Author: Kim Aycock

Happy Trivia Day from Hilltop!

The World famous trivia game, Trivial Pursuit, is thought to have sparked people’s fascination with trivia and competing to see who knows more odd facts about geography, history, art, science, sports and entertainment. Trivia day is the perfect day to share all of those silly little facts that almost nobody knows.

Reference: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/trivia-day/

The king of trivia at Camp Woodland is our very own, Chet Riehle! Chet can tell you the most amazing pieces of information as he has been with us going on 35 years this coming summer. Chet knows (almost) every inch of the Woodland property and has a lot of knowledge about the history that goes back to the first summer the Jordan’s opened camp in 1970.  If you do the math, that means that Woodland is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019! You won’t want to miss out on the festivities of this important milestone which will be officially celebrated the weekend of July 12-14.

Here are a few trivia questions to test your knowledge about Woodland history (answers at the end of post):

  1. Which cook has been here the longest since the Jordan’s owned Woodland and is known for the yummy lasagne we all love?
  2. What was the original purpose of the ACC room (on the spigot side of the office)?
  3. What is the oldest functioning appliance and what is its color?
  4. What was the original use of the Woodland bell?
  5. Where was the riding ring when the Jordan’s first bought Woodland?

Find out more about the many adventures of the 2018 Hilltop girls:

Catherine: my favorites were going to the aqua tramp and the Clue game, I learned that ropes are called sheets in sailing, and a change I made was becoming a nicer person.

Lauren: the horse that almost kicked me off became my favorite horse, and I didn’t know how to take a halter off a horse, let alone ride one!  A change I made this summer was becoming more confident.

Brooke: I enjoyed our canoe trip across the lake, and I learned how to do a front handspring and back walkover in gymnastics.

Isabella: I loved learning how to drop a ski and go around the entire lake and how to make a fishtale bracelet.  A favorite adventure was our cabin’s canoe trip. I became nicer, more easy-going, and “chill” this summer.

Sofia: Our canoe trip was extremely fun; I had never done anything like that before. I know now that if you stay for 6 weeks, you have a lot more fun and you make strong bonds with everyone. I started trying more things and believing in myself more.

Maya: I liked the archery exchange at TP! I learned that if you give someone the tiniest bit of support, it can give them the biggest push.  I also found that when I am struggling, I can look at the situation in a better way.

Tess: I learned that there is no harm in trying new things, and I can do anything I want if I’m positive. I also tried to be more relaxed about passing levels and to be conscious of what I say so that I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

Ava: I love to sail, and I tried sail race this year. I had so much fun and learned a lot. I now know that perseverance and passion can help you improve and reach your goals. I made a change by taking chances and striving to take (good) risks (like trying and getting my arial in gymnastics!).

Answers to Trivia questions:

  1. Dan
  2. a laundry room
  3. refrigerator in canteen; it is brown/bronze in color
  4. a train bell
  5. current tennis courts

 

 

Happy Belated Llama Day from Sunnyside!

Happy Belated Llama Day from Sunnyside! Llamas aren’t just adorable, majestic creatures. They’re also a big help to people all over the world. National Llama Day is the perfect day to appreciate one of the fuzziest farm animals around. Did you know they’re also smart, social and produce very soft wool? Some live as long as 30 years! Whether you were cuddling up with your favorite llama or Sunnyside camper, December 9 was your day to celebrate!

If you notice in the photo above, Sunnyside cabin wore matching “No Drama Llama” t-shirts for the annual Woodland Song Contest this past summer. If you are up on your llama facts, you may notice a peculiar similarity between the bouncy teenagers of this cabin and these furry friends.

1. ​They make great guard animals

Llamas charge at dogs or coyotes and have been known to make high-pitched screams when intruders approach.

Sunnyside campers charge at the lodge every Saturday morning and have been known to make high-pitched screams on the race for Donut Day!

2. ​They are loyal and cuddly

​Llamas will come running to the sound of their owner’s voice, and they’ll gladly cozy up for a nice hug.

Sunnyside campers will come running to the sound of their counselor’s voice, and they have been known to give the BEST hugs! Some campers in this age group have been loyal campers for 5 or more years, and many of them will be first-year CIT’s in 2019 and develop their leadership skills!

3. ​They come in a variety of patterns

Similar to dogs, llamas can have a variety of special markings; however, their close relatives, alpacas, are usually solid in color.

Similar to llamas, Sunnyside campers can have a variety of special attributes; they like to play tetherball, shave at the spigot, and are really into all-camp activities!

4. They’re more common in the U.S. than you might think

There are currently over 150,000 llamas in the country.

There were 11 total campers in Sunnyside, one of the largest Woodland cabin groups in 2018!

Reference: https://nationaltoday.com/national-llama-day/

Here is more about the adventures had by the girls in Sunnyside:

Lily C: thought the canoe trip was fun and a chance to get closer with the cabin, she now likes lasagna, and became less ‘shyish.’

Lauren: passed intermediate water-skiing and was in a TP exchange for archery (and won!), she likes archery A LOT and made new friendships

Rachel: enjoyed going to the ropes course and having bonding time with the cabin while doing teambuilding skills, tried a new activity (drama) and had a great time even though she was scared to do it, and became closer with the cabin than in any other year – it is great to live with all of my best friends!

Amelia: stepped out of her comfort zone and had fun on the ropes course and canoe trip, learned how to water-ski, and is more aware of how her actions affect others

Ximena: liked the cabin canoe trip, got to know herself better, and noticed being more positive and less stressed

Bunny: was a fan of the night swim on the canoe trip, realized that she was not horrible at archery, and is better working in groups than before

Libby: gave drama a try this summer, realized there are a lot more people that are supportive of her than she originally thought, and learned how to work as a team with her cabin mates

Isabella: enjoyed meeting so many awesome new people, playing CIT games, trying tennis and everything about camp!; she knows herself better and how positive she can be in a place with such positive attitudes; a change she recognized was not depending on her phone

Lilli M: loved taking a cabin canoe trip, learned that her attitude could affect her outlook on life, and decided to be more positive in swimming class and passed her level the next week

Valentina: learned that it is important to enjoy the little things because nothing is forever; she became more loving and most important, a better person

Dani: came to camp for the first time this summer and was ALL IN for 6 weeks; she learned to be more positive and is now part of the Woodland family!

Holidays and Family Reunions

Now that the holiday season is upon us (as indicated by the long lines at the post office and popular shopping spots!), many of us have plans to spend time with family and friends in the upcoming weeks. For some, this may be the one of the few times when an entire family (or close to it) is able to get together, a family reunion of sorts.  We do the same thing ourselves when Woodland/TP campers and staff come together on a Saturday in November for an afternoon with camp friends in the Chicago area.

Just like the excitement for the holidays has been building up for several weeks now in anticipation of being with family and friends, the excitement for meeting at Jeff and Jenny’s house also ramped up as campers and staff made plans to spend a few hours together at the annual reunion the weekend before Thanksgiving.  We even have a few die-hard camp friends among us who make the trip to Chicago from Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, and Indiana.  It is also fun to see alumni come back who weren’t at camp during the most recent summer!

The video from the summer of 2018 was shown, scrapbooks containing numerous camp photos were passed around, stories from the past summer were retold, school year events were shared, and plans for next year were made to DO WHAT WE LOVE AT CAMP (and of course, all of this is accompanied by an assortment of yummy snacks!).  And, yes, this annual event was one giant family reunion!

As always, it was fun to catch up with everyone, and in case you missed it, here are the highlights!  Campers shared 1) their favorite thing about school this year, 2) what they like to do when not in school, and 3) something learned at Woodland that has been helpful at home or school:

Heidi: 1) rock-climbing, 2) cheerleading, 3) doing the fun arts & crafts at home that I learned

Lilah: 1) reading, 2) horseback riding, 3) I have learned to lead

Lou: 1) math, 2) volleyball, 3) I have learned to lead and stay focused on things

Delia: 1) meeting new people and having more classes and teachers, 2) basketball and tennis, 3) to make the most of every moment and situation and to live in the moment

Sofia B: 1) meeting and seeing my friends, 2) volleyball, 3) not to always be on my phone!

Riley: 1) Spanish & math class, hanging out with friends, 2) basketball, 3) talking and getting to know people has been really helpful

Molly S: 1) hanging out with my friends, 2) basketball, 3) I learned to talk to more people

Molly K: 1) meeting new people and making friends, 2) cross country and tennis, 3) getting out of my comfort zone to try new things

Tori: 1) orchestra, 2) orchestra and violin trio, 3) feeling confident to not always go with the crowd

Bunny: 1) meeting new friends, 2) swimming & skiing, 3) how to be independent

Lauren: 1) making new friends and joining new sports activities, 2) travel softball, ski/snowboarding club, track & field, volleyball, 3) to be a team player and make everyone feel included

Dani: 1) ceramics class, 2) mock trial and we are trying to go to state this year, 3) to be more positive

Libby: 1) meeting new people, 2) horseback riding, 3) how to be a team player

Amelia D: 1) meeting new people, 2) horseback riding, 3) communication skills and working with other people

Abbey: 1) sleeping in math class, 2) working and doing homework, 3) patience

Izzi: 1) clubs & sports, 2) field hockey, and 3) being a CIT and learning leadership skills

Irene: 1) English, 2) basket weaving, and 3) cleaning my room

Kelly: 1) new friends, 2) swimming & soccer, 3) leadership

Molly J: 1) meeting new friends, 2) horseback riding, 3) how to be a leader

Cayley: 1) anatomy & drawing class, 2) volleyball, 3) the importance of developing strong friendships and support system

Amelia K: 1) I like my classes and making new friends, 2) cross country and various clubs, 3) treat others the way you want to be treated

Jae: 1) math, 2) ice-skating and music, 3) self-discipline

Sam: 1) looking forward to camp & seeing friends from camp, 2) watch co-ed show DVD, look through camp pictures, and plan events with camp friends, 3) patience, leadership, social skills

p.s. Don’t worry if you weren’t able to join us for the Chicago reunion, starting in January, we will be visiting camp families around the US and bringing the reunion to YOU!

 

Happy International Camp T-shirt Day from Tamarack!

Woodland girls never miss an opportunity to show camp spirit!  Whether it be dressing up for the weekly Sunday morning assembly Woodland spirit, making a tie-dye t-shirt with the current summer theme backdrop, going to Towering Pines for a class activity or special event, or being in the end-of-summer Coed Show, we are always proud to sport “Woodland Wear!”  As  you can see in the photo above, the Tamarack girls are oh-so-cute in their coordinated Woodland t-shirts at the annual Song Contest at the end of the 3rd week.

On the last day of camp, the countdown begins for the arrival of the first day of the following summer, so it is fun to have a few “milestones” to mark the passing of time along the way.  International t-shirt day in mid-November is definitely one of them (we are closing in on 200 days until camp 2019!).  So, grab your favorite camp gear (t-shirt or other item), take a photo, then post on your favorite social media platform using #camptshirtday!

The inside scoop from the girls of Tamarack 2018: 

What is one thing you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of the summer?

Lilah: That I would be in Tamarack

Lou: I thought I wouldn’t pass out of swimming, and now I know that I can swim well

Lizzy: How to swim better

Sydney: I didn’t know how to post in riding and now I can post while trotting which is super cool

Carlota: That I really love dance

Paz: Archery and how to speak better English

Kaitlyn: My back handspring in gymnastics (thanks to Sydney for cheering me on and keeping me on a positive attitude about it and helping me get it)

Heidi: That getting letters is much more enjoyable than texting!

Caroline: There is a plant nicknamed “butt rock”

Describe a change you made in yourself this summer:

Lilah: I am trying to be more positive

Lou: I improved in my confidence in swimming and also my endurance in riding

Lizzy: I changed my attitude

Sydney: A change I made was to think of the cup as being half full instead of half empty

Carlota: I learned to be more optimistic about myself

Paz: I met a lot of friends, and I LOVE WOODLAND!

Kaitlyn: I became better at swimming and passed into Level 5.

Heidi: I learned to try new things; not just foods, but activities, too.

Caroline: I’m more able to confide in others and don’t need to filter everything.

 

What are ways you were kind to the campers in your cabin or in general:

Lilah: I never yucked someone’s yum

Lou: When a new girl moved into our cabin, I was unsure, but then I tried to get to know her and helped bring her out of her shell

Lizzy: By making people laugh when they were sad

Sydney: I was kind by listening to thoughts and perspectives of others and trying to incorporate them

Carlota: When someone moved into our cabin who was really shy, I started talking to her, and I think she had a great time

Paz: When someone in our cabin missed her Mom, I tried to help her so that she would be happy

Kaitlyn: I would always include them if they asked, I gave compliments, and I offered to help them during cabin clean-up with their jobs

Heidi: I was complimenting people, and I did my best to make others laugh.

Caroline: I am the one who showed my quirky side to make others laugh.

 

How did others show kindness to you?

Lilah: They picked me up when I fell down

Lou: When I was having a bad day, my friends were there and made me feel better

Lizzy: They included me

Sydney: By listening to me when I was homesick or when they cheered me on

Carlota: By cheering me up when I was sad and by making me laugh a lot; I had the best summer of my life!

Paz: When they always hope that I am having a good time

Kaitlyn: When I was down, they cheered me up; when I would be trying to get something in activities, like my flip-flop, they would always cheer me on and encourage me; and during cabin clean-up, if I couldn’t do part of my job because I had to do something else, they would help me

Heidi: People explained things to me when I didn’t understand them; I always felt included

Caroline: It didn’t take long for me to meet someone nice!

Happy Movember from Silver Birch!

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues.  As you can see by the ladies of Silver Birch, they jumped on this bandwagon a few months early!  Since Towering Pines is the brother camp to Woodland, it makes perfect sense that we show love and support for our TP friends and family just a few miles away!

Most days we tend to keep to our respective campuses; however there are several times throughout the summer when brothers and sisters (related or not!) get together for some camp fun!  The first big gathering of both camps is on the 4th of July; TP guys host the Woodland girls for the annual Red, White, and Boom Campfire.  The evening begins with songs and skits by each cabin and ends with a dedication of fireworks on Lake Nakomis.

As we cruise into the middle part of the summer, we schedule sail races, archery/riflery/tennis exchanges and competitions, trail rides, mountain biking extravaganzas, trips to the Aqua Tramp, and Zoo and nature swaps so that we can take advantage of what each camp has to offer just a short drive down County D Road.  We end the season with the greatly anticipated TP and Woodland Fairs and Co-Ed Show which allow for more brother-sister interaction and camaraderie.  Our set-up is perfect for knowing that “family” is close by along with the opportunity to be independent and “do your own thing” at the same time!

Here are the “best moments” from the gals of Silver Birch 2018:

What is one thing you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of the summer?

Annie: I didn’t know a lot of people at the beginning and now I have new friends.

Riley: I know more songs now!

Molly: Before camp I ate no food, and I ended up liking every food at camp!

Lucy: I can recall all the layers of the atmosphere.

Ana: Sailing, some of the girls, dance moves, and pencil jumps.

Katherine: I know now that it doesn’t matter if you accomplish your goals as long as you have fun trying.

Ari: No one’s life is perfect; everyone has a story.

Paloma: I learned a lot about myself this summer!

Ellie: It’s OK to be nervous because people will always be there to support you.

Describe a change you made in yourself this summer:

Annie: I tried to reach out to new friends. I stayed close to old friends and made some great new friends!

Riley: Not being connected to technology.

Molly: I tried a lot of new foods and activities.

Lucy: I have healthy relationships and now push toxic ones away.

Ana: I’m more responsible, mature, and confident when by myself.

Katherine: Not worrying about how I look and just have fun.

Ari: I stopped arguing.

Paloma: I am more confident with myself and more positive.

Ellie: I am more confident than I was before.

What are ways you were kind to the campers in your cabin or in general:

Annie: We shared a lot of our opinions and thoughts on stuff; even when I didn’t agree with other opinions, I still respected them!

Riley: I let others borrow my things and helped out with whatever they needed help with.

Molly: I respect the opinions of others and make sure that everyone feels comfortable with their surroundings.

Lucy: I always tried to defend my cabin mates in any way possible.

Ana: I helped people when they were having a bad day or a problem and cheered them up.

Katherine: I encouraged people to do things they wouldn’t have tried otherwise and making them feel good about it.

Ari: I helped out when I could.

Paloma: With a smile and being the best part of myself.

Ellie: I cheered them up when they were sad.


How did others show kindness to you?

Annie: They respected my opinion.

Riley: The CIT’s and people in Sunnyside were really nice and and welcomed me to Woodland.

Molly: By talking to me and respecting me.

Lucy: Other campers welcomed me and showed me real fun.

Ana: My friends helped me every time I was going through something rough. The counselors motivated me to do my best every time and to pass my levels.

Katherine: By letting me borrow things or cheering me up when I was sad.

Ari: By smiling at me or giving me a hug.

Paloma: When I was new, others were really nice to me and accepted me.

Ellie: By asking me if I needed help with my boot or holding the door for me.