Sophia B. of the Mohawk Tribe

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

We were delighted here at Everything Summer Camp to get such great responses to our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest. It was great to read all the submissions and we’re happy to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog! Besides our seven lucky winners of larger prizes, all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Sophia B., who wrote in to tell us about her first year at Camp Ton-a-Wandah. Here’s her submission:

“This summer I was lucky to have been a first year at TAW! Preparing to go to camp was Ton-a-Wandah camp for your summer stay.exciting and fun. My mother and I ordered my colorful and cool trunk, it has wheels so I can pull it. We drove to North Carolina from Florida and I was dropped off for what I think is the best camp ever. I learned to wood burn and made my family something special I mailed them. I also made some new friends that I can’t wait to spend next summer with. TAW is so much fun, all day I have activities I choose and meals with all my friends. My favorite memory from my first summer is the tribe initiation. We were sorted into three tribes and I am a Mohawk! They painted my face and I learned our songs. This night was awesome!”

It’s great to hear that you had such a great time at summer camp, Sophia. Summer camp is typically a hit with kids! Congratulations on your tribe initiation. She obviously loved Camp Ton-a-Wandah and we’re happy to hear she loved her camping gear from Everything Summer Camp as well! You may love it yourself if it’s a good match for you. Check out further details on their website by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Gwendolyn M. Does Camp Again

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

It was great to read all the camper submissions we received this year for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest at Everything summer Camp. We’re happy to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog! Besides our seven lucky winners of larger prizes, all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Gwendolyn M., who wrote in to tell us about her first year at Camp Cayuga. Here’s her submission:
Gwendolyn M. went to Camp Cayuga this summer.
“This year was my first year at sleep away camp which is called Camp Cayuga, however, I have attended numerous day camps within the past 8 years. Camp was so much fun because I became really close with everyone including my counselors within only a few days.
          lI loved camp because you got to sign up for what activity you wanted to do such as trapeze, horseback riding, lake, archery, and many other fun activities. At camp it was my first time doing archery, however, the counselors that were also instructors made it easy and fun to learn and by the second or third time I did it I was able to shoot a bulls-eye.
          lEven though it rained a lot while we were at camp, no matter what the weather was, we always had fun. Before I left for two weeks at camp I was nervous that I was going to become homesick, however, camp was so much fun that I would go back for 6 weeks next year because there was so much to do and we had so much fun that I didn’t miss not being at home since I had so many friends that comforted me.
          lThe counselors were also really nice and it was interesting because two of the counselors were from the U.K., 3 of my bunk mates were from Italy, and one was from France. There were also many other people from different places around the world at camp. It was nice to meet people from places outside of the United States because you get to see how people of different cultures live.
          lNobody was allowed to bring their phones and it was probably a good thing because if we had our phones we would have been glued to the but instead we played cards, made friendship bracelets, and talked to each other face-to-face instead of through the phone. There was also plenty to do at camp so not having phones was not an issue. Overall Camp Cayuga was so much fun and I would definitely go back for long than 2 weeks next time!”

Congratulations on your first year at sleep-away camp, Gwendolyn. You clearly had a blast making friends and enjoying the fun at camp. Gwendolyn obviously loved Camp Cayuga. You may love it yourself if it’s a good match for you. Look into Camp Cayuga on their website by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Victoria F. Says Camp is the Best

Hey, Camp Fans!

We saw an excellent response to our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp and now we’re eager to publish each one right here on the Blog! After our seven lucky winners, everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Victoria F., who wrote in to tell us about her exciting acrobatics at Camp Louise. Here’s her submission:Camp Louise provides activities that keep kids not just entertained but brave too!

“‘Finally!’ I said quietly. Even though it was only the third day of summer camp our bunk schedule finally said ‘Ropes Course.’ We found out yesterday, but we had been counting hours until our second activity of the day arrived. As our counselors led us downhill to the tool shed I could not help but wonder what we would be doing. One of the Outdoors staff approached us and led us to the Leap Of Faith. After she explained what to do I decided not to go first. Instead, I watched my friends climb up the twenty foot pole using the staples, hoist themselves on top of the pole, and scoot off. Nobody actually grabbed the trapeze like they were trying to. Then, it was my turn. When I made it to the top the pole shook in rhythm with the rest of my body. I triple-checked my harness and my helmet and counted in a whisper one, two, three. I couldn’t move. At least I was the first one that stood up on the pole. Without counting I bent my knees and flew off of the pole. As I extended my arms I felt the trapeze and quickly grasped the black pole. I did it! I was the first one. When I got down on the ground I heard my bunk cheering for me. I could not believe it. I look forward to activities like this all year long. Now I was positive this would be an amazing summer!”

Victoria clearly had a blast during her summer camp stay. Congrats for being the first to succeed at The Leap of Faith at Camp Louise. Check this camp out at home to see if it’s a good match for you. You can visit their site by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!

l
- John

Josh B. Feels Campy!

Hey, Camp Aficionados!

The 30+ camper submissions we received this year for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest at Everything summer Camp were great to read. We’re happy to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog! Besides our seven lucky winners of larger prizes, all other entrants received a $15 gift certificate to our online store! Today’s post is from Josh B., who wrote in to tell us about his first year at Beber Camp. Here’s his submission:Beber Camp is awesome!“This was my first year going to camp. I am 8 years old and I was super scared to go to sleep away camp. Camp was so much fun! On the Friday before camp started we got to visit Beber. I saw the Ropes Course and said NO WAY! Then I decided to try it because my cabin friends were doing it. I loved it so much I got to do the catwalk and the climbing wall. I loved doing the zip line and the flying squirrel too. My cabin also got to visit the farm at camp and see the goats. We also got to do rock painting. The Banquet was so much fun! They served “cocktails” and “trail mix.” The music was great! I loved my field trip to the Elegant Farmer. I also got to light the torch at Maccabiah! Makor Mania was also so much fun. Camp was GREAT! It was sad leaving camp. I had great counselors and I met so many new friends. I can’t wait to go back next year!”

Josh clearly had a blast during his summer camp stay. He obviously loved Beber Camp. You may love it yourself if it’s a good match for you. Look into Beber Camp for yourself right here and as always, thanks for reading!

- John

And the Grand Prize Goes to…

Hey, Camp Fans!

We’re announcing the ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest Winners this week and today concludes our list of seven prize winners. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Find out right here and right now who the winner is of our grand prize—$100 gift certificate! And the winner is….

Delaney W.!Prude Ranch is the place to be for the summer.

Congratulations, Delaney! You’re our grand prize winner! A mother’s traditions are passed down to her daughter for summer fun at Prude Ranch. Read this mother’s account of seeing her daughter off for her own camp adventure in this entry:

This summer my daughter ventured off to her first sleep away camp. She chose to attend Prude Ranch in Ft Davis, Tx. Prude Ranch is also the camp that I attended in the 80′s. After listening to countless stories about my fabulous years at Prude, she decided she would like to go to Ft. Davis for camp. We currently live in NJ so choosing a camp in Texas for her first time away was a big deal. I could not have been more proud and also a bit nervous. Would she like it? Would she have the same great experiences? Would she make friends? My memories had gotten us to this point but it was now her turn to make memories.
l       lTwo weeks went by with only a couple of letters which seemed positive but really we had no idea how it was going. We checked the pictures every day trying to get a glimpse of her and see if we could read anything from her face. Was she smiling? Did she seem to be having fun? Finally, it was time to pick her up. I saw her walking toward me with a big smile on her face and I knew it had been a good experience. She was so excited to recount her stories, show me her bunk and introduce me to her friends. I was so relieved and so happy because she truly had made this her own adventure. It was a great experience for her. She made the right choice and is already asking to go back for longer next year. Thank you, Prude Ranch, for allowing me to introduce a great summer camp experience to a new generation of campers.

Thanks again for your submission, Delaney. We’re happy to hear that the same camp traditions will be shared between mother and daughter! For anyone else interested in Prude Ranch, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

The Second $50 Prize Goes to…

Hey, Camp Fans!

The ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest is in full swing for this year. We’ve been announcing our seven lucky winners and sharing their stories right here on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today’s winner of the $50 gift certificate is….

Annie M.!Nellie Huckins has a hold on its campers.

Congratulations on winning the second $50 prize, Annie! She wrote in about her summer stay from the previous year. The summer stay at Nellie Huckins obviously had a major impact on Annie. Camp has a tendency to do that—so much so that it might just squeeze the tears right out of you. Read Annie’s entry now:

Candle Light

“It was a peaceful night at the chapel and everybody from Camp Nellie Huckins was crowded there.
    Jody Skelton, the exclusive director, was giving her speech. I could hear her voice quivering and I saw a tear shed down her face and at the same time I could feel one down mine as well.
    My friend, Charlotte, was next to me and she whispered, “Are you okay?” I nodded and our eyes went back to Jody.
    Before long, I heard myself singing “Love the Life you Live,” with everybody else, followed by “Pass it On.” As Jody lit her candle and passed it on to the staff who passed it on to the campers. One by one, everybody went back to our cabin.
    Around me was silence. I could only hear the loons chirping and the booms of the fireworks. I could smell smoke surrounding me. One by one, everybody gave a compliment and a kiss to the person on their right. After giving a kiss you blew out your candle. When everyone blew out their candle except for Lindsey, everyone re-lighted their candle with Lindsey’s. Taps started with a big boom and went till the last note and, all at once, the circle lighted with candles around me became invisible.
    As we entered the cabin, tears filled my eyes and I began sobbing. Everybody around me knew it, camp was over.
    At the end of the night, my counselor, Courtney, said, “I will miss everybody here.” Camp was over and I knew it would be a long year till 2017 when it was time for camp.”

Thanks again for your submission, Annie. We’re happy to hear how much you love your time at Camp Nellie Huckins! Summer camp will often have an emotional impact on us because of how dear it is to us. Nellie Huckins must mean a whole lot to you! For anyone else interested in Nellie Huckins, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Put Your Hands Together for Our First $50 Winner

Hey, Camp Fans!

The ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest is in full swing for this year. We’ve been announcing our seven lucky winners and sharing their stories right here on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today and tomorrow, I’m announcing our two winners of the $50 gift certificates! Today’s winner is….Beber Camp is Louie B.'s favorite!

Louie B.!

Congratulations, Louie! You’re our first $50 prize winner! Another returning entry, Louie has actually participated in all three years of our ‘Share Your Camp Story’, having just finished his third year at Camp Beber. Now check out Louie’s entry:

Beber Camp is a very special place in my heart. I have been going to camp for three years and I have many stories to tell. Though particularly this year’s camp story was the CRAZIEST yet!
         lThis year at camp I was surprised to get one of the same counselors and get most of the same cabin mates from my previous years. New games were played old games were played. Some of my favorite games are: Monopoly Deal, B.S., and Spit. I played those games during rest hour.
         lI had three day trips this year and I went Birding. I had a lot of fun birding, but it was really buggy. One night it was storming so hard that the middle of camp flooded! The rain continued through the morning and the total puddle depth was 2 1/2 feet deep.
         lI got to go puddle jumping in “Lake Beulah, Jr.” Puddle Jumping is sure a blast! They even had a lifeguard on duty at Lake Beulah, Jr. Lake Beulah Jr was so big that kayaks and canoes came out and paddled with the puddle jumpers! That is something we will never forget!
         lLake Beulah is a beautiful lake that is where you get to do most water activities such as: Waterskiing, Wake boarding, Aqua park, and paddle boarding. There are many more activities to do on the waterfront also. The new game nine square in the air was a blast! I can’t wait to go back to 3BC!”

Thanks again for your submission, Louie. It’s great to hear that camp taught you such a valuable lesson as positivity. It certainly is a powerful thing! For anyone else interested in Beber Camp, you can check it out right here. Tune in tomorrow to hear the other $50 winner. We’ll reveal the grand prize winner on Wednesday.  Once our winners have been announced they’ll receive an email with the gift certificate code. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

And Winner #4 of the $25 Prize is…

Hey, Camp Fans!

Continuing our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest, we’re excited to share each submission on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners will receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today features the fourth winner of our $25 gift certificate. And the winner is….

Jacqueline B.!See what fun was had at Camp Fern this year.

Congratulations, Jacqueline! You’re our fourth $25 prize winner! Jacqueline had a great summer stay at Camp Fern this year as she took a step up into her new role as a third-year MIDI. Read all about it in her entry—chockfull of camp pride!

“Last winter, a friend mentioned that she was planning to send her 7-year-old daughter to Camp Fern over the summer and asked if I was interested in sending my daughter, as well. I was very hesitant. I’m an over-protective mom and had fears about how she would do without me there to help her.
        lI talked to the camp directors who reassured me, but, still, I struggled with the thought of her being away from me for so long. To get more information, we attended an open house at the camp in the spring and Catherine absolutely fell in love with the place and insisted on going. So, with a lump in my throat and a knot in my gut, I signed her up and started gathering her camp supplies. Then, on a Sunday morning in early June, my husband and I drove her to camp, unloaded her things, gave her a kiss, and then off we drove.
        lI cried for three days and called the director multiple times to ask if I should come get her. The director’s calm response was always the same: “She is shining. Let her shine.” So I stuck it out and poured over the pictures on the web site several times a day, just waiting for her image to pop up. When it did, there she was: smiling, laughing, working hard, having fun, and learning new things.
        lLater that month when we pulled up to her cabin for pick up, a completely different little lady ran into my arms. Camp was the BEST thing we could have done for her. She had a new confidence about her. She was proud of herself. Her limits had been pushed and she had proven that she could overcome her fears. She had become independent. She had become a leader. We learned that she had comforted the homesick campers by reading to them at rest time and helping them with their feelings.
        lShe had a different swagger about her and a connection to camp that went beyond archery, riding, and canoeing. It was a place where she could become who she didn’t realize she could be, who I didn’t realize she could be. It dawned on me quite quickly that camp was the best thing I could’ve done for ME, as well. It taught me a lot about myself as a mother and deepened my relationship with my daughter. Camp is a magical place that is hard to explain. It’s so much more than activities and crafts and camp fires. It’s about building confidence and fostering independence and opening doors and deepening relationships.
        lShe is anxiously awaiting summer 2018 so she can load up her trunk and head back to camp. Next year, she’s staying for the longer session and is planning to win the red feather for her tribe! I’m excited for her and, even though I know I’ll probably cry again after drop off, I know that those few weeks of camp will bring nothing but positives for us both! Thanks to camp for what you’ve brought to our whole family! And thanks everythingsummercamp.com for helping us get her so well stocked for her time away!”

Thanks again for your submission, Jacqueline! We’re thrilled to hear that summer camp worked its wonders on Catherine and that she enjoyed the growing experience so much. And it’s great that you were able to glean some internal wisdom from the experience as well! There’s really nothing that summer camp can’t do so we’re happy to supply the necessary gear. We’re glad it’s appreciated. For anyone else interested in Camp Fern, you can check it out right here.

Tune in next week Monday to hear who won our first $50 winner. Once our winners have been announced they’ll receive an email with the gift certificate code. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Third $25 Camp Story Winner

Hey, Camp Fans!

We’re very excited to post your ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest submissions to share with all our readers right here on the Blog. All participants receive a $15 gift certificate unless you’re one of our seven lucky winners in which case you’ll receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. This week I’m announcing the first four winners of the $25 gift certificates—and today we have our third $25 winner—the grand prize winner of our contest last year, in fact….

Marina K.!Check out the camp life at Chimney Corners Camp.

Congratulations, Marina! You’ve won again! You’re our third contest winner this year! Marina had a growing experience at Camp Chimney Corners this year. Faced with remedial swimming lessons, she had the choice to pout or to learn a lesson about patience and positivity. Read her important entry here:

“I’ve always liked to think of myself as an athlete. From saying goodbye to training wheels and braving a ride on a traditional two-wheeled “grown-up” bicycle to shimmying up a climbing wall, sports have played an important role in my life.
         lThat’s why, when I found out that I had been placed in swimming lessons, I was baffled. I couldn’t believe that I needed assistance for what I considered simple recreational swimming.
         lFor the next couple of days, I moped around, complaining to anyone who would listen how ‘unfair’ the swimming test was. When the first lesson rolled around, I grumpily dragged my feet to the waterfront and I continued to be in a noncheerful state, despite the fun name games the group was now playing.
         lHowever, soon enough, I found it was hard to stay so uptight for much longer. The instructors were simply so passionate about swimming, and when the time came for my class to enter the lake, I had already broken into a grin.
         lBefore camp, I’ve never been someone who was known for their positivity, even though I had aspired to be that someone. Now I am. Having to participate in a class that I didn’t want to take truly showed me how important being open-minded is. ‘Positive Attitude Changes Everything,’ one of Chimney Corners Camp’s most repeated values, is something that I will always bear in mind whenever I do anything, whether it’s brand new or as familiar to me as the back of my hand.”

Thanks again for your submission, Marina. It’s great to hear that camp taught you such a valuable lesson as positivity. It certainly is a powerful thing! For anyone else interested in Chimney Corners Camp, you can check it out right here. Tune in tomorrow to hear the fourth $25 winner and come back next week Monday when I’ll announce our first $50 winner. Once our winners have been announced they’ll receive an email with the gift certificate code. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Second $25 Camp Story Prize Winner

Hey, Camp Fans!

Looking back on the summer season gives us time to reflect on the fun that was had. We saw great responses for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest and we’re very excited to post the stories we received on the Blog. All participants receive a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners will receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100.

Tune in Thursday and Friday to see our other $25 winners. The following week, we continue on Monday and Tuesday for our two $50 winners and then on Wednesday, we’ll announce our top prize, $100 winner. Once our winners have been announced they’ll receive an email with the gift certificate code. And now for the second winner of the $25 gift certificate—drum roll, please….

Emory M.! Congratulations, Emory! You’re our second $25 prize winner! Emory spent some Good times are sure to be had at Camp Mystic!fun summer days at Camp Mystic this year pushing her limits and facing some fears. Read all about it in this excellent entry:

“This was my first summer at Camp Mystic. I was there second term for 30 days. I loved all the new activities I learned, like archery and fishing. I loved how I grew close to all of the new friends I made from places like Japan, California, Florida, and all over Texas.
       lI LOVED my Kiowa tribe. Our color is blue. In our tribe, we get to do this thing called Kiowa Serenade. It means we get to walk around the camp and say thank you to the nurses, the heads of the camp and to the people who work in the office. Then they say “Blow out your candles.” Then we run to get our buddy from the other tribe, Tonkawa, and we go down to the waterfront to have chocolate bars and cokes. It is so much fun.
       lOther tribe activities are tribe games like deck tennis, steal the bacon, dodgeball, and the all camp relay. We also have campfires and tribe hill nights. Tribe hill nights are a secret because you don’t want the other tribe to know where you go. Your tribe has fun, special secrets and rituals that only the Kiowas or Tonkawas know.
       lEvery Sunday we wake up and go to breakfast in our pajamas and have a buffet instead of a regular meal. You can stay at breakfast as long as you want, and then we get in all white clothes and go the the waterfront and sing songs. We also have to write our parents every Sunday to get into lunch, the letters are called “chicken letters.” Lunch is always fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.
       lBut my very, very favorite part of camp was the sisterhood of Camp Mystic. I love Camp Mystic, and can’t wait to go back.”

Thanks again for your submission, Emory. We’re happy to hear how much you loved your summer camp experience! For anyone else interested in Camp Mystic, you can check it out right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John