Monthly Archives:June 2018

More Than a Camp Meal – It’s Food For the Body & Soul!

Posted by on June 29, 2018

Treetops “Family” Enjoying a Meal Together

Thinking back to when I was a kid, I can remember how important eating dinner together as a family was to my parents.  Even though my Dad had a business to run and my siblings and I had sports practice, games, homework, piano lessons, and a number of other things I probably don’t even remember, rarely a day would go by when we didn’t sit down as a family for the evening meal.  My Mom did everything in her power to work around our busy schedules so that we could share time together around the table most nights until I graduated from high school.

Driftwood Awaits Dessert (notice the spoons!)

While I may not have thoroughly appreciated it back then, when I reflect on our family’s shared meal experience, I now realize how precious and sacred that time really was.  It’s no wonder that at camp, I always look forward to the ritual of coming together as a community to enjoy not just one meal, but 3 squares together: breakfast, lunch, AND dinner!  Let’s be honest, I also enjoy mealtime because I am always STARVING due to being on the move and keeping active during a typical camp day, so there is a basic need to be met.  Once my physical self is refueled and ready to take on the next adventure, my social-emotional self is also nourished from the act of being together with my camp “family.”

Hilltop Smiles!

What I know now that I didn’t know when I was still living at home, it that there are numerous positive outcomes that come from bonding over a meal.  Just the mere act of coming together and TALKING with one another is food for the soul.  Breakfast is usually a little more quiet than the other two meals (as you might imagine, pre-teens and teens are not fully awake just yet – unless it is Saturday which means DONUT DAY!), but there is the anticipation of an exciting day ahead while campers discuss what they are looking forward to with each girl’s schedule of activities.  Today could present the opportunity to canter for the first time in riding, learn to dive in swimming, practice a dance routine for the upcoming show, or enjoy making a picture frame in arts and crafts.

Hello, Tamarack!

Come lunch time, the dining room is filled with non-stop chatter as campers take turns giving a blow-by-blow recap of their morning and all that transpired in the past few hours.  The volume has definitely increased since we were last together, and the energy has more than quadrupled (if I had to wager a guess!).  Having a good chunk of time to sit around a table with your cabin offers an incredible opportunity to share thoughts, ideas, goals, dreams, stories, and more with the people you are getting to know in a group living setting.  In just a short period of time, campers feel comfortable and safe to be transparent and real in these conversations while enjoying a meal together.

What’s Up, Silver Birch?

When assembly rolls around following an afternoon of more fun and adventure, we once again file into the lodge for our 3rd meal of the day.  Some cabins sit in the “front” part of the dining room, while others gather in the “back.”  Both locations have their advantages!  Having a table in the front means you are close to the awesome fire that Chet builds many mornings (a plus when the air is a bit “crispy”), and being in the back means enjoying a view of the lake along with a refreshing breeze (if the weather calls for the windows to be open).  I vividly remember sitting at a table in the back as a counselor and getting to see an eagle perched in the giant pine tree right outside the door.  What a treat to have such a majestic creature join us!

Tamarack Continued

After the evening meal and another opportunity to check in with each other about afternoon activities and accomplishments, the CIT’s pass out song books and we enjoy time to sing together as a camp community.  Some songs tell a funny story (Ship Titanic), while others have motions (A Boy and A Girl in a Little Canoe) or offer a chance for the front and back dining rooms to sing in a round (Zoom Golly-Golly).  We wrap up this camp tradition every night by singing two legendary Woodland songs (W – That’s the Way it Begins… and We Are From Woodland, Woodland Are We…).

It’s the Sunnyside Bunch!

Another benefit of eating 3 meals a day together is that we take the time to SLOW DOWN and ENJOY each other’s company, which is a rarity in any other place.  We are able to relax a bit, reflect on the experiences a camp day has to offer, and revel in the laughter and fun we share as a cabin group.  Meal times are the BEST!

p.s. I should also mention that the food at Camp Woodland is delicious!  Most meals are served from “scratch” — don’t be surprised if your camper comes home with a few menu requests that are not your average fare!


Camp Woodland’s 49th Season is Underway!

Posted by on June 26, 2018

Woodland Welcomes 2018 Campers!

The moment we have all been waiting for is FINALLY here!  Camp Woodland’s 49th season is officially underway, and we couldn’t be more excited!  We also know that there are a lot of mixed emotions from campers and parents alike on Opening Weekend.  Shedding tears and feeling your heartstrings pull tight after giving one last hug is NORMAL.  We know that you love your daughters very much and that you will miss them while they are with us!  Thank you for giving them the gift of camp!

Fun at the Beach!

The first weekend is packed full of action and fun, but there is nothing like the first day of activities to help campers feel like they are settling into the flow of camp.  By mid-week your daughters will be pros with the routines of the camp day.  They will anticipate the ring of the Woodland bell to signal moving from one exciting activity to another.  They will know all about “hopping” and the “job wheel” and will have had enjoyed getting “canteen” in the afternoons at the end of Rec Swim or Sailing.  They will have joined in signing the “Ship Titanic” and the “Woodland Song” after dinner.

Lucy Landsports and Wendy Waterfront

Monday after dinner is designated as Cabin Night and is all about continuing the process of cabin unity and bonding.  Fun choices that vary each week including cabin canoe trips and trying out the Aqua Tramp at Towering Pines are typically scheduled for Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday evening activities.  Dinner on Wednesday is a cookout at the picnic tables by Treetops followed by Campfire at the beach where your camper will be working with her cabin to prepare a song or skit (and write her first “official” letter to update you on all that has been happening since she arrived!).  Camp will feel more like home with each passing day and the week will FLY BY in no time!

Every Day is a “Sunny” Day at Camp Woodland!

You packed, prepared and did everything you could to get your camper(s) ready for an AMAZING summer!  WE THANK YOU!  Now it is our turn to do what we do best – Woodland has been in the business of youth development for 49 summers.  We are very much looking forward to the many ADVENTURES THAT AWAIT in 1-8 with your daughter(s)!  Stay tuned…

We’re Mighty Glad You’re Here!

Your Adventure Awaits at Camp Woodland!

The word “adventure” holds a lot of possibility – the possibility of the unknown, of new memories, of high excitement. After five or ten summers coming up to camp, you wouldn’t naturally think that camp could hold any more adventure – you’ve lived in most of the cabins, tried close to every activity, and know which meals you look forward to the most. Yet something has us coming back year after year, and it’s exactly what this summer’s theme encapsulates – adventure, and the possibility of more.

Whether you’re a Woodland girl who is just arriving for her first summer or a Woodland girl who has lived in every cabin, tried every activity, and has the meal calendar memorized, your adventure lives outside of camp’s routine just as much as your comfort lives within it.

For a first-year camper, adventure will be in everything you do; the new friends that you make, the new food you try, and the new challenges you take on. Adventure is waiting for you at Woodland just as sure as you are waiting for your first summer at camp to start. Make sure to try every activity you can, from the ones you know all about to the things you may have never tried before. Your ability to slowly step outside of your comfort zone will only make your adventures that much more exciting!

For a returning camper, adventure lies in the unknown within the components of camp you feel you know so well; you know you’ll have cabin mates and counselors, but who will they be? What fun games, tasks, and challenges will your counselors have in store for you at your favorite activities? Will you win Gold Rush or make it to the end of your Spoon Assassins circle? Everything from your daily routine to the biggest special events is bursting with a possibility that can’t be replicated from years before — adventures are peeking out at you from around every corner!

Regardless of whether you’re arriving at Woodland for the first time or the tenth, your adventure at camp awaits you eagerly. Don’t be afraid of stepping a little further out of your comfort zone, because Woodland will be waiting for you with opportunities at every turn We are so excited to see what kind of challenges, exploration, and inspiration Summer 2018 has in store for you!

-By Natalie, Director of Sailing, 16 summer at Camp Woodland



Please Don’t Pack My Cell Phone When I Head to Camp

Posted by on June 8, 2018

Dear Mom,

I know you have mixed feelings about me not bringing my cell phone to camp.  You are used to communicating with me multiple times a day and getting messages that I forgot my lunch, soccer practice is running late, or that I have a math test tomorrow.  I’m sure it will feel strange not texting or calling while I am away.

Here are a few reasons why it is good for me to “unplug” while I am camp even though I am in constant contact with you when I am home:

1)    It is hard to be 2 places at once!  If I am checking in with you all of the time, then I am not getting to fully enjoy camp.  I will miss out on making friends, settling into my cabin, and all of the exciting activities the counselors have planned for me!

2)    It is important for me to learn to trust other caring adults.  This emerging independence is one of the greatest benefits of camp!  There are great people whom I can reach out to, whether it is my cabin counselor, one of my activity instructors, the camp nurse, or the camp director.  They are good at what they do, and I trust that they will help me adjust to camp life!

3)   While I’m at camp I don’t want to be second guessing myself by having the ability to ask you to decide things for me.  I can do this!!!   It is important for me to grow and learn, little by little, to solve some of my own challenges.  This is how I will develop greater resilience.   I’m sure the counselors will remind me to put on my bug spray and sunscreen, brush my teeth and change my underwear ;-). Don’t worry, they will contact you should an emergency arise.

4)    I want to go all in!   I’m going to start the summer on the right foot by being honest with my counselors and myself.  Some campers wind up with a phone anyway even though they aren’t supposed to have one.  It is really embarrassing for them when the counselor finds out.  I heard some older campers bring two phones so they can turn one in; the “real” is hidden inside a stuffed animal, a book, or even a box of Kleenex. Can you believe it?!

So, when you get the packing list and cell phones are on the list of things NOT to bring to camp, please don’t pack mine.  It will be hard for both of us at first to disconnect in this way, but I will tell you all about my experience when I get home and meanwhile, you can count on camp to post photos to show you what we are doing.  I promise to write letters/Bunk Notes to keep you updated on all of the fun I am having at camp!

Thank you in advance for helping me “unplug” this summer!


A Very Excited Woodland Camper


Get Parent Pro Packing Tips!

Thank you Judy for writing great tips and tricks for all of our new camp families!  Judy has a boy and girl at both camps.  Judy went to Camp Woodland while her mom was the camp nurse for many seasons in the 1980s.

Tools  (I learned from a former boss that “any job is easier when you have the right tools”):

  • Stick on Labels (from
  • Silver and Black Sharpie
  • Black permanent ink clothing rubber stamp with LAST NAME ONLY.
  • Silver permanent ink clothing rubber stamp with LAST NAME ONLY (for dark clothes and items).

Stick to the list for the most part. Camp Woodland has been in operation for 49+ years…the Jordan Family knows what works and what doesn’t at camp.


Order the minimum recommended camp apparel and maybe one or two other items you know for a fact they will wear. I thought my daughter would love the “baseball jersey” Woodland shirt. She did not and it never got worn. She does love her sweatpants, though. The pajama bottoms are very popular, as well, and those get worn throughout the year.

Don’t send your child to camp with an article of clothing (or any item) you/he/she would be devastated by if it were ruined/lost/misplaced.  There really is no “fancy occasion” that requires formal attire.  A romper or a simple dress is acceptable attire for Woodland’s banquet.

One of the best things about camp is it truly is a place where everyone looks the same. Everyone dresses at the same very casual level of shorts, t-shirt, hoodie. Camp is the place to show your personality, not what kind of clothes you have. So it’s not going to matter if your kid’s riding jeans are from American Eagle or if they are from Walmart. No one seems to be able to tell the difference or even cares about that stuff. Just send the towels from Walmart or whatever happens to be laying around your house that you don’t mind never seeing again, because it may get mixed up in someone else’s bags on the way back.

Label everything so it makes weekly laundry easier for the counselors.

Get high quality flip flops such as “sliders” or “Crocs”.  That seems to be what the kids live in all summer. Mark them with a Sharpie that shows up on whatever color they are.

Don’t stress out too much about having a rain poncho. It’s on the list but if your kid has a rain jacket/outershell type of thing from Lands End/LLBean/NorthFace that will work.

No dangly jewelry for every day, especially earrings…I still remember when a girl’s small hoop earring got caught on a tree branch on a trail ride…my mom was the camp nurse and had to take her to the emergency room for stitches. Leave the jewelry (except for a 5 year Woodland Pendant)  at home and if your child does have pierced ears, make sure they have simple posts to wear for every day.

The actual packing process:

Pro Tip:  The best camp luggage is duffles. We got ours from LL Bean but has them, too, I believe. Plan on the process taking about 2 hours, maybe a little longer if this is your first time. I designate an area of our house as the packing area.

  1. I am a batch processor. It helps keep things from getting mixed up of half completed. If you have more than one child going to camp, you might want to pack them individually (get one completed before starting on the next) so things don’t get mixed up.
  2. Lay everything out in piles (10 socks, 12 shirts, bedding, etc. ) before packing anything in a duffle so you can double check everything as it goes in.
  3. I pack all of the bedding in one duffle and the clothing in another.
  4. I have the child pull things from the list (10 socks, 10 pairs of underwear, 2 Woodland/Towering Pines shirts, 8 other shirts, etc.).
  5. As the items are pulled, I stamp them with name and check it off the list. Anything I can’t stamp, I sharpie. My mom (who was the camp nurse for many years) used to hand sew cloth labels into all of my clothes (and my brothers’). Every year. Such dedication…but I am not doing that.

The iron on ones don’t seem to stay in very well (and are time consuming). Just rubber stamp the name onto the white label of many clothes on the inside back of the collar  or on the seam and get on with your life. Use the sticker labels for non-clothing items like water bottle, hair brush, shower stuff. Sharpie shoes on the inside exterior sole or where visible elsewhere on the shoe.