Bright Thinkers

Hey, Light Lovers!

Flashlights are essential to every camper’s packing list as you prepare for the overnight summer camp experience. We always want to offer the best of the best in child-friendly camping gear products and so we’re proud to offer flashlight and lantern options from one of the leading brands in quality lighting gear that’s incredibly effective and easy to use!

Brighten the night with Hybrid Light.Always fans of ‘Bright Thinking’, we knew Hybrid Light was an obvious fit for our collection of flashlights and other lighting sources in our camping gear selection. Hybrid Light masterfully combines brilliant quality with a design that’s easy for kids to use. And, on top of that, they’re conscious of the impact they have on the lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllenvironment!

Lighting the way since 2003, Hybrid Light’s products are made to generate power from sunlight. And, truly mastering their craft, the engineers at Hybrid Light have developed flashlights that store solar energy for years!

Products like these are exceptionally valuable to the avid camper. That’s why you can find a flashlight like the Entrada 80 Lumen Solar Powered Flashlight here at Everything Summer Camp. Never find yourself stranded in the dark with this flashlight by your side. It’s self-charging when left in the light, it’s durable, waterproof, and it even floats! Have a closer look at it for yourself right here.

In the market for a lantern? We have the Hybrid Light’s PUC Expandable Lantern available as well. This lightweight lantern cranks out 150 lumens to light up an area and it doubles as a flashlight when it’s collapsed too! Water-resistant, you don’t need to worry about keeping this around the pool or out in the rain. It generates 40 hours of light from just one full charge and the 4000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery will hold its charge for 7 years!

Get a better look at these incredibly practical products by clicking right here and order the lighting sources you’ll want along for your nightly navigation throughout your camping experience! Stay bright and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Let’s Bee Friends…

Happy, Honey Bee Day!

Today we celebrate a day started by beekeepers FOR beekeepers and to develop awareness of the community about the facts and the benefits of honey. Observed on every third Saturday in August, this day is designated to honor honey bees and those noble beekeepers.
Happy Honey Bee Day, Y'all!
Honey Bee Day was started almost a decade ago by a little group of beekeepers. They made their dream come true by petitioning for a formal proclamation by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that honored honey bees and beekeeping alike.

The bee industry community has made great advancements thanks to Honey Bee Day which has opened up the opportunity for beekeepers across the nation to share methods, education, and further efforts to share the best in beekeeping techniques among one other.

Did you know that honey bees contribute a lot more to the world than just honey? A LOT more. I’m sure you know that bees pollinate our crops, but did you realize that an entire third of the food we eat hinges on this furry, little insect actually?

That’s right! We rely on honey bees for an incredible list of produce such as apples, avocados, blueberries, broccoli, cranberries, cherries, cucumbers, grapefruit, melons, onions…the list goes on and on. Certain foods, such as almonds, rely entirely on honey bee pollination.

There are some beekeepers that produce and sell honey while other beekeepers’ business is all about ensuring there are bees to pollinate our farmers’ crops. Without them, so many crops (like the ones listed above) would disappear completely from our grocery stores.

Send your appreciation out to honey bees and beekeepers far and wide! Support your bee love with Burt’s Bees products from Everything Summer Camp—check it out by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Just Joking…

Hey, Jokers!

All joking aside, today is National Tell a Joke Day. It’s a day for laughter, levity, and wit. Unfortunately, I already took my serious pills this morning, so this post isn’t likely to make you laugh much. Instead, we’ll be taking a good, hard, and serious look at the origins of The Joke.

How did the first joke go? Who told it? And was it a good one? Well, I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I’ll share with you as much as I’ve learned…

The Knock-Knock
The Knock-Knock Joke is thought to have its origins around the year 1900 in which a journalist of the ‘Oakland Tribune’ wrote of a jokester in the streets who was approaching random strangers and asking if they knew Arthur. And when they expectantly replied, “Arthur who?” he would call out “Arthur-mometer!” and then run away laughing.

The humorous spirit of this street jokester caught on and over the years his antics developed the Knock-Knock format that we all know today. By 1935, everybody had heard of Knock-Knock Jokes. Strangers engaged one another in the street with a “Knock-Knock.” Knock-Knock Contests were held by businesses. You couldn’t even turn on the radio without hearing a Knock-Knock gag.

Poultry X-ingWhy do you think the chicken crossed the road?
More than 50 years earlier than Knock-Knock Jokes, a question was posed concerning the reason for a flightless fowl to cross a thoroughfare. This was first asked in an 1847 issue of a New York magazine called ‘The Knickerbocker’. It read:

Question: ‘Why does a chicken cross the street?’ Answer: ‘Because it wants to get on the other side!’

This was the first popular example of a non-joke in which the punchline isn’t clever or funny in any way—the humor lies in subverting the expected, knee-slapping reason that the listener is waiting for. The joke is that there is no joke. Love it or hate it, it’s led to a million alternative and ridiculous answers as to why exactly a chicken might cross a road.

Timeless Toilet Humor
But jokes go back even further than that. In fact, jokes are so old that there likely aren’t any new ones really—just twists on age-old observations. Did you know that toilet humor has been traced back to our ancient ancestors because—let’s face it—farting is funny no matter what generation you’re from.

An unearthed Sumerian tablet that dates back nearly 4500 years yields the oldest recorded joke ever. When translated, it reads:

“Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s embrace.”

The joke being that women are so discrete about passing gas that they won’t do it in front of their husbands. A modern retelling of this joke might look more like this: Question: ‘What’s something that’s never happened in all of history?’ Answer: ‘A wife farting while she hugs her husband.’

…Funny stuff…

Okay, well, nobody said the ancients were hilarious. Our humor has evolved as time goes on and things that we found funny years ago may not be so entertaining in this day and age. But the essence of what makes us laugh will always remain. Have some good laughs today and share some of your favorite jokes with your friends and family. Happy Joke Day, All! And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Zooey Post Number Dos

Hey, Zooey Devotees!

Most people who are aware of Zooey Deschanel are quick to become fans of her. You know where we stand at Everything Summer Camp; we posted about Zooey just as soon as we got this Blog up and running. It was her that led us to realize just how many actors have attended summer camp and launched this entire Celebrities at Summer Camp series for the Blog.Get your fill on Zooey with some odd nuggets about this former summer camper.

Since I posted about her some five years back, I thought we’d go back in order to get to know Zooey at least a little bit better. In her previous post, I discussed how she attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts and some other information like her most notable projects in her acting career.

I also covered interesting little tidbits, like how she’s won nominations for awards like the Golden Globe, a Grammy Award, and an Emmy. Today, however, I want to go real deep so we can attempt to really get to understand what makes this woman tick:

Singin’ in the Fame
Most people are aware of Zooey’s side singing career—another item I mentioned in her previous post was that she’s in a duo with musician Matt Ward and together they are ‘She & Him’. But did you know that not only did she sing all her songs in the movie ‘Elf’, but also on most of her movie soundtracks? That’s her voice in movie melodies such as ‘Once Upon a Mattress’, ‘Yes Man’, ‘500 Days of Summer’, ‘Winnie the Pooh’, and more!

ADHD
Zooey suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She takes medication to reduce her symptoms which include the difficulty to keep focus, disorganization, impulsive behavior, and fidgeting. Throughout her life, the actor has coped with her problems and yet she has made her way to the top.

Seamstress
When Zooey was in high school, she was a huge theater nerd—big-time—and she always needed new clothing for costume attire in private productions with friends. An issue was that she wasn’t allowed to go to the mall until she was 17 so she didn’t have great shopping opportunity. And even when she did, she didn’t ever have much money at that age anyway. As a result, she learned to sew and crafted her own clothing.

All in the Family
Her name may not be quite as recognizable as Zooey’s, but Emily Deschanel, Zooey’s sister, started her acting career five years before Zooey. Emily has four years on her younger sister and is best known for her role as Temperance Brennan in the Fox television series, ‘Bones’.

Zooey has accomplished much in her life and learned so much in the process, but there’s one thing she’s never been able to call herself is a morning person. There are more inspirational quotes of hers out there, but I like this one from her a lot: “In an ideal world no one would talk before 10am. People would just hug, because waking up is really hard.” And, with that, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

Get Your Camp Fix at Camp Lenox

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

If your kid has expressed interest in attending summer camp in the coming camp season, visit the Summer Camp Spotlight posts on the Blog to peruse potential camps where you can send your curious kid. I’m shining my spotlight on a great camp for boys near the southwestern corner of Massachusetts. Check out Camp Lenox.

The current director, Rich Moss first started at this camp as a 10-year-old camper himself Camp Lenox is a hot spot for summer fun!whose father—Monty ‘Coach’ Moss—just bought the campgrounds. Enjoy the same 170 acres of beautiful New England forest neighboring the awesome water of Shaw Pond that Rich enjoyed when he was a camper back in the 1960’s!

Have fun playing lots of different sports at Camp Lenox such as Baseball/Softball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Dance, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey (on wheels and on ice), Lacrosse, Soccer, Team Handball, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling, Yoga, and more. And master your sense of adventure with camp activities like Archery, Camping, Climbing Wall, High Ropes, Hiking, Ziplines, and more!

Of course, there’s tons of fun in the water too. Enjoy Canoeing and Kayaking, Swimming, Fishing, Sailing, Scuba Diving, Wakeboarding, Waterskiing, and more on the serene Shaw Pond. And Camp Lenox loves getting campers to tap into their creative sides with activities like Ceramics, Crafts, Jewelry-Making, T-shirt Design, Photography, Video Broadcasting, Audio Mixing, Theater, Science, Music, and more!

And not just full of fun times and beautiful nature, Lenox also offers great facilities for camper care and convenience—a Dining Hall where all the fantastic Lenox food is prepared, The Lodge where performance fun is enjoyed, the Waterfront where things are both serene and wild, of course the bunkhouses for Boys and Girls, and more.

Look into Lenox further if it sounds like it might be a good fit for your family! You can check them out directly on their website by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

Do YOU Like to Mountain Bike?

Hey, Pedalin’ People!

Mountain Biking is a popular activity found at summer camps all across the nation. Maybe you’re just returning from a great camp experience where you got a lot of Mountain Biking time in. Keep the fun going post-camp and hit your local biking trails! Nothing hits the spot like a rugged ride through a woodsy park trail or the sights along a rocky terrain! Strap your helmet on and get out there!Get on your bike and ride!

While mountain bikes are certainly designed to endure the tough trails they’re made to travel, they aren’t actually necessary for the sport of Mountain Biking. All it takes for this sport is off-road riding on a bicycle of any sort actually.

So, knowing that, the history of Mountain Biking goes back to the invention of the bicycle which—believe it or not—goes all the way back to 1817. Of course, it probably took people a while to muster up the courage to traverse any rough terrain on these early bicycle designs.

Mountain Biking is an exhilarating ride that gets your blood pumping and makes you feel good! Why is that exactly? Well, here’s a quick look at some of the boosting benefits that comes from Mountain Biking:

Heart
Regular exercise is known to improve cardiovascular fitness. Mountain Biking requires lots of oxygen which makes your heart work steadily and builds heart fitness.

Joints 
Mountain Biking puts less stress on your joints as opposed to other activities such as running. Cycling offers seated aerobic exercise taking the pressure off your joints!

Immune System
Consistent, moderate exercise strengthens the immune system and keeps you healthy. Mountain Biking typically doesn’t push you too hard and is habit-forming!

Sleep
Mountain Biking decreases a hormone in us that keeps us awake called cortisol. Lowering this hormone brings you regenerative sleep!

Mood
Mountain Biking entices your body to release natural endorphins and boosts serotonin—the body’s way of feeling good, getting more energy, and feeling happy.

In conclusion, how better to experience the gorgeous majesty of Mother Nature than taking a seat as you cruise along her beautiful sights while also getting some exercise in?! Mountain Biking is the perfect activity during and outside of your summer camp experience. Enjoy hitting the trails and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Don’t Forget to Write!

Hey, Camp Fans!

Summer gets busy fast—especially near the end; we all want to fit in as much fun in the sun as we can before the season ends. But make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to share your camp stories with the widespread camp community, not to mention win a cool participatory prize from Everything Summer Camp!Tell us about your camp experience this summer---we really want to know!

With August in full swing, there’s no time to dally! Get your memories written up and send your submissions into us—our final call is just two and a half weeks away on August 31.

Don’t forget: Everyone who submits gets a $15 gift certificate to Everything Summer Camp! But on top of that, the ante is getting upped for this year’s Camp Story Contest! Instead of seven, this year we’ll have ten random winners.

Our first randomized winner will receive our top prize of a $250 gift card to use on our website! Two more winners will receive $100 gift cards to our site. Three random winners will get $50 gift cards. And four random winners will receive $25 gift cards.

Articulating all your new camp experiences on paper helps you process and reflect on all the things you learned. If you’re not exactly sure what you’d like to write about, you can check out some ideas on the previous Share Your Camp Story post I wrote last month. Check it out by clicking here to see it.

In your submissions, please include your first name as well as your last name initial, what camp you visited, and how long you’ve been going to camp. Parents are more than welcome to send us their submissions to let us know how the camp experience was on their end too!

We enjoy hearing your camp stories so much we can barely wait to receive a fresh new collection of stories from this year! Share your stories by clicking right here. And, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

Cool School Products

Hey, Back to Schoolers!

Everything Summer Camp has an excellent selection from the Three Cheers for Girls brand. And where there’s Three Cheers for Girls, there’s bound to be Back-to-School products! Lo and behold—backpacks, lunchboxes, and locker décor for the return to your education. But you won’t find these products on our website.

What’s going on here?Bring your girl power to school with you this upcoming year!

No, I’m not trying to trick you. We really do have these products and you really can’t find them on our online store. We’re doing something a bit different. Normally, we’d announce our back-to-school products on our website, but this year we’ve sent our products over to Amazon.

Knowing that a lot of our customers are also Amazon Prime members, we thought you might appreciate saving on shipping fees by shopping Everything Summer Camp products on the Amazon site. See, on our site you can get free shipping for orders that reach $49 and over. At Amazon, however, you can get free shipping simply with Prime Membership.

Check out the awesome Three Cheers for Girls Back-to-School products available on Amazon right now! We’ve got:

Locker Wallpaper Sets
Decorating your locker makes the little world inside more fun, more functional, and, of course, more YOU! It adds some spice and pep to an otherwise gray, monotone landscape. Every glammed out locker starts with the Lockers 101 Wallpaper Set! Get your pick from pretty patterns like Unicorn Stars, Mermaids, Celestial, and Aquatic Scribbles.

Magnetic Mirror
You’ll love checking your glamorous self in this 6″ Magnetic Locker Mirror! Pick your favorite pattern to cover the frame of your mirror with the cutesy Aquatic Scribbles, or Celestial Glitter, or Unicorn Stars and enjoy your own image when you go into your locker.

Backpacks and Lunch Boxes
Everybody needs a Backpack and Lunch Box for school! Keep with the Three Cheers spirit and get yourself covered with the awesome available designs they’ve designed. Bring your textbooks and lunch to school in style!

Enjoy getting your cool school products for the returning school year. Shop the links in this post from now until the end of September while supplies last. Good luck in the coming school year and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Feelin’ Hot! Hot!! Hot!!!

Hey, Campfire Kids!

Happy National Campfire Day to everyone! Of course, we all enjoy keeping warm around a fire on a cool night! But it’s even more fun when you can do it while sitting in a circle of friends, sharing stories and getting mesmerized by the flames. And don’t forget the cherry on top with some delicious hot chocolate or roasted s’mores! After all, they’re as much a part of the campfire experience as the firewood is.Enjoy a campfire with the folks you love today.

The campfire continues to be fed in order to keep on burning, but how did the flames first start growing and reaching upward? How does a fire get started?

Well, some people prefer to stand on the shoulders of society and bring a lighter when they go camping—or maybe they opt to ‘rough it’ with a book of matches. But there are other folks who really want the woodsy challenge and experience of making a fire from a more primitive fashion.

If you want to go all out with the bear necessities, all you really need in order to stoke a spark is a couple good pieces of wood along with some tinder and a good woodcutting knife. Creating heat through friction from rubbing wood against wood is a difficult, but eventually productive method.

Flint and steel with charcloth is a popular choice for people who want to cut the challenge back a little bit. They bring these items along so they can strike the flint against the steel.

This striking shoots sparks into your prepared pile of tinder with the charcloth on top. Hopefully the charcloth starts to burn enough from the sparks that it can pass the heat along to the tinder below and get that burning. From there, you can start burning your smaller twigs and sticks before moving onto your firewood.

So make the best of the today’s holiday and go enjoy the beautiful weather of the great outdoors. Stay safe and good luck, campin’ folks. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

More Info on Franco!

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

There are plenty of celebrities who happen to be former summer campers and we love featuring these famous names to learn a little about them. Celebrities who had attended camp were featured in 2013 and, since then, I’ve covered over 100 celebrities on this Blog! Having covered so much ground, now I’m going back to retread some of the big names who were already featured years ago to get a closer look.

In his previous post, I shared that Mr. James Franco not only got his claim to fame from Look at this cute, little puppy.the cult classic TV show ‘Freaks and Geeks’ from 1999 but also attended a four-week program at Innerspark: California State Summer School for the Arts where he focused on a variety of artistic media from Dance to Film to Theater and Creative Writing and more!

But let’s dig deeper to see what makes this Hollywood heart throb tick…

James of all Trades
James got a lot out of his four-week stay at Innerspark! Not only did he come out a famous actor, but the guy is also a painter, an author, a professor, as well as a musician. Talented is an understatement to describe Mr. Franco.

Cashier Acting
Against his parents’ advice, James quit school at UCLA to pursue an acting career. He got a job at McDonald’s to support himself till he started landing roles and used his time talking to the customers to practice his different accents. He eventually returned to UCLA and graduated in 2008.

General Family
James ended up working alongside his mother, Betsy Lou Franco, on the soap opera ‘General Hospital’ playing the role as his mother’s character’s son on the show. James admits the experience was pretty weird to work with his mother, but he eventually got over it.

James Freak-o
When he first met James for casting on ‘Freaks and Geeks’, showrunner Judd Apatow thought James was kind of a homely guy. After James was hired, Judd was surprised to continue hearing from the women around the office how cute and dreamy they all thought he was.

“Always have one artistic thing that is pure,” James has written in his novel ‘Actors Anonymous’. “At least one thing, where you don’t compromise. You can do other things to make money, but have one pure area.” Do yourself the favor of living up to these simple and powerful words. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John