Camp Champ Emme H.

Hey, Camp Fans!

Continuing our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest, we’re excited to share each submission on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners will receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today features the fourth winner of our $25 gift certificate. And the winner is….Named appropriately, this camp is full of winners like Emme.

Emme H.!

Congratulations, Emme! You’re our fourth $25 prize winner! Emme had a great summer stay at Camp Champions this year as she took a step up into her new role as a third-year MIDI. Read all about it in her entry—chockfull of camp pride!

This is my 3rd year and my first year as a MIDI. This meant that I have to take more risks (one of the 4 R’s at camp) because there are harder activities in this group. Because I wasn’t new, I was very comfortable at camp (P.S. I LOVE IT THERE! I made new friends (though I came with 4 great ones from Houston). I helped a girl, Kylie, who didn’t know anyone make new friends and included her in our group. She was one of my best friends at camp. I loved trying new things… I stood on a 20′ pole and my goal was to reach a trapeze about 5′ away. I didn’t reach it, but I will next year! I also tried the SCREAMER- It is 2 poles and you are attached with rope and they drop you and you swing. SO FUN!!! I also, zip lined, water skied, swam in the lake, danced, arts and crafts (favorite part was making our plaque for our cabin!). I learned Responsibility, Reaching out, taking Risks, and being Respectful.. I LOVE Camp Champions for all it gives me. I am so happy to be going again next year (my parents already paid!) and my little brother is going too!!

Thanks again for your submission, Emme. Sounds like camp was a blast and you’re graciously moving into a more mature period of your life—it’s exciting! For anyone else interested in Camp Champions, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Alexis S. has Camp Success

Hey, Camp Fans!

We’re very excited to post your ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest submissions to share with all our readers right here on the Blog. All participants receive a $15 gift certificate unless you’re one of our seven lucky winners in which case you’ll receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. This week we’ll be announcing the first four winners of the $25 gift certificates—and today we have our third $25 winner….

Alexis S.!

Congratulations, Alexis! You’re our third contest winner! Alexis had a growing experience at Camp Lohikan this year. Faced with a challenge throughout her camp stay, she still found fun and friendship at camp. Read all about it in her heartfelt entry:
Have fun like Alexis at Camp Lohikan.This was my second year at Camp Lohikan and, as a bit of a backstory, last year was what made camp one of the happiest places ever to exist for me. It has been a place where I can be me and even though I only go for 2 weeks out of the year, it makes the whole rest of the year worth it. This year was different though. I got to camp after an entire year anticipating what was to come. And there was my best friend of eight, I repeat EIGHT years, sitting there with her new best friend of one year on a bunk bed in our cabin. Just to let you know I came this year under the full impression that I was coming with a whole new bunk to get to know. I did not know she would be coming and I am a firm believer in coming and meeting more people each year and to me camp is a way to escape actual life and be with people who are real and true. Getting back on track here, my heart broke in that moment. It is a fine thing but—my camp? My sacred place? Come on! I just found one friend in my cabin because every other girl there had a habit of gossiping and cussing more than any people I had ever known in my life. But I knew there was more to this place. I struggled for a week and was intending to continue to deal for the remaining time I was there. But one day I wrote my mom an email and it was nice and had notes that said that I didn’t like this year but as I sent it, I messed up and accidentally deleted it. I was at my final straw and when I rewrote the email, I got straight to the point and told her that my bunk was mean, no one was the same as last year, and I never wanted to come back. I then proceeded to leave the email house, go back to my cabin and cry for the good portion of an hour. At dinner my division director asked me to meet her in her office after dinner. She told me that my mom had called with concern and asked me if I wanted to switch cabins. I told her that I did and the rest is history because I again have so many friends, so many memories and this year was even better than last year and I can’t wait to go back next year and create more with he girl in my bunk. Shout out to 21A!!!!!

Thanks again for your submission, Alexis. Sounds like a hard time at camp, but fun nevertheless. It always is! For anyone else interested in Camp Lohikan, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

It’s Round Lake for Jake!

Hey, Camp Fans!

It’s our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest! Like last year, we had a good turn-out for our camp stories so, of course, we’re very excited to post these stories to share with all our readers right here on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners will receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. This week I’m announcing the first four winners of the $25 gift certificates and today we’re sharing the second $25 winner’s story:

Jake V.! This is a great camp.

Congratulations, Jake! You’re our second $25 prize winner! Jake spent some fun summer days at Round Lake Camp this year and had an awesome time, meeting fun camp mates. Read about it in his great submission.

Over the past two years, Round Lake Camp has become my home away from home. I can’t lie, though, I was a little nervous the first time I got off the bus and stepped into ‘camp world.’ Would I have fun? Would I make friends? Would I feel homesick? My stomach was in knots as the bus left home and started making the long drive to camp. I listened to the other kids talk. It sounded like they all knew each other already. I was new though, so I stayed quiet. Then, we got to camp and we were greeted by friendly faces who helped us to our bunks. After I set up my bunk, I started to feel a little more comfortable. I introduced myself to my bunkmates and found that some of them actually liked the same things I like. That first day started out nerve wracking, but ended up being one of the happiest days that summer!

At Round Lake, I have made some awesome new friends. We share the same interests, like Star Wars and comic books. We share the same sense of humor and can easily laugh at the smallest things. It’s great to have friends outside of school. It’s almost like a secret society, or like I live a double life. That’s cool!

My favorite things to do at Round Lake are GaGa and archery. I’m one of the best GaGa players as no one can get me out. I’m usually the last one standing and some of the kids like to challenge me on a daily basis. It’s fun to be the champion! I’ve gotten really good at archery, too. It’s tricky, but it’s also relaxing. I like to get really quiet, concentrate on the target, and think about being one with the arrow. Those two sports are very different. GaGa is very loud and gets my adrenaline pumping, while archery is very quiet and helps me think. I like that I’m able to choose to be either loud or quiet at camp, as I think those are two very important sides of who I am.

Finally, Round Lake Camp is the best camp, not just because of all the friends you can make or activities you can do, but because you can be yourself there. If you are silly or serious, loud or quiet, it doesn’t matter. At Round Lake, it’s okay to be yourself. No one is going to judge you, make fun of you, bully you, or isolate you because of it. That’s why Round Lake has become my home away from home, and I’m counting down the days until next summer starts and I can go back!

Thanks again for your submission, Jake. Sounds like camp was a blast yet again! Round Lake sounds like a great place with fun activities and fun people. For anyone else interested in Round Lake Camp, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Make it 3 for Emily B.

Hey, Camp Fans!

Our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest went over pretty well last summer and we saw an even bigger response this year, so it goes without saying that we’re very excited to post these stories to share with all our readers right here on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners will receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. This week we’ll be announcing the first four winners of the $25 gift certificates—and we’re starting right now! Today’s winner is….Merrie Woode is very good!

Emily B.!

Congratulations, Emily! You’re our first $25 prize winner! Emily spent some fun summer days at Camp Merrie-Woode this year and who made unbreakable bonds with her campmates. Read all about it in her excellent entry:

I started going to camp with my best friend and I loved it so much. But six years later I decided to go to a 3-week stay. I was scared at first but we had the best counselor ever. It was the last night of camp and all the squire cabins went to Sports field to play a game of manhunt but we were too loud and Lindsay came and told us we had to go back for cabinets. We were pretty bummed but a counselor said because it was her last night she would let us sleep in a different cabin, so we all brought over our mattress pads and sleeping bags and went into the cabin Winken. We were all so excited that we didn’t get much sleep that night but the bonds that we made that year at camp last forever.

Thanks again for your submission, Emily. Glad you enjoyed your extended camp stay and bonded with your cabin mates! For anyone else interested in Camp Merrie-Woode, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Radio Lady Gaga

Hey, Camp Kids!

Summer camp has only increased in popularity since its well-received beginnings in 1861. It spread across the country like wildfire and kids of all different upbringings were brought together to make summer memories of a lifetime. As camp popularity grew, the amount of summer camp alumni grew too. There are so many former summer campers around nowadays and some went on to become famous.Baby, she was born this way.

We all know Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. What’s that? The name doesn’t ring a bell? Maybe you know her better as Lady Gaga.

Anyway, before she was known by her professional persona, Stefani attended the YMCA Camp Hi-Rock in Massachusetts. Located on a thousand acres in the Berkshire Mountains, Hi-Rock campers enjoy a home away from home, set aside from the rest of the world with heavy foliage and their crystal clear, private lake of 90 acres!

Back then in her camp days, Stefani was just as interested in the theater as she was in music. Following her interest into her high school days, she appeared in high school plays and when she attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she studied at CAP21 to further her training in theater.

She also had a lifelong passion for music. She started playing the piano when she was four, she wrote her first ballad for piano when she was thirteen, and by the time she was fourteen, she was performing her music at local open mic nights.

Still interested in music in her college days, Stefani formed a band with friends from school—the Stefani Germanotta Band. All their shows eventually brought her some attention and she found herself working with her music producer—Rob Fusari. She traveled to New Jersey every day to record songs she had written and collaborate on new material.

Mr. Fusari explains the origin of Stefani’s stage name saying, “Every day, when Stef came to the studio, instead of saying hello, I would start singing ‘Radio Ga Ga’” (the song from the British rock band of the 70’s—Queen). When sending her trademark song name in a text one day, Rob’s phone autocorrected ‘Radio’ to ‘Lady’ and he sent the text without noticing. Predictably, Stefani responded, “That’s it! Don’t ever call me Stefani again.”

Stefa—I mean…Lady Gaga—rose to fame nearly overnight after her first album, The Fame, and she’s only continued to make music that increases her fan following. Lady Gaga found a path of wild success through her passion for self expression. What path will you find? You can check out Camp Hi-Rock for yourself right here and, as always, thanks for reading. And check out the video below of the song that inspired Ms. Gaga’s moniker.

- John