignments (and assist with a few of them), the drills they did at soccer practice
(because we either coached their team or stayed and watched), and what they ate for
snack at school. The downside to our “helicopter” parenting, though, is it makes it
difficult for our children to develop their independence, problem-solving, and decision-
making skills.

Hooray for camp! Without a cell phone (or their parent next to them) to
immediately turn to when they are faced with a decision, campers learn to use other
resources – including their own great minds. Without us watching them and being a
reminder of what they’ve been scared of in the past, they challenge themselves and try
something new. The confidence that results from their accomplishments and
independence can be life-changing, and the best thing we hear from our campers and
parents is that camp truly makes their life better.

According to past staff member and camper, Renee “Zippy” Tucknott, “Gold
Arrow Camp taught me early in life that I can survive in the world without my parents
making my decisions, and I am able to make my own decisions and choices that will
impact my life. When I got to college, I experienced some of the same decisions and
choices and already knew I could survive on my own.”

Building confidence, character and resoursefulness at GAC!

As technology has provided us with the ever-increasing ability to be in touch
– immediately – with everyone, it has also given the children and young adults of this
generation a crutch that we (those of us in our late 30’s and up) did not have. When
faced with a decision or problem with a friend, we had to rely on ourselves first and later
discuss it with our parents. Now, kids are getting accustomed to calling their parents
before attempting to solve the challenge on their own. At GAC, we have a great support
network to help our campers work through challenges, fears, and problems that may
come up. They never feel “alone,” but they feel independent from their parents, and a
lot of pride comes from that independence.
So, enjoy your child’s stay at GAC this summer and rest assured that while your
helicopter is parked, your child is spreading their wings!

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Categories: Communication, Community, Councelors, Kids, Parents, Tradition, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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