Monthly Archives:July 2017

Take Aim at Camp Woodland Target Sports

Posted by on July 13, 2017

This week we are taking aim at the Target Sports program at Camp Woodland.  Both Archery and Riflery are popular activities at camp – there are 11 total classes offered for  2nd sign-up!  If we head up to the range, these individual sports provide opportunities for many skills beyond shooting either a bow and gun to be practiced and developed.

Archery is about focus and consistency.  Archers pick a point down range and focus their aim and then work to have consistent bow placement and pull in addition to having a consistent stance.  Campers practice patience, concentration, tenacity, persistence, goal setting and how to overcome frustration when the arrow doesn’t quite stick where they would like it to go!  Instructors Caroline, Alexis, and Sofia S with the help of CIT assists Sofia G and Valentina coach campers to make small adjustments that often make a big difference in accuracy.  There is a lot of self-talk in target sports and listening to that “little voice” in your head that is saying, “you got this!”

Campers set goals to pass levels that increase in difficulty based on overall distance from the target and number of points needed.  Beginner archers start out by working for their White Yoeman (shooting at 10 yards for 80 total points).  Next are White Bowman (10 yards for 120 points) and White Archer (10 yards for 180 points).  As proficiency is achieved, beginner archers move on to farther distances with the ultimate goal of becoming of one of Woodland’s famous “Golden Archers” (50 yards).

Success at the riflery range relies on the ability of the shooter to simultaneously focus on the target and her position.  Campers learn to hold their breath as they take aim and shoot.  They also work on using the strap to stabilize and provide correct placement of the gun.  In time and with the help of Instructors Daphne and Aranxta and CIT assists Amelia, Estefi, and Barbie, campers find the right position that prevents their elbows from giving a steady aim.  Campers also learn how to score their own targets so that they can keep track of their progress.

At Woodland, there are 14 levels in the riflery program that provide a graduated challenge of distance and accuracy at four different positions.  Campers begin learning to shoot in a prone position and then progress to sitting, kneeling, and finally standing.  To pass the first level (Pro-marksman) campers must score 20 points from the prone position.  Accuracy increases by 5 points at each level until 40 points is reached for the various positions before advancing.  The final rank in Woodland’s riflery program is Expert, where a camper works to shoot a score of 40 from 5 shots, standing.  It takes a lot of patience and persistence over the course of multiple years to reach this goal!



It Never Rains at Camp Woodland!

Posted by on July 11, 2017

Tamarack girls perform “We’re In This Together”

In case you didn’t know, it never rains at Camp Woodland for Girls!  How is this possible you ask?  We just get a little (or a lot) of “dew” as the case was on Sunday.  Woodland Girls do not let gray weather dampen our spirits…the “show must go on”!  One of the most highly anticipated rainy day activities is the ever popular Lip Sync Contest.  I can remember dry summers when we actually got to the 4th or 5th week of camp and the campers were praying for a “dewey” day just so that they could have the Lip Sync Contest!

Sunnyside dons some brightly colored costumes!

Lip Sync Contest is the perfect cabin bonding activity.  With the help of their counselors, campers negotiate which song will be chosen for the performance, and then they must come together to decide on costumes, props, and dance moves.  It is not unusual to see hairbrushes used as microphones and other interesting items appear such as a broom and dustpan.  This year Hilltop incorporated canes into their number and cleverly changed the words to a song to be “I’ll Make JoAnne Out of You”.  Counselor Chelsea dressed as JoAnne (pencils in her hair) while Silver Birch grabbed Counselor Paige to be part of their act.  Jenna, the Live-In CIT from Sunnyside was “all in” with her gold tights and neon green fuzzy boots!

“I’ll Make JoAnne Out of You” by Hilltop

Tamarack brought back a High School Musical tune, “We’re In This Together”, Treetops did a Justin Bieber song, “One Time”, and the CIT’s we’re rock stars in their rendition of “Stick to the Status Quo”.  Starshine’s award winning performance was a “mash up” of “I Will Survive” and “Survivor”.  If truth be told, Starshine decided on the songs they were going to use prior to the actual Lip Sync Contest – what dedication!  Sarah and Katie (Live-In CIT’s) were dressed in all black and wearing sunglasses for a very dramatic instrumental intro to set the tone for a 1st place finish!

As you can see from the smiling faces in each photo, the annual Lip Sync Contest is all about “Creating Your Own Scene” and is a ton of FUN!

Starshine is the 2017 Lip Sync Contest Winner!

It’s All Fun and Games or Is It?!

Posted by on July 4, 2017

Independence Day is quite a celebration around here!  The CIT’s kick off our multi-day event by hosting 4th of July Games the Sunday before the actual holiday.  Woodland alum will recognize perennial favorites such as the clothes relay down the Woodland Road, water balloon toss, orange pass, shave a balloon, and water relay (just to name a few!).

In addition to a multitude of laughs and memories to recount later to friends and family, there is a LOT more embedded within an afternoon of fun and games than just meets the eye.  I’m sure it is no surprise that there is a noticeable decline in the amount of time spent playing for both kids and adults.  Busy schedules drive us from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until our head hits the pillow at night.  The great news is that there is an abundance of play at Camp Woodland!  Play is what we do!

In a TEDMED Talk Jill Vialet shares that “It is easy to dismiss play as trivial and unimportant; however, there is nothing farther from the truth.  Play is kids’ work in that it is a form of experiential learning that contributes directly to a person’s ability to handle failure, to work in teams, and to take risks.”  (Jill sounds like she must have spent some time hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. Jordan at camp!)

If a very large balloon covered in shaving cream pops during one of the games, then a camper is faced with an opportunity to gracefully handle the situation.  Learning not to take things seriously and to laugh at oneself are good qualities to master for more challenging dilemmas down the road.  Being able help your teammates maneuver through the giant “spider web” requires an enormous amount of trust on the part of each individual.  The awkwardness of passing an orange from person to person is great practice being silly and not caring what other people think.  Playing offers a multitude of little ways to step out of our comfort zones and make frequent deposits in our confidence banks.  This will pay huge dividends later!

According to Jill Vialet, play matters because:

  1. it provides a brief respite from the tyranny of apparent purpose (I guarantee campers are not thinking about the final math test they took at the end of the semester during the water balloon toss!).
  2. it compels us to choose to say, “I care” and better come to know ourselves (Stuffing a giant marshmallow in your mouth is a great way to do just that!).
  3. people matter and it reminds us of our interdependence with others.  It gives us a chance to see other people and in turn to be really and truly seen (There is a whole wide world out there, and it is a lot of fun to play with others!).

Can’t wait for the annual 4th of July Campfire tonight at Towering Pines!  

References: More Than Fun and Games – Play Matters by Nancy Brown (Huffington Post) and TEDMED Talk by Jill Vialet.

A special shout out to Bill Gonio (friend and former staff at Towering Pines) for giving me permission to “borrow” a few key phrases from one of his 2014 blog posts!  As always, thanks, Bill, for your inspiration!