Monthly Archives:November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Sunnyside 2015!

SunnysideCheers to a GREAT Holiday!

We are THANKFUL for our camp family – the campers, staff, alumni, and friends who make every summer a wonderful experience for all Woodland girls!  Thank you, Sunnyside, for sharing your best moments with us!

I am really proud of:

Parker: trying new things! I loved trying the new food the kitchen staff made and new activities

Molly: passing level 4 swimming on the first day and shooting 3 bull’s eyes

Anna: getting my Marksman 1st Class in riflery

Abbey: trying riflery

Barbie: passing levels 5 and 6 in swimming and getting better in archery

Irene: passing Level 4 in swimming

Fer: getting along well with other people

Adri: going out of the wake in water-skiing and trying new things

Cabin Unity

Cabin Unity Campfire

The thing I learned the most about myself this summer:

Parker: I’m more courageous than I thought; I made new friends and tried new things

Molly: I love to swim, especially in the lake, even when it is really cold

Anna: I was able to accomplish a lot

Abbey: I like jambalaya

Barbie: that you can do anything if you are positive and have a lot of patience and effort

Irene: I am not a good singer

Fer: that I have a free spirit

Adri: I love sharing my stories and experiences with other people

Sunnyside Cabin

Hanging Out in the Cabin

The best thing that happened to me at camp:

Parker: seeing old friends and meeting new friends was AMAZING!

Molly: I got to swim in the deep which is more fun than swimming in the middle, and I also had a great cabin

Anna: all my friends

Abbey: hitting the target in riflery

Barbie: friendships, activities, counselors, food (all!)

Irene: getting to see all my friends again this year

Fer: meeting new people who are nice

Adri: meeting all my friends that will last forever


Thank you Sofia, Cami, Andrea and Sam!

Camp Is All Around Us…..

You heard it right from the source – camp is all around us! I embrace it because it means I have “family” wherever I am headed.  Hi, my name is Lee Albrecht Biear, and I have been part of Camp Woodland for over half of my life!


5th year at camp circa 2000!

I remember thinking as a young counselor, how can I keep being part of this incredible place forever?  As I was mapping out my future camp career, I thought I had to be a teacher, nurse or chef. I knew that I was not destined to be a teacher (let’s face it, teachers are gods), a nurse (squeamish around blood), or a chef (I burn water!). I had no idea how I was going to follow my passion and find a niche as a camp professional.


JoAnne & Lee circa 2001

So, off I went to follow my second passion, public health (I love helping people and the environment be healthy!).  I designed onsite wastewater treatment systems for large subdivisions, developed water pumps for impoverished communities in Latin America, and consulted for the National U.S. EPA office.  Even with a successful career, there was still an itch for camp that I was destined to scratch.


That’s me designing water pumps in Nicaragua circa 2002

Through it all, the Jordan Family had my back.  I saved my vacation time so that I could work at camp, even if just for a week.  I told my boyfriend (now husband), Matt, that we could only continue our relationship if he believed in camp.  Luckily, he fell in love with camp in one afternoon. Matt was instantly hooked as he witnessed firsthand the camp philosophies I had been preaching about – they were playing out in every nook and cranny at Woodland. Spending the afternoon at Towering Pines on Pirate Day only sealed the deal (eye patches, a cannon, and walking the plank – SOLD!).



The whole Biear Family at camp circa 2015

Fast-forward 6 years from that fateful camp visit with my husband, and I am working at camp again and have been part of the year round team since 2012. Remember, when I said the Jordan Family has stood behind me while I found my way???  Well, it is so true!  They supported my dreams as a public health professional, and also welcomed me back as the marketing director for both camps. I am in a fulfilling position and enjoy working with the campers and staff each summer. I help keep camp around us all year by organizing camp reunions, managing our social media sites, and networking with our very talented alumni.


Mimi Alumni Reunion in Houston Texas, October 2015

I am honored to be part of our very inclusive Alumni Family. Our Alumni are simply the best! I love hearing about their camp experiences and finding the common thread we all share through the Woodland and Towering Pines experience. It is amazing how the traditions and philosophies have shaped our lives and will always be a part of us.  It is fun to see how as counselors we positively impacted the next generation of campers!  Once you join the Camp Woodland and Towering Pines community, you become part of the family.   It means that camp can be around us, even if we can’t always be physically there.

We hope you can attend our next Camp Event.  Details are below:

Date: Sunday, November 22, 2015
Time: 3:30-5:30pm
Location: 1834 Lincoln Avenue Northbrook, IL 60062