Gear Up for Summer Camp
Going away to camp can be one of the most exciting things children can do, but it can also create a great deal of anxiety for first-time campers. The American Camp Association offers the following advice to prepare children for their first camp experiences:
- Decision-making is a two-way street. The more influence children have over their camp experiences, the more comfortable they will be. Let them help decide what to pack, and, when reasonable, which camp to attend.
- Talk to children before camp about what their expectations are. The more they know ahead of time, the less stressful the experience will be. Also, instill confidence in their abilities to handle being away from home.
- Homesickness can be prevented. Explain that some homesickness is normal and send children off with several coping strategies.
- Make new friends at camp. Encourage shy children to get to know others by being good listeners. Remind them that not everyone at camp has to be their friend, but they do have to respect other campers.
- Practice, practice, practice! Allow your children to spend time away from home throughout the year by attending sleepovers or spending nights or weekends with Grandma and Grandpa.
Put It Down on Paper
These days, we fill our lives to the max, over-scheduling ourselves and bouncing from one thing to another so quickly we hardly have time to breathe. Author Maureen Daigle-Weaver suggests that journaling can help reduce the stress in our chaotic lives. Writing about your work—the positive and negative—can keep you on an even keel. You can find energy and focus at the end of a long day by prioritizing your family’s (and your own) needs. Vent…and create order in your life amidst the chaos.
The New “Old Quarter”
The Peoria Riverfront’s nightly entertainment district, the Old Quarter, will be open along Water Street from 4pm to midnight, Monday through Saturday this summer. Weekdays will feature art shows, bags tournaments and salsa and swing dancing, while live music will fill the air on weekends. Every Wednesday from 5 to 8pm, an art market featuring local artists and area performers will be held, with art on display and available for purchase.
When in Doubt, Question
When unsure of how to handle tricky situations that come up while working with important decision-makers, business expert and author Ann Marie Sabath recommends asking questions to determine the best way to move forward. “Rather than freezing up or trying to prove how smart you are, ask respectful, intelligent questions and see what happens next,” she says. For example, ask “What is your main goal?” or “How would you like me to proceed?”
Simple Organization Can Increase Your Bottom Line
We’re all familiar with the term, Return on Investment (ROI), and have probably implemented new and creative ways which allow us to see higher ROIs in these challenging times. But, as suggested by USA Today columnist Steve Strauss, there may be a better way to raise revenue these days—by being organized. By creating order, companies can begin to see greater Returns on Organization (ROO).
Strauss claims that increasing the level of organization within a company can have a very positive effect on their bottom line. “In fact,” he says, “it is estimated that increased ROO can yield up to an extra two hours of productive time a week and up to an additional six percent of revenue.” When individual workers are organized, productivity levels increase, which in turn, causes the company’s bottom line to increase.
Here are some of his suggestions on how to increase your company’s Return on Organization:
- Effectively spend 20 minutes checking in with customers each day. By spending this extra time with current customers, you can ensure they are satisfied with your products or services and continue doing business with you.
- Make sure your office or workspace is organized. Spending 10 minutes searching through the clutter on your desk for the file you need is problematic; time is money, after all. Make sure your filing system works for you and that you have other necessary organizational tools.
- Utilize mobile devices to help you serve customers better. These days, mobile devices allow you to connect with customers wherever you are. By being available anytime, anywhere, you can provide top-notch service, which is extremely important these days.
- Learn how to fully use the software you invest in. Don’t be one of the businesses that buys expensive software and only uses a few of its features. By learning how to use all, or at least most, of the features, you can save time, and in turn, money.
My Faves… Local Restaurants
Tom O’Neill III has been a member of the Peoria County Board since 1993 and currently serves as chairman. Since 1984, he has worked for the City of Peoria Public Works Department and is now the lead signal electrician. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and has served the community through his church and Limestone’s youth sports leagues.
- Kelleher’s. Great for authentic Irish food and the best selection of beers and Irish whiskeys.
- Basta O’Neill’s. Great Italian food (including their prize steaks) and Irish whiskey.
- Granite City. Good selection of different foods and home-brewed beers (including the Growler to take your favorite brew home).
- Fish House. Best selection of seafood around and great atmosphere, with one of the best hostesses around.
- Hammer’s. Probably the best bar menu around, with top-quality food at a reasonable price (chicken wings and pizza best choice). iBi