Norah Jones did the camp thang

Hey, Campers!

Here at Everything Summer Camp, we learn about plenty of celebrities who were once summer campers like yourselves. It’s hard not to discover them when so many went to camp! We’ve talked about tons of pop stars, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs, and more on this Blog and today, we add Norah Jones to our list of Celebrities at Summer Camp! Read all about this happy camper!

I can’t imagine anyone isn’t familiar with Norah Jones, but, in case I’m wrong, she’s that singer/songwriter and actress responsible for such hits as ‘Don’t Know Why’ and ‘Come Away With Me’. She’s won lots of awards (including nine Grammy Awards) and sold more than 50 million albums the world over.

But before any of that, she attended Interlochen Center for the Arts. Located in the beautiful northwestern region of lower Michigan, Norah spent her summer days soaking in the summer sun as it beat down on 1,200 acres of Interlochen, nestled between two lakes. But Norah Jones wasn’t her name back then. It was Geetali Norah Shankar.

And even before that, she was born in Brooklyn, but raised in Grapevine, Texas. She went to Colleyville Middle School and Grapevine High School until she later transferred to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas.

Previously she had sung at mass services during her weekly visits to church and, there, she discovered a passion for singing and so she took piano and voice lessons. But it was in her high school days that her love for music truly blossomed. She sang in the choir, participated in band, and played the alto saxophone too.

She went to the University of North Texas to further her study of music, majoring in jazz piano. She also spent her time there singing with the Jazz Singers group at the school. Fresh out of her graduation in 2002, Norah launched her solo music career with an original talent for lounge music. Every coffee shop was playing her album that year.

Norah followed her passion and look where it took her. Where will yours take you? You can check out Camp Interlochen for yourself and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Chase H. and his Tent-Mate

Hey, Camp Fans!

We received about 30 entries for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp. Now we’re eager to share each one by publishing them right here on the Blog! After our seven lucky winners, everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s post is from Chase H., who wrote in to tell us about his camping misadventure.
This is a wonderful place to do your summer camping.This story starts back from a campfire on night two of ten. My tent-mate had received a care package full of goodies and sweets, but was lazy enough to just leave it out on his camp box. I was the first one coming into camp and when I walked down to our pod of tents, I saw four green eyes staring at me. I shined my flashlight and sure enough, there was a raccoon in our tent and one just outside of it. They had eaten all of my friend’s treats and were searching for more. One was on my cot! The whole entire rest of the night, my friend kept shining the flashlight to scare the raccoons off because they kept coming back. We called it Five Nights at Camp after the popular game Five Nights at Freddy’s. Later, my friend decided to hide the rest of his food; in a trash can, when we woke up, it too was all gone. He was really angry now. I told him that it was a bad idea but he didn’t believe. Finally, someone made a bag we could haul up into a tree to keep out of the reach of the little critters. I never moved my food, it was all safely in my wooden box.

Sounds like you had a pretty exciting experience with your surprise visitors! I hope your tent-mate learned his lesson! At least YOUR food was left alone! Check out the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation if you’re interested in it for your own camping experience and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Of Comics and Summer Camp

Hey, Comic Book Fans!

A very popular piece of reading material to pack along for a fun-filled summer camp stay, comic books are ever-present in the kingdom of kids. From superheroes to graphic novels all the way across the map to the Sunday Funnies, comic books are a wonderful way to lose yourself in a world of art and imagination presented in panels and gutters!

Today is National Comic Book Day.

What better day to brush up on thwock and thud are all great exclamationsyour own collection or trade issues with a friend to check out one you haven’t seen yet? Whether you’re into the classics like the members from the Justice League or superheroes of the newer generation such as Spiderman or X-Men, get lost in the worlds that you love the most today.

Perhaps you like to do more than just READ comic books but you like conceiving of your own too. If that’s the case, you’re bound to find THIS summer camp up your alley: Randy Emberlin’s Summer Comic Book Art Camp. Look into it for yourself for next summer.

Randy Emberlin is an artist who makes comic books. Best knoWhammo! Words really can hurt you in the comic book world.wn for his work inking the Spider-Man comic books, Randy has also put his magical touch to series like Dark Horse’s ‘Ghost’, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Origin Series’, the ‘Left Behind’ series, ‘Star Wars Tales’—issues 12 and 15, and more. He’s been expanding his creative work for the last 30 years!

Go for this four-day camp session open to comic enthusiasts from third grade to first-year high schoolers. Learn from Randy Emberlin himself as he gives great instruction for perspective drawing, layout, penciling, inking, coloring, and more!

Sticks and stones cann break your bones and words can give superheroes black eyes.Check out their website for yourself and enjoy National Comic Book Day by reading your favorite comic or maybe even designing your own! As always, thanks for reading!

- John

12 hour days; 12 hour nights

Hey, Summer Fans!

We’ve had a wonderful season this year and hope the summer fun was just as fantastic for you too. We say goodbye to the summer season today as its cycle has once again run its course for this year. We’ll miss you until next year, summer. But in the meanFall is here today! Learn about the Autumnal Equinox.time, let’s get excited about the fall season. Summer may be old news now, but fall is as fresh as it can be today.

Today is the Autumnal Equinox.

What in the world is an equinox? you might be asking yourself. It’s a fair enough question. After all, we only hear mention of them a couple times a year. Well, that’s because they occur twice a year! Much like the more popularly known Summer and Winter Solstice, there is an equinox for both the spring and fall seasons.

Opposite to the solstices which mark the longest (in summer) and shortest (in winter) days of the year, the Autumnal and Vernal Equinoxes hang in a fragile balance to mark equal day and night at 12 hours apiece all across the entire planet! The word ‘equinox’ is Latin in origin: ‘aequus’, which means ‘equal’ and ‘nox’, which means ‘night’.

It’s not an exact science. Due to refracted light coming through our atmosphere and because people have trouble settling on when sunrise and sunset really are, equinoxes almost never land on the actual day of observance, but always within a few days it.

The Northern Lights are one of the greatest phenomenon we're aware of.People from all around the world celebrate with feasts and festivals, marking the arrival of the holiday. Dependent on your location on the globe, you may even be able to see the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. These are beautiful colors that always appear in the sky this time of year. The phenomenon is actually radiation from the sun interfering with the earth’s magnetic field!

The further north you are, the better chance you have of seeing the Auroras! Enjoy your observance and celebration of the Autumnal Equinox and keep your eyes on the skies! As always, thanks for reading.

- John

Successful Scouting Outing

Hey, Camp Fans!

Having brought in nearly 30 entries The ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp has once again seen a great response and now we’re eager to publish each 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 feature an entry from Mikesha M., who wrote in to tell us about her son’s time at camp.
Get into the Woodruff spirit like Mikesha's scout!My son went to Woodruff Boy Scout Camp for a week. I was very nervous about what to pack and how to pack to make sure he had everything he needed. I love the trunk he got from Everything Summer Camp. It really helped him stay organized. He said it was cool to have a trunk that was different from everyone else’s so he could find it easily. Then he said, “Mom, when I took out the wheels and popped them on..everyone was talking about it and that they wished they had wheels on their bin/trunk”. When my son came back from summer camp I could tell he was more confident and willing to try new things. One of the things he talked about was all of the new friends he met and how there were scouts from far away states. He thought that was so cool and he even exchanged info with a couple of scouts so he could keep in touch. He also said how we like the fireworks even though they got rained out but he kept dry in his rain gear. I never got a chance to go to sleep away camp, but I am glad he is able to go and make memories that will last a life time.”

Sounds like your son was the lucky duck at camp with his ‘fancy’ rolling trunk and effective rain gear! We’re happy to hear that camp was such a great experience for him. It’s also great to hear how much you liked our trunks—thanks for letting us know! Check out Woodruff Boy Scout Camp if you’re interested in it for your own camping experience and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

You ROCK, Rockmont!

Hey, Summer Campers!

We talk enough about ourselves here on the Everything Summer Camp Blog, it’s good to give someone else a turn once in a while. That’s why we turn our spotlight to awesome brand names that we offer as well as celebrities who are also former summer campers. And we like to talk up the camps with whom we’ve formed excellent working relationships.

Camp Rockmont is a shining example of one of these camps. Located 15 miles east of Asheville, North Carolina, Rockmont boasts 550 acres that are surrounCamp Rockmont fun in action!ded by thousands of acres of National Forest wilderness. Near the town Black Mountain, Rockmont shows kids a beautiful mountainous landscape covered in foliage and home to the 20-acre Lake Eden.

Every year since 1956, Rockmont Christian summer camp has been the summer home to 1500 boys from all across the globe. The original lodging was built in the 1800s by the famous-for-his-time, developer E.W. Grove—made for use as a family retreat. In the 1930s, the land along with the historical property was sold to Black Mountain College. But the creative college closed in 1956 and became the site for Camp Rockmont.
Camp Rockmont is an excellent boys camp for your summer fun.
At Camp Rockmont, campers are given the chance to achieve a certain skill level in tons of different activities such as Archery, Basketball, Capture-the-Flag, Soccer, Tennis, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Riflery, Outdoor Skills, Campouts, Fishing, Talent Shows, Relay Races, Canoeing, Sailing, Swim Sports, Rocketry, Photography, Guitar, Ceramics, Bible Study, and such a great deal more.

Facilities at Camp Rockmont are incomparable in the world of summer camp with a beautiful lake, four athletic fields, a gymnasium, and beautiful buildings that fit the scene well. But much more than just gorgeous property and a million fun things to do, Camp Rockmont guides its campers to focus specifically on physical, emotional, social, and spiritual growth.

Check out Camp Rockmont for your own summer fun and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!
rockmont hike
- John

Tré Cool is very soigné!

Hey, Camp Fans!

Lots of kids have been hitchin’ a ride to summer camp since the mid-1800s. Many adults nowadays are former summer campers themselves and a bunch of them have gone on to become famous icons. It’s my pleasure today to tell you a little about a guy named Tré Cool—drummer for the insanely popular alternative punk band, Green Day. Tre Cool is one of the world's most celebrated drummers!

Tré was given a warm welcome to paradise among the beautiful, rolling foothills of Camp Winnarainbow in Mendocino County, California. There, Tré and his camp buddies learned the tricks of the circus trade, specializing in the performing arts of the circus. From circus etiquette to balance training—and don’t forget the ticket to perfect timing—is all taught by the well-trained staff of Winnarainbow.

Back then, he wasn’t known as Tré, but Frankie—as in Frank Edwin Wright III. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany to American parents and he grew up in Willits, California. But it didn’t take long for him to go by the moniker Tré Cool.

At just 12 years old, Tré’s next-door neighbor, Larry Livermore, asked him to join as the drummer in his new band, ‘The Lookouts’. Once he was in the band, Larry gave him the nickname which combined French (trés—for ‘very’) and English so as to say that he was ‘very cool’.

Tré opted to earn is GED instead of finishing high school and got an early start on classes at his local community college. Around this time, Green Day’s original drummer, John Kiffmeyer, left the band and they called Tré for his drumming skills. It took a long while for the band and Tré to fall in sync. So long, that the band discussed breaking up. “It took me a while to get it,” Tré has been quoted. “Play the song, don’t play the instrument.”

Luckily, the band stuck with it and they ended up a huge success! Tré’s dad played a big role of support for the band. He even turned a bookmobile into a means of transport that the band could use. “I watched them go from a bunch of kids to a group of musicians with work ethic,” Tré’s father once said.

Among many other awards and sources of recognition, Tré is thought of as one of the world’s top drummers, right up there with Ringo Starr and Dave Grohl. In fact, he was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. Tré followed a bumpy road that led to super success. What road will you follow? As always, thanks for reading.

- John

Marina K. Wins Big Today!

Hey, Camp Fans!

We’re announcing the ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest Winners this week and today concludes our list of seven prize winners. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today we have our grand prize winner of the $100 gift certificate! The winner is….

Marina K.!

Congratulations, Marina! You’re our grand prize winner! Marina conquered fears and learned an important lesson during her time at Chimney Corners Camp. Read about the safe risks that she learned to take in her camp story entry:

I always loved to climb. I would scramble up trees, and I would never miss the rock climbing walls at carnivals. However, I would never get more than three feet up due to my unfortunate fear of heights.

When I came to camp and I heard they had a high ropes/climbing activity, I signed up straight away, putting it as my first choice on the activity preference form. I ended up getting it and I was ready to embrace any challenges that were thrown at me. That is until I first stepped foot onto the four-story tall ropes course. My legs were shaking and my palms were sweaty with fear. Each person below was a minuscule dot from my perspective. I started screaming at the belay monitor to get me down, but she asked me Chimney Corners Camp for Girlsif I could try another step. So I did, taking slow, calm, breaths, one foot after the other. And miraculously, before I knew it, I made it across the obstacle course, thanks to the encouraging cheers of the people down on the ground. I couldn’t thank them enough. From then on, leaving the ground and pursuing the sky wasn’t so hard anymore. I started taking on new challenges on my own, such as taking more difficult routes up the rock walls than I may have been accustomed to. Chimney Corners taught me that safe steps out of my comfort zone may actually allow me to grow. For any person with acrophobia (and especially the people with acrophobia who like to climb), CCC would be a great place to learn how to overcome that fear and start taking safe risks, like I did. Maybe next year at Chimney Corners, I’ll get over my cynophobia (fear of dogs) and malushygroviscosiphobia (fear of applesauce). Don’t ask.

Thanks again for your submission, Marina! What a great lesson to take away from camp! The entire world would do good to get out of its comfort zone a little more often. Anyone else interested in Chimney Corners Camp can check it out right here. As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Catherine D. wins $50!

Hey, Camp Fans!

The ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest is in full swing for this year. We’ve been announcing our seven lucky winners and sharing their stories right here on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today and tomorrow, we’re announcing our two winners of the $50 gift certificates! Today’s winner is….

Catherine D.!

Congratulations, Catherine! You’re our second $50 prize winner! Catherine just shared one moment of camp, but it was such a big moment! Check it out in her entry about her stay at Gold Arrow Camp:

This year I completed my 2nd year at Gold Arrow Camp, my home away from home. I absolutely love camp, from the amazing friends I make that I know I will have for my entire life, to the delicious food, to the adrenaline and pride I obtain after conquering my fears. One of my favorite activities that I participated in this year at camp was also one of the scariest for me. When I woke up one sunny morning and read the aCheck out Gold Arrow Camp for your summer fun!ctivities board for the day, I felt my stomach drop in anticipation. My cabin was scheduled for canyoneering, the activity in which one rappelled down a waterfall. I was terrified of heights, and was dreading this activity. After packing lunches for the day, we hiked around 2 miles to the great waterfall. My butterflies returned after seeing the colossal waterfall for the first time! After strapping on our harnesses and helmets, my cabin climbed boulder after boulder to reach the summit of the waterfall. A few of my friends rappelled down the waterfall all too quickly, and I realized with dread that it was my turn. I felt feverish, and realized that I was slightly shaking. I peered down over the cliff, and noticed how far up I was. Should I take this risk to conquer my fear? After much deliberation I decided that I would. With all of my friends cheering me on, I slowly walked to the edge of the cliff dragging my feet in the dust behind me. I then closed my eyes, and jumped. When I finally managed to open my eyes during the descent, I realized how incredibly beautiful the waterfall was. I let the spray of the water brush my fingertips, and felt completely, utterly happy. Now, looking back on this experience, I was so glad that I had my friends and counselors to help support me because without them, I might never had conquered my fear. I felt so immensely proud of myself for not letting my fears control my experience at camp, and now am so excited to return to camp next year so that I can try this activity again!

Thanks again for your submission, Catherine! What a great illustration you created of this triumphant moment at camp! For anyone else interested in Gold Arrow Camp, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Wendy K. on her daughter’s camp days

Hey, Camp Fans!

The ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest is in full swing for this year. We’ve been announcing our seven lucky winners and sharing their stories right here on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today and tomorrow, we’re announcing our two winners of the $50 gift certificates! Today’s winner is….

Wendy K.!

Congratulations, Wendy! You’re our first $50 prize winner! Wendy’s daughter has fallen in love with Chippewa Ranch Camp and wants to stay longer and longer each year. Read all about it in Wendy’s entry:This camp is home away from home.My daughter’s first experience with overnight camp was when we picked up her big brother from camp when she was 8. She immediately decided that camp was not for her after seeing the cabins—especially the showers! Unfortunately, camp wasn’t all that amazing for my son either as during his second year, there was a tragic accident and when he then switched to a new camp for his third year they were quarantined with whooping cough! That was understandably the end of camp for him and my daughter was now fully convinced that camp was no good. But, some friends talked to her about how much they loved their camps so she said she would possibly be interested in Chippewa Ranch Camp. Cliff and Sari came to talk to her about it and, although still unsure, agreed to give it a try. Her first summer was excellent and she couldn’t wait to go back the next summer. By her third summer, she wanted to go 8 weeks. That’s when I regretted my decision to send her to Chippewa. Did camp have to be that amazing that she wanted to be away from us for 8 long weeks? We grudgingly let her go, and came to visit Chippewa for the first time over parents weekend. Then it all became clear. I certainly would also want to stay as long as possible at this summer paradise—friendship, fun, independence, learning new skills and the freedom to just be a kid. I was a camper and I liked it fine, but as a parent I have definitely drank the Chippy Kool-Aid! It’s a magical place!

Thanks again for your submission, Wendy. Sounds like camp is a blast for your daughter/ I’m glad she likes camp more than your son! For anyone else interested in Chippewa Ranch Camp, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John