Author: Kim Aycock

Happy International Camp T-shirt Day from Tamarack!

Woodland girls never miss an opportunity to show camp spirit!  Whether it be dressing up for the weekly Sunday morning assembly Woodland spirit, making a tie-dye t-shirt with the current summer theme backdrop, going to Towering Pines for a class activity or special event, or being in the end-of-summer Coed Show, we are always proud to sport “Woodland Wear!”  As  you can see in the photo above, the Tamarack girls are oh-so-cute in their coordinated Woodland t-shirts at the annual Song Contest at the end of the 3rd week.

On the last day of camp, the countdown begins for the arrival of the first day of the following summer, so it is fun to have a few “milestones” to mark the passing of time along the way.  International t-shirt day in mid-November is definitely one of them (we are closing in on 200 days until camp 2019!).  So, grab your favorite camp gear (t-shirt or other item), take a photo, then post on your favorite social media platform using #camptshirtday!

The inside scoop from the girls of Tamarack 2018: 

What is one thing you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of the summer?

Lilah: That I would be in Tamarack

Lou: I thought I wouldn’t pass out of swimming, and now I know that I can swim well

Lizzy: How to swim better

Sydney: I didn’t know how to post in riding and now I can post while trotting which is super cool

Carlota: That I really love dance

Paz: Archery and how to speak better English

Kaitlyn: My back handspring in gymnastics (thanks to Sydney for cheering me on and keeping me on a positive attitude about it and helping me get it)

Heidi: That getting letters is much more enjoyable than texting!

Caroline: There is a plant nicknamed “butt rock”

Describe a change you made in yourself this summer:

Lilah: I am trying to be more positive

Lou: I improved in my confidence in swimming and also my endurance in riding

Lizzy: I changed my attitude

Sydney: A change I made was to think of the cup as being half full instead of half empty

Carlota: I learned to be more optimistic about myself

Paz: I met a lot of friends, and I LOVE WOODLAND!

Kaitlyn: I became better at swimming and passed into Level 5.

Heidi: I learned to try new things; not just foods, but activities, too.

Caroline: I’m more able to confide in others and don’t need to filter everything.

 

What are ways you were kind to the campers in your cabin or in general:

Lilah: I never yucked someone’s yum

Lou: When a new girl moved into our cabin, I was unsure, but then I tried to get to know her and helped bring her out of her shell

Lizzy: By making people laugh when they were sad

Sydney: I was kind by listening to thoughts and perspectives of others and trying to incorporate them

Carlota: When someone moved into our cabin who was really shy, I started talking to her, and I think she had a great time

Paz: When someone in our cabin missed her Mom, I tried to help her so that she would be happy

Kaitlyn: I would always include them if they asked, I gave compliments, and I offered to help them during cabin clean-up with their jobs

Heidi: I was complimenting people, and I did my best to make others laugh.

Caroline: I am the one who showed my quirky side to make others laugh.

 

How did others show kindness to you?

Lilah: They picked me up when I fell down

Lou: When I was having a bad day, my friends were there and made me feel better

Lizzy: They included me

Sydney: By listening to me when I was homesick or when they cheered me on

Carlota: By cheering me up when I was sad and by making me laugh a lot; I had the best summer of my life!

Paz: When they always hope that I am having a good time

Kaitlyn: When I was down, they cheered me up; when I would be trying to get something in activities, like my flip-flop, they would always cheer me on and encourage me; and during cabin clean-up, if I couldn’t do part of my job because I had to do something else, they would help me

Heidi: People explained things to me when I didn’t understand them; I always felt included

Caroline: It didn’t take long for me to meet someone nice!

Happy Movember from Silver Birch!

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues.  As you can see by the ladies of Silver Birch, they jumped on this bandwagon a few months early!  Since Towering Pines is the brother camp to Woodland, it makes perfect sense that we show love and support for our TP friends and family just a few miles away!

Most days we tend to keep to our respective campuses; however there are several times throughout the summer when brothers and sisters (related or not!) get together for some camp fun!  The first big gathering of both camps is on the 4th of July; TP guys host the Woodland girls for the annual Red, White, and Boom Campfire.  The evening begins with songs and skits by each cabin and ends with a dedication of fireworks on Lake Nakomis.

As we cruise into the middle part of the summer, we schedule sail races, archery/riflery/tennis exchanges and competitions, trail rides, mountain biking extravaganzas, trips to the Aqua Tramp, and Zoo and nature swaps so that we can take advantage of what each camp has to offer just a short drive down County D Road.  We end the season with the greatly anticipated TP and Woodland Fairs and Co-Ed Show which allow for more brother-sister interaction and camaraderie.  Our set-up is perfect for knowing that “family” is close by along with the opportunity to be independent and “do your own thing” at the same time!

Here are the “best moments” from the gals of Silver Birch 2018:

What is one thing you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of the summer?

Annie: I didn’t know a lot of people at the beginning and now I have new friends.

Riley: I know more songs now!

Molly: Before camp I ate no food, and I ended up liking every food at camp!

Lucy: I can recall all the layers of the atmosphere.

Ana: Sailing, some of the girls, dance moves, and pencil jumps.

Katherine: I know now that it doesn’t matter if you accomplish your goals as long as you have fun trying.

Ari: No one’s life is perfect; everyone has a story.

Paloma: I learned a lot about myself this summer!

Ellie: It’s OK to be nervous because people will always be there to support you.

Describe a change you made in yourself this summer:

Annie: I tried to reach out to new friends. I stayed close to old friends and made some great new friends!

Riley: Not being connected to technology.

Molly: I tried a lot of new foods and activities.

Lucy: I have healthy relationships and now push toxic ones away.

Ana: I’m more responsible, mature, and confident when by myself.

Katherine: Not worrying about how I look and just have fun.

Ari: I stopped arguing.

Paloma: I am more confident with myself and more positive.

Ellie: I am more confident than I was before.

What are ways you were kind to the campers in your cabin or in general:

Annie: We shared a lot of our opinions and thoughts on stuff; even when I didn’t agree with other opinions, I still respected them!

Riley: I let others borrow my things and helped out with whatever they needed help with.

Molly: I respect the opinions of others and make sure that everyone feels comfortable with their surroundings.

Lucy: I always tried to defend my cabin mates in any way possible.

Ana: I helped people when they were having a bad day or a problem and cheered them up.

Katherine: I encouraged people to do things they wouldn’t have tried otherwise and making them feel good about it.

Ari: I helped out when I could.

Paloma: With a smile and being the best part of myself.

Ellie: I cheered them up when they were sad.


How did others show kindness to you?

Annie: They respected my opinion.

Riley: The CIT’s and people in Sunnyside were really nice and and welcomed me to Woodland.

Molly: By talking to me and respecting me.

Lucy: Other campers welcomed me and showed me real fun.

Ana: My friends helped me every time I was going through something rough. The counselors motivated me to do my best every time and to pass my levels.

Katherine: By letting me borrow things or cheering me up when I was sad.

Ari: By smiling at me or giving me a hug.

Paloma: When I was new, others were really nice to me and accepted me.

Ellie: By asking me if I needed help with my boot or holding the door for me.

Happy Sweetest Day from Starshine!

For the month of October, we are celebrating “Sweetest Day” (the 3rd Saturday of the month) and highlighting our youngest cabin for 2018, Starshine. Sweetest Day has an interesting origin tied to the Midwest that goes back to the 1920’s and is not celebrated in every state. While there is disagreement on the true story of the beginnings of this holiday, there is consensus that the sentiment remembers those less fortunate through distribution of candy by a group of people who were trying to make a difference. Sweetest Day might be described as a tamer version of Valentine’s Day. One blog writer mentions that the October version focuses on the “actual thoughts behind the actions” that we normally associate with the popular February holiday.

In learning more about the history of Sweetest Day, I really like the ties to camp that it promotes. At Woodland, being kind to others is part of our culture and an important thread that is woven in the fabric of our community. It is who we are and what we do. I can’t think of a better cabin to “sponsor” the blog this month than the sweetest group of girls found in Starshine. Being the youngest campers and ranging from 7-9 years of age, they captured the hearts of us all. The giggles that flowed freely from this group was nothing short of contagious.   When laughter erupted, the whole cabin and sometimes the entire camp followed suit!

It must be magical to experience so many things for the very first time as did the campers from Starshine this summer. At every turn there was a song, a game, an event, an activity or skill, a food choice, a camp tradition or a budding friendship that was a path untraveled. I love watching the oldest campers nurture the impressionable beings of those who look at everything with fresh eyes gleaming with wonder and awe. The sisterhood of our camp family invites veteran Woodland girls to assist youngsters whose size is most certainly dwarfed by a horse and often by the bow used to take aim at an archery target. Being a role model for the younger campers is an honor that is not taken lightly – it is a continuation of the caring cycle of those campers and counselors who came before.

I would be amiss not to mention that another tie to camp is that Sweetest Day is often marked by a gift of candy. I can say with conviction that this year’s Starshine girls LOVED their candy!   This was verified every afternoon during Canteen at Rec Swim and Sunday movie nights.   Just ask the CIT’s if you need proof of this claim (or check out the photo below showing popsicles as a “sweet” treat)!

We invite you to read on and discover the “sweetest” or best moments from the 2018 Starshine campers.

What is one thing you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of the summer?

Angie: How to shoot an arrow

Annie: How to survival float

Maddie: Archery

Ivana: My English is better, and I learned how to be away from my parents for 6 weeks

Eleanor: Front crawl

Mariana: Swimming, riding, and speaking English

Alice: Don’t pack off the packing list

Describe a change you made in yourself this summer:

Angie: I became more independent

Annie: I have better hygiene

Maddie: I am better at riding

Ivana: When someone tried to speak in French, I was able to answer in English

Eleanor: I became less scared of trotting

Mariana: I know more English and am more responsible

Alice: I used to get snacks between meals and now I don’t

What are ways you were kind to the campers in your cabin or in general:

 Angie: I comforted them when they were sad

Annie: I helped out

Maddie: I tried to be nice

Ivana: By making them laugh

Eleanor: Helping them

Mariana: I tried to be more tolerant

Alice: By helping them and telling them what to do if they needed help

 

How did others show kindness to you?

Angie: They hung out with me and comforted me when I was sad

Annie: If I made a mistake, they wouldn’t yell at me

Maddie: By helping me in activities

Ivana: By making me feel welcome at camp

Eleanor: By helping me

Mariana: By teaching me about camp

Alice: In riding the CIT’s helped me with the stirrups

References:

https://www.bustle.com/articles/189543-what-is-sweetest-day-10-things-you-need-to-know-about-this-obscure-romantic-holiday

http://www.holidayscalendar.com/event/sweetest-day/

Happy Daughter’s Day from Driftwood

While the date of Daughter’s Day varies across countries and is celebrated on different dates around the world, the sentiment of this special day remains the same. “Daughters Day is fоr parents аnd оthеr family members tо bond with daughters аnd spend ѕоmе exclusive moments tоgеthеr tо cherish for a lifetime.” (https://www.nationalextras.com/national-daughters-day-september-25/)

We thought that it was particularly fitting to celebrate this “holiday” since all Woodland campers are daughters first before they join our camp family. We are very fortunate to have a strong parent-daughter connection at Woodland as many campers are daughters of parents who went to camp themselves at either Woodland or Towering Pines. At least 25% of our campers this year had mothers and/or fathers who are camp alums! That number doesn’t include the girls whose grandparents, or aunts and uncles came to camp “back in the day.”

The Daughter’s Day blog is “sponsored” by Driftwood cabin, a special group of girls who spent their very first summer at Woodland in 2018. Part of this fun cabin included a mother-daughter duo from Pennsylvania.  Caroline was a camper in Driftwood and her Mom, Aron, was our superstar office manager extraordinaire (and also a camp staff alum)!  We will take this opportunity to share what the Driftwood campers wrote as part of their “best moments at camp.”  We will also look forward to having these girls be part of our camp family for many years to come so that their daughters will one day, too, join us!

What is one thing you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of the summer?

Emily: I love swimming and am a pretty good dancer

Syndey: I didn’t know that Crocs were such a popular thing

Delia: I know that I am stronger than I was at the beginning of the summer, and I can canoe across the lake

Eleanora: If you use teamwork and work hard, you can have fun and reach your dreams

Libby: I didn’t know that I could dive.

Caroline: How to play tennis.

Describe a change you made in yourself this summer:

Emily: to enjoy what you have and take advantage of every minute you have

Syndey: I was more confident, and I didn’t get homesick

Delia: I have learned to be more responsible and to be cleaner (because of cabin clean-up)

Eleanora: I started to be more open

Libby: I dove for my first time ever!

Caroline: Be more enthusiastic about working harder than usual.

What are ways you were kind to the campers in your cabin or in general:

Emily: When they told me stuff or gave me tips, I took it to heart and listened when they wanted to talk

Syndey: Helping clean the cabin; I also helped by braiding their hair and borrow my stuff

Delia: If I was done with my job during cabin clean-up, then I would offer to help others. I also explained what was happening to first year campers.

Eleanora: If they needed help, I would help them.

Libby: I let them sit on my bed and never got upset.

Caroline: I tried my hardest to include everyone in everything.


How did others show kindness to you?

 Emily: Saying they cared

Syndey: They shared their stuff and helped out when I needed help.

Delia: If I was ever confused, they would help me figure out things or be nice and welcoming.

Eleanora: They made me happy when I was homesick.

Libby: They were nice and kind to me because they let me sit on their bed.

Caroline: They were friends to me.

Happy World Beard Day from Treetops

Happy World Beard Day!

“While there have been places that it hasn’t necessarily been in style, or even possible to grow for some, overall there has been a great deal of admiration and respect for someone sporting a fine beard (like Isa G!). World Beard Day (September 1st) celebrates the beard and all it has been, become, and will be in days to come.

Every year people gather in places all over the world to sport their beard, with various ways of celebrating all over the world. The origins of World Beard Day have been lost to history, which isn’t surprising considering that there is evidence that the Danish Vikings have held a day in honor of their beard going back as far as 800 AD. Back in those august days, there wasn’t a specific day held to honor the beard, but multiple celebrations throughout the region.”

Source: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-beard-day/

Throughout the upcoming year, blogs will be “sponsored” by a different Woodland cabin from the Summer of 2018 to celebrate a “national holiday.”  We will also take this opportunity to share what campers wrote as part of their “best moments at camp”…here is a little more about the zany gals from Treetops!

What is one thing you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of the summer?

Monica: I am more confident in my riding abilities

Molly: It’s OK to be annoyed and sad if the rest of the time you have a positive attitude

Tori: I am more independent and confident

Isa: If you believe in yourself, you can do anything!

Valentina: If you find a grizzly bear, you have to look dead

Caitlin: I didn’t know anything about sailing and riding, and now I know how to rig a sail and how to take off the halter on a horse

Describe a change you made in yourself this summer:

Monica: I learned to be kind to others

Molly: I’m more comfortable as myself, and I don’t care what others think about me

Tori: I’m more fit, and I have learned many life skills

Isa: I became more comfortable with myself

Valentina: I began to not care about the mean stuff that people say about you because it is worthless

Caitlin: I became more confident, and I feel I got better at asking questions

What are ways you were kind to the campers in your cabin or in general:

Monica: I tried to be patient when people were sad or upset

Molly: I tried to include everyone, the little girls and the new girls in my cabin

Tori: By trying to be inclusive and friends with everyone

Isa: When I saw someone upset, I went to help them

Valentina: I lent things of mine even when I didn’t really want to

Caitlin: I included everyone and was friendly to everyone. I also helped other campers, and encouraged them, too.

How did others show kindness to you?

Monica: They taught me things and were patient when I wasn’t

Molly: Everyone encouraged me and cheered me on; they asked me if I was OK and lifted me up

Tori: By always being there for me and being my friend

Isa: They made me believe in myself when I thought I couldn’t do it

Valentina: By being nice to me

Caitlin: Talking to me, complimenting me on something and helping me when I needed it