Monthly Archives:July 2016

There is a Difference…

Posted by on July 30, 2016

There is a Difference. . .

Between playing Pokemon Go and searching for the “Mother Lode” on Gold Rush Day with your cabin.  Teamwork and persistence are key to gathering clues and puzzling out the location of the infamous gold rock.

Gold Rush

There is a Difference. . .

Between listening to your iPod and hearing the sounds of birds singing a wake-up tune, waves splashing on the shores of Sand Lake, wind whistling through the tall pine trees, halyards chiming on sailboat masts, and the echo of campers laughing.


There is a Difference. . .

Between grabbing food on the go and spending time with your cabin family sharing a meal 3 times a day.  The conversations that happen daily around the table are instrumental to cabin bonding and friendships.


There is a Difference. . .

Between watching a video on YouTube and seeing live performances of the annual Lip Sync, Song, and Ugly Counselor Contests and the end of session drama, dance and gymnastics shows.  There is no substitute for seeing the culmination of learning new skills, tireless rehearsing, and celebrating a job well done.


There is a Difference. . .

Between having a conversation on Snap Chat or other Social Media and a face-to-face “real-time” exchange with a cabin mate or camp friend.  Being able to see facial expression, read body language and interpret emotion are pivotal to understanding the intricacies of social interaction.


There is a Difference. . .

Between viewing photos on a screen and seeing nature’s splendor growing on the side of a tree by Silver Birch cabin, bald eagles flying overhead while sailing, loons swimming on the lake during canoe class, the sun setting from your campsite, and deer bounding through the Climax Forest while on a trail ride.


The Difference is pretty clear to me. . .a summer at Woodland makes all the difference in the world!


The following post is a piece written by first-year CIT, Susie Elfman.


Camp is close. Close to what, I don’t know. Maybe to true happiness, maybe to fun. But one thing I know camp is close to is perfect. It’s perfect in all of the little ways, like how the sunlight makes the leaves look bright green when you look to your right. Or how when you stare up at the tops of the trees you get dizzy. Maybe it’s the water hitting the shore that makes it perfect. Or it could be the noise a sail makes when it’s windy. Perhaps it’s the sound of the birds in the early hours of the morning.

FullSizeRender (19)

I can’t be too sure if it’s the patter of rain on the cabin roof or the mumbles of “goodnight” when the lights turn off. Maybe it’s the way your arms are sore after canoeing, or how an arrow sounds hitting the target. Maybe it’s the smell of the riflery range after your shoot or the cheer of your friends when you get a bullseye. Is it the smell of paint in the art room? No one can know for sure what makes camp so close to perfection, but it might just be the little things. Whatever it is, I know that it makes me excited when I drive down the Woodland Road to take my first deep breath of the Northwoods air. And it’s then I know I’m in a place I can only describe as home.

Eye of the Fun Storm: From Accelerate to Celebrate

Posted by on July 23, 2016
Happy 47th Birthday Camp Woodland!
Today (Saturday) marks the end of the 4th week of camp, and as Woodland alum, Athena K, so eloquently stated several years ago, this weekend is the “eye of the fun storm”.  Yesterday was Camp Birthday and tomorrow is TP Fair, and so today is sandwiched in between two extremely FUN and highly anticipated camp traditions (hence the appropriateness of the phrase “the eye of the fun storm”).
Day lilies arrive like clockwork in time
to celebrate Camp Birthday!
Gymnastics, dance, and drama classes will be performing for the entire camp and visiting parents this weekend.  The girls in gymnastics will demonstrate their perfected skills through floor, beam and bar routines.  Fourth and sixth hour dance classes are ready to showcase their moves to upbeat music.  The grand finale of the evening will be the brightly costumed Woodland Player’s rendition of “Aladdin.”
 Gymnastics class is stretching & getting ready 
tonight’s performance and demonstration
 We are also transitioning from “Accelerate to Celebrate” as we get ready to begin the final two weeks of the summer.  The girls have been at camp for a month now, and they are seeing the results of their efforts and persistence in activities.  This is evident in the NUMEROUS announcements made by counselors at our daily evening assembly celebrating campers’ many achievements.  Woodland girls are passing levels in archery, riflery, and swimming, gaining proficiency on the kneeboard, wakeboard or skis during Rec Swim, trotting and/or cantering in riding, sailing off a mooring or canoeing solo,…you name it…campers are doing it and we are celebrating it!

Silver Birch is ready to play birthday games!

Camp is a BLAST during the last two weeks because of the effort poured into the weeks preceding it. Friendships are closer, confidence is stronger, and experiences are unforgettable. New abilities and perfected skills, honed over an extended period of time, become manifest. Campers can’t help but to stand a little taller!  We are looking forward to celebrating both individual and group success in the days to come.  There is still MORE SUMMER TO GO!

Gold Rushing It!!!

Even though it’s 20 years later, still, when I wake up in the summer to a solid morning breeze, I think “Ooh!  This is a Woodland sail race day!”

And when I wake up in July and feel a crisp, cool dry air (occasional, very occasional in Virginia), I think “Ooh!  This is a Gold Rush day.”

In reality, any kind of day is a good day for Gold Rush.  But crisp cool and dry is best – because in Gold Rush?  In Gold Rush you run.  With your hands held, for hours, so no one wants extra sweaty hands.  Extra sweaty hands means you might accidentally let go of a hand, and THEN….. well, then the sherriff is going to get you for not holding hands.  And then you might wind up in jail.  Then you might wind up having to hand over your clue money in order to buy your way out of jail.  Then you might have to leave behind an awesome pile of gold you just found, and another cabin’s going to know you left it behind, and get it.

Jamie K (alum) and her cabin found the gold in 2001!!

Jamie K (alum) and her cabin found the gold in 2001!!

Looking back on Gold Rush, like Santa, there are many things I”m surprised I didn’t wonder about.  I knew the counselors and CITs put out all the rocks, but how did they manage to haul buckets of rocks all over camp?  (With very sore arms the next day, that’s how.)  And how did they hide the mother lode without ANYONE knowing? (Because JoAnne and/or Chet is a sneaky genius, that’s how.)  How come the clues were so darn difficult, until you got to the end, and then they were so darn obvious, yet you didn’t know it until you stumbled on the rock-of-all-rocks?  (Because JoAnne and/or Lee is a wicket clue-writer, that’s how.)   I did, however, understand why a CIT was a little trigger-happy with a water guy.  Who can blame them, really.

So get your pans, get your stakes, get your running shoes. And parents, when you wake up this morning, hope for a cool crisp dry day. Becuase rain or shine, it’s GOLD RUSH!

Ps. We will be tweeting the gold rush clues tomorrow on Twitter (Woodland handle is @Woodlandfun).  Follow us and follow the fun!

 Woodland Love,

Alice Decker
Woodland Alumni
Practicing Law in the Washington DC area

Step On The Gas As We Go From Acclimate to Accelerate

Posted by on July 12, 2016


After establishing our rhythm in the first two weeks of camp, we can push a little harder on the gas pedal and see what adventures await us during weeks 3 and 4. Some campers have decided to challenge themselves with a new activity (or two) while others strive for greater mastery in favorite activities.

Riflery Target

It was SO EXCITING yesterday at assembly to hear all of the announcements of campers passing levels, staying up on skis in choppy water, making a mooring for the first time, learning to canter, mastering a skill in gymnastics, or earning a qualifier in archery. Campers start to EXPLODE with accomplishments during the next 2 weeks – it is fun to watch them BURST with confidence like never before!


Having been together for a while, cabin groups usually discover that not everyone agrees all of the time. We embrace this opportunity for the real work of camp to begin! Several cabins will go on a canoe trip for a fun bonding experience and a change of routine. There is something about paddling to a destination, cooking over a fire, and sleeping in a tent that provides an opportunity for campers to connect in a way that is different from being at “home” in the cabin.

Canoe Trip

Song Contest is a highlight of this 2-week period. With the support of the counselors, groups come together and appreciate each other’s unique gifts and strengths. I am always amazed at what cabins can do when they put their heads together, change the words to a song, add in some creative dance moves, and practice for an all-camp performance. Behind the smiling faces during show time is the teamwork, negotiation, compromise, and problem-solving that went into accomplishing a common goal.

Lip Sync