Grace and Samantha on camp

Hey, Camp Folks!

The Everything Summer Camp ‘Share Your Camp Story’ drawing saw an excellent response with nearly 30 entries! That’s why we’re publishing each and every one right here on the Blog! Today I’ve got two campers’ submissions comin’ atcha. Read about the great time Grace K. had at Camp Lurecrest:
Lurecrest creates awesome changes“Hi! I’m Grace and I am 10 years old. I went to summer camp for the first time this summer. It was called Camp Lurecrest and I had so much fun. They picked us up on a big bus to drive us to camp. I had 4 friends in my cabin and met lots of new friends too. My favorite activities were tubing in the lake and zip lining and worship time. It was like a big sleepover for a week. The food was yummy too. I was worried I would not like it. They have a dessert called cookie mush- it was my favorite!! The counselors were so nice and funny. We did devotional every day together! I can’t wait to go again next summer.”

And here’s the entry from Samantha G. who had a wonderful time at Camp Eisner:Learn awesome things at Camp Eisner.“This was my first summer away at sleep away camp. I loved it. One of my counselors was named Ofek and was from Israel. She was doing a tick check on me one day and she told me to lift one arm, then the other, then she said, ‘let me see your poopick’. I laughed and said ‘what’. She said bellybutton, turns out poopick is Hebrew for bellybutton. At camp I tried lots of new things such as self-defense and lots of new foods like Israeli couscous. We went on trips to amusement parks and I loved making lots of new friends. My Olim buddy, Maddie, was awesome. She was so nice and took such good care of me. Now I have a new ‘big sister’ I cannot wait until next summer when I can go back the ‘bubble’ for more fun!”

Thanks for these submissions, ladies! It’s really great to hear that you two had such great summer camp experiences. To anyone else who may be interested in Camp Lurecrest or Camp Eisner, check them out for yourself. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Camp Netimus for your camper!

Hey, Happy Campers!

Everybody loves talking about themselves—and we’re certainly no exception here at Everything Summer Camp! I could go on forever about the great camping gear that we sell here, our solid customer service, or our awesome team. Instead, I’ll talk about a deserving summer camp. Today we’re shining the Everything Summer Camp spotlight on the beautiful Camp Netimus for girls.
Camp Netimus welcomes you.Situated in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Camp Netimus is the home for 7-16-year-old girls from all over the country (or even the world) as well as over 80 staff members every summer. Showing the young generation of women a fun summer since 1930, Netimus offers an unforgettable experience!

The philosophy of the directors at Camp Netimus is that their campers get real value just by letting them have fun. So they have a lot of it there. How could they not? They offer all the traditional sports like volleyball, basketball, softball, archery, and more. They have all the water activities you could want, along with outdoor adventurous trips, horseback riding, rock climbing, and more. And they have an excellent performing arts as well as arts and crafts programs.

Founded by the Moore family in Philadelphia, Camp Netimus was named after a Native Chief from Delaware in the 18 Century. Its opening summer, 85 years ago, saw just 16 campers and a small fraction of the facilities that can be found there today.

Today, you’ll find enough facilities to accommodate 145 campers, but Netimus is about so much more than their comfortable cabins and other campus buildings. AlwaCheck this colorful map from Netimusys succeeding in showing their campers a fun time, Netimus girls gain a world more than just a good time. They discover their individuality as well as their part in a community.

Check out Camp Netimus for your daughter so she can have the same experience. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

What’s in a Native American Name?

Hey, Camp Fans!

Today is the fourth Friday of September: Native American Day—the day we set aside in honor of the Natives of this country, the original American settlers. With a long past to their culture and peoples, it’s important to understand their history. Summer camps all over the country embrace Native American history and culture by adopting Native names.

Commonly referred to as American Indians due to a mistake made by Christopher Totem poles are a native american tradition.Columbus (having thought himself to be in India when he met them), Native Americans have a plethora of names from which to borrow. Why is that?

Because: the Native Americans were spread out across the entire North and South American continents; to say, ‘The Natives’ spans a vast number of similar people who all had different languages, customs, and beliefs among themselves. The Natives lived in small, spread-out ‘neighborhoods’ that were more like separate nations. A slew of tribes and varieties among them spawned many different names.

At Keystone Camp, you’re an Apache, Cherokee, Shawnee, or Seminole. Camp Ton-A-Wandah (which means ‘by the fall of water’) splits its campers into three tribes: the Cherokee, Navajo, and Mohawk tribes. Camp Netimus itself is named after an 18 century Indian chief of Delaware.

So why do summer camps use so many Native names? It’s a tribute and a desire to emulate the Native Americans. After all, they were the first campers! They camped before camping even existed! Back then it was just how they lived, roughin’ it and living off the land—all day, every day.

It just goes to show that even though everyone lives in houses now, it’s still a vital and deeply essential skill to be able to survive off the land. To Natives all across the land, Everything Summer Camp and summer camps across the country honor you today. As always, thanks for reading.

- John

Parker takes a chance on camp!

Hey, Camp Fans!

The Everything Summer Camp ‘Share Your Camp Story’ drawing saw an excellent response with nearly 30 entries, so we’re happily publishing each and every one right here on the Blog! After our seven lucky winners, everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our online store. Today’s post includes Parker P.’s camp story about his summer days at Camp Ridgecrest:
Get your camp on at Camp Ridgecrest for boys and girls.“When I was four, my mom read me a story called The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp. I was fascinated with the idea of going to camp and began asking when I could go. She was surprised that as such a young child I would express an interest in camp, but I loved the idea of the outdoors, the adventure, and the excitement. Over the next couple of years, my mom became aware of Camp Ridgecrest for Boys and as soon as I entered first grade, she registered me to attend the next summer. I didn’t know anyone. She didn’t know anyone whose child had been. She drove me to camp. Helped me set up my bed and trunk area, and headed to her car to depart. I was a little overwhelmed and so was she. Neither of us anticipated how hard it would be to separate that first summer, but I am so glad that she trusted the plan and the camp staff. All throughout the week, she watched online for pictures of me. I don’t really like to be in pictures, so she was worried that I wasn’t having fun. When she picked me up and we got back in the car, she asked me about the experience. I said that I was glad I went. I was glad she was back to pick me up and go home. I was looking forward to coming back the next year for two weeks, and I asked if I could go for four weeks when I was older. I had immediately fallen in love with camp. Now after seven years at camp, I continue to look forward to camp as it’s the highlight of my summer. I hope to one day be a Little Chief (a camp honor) and then continue as a counselor after I am too old to be a camper.”

Thanks again for your submission, Parker! It’s great to hear that you and your mother put your trust into summer camp and that it ended up being such an enjoyable time for you! To anyone else who may be interested in Camp Ridgecrest, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

So…what if I didn’t like camp?

Hey, Unhappy Campers.

Did the summer camp season leave you disappointed and unimpressed? All the good things everyone had to say about camp and everything you read about it (including posts on THIS Blog) led you to believe that your kid’s summer camp experience would be nothing short of amazing. What went wrong? bad camping experiences don't mean you must hate camp.While this certainly isn’t the norm, it’s not unheard of for children to have an unpleasant summer camp experience. However, I cannot stress this next point enough—just because your kid didn’t like their summer camp, doesn’t mean that they don’t like SUMMER CAMP.

If you didn’t pick the right camp for your kid, there’s still hope to find a different one that your kid will enjoy next year. Finding a dud camp stinks for that summer visit, but in the long run, it’s a bad taste in your mouth that goes away petty quick.

Even the summer camp experts who wrote the literal book on camp, ‘The Summer Camp Handbook’, didn’t fall in love with the summer camp experience at first sight. Both of their initial camp stays were chaotic and ungainful. But it wasn’t enough to deter them from pursuing better camps that offered a little more organization and fun. Now they can’t get enough of summer camp!

Tune into thiRead up on Everything Summer Camp's first published book, the second editon of 'The Summer Camp Handbook's Blog next month (October 12) to read a post contributed to us by one of the authors of ‘The Summer Camp Handbook’, Dr. Chris Thurber. Chris will take the reins on this topic and give you great advice for giving your kids a healthy, unforceful push back into the summer camp direction despite their recent disenchantment.

So, if your kid didn’t enjoy their time at summer camp this season, don’t despair—just come back to the Everything Summer Camp Blog for excellent advice on the subject. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Gwyneth Paltrow was once a summer camper…

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

You know at this point that there are a LOT of summer camp fans out there. That includes kids, teenagers, and even grown-ups. Lots of grown-ups today were once summer campers like yourself. Some of them went on to become famous Gwyneth Paltrow, former summer camper.people. There are musicians, athletes, actors and actresses, and all kinds of celebrities who were once summer campers!

Gwyneth Paltrow was a summer camper back when she was little. She went to Brown Ledge Camp in Vermont. On the banks of Lake Champlain a little ways away from Burlington, Brown Ledge Camp is a residential, overnight girls’ camp.

Though she was born in Los Angeles, California, she enrolled in a private school for girls in New York City. During her enrollment at Spence School is when she had the opportunity to go to camp and it certainly was a positive influence that affected her throughout her life.

She spent some time in Spain as an exchange student around the age of 15. She learned to speak Spanish and stayed with the Lazaro-Ruiz family in a town near Toledo. She’s returned a number of times out of her love of the country and the people she knows there. Julia Ruiz is quoted in an article for the online journal, El Mundo, “She was very warm from the first day, and ever since, we have maintained a good relationship.”

She went on to attend the University of California where she studied in anthropology. Once acting took hold, however, she became fully vested in pursuing a career with it. She hit it hard when she was just 19 in a movie called ‘Hook’—the story of Peter Pan, all grown up. Since then, she’s been in dozens of blockbuster hits including all three ‘Iron Man’ movies.

She also attended the same camp of young, Arden Hauck, whose camp story I posted last week, Friday. Check it out right here and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

No-electronics Alanna

Hey, Camp Fans!

In the middle of July, I asked you guys to share your camp stories. We got a great response with nearly 30 entries so we’re happily publishing each and every submission right here on the Blog! Everyone who submitted got $15 gift certificates and seven lucky winners got larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today I’m announcing our Grand Prize Winner! Drumroll, please……….

Alanna G.! Congratulations! You’re our first place winner! Alanna spent her summer at Beber Camp where she made great friends and got in touch with herself, leaving her phone, tablet, and other electronics behind. Check out what she had to say about camp in this honest entry from Alanna:
Alanna loved Beber, how 'bout you?“‘The journey of 1000 smiles starts with 72 steps.’ I have attended B’nai B’rith Beber Camp for 5 years. There is no place I’d rather be. You make so many friends, new and old! The friends you make aren’t just with campers. You develop bonds with the staff. They come from near and far with so many different and unique talents.

Phones are a HUGE part of teenagers’ lives today. However, at Beber, there is a ‘no screen’ policy. So, there are no phones. From personal experience, it is so amazing to be without my phone and learn to appreciate the people that I don’t get to see every day. It also helps me define who I am as a person. I have learned so many new things about myself and others.

The traditions at camp are so amazing and special. No matter if we are all at flagpole chanting ‘Tucked Away’, or if we are singing our hearts out at a Friday night song session it is always fun and memorable!

Lastly, my favorite time at camp is havdalah. The whole camp gathers together in the amphitheater and every cabin shares something special about their week and then we conclude with havdalah, the lighting of the candle and the end of the Sabbath.

But… there is more than just that. It’s the community coming together! Everyone cares for each other at camp and it is really special to say that I go to Beber Camp!

In conclusion, there is no place better than B’nai B’rith Beber Camp. People work so hard to make sure we are having fun, and they do an AMAZING job!!

(love, health, and happiness)”

Thanks again for your submission, Alanna. We’re happy to hear that your summer was such a success! For anyone else interested in Camp Beber, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Koda captured the flag!

Hey, Camp Fans!

A while back in mid-July, I asked you guys to share your camp stories. Ask and we DID receive! We got a great response with nearly 30 entries so we’re happily publishing each and every submission right here on the Blog! Everyone who submitted got $15 gift certificates and seven lucky winners got larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today I’m announcing the second $50 winner. Are you ready? The winner is….

Koda N.! Congrats! You’re the second $50 prize winner! Koda spent his summer at Camp Leelanau where he played an epic game of Leelanau’s version of Capture-the-Flag. Check it out in this exciting entry from Koda:Have your adventures at Camp Leelanau“We were on our way to the flag trip. I was so excited!! It was my first time ever going on the flag trip! But There were only 3 words in my head, “tackle with care”. Although this was a tackling game we were going to tackle with love, not hatred. When we got there we ate lunch and changed into our camo clothes. A few counselors told us the rules of the game and how it worked. There were two flags in the woods, one for each team. The flag was on a rope and the rope was connected to two trees. There was also a jail. The jail was made out of three trees in the shape of a triangle. There was a rope around those three trees to make a triangular prism. There were two parts to each team, offense and defense. The defense watched over the flag and the offense tried to get the flag of the opposing team. The people playing offense ran over to the other team’s base and tried to get past the defense (which was trying to tackle you). If you got tackled you went to jail but if you didn’t get tackled you ran to the other teams flag and grabbed it. Then you yelled, “flag, flag, flag”. If you yelled only two “flags” and then got tackled to the ground you had to go to their jail. But if you yell all three flags without getting tackled you get a point and a free walk back your team’s base. You get out of jail by climbing over the rope and running back to your team’s base. Each base was on a hill and there was a gap in between each hill. That place is a safe zone, so you can’t get tackled and you can’t tackle.

I started off as an offensive player, I ran to a part of their hill where they weren’t looking. I just laid there thinking of a plan to get to their flag. Seconds turned into minutes. Minutes turned into an hour, tons of mosquitos buzzed in my ear. But I didn’t budge at all. All of a sudden I heard somebody yell “I see Koda!” and then I got up and ran to their flag. I ran past their defense and grabbed the flag, “flag,flag,flag.” I had gotten a flag!!!!! I went back to our base and told my team the good news. We had won the game!!!!!!!!!!”

Thanks again for your submission, Koda. We’re happy to hear about your good times! For anyone else interested in Camp Leelanau, you can check it out right here. As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Check out who Hadley brought home!

Hey, Camp Fans!

A while back in mid-July, I asked you guys to share your camp stories. Ask and we shall receive! We got a great response with nearly 30 entries so we’re happily publishing each and every submission right here on the Blog! Everyone who submitted got $15 gift certificates and seven lucky winners got larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. I’m announcing the first $50 winner right here and right now! Today’s winner is….

Hadley M.! Congratulations! You’re our first $50 prize winner! Hadley spent her summer at Camp Hayo-Went-Ha and brought home an unexpected guest! Read all about it in this excellent entry from Hadley’s mother, Debbie:

Check it out for yourself at Hayo-Went-Ha!

The Unwanted Visitor

“Hadley enjoyed a full month at YMCA Camp Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha for girls this summer. She was in the Biker group that took an 8-day 140-mile bicycling trek through the upper peninsula of Michigan. These girls were tough, sometimes riding 30 to 40 miles in a day. They even got to take the ferry over to Mackinac Island and spend a day on their bikes exploring. When not on the biking adventure, the girls were able to take part in Life-size Board game super Saturday, Ropes Courses, Sailing, Paddle Boarding, Nature Walks, and the list could continue as there are so many options of things to do at Hayo-Went-Ha.

I guess one of the many lessons learned for Hadley was that of how to care for your belongings at camp. Hadley had decided that it was easier to just leave her trunk open to have quick access to her belongings. Because really it MUST be too much trouble to close that trunk each time you want to change clothes or grab something—right?!

On the final day of camp, we made the 4 hour drive to camp to pick up Hadley. We loaded up her trunk and spent the next 4 hours peppering her with questions about her month of adventure. By the time we made it home, everyone wanted to just relax. So we put off unpacking her trunk until the next day. We had left the trunk on the back porch because as anyone who has had a child go to camp—those things do not smell the best after a month at camp. The next day, Hadley was responsible for unpacking all of her items from the trunk and putting them into the laundry so that everything could be washed. At the bottom of her trunk Hadley found a Momma Mouse and the 5 babies that she had given birth to in the trunk!!!! Needless to say this was a lesson learned (we HOPE). Always close your trunk after getting your things out of it. You never know what might sneak into that trunk!”This is why you close your camp trunk.

Thanks again for your submission, Debbie. We hope Hadley learned her lesson! For anyone else interested in Camp Hayo-Went-Ha, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Ask Grandma and Grandpa! They know..

Hey, Grandkids!

In a world that celebrates Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, Siblings’ Day, and Dog Day—you better believe that there’s a National Grandparents’ Day. And wouldn’t you know it, Grandparents’ Day is today! I’ve previously written about the history of the day on this Blog—how it came to be and ways that you can celebrate. But today Grandparents are the best!I’d like to share with you three things that you can learn from Grandma and Grandpa.

Some people may think it’s hard for the younger generation to relate to their grandparents, but kids love learning about new things. Grandparents may only have ‘old tricks’, but they’re new to kids of the modern day. Here are a few things we can glean from our grandparents.

The Past
History is always more fun to learn about when you’re learning it from a source who actually lived through historical events. It can be lots of fun for kids to compare how different the world is that they are growing up in and the ones that their grandparents did. Grandparents are also typically good sources for learning about your family tree.

Skill Sets
Because grandparents grew up in a different time, they know skills that kids from your generation never had to learn such as sewing, baking, woodworking, gardening, letter-writing and so on. Grandparents can also help you out with games that you probably never heard of before. When I was younger, my grandfather taught me to play an old card game called Sheep’s Head.

Your grandparents have been through many more walks of life than you. Turn to them for life lessons and advice about situations where you could use the input. Grandparents know how to get through hard times and they know how to help your social skills with some playful humor.

Enjoy your visits and see what you can learn from your grandparents! And don’t forget to wish them a happy Grandparents’ Day! As always, thanks for reading.

- John