Lauren E. Loves Camping!

Hey, Summer Campers!

I told you we were through with camper submissions. I told you the last had finally been published.

I was wrong.

Enjoy reading this final camp submission from Lauren E. who wrote in to tell us about her second camp stay at Camp Tapawingo in New York. Check it out:

“My name is Lauren, and this was my second summer going to camp at Tapawingo! Give Tapawingo a try!Tapawingo means ‘Place of Joy’ and it is so cool, because it is on an island in the middle of Lake Pleasant in the Adirondacks mountains of New York.
lMy very favorite thing to do at camp is Banana Boating! That is when six campers sit on a big inflatable banana shaped float and it is towed by a really fast boat! We get whipped back and forth until everyone goes flying off!
lThe other activities I really enjoy are crafts, sailing, hiking, and drama. There are lots of different activities for us to choose from!
What I love most about going to camp are the friendships I make. I have great friends from all over the WORLD that I have met there. They become like sisters to me and I will love them forever.
lWhen I go to camp, I pack all my stuff in a large soft pop-up trunk. I love it, because it fits everything I need, and it is easy for me to move around.”

We love hearing how much you love camp, Lauren! Thanks for the shout-out to the Pop-Up Soft Trunk too—glad it can see you through your camp experience! Tapawingo sounds like a pretty magical place and Banana Boating sounds like an absolute blast! We hope Camp Tapawingo provides you with awesome summers to come!

If anybody else thinks Tapawingo sounds like a good fit for them, you can check out their website by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

The Final Three Camp Entries

Hey, Camp Folks!

The Everything Summer Camp ‘Share Your Camp Story’ drawing saw an excellent response with about 30 entries! That’s why we’ve published each and every one right here on the Blog! We received a handful that weren’t long enough to qualify for our contest, but we thought we’d at least share them on the Blog. Check out these three accounts from excited campers!

First is this entry from Jacob T. who attended Camp Caraway:

This was my first overnight camp. I LOVED it! I participated in archery, go cart racing, air These kids are happy to be at Caraway!rifle, ziplining, paddleboard, and hiking. The facility was really nice! Our cabins were clean and air conditioned. The food was delicious! I like the billiard. The canteen had good snacks. My favorite part was being away from home. There were lots of things to do and lots of friends to play with me! I would like to go back to Camp Caraway next year!

Next up is a submission about Liam F. and his time at Camp Onas:

Jump in air if you're going to Camp Onas!I was a bit nervous going to camp this year for 4 weeks. I asked my mom to print out a photo of my dog Romeo. This is my first year with your “soft” trunk and it made finding my clothes easy. There is a pocket in the top to put my dogs picture – so it didn’t get wet.

It really rained a lot – we llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllenjoyed the mud on the boys llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllside.

And, lastly, we have a camp submission from Linnea P. who went to Camp Lake Hubert:

My husband attended Camp Lincoln as a child. We were in the area a few years ago and took a tour. Ever since then, my husband wanted to go to Family Camp at Camp Lake Hubert. I was reluctant to go, but I finally said yes this year.Camp Lake Hubert may be the camp you call home!

I am so glad that I did. Everyone in our family had a great time! I found out that two of my kids are really good at archery, and the other one is really good at kayaking. The activities were fun. The food was good, and the staff was top notch! We would love to go again!

And thus concludes our entries to our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest from the 2017 camp season. A huge thanks to everyone who submitted and shared your camp memories with us! It’s been great to hear from all of you. Look into these camps for yourselves if you’re interested and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Three More Camp Entries

Hey, Camp Folks!

The Everything Summer Camp ‘Share Your Camp Story’ drawing saw an excellent response with about 30 entries! That’s why we’ve published each and every one right here on the Blog! We received a handful that weren’t long enough to qualify for our contest, but we thought we’d at least share them on the Blog. Check out these three accounts from excited campers!

First is this entry from Ainsley S. who attended Camp Illahee:

I had so much fun at summer camp! It was my first time to go away. We labeled my Illahee is where you ought to be!clothes and items before I left (with stickers and stamps from Everything Summer Camp). Then I made new friends while I was there. I was able to keep everything pretty organized because of some other items my mom had ordered from your website. I can’t wait to go back next year!

Next up is a submission about Audrey S. and his time at Camp Mystic:

Camp Mystic pride is more than understandable!When I was at Camp Mystic, I went fishing. I wanted to go fishing far away from the bait table and I needed a minnow. As I walked to my fishing spot, I put it in the water. Then all of these bass came swimming up to it and then one bit it! It was a baby bass. I reeled it and got a picture. After that, I threw it back in the water! llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllWas really excited to catch lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllmy first bass.

And, lastly, we have a camp submission from Eileen S. who went to Camp Merrie Woode:

I arrive at camp. My cabin smells of wood. I get my bunk all set up and head down to the Merrie Woode is a great summer getaway!docks for a swim test. The next day I start my activities. I started with kayaking across Lake Fairfield at 10:15. Then I go to Modern Dance. Then I go to the riding stables. The one I get put on is named Nugget. Then I had a delicious lunch as always. Then I made a bulls-eye on the archery field! Then I ended the day by playing a match of tennis.

A thank you to our contributors today for sharing your camp memories with us! It’s great to hear from all of you. Look into these camps for yourselves if you’re interested and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

How Camp Turned out to Be from Grace L. and Reagan T.

Hey, Camp Folks!

The Everything Summer Camp ‘Share Your Camp Story’ drawing saw an excellent response with nearly 30 entries! That’s why we’re publishing each and every one right here on the Blog! Today I’ve got two submissions ready to go from Grace L. as well as Reagan T.! They’re entries are both on the shorter side, but you can tell there wasn’t any shortage of fun at the camps they attended.

First, take a look at what Grace said about her stay at Red Pine Camp:

This year was my first year at camp I was super excited and couldn’t wait for it to be July Grace L. was happy with her time at Red Pine!10th!! :) My cabin mates and counselors were amazing and fun and funny. The name of my cabin was cedar and I was in the forester unit. My favorite camp activity was probably waterskiing! This year I went for my sailing basic so that I could be on sailing team it was my first year to take sailing and it was really fun sadly I didn’t get my basic in sailing but maybe next year. I am very sad that camp is over but I am looking forward for next years camp experience!!

And here’s the submission from Reagan about her experience at Camp Ridgecrest:

Ridgecrest made Reagan T. rather pleased!This was my first overnight camp. It was also the first time I was away from my parents for five days. The camp was awesome! We had lots of activities to choose from. I participated in fishing, cooking and baking, kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, and go cart racing. I won the biggest fish tournament! My catfish was 12 inches long. I met new friends from my church. My favorite time was worship time. I LOVE worshipping the Lord! I hope I will go back to this camp next year! I also want to attend Camp Ridgecrest next year.

I’m glad you guys have had such positive first times at summer camp. If anyone else is interested in one of these camps, you can check out Red Pine Camp right here and check out Camp Ridgecrest right here! As always, thanks for reading!

- John

Summer Camp’s a ‘Go’ for Zoe O.

Hey, Camp Fans!

We got great submissions in response to our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp and we’re very excited to share them 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 Zoe O., who wrote in to tell us about her unique time at Camp Blue Star.

I went to Camp Blue Star for one summer but I didn’t realize how much it would change my life forever. When I got there, I didn’t realize until then how big the camp was! That had made me quite excited because the land was beautiful and looked fun to be in, however I was also very anxious about making friends and how everything else at the camp would go. When I got to my cabin, everybody there was extremely friendly right away and some girls (who ended up being some of my closest friends) even helped me get situated in my Going to summer camp can make you a Star!area in the bunk. While we were there, my relationship with my cabin grew tremendously, especially when we had free time away from our counselors at night. I also made a couple friends outside of my cabin who were also super lovely. I think my favorite trip we took was definitely when we went camping. I took pictures on the camera I brought with me of all my friends and we all worked together to stay warm and feed each other, all while having a good time. We made the most of our time, despite our fire going out occasionally because of the rain that, of course, eventually passed. Another thing I enjoyed while I was there were the activities. I took video editing, which is a pretty rare activity that many camps do not have, and it was quite amazing. The two counselors that taught us were also YouTubers, so that was pretty cool. They not only taught us the mechanics of editing but also showed us how to work on YouTube videos successfully. I also took acting, which is a hobby I am very passionate about. We were taught and prepped for the play by an actor from Broadway and put on amazing show for all of the camp to see! I enjoyed my experience there and I wish I could’ve gone another summer.

It’s always great to hear campers note the life-changing aspect of camp; it shows your growth in introspective nature. We’re glad to hear summer camp was such an influential experience for you, Zoe. Video editing sounds pretty cool! If anyone else is into that, maybe check out Camp Blue Star’s website for yourself by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- 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

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

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!

Josephine

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.

Love,
Josephine

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

James W. Does Year #2

Hey, Camp Fans!

We were elated to receive over 30 entries for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp. We’re super eager to share with all our readers by publishing each one of the submissions right here on the Blog! 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 the mother of James W., who wrote in to tell us about her son’s Check out James W.'s mother's account of the camp experience on today's Blog post.second camp stay for a couple weeks at Camp Yawgoog.

This was only the second year for my Scout to go to summer camp and his first year at sleep-a-way camp. I was a complete wreck! The one thing I did not have to worry about was how I was going to pack him up. I LOVED the trunk and am so glad I went all the way; getting all the accessories. Everything had its own place and since I had James pack it I was assured that not only would he know what he had but where he had put it. After seeing other boys with everything thrown together in one big mass of a cheap plastic tote I knew we had made the right decision. It was so easy to get everything from the car to camp and set up was a breeze. I will without a doubt be buying this all again for my youngest son when it’s his turn to go. The biggest surprise of all was how my son thrived. James had a fantastic time and even had the honor of being knighted. He was one of three Webelo Scouts from his camp week that earned the title “Knight of Akela”. James was eager to volunteer for waiter duty in the mess hall and even had the privilege of carrying his camp flag in the dress parade. I don’t mind saying that this proud Momma had tears in her eyes seeing the new confidence my son earned in just one week.

Glad to hear Sir James had so much fun and the Knight of Akela honor at Camp Yawgoog! Camp certainly is a fantastic time and congratulations to the proud Momma! Check out Camp Yawgoog to see if it might be a good match for you. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Ella C. is Feelin’ Campy!

Hey, Camp Fans!

We were elated to receive more than 30 entries for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp. We’re super-eager to share all the entries right here on the Blog! 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 Ella C., who wrote in to tell us about her first two-week camp stay at Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp.

One of my plans for the summer was to go to sleep away camp for the first half. It was Kids have fun being themselves at Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp.my first time, so I had no clue what it was going to be like. Fun, boring, exciting, all of the above? I got onto a bus with nobody I knew. The bus drive was long and boring. It was about 2 ½ hours long.

When we arrived, all the returning campers wanted to give their counselors from last year hugs. When everybody got off the bus, I went to find my counselors. We played a couple of games to help us memorize our bunk mates and counselors’ names.

After lunch we went to our bunks to get our beds assigned and unpack. It took me two full days to finish unpacking. I had the most stuff.

The next day we started our regular schedule. We could do things like swimming, gardening, basketball, and animal care. We also got to choose hobbies. I chose drama and got to perform in The Little Mermaid.

At camp, I had an amazing time and got to do so many things I have never done before and meet so many new people and friends. I can’t wait to go back next year and see my friends again. I’m sure that next year, I will be one of those kids looking for my favorite counselors.

Glad to hear you had such a good time at Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp, Ella! Camp certainly is a great time full of fun and exciting activities, new experiences, and wonderful people! Check out Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp to see if it might be a good match for you. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John