Día de los Muertos

Hey, Halloween Lovers!

There’s an autumnal chill in the air with little spirits running around laughing as they haunt the streets for tricks or treats. And everyone’s porches are decorated with bright orange pumpkins and ghoulish gourds, carved with faces. Filling today with absurd aThe Halloween Scene is different from that of Dia de los Muertos.ctivities, dreadful decorations, and creepy costumes, no other holiday embraces the morbid and macabre like celebration of Halloween…or does there?

Over the years, I’ve written a number of posts to discuss the many means of celebration for one of the world’s most popular holidays: Halloween. Always coinciding in the harvest season, another holiday is celebrated in Mexico called Día de los Muertos or, the Day of the Dead—landing very close to Halloween on the calendar. The Day of the Dead begins at midnight tonight.

Often considered something of a Mexican Halloween by those who don’t observe it, the Day of the Dead may appear as a similar celebration on the surface, but Día de los Muertos is much more meaningful to the people of Mexico than Halloween is to the folks who observe it. Dia de los Muertos has interesting cultural art.You may love Halloween—I do too!—but Día de los Muertos is about loved ones gathering to remember friends and family who have passed on. Traditions of this holiday are to construct private altars and decorations to honor the dead.

A decorated altar for Dia de los Muertos.Día de los Muertos wasn’t always so widespread in Mexico as it is nowadays. As of a few years ago, it’s gained popularity and celebrations have expanded to include live music, dancing, and parades from residential neighborhoods to cemeteries where family members can visit the gravesites of their loved ones.

With its increasing popularity, we wanted to join in the celebration of life that once was with our Seasonal Day of the Dead Storage Trunk. Featuring the festive artwork of Mexican culture, this trunk is a surprisingly colorful explosion amidst the dark abyss of death that easily inserts itself into part of your family’s altar. Keep your altar decorations inside This surprisingly colorful camp trunk is great for Dia de los Muertos!this beautifully constructed storage trunk and make the most of your Día de los Muertos celebration! And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Tellin’ Tales Out of Camp

Hey, Storytellers!

People have told stories since our languages and other means of communication were developed. Everyone wants to hear a well-told story! Stories are built into our genetic makeup. I suppose that’s why we’ve incorporated a full day into oEnjoy the great outdoors around a fire. It's some HOT fun!ur calendar which is dedicated to the art of story telling. Today is National Tell a Story Day.

This time of year, stories tend to tilt toward the side of terror—people become obsessed with the spooky and supernatural; after all, All Hallow’s Eve is just on the other side of the weekend. These scary types of tales are traditional material for kids around the campfire as they hold a flashlight below their chin.

And speaking of telling camp stories, we’re happy to show our appreciation once more this year to everyone who participated in the Everything Summer Camp ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest! They may not be very scary, but they do a great job at illustrating the camp experience. It’s great to see our customers having such positive reactions to their summer camp stays.

I’ve been posting the camp stories that were submitted to us ever since September 5th and I’ll continue posting our customer’s submissions until they’ve all been shared stretching far into the month of March. Check back on the Everything Summer Camp Blog frequently to catch the next camper submission. I typically post a ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest submission on a weekly basis, except for certain breaks throughout the holiday season.

Stories are an instinctive part of the human species. They are the way our minds make sense of the lives we live. Enjoy the rest of Tell a Story Day and share a good story with some of the folks in your life. They’re bound to appreciate you for it. Happy Tell a Story Day, Everyone!

- John

Two Weeks for Lauren B.

Hey, Camp Fans!

Having received more than 30 entries for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp, we’re eager to publish each one of them right here on the Blog to share with all our readers! We had seven lucky winners and then everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s post is from Lauren B., who wrote in to tell us about her first year at overnight camp…

 “This was my first time going to camp and I was nervous/excited. I went with my best Camp Crestridge is a great place for your summer stay!friend and it was her first time too. We are both 10 so we knew we were OK being together. My mom asked me what was the most surprising thing I did or felt while being away from my home for two weeks and I told her I was surprised at how much I DIDN’T miss my parents! Surprisingly, she was happy to hear that! I loved meeting new friends and having new experiences. I enjoyed the skills training although I never got the hang of archery. My friend and I can’t wait to go back next summer and we want to stay a whole month but our parents said no only two weeks! We had such an amazing time three of our friends want to come with us next summer! Thank you for letting me tell you about my awesome time at Camp Crestridge!

Love your friend,
Lauren B.- Chickasaw Cabin 8”

Glad to hear how much you loved your stay at Camp Crestridge, Lauren! It’s great that you didn’t really get homesick either (although don’t be surprised if you should encounter it in years to come). Sounds like you sparked an interest in camp among your other friends as well! Camp certainly is contagious! Check out Camp Crestridge to see if it might be a good match for you. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Employee Picks Updates

Hey, Football Fans!

To kick off the arrival of the football season, I began September on the Blog by going around the office to see what teams we here at Everything Summer Camp predict to see playing in Suberbowl LI. With our prized teams in mind, everyone here has their fingers crossed that our predictions come true. With the seventh week of the regular season just having passed, next week marks the season’s halfway point, so I thought we’d review our employee’s predictions and see how our teams are looking so far.Get into the game of football!

As you’ll have it with a bunch of Wisconsinites, lots of us are rooting for the Packers to take the Superbowl and predicting that we’ll play against the New England Patriots. People who made this prediction include our company president, Ed; our Operations Manager, Brian; our Graphics Department Manager, Nate; our Assistant Shipping Manager, Mike; and our Printing Technician, EJ. So far the Packers are sitting at 4 wins and 3 losses while the Patriots have 5 wins and 2 losses.

In other offices, our Vice President, Mark says it’s going to be a close Packer win against the Tennessee Titans who also have 4 wins and 3 losses. And our Graphic Artist, Amy, thinks the Texans who are currently 3 and 3 will be taking the backseat in a Superbowl against the Pack. Our Sales Director Matt thinks the Packers are going to match up with the Pittsburgh Steelers and that the Steelers are going to win! The Steelers are currently 5 wins and 2 losses.

Tim’s prediction being the only one that didn’t include the Packers, he says we’ll see the Dallas Cowboys who are 3 and 3 match up with the Oakland Raiders at 3 wins and 4 losses. He believes the Cowboys are going to take the Superbowl.

The season still has a whole half to go, but this is where our Employee NFL Picks stand for now. The odds look likelier for some teams more than others, but you can’t quite tell at this point in the season just who will be moving into the playoffs and who doesn’t stand a chance. Join us at Everything Summer Camp and enjoy the rest of the NFL season. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

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