Sanguine Penguins

Hey, Penguin People!

Penguins are a favorite for lots and lots of people and it’s no surprise since they’re one of the most unique and interesting birds on our planet. Their species developed in what we call the ‘Era of the Mammals’—around the same time as the first horses, whales, and monkeys of the world. However, while penguins may have arrived at the same time, they aren’t mammals…or are they?
How''d you like to spend Christmas on Penguin Island?There is much debate as to how penguins should be classified. Clearly, they’re one of the rare species of flightless birds like ostriches, emus, cassowaries, certain ducks, auks,   and a few others. But they also have blubber which is mainly a mammal thing. They also spend the vast majority of their life underwater like a fish, but they walk around on land too, as amphibians do.

How weird is that?! No wonder we have a day dedicated to this confusing bird! Celebrate Penguin Awareness Day with us and check out these facts that I put together about this amazingly bizarre bird!

They’re Not Slow.penguinos
Notorious for their upright posture and their waddling locomotion, penguins are typically depicted as slow-moving animals. This presumption, however, is completely inaccurate. In fact, there are some penguins out there, like the Adelie Penguin, that can actually move faster than most humans are able to run. And when they really need to cover some ground and FAST, they just hop on their bellies and move like toboggans!

They’re Not Fat! They’re…okay, well…they kind of are but they need that layer in order to survive..
As all marine mammals like seals, otters, orcas, and whales, penguins wear a layer of blubber under their skin too. The only bird with blubber, penguins are smart to have evolved with this trick of aquatic mammals—they would never survive the arctic temperatures without this special layer of fat.

They Drink Salt Water.
“Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”—such is the case when you’re lost at sea, but not if you’re a penguin. While salt water just won’t work with human bodies because of how salty it is, penguins can drink the stuff down all day. Thanks to a gland they have that actually filters the salt from the water, penguins will never die of dehydration by salt water.

They’re Not Afraid of Us.
Especially in comparison to other birds, penguins aren’t afraid of people. They don’t really have a reason to care much about us because penguins don’t typically have an abundance of land predators. What penguins need to watch out for are circling birds of prey overhead—that’s their biggest threat.

They Dress in Camo.
The black-and-white plumage of penguins—often associated with a white shirt and tailcoat—are actually camouflage. Camouflage from the water, that is. Their black backs are lost in the dark depths of the sea and their white stomachs are easily mistaken for the sunlight that reflects off the water’s surface. Of course, their black backs are easily seen against the snow, but I suppose it’s more important to be unseen in the water when you spend 75% of your life in the wet stuff!

It’s no wonder that we find these creatures so fascinating! Happy Penguin Awareness Day, Everyone! Learn more about our feathered friends here and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Madeline has a Great Camp Time

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

We were excited to see so many great entries about the camp experiences of roughly 30 campers’ submissions for the ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest that we held here at Everything Summer Camp. Now we’re excited to post each of your entries right here on Camp Lindenmere is a great camp in Pennsylvaniathe Blog! To follow our seven lucky winners of larger prizes, all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Madeline S. She wrote in to tell us about her fun summer at Camp Lindenmere. Here’s what she shared with us:

Hello, my name is Madeline and I am 11 years old. I have attended three different sleep-away camps since I was seven years old. Wow, it’s been quite a journey to finding my preferable sleep-away camp! But, I’ve finally accomplished my intention to find my destiny camp. It started out in 2012, when I attended Camp Raquette Lake in Lake Placid, NY. I was not a big fan of the camp, even though the view was so scenic and my cousins also attended it. The people there were also not genuinely kind people. The next year, my parents sent me to an alternate sleep-away camp called Camp Emerson, in Hinsdale, Massachussetts. I tremendously enjoyed this second camp experience, comparatively to the prior one. My favorite camp activities there were cartooning and video. I still carry memories from those activities to this day. Next year, I returned to Camp Emerson, eager for another pleasant summer. The camp experience itself was similar to last year’s and was extremely fun. In contrast, the only issue I had was when I encountered a girl that wasn’t particularly nice. She was very harmful to me in verbal ways. I spoke to many camp officials regarding these concerns and they spoke to her on plenty of occasions. For some reason, the girl seemed to not be motivated to stop. She just continued her rude behaviors and made my summer completely miserable. Once the summer was over, I decided that two years was enough at Camp Emerson. My family and I talked to multiple camp experts, who suggested a wide selection of possible camps, but one really stuck out to us. The name: Camp Lindenmere. This year, I attended camp Lindenmere and had the best summer of my entire life (so far)! I couldn’t have done it without my best friends and all of the supportive staff that kept me going in some of my rougher moments. Everything there was outstanding—from the food, to the activities, to the staff, to the different departments, it is just the most incredible camp out there. My favorite activities were soccer, flying trapeze, candle-making, gaga, and newspaper. And there’s no doubt about it that I am going back next year! Thanks for reading my camp story and I hope that you enjoyed it!

It’s great that you finally found a suitable match for yourself in Camp Lindenmere, Madeline. Too bad camp’s thrown you a number of curve balls, but it sounds like you’re in a good place now. Hope your years to come are just as much fun! Maybe Camp Lindenmere is the right camp for you. You can check it out for yourself right here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Go Safe with SAFEGO

Hey, Camp Folks!

Here at Everything Summer Camp, we truly love expanding our selection of camping gear and other camp supplies to provide our shoppers with more options in accessorizing their camp endeavors! And sometimes we just can’t help ourselves when we see awesome, new products from innovative brand names like Coghlan’s, TexSport, and Outdoor Products

One of our latest finds comes from the SAFEGO brand, introducing their portable travel safe for confidence in storing your valuables off your person—handy at places like the beach, the park, the gym, and the poolside. The SAFEGO Safe will hold onto your belongings pretty much anywhere you need it to and it’s specially designed for theft prevention so you can put your worries of leaving your valuables to rest.

It’s typical for beach-goers to throw their valuables inside their shoes or to stuff their wallets and other pocket items into their rolled-up shirt. Unfortunately, many The SAFEGO Safe is a great take-along for summer camp!an item has gone missing in scenarios just like these. This was the case for Zach Perlman, the founder of SAFEGO, who one day returned to his beach towel after a 15-minute swim to discover his wallet, keys, and phone were gone.

An unfortunate discovery for Zach, this was the moment, however, that inspired the invention of SAFEGO and the Portable Travel Safe.

This sturdy accessory for safekeeping at summer camp is made from lightweight, durable, and water/sand-resistant, high-impact plastic. The lock hardware on the safe is rust-resistant, nickel plated zinc alloy, made to handle any outdoor conditions. It’s got a heavy-duty, plastic-coated steel cable made from material similar to a bike lock that easily attaches to a beach chair, table leg, park bench, or pretty much any fixed object.

Keep your keys, cash, wallet, camera, sunglasses, jewelry, or any other belongings you have along at camp safely stored away no matter where you go with SAFEGO’s brilliant Portable Travel Safe. You can check it out right here on our website and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Stage Door; Mandy Manor

Hey, Campers!

With countless numbers of kids going to summer camp for more than a hundred years, there are literally millions of adults who were former summer campers when they weThis phenominal actress has been phenominal about it for almost her whole children. It’s not surprising to discover then, that lots of former campers went on to become celebrities that we all know and love today.

I’ve told you about Zach Braff and Natalie Portman, alumni of the wonderful Stage Door Manor Camp. You can check out a Blog post about Zach Braff right right—and one about Natalie Portman right here. And for today’s post, we’ll learn of another Stage Door Manor alum who attended around the same time: Mandy Moore.

Sited in a former resort in the Catskills Borscht Belt in Loch Sheldrake, New York, Stage Door Manor provides awesome venues for its campers to get the experience of being on the stage, in the spotlight. Spending three weeks of her summer among Stage Door Manor’s awesome theatre spaces like the Carousel, the Cabaret, the Forum, the Merman, and the outdoor Garden Theatre, Mandy was inspired at a young age to see out a career in acting.

The granddaughter of Eileen Friedman, a professional ballerina from London, Mandy looked up to her grandmother as a strong source of inspiration to follow her dreams of stardom. “My parents thought it was just a phase I’d grow out of, but I stuck to it and begged them for acting lessons, for voice lessons,” Mandy is quoted to have said.

She didn’t just giver full effort to her lessons, but she immediately went to plugging herself and before long she was starring in a number of productions around town and singing the National Anthem at local sporting events.

When she was 13, she started writing her own music and she was overheard performing by a FedEx delivery employee who had a friend at a record company. The delivery man took a demo of Mandy’s unfinished demo to send to his friend and before she knew it, Mandy was signing a record label.

After launching a music career, Mandy entered into her acting career as well, bringing to the screen great characters from memorable movies like the ‘Princess Diaries’ and ‘A Walk to Remember’, and doing fun voicework for movies like the ‘Dr. Dolittle’ sequel, the ‘Brother Bear’ sequel, as well as the Disney hit, ‘Tangled’.

Most recently, she now stars in the NBC family comedy-drama television series, ‘This Is Us’ as Rebecca Pearson, the mother of the family. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in 2016. Staying dedicated to her passion sure has paid off for Mandy. Her summer camp experience surely helped ignite the flames. If Stage Door Manor sounds like the camp for your kid, you can check it out right here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Maya C. goes for Year 3!

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

Happy to see so many great entries about kids’ camp experience for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest that we held here at Everything Summer Camp. So, we’re posting each of your entries here on the Blog! Following our seven lucky winners who gCamp Netimus is a wonderful summer camp that you ought to check out!ot larger prizes, the rest of our entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Maya C., who wrote in to tell us about her fun summer at Camp Netimus. Here’s what she had to say:

This Summer I spent my 3rd year at Camp Netimus, a sleep away camp in Milford, PA. At camp I met so many friends and had so many great experiences. One great experience was shooting a bulls-eye in Riflery for the first time and then doing it again! I had an awesome cabin this year with my 5 friends from the previous 2 years. This year I was considered a JCIT (Junior Counselor In Training). JCIT’s have a lot of responsibilities, like calling cabins when we had picnic or giving a speech at the last green cathedral, which is like church every Sunday where one cabin says there 4 experiences. JCIT’s also have to rover, or check on cabins during counselor meetings. At this time, working seniors and major minors—both of which train you for becoming a JCIT—and soon counselor, have to cover lower camp cabins. The JCIT’s job is to make sure the working seniors and major minors had their lower camp/lower upper camp cabin under control. Lower camp is cabins 1-7 and upper camp is 8-JCIT. Lower upper camp is 8-10. JCIT’s also had to teach a class of choice and assist a class of choice. My ‘teach class’ was Riflery and my assist class was Jewelry. JCIT’s were the only ones allowed in our cabin which had two rooms. One room was empty, the other is the one we slept in. While JCIT’s did have a lot of responsibilities, we also had a lot of fun. We got 2 days out, one each month, with the working seniors where we got to go shopping and watch movies at the nearby mall and theater. I stayed season, or 2 months, at camp. We weren’t allowed to have a phone, but I didn’t need one because I was having too much fun. During the fourth week, we had a float night banquet, where we had a canoe show at the lake and then a banquet like dinner. Also, every Thursday we had a dance with our brother camp Shohola, which were lots of fun. During changeover, the weekend between 4th and 5th week, we went to a water park that used to be called Action Park. It used to be the most dangerous park in the world, but they tore it down and built Mountain Creek Water Park, way safer. The next day we went shopping at the mall. During 5th week we went to Branchville, where I got on my first Merry-go-round. I also got on “The Claw” which spun you up and down and in a circle. Then we had our normal banquet, where they decorate the dining hall all day with an unknown theme. Normally campers don’t know the theme until their cabin gets called down, but since the JCIT’s had to help with something outside; we were allowed to go in for a couple minutes to see the theme. This year’s theme was Enchanted Forest. The next day we had candle light, where at 8:00 we all sat around a big campfire holding a candle of our own, then moved to our cabins with the candle and talked about our year as a camper. My favorite memory from this year was when my cabin tried to scare me but ended up scaring themselves. I was at the nurse one night for stomach cramps and my cabin wanted to scare me. They were sitting in the cabin in our empty room and started chanting random quotes from ‘Harry Potter’. The plan was to scream at me when I walked in, but it didn’t go well. Right before I walked in, the CIT’s, which were next door, opened their door and slammed it shut. Then I walked in our cabin and slammed our door closed. The sound of the doors slamming scared them and they screamed at the top of their lungs. Apparently they were expecting me to turn on the light, but I was way too tired to think, and figured they were asleep. Overall, I found Camp Netimus was like a second home for me and loved every minute I was there.

Camp Netimus must be a great camp that you keep going back! I’m glad you’re happily accepting more responsibilities as you continue your years at summer camp. Look into Camp Netimus for yourself and discover what a special place it is. As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Wonderful Camp Waldemar

Hey, Camp Folks!

You know what I always love talking about on this Blog? It’s all the excellent summer camps that we work with at Everything Summer Camp. Having developed some great relationships with more than 250 summer camps, we like to post about them pretty often. And given the title of our ‘Summer Camp Spotlight’ Blog posts, today we’re aiming our spotlight on Camp Waldemar for girls.Waldemar is a great camp to send your girl!Situated within a 1200 acre valley in the hill country of Southwest, Texas, Waldemar graces its girls with the beautiful natural landscapes and, winding through it, the Guadalupe River framed by their many, regal cypress trees. Such majesty lends a helping hand to create an intimate setting for young women to discover who they are and how they fit in the world and their communiLook at these loving little lambs!ty.

You’re sure to have a blast at Waldemar with all the Land Sports they offer like Outdoor Adventures, Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball, Cheerleading, Golf, Fencing, Gymnastics and more. Make splash this summer with fun Canoeing and Kayaking trips as well as lessons in Form Swimming and Synchronized Swimming. And you can spend quieter times learning the art of Ceramics, Drama, Dance, Drawing, Journalism, and other fun Crafts!

Nestled in the Texan hills are Waldemar’s beautiful facilities. Named with the same style of intriguing creativity as their architecture, the Bella Vista, Alamedo, and Ranch House boast a great collection of artwork from Mexican, Native American, and Old West cultures. The girls stay in cozy cabins that Waldemar campers know as ‘Kampongs’.

They’re not exactly “roughin’ it” in these excellent lodgings that include a private bathrThey won't exactly be "roughin' it".oom decorated with Spanish tile mosaics and Saltillo tile floors, a bedroom with four bunk beds, air-conditioning, and either a front porch or a courtyard that connects the other kampongs to each other. Campers are awarded daily points for keeping their clothes and belongings tidy and pitching in with housekeeping duties.

Get into the Waldemar Spirit! If it sounds like the right place for your daughter, check out their website right here. A great place to camp since 1926, talk to your camper about Camp Waldemar and, as always, thanks for reading!

Crazy fun awaits in this serene setting!
- John

History of Mad _______

Hey, Camp Fans!

When you deal with so many interesting products like we do here at Everything Summer Camp, you can’t help but get a little curious about the origin of the gear, supplies, toys, and other items that we handle on a daily basis. That’s why I’ve started writing these History posts in which we investigate the back stories behind specific gear and other products. A lot of the products we sell have histories that go way back, even to ancient times.

Today, however, we’re going back only 64 years ago, to 1953. Today we’re looking at the history of Mad Libs.Get ready to hold onto your funny bone!

This unrivaled, classic, fill-in-the-________ word game was an overnight success! By removing parts-of-speech and replacing it with a different, random noun, verb, adjective, etc., Mad Libs transform simple stories into hilarious laugh attacks. The best way to give a group a big case of the giggles is with an uproarious tale from a Mad Libs page.

The concept for Mad Libs was born that fateful night back in 1953 when their co-creator, Leonard Stern was looking for the right adjective in a script he’d been writing. After he had struggled in the search for half an hour on this single word, his best friend Roger Price walked in. Evident to Roger that his friend was in deep frustration, he asked what he could do.

Leonard confided in his friend over this elusive adjective that he could not track down for the last 30 minutes. When Leonard asked for help, his friend Roger blurted out “clumsy and naked” which, as incorrect as it was, at least made Leonard laugh. The pair almost immediately recognized the potential behind this hilarious description of somebody’s nose (as Leonard’s script had been calling for).

Leonard commenced to leave the script where it was for the rest of the night and went to work with his friend Roger writing short, page-long write-ups with key words missing. You can find awesome, camp-themed Mad Libs and other fun ones right here when you shop our website! Enjoy laughin’ it up with your friends with Mad Libs and, as always, thanks for reading.

- JohnGet these stories for a riot at summer camp.

Gracie R.—Camp Star

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

We were very happy with all the great submissions we got about the camp experience families underwent this summer. We saw somewhere around 30 submissions for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest that we had at Everything Summer Camp. Now we’re posting each of your entries on the Blog! We had seven lucky winners who got larger Camp Kanakuk was a great camp for Gracie. How about you?prizes and all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Gracie R., who wrote in to tell us about her fun summer at Camp Kanakuk. Here’s what she had to say:

It all started with Mom saying maybe you should go to sleep-away camp this summer…then I wanted to get a trunk. I heard that everyone gets a trunk and decorates the trunk for camp so I put my ideas on paper and we painted it. It was so fun. I put hearts and my name on it. I love the colors—my favorite color is purple. I wanted to go to camp Kanakuk with my friend Everley..and she lives in Oklahoma and I live in Atlanta. I have never been to camp before and I did not know what it would be like. Everley had not been to camp either. So we went at the same time. We got on the bus in Oklahoma and I sat with her. We stopped at McDonald’s. My mom gave me $15, but I only spent 4 and then we got to Kanakuk. We got our bunks and I was barn #6 with 10 other girls. My counselors were very nice and one of them was from Atlanta! My favorite thing to do was the zip line—it was very high and fast! I had a great time and I missed my family but I was having so much fun. They sent me emails and the counselors made us write letters. I did not like the food that much. I learned that God is first, then others, then me. They call it ‘Me 3rd’. Everyone was so nice and they had parties every night. One was a glow party, one was red white and boom, there was a princess party, and a Star Wars party. I learned a lot and I made new friends and I hope to go back next year. My mom said I grew and I was only gone one week!

You had a lot of fun at camp, Gracie! From your anticipation to your arrival, zip lines and parties, sounds like your camp experience at Kanakuk was awesome! I bet you’ll be going back for years to come! Check out Camp Kanakuk see what Gracie is talking about. As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Go Back to Sleep!

Hey, Sleepyheads!

Today is the Festival of Sleep—a day for loafin’ around the house and staying warm under the blankets amidst the dead of a chilly winter. In honor of the day, last year I posted about all the different benefits a good night of sleep brings to us as people—not just in the winter, but year-round. You can check out last year’s pHibernating dormouse {Muscardinus avellanarius} curled up asleep in nest, Sussex, UKost right here.

But this year, I’d like to focus more on sleeping in the winter season—or, more appropriately, THROUGH—the winter season. I’m talking about hibernation.

Unfortunately, we people don’t hibernate—much as we feel we may want to! Our bodies just aren’t biologically designed to do it. So who DOES hibernate? Oh, lots of creatures! You have bears and bats—they’re the most popularly-known—but there are also mice, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons, groundhogs, snakes and a number of other reptiles, some amphibians, bees, and more.

Not all of these animals are true hibernators the way that bears and bats are. These guys fall asleep and will coast clear through winter and spring. Others, however, like raccoons and chipmunks, tend to wake up periodically to snack on some food that they have stored up. But even then, if they’ve run out of their food supply, they’ll go searching for more. Still, This guys ready for a long winter snooze.they sleep for much longer than you or I could ever dream.

What are these animals doing, you ask? Well, these creatures’ bodies have all adapted in one way or another to remain inactive as a means of conserving their energy. By slowing their metabolism and reducing their body temperature considerably, these creatures stay asleep for days, weeks, even months at a time.

Food gets to be hard to come by for some animals—especially bears, and so, instead of migrating or expanding their diet, these animals took the lazy route and make the bold move to sleep through this season of scarcity. The benefits of sleep for us—like boosting our mental, physical, and emotional well-being—are nothing compared to what sleep can do for these animals who essentially freeze time for themselves.

We may not be able to hibernate, but we can certainly pretend! Enjoy getting the most out of your Zzzz’s today and all winter long. And, as always, thanks for zzzz…
You dn't get cozier than this.

- John

What’s the Temperature?

Hey, Camp Fans!

Learning to be True to Your Heart is a great lesson that kids pick up at The Gift of summer camp. Is it any surprise that kids love going to camp ever since the mid-1800s—and Still?! Many adults nowadays are former summer campers themselves and a bunch of them have gone on to become famous icons. It’s my pleasure today to tell you about Mr. Drew Lachey of the hit group 98 Degrees. Learn about this 98 degrees member at his experience at camp.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Drew attended the Clovernook Elementary School in North College Hill—a suburb of Cincinnati. He moved on to the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in the Cincinnati, Ohio Public School District.

While he didn’t attend summer camp in his childhood, he worked at one as a cabin leader at the age of 16. He spent two fun-filled weeks on the shore of Lake Fairlee, looking after the summer campers of Camp Billings and building an appreciation for the beauty surrounding him in the green hills of Vermont.

After his time working as a cabin leader at Camp Billings, Drew got involved in several interesting career paths before finding himself in a musical group. He found work behind the counter of a delicatessen. He trained to be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and served as one in New York City. And he went on after that to be a combat medic in the U.S. Army.

Along with his older brother, Nick, and their friends Justin Jeffre, and Jeff Timmons, the four of them formed the pop group 98 Degrees and achieved nationwide success.

No stranger to television appearances, Drew showed up on one of the ‘Hollywood Squares’ in 2001 and has had a handful of guest appearances on Nick’s MTV show ‘Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica’. He was also the winner of the second season of ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

If you’re interested in Camp Billings for yourself, you can check out their website right here. Even working at summer camp is a positive experience! Maybe you’d make a great cabin leader for some local camp. As always, thanks for reading.

- John