Wisconsin Lions Camp Summer 2020 Updates

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2020 Lions Lake

Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

Although the shelter-in-place orders have been lifted and businesses are starting to open up again in Wisconsin and all over the country, there’s no denying that coronavirus remains on everyone’s minds. Since we have already seen major summer events either canceled or postponed, you may be wondering, “Will Lions Camp be open during the summer of 2020?”

We are happy to inform you that the answer is yes, but modifications have been made in light of the pandemic. As you know, we learn new information every day, so not all programming has been finalized. At this time, the Block One Programs have been scheduled, but you’ll notice many limitations that have never been seen before. Unfortunately, the biggest change relates to the camper age requirements. All Block One Programs happening from June 28 to July 15, will only allow campers between the ages of 16 and 17 years old. Below you will find the updated schedule (as of May 18, 2020):

June 8 – June 18
Staff Training (Required for those working the full summer and block one)

Block One

June 21 – June 26
Adults who are Blind or Visually Impaired (Cancelled)

June 28 – July 3
Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism – Limited to ages 16 and 17 campers only

July 5 – July 10
Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Limited to ages 16 and 17 campers only

July 12 – July 15
Mini Camp Program: Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism (Cancelled)

The application deadline has recently passed for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Blind or visually impaired children with epilepsy programs. The Adults who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing application will be available until July 17. The staff hopes to have the Block Two Program Schedule by Monday, June 22. See the entire schedule here.

The staff continues to evaluate the situation as additional information becomes available. Stay tuned for updates. For questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus update, please contact Andrea Yenter, Camp Director, at ayenter@wisconsinlionscamp.com or Evett Hartvig, Executive Director, at ehartvig@wlf.info.

Life may feel may normal than it has in quite some time, but coronavirus continues to have an impact on businesses and organizations all over the country. We believe it’s worth mentioning that we are all learning how to navigate the world post-COVID. Be sure to practice patience and compassion as you go about your day. It’s been said dozens of ways, but remember that we’re all in this together.

From all of us at Lions Pride, be kind and stay healthy!

Safely Celebrating Memorial Day

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You probably already know that Memorial Day is Monday, May 24, but it will likely look different than it has in recent memory. Your past celebrations probably included a large get-together with neighbors, delicious grilled food and yard games.  Although the Wisconsin shelter-in-place orders is no longer in effect, it’s still essential for us all to practice social distancing and remain vigilant with CDC guidelines.

Is it just us, or does the reason behind Memorial Day often get overshadowed with sales, parties and general thoughts of summer? This year, we’d like to encourage you to celebrate Memorial Day while remembering the origin of the holiday – to honor our nation’s heroes.

Memorial Day, first known as Decoration Day, was created on May 30, 1868, to recognize the men and women who passed while in service of the United States of America. While there are no possible ways to repay them for their courage and sacrifice, there are several ways to say “thank you” to veterans while following social distancing. We’ve compiled a few ways to inspire you:

  1. Decorate the Exterior of Your Home

    Take all of the energy you would have been cleaning up your home in anticipation of guests towards decorating your house and yard. Now is the perfect time to don your American pride by displaying an American flag, planting red, white and blue flowers, and finding seasonal bunting. There’s no reason to take your decorations down after Monday has come and gone because this type of décor will be suitable all summer long!

  2. Take a Walk While Wearing the Name of a Veteran

    Recruit your immediate family and your walking shoes to participate in the Wear Blue: Run to Remember event. Typically, there are locations set aside for the run/walk, but this year participants can choose their locations and routes. You can commit to walking (or running) 1 mile, 5K or 10K in honor of one or more fallen veterans.

  3. Visit a Veteran’s Cemetery

    One traditional way to celebrate Memorial Day is to plan a trip to visit a veteran’s cemetery to reflect on our country’s heroes. At present, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs maintains 142 national cemeteries. In Wisconsin, there are four cemeteries and five soldier’s lots. Try to find an uncrowded place and be sure to read up on the latest rules. (For instance, visitors may be required to wear a face mask.)

  4. Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance

    The “National Moment of Remembrance” was passed in December 2000 and asked all Americans to “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps’” at 3 pm local time.

These are only four of many possible ways to celebrate Veterans while maintaining social distancing this holiday season. How do you plan to show your gratitude?

Happy Memorial Day from Lions Pride!

 

Addressing Our Packrat Tendencies

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During the past eight weeks of self-quarantine, we’re guessing you may have made a few revelations about your living situation. For instance, you may have wondered when did the neighbors get a dog, how long has the sink been leaking or when did I collect so much stuff?

Saturday, May 17, is Pack Rat Day, what better time to review each of the rooms in our homes to determine if we carry any pack rat-type tendencies. Uhaul suggests seven signs make a person a packrat:

  1. You keep old magazines or newspapers
  2. You keep clothes you don’t wear anymore
  3. You store broken electronics and appliances
  4. You store free swag
  5. Every room has become storage
  6. Your car has become storage
  7. Your daily life is impacted

Based on those depicters, would you consider yourself to be a packrat? If so, don’t worry! We’ve compiled a few tips to motivate you to spend the weekend to participate in home organization.

  • Pace yourself

One of the first mistakes, newbies make when they begin organizing their homes is thinking everything needs to be neat and tidy immediately. As a result, they start the job with high enthusiasm and start fading out after quickly realizing the extent of the entire project. Instead of setting yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations, take organization one step at a time. Start by setting a goal of organizing 15 to 20 minutes; you might clean out one junk drawer or begin organizing one closet. After your allotted period, you will either be motivated enough to continue the task to completed or be satisfied with your progress and wait to start a new project until the following day.

  • Purge anything that no longer serves a purpose to you

Are you one of those people who have a hard time throwing away boxes? If so, use that habit to your advantage by using them to sort through your not-so prized possessions. Label the boxes for items you want to keep, toss, store elsewhere, sell or donate.

We realize that these box names may be self-explanatory, but you may be curious about where you can donate all of the items you no longer want or need. Many charities rely heavily on your donated items to carry out their missions. Here are a few examples to get you started:

Clothing – Community thrift stores, Salvation Army International or St. Vincent’s
Books – Your local library or Operation Paperback
Eyeglasses – Your local Lions club or directly to the Eyeglass Recycling Center
Tools – Habitat for Humanity or other construction-focused charity

We encourage you to do your own research before immediately tossing specific items. You never which organization may need your old unwanted stuff.

  • Find a place for everything

What’s the best way to find anything you need? Ensure all of the items in your home have a pace of their own. We realize, however, that the process is entirely simple. Come up with a strategy where you envision all of the activities that will take place in each room and find a storage solution that will work for all of the necessary items. Remember to take one room at a time.

  • Consider a minimalist approach

As you are organizing your home, consider changing your mindset to commit to owning fewer materials rather than decluttering more often. Before purchasing a new item, take the time to really think about why that purchase is a necessity. According to the Simple Lionheart Life, the minimalist mindset happens gradually and subtly, in small ways, until you realize your relationship with stuff has changed.

Will you participate in home organization in honor of Pack Rat Day? If so, we’d love to hear about your plans in the comments below. Remember to keep in mind that organization is a marathon, not a sprint.

Happy organizing from Lions Pride!

 

Celebrating Mother’s Day During a Pandemic

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Her pep talks completely changed situations, her hugs made the world seem brighter and her love made us into the people we are today. This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day that we pay tribute to the incredible women who raised us. Typically, many of us would plan to celebrate the mother figures in our lives with brunch, backyard barbecue or another type of family get-together. Still, this year, the coronavirus “Safer at Home” Order is compelling us to think outside the box.

Many of us will likely not be able to get together personally for Mother’s Day, but it is still possible to show mom the best day ever. Here are a few clever social distancing celebration ideas:

  • Allow her to enjoy a meal in from her favorite restaurant

It’s no secret that lots of local restaurants are feeling the first-hand impacts of COVID-19. According to the National Restaurant Association, the industry (more than any other in the nation) has experienced the most extreme losses in both sales and jobs since the outbreak began. You can support your mom’s favorite local restaurant during this time by calling to see if they provide carry out delivery. Several establishments have begun adopting curbside pick-up practices to keep everyone safe.

  • Decorate her front door with a beautiful wreath

While you are dropping off a card, show the neighborhood how much her family appreciates her by decorating her porch or front stoop. A bright, beautiful wreath is the perfect way to finally welcome spring and say, “Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Watch a movie together while being socially responsible

Everyone knows that any movie is more fun when watching them with someone you love. With the exponential growth of online streaming services, you know have the opportunity to engage in the viewing experience together. Allow her to pick an old classic or one that’s been on her “To Watch” list and let the new age watch party begin.

  • “Sign up” to learn her craft

Does mom have a hobby that you know she’d love to pass down? If so, now might be the perfect time to start learning the craft. Whether she knits, sews, paints, or partakes in another fun activity, assemble the required tools and schedule a time to video chat. We know a future in-person meetup may be necessary to master all the tricks of the trade, but a virtual meeting should be enough to start learning the ropes.

We know that the coronavirus has thrown an obstacle in our usual Mother’s Day celebrations, but don’t let that stop you from showing your mom how much you care. Give her a socially distanced Mother’s Day celebration that she won’t soon forget.

Our ears are open! Do you have any other thoughts for showing gratitude to your mom while staying in? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Mother’s Day from Lions Pride!

Supporting Nurses and Other Healthcare Workers

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Next Wednesday, May 6, is the start of Nurses Week. Now, you may be asking yourself, shouldn’t this type of celebration start at the beginning of the week? It’s, of course, customary to commemorate these types of events on a Sunday or Monday, but this celebration is a bit different. Each year, Nurses Week takes place from May 6 to May 12, regardless of the day of the week, so the final day always lands on May 12, the birth date of Florence Nightingale, who is known as the Founder of Modern Nursing.

As the number of coronavirus cases continue to spread across the United States and impact the everyday lives of residents all over the world, we can’t think of a more appropriate time to recognize nurses putting their lives on the line to save others.

In the last month, Google released a video reporting that now more than ever before, people are looking for ways to help nurses and others involved in the medical community. To help answer this question, we have a few ideas to actively support our nursing community during this uncertain time:

  1. Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The need for Personal Protective Equipment grows as we discover new COVID-19 cases. Sadly, we are seeing that many facilities are ill-equipped with the gear necessary to protect our nurses and healthcare workers from catching and spreading the virus. A group of doctors started a grassroots organization to determine which facilities are in most desperate need. Remember that supplies save lives. Visit their site to see if you can help.

  1. Send a Thank You Card

If you ever received extraordinary care from a nurse at a hospital or healthcare facility, we encourage you to let them know – even if it was years ago. Although many nurses might say that they were just doing their jobs, we, as patients, know that tender care can make all the difference in the world during times of ill health. Consider sending a thank you card or handwritten note expressing your gratitude. During this pandemic, nurses are working overtime and making a number of sacrifices in their personal lives to get through the present situation, so we would be willing to be a little appreciation would help boost their morale.

  1. Stay home (if you can)

It’s been 37 days since Wisconsin issued the “Safer at Home” order, and we know that many of us are coming down with cabin fever (ourselves included). Still, it’s critical to remember the origin behind stay-at-home orders. Right now, we need to ensure that hospitals can effectively manage the number of COVID cases. Although we all miss seeing our family and friends, we encourage you to continue limiting non-essential trips to keep our healthcare workers ahead of the virus.

We don’t know where we’d be at a time like this without the dedication of our hard-working nurses. To the nurses who wear their hearts on their sleeves, run nonstop throughout long, 12-hour shifts, and continuously put others before themselves, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please stay safe out there!

Coronavirus remain a bit of a mystery to the medical community, but experts continue to learn more and more about coronavirus each day. Here at Lions Pride, we’d like to remind you to stay up to date with the latest information by visiting the CDC Website

Plant a Tree This Arbor Day

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Lions Lake in Fall

Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

Friday marks the observance of Arbor Day, a holiday dedicated to celebrating the beneficial role that trees play in our lives. Of course, this year’s celebration will be different we’ve seen in years past due to the novel coronavirus and extended “Safer to Home” Orders.

Two years ago, we developed tips on planning a tree planting project with a group, but we know that these points may not be especially pertinent to life in 2020 since none of us can predict when it will be considered safe to gather in groups. However, we think it’s important to bear in mind that planting a tree doesn’t necessarily require a group; instead, it may be a memorable outing for families wanting to make a positive impact on the environment.

Since the ground is no longer frozen (that is here in Central Wisconsin,) now is a fantastic time to plant a tree. By planting in the spring, you allow the tree an opportunity to grow all summer long then prepare for the cold winter months. Nonetheless, there are a few challenges that you will likely need to address. With the help of BHG, we’ve compiled a few tips to improve your chances of a successful tree planting:

  1. Safety first! Before even picking up the shovel, please be sure there will be no utility lines down below. Call the Diggers Hotline (811) before planning to dig. The dispatcher will ask you questions about your project and will need to reach out to local public utilities, which can take some time. The best time to call is two to three days before digging your hole.
  2. When you are ready to plant, dig a hole two to three times as wide as the root ball of your tree to allow for sufficient backfill soil.
  3. As you place the root ball within the hole, be sure to handle carefully to keep it all intact.
  4. Once the root ball is in your ideal location, surround it with lightly packed soil. Loose soil will help the roots grow easily.
  5. The biggest obstacle to planting in the spring is that the tree will need to make new roots and new leaves at the same time, which requires a lot of sugar and water. Be sure to give the tree a large drink of water just after planting and every day for weeks after. Adding mulch to the base of the tree will help keep the weeds out and reduce water loss.

If you are a Lion or Lioness, and plan to plant one or more trees in observance of Arbor Day, we invite you to share your numbers with Multiple District’s Environmental Chair, Lion Anita LeCleir at tia1937@yahoo.com.

At Lions Pride, our job is to preserve, protect and provide for Lions Camp and all other WLF projects, but we think those three essential words can also be applied to our responsibility as conscious citizens.

Instead of thinking of Arbor Day as just a one-day celebration, perhaps we can consider it as an opportunity to continually come up with new ways to improve the world around us. Remember that small steps, like planting a tree, can have a positive effect on our environment as well as generations to come.

Thank you for continuing to protect Planet Earth!

 

Celebrating National Park Week with Virtual Tours

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Each April, the National Park Service (NPS) teams up with the National Park Foundation to celebrate America’s natural treasures. The week encourages Americans to get out and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer than through exploration, education and discovery. This year, of course, is different than any other year in recent memory due to the novel coronavirus.

Like many other organizations all over the country, the NPS has modified its operations by following the CDC as well as other state and local public health experts. At this time, the majority of national parks have closed their facilities and canceled their events to prevent the spread of COVID-19; however, operations are decided on a park-by-park basis.

Luckily, despite the current social distancing limitations, we all still have an opportunity to commemorate National Park Week. In 2020, NPS has placed its focus on digital experiences.

That’s right, it is still possible to visit the parks during National Park Week (April 18 to April 26); that is with the help of technology and a little imagination. Review this list of available virtual tours:

  • Clara Barton National Historic Site
    You can visit the home of founder and first president of the American Red Cross. Clara Barton’s house in Echo, Maryland, served as the first national headquarters of the organization, and was her home for the last 15 years of her life.
  • Crater National Park
    You can take a virtual trip to the deepest lake in the US. Crater National Park. Located in Southern Oregon, Crater Lake was formed by a volcanic eruption and collapse and currently holds the honor of the ninth-deepest lake in the world with the deepest measured depth coming to 1949 feet.
  • New Bedford Whaling National Park
    New Bedford, Massachusetts, was known as the capital of the 19th century whaling industry and a prominent safe haven along the Underground Railroad. You have the opportunity to take an interactive or video tour of the Nathan and Polly Johnson House, a home that welcomed and helped those traveling along the Underground Railroad.

If you don’t have time for an entire tour but are interested in a change of scenery, you might be interested to know that NPS also has live webcams placed all over the country. You can catch glimpses of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Yellowstone National Park, Katmai National Park & Preserve and more.

We understand that life feels challenging right now, we must keep reminding ourselves that the social distancing is just a temporary setback. Before long, this period will just be a distant memory that we can look back on and be proud that we got through it together. But until that day comes, be sure to keep looking for joy – it might be right outside or in a virtual tour.

Happy Early National Park Week from Lions Pride!

 

 

 

2020 Tax Filing Extension

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Typically, this would be the time of year when people would be concerned about filing their taxes on time, but there is another worry on everyone’s mind – COVID-19.

Due to the current health and economic state of the country, the Treasury Department and IRS recently announced that it would be extending the federal income due date from April 15 to July 15, 2020. This announcement follows the Presidents’ emergency declaration to pursue the Stafford Act as we all learn to navigate life through a pandemic. Like the IRS, the state of Wisconsin has also extended the filing deadline.

Additionally, taxpayers will have the option to defer federal and state tax payments until July, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deadline applies to all taxpayers, to include individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and all other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. There is no need to make any special requests to qualify for this deferment, as it applies to everyone.

Although the filing deadline has been extended, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig encourages taxpayers not to procrastinate, especially if expecting a refund. At this time, most tax refunds are still being issued with 21 days.

If you are still working with your tax preparer on last year’s taxes, Lions Pride would like to remind you to practice extra patience and display even more kindness to essential business workers during this time. We are all being tested with daily challenges and are doing the best we can in the given situation.

Remember that we are in this battle together. Please continue to follow guidelines from CDC. Stay safe out there!

Safely Celebrating Easter During a Pandemic

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We don’t have to tell you that life has been incredibly unpredictable lately. Between limiting public trips and not being able to see loved ones in person, it feels like normalcy has completely disappeared.

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that we are more than likely just seeing the first effects of COVID-19. Updated projections from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) show that the coronavirus outbreak will peak in Wisconsin around April 26 and could overwhelm intensive care units. Researchers are still assuming that Wisconsin residents maintain social distancing, and schools, as well as nonessential businesses, remain closed. This new information means that we need to acclimate to our new world for the time being.

With Easter quickly approaching, many people may be wondering how they will attend Sunday’s mass. Although some churches remain open, Governor Evers has limited gatherings of ten or more people at this time. As a precautionary measure, several churches have decided to close their doors and begin transitioning to digital services.

Church leaders have been holding services using video conferencing software or by pre-recording videos and posting them to their organization’s websites, allowing members to watch on their schedule. Churches have also been reimagining community by becoming more active on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Yes, even in the age of social distancing, it is possible to stay connected.

Easter is a time of faith and family. If you are feeling especially distant from your beloved family members during the pandemic, you can follow the lead of church leaders by including these types of technologies within your own communities. Here are a few ways to celebrate together but separately during the Easter season:

  • Send e-cards to let loved ones know that you are thinking of them during this difficult period
  • Find an Easter craft that everyone can do within their homes and send photos of the finished products
  • Hide Easter eggs around your home and conduct a virtual hunt with nieces, nephews and grandchildren
  • Set up video conferencing to create digital family dinners

What other ideas do you have to celebrate Easter with your family members virtually? We’d love to hear from you in our comments below.

We understand that we are all currently going through trying times, but if we stick together and follow the guidelines from the CDC, we will come back better and stronger than ever before. From all of us at Lions Pride, remember that we’re in this fight together!

 

How to Keep Active While Staying at Home

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Unprecedented times call for extraordinary measures. This week, Governor Tony Evers instructed Wisconsinites to stay in their homes to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At this time, Wisconsin is not under lockdown, but instead an attempt for residents to limit unnecessary trips.  All non-essential businesses will be closed for the time being. Essential businesses include healthcare offices, grocery stores and caregiving facilities. See the entire list of essential business categories.

As we navigate the journey to find our new normal, at least for the time being, we’re here to help you and your immediate family stay active during the “Safer at Home” Order. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to keep busy during the pandemic:

  1. Discover free exercise videos on YouTubeAmid gyms and fitness studios closing, many physical trainers and instructors are turning to YouTube to provide high-quality video training. Whether you would consider yourself an amateur yogi, advanced cyclist or free weight enthusiast, you’re sure to find a video to fit your available equipment and physical abilities.
  2. Play a gameWhen was the last time your family gathered around the dining room table and played a board game? If you’re struggling to remember, it’s probably been too long. Get out everyone’s favorite game and play a quick round or two. Don’t forget to keep the hand sanitizer close! You may also want to consider disinfecting any necessary pieces before getting started.
  3. Try a new recipeWhile carry-out is still an option, those who would prefer to stay in can take this time as an opportunity to practice creativity in the kitchen. Ask friends about participating in a recipe swap or scour Pinterest to find a dash of inspiration.If you’re looking for another way to incorporate fun into your meal-time routine, find an obscure holiday to celebrate. Saturday, March 28, is Something on a Stick Day.
  4. Complete an unfinished projectWe’d be willing to bet that you don’t have to travel far to find a project that you wanted to finish “later.” (Don’t worry, we’re right there with you!) Later has officially arrived, so it’s time to take this opportunity to dust those fan blades, hang that picture or touch up paint in the living room.
  5. Call a friend or family memberDon’t forget to check in with your social circle during this time of uncertainty. Pick up the phone to call or video chat with a loved one that you haven’t talked with in a while. We can guarantee that they will love to hear your voice or see your face. Isn’t technology fantastic in a time when we can’t physically be together?
  6. Try a new craftWe hope we aren’t the only ones who have grand ambitions to try a new hobby. With so many of us not participating in our usual activities, it can feel like we are not using our brain to its fullest potential. Take some time to explore a new passion, such as woodworking, painting, podcasting or knitting. There are hundreds of thousands of tutorials online just waiting for you.
  7. Read a bookYou know the last time you binge-watched a TV series, but what about the last time you treated yourself to a good book? Spend an afternoon re-reading an old classic or peruse an electronic library to find a new favorite in a digital format.
  8. Go for a walkAlthough we are all encouraged to stay at home, Governor Evers mentioned that walks are still important. It’s common to feel cooped up at a time like this so, so be sure to get at least a few minutes of fresh air. Your body and mind will thank you for the break.
  9. Start a journalIt may be hard to believe, but we are currently living in a time that will be written about in history books. Document your experience of the coronavirus in a journal to remember what life years down the road. Although it may be difficult to imagine, it’s critical to keep in mind that this, too, shall pass.

How are you keeping busy during the “Safer at Home” Order? Let us know in the comments below to help us keep our readers engaged during this bizarre time.

The Lions Pride Office currently has limited hours of availability to cooperate with the Wisconsin “Safer at Home” Order. We already look forward to getting back to business but know that normal life will unfold in due time.

Stay safe out there!