Category: 2011

Isa’s Idea of Camp

Posted by on July 25, 2011

My name is Isa Suarez, I am from Mexico City and this is my 6th summer coming to camp. This summer is my first year being a CIT and my cabin is treetops. Friends and family at home are always surprised when they ask how many summers I have been coming to camp, and the answer is 6. They find it even more surprising when I tell them camp lasts for 6 weeks; many questions come up, such as how can you do it? Don’t you get tired of doing the same thing over and over again every summer? Don’t you want to do anything else?

Camp is a whole new place full of different people and different things to do; you meet new friends from different countries and from different surroundings than you. Camp is a place where you can be who you really are and no matter what you can always count that you are never going to be judged by anyone.
I remember the first time I came here; I came to Woodland because my dad spent a couple of summers at Towering Pines when he was younger. My older sister and I couldn’t have been more exited. After a 4 hour plane ride and an 8-hour bus ride I was finally here. I will never forget the first time I saw the Woodland sign, decorated with some welcoming blue and yellow balloons. From the moment I stepped out of the bus, I knew I was home, and I knew that I would be stepping out of that bus for the next couple of summers.

To this day I can’t help but smile every time that I see the Woodland sign, for me, it represents all the memories, friends, stories, laughs, and songs Woodland has given me these past 6 years. I don’t think that you can explain what Woodland is all about to a person that has never been here, because it is impossible to explain the feelings of joy, happiness, excitement, teamwork and friendship. Woodland has taught me a lot of things and everyday I learn something new. I try to make everyday here count and I try to make everyday a new experience.
I can’t thank my parents enough for sending me here and to the Jordan family for making Woodland such a good place and experience.
So back to the questions written at the beginning… I am asking those questions to myself right now, and I realized that I still have the same answers that I been having the past 6 years. I do not get tired of it, and I do not want to do anything else.

Make an Impression in 2011 – a CIT’s perspective

Posted by on July 19, 2011

Greetings from the Northwoods!
It is hard to believe that I am halfway though my ninth summer already…it is amazing how camp flies by. I remember being an eight-year-old camper and saying goodbye to my Dad when he dropped me off that first summer. So much has changed from when I was that young. I was always the girl looking up to the CIT’s (counselor-in-training) and wanting to be a cool as they were. Now that I am a second year CIT, I know how it feels to have girls look up to me. I realize the importance of being a good role model; the campers are impressionable and pay attention to everything we say and do.

Being a CIT is so much fun! I go through my everyday actives in addition to being officer of the day and counselor for the day. It is neat to see the activities I took when I was younger compared to now. I get to assist an activity that I think I will want to teach when I am a counselor, which is really nice because I get a feel for what it will be like running my own class. Being officer of the day is also really fun, too. I help out in the office, sort the mail, do cabin inspection, and assist the girls learning how to ski. Another great thing about being a CIT is getting to be in the Coed-Show! That is one of my favorite things about camp. I love putting on a show for the campers because I loved watching the show when I was younger.

At camp everyday is different. Even though we are doing the same activities, something new and exciting happens everyday. Camp has made such an impression on my life. I cannot imagine a summer not coming back to camp. The friends I have made here have been the best friends I have ever had. The girls are all my sisters, and it is so hard saying good-bye to them year after year. Camp is like a second home to me, and it is truly a place where I can be myself and make friends that will last forever.

2nd year CIT

Impressions in 2011 – an alum’s perspective

Posted by on July 19, 2011

Dear Woodland Staff,

By the time you read this, you will have experienced “Red, White & Boom” in all its glory. “Ooooh, Aaaaah, Wonderful!!!!” will still be resonating through your heads as you remember the beautiful fireworks lighting up the north woods sky over Clear Lake. Budding relationships will have already begun between T.P. boys and Woodland girls assuring that many envelopes will cross those County D miles via any soul willing to make a delivery. (at least this is how they did it in the old days) And by now even the new counselors and campers will know the Woodland Song as well as having other camp favorites committed to memory.

Although most of you have never met me, we are connected just the same because we are all Woodland girls. Some of us from many years ago, and others even longer. And then there are those who have just recently become a part of Woodland life. Nevertheless, the bond is there because of this great place, Camp Woodland, gifted to us by Mr. and Mrs. Jordan and the Jordan family.

You may not realize the importance of your role here at Woodland, and so I want to take this opportunity to remind you because your time here is short and each day is a gift. What you bring as an individual to camp is a gift as well, and it does not go unnoticed. The campers you are here with in the Summer of 2011 may not tell you what they learned from you or how much you impacted their lives. However, someday many years down the road, you will know that you left an imprint on a Woodland girl’s heart, and that will be passed on to all those lives whom she touches. I am still in awe at the campers who have found me 20 years later and remember something that I said or did that touched them in a significant way. So, be mindful of your words and actions because they are far reaching and are powerful beyond belief.

Part of the magic of Camp Woodland is that not only are the kids learning from you, but you are learning from them. Open your mind to the wisdom of what they have to offer by simply listening to what they have to say and observing. It is sometimes at the oddest and most inconvenient times that a camper will come to you; however, this is future training for parenthood!!! It never fails that when I am utterly exhausted and tucking my 13-year-old son into bed, he begins telling me something about his day or something that happened. If I didn’t take the time to listen to him even though I’m ready to just say “Good Night,” I would truly miss out on a gift that he is sharing with me. It is at these times that campers are trying to make a connection with you. It’s as though they are handing you a piece to a puzzle that is a very personal way of letting you into their complex life.

There is also great wisdom in the years of experience of your fearless leaders. They really do know what they are doing, so don’t forget to absorb as much of it as you can. I have used what I learned at Camp Woodland in every aspect of my life for the past 22 years. I hear Mrs. J.’s voice every time I say to myself, “When in doubt, STOP, and START over.” Simple, right? So why is it so effective? This is your opportunity to take what you will from their experience and knowledge and use it to better yourself and be the best person you can be for these campers.

Finally, because I cannot be there and wish I could, please do me a favor. Savor these moments. Listen to the wind blowing through the pine trees. Stop and close your eyes and smell the air and listen to the waves on Sand Lake. Look out across the water and enjoy the view (forget about the brown residue and leeches for a moment if you will). Savor a frozen candy bar at canteen. Watch a smile creep across a girl’s face as she does something she thought impossible. Relish in the joy of a camper’s excitement when she hears her name called because she received a package. Sing at campfire just a little more loudly than you did the time before. Feel the spirit of peace at vespers that doesn’t care what religion or faith you are, but is just glad you exist. Smile at a camper you pass who just needs an extra look for reassurance. Tell another counselor something they do amazingly well. And look just a while longer at your wish boat floating out across the water because that candle is truly a beacon reflecting a summer that will be a memory you will want to savor for years to come.

Much love to Mrs. J., JoAnne, Susan, my sister and any other Woodland/T.P. friends,

Camp Woodland Staff
(summers 1990-1994, 1997)