Sit Still—I’m Trying to Take Your Picture..

Hey, can you take my picture?

This is a question that wasn’t always thrown around so casually; after all, there used to be a lot more involved in capturing an image than just the simple push of a button that it is nowadays. For a very long time, the request to immortalize your imageJust a wooden box with a hole in it, these were the original cameras. demanded the skill of an oil painter and carefully still patience from you. And even after the birth of photographic technology, the task still demanded that the subject of a picture remain quite still for quite a long time.

It may be a surprise to find out that the history of the camera goes back all the way to the days of the ancient Greeks (or possibly even further back than that!) with the Camera Obscura. It was Aristotle who first recorded a natural phenomenon he noticed in which images appear inverted when cast through a tiny hole into darkened enclosures. This natural phenomenon, the Camera Obscura, has been a point of interest for many years.
This naturally occuring phenomenon is responsible for the camera.Announcements of photographic technology weren’t made public until 1839, however, a French inventor named Joseph Nicéphore Niépce began experimenting with photography out of his own personal interests in 1816.

It was an entire decade later that he was able to produce the first semi-successful photograph. He coated a piece of paper with sliver chloride to use for the photograph. In the chemistry world, silver chloride is known for its crafty conversion to silver when illuminated or exposed to heat. It darkens when exposed to light. He placed the papeHere is the first photograph ever created.r in his darkened enclosure and…voila…. As you can see in this shot outside his window, the results needed some improvements.

Before Mr. Niépce, could produce crisper results from his photographic experiments, a new process came along called daguerreotypy that took just as much effort and time to produce an image, but it did so with much more clarity and the subjects of photographs only had to sit still for a maximum of five minutes but as little as half a minute. This method only lasted about 15 years, however, until it was outdated by newer, cheaper processes that produced even clearer and more readily-viewable pictures.

Starting as a low-tech wooden box with a hole in it, what have come to be known as cameras transformed into ‘handheld’ picture-taking computers! From disposable to digital, This waterproof Fujifilm camera is perfect at can find great cameras for your summer adventures right here at Everything Summer Camp. Treasure your camp memories forever in our fantastic Three Cheers Photo Book or the appropriate Summer Camp Photo Frame. Check it all out right here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

What Comes Around Goes Around

What’s up, Campers?!

At Everything Summer Camp, we’re the home of C&N Footlockers so, of course, we pride ourselves the most on our traditional (as well as our innovative Designer) trunks. And we’re also proud to offer our Wheel Away System—the easiest way to transport your camp trunk.
These are our 4"PVC Wheel Away System wheels.
These large, 4″ PVC wheels are a revolutionary solution for summer campers who have struggled with a fully-packed footlocker. But camp trunk transportation isn’t the first thing that the wheel has revolutionized! Let’s take a look at the origins of this round invention!

Contrary to popular opinion, the wheel was not invented with transportation in mind. It wasn’t invented by cavemen either. It was the ancient Sumerians, actually—one of the earliest civilizations in recorded history—and they invented it roughly 3500 BC.

The first wheels were flat disks mThe first wheels were actually used for pottery, not transportation.ade of either wood or clay that was left out to bake in the sun. If not for transportation, what were these wheels used for? They were potter’s wheels—rotated by hand and used for shaping clay into rounded pieces of cookware, vases, and other pieces of ceramic art.

The wheel was very useful in the world of pottery, but it would be another 300 years until people realized the full potential of this invention. Wheelbarrows were one of the first wheeled vessels which then gave way to a flood of coming inventions on wheels.

The plow followed soon after the wheelbarrow, but it wasn’t until the wheel found its home Wheelbarrows were one of the first inventions to travel by wheel and they're still used today!underneath a chariot that the transportation train started moving. Wheels have been used for purposes besides transportation since 3000 BC like converting energy in watermills and creating a delightful ride as a Ferris Wheel, but transportation is still its main thing.

Wheels started as objects made of clay and wood, but nowadays, they’re commonly made from rubber as we see on our motor vehicles and bicycles. Some other modern wheels are made of hard plastics like skateboard wheels as well as the removable beauties that pop on and off of our Wheel Away System. Let it roll! And, as always, thanks for reading!Get your wheels on when you head to summer camp!

- John


Hey, Humans!

Since before our species was even fully developed, we’ve figured out communication methods that have allowed us to take a thought in our own mind and plant it in someone else’s. An invaluable tool, communication is the key to civilization and society as we know it.
Emojis are almost their own language. Do you speak Emoji?
In the advent of the smartphone and widespread instant messaging via texting, trending emojis have only grown in popularity since their initial creation in the late 90’s. The first 180 emojis were designed by a man named Shigetaka Kurita in Japan between 1998 and 1999 while working on a mobile Internet platform.

This is when emojis as we know them came to be, but I like to think that their history goes back longer ago than 1998—after all, this isn’t the first time people have conveyed thoughts and ideas through pictorial means. TI think I see a smiley face in the third column, there.he last time we did that was at least 5000 years ago when the Ancient Egyptians developed their hieroglyphics.

The Egyptians put meaning to these pictures and used them to express specific words, sounds, or describe something. They even built it into their system that the same symbol can take on different meanings in different contexts—much like the English language does, assigning multiple meanings to the same word.

It was actually the Egyptian hieroglyphics that led to the first alphabets. The inventors based their ideas off of hieroglyphics, but instead of using full pictures, they had the idea to just use symbols, finding the method to be much quicker for writing as well as reading. Immediate neighbors like the Phoenicians and Hebrews caught on and developed their own.

Written language has taken us to the eloquent heights of Homer, Shakespeare, Twain, and Rowling (J.K.) and done what hieroglyphics could never do. But perhaps we got rid of them too quickly. That would explain our return in the form of emojis. They really are quite convenient—words feel a bit cumbersome when all you want to do is show your happiness about something.

We embrace the emoji trend at Everything Summer Camp with cute and fun (and funny) camp trunks, plush pillows, storage cubes, and decals. You can read mWhat mood is your camp trunk in?ore about them on this previous Blog post and check out these expressive products on our website. As always thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

- John

The Choice is Yours…

Hey, Summer Campers!

We’re sure to offer Choose Your Own Adventure Books for the simple fact that kids—whether they’re bookworms or not—devour these books like candy! The fourth-bestselling series for kids ever published, Choose Your Own Adventure books give kids interactivity with choices that lead to different outcomes. But how did this great concept for books come to be? The Choose Your Own Adventure Brand puts out amazing books and adventures!Well, it all started at summer camp!

Ray Montgomery worked with his wife, Shannon Gilligan. Knowing the importance of experiential learning, they introduced their boys, Anson and Ramsey, to the world of summer camp on Lake Champlain! Though Ray never did attend summer camp as a camper, he became a camp counselor at the famous summer camp of Pine Island in Maine.  Behold!--Adventure #1 in the CYOA series!

It was there that Ray first realized that interaction in education was essential to helping kids learn and read. After his days as a counselor, he established his own summer school to introduce kids to similar activities that he imparted at Pine Island.

Devoting a great deal of time and effort to studying the benefits of experiential learning and game theory, Ray eventually came across the idea for books that, in his words, put kids “in the driver’s seat.” Choose Your Own Adventure Books are the only books where the plotline depends on choices that the reader makes. Growing since their start in 1979 check out titles from this series for yourself!

Escape to worlds of intriguing and interactive tales in science fiction, fantasy, and adventure where the ending of the story depends on decisions that YOU make! Then, ‘reread’ the story making different decisions and the story’s outcome will turn out entirely different! Perfect for rainy days and reading before bed, have a look through our excellent selection of the adventures in this book series. And, as always, thanks for reading.
Find your favorites at Everything Summer Camp.

- John

Running: the original First-Aid

Hey, History Buffs!

We enjoy learning about the histories of many different things on this Blog, but most of all, we like looking into the stories of all the different pieces of camping gear and other camp supplies that we offer on our online shop. And today, we’ll be looking into the history of First-Aid Kits.
They've come a long way, but this is what original first-aid kits looked like.
First-Aid Kits are compact containers of medical supplies used to deliver treatment in times when a doctor cannot be reached. First-Aid supplies typically include disposable sterile gloves, an assortment of bandages and dressings, two sterile eye dressings, tweezers, and safety pins.

They’re extremely handy to have around, but there was a time when they didn’t exist.

Before First-Aid Kits were sold in the market, people had to fend for themselves when it came to traveling with the proper supplies that might be needed as well as knowing how to assist an injured person. The first thing people did when somebody was injured was to take off running in search of a doctor—assuming there was a doctor within a couple miles.

Back in 1888, a man named Robert Wood Johnson was traveling on a Colorado train moving west. Robert was an outgoing person and, eager for someone to talk to on his travels, he struck up a conversatiCheck out these old first aid kits!on with another passenger on the train. This passenger happened to be the chief surgeon of the Railway.

In this conversation, Robert learned that the railroad workers were injured rather frequently and that medical help was often too far away to provide timely help. It wasn’t uncommon for bystanders to make attempts at moving the injured person and ending up accidentally doing more harm than good in the process, the doctor told him.

This conversation gave Robert the idea to market containers that held the contents for emergency medical treatment. In the same year, Mr. Robert Johnson—founder of Johnson & Johnson made the first First-Aid Kit. These boxes saved a lot of lives, allowing for workers to be treated and stabilized on the spot until further medical attention could be reached.
Here's some stuff that you should have with you when you make adventurous expeditions out into the wilderness.
Be sure to travel wisely with your own First-Aid Kit from Everything Summer Camp and always be prepared! And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

History of Mad _______

Hey, Camp Fans!

When you deal with so many interesting products like we do here at Everything Summer Camp, you can’t help but get a little curious about the origin of the gear, supplies, toys, and other items that we handle on a daily basis. That’s why I’ve started writing these History posts in which we investigate the back stories behind specific gear and other products. A lot of the products we sell have histories that go way back, even to ancient times.

Today, however, we’re going back only 64 years ago, to 1953. Today we’re looking at the history of Mad Libs.Get ready to hold onto your funny bone!

This unrivaled, classic, fill-in-the-________ word game was an overnight success! By removing parts-of-speech and replacing it with a different, random noun, verb, adjective, etc., Mad Libs transform simple stories into hilarious laugh attacks. The best way to give a group a big case of the giggles is with an uproarious tale from a Mad Libs page.

The concept for Mad Libs was born that fateful night back in 1953 when their co-creator, Leonard Stern was looking for the right adjective in a script he’d been writing. After he had struggled in the search for half an hour on this single word, his best friend Roger Price walked in. Evident to Roger that his friend was in deep frustration, he asked what he could do.

Leonard confided in his friend over this elusive adjective that he could not track down for the last 30 minutes. When Leonard asked for help, his friend Roger blurted out “clumsy and naked” which, as incorrect as it was, at least made Leonard laugh. The pair almost immediately recognized the potential behind this hilarious description of somebody’s nose (as Leonard’s script had been calling for).

Leonard commenced to leave the script where it was for the rest of the night and went to work with his friend Roger writing short, page-long write-ups with key words missing. You can find awesome, camp-themed Mad Libs and other fun ones right here when you shop our website! Enjoy laughin’ it up with your friends with Mad Libs and, as always, thanks for reading.

- JohnGet these stories for a riot at summer camp.

Brush those chompers, Kids!

Hey, Camp Fans!

Do you ever find yourself wondering about the origin of some inventions? When it was invented. And why? We do here at Everything Summer Camp. We offer a number of items that have interesting back stories, which is why I like to take a day here and there on this Blog to investigate the origins of specific gear and other camp supplies.

Today: the toothbrush.

People have been doing the best to their abilities for about as long as history can tell us to make some attempt at dental hygiene. Artifacts that date back well over 5000 years agPeople chewed before they brushed.o have been found and recorded as ‘chew sticks’. People would use pretty much whatever was around. A twig or branch was typical to chew on and work around in the mouth.

Roughly 1400 years ago, the first bristle brush came around. Invented in China, Tiny holes were bored into a hard-handled object—likely bone or bamboo—and then coarse horse tail or hog hair was inserted into the holes. Yep. You read that right. People actually brushed their teeth with animal hair! Hogs in Northern China grew very coarse hair to protect themselves against the cold climate which made for sturdy brushing material.  Toothbrush were as simple as this after the chewing sticks.

This may seem pretty primitive compared to our modern methods, but, if you ask me, I’d rather brush my teeth with animal hair than do what they were doing in Europe at the time!

These guys rolled rags in salt or soot and then proceeded to rub their teeth with these rags! In the year 1780, an Englishman by the name of William Addis is credited as the inventor of the modern toothbrush. Jailed over a dispute that grew out of hand, Mr. Addis found himself in a dim-lit and dirty jail cell where he sat with horrible breath. Inspiration struck him along with the recognition of his breath problem.

He pried up a bone that was embedded in his jail cell floor, somehow managed to drill holes into it and was able to get bristles from one of his jailers that recognized Addis’ invention as something to benefit mankind. The material of the bristles is unknown, but it certainly wasn’t animal hair. Eventually nylon became the choice material to use and this allowed for cheap, mass-production.
A French advocate of the toothbrush
Even so, daily dental hygiene wasn’t practiced as a popular habit until after World War II when soldiers brought the required dental regimen back home with them. Can you imagine the breath they had before then? Remember to brush your teeth, kids! It brightens your smile, cleans up your mouth’s odor, and you don’t have to do it with animal hair anymore!

Everything Summer Camp is proud to promote the habit by providing the very awesome and very first portable, battery-operated toothbrush from VIOlife. Vibrating at more than three times the speed of the fastest electric toothbrush, the Slim Sonic brush is fun to use and habit-forming! Check it out right here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- JohnIntroducing the first ever portable, battery-operated toothbrush! Go nuts with your dental hygiene!

What was up with King George?

Happy Fourth of July, Compatriots!

For 240 years, we have been celebrating our freedom from the rule of any other country but ourselves. That’s why we make it a pretty big deal once a year to enjoy our freedom on the Fourth of July. Back in the colonial days, around the 1750’s, our ancestors madeThe original 13 before the other 37. settlements in ‘The New World’ in an attempt to flee the unjust government of Great Britain under the rule of King George III.

But still pulling the colonial strings from across the Atlantic Ocean, King George implemented unfair taxes and unfair laws over the colonies. To much dismay of George, the settlers increasingly felt that they were able to be its own government—independent of British rule. They fought back.

Couldn’t we all just get along? Well, ol’ George was turning into quite a villain as he continued to make life pretty unfair for everyone in The New World with his unrelenting taxes and unjust laws. He acted so brasThe original 13 before the other 37 came along.hly that modern historians have started posing the question, ‘What was up with King George anyway?’

Known as ‘the mad king’, many agree that George must have been crazy to have driven 13 colonies out of the British Empire. Was he literally crazy? Yes, he was. It turns out that George battled with insanity throughout his life. In fact, his condition reached levels of such severity at one point that he was restrained in a straitjacket. He’s recorded to have had fits of rage, shouting, hallucinations, confusion, and extreme pain.

The cause of his mental state is thought to be connected to a metabolic disorder called porphyria. Porphyria attacks are known to create extreme agitation and confusion. They The king was off his rocker, for sure!can cause nausea as well acute pain in the abdomen and make speech difficult for the victim. By the end of his life, the mad king had gone blind, deaf, and absolutely mad.

So, poor George may not have been such a bad guy after all—just absolutely nuts. In any case, he certainly was not fit for kingly duties and we owe our independence to the colonists who recognized the injustice of their situation and aimed to correct it. Happy Independence Day to our fellow Americans and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Rubber E R A S E R Day!

Hey there, all you mistake-makers!Erasers are magical little wonders of technology, explained here on today's Blog post.

Don’t worry—everyone makes mistakes. In fact, I’ve already hit the ‘Backspace’ button at least five times just typing to this point in the post. Mistakes are inevitable—bound to happen multiple times on a daily basis. They come in all shapes and sizes, transpiring on a small-scale or as a grand goof-up. Typically, the bigger they are, the harder they are to reverse, but, luckily, a lot of small mistakes can be undone.

Today is National Rubber Eraser Day—a day where mankind’s triumph over written mistakes are celebrated! Thanks to this rubber invention, we can make all of our spelling errors, math mistakes, and drawing slip-ups disappear with just as much ease as when they first showed up. Here’s how the mighty eraser works:

When you put marks down on a piece Here's a close look at what's happening when you leave penciil marks on a piece of paper.of paper, flakes of pencil lead are dragged across the paper’s fibers and cling to them along the way. Those flakes will stick around for decades so long as they’re left undisturbed, but erasers are able to pick those flakes up from off the paper fibers because the rubber of an eraser is stickier material than the paper fibers and the flakes of pencil lead find their new home on the eraser.

Boasting a near-magical capability, erasers may surprise you for how long they’ve been around. While rubber erasers have only been in production for the last 250 years (roughly) other means of erasing have been around since ancient times. Erasers were not originally made of rubber, but instead of a food that’s probably in your house right now—BREAD!

But unless you’re looking for a snack while you’re undoing some mistakes, rubber erasers are definitely the way to go.

Certain trees excrete rubber to discourage insects from making a feast out of them. This excretion was discovered back in 1770 by a man named Joseph Priestley who noted that a specific type of ‘vegetable gum’ had a great ability to ‘rub out’ pencil marks.

This ‘rubbing gum’ eventually developed the name rubber, so erasers spawned our name for this material. The word ‘eraser’, however, is really only common in the US and Canada. Almost anywhere else you go, people call them ‘rubbers’. Make sure to appreciate the magical abilities of erasers today, and, as always, thanks for reading.

- JohnSorry, it was a mistake.

Who’s on the $2?

Hey there, History Buffs!

If you really ARE history buffs, then you probably already know what today is—the birthday of our nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson. An irregular president and rather intriguing man, I thought I’d share just a few facts with you about this infamous character who adorns the rare $2 bill as well as our American nickel. I’ve compiled a list of—what I think to be—this president’s most interesting qualities. Our nation's third president is also on the nickel.
It's Thomas Jefferson on the rare $2 bill


1)    To start things off, he was nicknamed the ‘Man of the People’ as our president because of his informal apparel when he greeted visitors of the White House. He would sit to meet with powerful men of the time in his robe and slippers without concerning about his reputation—after all, he was already the president!Our nation's third president.

2)    More admirable than his love for lounging, Jefferson loved books. He loved them so much that when British troops attacked the US Library of Congress and burned all the books in 1814, he restocked its shelves when it was rebuilt a year later with 6,587 books from his own personal library. He loved to read and loved to encourage literacy across the nation.

Strange for the third president of a newborn country not to bother its inclusion on his tombstone inscription...l

3)    Last, and most interesting, is the inscription of Jefferson’s headstone: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.”—nothing about being the third president of a new nation. Why didn’t he bother to include his presidency? Possibly because he wasn’t sure how he felt about politics in the first place.

Yes, Jefferson had more interest in science and reading than he did politics, but, nevertheless he led our nation for two full terms from 1801 to 1809. There are lots of other quirky things you can learn about this former president (like his obsession with Mastadons, for instance, which he confused for Mammoths). Enjoy learning about ol’ Jefferson and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John