Monthly Archives:October 2013

Happy Halloween from Starshine!


Costumes are not just for Halloween…we dress up at camp almost every day!  Decades Night, 4th of July Games, Pirates Day, Campfires…you name it, we wear it!  We would love to see pictures of you in your Halloween costume, so email us at:


Favorite Things from Starshine

Kelly: Bonding over cabin dance parties, spoon assassins because of trusting no one, the joy of horse back riding because I don’t do it at home, meeting new people, and working on Song Contest and Lip Sync Contest together as a cabin.

Cayley: My favorite thing at camp is just about everything! My favorite activity is tennis – I take 2 hours of it!  I love spoon assasins, it is such a rush!  I love banquet even though it is super sad.  Also, my counselors are amazing! Gold Rush is so fun, too!

Isa: Dessert because it tastes really good, spoon assasins because it is a very fun game, my friends because they are so awesome, and sailing because it is fun to act like we’re on the ocean.

Ana Pau G: Spoon assasins, Campfires, Olympics, Friends, Activities, and Riflery.  I liked when we worked on Song Contest as a cabin.

Barbie: All the activities, my friends, canoeing trip, campfire, our counselors (Lindsay and Jenny), the songs and games.  I love Camp Woodland…I just have a lot of fun here!!!!

p.s. The Camp Reunion for the Chicago area will be held on Saturday, November 23rd — we hope you can join us!



Took the Back to School Challenge & Became a Better Friend!

Lee @ Shamrock Marathon

Lee @ Shamrock Marathon

Hello everyone!  We hope you have been enjoying all the articles we are posting in our Camp Woodland blog.  We are posting inspiring alumni stories, camp events, cabin photos with favorite camps memories, and much more!

It is also fun to read back through all the summer posts that you may have missed, because you were having too much fun enjoying camp!  I especially loved the post that Kim wrote about setting goals and challenging yourself at the beginning of each school year.    I was so inspired, I took the challenge and got back into running with a few friends.  I started running an hour each day, just like practicing an activity for an hour at camp.  It was so much fun, that I soon built this confidence I could run a marathon again, yes 26.2 miles! I have marathons in the past but it had been a long time and 2 children ago.

Lee @ Grandma's Marathon

Lee @ Grandma’s Marathon

I got through all of my long and excruciating weekend runs, but just 3 weeks before the marathon, I got injured! I was so bummed because I had the “I can, I will, and I am going to do it right away” mantra engrained in mind. Every time I was thinking about giving up, this mantra came screaming into my head.  This is also the same mantra we tell campers when they think they can’t do a challenging activity or pass the next level in an activity. I tried and tried but my injury was not getting better and had to tell my running friends and supporters that I would not be able to compete in the marathon.  Just as I was floating into the depths of despair, I remember something Kim also wrote in the Back to school challenge…be a team player and help a friend.  So I did.  I turned my despair around and  I drove my friends 5 hours to the marathon, shuttled them to the start line of the race, cheered them on at different parts of the 26.2 mile route. I even ran the last 6 miles with one of my friends that just needed a little TLC when she thought she was not going to finish.  But you know what???  She finished (sprinted to the finish line with her head held high) and so did all my friends racing that day.  I have to admit helping others achieve their goals was  even more fun than running the race.  So even though I did not achieve my goal (but soon), the friends I supported along the journey were worth it!

Lee supporting her friends @ steam town marathon

Lee supporting her friends @ steam town marathon

 Take a leap  and try something new…..You never know the story you are going to be able to tell later!

Save the Date: Chicago Camper Reunion

Date: November 23, 2013

Location: Chicago Area (TBD)

Time: 3:30 – 5:30pm


Alumni Camp Woodland Memories….

967010_10100524441197455_1252313950_oBritt and her brother were fixtures at camp for a number of years.  She recently revised this beautiful essay she wrote about camp.  We are posting a small bit of it for our weekly post:

“June 21st has come again: the solstice, the 28th of my longest days.  This is my real New Year’s Eve.  Today is the first day of the tangible months of summer, the first day of ice-cold popsicles tracing lines of sticky juices down the sides of blue-red lips, the first day of re-learning how to build a red-hot, marshmallow-roasting fire.  Somewhere it is written that all businesses, even mine, must be on summer schedules, all schools let out, and all children set free.  So here I am: all grown up, yet still a child, lying beneath a blanket of morning stars, wondering what my summer has in store.

The sun is coming up now, and the horizon is losing its pink-blue edges.  In the summer, the sun is patently closer and its heat seems to burn the atmosphere that much more, even at sunrise.  I am protected from this heat, my skin dry and cool.  The air conditioner hums away and my lightweight sheets lie still across my body.  When I was younger and had less to worry about, I had no need for these luxuries to protect me from the summer or the solstice.  I welcomed the shortest night of the year—the solstice was mere days before my yearly pilgrimage to the Northwoods.  It meant a racing heart and packed bags.  Of course, I never thought about what the date was then—I simply knew camp was coming.  Stuffed deep into my soft canvas duffle bags were the worn-old bedspread, thinned-out sheets, terry-cloth towels, riding-worn jeans and color-coded bathing suits: all the armaments I needed for the summer.  I packed weeks in advance and shuffled through the wrinkly, rolled up old clothes in all the days preceding to be sure I was prepared for my adventure.224699_8795698371_2866_n

I would take these bags across the state line to Wisconsin, home of summer camp upon summer camp and the true land of thousands of lakes.  The trip would be six hours by car, though it seemed an eternity before we would drive down the final stretch and see the towering pines above.  And I would know I was truly home.  I would leap from the car and in an instant summer was real, in sights, smells and sounds.  The ground was littered with grass sprouts, daisies, Indian Paintbrushes, and collecting rocks.  The air was rich with the smell of pine and the sounds of insects.  In the evenings, loons would call their lonesome song.

So many clichéd summer dreams hold no meaning for me; I have never associated summer with weekly family barbeques and dripping sauce over grilled meat, nor do I associate this season with long, stretched out beaches of untouched castles and pool chairs.  My summer dreams involve having wind in my hair and a horse at my hand or a canoe under my control.  I dream about running across wild plains and through the Climax Forest, of camping out with my friends and swimming in ice-cold lakes.  But these are dreams of my past, and today I have new dreams, dreams of success, of work, of being a parent.  I have hopes that involve business attire and a retirement plan.  Somehow, though, these dreams never feel as tangible as those of the Northwoods

Now the sun is up.  I am awake.  I am not going to camp to find brave adventures, explore the forests with newfound friends, or sail across the lake.  Good morning, sunshine.  Take me away.  The solstice means nothing now but more work, more days in a climate-controlled office.  Somehow, at some point, I grew up and left my summers behind.  But I will always have with me what summer once was, and this will always be a part of who I am.  And one day, I hope to return that part of me to where it belongs, once again finding my way down the pine-shaded road that leads to camp, my summers, and all my summer dreams.  One day it will be my daughter who learns of the summer, of its freedom, and of its power.  And with that I, too, will be home.”

-Britt Frederickson Holmes
University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute

If you have a camp essay and would like to share, please send it to: