Monthly Archives:April 2017

Why I Choose Woodland!

Posted by on April 21, 2017

Waterfront Director 1987-1997

Because I moved on from Woodland/Towering Pines after a 12-year stint as counselor, program director, waterfront director, and eventually assistant director, and then returned after a 14 year hiatus, I am often asked by fellow alumni why I chose to come back.  In the time I was away, I was the associate director at a much larger all-girls camp in the mountains of Western North Carolina full-time for 8 years. There are 60+ camps in three neighboring counties in that part of the US alone!

  Tamarack Cabin Counselor 1986-1991

A little over 10 years ago, I started my own camp consulting business and present at multiple camp and youth development conferences every year and work with camps to provide top-notch staff training and programming experiences.  I have been back at Woodland/Towering Pines every summer since 2011 spending a month sleeping on a top bunk and being truly immersed in camp life.  I can’t imagine being anywhere else!

  Lena’s Helper with 1989 Birthday Cake

I have worked with and been to many different camps (100+) since my career path took me in another direction in 1997.  This includes single sex, co-ed, for-profit, not-for-profit, agency, religiously affiliated, specialty, traditional, all sizes, various geographic locations and a few other qualifiers that I’m sure I am leaving off the list.  Coming back to Woodland/Towering Pines was choice I made because of how strongly I believe the the experience both camps have to offer kids today who need camp now more than ever!  While there are many great camps out there, I would have no hesitation choosing Woodland and Towering Pines for the following reasons:

 Fair Day sign still in tact 30 years later!

Size: Small & personalized. Every staff member (including the directors) knows every camper!   Campers know each other (younger and older) and that truly makes us a camp FAMILY.

Purposeful Play/Creativity: We are technology free! We focus on what really matters – growth as individuals and as a group.   Through purposeful and “unplugged” play, kids use their imagination and creativity to make their own fun.

Program Philosophy: Our 2-week themes of ACCLIMATE – ACCELERATE – CELEBRATE provide a framework for campers to thrive and grow. Mr. Jordan (founder & 5th grade teacher for 30 years) knew what he was doing when he created the mix of activities and the flow of the summer.

Staff: The owners/directors really know the staff because the majority have been campers themselves and have come up through our Counselor-In-Training leadership program. Staff training is on-going and includes a week prior to camper arrival.  We take our work seriously!

Length: Kids need the opportunity to work through their differences and face challenges!  The real value of camp plays out AFTER the first two weeks of experience. The 6 Week Advantage and time spent “all in” is the reason the end is so fun and impactful.

Diversity: Campers experience a variety of cultures and make new friends from all around the US and world. Camp is a great equalizer!

Level of Competition: There is healthy competition at appropriate times in the summer with a focus on sportsmanship and teamwork. Everybody plays!

Consistency: This is a hard one to explain, but I feel that it is important to “walk the talk” by being true to what is portrayed in marketing efforts and then staying congruent with that message throughout the entire camp experience.  What you see is what you get at Woodland/TP!

Food: Meals are mostly made from scratch (very little processed food) with healthy options available during snack times.  Plus, the time spent eating 3-meals together contributes greatly to the feeling of being family!

Price: “All-inclusive” (no extra fees) and competitive with other camps our size and duration. It’s hard to put a price tag on a quality experience!

So, there you have it…some of the reasons why I truly believe the camp experience that Woodland and Towering Pines provides to kids is exactly what they need for each unique stage of development.  And, that is coming from someone who lives, sleeps, eats, breathes, and LOVES camp every single day!   I look forward to seeing you and your camper this summer!

April Showers from Starshine!

Posted by on April 12, 2017

Best Moments from Starshine (these girls will be CIT’s in 2017!):

What is one moment at camp you will never forget?

Sofia: On our canoe trip, all 8 of us were in one tent and we had a great time bonding.  We stayed up late and had a blast!

Sam: Putting 8 people in a 6 person tent on our canoe trip!  This made us bond, laugh, and most importantly, make memories that will last a lifetime!

Amelia: When we were on our canoe trip and we all fit into one tent.  This way we got closer as a cabin!

Kelly: On our canoe trip this year, we fit all 8 of us in one tent and we talked all night.  We also took a lot of photos that we can look through forever.

Paula: On our canoe trip we did a photoshoot and stayed up late talking and telling stories.

Valentina: I will never forget our canoe trip; we got to know each other, worked as a team to put our tents up, had a lot of fun in the lake, and told stories.  It was a great canoe trip!

Cayley: I will never forget our canoe trip when we all shared a tent and told funny stories by the campfire.

Molly: We took a full on photo shoot on our canoe trip and seriously took 1000 pictures!  It was the best canoe trip ever!

What is something adventurous you did this summer?

Sofia: Ropes course – we did some pretty extreme stuff!

Sam: Trying lots of new things and learning from both good and bad experiences.

Amelia: At Ropes Course I did all of the different activities that were scary at first, but ended up being tons of fun!

Kelly: When we went to the Ropes Course, we did the “human slingshot” and it was scary, but I did it!

Paula: At Ropes Course, I challenged myself to try things I never thought I could do, and in the end I did them!

Valentina: Ropes Course was an amazing experience because we got to do things that we can’t do anywhere else.

Cayley: We did a lot of challenging activities at the Ropes Course, and it was a lot of fun.

Molly: When we went to the Ropes Course, I was pulled up over 20 feet off the ground and then launched like a human slingshot.

What is something for which you are most proud?

Sofia: Learning to ski and sail.

Sam: Making new friends outside of my cabin that will no doubt be friends for life.

Amelia: I swam 245 laps in lap swim and got to go to Cathy’s!

Kelly: Finishing my laps for lap swim and getting to go to Cathy’s with my friends.

Paula: Trying to pass so many levels and for trying riding for the first time.

Valentina: I am proud of going on the “human slingshot”.  I am very afraid of heights, but I still got on and did it!

Cayley: I signed up for sailing 3rd session after not doing it for many years, and I loved it!  I passed a few levels in Riflery.

Molly: I passed out of swimming lessons this year; it took 5 years to do it, but I did it!  I went on all of the challenges at the Ropes Course, and I am afraid of heights, so doing everything really pushed me.

What is something you learned about yourself?

Sofia: Never give up and keep on trying; you are always going to have obstacles in life that you have to overcome.

Sam: I love my best friends so much that it is hard to describe!

Amelia: I am determined to pass my levels in all my activities and I love trying new things.

Kelly: I learned that nothing is impossible if I try my best and keep persevering.

Paula: That it is never too late to try something new and that to accomplish something, you need to keep trying no matter how many times you fall.

Valentina: I learned that if I try my best and push myself to my limit, I can accomplish anything (even if I am afraid at first).

Cayley: To never give up and try new things because you will regret it if you don’t.

Molly: I will never take my friends for granted because I know that we would do anything for each other.  I also work well with people to try new things and not get discouraged.