Leave a message!

Hey, Phone Fans!

John isn’t in right now, but if you leave your name and number at the beep, he’ll be sure to get back to you. *BEEP*
Though slightly outdated, answering machine messages are still  alive and well today.
Seriously though, today is a good day to record a funny, pranking, or absurd answering machine message since it’s National Inane Answering Machine Message Day. Depending on what generation you’re from, you may be more familiar with the (more-or-less) synonymous term, ‘voicemail message’ since cell phones no longer require answering machines that are separate from the phone.

While cell/smartphones certainly seem to be phasing out the landline home phone, many families still own landline telephones and use an answering machine as the phone’s trusty sidekick. Answering machine messages can be as simple as,

“Leave a message and we’ll return your call as soon as we can,”

or as elaborate as,

“Hello! You’ve reached the Wattersons. We’re sorry none of us were able to come to the phone right now, but leave a message for Sharon and David, Michael, Bobby, Sarah, or Sue—*Woof Woof* Haha! OR Spot—and we’ll be sure to return your call as soon as possible.” Leave a message at the tone. *BEEP*A good prank—and one that’s gotten me more than a couple times—is ‘answering the phone’ within the voicemail message. For instance, you record for your message, “Hello?….Who is this?….How did you get this number?” The idea is that, if it’s done well, the caller will start talking to the voicemail message. I know I’VE responded to these messages more than once!

I’ve creatively crafted my own voicemail message to lead people to think that I’m much more important than I actually am. It goes something like this: “John knows what devastating disappointment it must cause you to learn that he is unavailable to come to the phone right now. But if you leave your name and number, he will know that you have called.”

Maybe you ought to rerecord your voicemail or answering machine message today to give it a little flare! Happy Inane Answering Machine Message Day! As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Where does this piece go?

Hey, Puzzle People!

Today is the perfect day to bust out the puzzles and start separating the frame piecespuzzle pieces are very iconic shapes—it’s National Puzzle Day! A great way to pass the time on a chilly day in January, people LOVE jigsaw puzzles. Strengthening visual acuity as well as pattern recognition, puzzles are advantageous in more than one way. They were originally designed as educational tools, actually.

First made in the 1760’s by a mapmaker from London, named John Spilsbury, one day he put one of his maps up on a sheet of hardwood and cut out the countries. Spilsbury immediately recognized the usefulness this could have for means of education. It didn’t take schools very long to catch on to the genius of teaching children their geography by having them put together puzzles.

Puzzle-maps are a great way to learn geography.I still remember learning my states and capitals with a simple puzzle-map of the United States. Somehow, placing the position of a state myself really locked its location in my memory. It was a great method by which to learn geography.

Jigsaw puzzles stayed true to their original purpose for nearly 60 years. It wasn’t until sometime around the 1820’s that puzzles started breaking free of their educational shell, and by the 1880’s, a different style of jigsaw puzzles arrived on the market. Up until this point, most puzzles were made on plywood with the image glued or painted on the front and the pencil tracings (to show where to cut) on the back.

Puzzle pieces come in all shapes and sizes. They first came as cardboard in the 30's. The late 1800’s brought about a jigsaw puzzle that was constructed from cardboard—pretty much what we all think of when we think of a jigsaw puzzle. However, despite its eventual success, manufacturers predicted that wooden puzzles weren’t budging from their place on top and that customers wouldn’t want something as cheap as a cardboard puzzle.

Of course, the cardboard puzzles only sold for 25¢ while the wooden ones sold for $1.00 and, back in the days of The Great Depression, people were looking to spend as little as possible. Cardboard or not, puzzles offered inexpensive hours and hours of entertainment. Read more about puzzles here.

They still do today, which is all the more reason to get one out now! Happy Puzzle Day, Everyone. As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Tim Cubed

Hey, Camp Fans!

Meet the Receptionist at Everything Summer Camp, Tim. Tim is the first person you’ll see when you walk into our Main Building. Down-to-earth and friendly, Tim is always there to help. Aside from answering business calls, he also handles endless spreadsheets of important Web information as well as all of our sales reports, and much more.

I could go on and on about Tim’s hard work, but today, I’m telling you about his favorite Everything Summer Camp product instead. What does Tim love? It’s our space-savinPool isn't the only sport where you'll find the number 3!g, efficiency-making Packing Cubes. There’s no better way to effectively pack up your C&N footlocker trunk than with these Cubes.

Speaking of cubes (and thus the third dimension), this is one aspect of our Packing Cubes that Tim loves. “They come in sets of three,” says Tim. “I obsess over the number three—all things add up to three.” Tim isn’t really imagining things here, either. For, you see, the number THREE is a MAGIC number!

Every circle's divergence can be reduced to 9 which is then divisible by THREE!It is often said that luck comes in threes—“third time’s a charm,” right? But the number three is far more than just lucky. For instance, there are 360° in a circle; cut that circle in half and you have 180°. Cut the circle into a quadrant and you have 90°. What do these three numbers have in common? They’re all divisible by three.

The sum of the angles in all standard polygons are also divisible by three. In fact, it seems that there’s something about the number ‘three’ that’s intricately woven into the very fabric of our universe! Three is everywhere you go! There are three primary colors. There are three feet in a yard. And Mario has to hit Bowser three times to defeat him.Our Packing Cubes, like so many things, come in threes.

Anyway, it’s everywhere else! You may as well keep ‘three’ in your camp trunk too with our set of Three Packing Cubes. They’re made of soft, nylon and have mesh tops with convenient labeling pouches so you don’t have to go rummaging through each one.


Check out our Packing Cubes Three Set for yourself and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John


Practice your penmanship today!

Hey, Writers!

Chances are, assuming you’re older than a three-year-old, you’ve already written something today. Whether it was your name on a quiz at school, mailing information on an envelope, or a love poem for your sweetie, writing is definitely a Learn about the importance of handwriting!staple art form in the world today. That’s why today is National Handwriting Day.

Of course, HANDwriting isn’t nearly as common as it used to be since modern technology has provided us with a speedier alternative to generate “written” words. Yes, the Qwerty keyboard and texting certainly Named for the first six letters starting from the top left, this is the English-speaking keyboard.gives the written word (*ahem*—HANDwritten word) a run for its money, however, handwriting is indeed, an art form and one that the world will be hanging on to for a while, I think.

After all, being a writer myself, I can certainly attest to the fact that there is a very different feeling between typing words out and scratching your pen against paper as it leaves a trail of your inky thoughts behind. It’s an intimate feeling shared by just you the pen and the paper without some bright, white, electronic page staring you down.

Of course, I appreciate the efficiency and speed of computers—I’m typing right now! At the same time, I hope that our modern technology doesn’t stop people from writing by hand altogether. It would be a horrible loss. Signatures would lose their flare. The callous would go away on the side of your middle finger. Stock in Bic would plummet.

But most importantly, we would lose an extremely unique way of expressing ourselves. Did you know that you can learn a lot about a person just by looking at their handwriting?

It’s called Graphology. By studying how big or small you write your letters, how much space you leave between your words, how much of an angle you give your letters, and more, you can tell whether a person is organized or not, shy or outgoing, punctual or a born-procrastinator, and much, much more.

Click here to learn a little about yourself based on the way that you write. I suggest you pick up a pen and jot down a couple sentences before taking the quiz so you have a sample of your handwriting in front of you! As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Do you appreciate squirrels?

Hey, you Squirrely Camp Fans!

Coinciding with the underlying moral of Tolkien stories like ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ evolution has shown us that big things can come in small packages. Though you won’t find them carrying magical rings through Middle-Earth, squirrels are definitely small packages and may earn more of your respect than you might expect.

See, despite the fact that squirrels are typically garden-ruining, birdseed-eatinSquirrels are indigenous to every continent except for Antarctica due to how old they are.g, car accident-causing rodents, we likely owe our entire existence to these little guys. That’s why today we’re celebrating Squirrel Appreciation Day.

There’s a lot to appreciate about squirrels, but their diversity alone is impressive enough. They come in all different colors like grey, red, brown, and sand. Albino squirrels have white fur as a result of their albinism while other squirrels are jet black as a result of melanism (the opposite of albinism). Some are black with white spots and others are a reddish-brown with black spots. There are all kinds.

Did you know thFlying squirrels can't fly, but they can hang glide no problem.ere are over 200 different species of squirrels the world over? From tree squirrels to ground squirrels, fox squirrels, grey squirrels, FLYING squirrels (which don’t actually FLY), and many, many more, squirrels have obviously been around for quite some time in order to have developed so many differences.

Squirrels have been around for a very long time, indeed, and longer than we had ever guessed! A recent fossil-discovery, however, proves that squirrel-like animals lived in China 200 million years ago which dates mammals about 50 million years older than what scientists had previously thought!

These ancient creatures found in China are likely the ancestors of the squirrels that we know and love today! But what’s even more thought-provoking than that is the likelihood that if it wasn’t for these little guys survivinAn artist's conception of the ealiest mammal.g the brutal elements of prehistoric nature better than the dinosaurs were able to, you and I wouldn’t even be here!

You can learn more about these ancient squirrel ancestors here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Are you aware of THIS penguin?

Hey, Penguin People!

Penguins are a popular bird—probably an easy favorite for most people. With so many fans, it only makes sense that we have a day dedicated to penguins. And, actually, oEmperor penguins are currently the biggest penguins around.ur love for these flightless birds runs even deeper as there are two days throughout the year that we’ve dedicated to penguins!

Today is Penguin Awareness Day, which consistently lands on January 20 (not to be confused with World Penguin Day—which consistently lands on April 25). There are 17 different species of penguins—all of which live in the southern hemisphere of the world (unless they live in the zoo). Penguins are naturally found in Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Peru, as well as the Falkland and Galapagos Islands.

The biggest of the 17 species of penguins is the Emperor penguin. Reaching an average of 4’ in height, and weighing anywhere from 50 to 100 lbs, Emperor Penguins are quite a big bird, but I know of a penguin that was even bigger! It may surprise you to discover that the cute, waddling penguins that we know and love today would have, at one point, towered over the majority of modern man!

Along with the end of the dinosaurs, the era of mammals brought drastic changes to life on this planet as well as this big bird that stood 6’ 7” tall. Yep, you read that right: these cute, blubbery birds stood much taller 37 million years ago than they do today. A scaled illustrations of other penguins and the colossus!It’s been called ‘The Colossus Penguin’ (also known as Mega Penguin) and they came around at the same time as the world’s first horses, whales, and monkeys.

While the penguin may have arrived in the era of mammals, they cannot be exclusively classified as such because they live both on land and in the water. This bird is classified not only as a mammal, but as a fish and an amphibian as well. It’s no wonder that we find these creatures so fascinating! Happy Penguin Awareness Day, Everyone! You can learn more about our feathered friends here. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Hey, Readers!
Celebrate the social change that Martin Luther King Jr. caused about 60 years ago.
Since you have the day off from school, I’m sure most of you already know what today is: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. So much more than just a day off, though, today is a perfect day to educate one another about the powerful teachings and philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr.

King was born in 1929 to a teacher and Baptist minister. Born and raised, King attended school from grade school to high school to college, all in his hometown of Atlanta. He entered into his freshmen year at Morehouse College around 1945. This is when he was introduced to the writings of Henry David Thoreau—namely his ‘Essay on Civil Disobedience’.

King became very captivated with an idea presented in Thoreau’s essay—that idea: fighting back by not fighting at all. Thoreau’s essay discusses one’s refusal to follow along with an evil system as being resistance enough. Finding this idea so strong, King branded violent confrontation as “both impractical and immoral.”

Somewhat of a mentor for Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi solidified MLK's belief in nonviolent social change.At this point, King was still unsure that ‘turning the other cheek’ would deliver the lasting effect that he wanted. Was nonviolence a powerful-enough approach to making social change? Seeking to further his knowledge and understanding of nonviolent resistance, King looked into the life and writings of Mohandas Gandhi. After his reading, King was reassured that his nonviolent approach would create results.

At 25, King became a minister. It was around this time that he started making changes to things he didn’t like. His first focus became the segregated Montgomery buses. These buses said that African Americans could not sit with Caucasians. So King boycotted these buses and got lots of others to boycott the buses along with him.

This only sparked the beginning of the changes King would come to make. Learn more about the man’s life on our MLK Blog post from last year. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Point me in the right direction.

Hey, Camp Fans!
Never lose your way again with your very own compass.
We’ve talked about the history of a lot of different things on this Blog, but my favorite subjects are the histories behind camping gear. That’s why today, I’m talking about the history behind the magnetic compass. Nobody really knows just how old the compass is, but that’s not to say that we don’t know much about its history. Check it out:

Before the compass was truly invented, the discovery of magnetism was already a popular fascination. It was William Gilbert (physician to Queen Elizabeth I in the early 1600’s) who first began to form the basic laws of magnetism. It was he who first speculated that the planet itself was one BIG magnet—which, it turns out, the earth’s core generates an impressive magnetic field. Magnetism is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is generated right at our planet's core.

Not to take credit away from Mr. Gilbert, but his theory of earth’s magnetism was written all over the place. After all, it was already common knowledge that magnets were made from magnetic rock called magnetite which occurs NATURALLY. The ancient Chinese were well aware of magnetite.

Chinese fortune tellers used the natural magnet, magnetite, to build their fortune-telling boards; they would use a piece of magnetite stone that would mysteriously shift, supposedly offering predictions for someone’s future. For a long time there was nothing but mysticism attached to magnetite’s behavior, but, eventually, it was seen for what it truly is: magnetism.

Linking this magnetism to a practical means of navigation, the invention of the compass was realized in China and made popular by the 3rd Century. Now perfected, the compass is a simple, lightweight device featuring Thanks to the earth's natural magnetism, we can easily navigate using the invention of the compass.a magnetized needle that sits on a free-rotating pivot to always show you with direction you’re facing.

Pick out your own magnetic compass from Everything Summer Camp and never lose your way again! As always, thanks for reading!

- John

You got to keep it insulated.

Hey, Flask Fans!

As you browse our online store, you may find yourself wondering how we manage to offer such great products for summer camp. We like to think that we have an impressive stock as it is right now, but we also acknowledge the fact that there is always room for improvement. And that’s why we, here at Everything Summer Camp, are constantly seeking out the coolest, most innovative, and newest products that have been released on the market.This bottle keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for a long day away.

On our latest hunt for what’s hottest and latest on the market of camping gear and summer camp supplies, we struck gold once again! Allow me to introduce to you our latest addition of our camping gear, the 21 oz. Insulated Water Bottle from Hydro Flask. This colorful stainless steel comes in a variety of colors and its screw on cap is provided with a carabineer attachment.

Don’t allow the temperature outside of your Insulated Hydro Flask to disturb the temperature of your drink inside! Thanks to the double-wall vacuum insulation of the Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle, you can keep your hot drinks hot for 12 hours and your cold drinks cold for 24! That ought to be long enough for your days away at summer camp or any other travels on which you’ll embark.

The temperature of your drink doesn’t affect how hot or cold the outside of the Hydro Flask is either. This way, your hands can comfortably hold this bottle without burning them, despite the hot coffee, tea, or cocoa inside. BPA free and bacteria/odor-resistant, this bottle fits in any standard cup holder, making it perfect for trips in the car, bike rides, and, of course, summer camp.

Keep your drinks the temperature you want them inside the Hydro Flask Standard-Mouth Vacuum Bottle. Enjoy your own Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle and get your own today. Thanks for reading.

- John

What to do in winter wonderland…?

Hey, Outdoors Boys and Girls!

It may be the dead of winter, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t venture outside! In fact, I encourage it. You’ll find that outdoor exercise is even more advantageous and invigorating in this cold, winter season. Today I’m going to give you some good ideas for wintertime activities so you can get your body going in the fresh, wintry air.

There are excellent options of things to do outside when the world is covered in a blanket of snow and the temperature drops until water turns into ice. With the fun you’re sure to have during these activities, you’ll warm up from the inside out in no time.
Calvin is one kid who knew what fun sledding can be!
1.) Sledding. Sledding is a great thrill in winter. Feel the cold air rush past your face as you race down a hill of white. You can head out to a hill on your own or with a group of friends—so long as you bring a sled along, it’s sure to be a blast! And, of course, hauling your sled all the way back up a hill in the snow is taxing and is what gets you your exercise.

2.) Snowshoeing. Get your blood pumping with a brisk constitutional through a wintry landscape. Snowshoeing is great for keeping your feet—and thus, you—comfortable when trekking through a stretch of freshly fallen snow. By increasing the surface area that your feet cover, snowshoes will allow you to stay above the snow and walk on top of it. I recently posted about the health benefits of hiking, as well.
Ice skating is some fun! Just ask everyone's favorite Beagle, Snoopy.
3.) Ice Skating. Sure, you can always go to an indoor rink, but, for maximum enjoyment, I would recommend taking your skating trip outside. This is a great way to spend a winter afternoon and can deliver some great exercise. Just ask the Peanuts crew!
So don’t let cabin fever settle in at your house this winter. Get out there in the great, white outdoors and get your body movin’! And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John