What Gem of a Singer/Songwriter Attended Camp Interlochen?

Hey there, Summer Campers!

For today’s Blog post from Everything Summer Camp, I’m telling you about a famous woman who was once a summer camper just like all of you. Her name is Jewel Kilcher. But you probably know her better as just, Jewel. This incredibly famous singer and songwriter has lived a rather interesting, surprising life. No one ever would have thought that this young girl would grow up to be as famous as she turned out to be! She's the yodeling girl from Alaska who's gone 15 times platinum.

Though she was born in Payson, Utah, Jewel grew up in Homer, Alaska where she lived with her father as well as her grandfather for some time. Her grandfather had been a state senator and a delegate to the Alaska State Constitutional Convention. Living in Alaska meant living in a very different lifestyle than what most of us are probably used to.

The home where she was raised had no indoor plumbing. Her and her father used an outhouse whenever nature called. They also earned their living going around and singing in local bars and taverns—this is where Jewel picked up on her singing voice (not to mention her yodeling skills).

She attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, majoring in operatic voice. Interlochen Center for the Arts also offers a summer camp experience which Jewel attended as well. It was at this time that Jewel picked up the guitar and learned to play the instrument. By the time she was 16, she was writing songs.

After school, Jewel embarked upon her journeys, traveling all around the country and living out of her car all the while. She made her money performing on the street and doing small gigs. She started gaining recognition here and there in coffee shops. As her popularity grew, she began collaborating with other artists and in time, Jewel made her way to the top.

She’s received four Grammy Award nominations. Her album “Pieces of You” went 15 times platinum! All this from the Alaskan girl who yodeled with her father in local taverns! What will you become?

- John

Which Dumb and Dumber Star Attended Summer Camp?

Hey, Campers!

Show of hands—who here is a fan of Jeff Daniels? Obviously you can’t see it, but my hand is way up and I’m willing to bet that most other hands are raised up high too. Did you know that Jeff was a summer camper just like you when he was around your age?Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber

You may remember Jeff from such films as 101 Dalmations, RV (a classic camping movie), Fly Away Home, and–of course–his calling card Dumb and Dumber.

He participated at Bruin Lake Boy Scout Camp where he learned valuable lessons to survive in the wilderness using tools and to listen to instructions. He learned about environmental conservation, community, being physically fit, academic studies, and sports.

His mother Marjorie gave birth to Jeff in Athens, Georgia in 1955. But her and her husband, Robert only stayed in Georgia for the first six weeks of Jeff’s life. After that they moved from the south and raised Jeff in Chelsea Michigan.

He went to Central Michigan University and was very involved with the theater program during his time there. When he was 21, Daniels decided to switch things up and focus solely on theater at the Eastern Michigan University drama school. There he participated in a special event called the Bicentennial Repertory program that really launched his acting career for the stage.

As for his stage acting, Jeff has been both on and off Broadway and has been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor. He’s also been nominated four times for his performances on the screen.

He still lives in Michigan where he has founded a nonprofit theater company called the Purple Rose Theater Company. More than just an actor, Jeff is a playwright as well as a musician—a triple threat!

You can catch Jeff and his old buddy Jim Carrey as they reunite their old roles as Harry and Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber To.

Jeff learned a lot in Boy Scouts for his summer camp experience. What will yours bring you? That’s all for today, Camp Fans. Till next time.
- John

Joey Lawrence Went To Summer Camp

Hey, Campers!

If you had been born 30 years ago, you would have grown up watching Joey Lawrence on TV—despite the fact that he was only born 37 years ago. So actually, you would have grown up watching Joey Lawrence grow up on TV. Joey’s been starring and making television appearances since he was five years old!joey lawrence

He was born Joseph Lawrence Mignogna, Jr. to Donna, a personnel manager, and Joseph Sr., an insurance broker. When Joey was a kid, his family’s last name was changed simply to Lawrence. Joey grew up with two younger brothers, Matthew and Andrew—both of whom became actors as well.

Just like you, Joey went to summer camp when he was your age. He attended Southampton Summer Day Camp in Pennsylvania which was founded only three years before Joey was born. What’s impressive is that even before his days at summer camp, Joey had already appeared a television multiple times!

That’s right! He first appeared when he was about five years old in an old Cracker Jack commercial from the 80’s. Right around the same time, he appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and performed “Give My Regards to Broadway”. This was just the tip of the iceberg!

Joey went on to guest star in TV shows here and there until he landed the role of Joey Donovan on NBC’s “Gimme a Break!” from 1983. “Gimme a Break!” lasted Joey until he was 11 years old. The following year after the show ended he provided the voice of Oliver from Disney’s “Oliver & Company”.

After another few years, Joey co-starred in the hit TV show Blossom. He played yet another Joey, Joey Russo—(whoa). He played Joey Russo for five years until the show came to an end when he was 19. After that, he played in a show called Brotherly Love which actually starred him along with his real life brothers!

Joey hasn’t stopped there either! He’s been in another show and guest starred in a number of others. In other words, the man stays busy! How busy can you be?




Do You Know What Summer Camp Jon Favreau Went To?

Hey, Campers!

Everywhere you turn in Hollywood, it seems like everybody involved in ‘show biz’ attended summer camp when they were younger. I’ve written about a decent number of them, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Today I want to tell you about Jon Favreau who (like his colleagues, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Downey Jr., and Adam Levine) went to French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in his childhood. Located on a private lake called Sand Pond in the western area of the Catskill Mountains, just outside Hancock, New York, French Woods has a blast jon favreauevery summer.

If you have interest in the performing arts, French Woods is a camp for you to check out. They offer programs in dance, theater, music, film, sports, and much more. Jon enjoyed his camp stay and developed some of his acting skills while he was there too.

He didn’t stop there, though. Jon has expanded his skill set to include screenwriting as well as directing and he has also dabbled in the realm of comedy and voice work. Not everyone knows that Jon directed movies, but everyone knows the movies that Jon’s directed: there’s Elf, the Iron Man trilogy, Cowboys & Aliens, as well as Zathura.

Jon got his first taste of recognition for the short role he played on the hit sitcom, ‘Friends’. He played Pete Becker, Monica Geller’s (Courteney Cox’s) millionaire boyfriend.

It was long after that that he started working alongside stars like Vince Vaughn (with whom Jon’s become great friends) as well as with Will Ferrell, James Caan, Diane Keaton, and Jack Nicholson!

Receiving so much enjoyment and passion through his career, Jon continues to make appearances on television and in the movies. His most recent work was once again with Mr. Vince Vaughn in ‘The Break-Up’ and he played the manager of a fast-food restaurant in the show ‘My Name is Earl’.

Take a good look at where summer camp took Jon Favreau. Where will it take you?


- John

Maybe You Will Attend Camp With A Future Celebrity

Hey, Campers!

Any fan of summer camp already knows that they aren’t the only one who enjoys the summer camp experience. After all, the summer camp experience wouldn’t be what it is if you were the only one enjoying it! ‘A lot’ barely begins to describe the multitude of summer camp lovers. There’s an entire army of summer camp advocates which includes most famous people.

Why are they such big supporters of summer camp? Because the impact it had on THIER life was so influential, they want the same for every kid these days. Patrick Dempsey, for example, became a part of the Camp Wekeela family.

Located on Little Bear Pond in Hartford, Maine, Camp Wekeela is about much more than Patrick Dempseyjust a fun camp stay—it actually provides its campers with an education of life and self-discovery. Patrick (or should I say, McDreamy) will certainly attest to the wonders that summer camp works on the younger generation—look at what it did for him!

You may know him best as Dr. Derek Shepherd from the hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy but he’s been in much more than that! Aside from some other television appearances, Patrick has been in great movies like ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ ‘Made of Honor,’ ‘Enchanted,’ ‘Freedom Writers,’ the ‘Transformers’ movie ‘Dark of the Moon,’ and much more.

Not just interested in acting, Pat exercises his passion for race car driving. He’s got more than a pristine collection of exclusive sports cars; he’s actually experienced in public competitions like pro-am events as well as the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race, Patrick actually seems to love auto racing even more than acting. He once made the comment that if he only could he would “walk away” from his acting career to focus all his time on motorsports.

Camp showed Patrick Dempsey what he was capable of and he sought out the things he was passionate about to incorporate them into his career. What will camp show you?


- John

Reese Witherspoon Attended Camp Monterey

Hey, Campers!

Today’s blog post features Reese Witherspoon who, at one point, was a summer camper, herself, at Camp Monterey—an All Girls camp in Tennessee. But it wasn’t long before she landed her first feature role as the female lead in the movie ‘The Man in the Moon’. She was only fifteen when she starred in it.

That same year she made her way onto television for the cable movie Wildflower. reese witherspoonAppearing in roles here and there throughout the rest of the nineties, she hit a pivotal point for her career in 2001, playing the role of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and then again two years later in Legally Blonde 2.

Reese has been in other box office hits such as Sweet Home Alabama, Twilight, and she won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role alongside Joaquin Phoenix all for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in the biopic Walk the Line.

Reese has seen success since she turned seven and was selected to be a fashion model for a florist’s commercial. This gave her the motivation to take acting lessons and eventually pursue her acting career.

She’s known to be expressively proud of her Southern upbringing that taught her responsibility, good manners, and “a sense of family.” She’s also known to be a method actor in her films. That means that she tries to act out her roles in her own everyday life—not just in front of the camera.

It’s easy to see that Reese is very passionate about her acting career. When she starred in the movie, Election, she may have played her character too well. After receiving a rank on the list of 100 Greatest Film Performances of All Time, she found it difficult to find work.

She even commented about her struggle, “I think because the character I played was so extreme and sort of shrewish—people thought that was who I was.” Wildly successful, Reese Witherspoon is one of Hollywood’s timeless actresses.

Until next time, Campers!




Who Doesn’t Remember Dave Coulier?

Hey, Campers!

I’m excited to talk about today’s Celebrity at Summer Camp as I, like most of America back in the day, watched him on Full House regularly. Put your hands together for Joey Gladstone himself, Mr. Dave Coulier! Always good for a laugh, the show often utilized Dave’s wild skills with impressions and impersonations—especially his signature Popeye—“Well, blow me down! Huk-uk-uk-uk-uk-uk!”

Dave Coulier discovered his gifts in impersonations early. He loved making his school Dave Coulierlaugh by doing impressions of the principal and other teachers and staff over the PA system. He, no doubt, got a lot of laughs out of his fellow campers at Camp Highlands back when he was a summer camper himself.

As his character on Full House also revealed another truth about himself, Joey was a huge hockey fan on the show while Dave played for his high school’s varsity team at Notre Dame High School in Michigan. There, Dave played alongside a kid named John Blum who would go on to play for the NHL.

Dave Coulier isn’t just responsible for bringing Joey Gladstone to life, but also for the voice behind so many beloved cartoon characters. He’s done voice work for the whole whole Ghostbusters series, Baby Animal and Baby Bunsen and some other characters on Muppet Babies. He’s worked for episodes of The Jetsons, Rude Dog and the Dweebs, Detention, and Teen Titans.

All of this work came prior to his role as Joey Gladstone in 1987. He continued to find other work during his eight years on Full House and after, such as hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos for a time and making a cameo in the Even Stevens Movie.

Dave also does stand-up comedy which is very much based around his skills as an impressionist. He’s also quite an entertaining harmonica player. Always stressing youth-oriented comedy and delivering family-friendly material, Dave has a reputation as one of the Clean Guys of Comedy.

So let’s hear it for Dave Coulier, but come on, now—seriously…Cut. It. Out. Alright.




Camp Southern Ground

Hey, Summer Campers!

You know who else had a great time at summer camp? Everybody’s favorite Country Music star, Mr. Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band. While never a camper himself, he’s played quite a role in the summer camp community. Starting out as a camp counselor at Camp Mikell and Camp Glisson in Georgia, Zac began to see why summer cZac Brownamp was so good for kids.

“To me, there is nothing more worthwhile than helping kids,” says Zac. “I grew up working with kids while on staff at summer camps and remember how they were impacted during their visits.” This insight is what led Zac to founding his own summer camp, Camp Southern Ground.

Zac was born and raised in Cumming, Georgia. When hearing how big of a family he has, you get the sense that he didn’t ever REALLY miss out on the whole summer camp experience when he was little. After all, with 11 siblings, his entire childhood must have felt like a year round “summer” camp!

He’s been into music his entire life. When he was only seven-years-old, he’d already learned to play classical guitar! This led to his solo gigs around town when he was a teenager. He’d cover pop music and country songs. It was also somewhere between his high school and college years that he volunteered as a counselor for summer camps.

After his college years at the University of West Georgia, Zac got the band going. With five studio albums and ten hit singles that saw Number One on the Country Music Billboard charts, Zac Brown Band has toured all around the country and played a slot on the Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2009 and 2010.

Zac Brown saw the importance of summer camp! What will you see in it?




Camp Towanda Was Summer Camp Home to Hank Azaria

Hey, Campers!

Did you know that well over a hundred of your favorite celebrities have gone to summer camp? Today I’m talking about Hank Azaria. Hank, when he was your age, was one of those kids where you could tell he was born to be an actor. In his youth he loved memorizing and reciting film scripts, TV shows, and bits from stand-up comedy.

When he was your age he spent some time away at Camp Towanda, located in the Northeast Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. The camp is intended for shaping fun, friendship, and good memories. At this point, despite Hank’s interest in movie lines and laugh-out-loud stand-up material, he still hadn’t really thought much about acting.Hank Azaria

It wasn’t until he played a part in a school play at the Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills. He was 16 when he began to realize that he was obsessed with acting even when he allowed it to interfere with his studies at school. His parents were huge fans of all kinds of show business which only encouraged him even further.

He went on to study drama in college at Tufts University. Hank knew that he’d regret not be a professional actor if he never tried which was continuous incentive for him to continue studying and pursuing acting. Hank went straight for television despite his ideas of being a movie star because he saw more options there.

He got his start (in 1989) as a voice actor on The Simpsons. He provides the voices for such characters as Moe Szyslak, Apu, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, and Carl Carlson. He’s still doing their voices today. Hank kept to voice acting for a while but began branching out to live-action movies in the later 90’s. Hank was in Godzilla, Mystery Men, Along Came Polly, and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. He was also in The Smurfs.

Hank was obsessed with acting ever since his summer camp days. Are you obsessed with anything?




Julia Louis-Dreyfus Enjoyed Summer Camp

Hey, Campers!

You know how much you love your summer camp experience? Well, your favorite celebrities loved their camp experiences just as much when they were your age as you love yours now. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for instance, had a blast during her time away at summer camp.

Julia went to the Sidwell Friends Tennis Camp where she picked up on some impressive skills handling a racket and found some summer camp friends along the way. Lots of kids julia louis dreyfusenjoy being able to get a laugh out of their friends. Julia loved it! Comedy had always been a passion of hers.

She performed in the Second City Theater (which should sound familiar to you if you read the Everything Summer Camp Blog post about Chris Farley as he too performed at this theater, as did other famous comedians like Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, and Shelley Long to name just a few).

In one night’s fortunate performance in 1982, Julia was eventually asked to join the cast of the national TV show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) on NBC. At this point she was only 21 years old which made her the youngest female member of the cast throughout the program’s history since 1975.

On SNL, Julia worked alongside up and coming contemporaries like Eddie Murphy, Jim Belushi, Billy Crystal, and Martin Short. She also worked with a writer named Larry David who wrote for SNL at the time, co-creator of the breakthrough sitcom “Seinfeld,” also on NBC. Larry cast Julia in 1989 for her own breakthrough part—Elaine Benes.

More recently, Julia played Christine Campbell in “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” as well as Selina Meyer in “Veep”. Julia has received three Emmy’s, along with a Golden Globe Award, and five Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Julia is passionate about comedy. What are you passionate about?