Your Kid’s Coming Home—Get Ready!

Hey, Parents!

It’s that time of year when your camper is coming home from camp. The season is come and gone. You spent months out of the year planning and saving for these several weeks of summer and now it’s time to hear how it went. And hear about it you will—whether you like it or not.Some kids are a little more reserved while others need to tell you about every single second of their summer camp experience

That’s the situation with most kids, anyway. They want to tell you all about anything and everything concerning summer camp immediately because of what a great time they had. You may or may not like some of the things you hear, but keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily an accurate account of what actually happened.

Also, you should take comfort in the realization that you’re such an important person in your kid’s life that they want to share with you the entire experience that they had without you.

It isn’t every kid that will respond this way with such expressive excitement. But if your kid is more reserved, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t enjoy their time at camp (or that you’re unimportant to them). It’s just that the camp experience hits everyone differently. Some kids are more reserved because they’re mildly depressed to see it come to an end.

Some kids are even drawn to tears when it comes time to leave camp. But you shouldn’t be alarmed by this behavior. Your kid may want to leave quickly so as not to draw the situation out or they may want to stick around for a while. Make sure to talk to your kid to see how they want to proceed.

Whether your kid can’t stop talking or if they’ve barely started, the stories will eventually come out when the time is right. However, if you don’t want to wait, Cabin Leaders are great sources to talk to. Get the skivvy from them and ask how your kid liked the camp experience.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans.

- John

What Gem of a Singer/Songwriter Attended Camp Interlochen?

Hey there, Summer Campers!

For today’s Blog post from Everything Summer Camp, I’m telling you about a famous woman who was once a summer camper just like all of you. Her name is Jewel Kilcher. But you probably know her better as just, Jewel. This incredibly famous singer and songwriter has lived a rather interesting, surprising life. No one ever would have thought that this young girl would grow up to be as famous as she turned out to be! She's the yodeling girl from Alaska who's gone 15 times platinum.

Though she was born in Payson, Utah, Jewel grew up in Homer, Alaska where she lived with her father as well as her grandfather for some time. Her grandfather had been a state senator and a delegate to the Alaska State Constitutional Convention. Living in Alaska meant living in a very different lifestyle than what most of us are probably used to.

The home where she was raised had no indoor plumbing. Her and her father used an outhouse whenever nature called. They also earned their living going around and singing in local bars and taverns—this is where Jewel picked up on her singing voice (not to mention her yodeling skills).

She attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, majoring in operatic voice. Interlochen Center for the Arts also offers a summer camp experience which Jewel attended as well. It was at this time that Jewel picked up the guitar and learned to play the instrument. By the time she was 16, she was writing songs.

After school, Jewel embarked upon her journeys, traveling all around the country and living out of her car all the while. She made her money performing on the street and doing small gigs. She started gaining recognition here and there in coffee shops. As her popularity grew, she began collaborating with other artists and in time, Jewel made her way to the top.

She’s received four Grammy Award nominations. Her album “Pieces of You” went 15 times platinum! All this from the Alaskan girl who yodeled with her father in local taverns! What will you become?

- John

Post-Camp Post

Should camp friends hop online in the off-season?

Dr. Chris Thurber talks about staying in touch with friends online after camp is over.Rustic, outdoor living has always been a core value of summer camp. Even Alexander Graham Bell complimented camp directors for not bringing his invention into their woods. Really.

But if all goes well, one outcome of your son or daughter’s electronics-free experience this summer will be a handful of close friends. And starting around age 11, those youngsters will want to stay in touch after camp, during the school year. Handwritten letters were once the only way to maintain an off-season camp friendship. And although I contend it’s still the best way, I concede that texting, Facebook, Tumblr and other social media are here to stay.

The primary social dangers that exist at camp—cliques and bullying—also exist online. The difference is that at camp, social interactions are supervised. A well-trained camp counselor (such as one who has completed a course with can spot social aggression and redirect it immediately. Online, such monitoring is challenging, though not impossible. The trouble is, few parents bother to read their children’s texts or monitor their Facebook posts.At some point, probably around age 16, teenagersKids' texts is something you should be aware of. who have been brought up to behave with integrity online need to be trusted to function autonomously on the Internet. Prior to that age—or whatever age you, as a parent, determine is appropriate—parents should actively monitor their progeny’s behavior on social media websites.

But what are you looking for, exactly? Well, each year, there are a few camp directors who discover exclusive or downright nasty online groups that have formed around a nascent camp clique. Typically, these come to light when the excluded children complain to their parents. But before your own son or daughter is on the giving or receiving end of cyberbullying, you can:

•    Talk with your child about your expectations for virtual-world behavior, just as you have been guiding his or her real-world behavior since birth.
•    Discuss the importance of inclusion in friendship groups, whether they are online or offline. In this context, ask them about their plans to keep in touch with camp friends.
•    Ask the camp’s director whether there is an officially sanctioned online forum, Facebook page, Twitter feed or bulletin board where camp friends can gather and share.
•    Put the computer your youngster is using in a public space in your home, such as the kitchen. That way, you can keep an eye on their online behavior. You want see everything they are doing, of course, but they are less likely to misbehave in your presence.
•    Parents who let their youngsters have phones should randomly check text messages, simply to verify what their children are saying to their friends. Yes, your kids are smart and they can hide things from you, but again, the goal is to make them less likely to misbehave.Kids can be nasty behind the curtain of social media.

As newfangled technology emerges, such as leave-no-trace text messages that vanish one minute after they are opened, the importance of old-fashioned face-to-face conversations between parents and their children becomes even more important. Keeping camp friendships alive online means keeping family connections strong on the home front.

Enjoy the summer!

Dr. Christopher Thurber

Look into grabbing 'The Summer Camp Handbook' for yourself right here!

Which Came First: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Parents’ Day?

Hey there, Moms and Dads!

Today is a very special day. What makes it so special, you ask? It’s special because it’s all about you! Happy Parents’ Day, Parents! Today celebrates you: that proud, loving, and often times very tired group—the parents of our world! Though it may be a little hard for some of us to admit it, if not now, then at least at some point in our lives, our parents have been the most important people in it.

You’d think this day has been celebrated all throughout history since moms and dad have been around since…FOREVER, but actually it came around in the much more recent past. Its interesting history goes back only to the 1920’s or so when one Ms. Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane fought to make an equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents—Father’s Day.Every kid is happy to celebrate Parents' Day

As was covered on the previous Father’s Day post, most fathers confronted the idea of Father’s Day unfavorably, displeased with its celebration of a domesticated male figure being gifted with flowers and other frills. One response was a movement that lasted about a decade that tried to get rid of both Mother’s AND Father’s Day entirely to make just one, unified Parents’ Day.

Parents’ Day was fought for with the rationale that both parents should be respected and admired equally, however, the Great Depression put an end to the fight as retailers did their best to promote ‘manly’ gifts like neckties, hats, and golf clubs for Father’s Day. With that, Father’s Day won the battle.

It took nearly 65 years before anything happened with Parent’s Day, until 1994 when President Clinton noted that Mother’s Day landed on the second Sunday of May and Father’s Day on the third Sunday of July. So following suit, he decided that the fourth Sunday in July had ought to be Parents’ Day.

From everyone at Everything Summer Camp, happy Parents’ Day! As always, thanks for reading.
- John

Learn a little more about Derek

Hey there, Everything Summer Camp Aficionados!

For today’s Blog post we’re going back to our guy in the Shipping Department. Taking on the chief role in Receiving and other assistive duties, Derek has brought his great attitude and excellent work ethic to Everything Summer Camp for the last five years.Our guy in Shipping and Receiving, learn all about Derek today on his Blog post.

Last year I posted about Derek’s job. I told you about how he picks, packs, and prints orders along with handling most of Everything Summer Camp’s incoming freight. Whether the shipments be camping gear, equipment for all of our personalized products, or simply supplies for our office, it goes through Derek’s hands first.

Today, however, I want to give you a better idea of what life looks like for Derek when he isn’t at work. A close-knit little family, Derek lives with his sister and brother-in-law (which happens to be Ryan, the Manager of our Shipping Department).

Originally from Boyceville, Wisconsin, Derek moved here, to Boyd, when he heard about a job at Everything Summer Camp. Since then, he’s really grown to love the job as well as the town. And, only 60 miles from home, Derek returns home often enough to see his family and his parents’ dogs, a Yellow Lab and a Springer Spaniel.

As for fun, Derek’s family has a cabin up north in Bessemer—just past the Wisconsin border in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Derek and his family typically makes it up once a year, but the best vacation he’s ever been on was the one he made to Europe about eight years ago.

Through a Student Ambassador Program, he smiles to say it. “I went to France, Italy, and Malta.” Malta is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, directly below Italy. “It was the time of my life,” he says without hesitation. “It was beautiful!”

In closing, Camp Fans, keep it in mind–the next time you get an order from Everything Summer Camp, it very well could have been Derek who packed it for you!

Until next time, Campers!

- John

Happy Birthday, Amelia!

Hey, History Fans!

Today is Amelia Earhart’s birthday; what better day to honor this adventurous American icon by discussing her life and the accomplishments that she made during a time when women typically weren’t as expressive and daring as she was.One of the first women aviators, Amelia Earhart broke many records as the first woman to cross the Atlantic alone

For someone whose life is so well-documented, her death is shrouded in mystery. However, while the mystery of her disappearance is what gathers so much attention, her life was very interesting.

Amelia was born in 1897. She was full of life, a captivating person, and beautiful. She is portrayed in the bulk of her biographies as a tomboy in her younger days. Like usual children, Amelia and her younger sister, Pidge, would collect moths, toads, and katydids (also known as the Green Leaf Bug) as they would frequently go out on adventuresome hikes.

Amelia did a lot of the usual childhood things, but also did some things that most children wouldn’t dare…

Once when she was 7-years-old, Amelia (with the help of her uncle) made her own little home-style roller coaster. She fastened a ramp to the roof of her father’s toolshed and took it for a ride in a little wooden box. She crashed, broke the box, bruised her lip, and tore her dress. She didn’t once think to cry about it, though. Instead, she called to her sister, “Oh, Pidge. It’s just like flying!”Since her days of childhood, Amelia was always a tomboy and interested in, typically more boyish interests

There was another side to Amelia than this spirited tomboy, though. She was a thinker as well as a writer. She enjoyed motivating people too. She once wrote, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

With this rationale, Amelia became the first female aviator to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone. Three years later she crossed the Pacific on her own as well. Then she flew coast to coast across the United States. She helped to form the 99’s (an international organization of women pilots).

After all these accomplishments and many more, Amelia strived for one more. In 1937, she and her navigator tried to fly across the entire earth—heading east from Miami. She nearly made it the entire way around the planet, but disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean.

While myths and legends are still passed around today, the Crash and Sink Theory is the most widely accepted that the Electra (Amelia’s plane) ran out of fuel and crashed in the Pacific.

The world could learn a thing or two from Ms. Earhart, so don’t stop here. Look further into her life for your own fun and inspiration! And thanks for reading.
- John

Welcome to Hot Dog Heaven

Hey, Camp Fans!

It’s National Hot Dog Day. Standing tall alongside burgers and apple pie, hot dogs are one of the most iconic of American foods. Whether you’re having a simple cookout with the family or taking a trip out to the ballpark to catch a ballgame—hot dogs are an essential part of summer!


Wieners, Franks, Foot Longs, Dogs—no matter what you call them, they’re delicious! They’re traditionally served on a bun with ketchup and mustard on top, but the fun doesn’t have to end there. Like its cousin, the burger, there’s a whole slew of condiments you can use to dress up the hotdog.

Sprinkle some diced onion on there, decorate it with some tasty relish (hot giardiniera if you’re daring enough), then load it all with one more layer of chili! Now THAT’S a hotdog!

Hotdogs don’t NEED to go inside a bun either. You can get a corndog—a hotdog with a cornmeal coating, deep-fried, and served on a stick. Otherwise, cut some hotdogs into bite-sized pieces and put them in your Mac n’ Cheese—it’s great!


But really—even if you don’t have a single condiment or a bun to put it on—hotdogs are still beyond enjoyable. And since they’re so independently satisfying, they make for the number one most convenient camping food. All you need to do is find yourself a skewer (any ol’ stick will do) and roast it by a campfire. It’s that easy and dinner is served!


It was the 13th Century when pork sausages (essentially hotdogs) were first made in Frankfurt, Germany (you can take a wild guess at how the name frankfurter came along). But encased sausage and other meats have been made since at least 700 B.C.—it’s mentioned in Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’.

From grill outs to hotdog stands to eating contests, Americans consume somewhere around 20 billion hotdogs a year! That’s A LOT!


We’ll certainly be having our share of hotdogs today thanks to our employee grill out! I can smell it already! Mmmm. Happy Hotdog Day to everyone from Everything Summer Camp!

Eat up, Dog Lovers. And thanks for reading!

- John

What did People Sleep on Before there were Beds?

Hey, Daydreamers!

Where’s the best place to lie down or even catch a few Zzz’s in the middle of the day? Well, the living room sofa is often a popular place. There’s also the obvious and overdone bed. Comfy recliners and rockers can be great for this situation, but even they take a backseat to one simple contraption.

Today we celebrate the best place for a quick snooze: the hammock. Swaying in a summer breeze, hammocks typically deliver an incomparable level of luxury. Its simple design can be deceiving as it’s often surprising just how comfortable you are in a hammock. Today is National Hammock Day. Swaying in a summer breeze, there are few better ways to achieve maximum relaxation. Take a deep breath in and fall asleep to the gentle sway.

Tried and true, the hammock has been around for many centuries (about a thousand years, maybe more). Evidence suggests that the hammock was conceived and created in what is now Mexico. It was the Mayan civilization of the Yucatan Peninsula that invented this simple, swaying apparatus for sleep.

Never really intended for anything but sleep and relaxation, hammocks are thought to have been the Mayan’s sole sleeping structure. While the Mayan’s may have invented hammocks, they weren’t the only ones to enjoy them. It’s surprising to discover that—even back in those days—trade routes among native tribes were so far-reaching; they stretched from Central America to Brazil.

Hammocks quickly became, not just a popular trading item, but THE thing to sleep on. You wouldn’t dream of not owning a hammock back in those days. What would you sleep on?!

Nowadays, we typically sleep through the night on our beds. Even so, hammocks haven’t Perfect for reading, there are lots of benefits to having your hammock set up inside as opposed to the traditional outdoor setting.gone away. You’ll see them randomly set up between two trees in a yard or even in the bedroom of a really cool kid.

I fondly recollect the one tied up on the solarium of my friend’s apartment building. It was large enough that my friends and I would lie sideways so four of us could fit on it, swaying back and forth and staring up at the stars.

Hammocks are magical. So, if your yard is blessed with one—go appreciate it! If not, go make friends with someone who owns one or get one for yourself. In honor of National Hammock Day, Everything Summer Camp has started to carry these ingenious sleeping mechanisms. Get them now while they’re on sale and enjoy your Hammock Day. Thanks for reading.

- John

Who’s a Fan of Junk Food Day?

Hey, Food Lovers!

Today is a day dedicated entirely to indulging ourselves in delicious dinners, desserts, and other tasty treats that are absolutely UNhealthy for us! Today is National Junk Food Day. Whether it’s a sweet tooth that you’re looking to satisfy or a scrumptious salty snack, today is definitely the day to do it!A smorgasbord of sweet treats, salty treats, some salty and sweet treats for National Junk Food Day

I don’t know about you but everyone here at Everything Summer Camp certainly gets a hankerin’ for sweet and salty treats from time to time!

Glorified, junk food certainly has a soft spot in everyone’s heart. Who can resist the call of a cool ice cream treat or the fiery desire of fast food French fries? We all know that, as far as nutritional value is concerned, junk food does absolutely nothing for us (and actually works against us); but despite our understanding, Junk Food—we still love you.

After all, would a trip to the theater be the same without your choice of popcorn, candy, or soda? Would a nightly snack be the same if it was just some stalks of celery? NO WAY, MAN! You want to walk on the wild side. You want something with some calories to it, something that’s got the potential to cause some cavities, right? I mean, what are you brushing your teeth for, anyway?

While it’s perfectly fine to indulge in junky foods from time to time, it’s important to keep these foods away from your everyday. The occasional unhealthy treat may be fun, but not so much a mouthful of cavities. Moderation is the beauty of junk food—not to mention the basic definition behind the word ‘treat’.

Just as a trip to the movies isn’t the same without junk food, junk food isn’t the same if you eat it every day. In fact, your moderation of junk food directly affects your appreciation of it. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and (in this case) the stomach grow hungrier. Treat yourself today and enjoy your junk food with moderation!

Thanks for reading.

- John

Surely You’ll Want to Read Shirley’s Camp Lib!

Hey, Libbers!

Today I’m sharing a Camp Lib I wrote just for our Production Supervisor—Shirley. Shirley, production supervisor at Everything Summer CampShirley makes camp trunks and she’s probably one of the best in the country at doing it. After 27 years of building them, we pretty much consider her an expert! You can read about how our camp trunks get made in the Camp Lib that Shirley helped fill out below (but you probably won’t learn anything from it!).

If you want, you can write down your own words for the blanks too. Just use the following list of requested words and you can make your own version of Shirley’s Camp Lib below. And remember—a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea; a verb is an action word; and an adjective is a word that describes a noun while an adverb is a word that describes a verb. Enjoy!


  1. Verb
  2. Adjective
  3. Verb Ending in ‘ing’
  4. Noun
  5. Noun
  6. Verb
  7. Plural Noun
  8. Past Tense Verb
  9. Verb
  10. Noun
  11. Noun
  12. Verb
  13. Plural Noun
  14. Plural Noun
  15. Noun
  16. Noun
  17. Plural Noun
  18. Noun
  19. Noun
  20. Verb Ending in ‘ing’
  21. Adverb
  22. Noun
  23. Verb Ending in ‘ing’
  24. Noun


Here’s the Lib:


When you jump out into our factory here at Everything Summer Camp (the home of C&N Footlockers), you’ll find our production crew quick at work. They’re skipping all year round to make all of our C&N camp trunks. What started out in a small garage 27 years ago now operates in a 24,000 square foot fish.

All C&N camp trunks are made from boat; so the first step is to slice the wood in our saw room. Then we cut our steel sheets with the metal husbands.

After we’ve snored the wood as well as the steel the next step is to limp one side of the wood with Durawrap paper lining. It’s grandkid-resistant, cat-free, and virtually fight-proof!

After that, we take all of the wood hikes and make footballs out of them at our Assembly shrew. Some of the boxes are shallow as they are made to be the bear of the trunk while the other, deeper boxes become the leaves of our trunks.

The next step is to attach our nickel-plated rubber duck and hardware—all of it done with a Philips head staple gun. This all happens at the swimming station.

Slowly, once all the trim, the latches, the handles, and the shoe have been attached, you’re lookin’ at the final product. The trunk then gets passed on to our Crying Department where it gets shipped out to you.

We hope you treasure your employee trunk forever!


Thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John