The History Of Halloween

Hey, Halloween Lovers!

The time of year has come again to celebrate Halloween, to dress up like scary creatures we’ve only seen in our wildest dreams, and to gorge ourselves on hard-earned candy! But aside from carving pumpkins and eating lots of good treats, what are we really celebrating on this spooky holiday?

It turns out that Halloween dates back over two thousand years ago and was originally a Celtic celebration called Samhain (pronounced sow-ain). It started on October 31 and lasted until November first, sort of like the modern day New Year’s Eve celebration.

In fact that’s exactly what it was for the Celts—it marked the end of the summer season and the beginning of winter, so they made it their New Year’s. They just didn’t have champagne, noisemakers, or Dick Clark. Their celebration looked a little more like what we call Halloween.halloween photo

They lit bonfires, wore costumes, and carved out different types of gourds and pumpkins to set outside their doors as a welcome to friendly ghosts or to ward off the mean ones. Sound familiar?

Trick or treating isn’t really a new custom either. Back in the day, it was called guising—the phrase “trick or treat” wasn’t coined until sometime around the 1940’s. But little kids still dressed up in costumes to go door to door for coins and treats.

Records of people making this tradition date back all the way to 1895! They may not have been singing “Trick or treat, smell my feet,” but they still walked around collecting cakes, fruit, and money from neighbors.

I think one of the most interesting parts about Halloween is that any and all traditions that got their start before the 20th century are still being carried out today! Just think—the traditions we all know were being celebrated by folks from the late 1800’s! Cool, huh?

So from everybody at Everything Summer Camp, Happy Halloween!

 

Sincerely,

John

If You Love Sports You Will Love Ryan’s Favorite Product

Hey, Camp Fans!

Today I’m talking about a man who’s already been introduced on the Everything Summer Camp Blog. The manager of our Shipping Department, and longtime employee of ten years, Ryan is a big sports fan. It’s pretty regular to walk over to Ryan’s desk back in shipping and find him listening to sports radio as he’s working away.

From basketball to baseball and, of course, who could forget football—Ryan’s the biggest fan of all three.

And while you’ll never hear him toot his own horn—I’ll toot it for him to tell you—he can golf like you wouldn’t believe! I’ve played with this guy before and he puts me to that one step lower than shame: humiliation!

But I digress, Ryan really likes the Fatheads you can find at Everything Summer Camp. Boston Red Socks“Being a big sports fan, these are the best,” he says. “The ability to move them from place to place is awesome!” That’s right, our NFL, MLB, and NBA Teammates team logos from Fathead are movable, reusable, and just bout indestructible. Change your mind a million times on where you want this decal and it won’t lose its stick.

So were you born with basketball in your blood? Do you have baseball on the brain. Or maybe you want your footlocker to say football. Showcase the team you favor most right on your trunk or pretty much any other smooth, clean, and dry surface like your bedroom door, windows, and walls (as long as your parents say it’s okay).

“They always give me the chance to show my team pride,” Ryan says. Our Teammates team decal packages come with one to three team logo decals about one square foot in size. If you’re a big sports fan like Ryan—get your game face on with these Teammates team logo decals from Fathead!

 

Sincerely,

John

Did You Make Someone’s Day Today?

Hey there, Good Deed Doers!

Don’t we all just love it when some kind-hearted person holds the door open for us or lets us pass them in the grocery line? It’s wonderful to be on the receiving end of random acts of kindness like that, but that’s only half of what today’s about.

See, good deeds are a two way street. If you expect them to happen to you, then you in turn should do them for others—it’s the old Golden Rule that says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Today is a day to celebrate acts of kindness. Make Someone’s Day Day is celebrated the world over. Do good deeds for others and Karma’s bound to come back to you (in a good way). In fact, doing good deeds for others usually gives you a good feeling. So a selfless act can actually benefit you (even though the good deed you did wasn’t really about you).

It’s called altruism. When you can learn to live without putting yourself first you become a more thoughtful, more considerate type of person. So get out there and make somebody’s day today! You can give up your seat on the bus, leave your money in a vending machine, or give somebody an unexpected compliment.

Doing small and unexpected good deeds for a friend is great. Doing them for a stranger is even better. Maybe your good deed isn’t for a person at all. Pick up litter in the streets and do the planet a favor! Or maybe you can volunteer at your local Humane Society to help take care of some animals that could use your help.

It really doesn’t matter who (or what) the good deed is for, the important part is to put that goodness into the world. Remember: what goes around comes around. And, HEY! By the way—what exceptional readers you all are!

 

Sincerely,

John

Have You Decided What You Will Dress Up As For Halloween?

Hello, Goblins and Ghouls!

I hope you’re getting as excited for Halloween as all of us are here at Everything Summer Camp! Unlike any other holiday, Halloween is that spooky one when we read scary stories, carve pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns, and—best of all—dress ourselves up in costumes so we can look like something we are not.

If you like Halloween as much as me, you’ve probably already put some good thought into what you’ll dress up as this year. Good thing, too. You never know when a good costume is going to win you a cool contest. Like the one we’re having at Everything Summer Camp!costume photos

Step 1.) If you don’t know what you’re dressing up as for Halloween just yet—I suggest you get planning. Surprise us! Impress us! And, most of all, SCARE US! We can’t wait to see what you all have in store for us. Deciding on a costume can be tricky. Sometimes it’s the trickiest part about costuming.

But never fear—there’s a world of creepy creatures and fun costumes out there. The hardest part is usually deciding what costume will be most suitable for you.

Step 2.) Once your decision has been made, now you have something to shoot for. Look up pictures of a creature you want to dress up as, be it a clown, a vampire, a witch, or werewolf, and think of what you’ll need in order to execute the look. This is the most creative part of the process and, in my humble opinion, the most fun.

Step 3.) You’ll want to find all the different parts you’re going to need to make your costume happen. Maybe you need a wig, cape, face paint, etc.

Step 4.) Now we’re to the easiest part of costuming. Simply turn yourself into the wild, maniacal beast you decided to be and then have someone take your picture so you can show us just how good (and frightening) your costume is.

Above all else, have fun with it, boys and girls. And happy costuming!

To enter our costume contest simply submit a photo by clicking here.

Spookily,

John

Attention Candy Corn Lovers

Hey, Candy Cravers!

Certain holidays seem to have complimenting candies that go together like sidekicks hang around superheroes. Easter has Cadbury eggs for instance while Valentines offers candy hearts with suggestive messages printed on the side to say what secret admirers can’t say in person.

But this is the month of October when we celebrate All Hallows Eve. I think everyone knows that candy corn is Halloween’s candy sidekick. But other than that, not much is known about this popular, yet mysterious candy treat.candy corn

People say that candy corn was created in the 1880’s by someone named George Renninger who worked for a place called Wunderle Candy Company. But this really only refers to the candy once it was marketed and sold as candy corn. This stuff had been around for a much longer time than just 133 years.

Candy corn never had a patent in the beginning. It’s recipe was simply passed down from generation to generation. At first candy corn was made by hand—forming sugar, corn syrup, wax ,artificial coloring, and binders into multicolored, candy imitation of a corn kernel.

When the candy first hit the market, it belonged to a company called Goelitz. It wasn’t called candy corn at this point; it fact, it wasn’t really called anything. Goelitz gave it its first, official marketing name, christening it, “Chicken Feed.”

The name didn’t last long as it sounds absolutely revolting, but the recipe hasn’t really changed since the days before it was patented. Since this candy’s hit the market, it’s exploded (which is surprising since most people don’t even like candy corn).

Lots of people find the taste of candy corn to be too bland and waxy. Personally, I think they’re all crazy! I’ve loved this treat since my first Halloween!

So remember to get your Chicken—er, candy corn this year, Kids, and enjoy the age-old treat!

 

Sincerely,

John

P.S. Can you guess how many pieces are in here? Win our Candy Corn Contest with the right number! Submit your best guess here.  You could win a $100 Everything Summer Camp gift card!

The New Mossy Oak Camo Footlocker

Hey, Everything Summer Camp Lovers!

Are you ready to learn about another awesome Everything Summer Camp employee and his favorite product that we sell? Myron works in our Production Department; he’s part of the crew that manufactures Everything Summer Camp’s rugged and reputable C&N Footlockers every day. So it’s not very surprising to discover that Myron’s favorite product is our Mossy Oak Camo Footlocker.

This footlocker displays the epitome of a camp trunk that’s different, unique, aMossy Oak Camo Footlockernd new! What makes this footlocker stand out from the crowd? Unlike any other C&N Footlocker, this one has a printed fabric in place of the usual metal exterior. With our Mossy Oak New Break Up print, this woodsy footlocker is an eye-grabbing visual feast!

“Because of its fabric finish, this trunk has an entirely different image. It’s GREAT!” says Myron. “I always loved our Camouflage Trunk but now that we’ve come out with this, I have a new favorite trunk! This camouflage is ten times more detailed!”

Like all of our other camp trunks, the Mossy Oak Camo Footlocker is perfect for summer camp as well as around the house. This footlocker is the same size as the popular Happy Camper but carries itself with such a different attitude. Hard to describe, the attractive, Mossy Oak New Break Up print falls somewhere between subtle and distinctive.

Of course, the Mossy Oak Camo Footlocker owns up to the same rugged construction we give all C&N trunks. The inside is lined with impressive DuraWrap Liner. It’s odorless, water-resistant and tear-resistant—not to mention the exterior fabric finish (made of recycled fabric) is as sturdy as the trunk is spacious. Don’t worry about rips when you go with this footlocker!

This camp trunk is Myron’s favorite—will it become a new favorite for you?

 

Sincerely,

John

The History Behind The World Series

Hey, Ball Fans!

Who can resist America’s favorite pastime—Baseball?! It’s come quite a long way from hitting a ball with a stick in an alley. Baseball today is far from your great-grandfather’s baseball. Instead of an unorganized activity for fun after school, it’s become the Major Leagues, Homeruns, Stadium Hot Dogs, and Bob Uecker. This is the story of the World Series and how it got be the way it is now.baseball

Way back when—and when I say way back, I’m talking 1870’s—there was only one league: the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (who soon changed their name to the National League). They were the top dogs until 1882 when a second major league was formed—the American Association.

Up until that point the championship simply went to the team with the best record at the end of the season. But with the American Association now in the picture, the two leagues decided to face each other in a series of games to see who would win the championship.

These championship series are essentially what evolved into the World Series, however, they weren’t nearly as organized or official as the World Series we know today. Some series only lasted three games. Others lasted fifteen. And some even ended in ties!

The games were advertised as “The Championship of the United States” or the “World’s Championship Series,” which birthed the shorthand “World’s Series.” Up until 1930, people considered Baseball’s Championships to have started in 1884 near the rise of the American Association; however, nowadays the World Series isn’t considered to have started until 1903.

Last year, the San Francisco Giants took the World Series after defeating the Detroit Tigers. Who will take the Series this year is anyone’s guess. Keep watching and remember to root, root, root for the home team! Till next time, Ball Fans!

 

Sincerely,

John

Chris Farley’s Younger Years

Hey, Farley Fans!

Who doesn’t love this king of comedy? Chris Farley will forever be remembered in our hearts and in our laughs as one of those one-of-a-kind kinds of people who could easily tap into that lighter, brighter, and funnier side of life.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Chris grew up with four other siblings—Tom Jr., Kevin, John, and Barbara Farley. Growing up in his hometown, Chris went to a number of Catholic schools and is said to have always made it to Mass.chris farley

Chris had a close connection with his summer camp stays. He spent many of his summers as a camper himself, and then later as a camp counselor at Red Arrow Camp around Minocqua, Wisconsin. Even from an early age, Chris enjoyed making people laugh.

Chris went to college at Marquette University to study communications and theater. He graduated in 1986 and one year later, moved to Chicago. Chris had developed a passion for improvisational comedy—comedy skits that are unscripted and unrehearsed. He performed at the Ark Improv Theater in Madison, the Improv Olympic theater in Chicago and, eventually, Chicago’s Second City Theater.

It was during one of his performances at Chicago’s Second City Theater where Chris was discovered by a producer of the ever-so-popular sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live (SNL). Chris boomed with popularity in the coming years on the show as he resurrected characters of his own from Second City Theater for sketches on the show.

After SNL, Chris started making movies. Along with his best friend David Spade, Chris made such classics as Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. His latest project involved his own voice work for a cartoon movie about an ugly beast. Sound familiar?

Few people know that Chris was actually supposed to be the voice of the lovable ogre, Shrek. The story was pretty different than the one we’ve seen too. Chris had recorded 80 to 90% of the lines for the movie. Unfortunately, he died from poor health conditions before being able to finish the movie. Mike Myers later stepped in to make Shrek after the script had been rewritten.

Though his passing is a tragedy, he still has us laughing after he’s been gone.

 

Sincerely,

John

Celebrate Chocolate Cupcake Day

Hey, Cupcake!

If you didn’t already know, I’m happy to be the one to tell you about one of the nation’s best holidays! No, I’m not talking about Christmas or Halloween—I’m not even talking about Easter or Valentine’s Day. No, the holiday I’m thinking of is Chocolate Cupcake Day. And it just so happens to be tomorrow!

Why CHOCOLATE Cupcake Day? Because chocolate is the very best flavor cupcake you can make! We here at Everything Summer Camp feel like one day to celebrate this chocolaty holiday really just isn’t enough. And that’s why we’ve been celebrating Chocolate Cupcake Day all week long.chocolate cupcake

We’ll be sampling each other’s cupcakes and sharing our tasty recipes with all of you. I can almost taste them now! What a great sensation it is sinking your teeth into that unapologetically moist bite of explosively chocolate intensity. Is it any wonder that we have a national holiday to celebrate this dessert?

While the debate exists about how this dessert got its name—because they were originally baked in cups or because the recipe is measured out in cups—the most curious part about the name is that the dessert wasn’t always called a cupcake.

No, they were first called number cakes since the measurement of the ingredients weren’t hard to remember. That was back some time in the 1800’s, when people first started making them. They’ve really come a long way since then—haven’t they?

Nowadays, you’ll find delicious cupcakes in bakeries, coffee shops, or even on TV when you turn on the FoodNetwork! Cupcakes aren’t just tasty, cup-sized cakes with frosting anymore. They’ve become a sweet tasting treat that you can top with your own creativity. Decorate them to fit the theme for a party or simply for your own delight!

So enjoy baking, frosting, and then decorating your own masterpieces like we are this week. And happy Chocolate Cupcake Day, Everybody!

 

Sincerely,

John

Derek’s Favorite Product

Hey, Camp Lovers!

Do you love camping gear as much as we do? Today’s Blog post presents the second installment of our Everything Summer Camp “Employee Picks” in which individual employees talk about their favorite particular products that we offer right here at Everything Summer Camp.

You may recall a few months back in July when I posted about someone who always has his work cut out for him around here. He’s our guy in the shipping/receiving department, Derek.

Not only does Derek bear enough of the duties that everyone else has in shipping, like picking, packing, and printing orders, but he also handles the majority of Everything Summer Camp’s incoming freight whether the shipments be stock items, equipment for all of our personalized products, or simply overhead for our office building.

Needless to say, Derek works with our products on a daily basis. What’s his favorite product from Everything Summer Camp?wheel away system

Derek is a fan of the innovative Wheel Away System—a simple and discreet steel bracket on the bottom of your trunk that lets you pop your wheels on and off without any tools. These wheels handle rough terrain as well as stairs—so there’s no heavy lifting required to move your camp trunk after it’s loaded up and full!

“It makes it easier to move around and it installs with little effort,” says Derek. The Wheel Away System really is one of the easiest ways to convert your camp trunk into an easy-to-transport, storage unit/piece of furniture. The best part about the Wheel Away System—besides the easy transportation it provides—is its simplicity.

Once you pop your wheels into place, your footlocker is ready to roll within literal seconds. But—as the kids on Reading Rainbow always said—you don’t have to take my word for it!

Till next time, Camp Fans.

 

Sincerely,

John