Have a Ball for National Tennis Day!

Hey, Tennis Fanatics!

If you love nothing more than swatting your racket through the air to send a fuzzy, little, lime-green  ball speeding to a focused target with intentions to score on your opponent, then you’ll find today’s Blog post right up your alley! In celebration of National Tennis Day, we’re talking about this popular sport played on the court!

Tennis has come a long way. Prestigious tennis organizations such as the US Open July 26, 2011 Photographs from Western Racquet Club in Elm Grove where they are unveiling tennis courts with smaller dimensions that are made for kids 10 and under.  United States Tennis Association is making changes that also include the sizes of racquets and balls.  Here Jodi Keller of Wauwatosa (center) plays tennis  on one of the reduced size courts with sons Charlie Keller, age 5 (red shirt at left) and Jack Keller age 9 (right in yellow). (which boasts 137 years of operation since it was first founded in 1881), have brought tennis competitions to the world over for years upon years. But the sport of Tennis certainly goes back much longer than any of these organizations do.

First mentioned in Middle Ages literature, tennis is the sport that Sir Gawain—the knight from King Arthur’s round table—plays against a group of giants in ‘The Turke and Gawain’. Here’s a couplet taken from the Old English poem written by Bishop Thomas Percy:

The King said, “Gawaine, faire mot then fall!
Goe feitch me forth my tennisse ball”

You’ll notice the king says to fetch his tennis ball, but makes no mention of a racquet. Mr. Percy probably just couldn’t find a rhyme, right?

Well, actually, tennis has evolved over the course of hundreds of years from its initial invention in which players used their bare hands to hit the ball. It wasn’t until some time between the 1200s and the 1400s that the predecessor to the racquet came onto the courts; it was a glove. And, by the 16th Century, the glove had been replaced with the wire racquet closely resembling what we know today.

If you’re an aficionado of this court sport, check out the modern equipment you can pick up at the Everything Summer Camp website by clicking right here and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Who Goes Mare?

Hey, Summer Campers!

Welcome back for our second installment of our fresh, new Everything Summer Camp Blog category, Summer Camp Activities. In these posts, I’ll review the basics of specific activities that you may find at your summer camp and see just what exactly it is that kids like so much about these fun and campy pastimes.

Today, I’m speaking to all you equestrians out there as well as anyone who has no experience but lots of interest in riding on the back of mankind’s other best friend. Today, we’re talking horses!At the right camp, you'll have the opportunity to ride on, cowboys and cowgirls!

Horseback Riding is a display of mastering the partnership between yourself and your horse. It’s a sport that works the rider’s core muscles and builds abdominal strength, as well as strength in back and pelvic muscles. It sharpens coordination as well as stability and increases focus on anticipating the motion of the horse.

But as you can see from this young woman’s account, Horseback Riding isn’t just good for the body—it typically has a desirable mental effect as well, quieting the mind and bringing the rider to a meditative state of mindfulness:

Maddy M. shared with me how she has battled depression for years now, but one thing that always helps is going to see her horse, Bambi. “On my bad days I’ll go out there and she takes it all away like it doesn’t exist. She makes me feel free. When I’m on her back riding it’s like no one can touch me.”

Maddy’s description coincides with a common sense approach to explain the connection and peace of mind that riders tend to feel—when you’re riding, all you’re thinking about is riding. Riding and balancing. It induces a level of mindfulness that requires constant focus on the proper posture for riding. It makes sense that it quiets the mind.

Follow your heart. If you love horses, then I’m sure you’ll be sure to do some Riding this summer when you head off to your exciting camp experience. Find the Horseback Riding equipment you’ll need at Everything Summer Camp by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading, Riders—I mean, Readers!


- John

Merrill T. is Feeling Campy!

Hey, Camp Fans!

We got lots and lots of submissions for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp—over 30, in fact! We’ve been enjoying weekly posts in which we publish the entries here on the Blog! Once we got through our initial, seven lucky winners, all of our other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s post comes from Merrill T., who thought to share the experience of her second year Camp Huckins! Thanks for this post, Merrill!

As my second year at sleep away camp began, I thought I was prepared for the experience that was about to commence, as I entered the white gates I began my second two weeks at Camp Huckins. The weeks flewCheck out Merrill T.'s account of her camp experience! by while I was water skiing, crafting, dressing up, singing on the tables, and staying up to memorize my lines for the camp play. One of the last nights, instead of sleeping in the cabin like we usually do, we got to sleep at the Indian Camp Fire. I slept with my friends Danielle and Daphne, but we talked into the night while laughing and having so much fun I almost forgot we only two days of camp left. By the time camp was over, I could hardly believe how much I had done in two weeks. Now I’m even more excited for next year.

Sounds like camp was a blast the second time around, Merrill! Time certainly does seem to fly right by when we’re having the level of fun that we have at summer camp. But at least our memories last forever! If any readers believe Camp Huckins just might be a good match for you, check it out for yourself by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Excellent Camp Equipment from Lewis N. Clark

Hey, Camp Fans!

We here at Everything Summer Camp do everything we can to help you send your camper off fully prepared and ready to get the most out of the summer camp experience. While we pride ourselves greatly on the footlocker trunks that are expertly manufactured right here in our factory, we’re also proud of our awesome camping gear selection. Consisting of great brand names like Wenzel, Outdoor Products, and Coghlan’s, you can find the best quality camping gear right here.

Lewis N. Clark makes amazing camping equipment!Another company whose products we are pleased to have available on our website is Lewis N. Clark. Their story begins all the way back in 1803 when a group of voyagers journeyed off into the uncharted wilderness on an expedition to explore the new land acquired after the Louisiana Purchase.

The inspiration of these great pioneering spirits have reached out through the echoes of time and influenced the construction of the gear and accessories crafted by this 30-year-old outfit. Boasting an excellent assortment of duffels along with other great travel accessories, Lewis N. Clark has been all about making inventive gear to bring their consumers comfort, security, and organizational aid ever since their start in 1990.

Look for Lewis N. Clark when it’s your time to embark on adventures big and small and discover the expansive world around you. Have your pick from a range of their Uncharted Duffel Bag sizes along with useful accessories like a Flashlight Clock, Silicone Travel Cup, and more. Be prepared for your summer camp outings with awesome gear and other camping supplies you can depend on from Lewis N. Clark!

Make the best memories possible when you head off on your expeditions and check out our excellent Lewis N. Clark selection at Everything Summer Camp by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Khami A. Says Camp’s A-Okay!

Hey, Camp Fans!

We saw so many submissions for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp; we got more than 30 entries! We’ve been having a great time publishing your entries here on the Blog! So, after seven lucky winners, all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s lovely Valentine’s Day post comes from Khami A., who shared with us her love affair with summer camp. She thought to tell us about her relationship with summer camp over the last six years! Read the fun and the passion in Khami’s submission.

The six years I spent at Camp Blue Ridge was definitely an experience of a life time. While I was there, I learned several different things. The first thing I learned while I was there was that family doesn’t always have to be a group of people that you’re blood-related to. While I was there, I made several close friends who are like brothers and sisters to me. Being around them at camp was a similar feeling as one would get in the comfort of his or Get a feel for life at Blue Ridge Camp from a her own home. I also learned the importance of staying healthy. While I was there, I took upon many interactive activities like ropes course, archery, and so forth, which is surprising considering I’m more of an artsy, indoor person and never really went outside much before then. I did this in addition to developing new skills and making more friends. Additionally, I learned the importance of making the most of the time I had there. Those 6 years went by very rapidly, but I took in as much as I could while I learned new skills there, made as many amazing friends as I possibly could, and enjoyed the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains we lived upon every single summer. I also documented a lot of the time that I spent there with my video camera. Anyways, aside from what I learned this summer, I also met some amazing people. I met my best friend Teegan my first year and we’ve been inseparable ever since. For our first year it had just been me and her generally, however we had branched out and since then have developed a greater group of friends who I love and cherish very much. Another outstanding thing that happened while I was there was the scenery of the camp. It hailed sometimes while I was there, which is a rare event that ever occurs where I actually live. The mountains there were also absolutely outstanding. The open, vast land opened up to taller parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains which were absolutely breathtaking and heavenly. In addition to the mountains, we also had beautiful lakes, ponds, and tall trees throughout the camp. Many dandelions grew amongst the land which was another rarity that I viewed while I was there. We also had fun events as a camp, considering that we weren’t a large group of people so it was easy to work all together. We did scavenger hunts, campfires, camping, ‘guess that song’, karaoke, plays, and so on. As you can see, Camp Blue Ridge was a very important part of my life and I always love to look back at and cherish the moments I spent there every summer with the people I love most.

Well, you certainly are a seasoned vet when it comes to summer camp, aren’t you, Khami?! It’s great to hear that camp has shown you a number of your ‘firsts’ including hail and dandelions! We love to hear that you’ve gotten so much out of your time at summer camp and that you’ve SPENT so much time at summer camp! If any readers think that Camp Blue Ridge might be a good match for you, check it out further by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading! Happy Valentine’s Day!

- John

Which Way? River Way!

Hey, Summer Camp Families!

When you work with more than 270 fantastic summer camps, you can’t help but sing their praises, so we’re grateful for this Blog to use as a platform for getting the word out about these awesome camps. For another installment to our Summer Camp Spotlight Blog posts, we aim our camp spotlight to the West Coast.

One of California’s most treasured summer camps, today, we fix our spotlight on River Way Ranch Camp—home away from home for boys and girls since 1967. A lucky location, River Way Ranch is found in the foothills of the magnificent Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Check out River Way Ranch Camp for yourself!With 75 acres of majestic beauty, River Way Ranch keeps its campers enchanted with its surroundings and entertained with its activities! Join in on the outdoor fun of Archery, Basketball, Softball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Ropes Course, Climbing, Wall, Zip Line, Horseback Riding, an overnight trip in the Sequoia National Forest, and much, much more.

There’s also indoor fun with Arts & Crafts, Ceramics, Culinary Arts, Photography, games in the Recreational Center, and more. And don’t forget about the fun sure to be had on the waterfront like Paddle Boarding, Knee Boarding, Kayaking, Waterskiing, Water Aerobics, Water Sports, and a number of other great ways to have fun in the water!

After a long day jam-packed with activities, campers retreat to their bunks in the air-conditioned cabins they’ve been assigned to complete with electricity and bathrooms. The cabins are accommodating for eight campers and two cabin leaders who stay in the cabin throughout the night.

River Way Ranch knows how to show the youth of today a fun summer. Check out their website and get a good look at this camp by clicking here. It may just be the camp for you! And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Dream a Little Summer Dream

Howdy, Loyal Readers!

By this time of year in the upper Midwest, the doldrums have a tendency of settling in; the short days bring a general lack of sunlight and the cold can lead to unnatural hibernation. But the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter as we approach mid-February and, as everyone starts to stir from their winter sleep, we like to give our shoppers some excitement with random sales.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the Everything Summer Camp ‘Dreaming of Summer’ Get a load of our awesome Camp Trunk discounts!Trunk Sale. Our C&N brand camp trunks—our pride and joy, expertly manufactured in our factory here in Boyd, Wisconsin—are on sale right now! That’s right, the sale is currently in effect, so every minute you spend reading this post, time is tickin’ away on this sale.

I suggest you read fast and get shopping!

Trunk Sale
First and foremost, the price on our Steel Pattern Camp Trunks have taken a complete nose-dive. Regularly found at $189.99, you can get these trunks for just $99 while this sale is in effect.

Moving on, take a look at our C&N Traditional Steel Camp Trunks. We’re shaving $20 off from the regular price on these trunks. Get your pick of size; from our smallest, Companion Trunk to the biggest Graduate Camp Trunk for a great discount!

And lastly, save yourself $10 when you pick out the Designer Trunk that fits the bill of your favorite image or pattern, wrapping seamlessly around a sturdy C&N built Camp Trunk.

So hop on over to our Camp Trunks page by clicking here and figure out how you’d like to save your money today! This sale comes to a close on Monday, February 19 at 10:00pm Central/Standard time. Also, quantities are limited while supplies last, so don’t dally! And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

It’s Such a Sunny Day; Please Share My Umbrella

Hey, Rainy Day People!

Everybody knows when there’s anything from a drizzle to a downpour, it’s time to grab an umbrella! After all, that’s what umbrellas are for, right? Well, not for the first 2000+ years of its invention. Let’s get down to business about umbrellas to celebrate today—National Umbrella Day.Good for rain and good for shine, get your umbrella out today!

So, if not for protection from rain, what else would they be using umbrellas for? They were originally designed to provide shade, actually, working as a sort of personal canopy. In fact, the word ‘umbrella’ comes from the Latin word ‘umbra’ which means shade. These types of umbrellas are typically called parasols nowadays.

Umbrellas are thought to have been around for more than 4000 years as shown in artwork and artifacts from ancient civilizations like Egypt and China.

It wouldn’t be until the Victorian Era (or, more accurately, just a couple decades before the Victorian—around 1780) that umbrellas with wooden frames came on the market in London with the intention of keeping consumers dry in wet weather. But they were expensive and difficult to fold when wet which posed an obvious problem.

However, by 1852, a man named Samuel Fox introduced the steel-ribbed umbrella to the world which allowed for much simpler means of collapsing the canopy. From there, umbrella production has run amuck of different styles and different means of making umbrellas collapsible and even retractable.

Everything from umbrellas whose canopies collapse straight down to fully collapsible spring-loaded umbrellas that retract into themselves to become small enough to fit inside a handbag—umbrellas have exploded in their varied styles, fashions, and even purposes! We don’t offer umbrellas, but you can stay dry with our excellent rain gear selection. Browse it by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Sharpen the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Camp Fun

Hey, Camp Fans!

Today launches a brand new category of posts on your favorite Everything Summer Camp Blog. This post is the first among many that will belong to the ‘Summer Camp Activities’ category in which we’ll review the basics about individual camp activities and what it is that kids get out of performing that particular activity.

And what better activity to lead the way than such a traditional (and my personal favorite) camp activity: Archery.

This sport establishes the skill of projecting arrows forward by use of a bow to pierce a traditional target a set distance away. It requires focus, patience, and a keen eye. While it was the weapon of the skillHow sharp are your Archery skills?ed archers in historical combat, Archery is revered nowadays as either a hunting or recreational activity. But it also remains the competitive sport that it used to be.

Bowmen have made their way into our folk stories and myths like the iconic archery tournament in which Robin Hood splits his competitor’s arrow directly down the middle with his own arrow or the rebellious William Tell who displayed his skills when ordered under cruel rule to shoot an apple clean off his son’s head.

An adolescent named David was interviewed by ‘Behind the News’ reporters from the abc.net news site about his blossoming passion for Archery. “I got into archery,” he mentioned, “Because when I was a little kid I watched a lot of TV and that had a lot of bows in it and I just thought it was just really, really interesting.”

We can’t help but connect with these heroes of old when eyeing up our shot and drawing back our bow. But aside from making us feel awesome, Archery lends an abundance of benefits to the avid performer such as improvements in coordination, balance, finger dexterity, strength, focus, and patience!

Be sure to try your hand at Archery when you head off to your summer camp experience and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Letters Three from Josephine P.

Hey, Camp Fans!

We loved seeing all the submissions we received for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp; we got more than 30 entries! So we’re super-excited to share the entries right here on the Blog! After seven lucky winners, everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s post comes from the mother of Josephine P., who thought to share the following letters from camp written to her grandmother during her stay at YMCA Camp Arbutus Hayo-Went-Ha.

Dear Grandma:                      July 17th

It’s the second day of camp and everything is great. My cabin is Bows (the same one as last year) but I’m with different girls. Melina and Catie are in my cabin, they are my friends from my first year. The other girls are great and we are all good friends already. In total we have 7 campers (including me) and two counselors. We had waffles for breakfast and chicken pot pie for dinner. We learned how to portage today. One person holds the canoe while another leads them. After lunch we went on our ‘shake down’ (practice night for our trip). We canoed across Arbutus Lake and spent the night at a campsite. I have a new sleeping bag and it worked really well. We had dehydrated food for dinner and then s’mores. We spent the night then paddled back to camp in time for breakfast. We had our last shower today (July 18th) and we are getting corn rows in our hair later today. That’s all I have to write about now, but I’ll write when I get back to camp from the trip (we leave Thursday).

I hope everything is going well and you are feeling better.

Lots of love, Josephine

Hi Grandma:                                       August 3rd

I’m on the bus driving home now. The trip was amazing! We paddled in a huge circle around the park. We also had to portage a lot when we were going into a different lake. In the beginning of the trip we could only portage for 2-3 minutes at a time, but now we can go for 15 minutes. We only had two days of rain. The first storm was the worst. It caught us on the water and everything got wet. The second rain wasn’t bad at all, we were prepared this time. We usually woke up at 6:00am and paddled/portaged for a few hours. We always got to the campsite before lunch. Then we would just hang out and swim until dinner and going to sleep. There were so many wild blueberries, we would eat them almost every day. Melina (my friend) and I made a pie with the blueberries and oatmeal one day. It tasted great. We also made quesadillas. We had a layover day halfway through the trip. On our layover day we went on a day hikeTake a look at the Hayo-Went-Ha Life Style. up to Topaz Lake. Topaz is a tiny lake up in the hills. It has a rock bottom and a beautiful blue green color. We spent the day there swimming and cliff jumping. (The cliffs were 15-20 feet tall!). Another day we stayed at Lake Nellie, the clearest Lake in the park, it was beautiful. I can’t even describe it. We swam all day and wrote “AHWH” with a heart at the end on the bottom with rocks. (You can see all the way to the bottom it’s so clear). One of my favorite memories is when Melina, Catie and I went fishing. We made the hook out of a safety pin, the line out of dental floss, the pole out of a stick and the bobbin out of a piece of foam. We used slugs as gait. I taught Melina and Catie how to put the slug on the hook the way you showed me. We caught three fish!!! They were small so we threw them back, but it was so cool that we got them. Another day we stopped mid-portage to hike to the top of a mountain called Silver Peak. The view was amazing. We could see for miles, all the lakes and trees sprawled out below us. On Day Nine of the trip we got to go to a store. We have $25.00 to spend on the trip. I bought a KitKat, Oh Henry Bar and a portage sign for $10.00. Last night we stayed at Widgawa with all the other cabins. (There are 4 cabins in total, 26 campers, and 8 counselors). There was another store at Widgawa so I spent another $5.00 on an Oh Henry Bar, doritos, and a coke. The counselors surprised us with a pizza! It was great to have real food again. We stopped at McDonalds for lunch. I got so much food. Melina and I put our last $10.00 together and feasted. Now I feel sick but it was worth it. We are almost at camp now, the bus ride was about 8 hours but it was really fun. I’ll write again and tell you what I do at camp.

Love you!


PS – I had some extra string so I made a key chain thing. You don’t need to keep it, I just wanted to send it to you.

Dear Grandma,                       August 9-11

Camp has been so much fun. Since we have gotten back we have paddled to a park on the Lake Arbutus and made a blueberry pie on one of the grills there. It was so good we took it back to camp and shared it with everyone on staff. On Monday we did laundry. With our left over money we got food at CVS. I ate a whole pint of ice-cream and chips with salsa. For Super Saturday we had a food fight. It was a lot of fun. I was covered in pie and ice-cream. We jumped in the lake to rinse off. On Sunday the Explorers (me and the other girls that went to Killarney) lead chapel. We used the four core values of YMCA camps, Honest, Caring, Respect, and Responsibility. Last night my cabin and I slept outside in our hammocks, the moon was full so it was the perfect night. We have also done all the classic activities like high ropes, climbing wall, paddle boarding, splash mat and outdoor cooking. Tonight was casino night. We all dressed up in crazy clothes and danced all night. We had challenges and games to earn money. We used the money to bet on activities to do as a cabin. My cabin won ‘Gaga with Add Staff’. Gaga was so much fun, it was muddy but everyone got so into it. Second-to-last night at camp is Leader’s Follies. The counselors and staff put on little plays and skits. They were all very funny. Today is the last full day at camp. We are packing and had our last showers. I’m going to miss outdoor showers. Later today we have paper plate awards. Our counselors make a paper plate with silly awards for us and inside jokes. The campers make plates for our counselors too. Tonight we have Final Banquet. I’ll probably cry. Our counselors sing a song about our trip to us, they are always really cute.


So happy you decided to share these letters with us! They certainly are treasures. These letters are so sweet, Josephine. And we’re elated to hear what a great time at Camp Hayo-Went-Ha! You can check out Hayo-Went-Ha to see if it might be a good match for you by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John