Monthly Archives:July 2013

Tennis World Cup Results!

To wrap up Week 5, the Tennis counselors wanted to share their big tournament of the summer:


We had 2 very intense at the Tennis Courts. All the girls worked very hard to perfect their swing in order to participate in the perstigous tournament, “Woodland Tennis World Cup”. Each class was divided into 2 teams.  They got to choose which country they wanted to represent and even their team colors to wear.  Also, they used their amazing creativity and made up a cheer, flag, and a mascot.  In first hour we had Barbara and Anna playing for Mexico against Aubrey and Kelly playing for Poland. Both teams did an amazing job considering that it was the first match for some of the girls.  In the end Mexico won!


For second hour, we had Andrea and Irene who chose England against Ally and Sofia S. who chose Greece. Both teams did great at playing but what we liked the most is how original their mascots were.  Greece was “Greece Lightning” because of how fast they were and England was a beautiful butterfly. In the end Greece was victorious!


Third period, our most advanced class, the girls showed off their killer swings and competed like true professionals. The first team was Siberia with Ana DLF, Arantxa, and Kelly.  The other team was Hungary with Sofia DLF and Regina P. After a very intense competition the girls from Siberia won!


In 4th period we had some very creative cheers.  It was amazing to see Elena, Lorenza, and Eden make a cheer for Eygpt.  Also, Cayley and Caroline make a cheer for Wales. In the end, Wales won the competition.

For our last period, we had a very exciting match!  The girls got super excited and gave all they had. Regina V and Daphne played for Canada, and Jackie and Ana Marta played for the Congo. The Congo won in the end!

It was great to see all the girls compete and give their best! We sure had a lot of fun and can’t wait for the 2014 World Cup! Also, special thanks to Regina V for making all the “Tournament Cups”.


Stand out… You’ll fit right in!

Posted by on July 27, 2013

One of the best parts about being at camp, and one of the themes we try to focus on year after year, is that being yourself is absolutely the norm here at Woodland. At camp, we worry less about who’s going to think we’re strange, or how silly we look, or what we’re wearing. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! The louder and crazier you are, the more you fit in at camp. The more crazy clothes and face paint you pile on during Olympics, the better! The more patterns you clash and the more undergarments you wear outside of your clothes for special events, the better!


The more you be yourself, express yourself, and let your own colors shine through – the better! We make a point here never to let ourselves be dimmed by conformity, or to believe our differences make us less beautiful; infact, nothing could be farther from the truth! What makes all of us so great is how unique each of is. No two girls at camp are the exact same, or laugh at the exact same things, or wear the exact same girls. We each shine in our own ways. We each have our own talents, and our own strengths to bring to the group. Why would we ever want to diminish how amazing and singular we all are?! At camp, we get to be ourselves to the fullest – standing out is the exact right way to fit in!



Camp Woodland Olympics – Everybody Plays, Everybody Wins!

DSC08014The Camp Woodland Olympics was an amazing day of perseverance, sportsmanship, and teamwork.  This year’s theme -All We Can Be in 1-3 – was peeking around every corner during the Olympics!  The Teams were creatively named: Russian for Gold and Barbados Tornadoes.   Russian for Gold’s team colors were yellow and blue, and the Barbados Tornadoes were Purple and Black. The morning started off with Opening ceremonies – Oh yes, we have a torch that was lit for the entire Olympic games!  After the torch was lit, the girls scurried off to their events to compete in Track (woodland Road), Field (shoe tossing and jump roping are actual events!), and waterfront (yup, playak relay races really happened!). To finish the morning each team captain competed in a fun obstacle course sponsored by our Olympic Committee!DSC08016

In the afternoon, girls were selected to compete in individual events: Riding, gymnastics, tennis, riflery, and archery.  Lots of fun competition, but also lots of cheering on other girls and enjoying the Olympic festivities. To end the evening each team presented their flag, song, cheer, and skit at the closing campfire.  We were blown away by their creativity and inginuity! It made it very hard for our “guest judges” to pick a winner in each category. Glad that I was just a spectator:)

Dromroll Please…….The winner of  the Summer 2013 Olympics were  The Tornadoes!!   Good Job to everyone and way to show your camp and team spirit!

Special Thanks to our Olympic Committee!  They have been planning this day for weeks and it truly was one of the best olympics I have been part of!

Great day. Great fun. Great Camp.

Summer Learning Surplus

Posted by on July 24, 2013

So often, we hear about the learning loss that occurs during the summer from having too much time away from school.  As a teacher who has spent 25+ summers at camp, I would like to propose that children who go to summer camp, actually experience just the opposite.  Kids who spend their summer at camp have a learning surplus.  While I do not have any specific data to back this claim, I can share with you my observations from enjoying more than a quarter of a century with kids in the camp environment (including 3 weeks at Camp Woodland this summer!).


  • Math: Friendships formed, skills learned, donuts consumed on Saturday mornings, mosquito bites, laughter and smiles…too many to count!
  • Science: When the outdoors is the classroom, campers learn about the natural environment at every turn.  They take hikes in the forest and look for the “stinky” tree,  jump on a bed of moss at the Moss Garden, go fishing, visit the bog, search for Lost Lake or the Enchanted Forest, take care of the animals at Farm Zoo, plant flowers and a garden, participate in camp-wide recycling, watch an eagle soar overhead, catch a glimpse of a deer darting into the woods, hear the loons calling to one another across the lake, observe a mother duck and her ducklings swim near the water’s edge, cook over a fire and sleep in a tent while on a canoe trip, gaze at the stars without the interference of city lights, see a full moon blaze its trail across the lake…just to name a few!
  • History: Camp traditions such as Opening Campfire, Gold Rush, Camp Birthday, Olympics, and Banquet are some of the lessons learned as they are passed on from generation to generation of Woodland campers.
  • Government/Leadership: From the youngest to the oldest, all campers are given the opportunity to be leaders during their stay at camp.  Cabins take turns being charge of planning various all-camp events, including the Camper Council activity for Friday night and Inspiration Hour on Sunday morning.  When an event calls for a station rotation, the girls are responsible for explaining their “game” to each group.  The oldest campers are Counselors-in-Training (or CIT’s), and they  dedicate an hour each day to leadership training that helps them prepare for their future role as a counselor.  These girls also rotate being “Officer-of-the-Day” (OD) and learn about camp from the administrative perspective as well as assuming responsibilities in activities when counselors have a day off.


  • Language: Writing letters home to family and friends is a favorite rest hour pastime.  Woodland girls learn about diversity and are exposed to different cultures as campers/staff come from various states and countries.
  • Reading: Campers often read books from home during rest hour or at Rec Swim while sitting on the deck overlooking the beach.  Counselors also choose an age-appropriate book and read a story to the entire cabin as part of the nightly routine.
  • Physical Fitness: Camp doesn’t happen sitting down!  Campers are playing tennis, doing gymnastics, swimming, sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing/paddle-boarding, canoeing, riding horses, sharpening skills at archery or riflery, dancing, walking to and from activities, running to get their mail, and skipping (just because they can)!
  • Music: The “official” time and a favorite activity is to sing after every evening meal and at weekly campfires.  Campers sing “unofficially” while out on a sailboat, during a trail ride, at the start of various activities (“I’m Alive, Alert, Awake, Enthusiastic!”), and just about anywhere and anytime during the camp day.  Song Contest is the highlight at the end of the 3rd week; cabins work together and change the words to a popular song and choreograph moves to tell their story of the summer.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Performing Arts: Girls have the opportunity to be in dance, gymnastics, and/or drama performances that are put on for the entire camp every 2 weeks; they also act out skits each week at campfires.  The girls taking drama also design and build their own sets and utilize the drama closet resources to assemble their costume selections.  Put it all together, and the end product is one fabulous production!
  • Creative Arts:  Imaginations run wild during arts and crafts classes at camp!  From individuals making a paper mache pig to small groups designing a “roller coaster” apparatus for a marble ride, campers are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box with every project.  Don’t be surprised if you happen to see a cabin group wearing mustaches to assembly or dressed in zebra footie pajamas – it is all part of the Woodland spirit that is celebrated at any given moment!  You may even run into a “unicorn” at horseback riding…

unicorn horse

  • Health: The Woodland camp community has the luxury of eating 3 well-balanced meals together each day, 7 days a week.  Not only is the food delicious, but being able to enjoy a leisurely dining experience in a family setting is a real treat!  The cabin bonding that occurs during meals is nourishment for the soul as many stories and accomplishments are shared through conversations within each cabin group.
  • Computer: OK, you got me on this one!  This is the only area where there is a deficit (but in a good way)!  We are able to accomplish all of the above without one smartphone, laptop, e-reader, TV, or other electronic device.  Being “unplugged” for 6 weeks is heavenly, and I highly recommend it!

So, as you can see, there is no such thing as learning loss while spending an amazing summer at camp!  The typical day at camp is packed with learning experiences that are EVEN BETTER than a typical day at school.  And that is coming straight from the keyboard of a math teacher!!!

Kim Wenzl Aycock, MST

5th Week of Camp – Woodland Olympics!

IMG_4152The fifth week of camp is all about healthy competition and celebrating athletic excellence! Our annual “Olympics” provides opportunities for campers to show their show their skills development in individual activities (e.g. gymnastics and horseback riding) and work as a sports team member (e.g. soccer and tug of war). Through this experience, campers learn sportsmanship, team spirit, and the thrill of athletic achievement.

Check out Alice Decker’s, be-loved Alum, memories of Camp Woodland Olympics:

“When I think about the Woodland olympics, I can’t help but chuckle. After 20 years I can still remember the names of my more memorable teams. And their spontaneous cheers. I won’t repeat them, but anyone who served with me on the French Fries knows EXACTLY what I am talking about. I can remember layering on every piece of clothing in my limited drawer space that could count as a team color item, in order to painstakingly line them up in the clothing relay, and cursing the laundry cycle that fell right in the middle of the event. I remember banging the tiller of an old X-boat in frustration – I’d won a bunch of sail races just that last week, so why would the wind desert me today? And I remember the peculiar feeling of a cabin divided – the only time during the summer that my co-lyricist, my partner for undefeated cabin victory in the coveted ability of inane camp rhyme, Ms. Lurain, was suddenly facing off against me. Could she rhyme better (by which I mean, sillier and stupider) than me, mano a mano??? Even writing this post, I am already starting to mutter, “yo yo yo yo, French Fries…” Yup. It’s Olympics time.”