Okay, Ozark!

Hey, Camp People!

I’ve written lots of Summer Camp Spotlight posts for the last five years now, here on the Everything Summer Camp Blog—more than 75 to be specific. We really just can’t help ourselves but to sing the praises of the awesome summer camps with whom we’ve been fortunate enough to have formed excellent relationships. We love all the 270 camps across the country with whom we work!

Allow me to whisk you away to 400 beautiful acres in the forested land of the Incomparable Check out Camp Ozark for yourself!Camp Ozark in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Offering the serene waterfront of Lake Ouachita, Camp Ozark provides a truly beautiful experience for each of the 6500 campers it sees each summer!

Camp Ozark has no trouble keeping its campers busy! They offer waterfront activities like Waterskiing, Wakeboarding, Water Polo, Swimming, Canoeing, Kayaking, Fishing, and more. Play land sports such as Baseball, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Soccer, Tennis, Golf, Disc Golf, Capture-the-Flag, and a bunch more. And they also offer Outdoor Adventures, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Ropes Course, Horseback Riding, and more!

There are Performing arts at Ozark too such as Acting, Guitar, Cheerleading, Dance, Gymnastics, and more. And they offer Creative Arts as well like String Art, Woodburning, T-Shirt Printing, Woodworking, Wax Painting, Rocketry, Pottery, Robotics, Jewelry-Making, Candlemaking, and a plethora of other creative projects.

With accommodating Summit and Pine Cabins, Camp Ozark provides campers with comfort during their summer stays. Aside from the cabins, Ozark has fine recreational facilities including three large covered pavilions for basketball, volleyball, and tennis. They have a smaller covered pavilion for gymnastics, the dance studio, a woodshop, a wrestling/weight room pavilion, and a large Arts & Crafts building which includes a pottery room.

Get a closer look at Camp Ozark for your camper if it sounds like it could be a great fit for your family. You can get a better look at summer life at Ozark by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Mean Beans

Hey, Spring-Lovers!

In the aftermath of Easter, today we have National Jelly Bean Day to show our appreciation to these little candies that have become springtime favorites. To celebrate this holiday, I brought our work team together to compete for $20 by eating Jelly Bean treats. However, these were not your ordinary beans; I brought Bean-Boozled Beans! The recipients roll a color die, and pick a Jelly Bean according to their roll.

Bean-Boozled Beans are a mixture of sugary treats and revolting flavors. And all the beans are paired to look identical to a certain other flavors so players don’t know if they’re about to eat a Buttered Popcorn Bean or a Rotten Egg…Close up of assorted multicolored jelly beans.

It’s a pretty awful game.

But with $20 on the line we gathered a crowd of brave souls who weren’t afraid to stomach the potential flavor of Boogers, Spoiled Milk, Dead Fish, or worse! Some folks hoped they might luck out and see their way through the competition with the good flavors—pulling beans like Berry Blue, Chocolate Pudding, or Tuitti-Fruitti.

The rules were simple: If you make a face at the flavor, you’re out. If you make it to the end, you win.

Our Vice President, Mark, was the first to bow out as the taste of Canned Dog Food did not sit well with his palette. But Brian, Matt, Nate, Deb, Sara, Mike, and Bob all carried on until Bob quit in the third round when he hit a Barf flavor bean. “I’m out!” He exclaimed.

The numbers dwindled one by one after that. Brian couldn’t choke down the Dead Fish flavor. A Moldy Cheese bean got the best of Deb while the Spoiled Milk flavor made Sara cringe.

And then there were three.

Nate, Matt, and Mike passed round after round with a little bit of luck and lot more perseverance until Matt hit a bean that tasted like a Stinky Sock that took him right out of commission. His eyes watered and he went beet-red. Only Nate and Mike remained. The two matched each other swallowing some terrible tastes but holding back their frowns and gag reflexes.

After a handful of rounds, we upped the ante, making it so each of them had to eat a combo of flavors. “The Toothpaste is sort of overpowering whatever the other one is,” said Mike. Meanwhile, Nate just shook his head. “I don’t know what this is,” he said. “It’s not good.” But despite their struggles, the two powered through and moved up to three beans in the next round.

Eventually, the remainder of the beans were divided in half which left about ten for Nate and ten for Mike. The two bid one another good luck and with an anxious called out “Cheers!” And then—down the hatch! You could see the pain behind their straight faces as they chewed and chewed their mystery hodgepodge of nasty corn syrup creations. But neither of them would cave.

With these two left standing, it seemed only right that they split the prize money after such equal displays of bravery and valor. More than just $10 each, these two won National Jelly Bean Day! Congratulations two Nate and Mike for this disgusting accomplishment. Please, see the video below to catch a moment or two from this cringey contest and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

 

 

Cast your line at Summer Camp!

Hey, Fishing Aficionados!

Waterfront activities are pretty much essential to every summer camp experience! And no matter what your favorite thing to do is when it comes to the water, everyone knows that the water welcomes us into almost another world. From Swimming to Kayaking to Canoeing and Wakeboarding, summer camps offer lots of activities involving the water. But one of the most relaxing ones is Fishing.

People have been Fishing since…forever ago. You can check out this Blog post from a Fishing is sure to give you some time to yourself or to enjoy with a close friend.few years back in which we look into the history of Fishing by clicking here. Fishing is an age-old sport—like prehistoric kind of old. It goes WAY back. Even long before ancient Egyptians caught Perch and Tilapia in the Nile, Stone Age cavemen would fish for their food. We see evidence of our ancestors Fishing as early back as the ‘Paleolithic Era’ which was around 40,000 years ago.

More than just a sport—more than just a pastime, some people love spending their days Gone Fishin’ just as often as they can. Check out what people get out of the Fishing experience and why they love it so much:

Peace and Serenity
It’s easy to understand what people love about Fishing. Sitting out on the serene surface of the water out in the wilderness provides an immediate sense of peacefulness. We could probably all benefit by breaking from out busy lives and finding some stillness as Fishing offers.

Teaches us Patience
Whether the fish are biting or not, you can enjoy a day out on the water. Fishing doesn’t require excitement. It’s enjoyable to just look out on the water, soak in the sun and relax. Fishing brings enjoyment even when nothing is happening and we welcome stillness into our lives. It teaches us to be patient with our time.

Adrenaline Rush
The thrill of the catch brings an edge to this patient, peaceful activity. It’s not all about resting and waiting. And you better be ready when the moment comes that you get a bite! The battle can go either way. Feel out the motion of the fish on your line and reel it in with steady force!

Atmosphere
Like many things, your time Fishing depends on your company. But whether you go with friends or you go alone, Fishing offers you time away from everything else. It creates the atmosphere for bonding time among friends and can be a meditative time to know yourself better for times you go alone.

Remain peaceful and patient with Fishing as your guide. A common activity at summer camps, find one where you can Fish to your heart’s content with other kids who love Fishing just like you and be sure to enjoy your time on the water. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Yay! It’s Mushroom Day!

Happy Mushroom Day to One and All!

Today, we here at Everything Summer Camp, tip our caps to this incredibly interesting form of life on this planet. These fascinating beings grow wild in a wide array of locales. But despite their accessibility, it’s important never to consume wild mushrooms as you can never be sure what type is which. Some look uncannily similar to others, yet some are medicinal while others are fatally poisonous.

Mushrooms may not look like much at first sight, but take a look at just several different points about these intriguing organisms and I guarantee you’ll agree—mushrooms are downright miraculous!A fantastic source of lots of different healthy ingredients, get some mushrooms in your diet today!

A Mysterious Life Form
Neither plant nor animal, mushrooms are actually classified as fungi. And nobody knows how many there are in the world! While you’ll only find several different sorts in your typical grocery store, there are 10,000 known species in North America alone. And it stands that we’re only aware of less than half the amount of different species that are actually out there.

Many Purposes
Mushrooms—is there anything they can’t do?! These fungi can be used as a dye, packing material, water filter, medicine, oil spill-cleaning agent, nuclear meltdown equalizer, and other applications that we’re not even entirely aware of yet. For a better understanding of how mushrooms can be medicinal for us, check out hostdefense.com, the website of the world’s leading mycologist, Paul Stamets, (mushroom expert) where you can buy mushroom supplements for your health.

Unlike Other Foods!
You’ll find that many mushrooms have a meaty sort of texture, but few taste so much like fried chicken as the “chicken of the woods” mushroom. This bright orange fungus has the right texture and all! And, though I’ve never had the pleasure of trying the Lion’s Mane Mushroom, I’ve heard it said that it tastes like crab meat! The meaty texture of mushrooms is owed to their thick cell walls which is why it’s important to break those cell walls down through the cooking process. Raw mushrooms—even some slices in your salad—are tough on the digestive system, but nutritional when cooked appropriately.

Closer to People than Plants
One of the most surprising facts there is about mushrooms has only just recently been discovered: what people will so often refer to as a vegetable in the kitchen, mushrooms actually have closer relation to human beings than they do plants. Fungi were once recognized as a unique part of the animal kingdom, but eventually came to be seen as a kingdom all on their own. But the fact remains that fungi couldn’t be less like plants and typically has a lot more in common with people and other animals.

Mushrooms are pretty much my favorite food because, let’s face it, the edible ones are all pretty delicious. But not only that, they’re good for you, and they could help us replenish the damage we’ve done to the planet! Mushrooms to the rescue! Share the word about how cool mushrooms are and Happy Mushroom Day to you! And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Julia—Round 2…lia

Hey, Summer Camp Fans!

Back in 2013, this Blog saw its beginning and ever since the start, I’ve posted about celebrities who attended summer camp in their past (or have at least had significant ties within the summer camp community). Since this Blog first began five years ago, I’ve covered over 100 celebrities who have a past at camp!

Let’s retread some of the famous folks whom we’ve already featured with a little more depth this time around! In the previous post, which you can read by clicking here, we Read some interesting facts about this supposedly lovely lady.mentioned how she attended her uncle’s summer camp, Camp Birchwood in Minnesota—a camp with whom we’re proud to say we have the pleasure of working with here at Everything Summer Camp! She eventually would come to volunteer at Camp Birchwood as well before finding her stardom at just 23 years old.

With her incomparable beauty and undeniable charm, Julia has entertained millions through her volumes of cinematic work! Check out some more interesting things about Julia that we didn’t quite get into in our first post about this star of the silver screen:

Musical Julia
Okay, so she more-than-definitely doesn’t know how anymore and I don’t believe that she ever had any dreams of making something of her life musically speaking (she actually aspired to be a veterinarian in her younger days), but she totally rocked a tune or two on the clarinet in her school band!

Acting Runs in the Roberts
Julia isn’t the only one in her family who seems meant for the stage. Daughter to two actors, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts themselves ran a workshop for aspiring writers and performers until the 1970’s. And taking after her aunt, Emma Roberts has arrived on the acting scene. You can read more about her by clicking here, back to a Blog post that featured her a couple years ago.

Clever Clipping Alternatives
As a child Julia used to bite her toenails off instead of clipping them. “I was very limber,”she told Movieline in 2002. That’s pretty sick, Julia. But, I confess…I too once tried biting my own toenails in place of clipping. I am not so limber. But limber or not, I suggest you keep your pride and just cut your toenails with a clipper like a normal person.

Julia Loves Knitting
That’s basically it. She just loves knitting. And why not?! It alleviates symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, helps improve motor functions, helps prevent arthritis, and it has a number of other great benefits! Other celebrities who enjoy knitting are Wynona Rider, Ryan Gosling, Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Kate Moss, and many more!

Whether it’s the knitting or the acting…or…the toenail-biting thing…perhaps…Julia has seemed to find her peace among the Hollywood parties and paparazzi. “The older you get, the more fragile you understand life to be,” she’s once noted. “I think that’s good motivation for getting out of bed joyfully each day.”

I think we can all appreciate this attitude toward life and render us all absolutely star-struck by this amazing woman we’ve all grown to know and love. Here’s to you, Julia! Check out Julia’s camp Birchwood for your own camping adventure and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Have a Summer Stay at Camp Nicolet

Hey, Camp Families!

Over the years, I’ve written a lot of Summer Camp Spotlight posts here on the Everything Summer Camp Blog. But to us, they aren’t so much Blog posts as they are confessions of love. Of course, we love all the camps with whom we have a working relationship equally—and that’s more than 270 across the nation!

Of course, there’s a lot to love about them. That’s why you’ll catch me singing their praises Nicolet makes for an awesome camp stay!rather frequently here on the Blog; and today, I’m singing the praises of Camp Nicolet! Allow me to whisk you away to 150 acres in the heart of Nicolet National Forest—12 miles east of Eagle River in Northern Wisconsin.

This all-star girls camp plays hard with a plethora of activities on the land, in the water, and indoors. Have a blast from your pick of fun things like water skiing, wakeboarding, swimming, sailing, canoeing, and more in the water while you sharpen your skills at Archery, Horseback Riding, Soccer, Tennis, and Volleyball, on the land. Girls have time for quieter activities too like Musical Theater as well as Arts & Crafts,

Featuring beautiful facilities, complementary to the campgrounds, where campers run amuck of the fun fields, courts, beach, a dining hall, a cool lodge, a library, ten lakefront cabins, and more, Camp Nicolet has taken pride in their camp since it was first founded in 1944.

After long, full days, Nicolet girls gather around the fireplace in their cozy cabins where lifetime friendships are cemented in the summer fun. The cabins are finished with electricity, bathrooms, screened porch, and a fireplace. Laundry is sent out to be done weekly. And the shower facility (as well as infirmary) is just a short walk from any of the cabins.

Camp Nicolet sounds like a pretty special place. If it sounds like a camp that you may be interested in, you can give them a closer look on their website by clicking here. Campers have been having the best summer of their lives for 73 consecutive seasons now. Join in the legacy of Nicolet and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Who Loves the Zoo?!

Hey, Animal Lovers!

Do you belong in the zoo? Well, let me rephrase that—I don’t mean living there. Do you love your zoo visits? Seeing the animals of the world in their imitated natural habitats all in the same setting is always such a thrill for us to absorb and appreciate. It’s certainly fun to take in the majestic, humorous, and adorable charm of the animals as you tour a zoo.

Today is Zoo Lovers Day! For those who can’t get enough of this place, perhaps you should consider a Zoo Camp if you have a local zoo that offers such an experience. Some Day Camps take place at the zoo in order to show kids a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on there.Brian loved his time at Zoo Camp. Check it out for yourself!

Fortunately, it just so happens that our very own Operations Manager here at Everything Summer Camp attended a Day Camp at the zoo when he was a kid. So I talked with Brian about his experience.

Bri attended Zoo Camp back in the days when he was just eleven years old. The days would last from 8:00am till 2:00pm, but Bri remembered hanging out for longer afterwards. “We were already at the zoo,” he said so of course they would stick around once his family arrived to pick him up.

For one whole week, Brian was given a backstage pass to see the zoo from a zookeeper’s perspective. He was treated to walks inside some of the cages and seeing behind the exhibits. He saw animals that were either babies or newcomers to the zoo who weren’t ready for the public eye just yet.

He fed baby animals. He saw the gigantic cuts of meat that were fed to the carnivorous creatures. And, yes, he even saw people cleaning up poop…a lot of poop. “It was relatively hands-on for 10-year-olds,” he noted.

Extremely educational, Bri described the experience as sort of a cross between being at camp and being at school—like, your favorite school field trip. It was very structured and you were taught a lot. It made for a valuable experience to Brian who, at the time, aspired to be a marine biologist.

You can imagine his favorite part was the aquariums. He recalled walking the walkways from above and peering down into the huge tanks. “I’d seen the aquariums countless times through the windows,” he said, “but seeing them from such a different view—that was something that always stuck with me.”

Bri also had the traditional overnight camp experience when he was young, so I asked him how the experiences measured up. “I recommend both,” he answered. “Zoo Camp was very structured, with an educational, curriculum; there wasn’t any downtime to form lasting friendships,” he said, highlighting one of the best parts of overnight camp.

Happy Zoo Lovers Day, Everybody! Get out to your local zoo today and pay all your favorite animals a visit! See if you can find the opportunity for a Zoo Camp experience like Brian had and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Schoolery for Jewelry

Hey, Creative Campers!

Summer camps are fun factories. They’re all different, but most provide their campers with somewhere between 50 and 100 activities! Some activities are an outlet for your sense of adventure while others indulge your quieter side to enjoy a simple activity that provides a creative outlet. Jewelry-Making definitely lends itself to the latter.

The art of Jewelry-Making dates back to ancient times. Jewelry artifacts have given archeologists some insight into the culture of civilizations from long ago such as the Ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, and Romans. We can trace jewelry through history of ancient times to the Middle Ages, to the Renaissance, the 18th Century, and beyond.Hands across the water...wearing jewelry!

Depending on the style, jewelry can either add a spark or gently complement the outfit you’re wearing. They typically consist of such valued materials as gemstones, amber, beads, shells, precious metals, and an assortment of other alternatives. Culturally, jewelry is appreciated for its beauty, sentimental meaning, status symbol, and more. Wearing jewelry makes you feel good, special even—sort of like wearing a good luck charm as you go about your day.

This list of benefits for actually MAKING pieces of jewelry, however, are much more than simply wearing it. Take a look at some of the different healthy effects jewelry-making has on us:

Therapeutic
First of all, Jewelry-Making is an absolutely therapeutic hobby. It helps creators to unwind and zone in on this one, simple task. This hobby helps quiet the mind and gives you time to do some other less-busy things like listen to music and enjoy a cup of tea.

Creativity
Assuming you have an abundance of supplies and pieces from bead shops at your disposal, there’s really no limit to the creativity you can put into your creations. Make them as unique and as beautiful as your artistic vision drives them to be!

Healthiness
Committing your time to a hobby is always as good for the soul as it is for the body and mind. Jewelry-Making offers your body decompression time that relaxes the mind and eliminates stress from the body. And you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction in your soul over your creations.

Social Skills
As intimate and personal as your projects may be, Jewelry-Making can be fun with the right group around too. Making jewelry with friends can give you the chance to compare designs, get advice, or simply share stories as you pass the time. It could be a great way to make friends too.

Personalized Jewelry
You’re sure to love your jewelry that much more when it bears your own creative touch. Make your jewelry YOUR jewelry when you create your own pieces! The jewelry you make is an extension of yourself so it can feel very rewarding to wear what is essentially a piece of yourself.

Gifts
As good as it feels to wear your own jewelry creations, it can feel just as good to share your skills with family and friends by gifting your pieces to the loved ones in your life. And a homemade gift that’s from the heart is sure to be appreciated.

A great hobby to keep you happy and healthy, Jewelry-Making at summer camp is bound to provide you with awesome materials and people with whom you can share your creative passion! Enjoy making your jewelry pieces at camp and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Four New Products from Three Cheers for Girls

Hey, Camp Fans!

We love finding cool products for you to bring to camp and we’re always expanding our selection of the already-popular brand names we offer like Columbia, JanSport, Lockers 101, and many more. Often times, we can’t help ourselves; when we see fun camp supplies and other cool gadgets, we just gotta have it so we can offer such fun products to Make your camper feel connected with a Greeting Card from Three Cheers for Girls!our customers!

I’m delighted to introduce you to the newest products in our cherished Three Cheers for Girls selection! We’ve added four new 3C4G products recently—check ‘em out:

Swimsuit and Sunnies Tote Bag
Bring along the 2-in-1 Swimsuit and Sunnis Tote Bag from Three Cheers for Girls when it’s time for the water! Two separate, zippered compartments allow for wet swimsuits and other wet items as well as your dry items that you’d like to KEEP dry. Have fun in the water this camp season and carry your wet and dry belongings in the same Tote!

Beach Blanket
Bring some sweetness with you to the beach with your favorite Beach Blanket from Three Cheers for Girls. Perfect for catching some rays on the beach or lounging around the poolside, these cute, die cut Beach Blankets are just the thing to bring some magic to your time at the beach.

Greeting Card Set
Communication with your campers is incredibly important. Let your camper know that you’ve been thinking of them while they’ve been away with a Three Cheers for Girls Greeting Card Set. Pick your favorite print and write a message to go along with the cute, campy message on the front.

Folding Banner Cards
A festive item here and there makes a cabin really feel like home. These Folding Banner Cards from Three Cheers for Girls are a great for campers to celebrate the fun of camp! Stretch them across a bunk bed or the cabin wall—anywhere you’re sure to see and appreciate it!

Enjoy checking out these great new products from this undoubtedly great brand and order something for your camp life! From the convenience of waterfront accessories to the essential means of camp correspondence, we have you set with Three Cheers for Girls. Pick up what you and your daughter need and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Hans Christian Who?

Hey, Fairy Tale Fans!

It’s International Children’s Book Day and, in celebration, we’re diving in to find out what this day is all about! Sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People, this day is intended to fall on or near the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen who came from poverty to be recognized during his lifetime.

Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author who produced a great variety of plays, poems, novels, travelogues, and most memorably—his fairy tales. You can learn more about fairy tales from a recent Blog post I wrote for National Tell a Fairy Tale Day by clicking here.

You may not know of Hans Christian Andersen by his name, but you certainly knTurns out he was actually a swan the whole time.ow the names of his tales! They’ve been celebrated in retellings in all different ways. There’s ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, ‘Thumbelina’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘The Ugly Duckling’, and many more where those came from! I’m guessing that you’ve heard of some of these…

Here are some interesting facts about Mr. Andersen:

Recognized Within His Lifetime
The author was in his 30’s by the time he published the bulk of his works, however, they were not well received by parents or children for another decade afterward. Just ten years later, he was acclaimed for delighting children the world over and was awarded many honors from royalty.

Born Dyslexic
Hans Christian Andersen learned to read despite the adversity of dyslexia. He never was able to spell properly which showed in his handwritten stories. A writing style that stayed true to the spoken language resulted from his shortcomings as a writer. His publishers fixed the spelling errors, sure to leave the conversational style intact.

Rocky Start
Andersen’s father read bedtime stories to Hans from ‘Arabian Nights’, introducing his son to a type of story that really resonated. But when Hans tried writing his own stories, he found he didn’t like them and thought he wouldn’t continue. But over time, he came to see fairy tales as a sort of “universal poetry” as he put it. His tales have since inspired ballets, plays, motion pictures, and animated films.

Darker Than Disney
Unlike many popularized versions of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, his unabridged versions typically come to darker and rather tragic endings. I won’t get into any of the melancholy endings here—we’ll just pretend that Ariel and Prince Eric live happily ever after in Hans’ telling as well!

So celebrate his birthday in fashion this year and enjoy your favorite version of your favorite fairy tale from Mr. Andersen—or read the words of the man himself in his unabridged stories. Enjoy the magical world Hans penned from his own imagination and check out a couple kids books available on our website. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John