Fonzie and The Shark!

Hello, Summer Campers!

Or…as The Fonz would say, “Ayyyyyyyyy!” Well, I suppose there are likely many of you out there who are unfamiliar with ‘The Fonz’ from ‘Happy Days’. But you really ouStill building his acting career today, he began a long while back!ght to know about him—he’s the king of cool, Fonzie, Arthur Fonzarelli! Pretty equally well-known a name is Henry Winkler, the actor who brought everyone’s favorite 70’s sitcom character to the screen.

Henry Winkler never attended summer camp as a camper himself, but he did have a summer camp experience as a camp counselor. Being born and raised in New York with a love for waterfront activities he was the ski instructor at Blue Mountain Camps in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

While you may not be familiar with Fonzie, what you may very well be aware of is the television term ‘Jump the Shark’. For those who don’t know, a television show jumps the shark when it includes far-fetched events and gimmicky sort of material for the sake of bringing something new to the show.

Television shows have come to use this term widely, though it saw its beginning on an episode of ‘Happy Days’ in which Fonzie literally jumps a shark while water-skiing. Yet, the true origin of this phrase actually began at summer camp when Mr. Winkler was acting ski instructor for summer camps.Arthur Fonzarelli was the epitome of cool in the 50s.

“I was once a counselor in summer camp and I did a lot of water skiing,” he is quoted to have said. “My father would always tell [show runner] Gary Marshall about it. So they wrote it in. I just went with the flow.” Though there weren’t any sharks back then, it’s funny to trace this commonly-used showbiz term to Henry Winkler’s time at summer camp.

These days are yours and mine—happy and free! Enjoy the ridiculous moment in the video below and, as always thanks for reading!

- John


Emily’s Pleased With Camp Louise

Hey, Camp Fans!

We got more than 30 submissions for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp and we’re itching with anticipation to publish each one of them right here on the Blog to share with all our readers! There were seven lucky winners to our contest and everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s post is from Emily N., who wrote in to tell us about her second year at Gold Arrow Camp.


Dear Alicia,
lAs I wake up my first morning at home I am still thinking about the Middah of the week, “Gratitude”, and feel the need to express how thankful I am to be a part of the camp family for the past 3 summers.
         lIt has been an overwhelming experience to be re-included in the world of Camp Louise which I have loved since I was 10 years old. Each year I look forward to returning with trepidation as well as excitement just like any camper, but leave feeling full of love, acceptance, and longing for the next year.
lI am beyond grateful for what Camp Emily LOVES Louise! And who doesn't?!Louise has given not only to me, but also my daughter. I loved this place as a child and never thought twice about signing her up for Rookie Camp the day she turned 7 years old. Her first few summers I enjoyed watching Annie grow and shine from afar – waiting every morning for the photos to be released and scouring the Unit Leader emails for every morsel of camp life.
lA few years ago, I learned about the possibility of returning to camp as Staff and am so grateful you found a place for me. These past 3 summers have been the most amazing of all my time at camp. Some might think that being a camper is best time of your life but I’d argue that being here and watching your child relish in all that this magical place has to offer is truly one of life’s greatest joys.
lI want to say thanks to everyone who makes this experience possible; from her bunk counselors, to her Unit Leader, the UCs and A Team, to Dining Hall Staff and Housekeeping Crew – I see how all are pieces of the puzzle that make it possible for Annie to return home each summer with her soul full of enough passion, confidence, and laughter to last her the next 11 months.
lI hope you are able to share this at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting as there wasn’t enough time to thank each person individually. Keep up the amazing work for the next 5 weeks, no matter how tired you get, knowing you are truly touching the lives of the 411 campers sleeping soundly in their bunks tonight as well as their parents and the generations yet to come.

Beyond Grateful,
Emily Newmark
Camper, Parent & Staff

What a thoughtful letter, Emily! We love getting stories like this that illustrate just what a powerful connection we have to summer camp. Sounds like Camp Louise is a fantastic place and I bet you had a lot to do with that! So glad to hear how much Annie loves it there too. Check out Camp Louise by clicking here and see what strong connection you might develop with it. As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Everything Summer Camp!

People have been celebrating the Christmas holiday for a very long time and carried out some of its most well-known traditions for even longer. Rituals like caroling and exchanging gifts date back at least to the1600s while bringing trees into our homes is a literally ancient custom. These traditions have come to mean a lot to folks who love this day of the year, as they should.Merry Christmas from Everything Summer Camp.

There’s certainly nobody working today at Everything Summer Camp! Everyone from our business family will be spending the day with our families at home, enjoying all the traditional gift-exchanging, feasting, and all-around merrymaking. That’s what I do every year anyway!

Each season provides us with its own specific mood and this particular season was made to be spent in the jolly, warm company of those whom we hold dearest. This season may contain the coldest, darkest day of the year, but we do all we can to brighten it with our cheerfulness, our good will, quality time together.

Unlike previous years, my family from Southern Wisconsin is coming up to visit me and my other siblings in Northern Wisconsin. We always tend to really immerse ourselves in the holiday spirit, so there are lots of smiles, laughs, and merriment whenever we’re all together.Christmas trees are essential.

As I previously mentioned, so many of our holiday traditions such as giving gifts, caroling, and bringing trees into our homes have been adopted from a varied past, originating from Pagan celebrations and re-popularized by none other than Charles Dickens with his still-famous Christmastime masterpiece, ‘A Christmas Carol’.

These traditions have been carried out for a very long time and, as for me and my family, we’re all more-than-happy to carry on the age-old traditions and keep Christmas a warm day that unites us and brings us all joy.I wish togetherness, joy, and merriment to all of our summer camp families out there. Merry Christmas!

- John

Is it just me or is it getting dark out?

Hey, Northerners!

North of the equator, that is…today is the Winter Solstice—a magical day of the year. This day is a reminder from Mother Nature of just how harsh and unforgiving she can be. That’s especially so this time of year the further north you go. We’re located in Northern Wisconsin here at Everything Summer Camp, where Winter Solstices are always cold, dark, and typically covered in ice and snow. But we only scratch the surface of winter brutality!

Some theorize that Stonehenge was built to establish when the Solstices occurred.

Some theorize that Stonehenge was built to establish when exactly the Solstices would occur.

This year, we’ll see just under nine hours of daylight in Boyd, Wisconsin (roughly the same amount as New York City). If you travel to Helsinki, Finland, you’ll be getting something shy of six hours of daylight! That’s less than a typical school or workday. And, even worse than that, if you go to Barrow, Alaska, you won’t even see a sunrise!

As you can imagine this cycle made our ancient ancestors pretty nervous with the concern that the sun would continue to grow more and more distant until one day it simply blipped out of sight completely. Without a better scientific understanding of the natural cycles of the planet, this seemed like a perfectly reasonable concern. What they didn’t realize is that the sun was just on the other end of the planet

While the North Pole hadn’t seen a sunrise since October,the South Pole is being showered in nightly sunrays until March. Which is when things here in Northern Wisconsin will start to warm up; it’s time for the planet’s second winter solstice.

It’s easy to be“hemisphere-o-centric”—after all, the vast majority of people on the planet live in the northern hemisphere—but the other side of the planet certainly gets a winter solstice as well. Since Earth’s orbit is tilted on its axis the hemispheres trade off over the course of a year on which one sees direct sun. So,while we’re celebrating our Winter Solstice on December 21, folks south of the equator are seeing their Summer Solstice. They’ll get their Winter Solstice around June 21—when we get our Summer Solstice.

It can be hard to visualize just from reading about it, so I’ve included the most helpful visual I could find.Enjoy as many hours of daylighThe axis of the planet creates alternating seasons.t as you can today and stay nice and warm during the dark! As always, thanks for reading!

- John

The Right Tree

Hey, Tree People!

At Everything Summer Camp, we certainly Tree Christmastime as much as we Tree Camp! And when it comes to Treeing things, there’s no better kind of tree to Tree than the Evergreen Tree! And there’s no better day than today to appreciate your love for Evergreen Trees. Today is Look for an Evergreen Day, so if you don’t already have in your home, get out and find yourself a nice tree.Find out what ESC folks are doing for Christmas.

Evergreens merit our admiration and awe with their unchanging green needles and their incredible resilience to harsh winters. Not only do they deserve our respect, but they GET it as well! We bring them into our homes for the holidays. We dress them up in lights and hang shiny objects on them. We write odes about them (O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree), and soon…

When it comes to finding a tree for your home this time of year, tradition has it that you simply must. But tradition is nonspecific as to when exactly you should. Some folks can hardly wait—and don’t wait—for Thanksgiving to pass. Others stick to the month of December while others don’t bother until just a few days before Christmas. Those who stick to real trees are more likely to wait a little while as they’re working with a time frame.

My entire life, I’ve never decorated a real tree. Every tree I’ve ever put up in my home has been an artificial one—much easier to manage and you decide how long you have it out for. These are found in any department store and come inside a corrugated box with All lit up.assembly required. Packing this rectangular cube into your backseat in some store parking lot isn’t the same tradition of tying a real tree to the top of your vehicle, but you can’t beat the convenience!

Though I didn’t buy anything, I took my first walk through a Christmas Tree Lot this year. Creating such a pretty, serene setting, I can understand why folks prefer to go shopping for a real tree in these atmospheric lots.

However, if you really want to embrace the spirit of ‘Look for an Evergreen Day’, then I suggest you forage your own path through the wilderness to find the perfect tree which is still in the ground—just like they used to do in olden times and in the Griswold family. Whatever you end up doing, be sure to appreciate the tree you put in your home and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Yes, Ma’am, Snowman

Hey, Snow Builders!

Like baking sugary treats, singing seasonal songs, and warming up by the fireplace, building snowmen is one of those iconic wintertime activities that you just have to participate in at least once a year! It always ends up feeling good to get out and move around in the snowy outdoors and—if the snow is made in the right conditions—roll up a man made entirely of snow!This jolly character seems to show up every winter!

It’s nothing new. Snowmen have been crafted out of the frozen precipitation for many, many years. But just how far back does it go?The Rankin/Bass holiday special ‘Frosty the Snowman’ was made in 1954, but that hardly scratches the surface!

While nobody knows just who or when the first snowman was made, we know we have to go back much more than 64 years to get there! We have to go back 165 years to find the earliest known photograph of a snowman. It was taken by a Welsh photographer named Mary Dillwyn in 1853. The original of this photograph sits in the collections of the National Library of Wales.

This nontraditional snowman was made from many years ago!But just because this is the first known photograph of a snowman certainly doesn’t make this the first snowman ever created! But where photography fails us, we look to artistic depictions in historical documents.Author, Bob Eckstein, who wrote ‘The History of the Snowman’ shows strong implication of snowmen from medieval times. Based on illustrations from museums, art galleries, and libraries from Europe, Mr. Eckstein claims to have traced snowmen back to      l                                                                                          l1380!

So the next time you enjoy building a snowman, be mindful of the fact that you’re practicing a fun, seasonal activity that children and grown-ups alike have been doing for centuries! If you’ve got the right kind of snow for it, get outside and start packing that wet stuff together! You’ll have a man that’s made of snow before you know it! Enjoy your time outside in the white, fluffy world and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Catherine D. Loves Camping

Hey, Camp Fans!

We got more than 30 submissions for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp and we’re itching with anticipation to publish each one of them right here on the Blog to share with all our readers! There were seven lucky winners to our contest and everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s post is from Catherine D., who wrote in to tell us about her third year at Gold Arrow Camp.

What makes camp such an amazing place? Why is it the place that I call my second home and the highlight of my summer? These questions are ones that I have been asking myself ever since I started going to Gold Arrow Camp. Three summers ago, I was absolutely terrified to go to my first ever sleepaway camp. I stepped onto the camp bus early one Sunday morning, sobbing, and certain This is a great camp; but don't take my word for it!that I was going to have a terrible time and never want to go again. After two amazing weeks, I boarded the bus for the second time, sobbing again, but for a different reason. I didn’t want to leave. So, for all of the people reading this who wonder why sleepaway camps are so amazing and question if they should send their kids to camp, I am attempting to answer these questions in three parts.
       lThe first amazing thing about my camp is the activities that I participated in. At home, a typical Saturday for me in the summer would be spent waking up very late in the morning, reading for most of the day, and maybe going swimming if I was feeling particularly adventurous. In contrast, at camp, a Saturday would be spent water-skiing in the morning, horseback riding in the afternoon, and zip-lining after dinner. We kayaked, paddle-boarded, canoed, wake-boarded, rock-climbed, did archery, riflery, arts and crafts, backpacked, and slept under the stars. I faced some of my biggest fears by doing activities such as zip-lining and the high ropes course, and discovered things about myself such as that I love sailing. Every single day brought something new to try, a new challenge, and a new adventure.
       lSecondly, I want to talk about the atmosphere at camp. Although it may sound cliché, camp is the place that I feel I can most be myself. At school, I feel pressure to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and act a certain way. However, at camp, I embrace my inner child. In the mornings, we sing fun repeat-after-me songs, dance like no one is watching, and get ready for the day (a routine that does not include applying make up, and does include wearing clothes suitable for playing in the wilderness all day). At home, I also face so much stress around homework and tests, while at camp, I get more sleep than I do during the rest of the year and simply have fun every single day. Additionally, there is no “friend drama”. Almost as if there is some unspoken agreement, every person I have met at camp is genuinely nice, friendly, and supportive.
       lThe last unbelievably wonderful thing about camp is the relationships that I make there. This year, I was in a cabin with nine other girls (whom I didn’t know) for two weeks, and I have never become closer with any other group of people in my entire life. There is something about spending every day for two weeks together that creates an immense bond between a group of people that can never be broken. Our cabin went to activities together, ate together, slept together, and backpacked together. We gave each other advice about friend issues at home, confessed our biggest fears, told each other our most embarrassing moments, shared our goals and supported each other to achieve them. In addition, all of this happened without the complication of phones or technology. When we were together, we had face to face interactions and really listened to each other, without checking our phones or texting others while we were talking. Yes, by the end of the two weeks I spent at camp I had gained nine sisters, and know that the friendship we made can never be broken.
       lBecause of these three main reasons, camp will always have a special place in my heart, and I am counting down the days until I can board the bus once again!

Thanks for such an organized and thoughtful submission, Catherine! It’s great to know that Gold Arrow Camp has been such a positive influence in your life. Camp certainly has a way of working its magic! Check out Gold Arrow Camp to see if it might be a good match for you. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Time to Celebrate Hannukah

Happy Hannukah!

Sunset tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah this year! What ensues of this tradition will be eight days and nights in which its observers celebrate with latkes, dreidels, and lighting the Hanukkiah (which is the traditional candleholder that is often mistakenly called a menorah). Just what is this celebration about? Read on to delve into the subject to take a deeper look.Are you ready to celebrate the miracle?Unlike Christmas, which arrives on Dec. 25 every year, Hannukah’s date jumps around from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. It arrives consistently on the 25 of Kislev—a month of the Hebrew calendar. Unlike the Gregorian calendar which considers just the earth and the sun, the Hebrew calendar which is lunisolar because it’s based on the sun and the moon as well.

We go back to 165 B.C. to understand the history of Hanukkah, when a Jewish rebel army known as the Maccabees defeated the Syrians and rededicated their holy temple in Jerusalem. This eight-day holiday celebrates a seven-day miracle in which the Maccabees only had enough oil to light the temple’s eternal flame for a single day, but even so the lamp kept on burning for eight!

The lighting of the nine-branched candleholder—often times incorrectly referred to as a menorah—is actually called a Hanukkiah. A menorah, on the other hand, has only seven candleholders—like the lamp that was used by the Maccabees in the ancient holy temple in Jerusalem.

Hanukkiahs have nine candleholders, which designates a candle for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah as well as one more for lighting the others. If you celebrate Hanukkah, you now can educate your friends and family on the holiday you’re about to celebrate! Enjoy your traditional tasty treats, fun games and toys, and the time you spend to honor the miracle. Happy Hanukkah and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Get Your Order On Time!

Hey, Holidayers Shoppers!

We put in so much effort over the gifts that we give to one another this time of year; with so many holidays right around the corner and so many people eager to celebrate, the energy is charged in the winter air and everyone weathers the cold to fulfill their thoughtful deeds. We spend lots of time, thought, effort, (and typically money) on the things that Get your Christmas gifts on time! we gift to one another and we want the moment to be just right when the recipient of our gift opens it up!

But, unfortunately, things don’t always go the way we had planned. As crummy as late deliveries are, they happen—despite your efforts to ensure an on-time arrival. At Everything Summer Camp, we understand the importance of gift-giving and we want to help make sure that your gifting goes off without a hitch this holiday season.

Order from Everything Summer Camp and rest assured that your delivery will arrive on time; we want your gift-giving to go just the way you hoped. SO, please allow me to call your attention to our handy holiday map.Refer to this holiday map for on-time shipping this season!

This is a helpful, color-coded map to eliminate any misunderstanding about how early you need to place your order on our website to have it ship to you on time. Of course, delivery times vary throughout the country, but, personally, I don’t like procrastinating, so I like to urge people to order as early as they can—better safe than sorry!

And that’s why I’m sharing the magic numbers with you of 1:00pm on December 17. That’s the time and date for everyone in the contiguous United States to go off of for guaranteed delivery by December 24.

December 17 may be early for some of you; Everything Summer Camp is based in northwestern Wisconsin, so if you live in Wisconsin, most parts of Minnesota, or another nearby area, you have the luxury of placing your order as late as 1:00pm on December 21. Happy holidays, Everybody! Get your orders placed with us on time and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Ava R. Loves Camp So Far!

Hey, Camp Fans!

We received more than 30 entries for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp and now we’re eager to publish each one of them right here on the Blog to share with all our readers! There were seven lucky winners to our contest and everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s post is from Ava R., who wrote in to tell us about her second year at Camp Chi.
Camp Chi is planning lots of fun for their campers every summer!
“I attended Camp Chi; this was my second year. I was very nervous because the first year I was very homesick. As soon as I arrived to camp, I saw the people in my cabin and we started playing games. I learned the names of my friends and my counselors and they seemed really nice. We did everything together. We went horseback riding, zip lining, water skiing and many more fun things. They had a new activity this year and it was tie dying shirts and I really enjoyed this because I like to tie dye and I like the patterns you can make. I also liked ceramics because I like to make stuff and bring it home to show my family. I also loved going into the cove. The cove is like the beach but it has trampolines in the water so you can jump from the trampolines to the water. Lots of times our cabin played games. One time we played volleyball. On the last day of camp I was really sad because I didn’t want to leave because I liked it a lot. I was really sad when I arrived home and I told my parents that I want to go for four weeks next year instead of two! I can’t wait for next summer!!!!”

Glad to hear how much you loved your time at Camp Chi, Ava! 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). Camp certainly is a great time! Check out Camp Chi to see if it might be a good match for you. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John