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Strong Woodland Women

Posted by on March 10, 2019

If this photo doesn’t scream “strong women,” I don’t know what does! Last year McDonald’s flipped the infamous golden arches on International Women’s Day; however, the ‘W’ of Woodland always represents the girls who leave camp a little (or a lot!) stronger than they were before. As we honor the women in history who have blazed a trail before us, I can’t help but think of the Woodland CIT’s and their counselors who do the same each and every day at camp.

We saw these girls take on numerous leadership roles as they are a HUGE part of the equation for making camp “magical” for the younger campers as did the CIT’s before them.  CIT’s are involved in the day-to-day operations of camp and take turns ringing the wake-up bell, sorting the outgoing and incoming mail, doing cabin inspection with the nurse, assisting with activities, giving ski help and taking canteen orders during Rec Swim,…just to name a FEW!  As a group they take part in a daily leadership training hour with their counselors during the first few weeks of the summer and plan all-camp Sunday events such as Gold Rush or other fun themes. These gals make it happen!

CIT’s who are in their second year of leadership development live in a cabin of younger girls and see first hand what it is like to be in charge from sunrise to sunset! “Live Ins” can be found assisting counselors with cabin clean-up, sparking conversation during meals, planning skits for campfire or other special cabin activities, initiating a group game, or reading a bedtime story. These gals are integral to cabin life and develop important leadership skills as a result because they practice them over and over. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We can’t wait for many of them to be counselors in 2019!

Find out more about a growth moment for some the 2018 CIT’s (the end of camp craziness took priority over filling out the ‘best moments’ sheet for the others in case you are wondering why your camper isn’t listed!):

Irene: I have learned how to really bond with the younger girls and have become more responsible and aware of my actions.

Amelia: I am now more aware that a small gesture of kindness can make someone’s whole day!

Cayley: I am more in tune with how my actions affect others.

Barbie: I’m more open to the people I trust and feel at home with. I now that I can be a good leader with kids and show them new things.

Jae: I really tried focusing on the positive side in many situations and making sure that everyone felt included/welcome.

Sofia: I learned that every year is completely different and to make each one awesome!

Vale: I know now that the best memories are made when you least expect it!

Kelly: I became more confident and outgoing this summer. I also learned empathy as I became aware of the hardships each person goes through.




I HEART CAMP DAY – Post Photos for the Love of Camp

Our favorite time of year (during the winter) is almost here!!  February 1st is National I Heart Camp Day! Help us spread the word on the importance of summer camp. Remember all those funny pictures we took of you with the “I heart Camp ” Poster. Well, on February 1 Camp Woodland campers, parents, staff, and alumni are encouraged to post their ” I heart Camp” photo as their Facebook Profile. Don’t have Facebook?

Here are a few ideas to show the world (or just your friends) how much camp means to you!

  • Instagram your photo! #Woodland4Girls #Iheartcamp
  • Print it out and paste on your favorite school tablet
  • Post it on your Pinterest Site
  • Make it a screen saver on your computer

Click the link to retrieve your daughter’s photos (we included brother-sister photos): I heart Camp Woodland Photos Link

Need your son’s photo too? Click the link to your son’s (Towering Pines) photos: I heart TP Photos link

All you have to do is: 1- find your picture, 2- download it by clicking the download tab on the bottom right of the photo, 3-Post it this Thursday, Feburary 1!

Check out our archives of I Heart Camp Day. It is fun to see how we have grown!:

* We took these photos at the end of the summer. We apologize if your daughter could not be part of this project and hope to do the photos throughout the entire next summer! Make your own photo and post it!  We love to see your child’s creativity!

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 World Beard Day from Treetops

Happy World Beard Day!

“While there have been places that it hasn’t necessarily been in style, or even possible to grow for some, overall there has been a great deal of admiration and respect for someone sporting a fine beard (like Isa G!). World Beard Day (September 1st) celebrates the beard and all it has been, become, and will be in days to come.

Every year people gather in places all over the world to sport their beard, with various ways of celebrating all over the world. The origins of World Beard Day have been lost to history, which isn’t surprising considering that there is evidence that the Danish Vikings have held a day in honor of their beard going back as far as 800 AD. Back in those august days, there wasn’t a specific day held to honor the beard, but multiple celebrations throughout the region.”


Throughout the upcoming year, blogs will be “sponsored” by a different Woodland cabin from the Summer of 2018 to celebrate a “national holiday.”  We will also take this opportunity to share what campers wrote as part of their “best moments at camp”…here is a little more about the zany gals from Treetops!

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

Monica: I am more confident in my riding abilities

Molly: It’s OK to be annoyed and sad if the rest of the time you have a positive attitude

Tori: I am more independent and confident

Isa: If you believe in yourself, you can do anything!

Valentina: If you find a grizzly bear, you have to look dead

Caitlin: I didn’t know anything about sailing and riding, and now I know how to rig a sail and how to take off the halter on a horse

Describe a change you made in yourself this summer:

Monica: I learned to be kind to others

Molly: I’m more comfortable as myself, and I don’t care what others think about me

Tori: I’m more fit, and I have learned many life skills

Isa: I became more comfortable with myself

Valentina: I began to not care about the mean stuff that people say about you because it is worthless

Caitlin: I became more confident, and I feel I got better at asking questions

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

Monica: I tried to be patient when people were sad or upset

Molly: I tried to include everyone, the little girls and the new girls in my cabin

Tori: By trying to be inclusive and friends with everyone

Isa: When I saw someone upset, I went to help them

Valentina: I lent things of mine even when I didn’t really want to

Caitlin: I included everyone and was friendly to everyone. I also helped other campers, and encouraged them, too.

How did others show kindness to you?

Monica: They taught me things and were patient when I wasn’t

Molly: Everyone encouraged me and cheered me on; they asked me if I was OK and lifted me up

Tori: By always being there for me and being my friend

Isa: They made me believe in myself when I thought I couldn’t do it

Valentina: By being nice to me

Caitlin: Talking to me, complimenting me on something and helping me when I needed it

Adventure Awaits: Sunnyside, Sunrise, and Aquarius

2018 was a summer where there were many ADVENTURES  to be had!  See what the campers from Sunnyside, Sunrise, and Aquarius had to say about their FAVORITE adventure:

Lily: the canoe trip was pretty fun; I felt like I got closer with my cabin

Lauren: passing my intermediate water-skiing and being in a TP exchange for archery and winning

Rachel: going to the ropes course; I had a great time bonding and doing team-building skills

Amelia: canoe trip and ropes course because I stepped out of my comfort zone and had a lot of fun doing it

Xime: canoe trip and being with my cabin

Bunny: an evening swim on our canoe trip

Libby: trying drama and going on canoe trip and ropes course

Isabella: going swimming on our canoe trip, meeting so many awesome new people, the ropes course, CIT games, trying tennis, ALL ABOUT CAMP!

Lilli: I loved taking a canoe trip with my cabin; we really bonded and had a great time canoeing and swimming

Valentina: canoe trip

Irene: CIT day trip

Amelia: going to ropes course and doing team bonding activities with my cabin – it brought us so much closer!

Cayley: day trip to Dam Lake and County O bridge

Barbie: being a 2nd year CIT and hopefully will help me be a JC next year! Ropes course was challenging; I proved that I can do anything even if there are limits

Jae: everything! From bouncing from my cabin to my “live-in” cabin and making different, amazing, and funny memories with each group of girls and counselors to working on Co-Ed Show! It was an AMAZING last summer as camper/CIT, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one!

Sofi: getting to be with my best friends in the cabin and bonding with them more

Vale: ropes course was a huge challenge that I overcame

Kelly: going on a run in the Climax Forest with my friends in the morning; we saw deer in the meadow. It was a great start to the day and a moment I will always remember.