What’d YOU DO at camp?

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

Everything Summer Camp’s ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest is BACK!! Now that you’ve returned home and have had some time to reflect on your camp stay, we want to hear how you liked it. This contest has seen great participation in our previous years and we love reading all the submissions we get. We can’t wait to hear all your stories from this summer!We know you must have tons of stories to share from your camp experience. Tell us about it in the 'Share Your Camp Story' Contest!

Tell us about the single, most fun and exciting activity or talk about all the great people you met. No matter what you have to share, we’d love to hear about it! Include your first name and the initial of your last name, what camp you visited, and how long you’ve been going to camp. 150 words will qualify, however, we’d rather see submission’s that are closer to 250. Tell us about the camp you went to and why you think it’s the best! And, if you include a picture with your submission, we’ll post your camp story on Instagram!

What to Write
There are a million things you could talk about. But what will make the best submissions are the parts of camp that meant the most to you. Tell us about the things you learned at camp. Tell us about all the friends you made while you were there. Tell us how it felt to be away from home. Tell us about the beautiful landscapes and natural surroundings you saw at camp. Or submit a journal entry style to chronicle a day in the life!

Submit your written story about your summer camp experience by clicking here. There’s no entry fee. If you’re under 18 years old, you’ll need permission from your parent or guardian to enter this Contest.

Speaking of parents—we love hearing from you too! Don’t hesitate to give us your own submission if you have a story to share. How was the experience? Has your kid exhibited a change in behavior? How did you cope with your kid being gone? Did you learn any lessons from this year? Tell us whatever you want. We’re all ears!

Everybody gets a $15 gift certificate to Everything Summer Camp with their submission!
Seven random winners will be chosen. Our first randomized winner will receive a $100 gift card for our website. We’ll then randomly pick two more winners to receive $50 gift cards to our site. After that, four random winners will get our $25 gift cards. Everyone else who submits will get the $15 gift cards.

Tell us how camp went and share your stories right here on the Blog! Check out further details on the entry form by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

A look at Avex

Hey, Water Lovers!

Activities and the summer sun make us sweaty and thirsty; a trusty water bottle is essential to your summer stay at camp. That’s why we like to offer only the best bottles for camp here at Everything Summer Camp. Names like CamelBak, Light My Fire, Outdoor Products, and more can all be found right here on our website. But today, we’re spotlighting the Avex brand in particular.

Featuring their own Autoseal and Autospout technologies, Avex has designed kid-friendly Go Avex when you go to camp.bottles that lend themselves perfectly to the adventuresome summer camp lifestyle. Offering the Brazos Autoseal as well as the Wells Autospout right here on our website, we want you to have the best throughout your time at camp.

Made up of a team of adventurers, the folks at Avex understand how important it is to camp with gear that you love. By learning through their own experiences out in the wilderness, they’ve been able to capture the things we want from our water bottles in their water bottles and deliver gear that you will grow to love!

They’re the company that cares and strives to make a difference. Compelled to do their part to protect the valuable water resources of our planet, the Avex brand policy states that “For every purchase of an Avex product, you give back to your planet and help preserve our water.” When you support Avex, you support our planet.

Avex water bottles stop any chance of leaks, spills, or contamination and they allow for convenient one-handed use. Thanks to the double-walled, vacuum insulated design, these bottles can keep liquids hot for about 7 hours and cold for 20 hours. Stay hydrated with our small selection of Avex bottles and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

A History Piece on the Poncho

Hey, Curious Campers!

If you get curious about the history of some of your camping gear as we do, then check out the history of the poncho! We carry a handful of ponchos from an assortment of brand names such as Outdoor Products, Red Ledge, and Coghlan’s. But how long hPonchos pre-date Hispanic Central America belonging to the ancient Paracas tribe of South/Central American natives.ave these effective pieces of rain gear been in existence and how did they come to be?

These outer garments were developed for protection from wind, sandstorms, and keeping you warm. We’ve traced the history of the poncho back to 500 B.C. along the Andes Mountains. The natives known as the Paracas were from South America from lands such as modern day Bolivia and Peru. Over hundreds of years, they slowly made their way into Mexican land.

Just a simple large sheet of fabric with a hole in its center for your head, ponchos have developed a few more features over the years. By the 1800s, ponchos were made with fasteners so that the sides could close around your body to provide better effectiveness. They also grew hoods that were added to the top of the center hole for further protection. By the 1800s everyone was wearing a poncho!And just 50 years after that, ponchos were adopted by the U.S. military. They started making their ponchos out of a latex-coated cloth that was waterproof and it became part of popular attire The military has become big fans of the poncho too.for soldiers in the Civil War. Not only would they use it for clothing, but they proved handy as a ground sheet to sleep on as well.

While ponchos are nowadays still strongly associated with the Americas and the natives who first created them, they have made a comeback in modern fashion as well. Designed as articles of Ponchos are a point of fashion nowadays.fashion, the simple sheet shape hasn’t changed, but the material of these fashionable ponchos are typically knit from wool or yarn.

Take a look at the ponchos in our Rain Gear Department which you can look at by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Find Out What Texas Camp Ethan Hawke Attended!

Hey, Summer Campers!

The same as so many Hollywood stars, professional athletes, musical artists, and other celebrities, among so many of our favorite Hollywood actors who attended summer camp when they were young, movie star Ethan Hawke is yet another former camper in thRead about Ethan Hawke's time away at summer camp!e biz! Frequently found in film features all throughout the 90’s, he started making a name for himself even before that when he was only 15.

And it wasn’t much before then that Ethan attended summer camp at the YMCA Camp Carter in Texas. Located just minutes from downtown Fort Worth, Camp Carter covers more than 300 acres of heavily wooded land as well as its own lake and waterfront access to the Trinity river, showing kids—like Ethan Hawke back in the early 80s—the time of their lives.

Between his camp stay and his first movie, Ethan starred for the first time on the stage for his high school production of ‘Saint Joan’ When he first started high school, Ethan wanted to be a writer, but it didn’t take long for the acting bug to settle in and he knew this was what he wanted to do.

So eager to get into the business, the 15-year-old Ethan landed a lead role in the sci-fi movie as mentioned above. While the movie ‘Explorers’ went on to develop a cult following, it did not do well in the theaters. Though he’s not proud to admit it, ‘Explorers’ poor immediate reception took a toll on Ethan and he unofficially gave up acting for the time being. In retrospect, he feels that he rushed things along too quickly. “I would never recommend that a kid act,” he has said.

He returned to acting five years later after completing his education and saw better success than he did on his initial run. In just a few years, he found his role alongside Robin Williams in ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ which was a great launching point that brought him the work of 18 films throughout the 90s.

Ethan’s acting career also included some television appearances such as an episode of ‘Alias’ as well as ‘Moby Dick’ the made-for-TV miniseries. You can check out Camp Carter for yourself by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Timberlake and Merri-Mac (bro and sis camps)

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

We work with so many camps—over 270 to give you an idea—that it’s nice to devote some time for singing their praises. That’s why we like to spotlight these camps on our Blog to try and get the word out to families who might yet be looking for the right summer camp for their son or daughter. Today, we’re shining our spotlight on the boys camp in North Carolina, Timberlake Camp and their sister camp, Camp Merri-Mac.A fun place for a summer, check out Timbrerlake Camp for yourself.

Located on the same property in Black Mountain, North Carolina, the boys and girls camp are high up in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains where summer stays create lifelong memories. 15 miles east of Asheville, Timberlake and Merri-Mac are encircled by the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains and much of the bordering land lies within the Pisgah National Forest.

Lots of fun activities are offered at Timberlake Camp . Boys can soak in the fun on their waterfronts with Canoeing, Fly-Fishing, Kayaking, Swimming, or Waterskiing. And they have fun on the land with Archery, Backpacking, Climbing, Fencing, Mountain Biking, Paintball, Pottery, Riding, Riflery, Rocketry, Ropes Course, Soccer, Tennis, Trips, Wrestling, and more. There are also Tribes into which all campers are initiated and participate for in the Tribal Events.

Lots of fun is waiting to be had at Timberlake Camp.Timberlake campers are placed in cabins based on their grade in school. Boasting seven rustic cabins, they are all different at Timberlake—from big to small, accompanied by two to five cabin leaders. Each cabin observes its own traditions, providing its own attitude and environment to the campers.

You’d be lucky if you get the opportunity to attend Timberlake Camp . You can take a closer look at it by clicking here and read about Camp Merri-Mac in our previous Blog post right here. Look into these camps to see if they may be right for your budding camper and, as always, thanks for reading!This camp has a crazy amount of fun each and every summer!

- John

Meet Mellina!

Hey, Camp Folks!

Say hello to Mellina—our year-round help and organizational guru in our Graphic Department production. We make all of our personalized products right here in our own, local facility factory. Mellina runs production on a daily basis which involves designing and printing our Clothing Name Labels, Clothing Stamps, Stick-On Labels, Lid Skinz, Autograph Pillowcases, Embroidered Laundry Bags, Camp Clothing, and pretty much every other personalized product we offer.Mellina works in our Graphics Department Production for the vast majority of our personalized products.

Needless to say, her job keeps her busy, busy, busy—especially so in the summertime.

Before the busy days of adulthood, Mellina would frequently go on family hiking trips through the woodsy wilderness of northwestern Wisconsin. Her folks would often take her and her siblings on camping trips too. “I attended summer camp through the YMCA at Manitou one year and loved it,” she said. “We’ve taken the kids camping a few times and plan to more often since they’re getting older now!”

Nowadays, she’s an early bird—up with her two young kids, she typically chooses to start her workday earlier than anyone else at Everything Summer Camp. And after an often-times exhausting shift, Mellina goes home to her lovely family. She and her husband Jeremy cherish every moment with their adorable children Henry, 7, and Nora, 5.

With these two little ones of her own, Mellina takes great pride in her work, knowing how much young campers will appreciate a job well done. “My favorite part is making the personalized items for kids, especially the embroidery,” she told me. “Having an unusual name, as a kid I could never find trinkets with my name on them. Finally my parents had a barrette made for me and it really made me feel special. I hope these kids feel special when they see the items we make with their names on them.”

We hope you treasure all the fun personalized products we create for you in our Graphics Department and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Bulls Eye!

Hey, Gamers!

Games are always a surefire way to get some fun going between you a friend, a bunch of friends, or even a bunch of strangers—like all the new kids you meet at camp. In an attempt to pass the time, have fun, and relax, people have played games as far back as history can show us. Chess came around in the 500s and Backgammon was about 2000 One of the first games ever invented.years before that! Even older is a game called Senet that they played in Predynastic Egypt which makes it the oldest game as far as we know.

Games have taken on a number of different forms and even media—from board games to card games to sports games and video games. A number of games have positioned themselves on the fine line between game and sport with activities like Ping Pong and Billiards. Another ambiguous leisure activity is Darts.

Darts aren’t nearly as old as Senet or even Chess, but its history is an interesting one anyway. The game is rumored to have originated in medieval times (in the 1500s) when Henry VIII told his archers that he wanted them keeping their skills sharp year round. To avoid the cold weather, they maintained their aim by throwing their arrows indoors instead of shooting them. The arrows were eventually shortened for indoor use.

Darts was once played with your mouth.Since then, darts seem to have been a common game found in pubs across the European continent, yet, we only need to travel back less than 200 years for what we know to be the official start for the game of Darts. Records have been found as early as 1837 in which an adaptation of Darts was developed called “Puff and Dart”. The game involved a hollow cylinder and much lighter darts that were blown at a target instead of thrown.

Any Dart games prior to “Puff and Dart” are assumed to have had the same style point system as indicated by an archery target. The scoring system of “Puff and Dart” was based on the number of “puffs” a player took to hit a certain number (along the lines of strokes in a golf game). But things changed drastically after “Puff and Dart”.

The “Puff and Dart” game did not have a lasting stay as accidental sucking instead of blowing brought about a number of deaths. But that didn’t mean the end of Darts! People reverted back to throwing heavier darts. And, in 1896, an Englishman named Brian Gamlin designed the modern dartboard with the numbering layout that’s now well known today.
Fun for campers and safe at camp, get your Magnetic Darts Set from Everything Summer Camp.
Fans of the game of Darts ourselves, we’re happy to offer this kid-friendly Magnetic Darts and Dartboard Game Set here at Everything Summer Camp. Check it out right here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

The Blackfire Brand

Hey, Camp Folks!

Unless they’re going to a day camp, flashlights are essential to every camper’s packing list as you prepare for the summer camp experience. We always want to offer the most innovative, most child-friendly products in our camping gear shop, so we keep our eyes open when it comes to new products on the market. Our eyes bulged when we saw Blackfire’s Clamplights—the smartest flashlights available—and we knew we had to carry this brand.This brand makes the best in flashlights.Blackfire was founded in 2008 by an inventor named Bruce Ancona. Prior to Blackfire, Bruce had spent the previous 25 years as a consultant for the relevant products being developed by clients from all over the country and all over the world. Together, Bruce and his team are the inventors of more than 200 patents! But Bruce had the light bulb go on in his head with the bright idea of making his own clever products.

Clever products, indeed, Blackfire’s Clamplights are simple, yet genius. How do they conceive of such revolutionary modifications? They ask themselves questions to help them to understand what kind of tasks people are doing when they need a flashlight. And how can its design help to better serve the user? The Clamplight makes mobile lighting a whole new ball game.

Blackfire brings a high-end design to the traditional flashlight which essentially reinvents the 1899 invention so that it can stand upright on a flat surface, clamp onto whatever’s nearby, or be handheld as usual. It swivels in every which direction to provide you with light wherever you need it.

Blackfire is simply the best selection in flashlights that’s available on the market. That’s why you can be sure to find it offered on our website at Everything Summer Camp! Get an even closer look at their Clamplight Flashlight right here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Happy Third of July!

Hey, Patriots!

Tomorrow is our nation’s Independence Day! Our country is chock-full of national monuments. From the Golden Gate Bridge to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and Mount Rushmore, you can look to many different things that carry symbolism for our country. We’ve been ramping up for this holiday at Everything Summer Camp with our patriotic Seasonal Trunks dressed up in red, white, and blue.

And with the Fourth of July now just one day away, I’ve selected four well-recognized symbols of our nation to dissect and explain the reasoning behind them in celebration today.

The American Bald Eagle
In order to express a sense of identification and reputation, nations select their own national tree, flower, bird, etc. The bald eagle is the national bird of the United StaThis bird of prey was selected for America's national bird.tes. It was chosen to represent the freedom, strength, and independence of American life. At the time, the Bald Eagle was thought to inhabit exclusively the North American continent and—despite Benjamin Franklin’s lobbying for the turkey–the strength and majesty of the Bald Eagle won this bird its place to represent our nation.

The Liberty Bell
When the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, 1776, our forefathers were obliged to read the document to the puRing my country's bell. Ring my bell.blic. In order to gather the colonials in the town center, they rang the Liberty Bell. Still in existence more than 240 years later, The Liberty Bell still exists to this day and can be seen on display at the Liberty Bell Center in Pennsylvania. It was cracked some time in the 1800s (with vague record) but continued to travel the country for town gatherings on the Fourth of July until 1915.

Statue of Liberty
Like a guardian angel, The Statue of Liberty towers over the New York islands as oneThis lady Libertas is the goddess of freedom. of our nation’s most recognizable monuments. Lady Liberty was constructed in France as a gift to the U.S. Built of a steel frame and covered in sheets of copper the statue took about a decade to be completed. It was then disassembled and shipped to the New York Harbor where it was then put back together again over the course of several months. Designed after the Roman goddess, Libertas, she continues to be a strong symbol of our country’s freedom.

The American Flag
Featuring 13 red and white stripes and 50 stars to symbolize the 50 states and 13 original colonies, the American Flag is an incredibly iconic image, but it hasn’t always looked the same. Modernly known as the Betsy-Originally only 13, the flag has undergone many different changes to accommodate the other 37 states that would eventually join the nation.Ross Flag or Colonial Flag, the American Flag was changed more than 25 times as stars continued to be added as territories were annexed into states. We finally designed our modern flag in 1960 after Hawaii, our 50th state, was granted its statehood.

The more you know, the more you can appreciate the historic significance behind our nation’s most iconic symbols. You can also look into previous posts about the history of our Independence Day by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Guess Where this Geek Attended Camp!

Hey, Summer Campers!

Such a plethora of folks have attended summer camp at some point or another in their lives that former summer campers aren’t at all hard to find. And it seems like everywhere you look, in Hollywood especially, you come across summer camp alumni naturally. I’ve written a good number of Blog posts about all the celebrities who have gone to camp and today I come with another—Mr. Samm Levine. Samm Levine is one funny guy and a great actor.

Camp Nah-Jee-Wah is found on 1250 beautiful acres just 90 minutes from New York City. With campgrounds that feature athletic facilities, a lake, a pool, ropes challenge courses, a skate park, and much more, Samm had a wonderful time for his summer camp stay. As early as his days at camp, Samm wasn’t necessarily interested in acting, but he definitely had his heart set on working in comedy.

He went straight to work too, performing standup routines at friends’ Bar Mitzvahs (a Jewish rite of passage) and his jokes were typically received well by the crowds. During one Bar Mitzvah performance in particular, the actress Lisa Kudrow happened to be present and saw his routine. She ended up giving him some advice that he had ought to audition in Manhattan.

By the time he had turned 15, Samm made his first appearance on an episode of the soap opera ‘One Life to Live’ and that was only the beginning. With a different Sam Levine already registered in the Screen Actors Guild, Samm decided he would hang an additional ‘M’ at the end of his name.

He continued with a television and film career, making appearances in shows such as ‘Ed’ and ‘The Drew Carey Show’. But the role that he remains best known for is Neal Schweiber in the short-lived cult classic of 1999, ‘Freaks and Geeks’ in which he played one of the geeks alongside later Golden Globe winner James Franco.

Samm Levine did a lot for his career in his young adolescence and he continues to be a well-received presence in television and film. Check out Camp Nah-Jee-Wah for yourself on their website by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John