Monthly Archives:April 2014

Straight from the Camp Woodland Kitchen!

As we are getting closer to the first day of camp, I think we can all agree, we start thinking about all the yummy food at Camp Woodland. For new families,  the biggest misconception about all camps is that the food isn’t that good. Not here!  With all the choices we offer at every meal, there is something for everyone!  As of recent years, one of the favorite desserts that is made from scratch at camp is the Congo bars served during cookout.   If you want to read more about our food click on this link.

Here is the fabulous Congo Bar recipe:

2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan. In a large bowl, combine sugar and melted butter, blend well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla, add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well, stir in chocolate chips. Spread in pan and bake 25-35 minutes. Do not over bake! Cool before cutting into squares. Makes 36 bars.

Thanks Susan Jordan for creating this recipe!


The “S” On Your Chest

Posted by on April 28, 2014


supermanLast week I had the pleasure of hearing Superior Court Judge J Wade Padgett speak for 2 hours on “Teenage Years 101” to the student body at a local high school.  One of the parents whose daughter and son I tutor recommended that I go, not only for the benefit of what I would learn regarding the students with whom I tutor, but she also thought that it would be a good idea because of the work that I do with summer camps.   I have to say that it was an eye-and-ear-opening experience to say the least!  Judge Padgett didn’t sugar coat anything while sharing an important lesson about the consequences of poor choices or decisions made from the minors who have come across his path in the judiciary system.


In addition to covering all of the “usual” risks (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.) that adolescents so often take that may provide a perceived short-term “high”, Padgett also delved into the long-term consequences that may be unknown (losing the privilege to drive, getting an STD, being taking advantage of because of loss of consciousness, etc.).  He gave example after example of “good” kids who made a poor decision, got caught, and are no longer in school, no longer pursuing their dream, or are no longer with us.  In other words, the future is not looking so bright for these folks.  My stomach was in knots throughout his entire presentation, and it was one of the few times that I was part of an audience that was so engaged, you could have heard a pin drop.

ropes course

Judge Padgett also went into various Social Media issues with the students (texting while driving, posting inappropriate pictures, cyber bullying, etc.).  He mentioned an app called “Yik Yak” which apparently gives the capability to send messages anonymously; I had never heard of it, but from what I now know, kids are using it to ambush one another because no one knows the author.  By having the app, it sends out messages to other users by zip code.  Several schools in my area are banning its use by their students because of the potential it has to be anything but nice.


Padgett kept coming back to the “S” that many young people (and adults, too!) wear on their chest…the “S” that says “I am invincible – that won’t happen to me – I would never do that!”.  The “S” that came to mind for me in all of this “doom and gloom” was the “S” that stands for the SOLUTION = SUMMER CAMP!!  The time that kids spend at summer camp allows them to take a break from the many temptations that are out there because the culture is different at camp.  The culture that is the “norm” for campers at Woodland/Towering Pines is to build each other up, not tear each other down; to take risks that are constructive and build confidence with appropriate supervision, skills, and support, not destructive and may cause harm to the person or to others; to get a “high” just from being with your friends in the outdoors while being “unplugged”, not sink “lower” because of poor choices or miss opportunities because of too much “screen-time” and not enough time fostering face-to-face relationships.


Summer camp is one decision that should be easy to make because of the many GOOD consequences that are a result of the experience.  If your daughter comes home this summer with an “S” on her chest, it is because she SUCCEEDED at trying something new, reached a goal she never thought was possible, became more independent, branched out and formed friendships, was a valuable part of a community, had fun being silly and spontaneous…just to name a few!  You will be AMAZED at the confidence she will come away with that will help her navigate the many decisions she will face in her life at home and school.



31 Signs You Grew Up At Camp Woodland

This week’s blog post is a real treat!  Bobby B and Courtney G found a fun article about 31 Signs you were a summer camp kid. In the spirit of Camp Woodland, they tailored it to include signs you grew up at Camp Woodland!  We are so lucky Courtney and Bobby will both be at camp this sumer after a 2 year absence.  We can’t wait to see more of their creativity this summer!  Here’s the list:

  1.  If you know where it begins, and the second letter in…
  2. You still wear your Woodland Wear on a regular basis.
  3. You could never have enough friendship bracelets, and always looked forward to #FriendshipBraceletFriday.
  4. There was nothing better than receiving a cologne-soaked letter from a boy at TP, typically detailing their 6 activities and a statement of how excited they were to meet you at TP fair.
  5. Your first “marriage” was to a TP boy at the annual camp fairs!
  6. You crossed your fingers hoping for letters and care packages from home, ideally with treats to share with your cabin mates.
  7. Receiving a letter or a package was the single most exciting thing that could happen during rest hour (and to this day you still enjoy receiving hand written letters from your best camp friends).
  8. You’ve lost your voice after camp Olympics.
  9.  None of your friends from school understood (and still don’t understand) the bonds you created with your camp friends.
  10.  Training to be a CIT or counselor taught you skills that you still use today – like how to clean a toilet (when your roommates don’t know how to) or dealing with all different sorts of people.
  11.  You continuously plan camp reunions with your friends from every corner of the world.
  12.  You looked forward to getting a new crazy creek chair (It’s a campfire thing!)
  13. You never went to picnic or cookout without your crazy creek, and if you did happen to forget, you always had that one friend that would unclip the sides and lay it out flat just to share with you.
  14.  Hand written letters will never be outdated and you still know the camp address by heart.
  15. The Jordans and all of camp have become your second family.
  16.  You know all the lyrics and moves to your favorite camp songs, especially how to make the ugliest faces and hands during “Three Chartreuse Buzzards.”
  17. You’re a million and one times better off than all your friends during freshman year of college when it comes to homesickness.
  18.  You relate sororities and Greek life to the appreciation for crazy traditions and close connections that were instilled in you at Woodland.
  19. You’ve mastered the changing technique you learned in the boat house before and after swim lessons.
  20.  Canteen was the best reward after a long day filled with activities.
  21.  You remember hating swimming lessons, but the minute the lifeguard whistle goes off for rec swim you were always the first one to dive in.
  22.  You think every leech in Sand Lake is a lake gnome from the destroyed coffee factory.
  23. You refer to happiness as warm fuzzies, and sadness as cold pricklies.
  24.  Every time you see fireworks you say “ooh, ahh, wonderful!”
  25.  You’ve never had better ice cream than the homemade stuff on fair days.
  26.  You have all the lyrics memorized to “At the Beginning” from co-ed show, and you catch yourself singing the camp-ified lyrics to country songs instead of the real lyrics.
  27.  You woke up every fourth of July to Paul Revere and his horsemen shouting, “The British are coming, the British are coming!”
  28.  Your 5-year pendant is more valuable than any diamond necklace.
  29. The more badges on your Woodland jacket, the better.
  30. T-A-C-O Bar!  Enough said.
  31. When you smell “that smell” you’re instantly transported from wherever you may be in the world and taken to Camp Woodland. Whether it’s a quick whiff of pine trees or the scent of sand lake, you recognize it instantly and appreciate Woodland for everything it has been and continues to be in your life in that moment…..And it starts to get you thinking about the upcoming summer!

I think we can all agree, this list is almost the same if you went to Camp Woodland in the  70’s, 90’s, or 2013!  We have a united bond that will always make us a Woodland Girl!


The Big Banana! Sunday Recreational Swim Tradition!

April Showers Bring…from Hilltop

Posted by on April 16, 2014


Look Out Aquarius…Here We Come!  We are the 2014 CIT’s!

It is interesting to note that this month’s blog sponsor, Hilltop, was the 2nd oldest camper cabin at camp in 2013.  This means that you are looking at the next group of CIT’s (Counselors-in-Training) for 2014!!  Many of these girls have been at camp for a number of years, some of them have literally “grown up” at Woodland.  It is fitting that they are posing for the month of “April showers” as we know that rain is an important ingredient in the cycle of life and is the nutrient most things need to grow.  This group has definitely shown a lot of growth in their journey as campers, and now they will be taking the next step which is designed to help them become future counselors.

Hilltop Cabin Unity

Hilltop: Cabin Unity Campfire 2013

You will see these girls take numerous leadership roles this summer as they now become part of the equation for making camp “magical” for the younger campers as did the CIT’s before them.  The CIT’s will be involved in the day-to-day operations of camp and will take turns ringing the wake-up bell, sorting the outgoing and incoming mail, doing cabin inspection with the nurse, assisting with activities, giving ski help and taking canteen orders during Rec Swim,…just to name a FEW!  As a group they will take part in a daily leadership training hour with their counselors during the first few weeks of the summer and plan all-camp Sunday events such as Gold Rush or other fun themes.  The CIT’s will also put together the highly anticipated “Coed Show” with their counterparts at Towering Pines.

Hilltop Superheros

Hilltop: Superhero Night 2013

Hilltop’s Favorite Things:

Jackie: Spoon assassins (I love the chase!), Lip sync contest, Picnic (All food! Yummy!), Movie night (fun and relaxing!), Cabin night  (spend time with cabin), Cookout (I love eating outside!), Chicken tenders (so good!), Taco bar (Dan is amazing!).

Kira: Riding (I love horses!),  Olympics (I love screaming and all of the cheers!), Cabin night (It is so much fun to spend time with my cabin mates), and the Food (it is delicious!).

Caroline:  Saturday donuts (because they are so yummy!),  Sunday picnic (because of the different foods), Movie night (I love movies), Cookout, Taco bar, Gold Rush (I love the hunt for gold), Rest hour (I like to rest), Extended rest hour (I like to rest a long time), Spoon Assassins, Cabin night (We get to spend time together).

Ana: Spoon Assins (It’s fun), Saturday Donuts (Love donuts), Cookout (I like chips), Picnic (I like to have different options of food), Pizza with salad bar (I love pizza and of toppings), Rest Hour (I love to rest), Movie Nite (I like movies and canteen), Campfire (I have a lot of  fun!).

Claire: Gold Rush, all Sunday activities, Dan’s cooking (chicken tenders), spoon assassins (chasing people is fun), rest hour (resting is fun), cabin night/cabin bonding, rainy day activities, campfire, Olympics, movie night, and canteen!