Time to Celebrate Hannukah

Happy Hannukah!

Sunset tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah this year! What ensues of this tradition will be eight days and nights in which its observers celebrate with latkes, dreidels, and lighting the Hanukkiah (which is the traditional candleholder that is often mistakenly called a menorah). Just what is this celebration about? Read on to delve into the subject to take a deeper look.Are you ready to celebrate the miracle?Unlike Christmas, which arrives on Dec. 25 every year, Hannukah’s date jumps around from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. It arrives consistently on the 25 of Kislev—a month of the Hebrew calendar. Unlike the Gregorian calendar which considers just the earth and the sun, the Hebrew calendar which is lunisolar because it’s based on the sun and the moon as well.

We go back to 165 B.C. to understand the history of Hanukkah, when a Jewish rebel army known as the Maccabees defeated the Syrians and rededicated their holy temple in Jerusalem. This eight-day holiday celebrates a seven-day miracle in which the Maccabees only had enough oil to light the temple’s eternal flame for a single day, but even so the lamp kept on burning for eight!

The lighting of the nine-branched candleholder—often times incorrectly referred to as a menorah—is actually called a Hanukkiah. A menorah, on the other hand, has only seven candleholders—like the lamp that was used by the Maccabees in the ancient holy temple in Jerusalem.

Hanukkiahs have nine candleholders, which designates a candle for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah as well as one more for lighting the others. If you celebrate Hanukkah, you now can educate your friends and family on the holiday you’re about to celebrate! Enjoy your traditional tasty treats, fun games and toys, and the time you spend to honor the miracle. Happy Hanukkah and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Thankful for Good Deals

Hey, Thankful Folks!

Our Thanksgiving celebration has come a long way since the Pilgrims first made their arrival to the New World in 1620. They celebrated a day of thanksgiving (a much more common day of celebration before the official holiday came alThe menu was pretty different from the one we know and love today.ong) with a menu consisting of deer, various types of fowl (like turkey and duck), fish (like cod and bass), and flint corn. Also, there was no Macy’s Day Parade or Detroit Lions matchup.

Days of thanksgiving were once held rather frequently throughout the year as a European custom that the Pilgrims brought along with them when they came to the New World. What were they so thankful for all the time? Anything! It might have been a crop that came in really well that year, the end of a drought, or simply making it through a harsh winter.

These eats are pretty different from the first celebration!But it was Ms. Sarah Josepha Hale who eventually proposed our current feast. She also campaigned for this holiday for 20 years—she was 75 by the time she finally succeeded! She convinced Lincoln by mail that this would be a good holiday to help unify the country after the Civil War (sort of the ultimate Thanksgiving Day).

And on top of our revamped feast as well as our traditional parade and football game, Thanksgiving has been taking on a new tradition as Black Friday continues to push stores’ opening hours earlier and earlier. The shopping experience now overlaps with the Thanksgiving evening, creating what some refer to as ‘Grey Thursday’.

Lazy Thanksgiving evenings areCheck out deals going all week long at Everything Summer Camp! now designated time to prepare yourself: peruse those ads and map out your route so you’ll be ready to embark on a carefully strategized night of shopping. We know you probably have lots of plotting and planning for this night, so we like to make things easy on our customers by giving them the entire week of Black Friday sales. Check out the most amazing of our deals this year by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Marooned With or Without a Compass…

Hey, Survivors!

I’ve written about compasses in previous Blog posts, like my History of the Compass post and my post for National Boy Scout Day, but today is Marooned Without a Compass Day and so we’ll be discussing the lack of this simple, lightweight device that features a magnetized needle on a free-rotating pivot so it can always show which direction you’re facing.

Consistently observed on November 6 every year, Marooned Without a Compass Day poses the age-old, desert island scenario in which you have to choose which friend, what favorite book, or what most valuable item you would want to have along with you in this extremely isolating predicament. Being marooned on a desert island is the pits ESPECIALLY with no compass.At first glance it seems to me that if you were Marooned Without a Compass, the number one item to choose would be a compass. But, on second thought, if you’re Marooned…then what good is a compass?

As explored in the movie ‘Castaway’, starring Tom Hanks, being marooned is something that will certainly put a damper on your day and quite possibly the rest of your life.

When you take a look at the dictionary definition of the word ‘maroon’, it’s pretty specific to say that to truly be marooned means to be deserted on an uninhabited island/coast with no hope of escaping unless fate should have it that you are rescued (this is what pirates did to crew members who didn’t obey orders, by the way. It’s basically why the word ‘maroon’ exists—unless, of course, you’re talking about the color).

So, if there’s no hope for escape on your own, what good would a compass be anyway? A compass might be helpful as you navigate the land, but there are other ways such as star position and orienteering skills to help route your exploration of the island (if the island is big enough to ‘explore’ in the first place). If you’re lucky, maybe a tree will be growing moss which only grows on the shaded, north side of a tree trunk.

So being marooned without compass isn’t the end of the world—just being marooned, period. But at least if you were marooned, you’d finally get some peace and quiet all to yourself. You could finally reread your favorite book if you happened to bring it along! You can celebrate Marooned Without a Compass Day by asking your friends what person or item they’d bring and what they would do if they were marooned without a compass.
Get your compass in case you're ever stranded on a desert island!
You can ensure that, should you ever be marooned on a desert island, you have a compass by picking out your own magnetic Compass from Everything Summer Camp and taking it with you everywhere you go! As always, thanks for reading, folks!

- John

Tellin’ Tales Out of Camp

Hey, Storytellers!

People have told stories since our languages and other means of communication were developed. Everyone wants to hear a well-told story! Stories are built into our genetic makeup. I suppose that’s why we’ve incorporated a full day into oEnjoy the great outdoors around a fire. It's some HOT fun!ur calendar which is dedicated to the art of story telling. Today is National Tell a Story Day.

This time of year, stories tend to tilt toward the side of terror—people become obsessed with the spooky and supernatural; after all, All Hallow’s Eve is just on the other side of the weekend. These scary types of tales are traditional material for kids around the campfire as they hold a flashlight below their chin.

And speaking of telling camp stories, we’re happy to show our appreciation once more this year to everyone who participated in the Everything Summer Camp ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest! They may not be very scary, but they do a great job at illustrating the camp experience. It’s great to see our customers having such positive reactions to their summer camp stays.

I’ve been posting the camp stories that were submitted to us ever since September 5th and I’ll continue posting our customer’s submissions until they’ve all been shared stretching far into the month of March. Check back on the Everything Summer Camp Blog frequently to catch the next camper submission. I typically post a ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest submission on a weekly basis, except for certain breaks throughout the holiday season.

Stories are an instinctive part of the human species. They are the way our minds make sense of the lives we live. Enjoy the rest of Tell a Story Day and share a good story with some of the folks in your life. They’re bound to appreciate you for it. Happy Tell a Story Day, Everyone!

- John

Employee Picks Updates

Hey, Football Fans!

To kick off the arrival of the football season, I began September on the Blog by going around the office to see what teams we here at Everything Summer Camp predict to see playing in Suberbowl LI. With our prized teams in mind, everyone here has their fingers crossed that our predictions come true. With the seventh week of the regular season just having passed, next week marks the season’s halfway point, so I thought we’d review our employee’s predictions and see how our teams are looking so far.Get into the game of football!

As you’ll have it with a bunch of Wisconsinites, lots of us are rooting for the Packers to take the Superbowl and predicting that we’ll play against the New England Patriots. People who made this prediction include our company president, Ed; our Operations Manager, Brian; our Graphics Department Manager, Nate; our Assistant Shipping Manager, Mike; and our Printing Technician, EJ. So far the Packers are sitting at 4 wins and 3 losses while the Patriots have 5 wins and 2 losses.

In other offices, our Vice President, Mark says it’s going to be a close Packer win against the Tennessee Titans who also have 4 wins and 3 losses. And our Graphic Artist, Amy, thinks the Texans who are currently 3 and 3 will be taking the backseat in a Superbowl against the Pack. Our Sales Director Matt thinks the Packers are going to match up with the Pittsburgh Steelers and that the Steelers are going to win! The Steelers are currently 5 wins and 2 losses.

Tim’s prediction being the only one that didn’t include the Packers, he says we’ll see the Dallas Cowboys who are 3 and 3 match up with the Oakland Raiders at 3 wins and 4 losses. He believes the Cowboys are going to take the Superbowl.

The season still has a whole half to go, but this is where our Employee NFL Picks stand for now. The odds look likelier for some teams more than others, but you can’t quite tell at this point in the season just who will be moving into the playoffs and who doesn’t stand a chance. Join us at Everything Summer Camp and enjoy the rest of the NFL season. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Fr!day the ( )teenth of Oct.

Hey, Mystics!

I have some bad news for all of you. Today is Friday the 13th—a decidedly UNlucky day. It’s a day that twists the arms of many to avoid typical daily events like running errands or hanging out with friends. Some folks opt to avoid going outside entirely and, even further, a select few of those folks won’t even venture out of bedThis day of the week on this date of the month in this month of year is just all too much for this Blogger., save kitchen and bathroom trips. Under most circumstances, I’d say this reaction is ridiculous…

Today, however, I’m singing a different tune.

Friday the 13th is bad enough, but to make matters worse, today’s unlucky matchup of day and date falls in the spookiest of months: October. The month of harvest celebrations, All Hallow’s Eve, and candy corn (*gross*), October sets a beautiful, but somber tone as we enter the thick of the autumnal season and advance toward the end of the year.

Belief in the superstition of bad lucI can't take any chances on a day like today.k and other supernatural ideas lends the notion that today truly is a perfect storm of unlucky signs: an unlucky day of the week falling on an unlucky date of the month in the unluckiest month of the year. It’s so bad that you may just want to take such ridiculous precautions like not leaving your home. I say, if it means avoiding something…unlucky…sign me up.

I’m not typically one to believe in such superstitious hullabaloo, but when it gets to this point, I’d feel stupid if I didn’t take precautions. I’ve bolted my doors, turned off all phones, I even have my black cat locked up in the other room. He’ll forgive me tomorrow. Until then, I’ll be right here with my head underneath the pillows, avoiding the day as best I can. I wish the same to all of you. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Happy Father’s Day, Daddies!

Hey, Proud Papas!

Happy Father’s Day! Dads all around the world are honored on this day for the unconditional loving support they give to their children every day. Last month, Happy Father's Day, Fathers, from Everything Summer Camp.I posted gift ideas for mothers on Mother’s Day. Never mind that it’s already Father’s Day—doesn’t mean it’s too late to create a heartfelt gift to present to your dad.

As I prefaced in my Mother’s Day post, if a low budget (or lack of one) is what’s kept you from getting a gift for your dad, then this is the Blog post for you! These ideas are basic and require only materials that you likely already have in your house. And don’t feel bad about not buying your present; your dad will probably appreciate a homemade project more!

Greet Him with a Greeting CardMake your dad a card for Father's Day.
Make a card on your own for Father’s Day! It’s a thoughtful gift that gives you creativity so you can express to your dad exactly how you feel and not how a greeting card company assumes you do. You can go simple with an 8½” x 11” sheet of paper folded in half or get a little fancier if you’re feeling your “origami” skills and try to make this Tie and T-shirt greeting card.
Fingerpaint is a fun way to say Happy Father's Day.
Finger Paint is Handy
Sometimes creativity can be a little messy, but it’s all worth it for Father’s Day (as long as you don’t make him clean up). Have fun and get creative with your gift and see what you can do with your hands. And remember—the more fun you have, the more your father is sure to appreciate it!

Make a PictureSketch something nice for your dad today.
Maybe your dad loves to take you fishing. Maybe you two are always going golfing or playing a simple game of catch in the backyard. Whatever fun times you share with your father, show him what it means to you with a picture that makes him think of all your great times together.

Do-It-Yourself Decorations
Dads are notorious for having what’s come to be Does your dad rock with the puns too?known as ‘Dad Humor’. Their jokes are typically dripping with puns that make us cringe and moan. Give him a little bit back for Father’s Day with this punny ‘You Rock’ rock for display on a dresser top or office desk.

These are just some ideas that you’re more-than-likely able to make for your Father’s Day gift today. Or maybe these ideas have inspired a gift idea of your own. In any case, enjoy the fun in the artistic and creative process and make your father proud! Happy Father’s Day to fathers everywhere and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

Make your Mother Proud!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mothers are honored the world over on this day for the unconditional faith, hope, and love that they exhibit for their children every day. In a past Blog post, I discussed the history of this holiday. In another post, I disclosed what some of us at Everything Summer Camp had planned for our Mother’s Day celebrations. This year, I want to focus on gift ideas. It may already be Mother’s Day, but it’s not too late to create a heartfelt gift to present to your mother.Happy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere!If a low budget (or lack of one) has kept you from preparing a Mother’s Day gift for your mom, then this is the Blog post for you! The following ideas are simple and require materials that you can likely find around-the-house. And you shouldn’t feel bad about not purchasing your Mother’s Day present; nothing says ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ quite like a homemade project!Greeting cards are a nice, simple way to say the things you want to say.

Make Your Mom a Card
Making your own card for Mother’s Day is a simple gesture that gives you the space to let your mother know exactly how you feel (not how a greeting card company supposes you do). An 8½” x 11” sheet of paper folded in half by its length transforms into a greeting card with a cover, an inside, and a back.

Get creative (and maybe a little messy too) with a message to your mother in visual art.Mother’s Day Message in Finger Paint
Creativity has the tendency to get a little messy from time to time. But, make no mistake about it, the more fun you have creating your Mother’s Day gift, the more your mother is sure to appreciate it (as long as you don’t leave a mess behind for her to clean up!). See what message you can send your mother through your own artistic expression!

Create a Picture
Tap into the visual artist inside yourself and create an image to express how your mother Do something like mixed-media artwork to show your mother your appreciation!makes you feel. You don’t have to be Michelangelo in order to create a work of art. The artist of the pictured example created a work of mixed-media art which uses a blend of techniques—in this case, a two-dimensional colored pencil sketch along with These pretty splashes of color trick the eye easily from a distance.the placement of actual flower heads.

Make Decorations
And last, you can make three-dimensional art for your mother to use as home décor. Plastic foam, straws, glue/double sided tape, ribbon, and buttons are a great means to mock flowers—an art project that’s growing in popularity. Arrange them so they ‘stand’ in a cloth within a vase and, if you’re good, your decorations might actual fool people from a distance. And your mother won’t have to worry about llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllwatering them!

These are just a few ideas that you’re more than likely to put to use for your own Mother’s Day gift. Otherwise, maybe they’ve inspired you to come up with a gift idea of your own. In any case, have fun in the creative process and make your mothers proud! Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

The Savored Snap of Bubble Wrap

Hey, Bubbly Blog Buddies!

Today we celebrate something that we all know and love. It’s important to anyone who ever sent a package by mail, received a package by mail, or sought a therapeutic solution to boredom. Today is National Bubble Wrap Day. Let’s take a closer look at this packing material, turned cultural obsession and learn a little about it today.

Believe it or not, bubble wrap was originally invented to be used as wallpaper—not packing These rolls offer safe travel for mailed packages as well as hours upon hours of strange fun. material. In 1957, an engineer named Fielding and an inventor, Chavannes, put their minds together to create a textured wallpaper by sealing two shower curtains together, capturing air bubbles in-between.

Their ‘wallpaper’ flopped, but in the next three years, a member from Fielding and Chavannes’ marketing team, named Bowers, suggested using it for secure shipping of breakable items. By 1960, Fielding and Chavannes founded the Sealed Air Corporation to sell what they called ‘Bubble Wrap’.

A lot, actually! The same way that the popularized Kleenex brand name started being used to refer to facial tissues, Bubble Wrap is not a generic term for packing material, but actually the product name specific to Sealed Air’s invention. We just call it all ‘bubble wrap’ because of how catchy the name is. Other manufacturers of air bubble rolls, however, are OmniStar Creative, Alliance Rubber, RDH Packing Solutions, and many more.

lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllBUBBLE FUN
Of course we love This stuff is hypnotic when you stare at it for too long.Bubble Wrap for delivering all our breakables to us in one piece, but our love for it doesn’t stop there. Its practical use may be over, but, now that its job is done, who can resist releasing all those trapped little pockets of air? Denver Boy Scouts know how fun popping bubble wrap can be! Just two years ago, they set a world record for Most People Popping Bubble Wrap at once—2681 Scouts. Way to go, fellas!

Everyone is worried about sustainability nowadays—and rightly so. One thing we don’t have to worry about, however, is bubble wrap. It was a revolutionizing product in the first place, reducing package size, package weight, and using less protective material—not to mention reduced damage to shipments as well. And as for the product itself, most bubble wrap manufacturers (like Sealed Air and the others listed above) now make bubble wrap from 100% biodegradable material.

A favorite for many, popping bubble wrap is considered exciting (like when you jump on a sheet and burst a bunch all at once) as well as therapeutic (like methodically popping a whole sheet of bubble wrap one at a time). Bubble wrap popping has even inspired some creativity as you can see in the video below. Have fun popping your bubble wrap today and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John

Sanguine Penguins

Hey, Penguin People!

Penguins are a favorite for lots and lots of people and it’s no surprise since they’re one of the most unique and interesting birds on our planet. Their species developed in what we call the ‘Era of the Mammals’—around the same time as the first horses, whales, and monkeys of the world. However, while penguins may have arrived at the same time, they aren’t mammals…or are they?
How''d you like to spend Christmas on Penguin Island?There is much debate as to how penguins should be classified. Clearly, they’re one of the rare species of flightless birds like ostriches, emus, cassowaries, certain ducks, auks,   and a few others. But they also have blubber which is mainly a mammal thing. They also spend the vast majority of their life underwater like a fish, but they walk around on land too, as amphibians do.

How weird is that?! No wonder we have a day dedicated to this confusing bird! Celebrate Penguin Awareness Day with us and check out these facts that I put together about this amazingly bizarre bird!

They’re Not Slow.penguinos
Notorious for their upright posture and their waddling locomotion, penguins are typically depicted as slow-moving animals. This presumption, however, is completely inaccurate. In fact, there are some penguins out there, like the Adelie Penguin, that can actually move faster than most humans are able to run. And when they really need to cover some ground and FAST, they just hop on their bellies and move like toboggans!

They’re Not Fat! They’re…okay, well…they kind of are but they need that layer in order to survive..
As all marine mammals like seals, otters, orcas, and whales, penguins wear a layer of blubber under their skin too. The only bird with blubber, penguins are smart to have evolved with this trick of aquatic mammals—they would never survive the arctic temperatures without this special layer of fat.

They Drink Salt Water.
“Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”—such is the case when you’re lost at sea, but not if you’re a penguin. While salt water just won’t work with human bodies because of how salty it is, penguins can drink the stuff down all day. Thanks to a gland they have that actually filters the salt from the water, penguins will never die of dehydration by salt water.

They’re Not Afraid of Us.
Especially in comparison to other birds, penguins aren’t afraid of people. They don’t really have a reason to care much about us because penguins don’t typically have an abundance of land predators. What penguins need to watch out for are circling birds of prey overhead—that’s their biggest threat.

They Dress in Camo.
The black-and-white plumage of penguins—often associated with a white shirt and tailcoat—are actually camouflage. Camouflage from the water, that is. Their black backs are lost in the dark depths of the sea and their white stomachs are easily mistaken for the sunlight that reflects off the water’s surface. Of course, their black backs are easily seen against the snow, but I suppose it’s more important to be unseen in the water when you spend 75% of your life in the wet stuff!

It’s no wonder that we find these creatures so fascinating! Happy Penguin Awareness Day, Everyone! Learn more about our feathered friends here and, as always, thanks for reading.

- John