Celebs Galore from Stagedoor Manor

Hey, Summer Campers!

It’s exciting to find so many famous folks who were once summer campers like yourselves! Over the years, I’ve posted about more than 100 celebrities. I’m keeping them coming today with another celebrity who, like so many other famous folks, attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Summer Camp—Jesse Swanson himself, Skylar Astin. Learn about Skylar Astin from Stagedoor Manor!

Along with the likes of Mandy Moore, Natalie Portman, Robert Downy Jr., Zach Braff, and Bryce Dallas Howard, Skylar spent his summer days in the Catskills Borscht Belt in Loch Sheldrake, New York at Stagedoor Manor getting the experience of being on the stage, in the spotlight within a most inviting and supportive environment.

Having grown up in Rockland County in New York, Skylar graduated from Clarkstown High School North and, following that, he went on to study at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He wound up taking a leave of absence from school, however, in order to perform in ‘Spring Awakening’ on Broadway.

But it wasn’t until 2012, when Astin turned 25 and found his breakthrough role, starring as Jesse Swanson in the musical comedy film ‘Pictch Perfect’. He returned to the role again just three years later for the sequel. Musically inclined, Astin also appeared on the musical television show ‘Glee’.

Using the talent of his gifted voice in his work, he’s also taken a couple roles as a voice actor for the movies ‘Wreck it Ralph’ in which he played the character Roy, as well as the movie ‘Monkey Up’ as the voice of Monty. He’s still passionate about stage acting as well. In 2010, he played the character Mark Cohen in a production of ‘Rent’ at the Hollywood Bowl which was directed by Neil Patrick Harris.

If you’re passionate about the art of acting as well, be like Skylar, Mandy, Natalie, Robert, Zach, and Bryce—check out Stagedoor Manor for yourself and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Camp Fern Makes Melissa T. Happy

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

We were delighted here at Everything Summer Camp to get such great responses to our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest. It was great to read all the submissions and we’re happy to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog! Besides our seven lucky winners of larger prizes, all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Melissa T., who wrote in to tell us about her daughters’ summer stays at Camp Fern. Here’s her submission:

“This was the second year for our oldest daughter Aubrey to Camp Fern is a wonderful summer getaway for kids from all walks of life!attend a two week away camp at Camp Fern and our youngest daughter’s (Hailey) first year to attend. This year was a special and emotional year for us all. Last year, on July 29, Aubrey was diagnosed with Leukemia. Of course, this left turn in life took us down a road we never imagined we’d have to go.
          lThrough all of Aubrey’s treatments, we’ve had to keep her in a bubble and away from the general public due to her compromised immune system, which meant she missed her 4th grade year at school. In March, 2017, Aubrey finished the tough part of treatment and was able to go to school in April. It was a huge leap of faith to let our girl go to a sleep away camp for two weeks without contact.
          lCamp Fern was amazing and put us at ease with how accommodating they were and the wonderful nurse God put in place this year. Aubrey and Hailey had an amazing time at camp and Aubrey finally felt like a normal kid for the first time in a year. This camp experience is one we will always remember and is probably where the entire family grew.”

It’s great to hear that summer camp was such a positive experience for your daughters as well as the whole family, Melissa! We are moved to hear that not only did camp provide great fun for your daughters but that it gave Aubrey a chance to feel like a kid again. What great blessings come from great misfortunes. If you think you might love Camp Fern as much as Aubrey and Hailey, check it out for yourself to see if it might be a good match for you. Check out further details on their website by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Spotlighting Camp Laurel South

Hey, Camp Folks!

When you work with as many camps as we do here at Everything Summer Camp, you can’t help but admire these beautiful organizations. We work with more than 270 summer camps, so we take the opportunity regularly sing their praises. Today we’re focusing our spotlight on the east coast, in Casco, Maine. See wCamp Laurel South in Maine has your name all over it.hat kids love about the change of pace they get during their summer stays at Camp Laurel South.

Located near Portland, Maine in the heart of the Sebago Lakes Region, Camp Laurel South sits on 150 acres of pure magic, offering everything from heavily wooded trails to sports fields as well as open lawns. With well over 800 yards of private shoreline along the shimmering Crescent Lake, Laurel South boasts its own natural sandy beach that gives access to more than 3 miles of exceptionally clear waters!
Learn valuable skills at Laurel South!Laurel South campers enjoy their sunny days with a plethora of activities in the water like Swimming, Sailing, Fishing, Canoeing, Kayaking, Waterskiing, and more. They also have fun on the land with traditional games like Archery, Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, Softball, Flag Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Kickball, Tennis, Golf, Cross Country, Aerobics, and more. Campers also go on Overnight Camping Trips, Hiking Trips, Mountaineering, Horseriding, and more.

Their facilities offer fun too with Arts & Crafts projects, Cartooning, Ceramics, Theater Performance, Stage Design & Construction, Photography, and much, much more. Their buildings are complimentary to the beautiful naCheck out the Laurel South map!tural surroundings. Camp Laurel South cabins are separated into ‘campuses’ that house campers of different age ranges. No matter whether you belong to the Saco, Allagash, Rangely, Katahdin, Baxter, or Kineo campus, you’re certain to be in good company!

Check out Camp Laurel South even further—visit their website by clicking here. It just might be the right camp for you! And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Fr!day the ( )teenth of Oct.

Hey, Mystics!

I have some bad news for all of you. Today is Friday the 13th—a decidedly UNlucky day. It’s a day that twists the arms of many to avoid typical daily events like running errands or hanging out with friends. Some folks opt to avoid going outside entirely and, even further, a select few of those folks won’t even venture out of bedThis day of the week on this date of the month in this month of year is just all too much for this Blogger., save kitchen and bathroom trips. Under most circumstances, I’d say this reaction is ridiculous…

Today, however, I’m singing a different tune.

Friday the 13th is bad enough, but to make matters worse, today’s unlucky matchup of day and date falls in the spookiest of months: October. The month of harvest celebrations, All Hallow’s Eve, and candy corn (*gross*), October sets a beautiful, but somber tone as we enter the thick of the autumnal season and advance toward the end of the year.

Belief in the superstition of bad lucI can't take any chances on a day like today.k and other supernatural ideas lends the notion that today truly is a perfect storm of unlucky signs: an unlucky day of the week falling on an unlucky date of the month in the unluckiest month of the year. It’s so bad that you may just want to take such ridiculous precautions like not leaving your home. I say, if it means avoiding something…unlucky…sign me up.

I’m not typically one to believe in such superstitious hullabaloo, but when it gets to this point, I’d feel stupid if I didn’t take precautions. I’ve bolted my doors, turned off all phones, I even have my black cat locked up in the other room. He’ll forgive me tomorrow. Until then, I’ll be right here with my head underneath the pillows, avoiding the day as best I can. I wish the same to all of you. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Sophia B. of the Mohawk Tribe

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

We were delighted here at Everything Summer Camp to get such great responses to our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest. It was great to read all the submissions and we’re happy to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog! Besides our seven lucky winners of larger prizes, all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Sophia B., who wrote in to tell us about her first year at Camp Ton-a-Wandah. Here’s her submission:

“This summer I was lucky to have been a first year at TAW! Preparing to go to camp was Ton-a-Wandah camp for your summer stay.exciting and fun. My mother and I ordered my colorful and cool trunk, it has wheels so I can pull it. We drove to North Carolina from Florida and I was dropped off for what I think is the best camp ever. I learned to wood burn and made my family something special I mailed them. I also made some new friends that I can’t wait to spend next summer with. TAW is so much fun, all day I have activities I choose and meals with all my friends. My favorite memory from my first summer is the tribe initiation. We were sorted into three tribes and I am a Mohawk! They painted my face and I learned our songs. This night was awesome!”

It’s great to hear that you had such a great time at summer camp, Sophia. Summer camp is typically a hit with kids! Congratulations on your tribe initiation. She obviously loved Camp Ton-a-Wandah and we’re happy to hear she loved her camping gear from Everything Summer Camp as well! You may love it yourself if it’s a good match for you. Check out further details on their website by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Tutu History

Hey, Dancers!

When you’re talking about the art of gracefully moving your body to a rhythm (or lack thereof), it’s very important that the attire you select will allow for the freedom of movement you require to perform your art. From leotards to tights and capris to ballet slippers, there are many items of dance wear to consider, but of all the countless options available, none are so iconic as the tutu.  Hardly recognizable were the original tutus.

Tutus have become an essential part of the ballet scene with a world of different styles and alterations. They have been made of materials such as tarlatan, muslin, silk, gauze, nylon, and a material called tulle—the most commonly used material at one time. Nobody knows quite where this flashy dance skirt got its appropriately flashy name, but it’s theorized to have derived from the word ‘tulle’, the material from which it was made.

In the Paris Opera, 1832, a ballet dancer by the name of Marie Taglioni debuted a gauzy white skirt that cut off at her ankles and, thanks to its bell shape, allowed for the freedom of movement she needed to perform. It was made by French designer of the Romantic Period, Eugene Lami.

There have been a number of differeThe tutu we all know and love today.nt takes on the general tutu design since its first creation. Fashion designers from like Cecil Beaton from England, Christian Lacroix from France, and Isaac Mizrahi from the United States have all designed their own look for the tutu. This garment has undergone a number of revisions that have continued to shorten the length until the arriving at the Classical tutu design which reveals the entire leg.

For those who aspire to be a ballet dancer as well, shop Everything Summer Camp to find a tutu for you…uh—yourself. Check it out by clicking right here and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

The Bryce is Right

Hey, Summer Campers!

There are plenty of celebrities who, like you, attended summer camp in their youth. After posting about more than one hundred former summer campers turned celebrities, I come to post about yet another celebrity who attended summer camp. Ms. Bryce Dallas Howard joins our list of summer camp experienced celebrities today as she is a Stage Door Manor alum. The life of the Lady in the Water.

Found in the Catskills Borscht Belt in Loch Sheldrake, New York, Stagedoor Manor provides awesome setting for its campers to get the experience of being on the stage and in the spotlight. Spending three weeks of her summer among Stagedoor Manor’s awesome theatre spaces like the Carousel, the Cabaret, the Forum, the Merman, and the outdoor Garden Theatre, Bryce attended the same camp as Natalie Portman, Mandy Moore, and Zach Braff.

Born to a writer and an actor-turned-director (Ron Howard), Bryce was raised the oldest of her siblings with two younger twin sisters and the youngest of the family, their brother Reed. Bryce’s uncle is in the acting business too—Clint Howard. Her godfather is the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler who co-starred alongside Bryce’s father on the television show ‘Happy Days’.

Bryce went to Greenwich Country Day School and then graduated from Byram Hills High School in 1999. After that, she intensified her education, burning the candle at both ends! She studied at New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts while simultaneously attending the Stella Adler Conservatory, The Experimental Wing, and International Theatre Wing in Amsterdam.

Acting in New York plays, Bryce appeared in a number productions at the Theatre Club. When she performed as Rosalind in Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like it’ at the Public Theater, Bryce got her break, having caught the attention of the up-and-coming director M. Night Shyamalan.

She was cast as the lead alongside Joaquin Phoenix in the horror director’s film ‘The Village’ only a couple weeks later without auditioning. She returned to another Shyamalan production, ‘Lady in the Water’ to play the role of Story, a water nymph by the name of narf. Heading onward and upward, Bryce recently starred alongside Chris Pratt in Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park series.

Bryce has made a name for herself just doing what she’s always loved and had fun doing. What do you love to do? Find your own sense of fun at Stagedoor Manor! You can check out this camp for yourself by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Gwendolyn M. Does Camp Again

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

It was great to read all the camper submissions we received this year for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest at Everything summer Camp. We’re happy to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog! Besides our seven lucky winners of larger prizes, all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Gwendolyn M., who wrote in to tell us about her first year at Camp Cayuga. Here’s her submission:
Gwendolyn M. went to Camp Cayuga this summer.
“This year was my first year at sleep away camp which is called Camp Cayuga, however, I have attended numerous day camps within the past 8 years. Camp was so much fun because I became really close with everyone including my counselors within only a few days.
          lI loved camp because you got to sign up for what activity you wanted to do such as trapeze, horseback riding, lake, archery, and many other fun activities. At camp it was my first time doing archery, however, the counselors that were also instructors made it easy and fun to learn and by the second or third time I did it I was able to shoot a bulls-eye.
          lEven though it rained a lot while we were at camp, no matter what the weather was, we always had fun. Before I left for two weeks at camp I was nervous that I was going to become homesick, however, camp was so much fun that I would go back for 6 weeks next year because there was so much to do and we had so much fun that I didn’t miss not being at home since I had so many friends that comforted me.
          lThe counselors were also really nice and it was interesting because two of the counselors were from the U.K., 3 of my bunk mates were from Italy, and one was from France. There were also many other people from different places around the world at camp. It was nice to meet people from places outside of the United States because you get to see how people of different cultures live.
          lNobody was allowed to bring their phones and it was probably a good thing because if we had our phones we would have been glued to the but instead we played cards, made friendship bracelets, and talked to each other face-to-face instead of through the phone. There was also plenty to do at camp so not having phones was not an issue. Overall Camp Cayuga was so much fun and I would definitely go back for long than 2 weeks next time!”

Congratulations on your first year at sleep-away camp, Gwendolyn. You clearly had a blast making friends and enjoying the fun at camp. Gwendolyn obviously loved Camp Cayuga. You may love it yourself if it’s a good match for you. Look into Camp Cayuga on their website by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Of Sea Gulls and Seafarers

Ahoy there!

We’re always looking to sing the praises of the businesses and camps with whom we’ve formed tight bonds here at Everything Summer Camp. Today we’re pointing our spotlight to the coast of North Carolina. Read on to get a glimpse into the summer getaway of Camp Sea Gull for boys as well as Camp Seafarer for girls.
Are you a Sea Gull or a Seafarer? Now in full preparation for their 70th season next year, Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer have been providing their campers with the safety and the kind of fun kids need to develop and grow since the summer of 1948. Situated in Arapahoe, North Carolina, each campsite sits on over 150 acres of beautiful land with abundant access to the waterfront.

Thanks to the exceptional location of Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer, the campers are Practice your boating skills at Camp Sea Gull and Seafarer.treated to very wide parts of the Neuse River. On this awesome body of water, the campers can learn great skills required for the art of sailing, powerboating, skiing, fishing, and more. Characteristically calm, the Neuse River provides a safe and magical place to have these great experiences.

Both of these camps offer a variety of sports and other land activities including Archery, Riflery, Basketball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Tennis, Golf, Horseback Riding, and more. Other indoor activities in the Creative Arts include Printmaking, Ceramics, Sculpture, Wheel-Thrown Pottery, Batiking, and more.

The cabins at both Camp Sea Gull and Seafarer houses roughly 10 to 13 campers along with two to three cabin leaders to stay with the campers. Each cabin is well lit with excellent ventilation and features fully furnished interiors with twin bunk beds. All cabins have restrooms, sinks with mirrors and individual shower stalls to offer total privacy for every camper.Have a blast during your summer camp experience!

You can get even more details on the website for either Camp Sea Gull or Camp Seafarer for your son or daughter’s next summer camp experience. Click here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John