Author: Calla Craze

Aquarius- The Costume Queens of Summer

October is one of the most popular months of the year. With the crisp autumn air, the beautiful shifting colors, and so many fun fall activities to do, what’s not to love about October? There is also Halloween at the end of the month that is fast approaching. It’s time to think about how to celebrate and, of course, what costume to WEAR! 

We all know that camp is one of the most magical places on Earth where you can truly be yourself, make amazing friends, and learn new skills. It is also a place where you can be goofy and celebrate in costume all summer long. We love coming up with different themes and dressing up for every occasion. It seems like every day is a holiday at Camp Woodland! 

Thanks to our super CIT’s who work so hard to plan special events, we get to be transported to different worlds and play the role of so many different characters throughout the summer. They are most definitely the “costume queens” around camp, so we thought it would be fitting to highlight the 2021 achievements of Aquarius, home of the CITs, this month:

In what ways did the SUN SHINE for you this summer?

Tori: Playing “touch the fence”, winning the marathon in Olympics, using spinnakers in sailing, getting to be a CIT, writing a Coed Show song, and getting to know the second years better.

Aubrie: Practicing Coed Show with my cabin, getting to see the stars so clearly, and meeting a ton of new people.

Katherine: I loved being a CIT this year and learning more about responsibility and working with others. 

Isa: I loved being a CIT, seeing the Northwoods stars every night with my friends, and learning the dance moves and lyrics for Coed Show.

Lucy: Riflery, Sail Race, and learning more about X-boats. I loved gaining proficiency with skills in these activities.

Molly: Being a CIT, reconnecting with my cabin, getting closer to the 2nd years, excelling in my activities.

Cos: My cabin, traditions, games, activities…EVERYTHING!

What took you by surprise this summer?

Tori: Practicing and being in the Coed Show was really fun. I loved doing themes and dressing up. I also loved the different songs and dances, and was really excited to put on a show for the camp.

Aubrie: Being a CIT is a bit different than what I imagined, but in the end I enjoyed it a lot.

Katherine: I really liked Song Contest. I felt like our performance was good and we worked well together.

Isa: I loved seeing everybody again and realizing that nothing has changed after two years. Another thing was being a CIT with my cabin mates and second years. I loved that.

Lucy: Sail Race was lots of fun despite my initial fears. I had more fun than I thought I would.

Molly: Riflery!! I thought I wouldn’t pass any levels and I ended up going for my 3rd.

Cos: The food. 🙂 

What were you able to do this summer that you couldn’t do over the past year?

Tori: Sail, play tennis, and I got to spend time with my camp friends who I haven’t seen in a while. Also skiing and wakeboarding. Having the responsibility of being a CIT and meeting new people since over the year I’ve only been with people I know.

Aubrie: I was able to ride, which not only is something I don’t get to do during the year, but I got to ride with camp friends which is something I can only do at camp.

Katherine: I was able to do CIT duties faster and take up less time. I managed my time better.

Isa: This year I was able to appreciate camp even more than past years. Having a summer without camp really helped me not to take it for granted. 

Lucy: Skipper a sailboat free of anxiety. Throwing myself into an activity that hits the ground running was scary, but helped me get enough experience to overcome any fears I’d had.

Molly: Sail, shoot, play “touch the fence”, sing camp songs, etc.! All the little camp traditions that I took for granted.

Cos: Being far away from home and speaking a lot of English.

What did you learn most about yourself?

Tori: My ability to be a leader and take initiative. Even if I’m scared to do something like be hostess, run a Sunday game, or skipper during sailing, I can do it if I put myself out there and try. It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.

Aurbie: I tried a lot of new things this year which taught me that it is important to go out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Katherine: I learned about perseverance and the ability to keep going even when things seem hard.

Isa: This year being a CIT taught me a lot. I learned how to put others before me and how it’s super important asking for help and being there when people need help.

Lucy: I get frustrated easily, and I can use that frustration as proof that I care a lot about everything I do. I recognized that I have a need to explain things to make myself heard and understood.

Molly: That I’m able to accomplish a lot if I have the right mindset and that I’m a valuable friend and cabinmate, even if I don’t always remember it.

Cos: How capable I am and how much I love myself and my loved ones.

 

The Natural Beauty of the North Woods

“What a wondrous time is spring,

when all the trees are budding;

The birds begin to sing,

the flowers start their blooming…”

Every spring the first little taste of sunshine and greenery we get after a long dreary winter makes me long to be reacquainted with nature in my favorite place in the world… Camp Woodland.

It is hard not to take all of the  glorious natural beauty around us for granted throughout the summer. If you pause for a moment to think about the numerous natural spots and wildlife that are literally in our backyard for 6 weeks, it really is an unbelievable experience. Once we become unplugged from technology and heighten the awareness of our senses, you truly are able to see, hear, smell, and touch the abundance of nature in our summer home.

As a middle school science teacher I became aware that many of my students had limited exposure to nature. Spending every summer of my life at camp up north, it never occurred to me that others may not be as fortunate to have such a rich relationship with the outdoors. Many of my students never had a true close up encounter with a wild creature or have even REALLY seen the stars at night (with no city lights to impede the view).

It can be disarming to some when you first move into your little rustic cabin in the woods, but you soon grow accustomed to being surrounded by the tall pines, the sound of birds waking you up in the morning, and yes, even the occasional spider. There are so many peaceful nature spots that are part of our everyday camp life: Vespers Hill with an astonishing view overlooking the water, climax forest trails that are home to chipmunks and whitetail deer, Sand Lake where loons call to one another and bald eagles circle up high while on the hunt for their next meal, the moss garden with its pillow like floor, the spongy bog, and bright orange daylilies in front of the lodge that magically bloom in time for camp birthday… There are just too many to count!

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, I am going to let these stunning images speak for themselves.

 

Not too late to make good on New Year’s Resolutions!

At the closing of another year, we had the opportunity to ask campers and staff what gets them excited for Summer 2021 and to share some goals they have set for themselves to make it the best summer yet! Among the top resolutions that are made at the start of each New Year, some of the most common goals can be met while having an AMAZING experience at Camp Woodland:

Eat Healthy: Instead of serving processed food, we provide meals made from “scratch” using the freshest ingredients. No powdered eggs here!

Amelia D. – Aquarius (age 17): be hostess of the year

 

Get Moving: Being a fixture on the couch is not an option during a Woodland summer. All of us are active at camp and get plenty of exercise in the great outdoors. We use our feet to take us just about everywhere we need to go!

Aria – Sunrise (age 7): pass out of swimming
Caroline C. – Treetops (age 13): My goal is to pass out of swimming too!!
Maddie -Sunrise (age 9): to pass my pony club

Reduce Stress: Camp is a great way to “unplug” from the constant “noise” of text messages, emails, and other social media. It is also a time to put the pressures of school and grades aside and just enjoy living in the moment. Above all, camp is FUN!!

Izzi C. – Driftwood (age 18 ): stay in the present and take it all in
Claire and Caroline P. – Aquarius & Treetops (counselors): To appreciate every second
Molly J. – Tamarack (counselor): Make it the best summer yet 🙂
Sam M. – 1st yr (counselor): Have an amazing summer with new and old friends!

 

Try Something New: With a variety of physical, recreational, and creative activities to choose from, campers have the opportunity to explore a wide range of interests. Who knows what spark will ignite and become a lifelong career or hobby?!

Sydney H. – Starshine (age 10): Learn how to do a backflip
Masyn– 1st year camper (age 7): Ride a horse
Sydney L. – Treetops (age 13): Try something new
Isabella S. – Tamarack (age 15): to try any activities I haven’t done and have the most fun I could possibly have

Spend More Time With Friends: Imagine spending 24 hours a day each week with a group of your closest friends…how AWESOME is that?! We believe in true “face time” versus “screen time”!

Tess W. – Tamarack (age 14): make a new friend
Maya S. – Tamarack (age 15): become closer with many people
Daphne B. – Sunrise (counselor): make someone smile everyday

Get Along With Siblings: Towering Pines and Woodland is the summer home for many brothers and sisters. The older campers typically take responsibility and look out for the younger ones and the “fighting” often seen at home vanishes for a few weeks. Siblings actually look forward to seeing one another on occasion when sharing a common camp experience!

New Year’s Resolution:
Enroll your child at Camp Woodland for 2021…we are VERY EXCITED about the upcoming summer!

Irene M. – Driftwood (18): Give my campers the best summer ever
Aubrie B. – Sunnyside (age 15): to be an amazing CIT
Tori N. – Sunnyside (age 15): be a good CIT
Abbey S. – Driftwood (18): To be an amazing counselor/ Sailing staff
Mera M. – Aquarius (counselor): Do my best to give my cabin their best summer ever

Enroll Now!

Winter Holidays Bring Memories of Summer Fun and Friends

The Holidays are a special time of year. You can’t help but find yourself full of joy, nostalgia, and self-reflection as the year comes to an end. Everyone has different traditions and favorite memories that help sculpt this wondrous time of year. Whether it’s baking, playing games, or enjoying the great outdoors, there is no shortage of fun to be had in the winter months.

Oddly enough, enjoying the Jordan family holiday traditions always gets me thinking about camp and the traditions I enjoy most with my friends in the summer. So much of what we enjoy doing with our camp friends and cabin mates reflects a tight knit community and parallels what we cherish most with our family. At camp, we even eat our meals “family style” as a cabin, a longtime tradition that reminds us of the tight-knit community that is formed every summer.

Our camp community is unique in the way that everything we do intentionally builds strong relationships through shared experiences. We eat together, sleep together, cry, laugh and grow together. In an environment like that, it would be impossible NOT to develop strong bonds. When campers and staff were asked to give their favorite ways to spend quality time with their camp friends, an array of answers relating to special events, activities, and quality time in the cabin together were shared.

SPECIAL EVENTS: At Camp Woodland we have a variety of special events that we get to participate in as a cabin group. Every Sunday we have some sort of whole camp game or activity, which is frequently planned and facilitated by our esteemed CITs. Some of these events include our Fair Days and Gold Rush.

Sydney H. (Starshine, age 13): Either games (alien invasion) or cabin night when we play board games or something.
Bárbara O. (Hilltop counselor): Sunday games and cabin night
Mera M. (Aquarius counselor): Cabin activities like rainy days and Sundays! (Or getting ready for themed coed show practice)

CARDS/GAMES: Campers and counselors alike always appreciate a little downtime in the cabin just to enjoy each other’s company in their safe haven. Popular ways to spend this time include playing games, reading, dance parties, getting ready for special events, or just chatting and sharing our day.

Sydney A. (age 10) and Masyn A. (age 7): Playing games, doing activities together, sitting together at the campfire, meals
Claire (Aquarius counselor) and Caroline (Treetops counselor): Playing cards
Rachel and Bunny (Aquarius, age 16): Playing Skipbo
Sofia S. (Hilltop counselor): playing games
Morgan (Sunrise, age 7) & Maddie (Sunrise, age 9): playing Uno and running around in the cabin.
Isabella S. (Tamarack, age 15): playing games or working on something as a cabin
Tori N. (Sunnyside, age 15): listening to the music from Mamamia
Caroline C. (Treetops, age 13): I really like playing tetherball with my cabin mates and I also really like practicing for song contest!
Irene (Sunnyside counselor): When we have extended rest hour and just hang out in each other’s bunks.

CABIN NIGHT: Part of this beloved cabin time is a Cabin Night once a week. This is when the counselors specifically plan something to do as a cabin group. This may include trust exercises, spa night, or some sort of bonding game/activity.

Aubrie (Sunnyside, age 15): cabin night
Elena (Tamarack counselor): cabin night!
Molly J. (Tamarack counselor): Chatachini

BEDTIME: Of course, one of the best bonding experiences as a cabin is getting ready for bed and decompressing from the day. This involves a lot more than just the basics of brushing your teeth and putting on your jammies. Every night the counselors read a book to the cabin group and the oldest campers come around to send us off to dream land by singing a goodnight song.

Daphne (Sunrise counselor): Just hanging out and relaxing while people are getting ready for bed.
Aria (age 7), Alegra (age 5) and Dee (staff): getting together at bedtime
JoAnne: Story time is fun too!