Happy New Year Everyone

Hey, New Year Lads and Lasses!

Ready to ring in the new year for 2014? This holiday’s traditions are a little more self-explanatory than, say carving a pumpkin or keeping evergreens in our houses. The New Year’s tradition is to stay up late—until midnight—counting down the seconds to the start of the coming year. It’s pretty straightforward.

Traditions couldn’t have gotten too confused for such a simple holiday, right? Well, people have been celebrating New Years for the last 4000 years! That’s a long time to play the proverbial game of telephone from year to year, attempting to keep our traditions the same.

Surprisingly enough, it’s not so much our traditions that have changed over time for this holiday but rather the day of the holiday that’s changed over the last four millennia. That’s right, believe it or not, the new year was not always on January 1. Well, how can that be? you might be asking yourself. How can the new year change days?

Well, it’s not so much that the new year changed days so much as people started using different calendars (or even making up their own). The ancient Babylonians used to celebrate their New Year’s Day late in March around the vernalhappy new year equinox.

The original Roman calendar only had 10 months and consisted of slightly over 300 days. But in the year 46 B.C., Julius Caeser first introduced his Julian calendar (which most resembles the Gregorian calendar, most commonly used in the modern day), he had to add 90 extra days just to make it all work.

In any case, whether people based their calendars off of earthly matters or the motion and arrangement of heavenly bodies, what’s important is that we continue to celebrate the passing of the old year and the coming of the new one.

From everyone at Everything Summer Camp, Happy New Year’s, Everybody!

 

Sincerely,

John

Happy Boxing Day!

Hey, Holiday Fans!

Well, another bright Christmas season has come to an end. As sung in a song popularized by The Carpenters, “Greeting Cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through.”

 The only thing left now is New Year’s Day, right? Wrong. The next holiday after Christmas is right now. Today! It’s Boxing Day. Recognized in many commonwealth nations like Canada, England, South Africa, and others, Boxing Day in today’s world is essentially an extended Christmas Day.boxing day

 It’s the day where you check out the presents that you unwrapped yesterday and eat the food that you ate yesterday. It’s a day for hangin’ around the house, being lazy, and wondering, “what now?” Though it seems right up our alley, the U.S. does not celebrate this holiday.

So what in the heck is Boxing Day?!

That’s a question that’s easier to ask than it is to answer (mainly because there is no answer). There are a couple different ideas on the subject

The first idea is taken from the Christmas carol, Good Kind Wenceslas. For those familiar with the song, you’ll note that King Wenceslas spots a poor man gathering firewood in a snowstorm on St. Stephen’s Day (December 26). According to the song, the king brings the man food and wine and brings him to his home.

Another idea is that the holiday originated from the old tradition in which employers and the upper class gifted their servants and employees presents (in boxes). The employees and servants would then go home to have a second Christmas of sorts with the boxes they received from their employer.

In any case, Boxing Day started out as a day in which the poor were gifted by the rich. Nowadays it’s more so a day for watching sporting events and eating leftovers. Happy Boxing Day, everyone.

 

Sincerely,

John

May Your Christmas Be Merry

Hey, Merrymakers!

Christmas has been around for a long time and it’s come to mean a lot to a lot of people. For so many of us, we’ll spend Christmas with our families exchanging gifts with one another and enjoying a delicious holiday feast. That’s what I usually do with my family every year for Christmas.

This year, however, my family has already gotten together to have our Christmas Merry christmascelebration. Our gift-giving and ritual feasting has come and gone for the year. But just because we’ve already had our Christmas celebration doesn’t mean I’m done making merry this year!

Many families celebrate Christmas earlier than December 25. So if the holiday has already been celebrated, then what’s left for Christmas Day? People have their own traditions for a simpler Christmas Day that still makes the day special (or especially relaxing)!

Lots of people who have already celebrated Christmas with their family use Christmas as a day where it’s okay to stay in your bathrobe until after noon, take a nap in the middle of the day, and snack on treats and drink hot chocolate during waking hours. In other words, Christmas Day becomes a much needed break from this typically hectic season!

Others enjoy venturing out into the quiet town around them, going to see what’s playing in the theaters. A trip to the cinema on Christmas Day has become a rather popular tradition for those seeking out a quieter Christmas than the usual family celebration.

Sledding is another popular activity for a little fun on Christmas Day. What better way to celebrate a white Christmas than to catch a thrill as you slide down a snow-covered hill? Find yourself a good hill and good group of friends for your sledding experience.

No matter how you end up celebrating Christmas Day, make sure you have a happy holiday that’s special to you. From everyone at Everything Summer Camp, Merry Christmas!

 

Sincerely,

John

Gift Certificates Make Great Gifts Too

Hey, Procrastinators!

Don’t worry—you’re far from the only one who lets the holidays sneak up and surprise you by arriving earlier than you realized they would. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it happens to everybody. It certainly happens to me each year! The holidays may take lots of work, but that’s just because they mean so much to everyone.

This time of year is important to let our close, loved ones know that we’ve been thinking about them. For whatever reason, showing this gesture isn’t always the easiest. The person you’re thinking of may not be a very easy person to shop for. Or maybe you just don’t know well enough what that person might like this year in particular.

In certain situations like these, gift certificates are a nice gesture—especially a gift certificate to a cool, fun place like Everything Summer Camp. A gift certificate to the right place can end up being a great gift! With a little direction and a nice sum of money to work with, what more could a kid want in a gift? They can spend hours browsing our online store imagining each product with their name on it.gift certificate

Everything Summer Camp offers a vast array of both fun items that kids will enjoy as well as practical camp supplies and quality camping gear. Camp trunks make great presents for kids whether they’ll be going to summer camp, going off to college, or simply for an attractive, general storage unit for whatever adventures await your youthful loved one. I know I loved it when I received a C&N Footlocker so many Christmases ago.

Be the one to give the gift of camp this year with a gift certificate to Everything Summer Camp. They’ll absolutely love it!

Happy Holidays, Readers!

 

Sincerely,

John

See How We Celebrated National Bake Cookies Day

Hey, Bakers!

I think the rest of America is with me when I say that this time of year was meant for baking cookies. After all, it’s National Bake Cookies Day! Why not put your baking skills to good use on a day that has been dedicated solely to the baking of cookies? And what better way to warm yourself up from the inside out than enjoying a chewy, gooey cookie that came fresh out the oven?

From Gingerbread men to Peanut Butter Blossoms, Sugar Cookie Cutouts and classic Cookie DayChocolate Chip Cookies, there’s definitely no shortage of how many different kinds of cookies you can make this time of year. Oatmeal Raisin, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Covered Oreos, the list goes on and on. And each is a classic holiday treat!

I remember so many winters ago when the oven would keep the kitchen nice and toasty with batch after batch of cookie dough balls baking inside. My brothers and sisters would gather around the dining room table, eager for the Gingerbread men to cool. It was always so much fun to decorate these traditional cookies with frosting and Red Hots!

Kids love baking. Unfortunately, they may not always be very clean about it. However, with the proper supervision, baking is one of the best ways to spend a day of winter vacation. And with the approaching holidays, it’s always good to have some treats around the house.

This time of year, everyone here at Everything Summer Camp gets pretty serious about baking cookies just like everyone else. However, after the cookies are done, you want to show them off to people and let them see how good they turned out and how great they taste. Eager to share with one another, everyone brought their cookies in to work. Check out what we made this year and get inspired to do some baking of your own!

The Winner! Kristy’s Ultimate Grasshopper Cookies
Brian’s Ginger Snaps
John’s Brown Butter Salted Caramel Cookies
Mark’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Missy’s Cookie Dough Truffles

Sincerely,

John

Think Spring….It’s National Maple Syrup Day!

Hey, Syrup Connoisseurs!

Today we’re celebrating syrup (Maple Syrup to be specific) because today just so happens to be National Maple Syrup Day! If you’re wondering why the rest of the world doesn’t celebrate National Maple Syrup Day, it’s because maple syrup is a treat exclusive to the North American continent. Canada is North America’s largest maple syrup supplier. Every year, Canada produces more than five million gallons! They celebrate Maple Syrup Day too.maple syrup day

Sap from maple trees was first harvested and boiled into syrup by the Native Americans. When settlers first came to America in the early 1600s, they were shown the process of making maple syrup.

The process is actually rather simple and doesn’t do any permanent damage to the tree. Also, only one-tenth of sap that a Maple tree produces in a year actually ends up harvested. In fact, there are a good amount of maple trees that have been tapped repeatedly for the last 150 years. It’s a good thing that tapping trees does no long term damage to them; it takes 30 to 50 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup.

What’s truly amazing about this particular syrup is that it contains surprising health benefits. It may be loaded with sugar (natural sugar which your body needs), but it’s also loaded with antioxidants. In a single quarter-cup of maple syrup is the same amount of antioxidants as a raw tomato or broccoli bunch. A cup of maple syrup contains just as much calcium as a cup of milk and even more potassium than what’s found in a banana!

The trick nowadays is to find real maple syrup as opposed to Aunt Jemima or some other brand-name syrups that can be found in any grocery store. Otherwise, you could get rather ambitious and tap your own maple tree! What better way to celebrate National Maple Syrup Day than making your own?

Tapping a tree is easier than you might think. I found this great instructional Web site while researching the topic. www.theartofdoingstuff.com/have-a-maple-treehow-to-tap-a-maple-tree-for-making-syrup/

 

Sincerely,

John

Thank Monkeys For Hot Cocoa

Hey, Everybody!

Do you cherish your hot chocolate? Do you crave your cocoa? Well, tis not only the season but it’s also the day to be drinking that chocolaty favorite that was made for a frigid winter day. That’s right, it’s National Hot Cocoa Day. Go make yourself a cup and come back here so you can appreciate this hot, wintry beverage while learning about it. Continue reading when your hot chocolate is ready…

So here’s a little history of hot chocolate:hot chocolate

First of all, if it wasn’t for monkeys, you and I might never have tasted such a fantastic drink! What do monkeys have to do with hot chocolate? Well, people didn’t start eating chocolate until we noticed our less-evolved predecessors doing it. What happened when people first saw monkeys eating the white pulp within the cocoa pods? Well, monkey see, monkey do.

The Mayans were the first people to try it out, eating the pulp and spitting the bitter beans out like the monkeys did. After some time, however, the Mayans realized the cocoa beans weren’t so bad after roasting in the sun for a while. The Mayans would soon come to ground the cocoa beans and turn the grounds into a drink. And VOILA—the world’s first hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate that you’re enjoying right now is nothing like the original Mayan cocoa drink. If you were drinking the original, Mayan cocoa drink, you probably wouldn’t like it very much. It used to be a spicy, bitter drink. Despite what we might think of it, the Mayans couldn’t get enough of it. Cocoa beans actually became more valuable than gold was in the Mayan culture!

The Mayans shared their drink with Aztec traders who were eventually conquered by Hernan Cortes and his Spanish army. Cortes took cocoa beans back to Spain with him and it eventually became a treat that the whole world loves. So as you sit there, finishing up the last of your hot cocoa, smile and be thankful for monkeys.

 

Sincerely,

John

Give The Gift Of Summer Camp

Hey there, Parents!

The holidays are here—time to celebrate with family, song, and, of course, every kid’s favorite part—PRESENTS!!! Do you know what you’re getting your kid this year? If not, Everything Summer Camp has the perfect gift idea. Why not give your kid the gift of camp?

Summer camp for Christmas! Of course! It’s so simple! If your kids love summer camp as much as every other kid, then it’s sure to make a great gift for them. It’s no secret that summer camp does wonders for kids. What other event is there that helps kids to stay active while increasing their independence, reuniting them with nature, helping them make friends, and giving them the much-needed free time that they need simply to play and goof around?

There’s nothing else like it out there for your kids. And in today’s structured, plugged-in world, it’s absolutely essential that kids have the time they need to get into the great outdoors and witness the beauty of the natural world around them.

I know what you’re thinking: summer camp! Great gift idea! But how in the world am I going to wrap that gift and stick it under the tree? This is a dilemma worth some good consideration. But, don’t worry! I’ve got a great solution for this little problem.CYO

How do you give an intangible gift like summer camp to your kid for Christmas? Wrap up something they’ll need for camp. Maybe your kid needs a camp trunk! Or, if not, wrap up a sweatshirt with a camp logo or maybe a Life of Camp T-shirt from Everything Summer Camp’s very own line of tees. Then, when your kid looks at you funny, you can break the news on the real gift to them and see their face light up.

Happy holidays, everyone!

 

Sincerely,

John

Buy A Gift Certificate-Get A Free Book

Welcome once again, Readers!

This time of year is important to let our close, loved ones know that we’ve been thinking about them. For whatever reason, showing this gesture isn’t always the easiest. The person you’re thinking of may not be a very easy person to shop for. Or maybe you just don’t know well enough what that person might like this year.

In certain situations like these, gift certificates are a nice gesture—especially a gift certificate to a cool, fun place like Everything Summer Camp. A gift certificate to the right place can end up being a great gift! With a little direction and a nice sum of money to work with, what more could a kid want in a gift?

*AHEM* How about a free book on summer camp?

Did someone say something about a free book on summer camp? Well, you’re in luck because with every purchase of a $50 gift certificate (or more), Everything Summer Camp is including The Summer Camp Handbook, written by Christopher Thurber and Jon summer camp handbookMalinowski. Get a gift. Give a gift!

The Summer Camp Handbook helps you get the most you can out of summer camp! This book will help you find, choose, and get ready for camp. It’s not so much a catalog of camps, but more so a guidebook on how to select the best camp for your camper so you can be sure that they’ll have a great summer camp experience.

By covering a broad range of topics like camp selection, homesickness prevention, and what the point in going to an overnight camp is in the first place, this book helps both parents and their kids get prepared for camp physically, and emotionally. This is the book that all parents considering overnight camp should have.

Happy Holidays!

 

Sincerely,

John

Great Stocking Stuffers At Amazing Prices

Hey, Stocking Stuffers!

Know what you’re going to stuff in your kid’s stocking this year? Everything Summer Camp has what you need to really load up that piece of traditional footwear that your kid hangs by the chimney with care. You shouldn’t have to spend too much money stuffing that stocking either—we’re keeping our prices low. Choose carefully; we have a lot of fun stuff!

 We’ve divvied up our stocking stuffer products by price into four categories. We have stocking stuffers under $5, under $10, under $15, and under $20. Friendly prices, aren’t they? Well, it gets even better than that! Everything Summer Camp is having a sale on all of our stocking stuffer items this year. Every product from each category will be 20% off!christmas stockings

 Let’s take a look at the cheapest stuff first!

Maybe you’re thinking, “What could they possibly have that costs less than five bucks?” But it’s actually a sizable category with some really cool items. Get your kid a nice bath robe, a fun deck of cards, a loud megaphone, or a quality sketch pad for a budding artist! There are nearly 50 great finds in this category!

But that’s just the tip of the Stocking Stuffer iceberg! In our category under $10, we have roughly 100 products! Peruse this category to find awesome items like a fleece blanket, plush animals, water bottles, and a warm, cotton long sleeve tee.

Our third category is comparable to the previous category as far as size is concerned. In this category you’ll find cool products like binoculars, the Glide N’ Go Tray, and a wide assortment of trunk accessories like sport decals and glow-in-the-dark stars!

Lastly, our most expensive category of another 50 items is full of bargain on top of bargain! You’ll find yourself eyeing up deals for a fleece sleeping bag from Texsport, the amazingly portable Everywhere Camp Chair from Crazy Creek, as well as our luggage labels which we call, Tag Its.

Now stuff those stockings!

 

Sincerely,

John