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April Showers Bring May Flowers!

Posted by on May 19, 2022

Spring has sprung! Similar to dreary rainy days leading to the beauty and light of spring, one could say that the challenges we are presented in life help us to grow and flourish into better, stronger people.

At Camp Woodland we believe in challenging our children to push themselves out of their comfort zones both mentally and physically. Our long term program leads to the development of the child as a whole as  they hone in on new skills at all of their activities and build strong, meaningful relationships with those around them through shared experiences all summer long.

It was such a joy to watch the girls of Sunrise, a cabin of all first year campers, blossom through their new experiences at Camp Woodland last summer. These girls jumped right into the camp routine and embraced any given challenge with enthusiasm. We can’t wait to see how much more they grow and flourish this summer!

In what ways did the sun shine for you this summer?

Riley: Activities and my cabin mates.

Lilly: I love the activities, the food, PJs on Sundays, and CIT games.

Abigail: My favorite things I did were Gold Rush and Farm Zoo. They were so fun.

Brooke: The story and all the activities to choose from.

Maddie: I got to level 2 in Archery before the 2 weeks were over. That’s the thing that made my sun shine.

Hannah: Farm Zoo, food, the weather, campfires, the book we’re reading, and getting letters!

What was something that took you by surprise and was better than you imagined?

Riley: cheesecake!

Lilly: Canoeing, archery, and riflery.

Abigail: Archery and riding. I got to trot and go on rides through the woods!

Brooke: My cabin mates. I was worried about having mean people and being left out.

Maddie: Trying new things like foods and activities and swim lessons.

Hannah: The food, the animals, and my cabin.

What was something you were able to do that you have not been able to do over the past year?

Riley: Trot without being scared and having fun.

Lilly: All of my new activities!

Abigail: Riflery! It’s so fun and so is Archery.

Brooke: Socialize with multiple people at once.

Maddie: Trying things that I was scared of and trying things that I didn’t like at home.

Hannah: Hang out with friends!

What did you learn most about yourself?

Riley: I really love bunnies. Also, I want to ride again.

Lilly: I’m good at stuff I never thought I would be like archery, riflery, canoeing, and riding.

Abigail: Be true to everyone.

Brooke: That I love to horseback ride and love archery

Maddie: I went out of my comfort zone and I loved things I didn’t know I liked.

Hannah: I can’t ski, but I am good at making my bed.

 

Sunnyside Speaks for the Trees!

Posted by on May 4, 2022

The month of April is all about showing  love to this beautiful planet we call home with Earth Day on April 22nd and Arbor Day on April 19th. At Camp… every day is Earth Day! 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.

Earth Day and Arbor Day support environmental protection and celebrate nature, so many people use this time of year as an opportunity for tree-planting and litter-collecting events. At Camp Woodland we are fully immersed in nature from sun up to sun down. We co-exist with the wildlife of the north woods, enjoy peaceful walks through the climax forest, and explore different ecosystems and habitats all summer long. One cabin that fully embraced this love for our natural surroundings last summer was Sunnyside with the cabin theme of “We Speak for the Trees!” from the Lorax.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss

In what ways did the sun shine for you this summer?

“I really liked making new friends! I got to knee board, so fun! I also loved my activities… I took a lot of things I can’t do at home.”

“I loved the food this year, I liked trying archery, and the banana boat was awesome!!”

“Never being bored and always having something to do. Also, YUMMY FOOD!!!”

“Sleeping in a cabin, passing two levels in archery within two weeks, and playing tether ball.”

“Playing with bunnies!”

“In all of my awesome activities: riflery, horseback riding, arts and crafts, rec. swim, and farm zoo.”

What was something that took you by surprise and was better than you imagined?

“Tennis, farm zoo, rec. swim, and being away from home.”

“Getting to trot on Rusty (best horse). Also getting on a knee board. Dan’s food is extremely good. Best cook ever (sorry mom and dad!!!)”

“Chicken pot pie, but only from camp.”

“When I started archery I thought that I was going to be really bad at it, but when I heard that my first round was my first qualifier I was confident I would be able to succeed.”

“I learned how to do a front walkover and the food.”

“Riflery!”

What was something you were able to do that you have not been able to do over the past year?

“Play tennis decently and do archery.”

“During tennis I could actually do my serve properly. I used to be very bad at them. I also got to sleep until 7:30 every morning. I also learned a little Spanish which is a pretty cool language.”

“Archery, swim, and just be with people.”

“Play tether ball. I had played once before, but didn’t succeed.”

“Front walkover, backwards roll, and holding a bunny.”

“Riflery, horseback riding, and farm zoo!”

What did you learn most about yourself?

“That I can make friends when I am myself.”

“That at camp I could do stuff I was always scared to do like holding a checken, riding, a horse, and riflery.”

“That complaining doesn’t help anything.”

“That I was wrong to be afraid of camp because I love it here.”

“I love bunnies!”

“I don’t like drama and trying new things won’t hurt.”

April Showers from Silverbirch!

We have a saying that it doesn’t rain at Camp Woodland, it dews. Well, dew or shine, our girls sure know how to have fun! Our rainy day activities are so much fun, we crave them. There’s never a dull moment when we get to bundle up into our trusty rain boots and Woodland jackets to enjoy a camp Lip Sync contest or human treasure hunt.

One of our most iconic lip sync performances last summer was by the girls from Silverbirch to “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King. They went all out with designated baboon and lion costumes and had the crowd laughing and cheering the whole way through. Lip Sync contest was just one of the many memories these girls had to share from last summer

In what ways did the sun shine for you this summer?

Ella: My favorite things about camp are rifler, canteen, getting Camper of the Day, Lip Sync Contest, Song Contest, the French toast, and kneeboarding.

Katharine: Well, as always I got to ride every day here and I love the horses soooo much. We are also bubbled so we don’t have to worry about covid.

Sophie: Meals, having fun cabin nights, activities, riding in the speedboat, playing games with everyone, and passing levels in swimming!

Vale: Archery, sailing, and my friends.

Taylor: Activities and making friends.

Amalia: All the games, the people, and everything there is.

Sami: I like horseback riding, farm zoo, and arts and crafts the most because they speak to me. I also found a baby catfish.

Alix: The animals, kneeboarding, and tubing.

Mariana: Everything!

Libby (Live-In CIT): My friends always making me feel better when I was feeling down.

What was something that took you by surprise and was better than you imagined?

 

Ella: Kneeboarding took me by surprise and was better than I imagined. Riflery, swim lessons, and riding were the same.

Katharine: Honestly, when we were doing rotations farm zoo wasn’t boring like I thought it would be and Parker is the best.

Sophie: Archery because I have never done it before and I am glad that I love it a lot! Also swimming even though some days I don’t want to do it, I am glad I do.

Vale: Archery

Taylor: Definitely the food.

Amalia: The camp food.

Sami: Fish Friday, because it looked and tasted like chicken nuggets.

Alix: Kneeboarding and tubing!

Mariana: How they handled covid.

Libby (Live-In CIT): Being a Line-In and living with my campers was so fun and I got to know them better.

What was something you were able to do that you have not been able to do over the past year?

Ella: Ride a horse and have the space and time to run around and be a little crazy.

Katharine: Archery and sailing because I love doing those things, but I don’t have an archery range or a sailboat near my house.

Sophie: I gained confidence in myself in riding and just getting better at everything that was new.

Vale: Riflery

Taylor: Socialize and go to a summer camp.

Amalia: Back handsprings, water ski, have a hug candy bar every day for canteen.

Sami: I am learning how to sleep knowing there are spiders around.

Alix: Kneeboarding! Obviously, I really like kneeboarding.

Mariana: Socializing.

Libby (Live-In CIT): All my activities (ex: riflery) and Coed Show! and seeing all my best friends.

What did you learn most about yourself?

Ella: I need to branch out and try more new things at home. I also learned that being away from the people I know is okay because I will make new friends and find new people that I can say I know.

Katharine: I learned that I need to be confident in order to do anything well and that I should be more enthusiastic.

Sophie: That when things get tough to keep going and to keep having fun. Also, that I am more patient living with six girls and being the best person that I can be.

Vale: That I am really caring.

Taylor: That I can accomplish anything if I’m positive about it and don’t give up after not succeeding at first.

Amalia: I don’t like to swim.

Sami: I have learned that I know how to handle baby chicks.

Alix: I love water stuff.

Mariana: I didn’t forget to speak 😊 (at all).

Libby (Live-In CIT): It is important to have a support system with people that are going through the same thing as you.

Pause . . . and Breathe It In

Posted by on March 29, 2022

There is a calm in the ebb and flow of nature, the patterns in its existence and the rhythm of its systems. There is an unbelievable beauty and complexity residing within the ecosystem that surrounds us and is often underestimated and overlooked. This isn’t necessarily because we don’t care, but rather because the busyness of life gets in the way and because maybe someone just didn’t think to teach us to pause and to appreciate it.

In April of 1974 the article “Touched by Nature” was published in National Geographic Magazine, and it shared with the world the beauty of both Towering Pines Camp for Boys and Camp Woodland for Girls. The “AWEsomeness” of what this article expressed with the world is that campers today still have the opportunity to encounter some of the most incredible natural experiences that these two camps have to offer. Located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin in the heart of the American Legion State Forest, campers live among the tall white pine trees near spring fed lakes and amidst very unique ecological habitats.

 

 

 

 

An excerpt from this article shared some of the wonder of what campers experience at Towering Pines and Woodland, “Having people learn to become part of nature–to merge with the environment–is the aim of acclimatization, the brain child of Steve Van Matre, associate director of Towering Pines. ‘It’s not showing, but sharing and feeling–a heightened awareness and respect for the wholeness of the environment that we are seeking,’ writes Steve. ‘What do we care if the camper fails to remember the name of a wild flower. Does he remember its fragrance, the texture of its leaves? Does he know where to find it? And does he know, not because someone told him he should know, but because for him it is a thing of enjoyment and beauty?’”

 

 

 

 

Campers can participate in “zoo class” where they do exchanges between camps so they can engage in learning at both Towering Pines (TP) and Woodland. They take hikes into the forest through swampy areas to the moss garden and Lost Lake. They also walk through the meadow to see the awesome expanse of the climax/old growth forest. The bog provides another chance to observe and feel nature as they see the ripple effect of Merrybrook, a stream flowing from the bog into Sand Lake. There are scavenger hunts into the woods to look for clues that creatures leave behind on the forest floor. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll see wildflowers being planted at farm zoo at Woodland, and terrariums being created at TP. In skin diving class, campers at TP are exploring underwater cribs where fish, turtles and other wildlife live. In horseback riding and biking girls and boys investigate networks of trails where they are literally surrounded by the canopy of magnificence that the forest creates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, there are so many spontaneous spectacular opportunities to watch a bald eagle soar across the lake, to witness a pair of sandhill cranes fly over the assembly area, to listen to a loon calling to his mate or to hear an eaglet squawking longingly for his parents. 

There are unbelievable starlit nights where the constellations and Milky Way seem to imprint the sky with shimmering light. The moon’s reflection often dances across the water creating a pathway to the “Bridge of Gold” (TP song reference). There are incredible morning sunrises and evening sunsets that literally paint the sky with their colors on the canvas of the water. And there are all of the amazing sounds of the many creatures; their songs echoing through the forest from their hiding places in the lakes and the trees. 

 

 

 

 

 

Within all of this, there are the impactful moments of teaching in which campers and staff learn how to be one with nature and to understand its fragility. For example, as a camp community we are taught to only pick one wildflower for every seven found growing together. In this way, children and adults alike learn to preserve the beauty of nature for generations to come. There are a plethora of incidental yet impactful teachable moments that help encourage respect of all forms of nature as is explained by the author, Elizabeth A. Moize, “On the last day each camper is given a block of earth and asked to take it apart to try to determine where it came from and what it’s made of.  Finally they are asked to put it back together. And suddenly they understand:  Something that has taken so very long to put together should not be taken apart heedlessly.”

 

 

 

 

This is why summer camp is such a special gift. It’s an incredible opportunity to co-exist with nature in a unique way that creates a plethora of moments to pause and to breathe in what surrounds us. 

(Reference to National Geographic Archives https://archive.nationalgeographic.com/national-geographic/1974-apr/flipbook/536/)

 

First shared by Angie Ziller as a Towering Pines blog.

Happy International Women’s Day from Starshine!

Posted by on March 9, 2022

If this photo doesn’t scream “strong women,” I don’t know what does! We like to think that 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 all of our strong, independent Woodland girls flourishing and blossoming into even stronger versions of themselves throughout the summer.

No one can outshine the girls of Starshine when it comes to being true to yourself and giving every experience your all. These ladies really know how to take charge, tackling new goals and accomplishments every step of the way. They have really been working on honing their skills in activities and developing as leaders to the younger campers by demonstrating their focus, drive, and determination everyday.

 

In what ways did the sun shine for you this summer?

Sydney: I love all the people at camp and I love pushing myself to do stuff. I love all of the activities and Sunday games too.

Mariana: I have been having one of my best summers! Everything has been amazing until now and I’m pretty sure it will stay like that until the end of the summer.

Delia: Being able to try new things, but also do activities I have always loved.

Lizzy: This year my favorite things were Riflery and all the new experiences and conversations I’ve had with people I’ve known in the past and people I just met this year.

Lou: I loved getting to know people more. I also loved learning lots in my activities.

Carlota: Trying new activities, getting along with everyone, and having a great time with my cabin.

Caroline: Hanging out with all of the girls and getting to do all of the 6 week activities like Olympics and Woodland Fair.

Ivana: My favorite things were Archery, the people at camp, and knee boarding in the lake.

What was something that took you by surprise and was better than you imagined?

Sydney: Something that took me by surprise was the sailing program. It has been amazing this year and I learned so much.

Mariana: Going to the bog/moss garden. I thought it was going to be boring, but it was super fun! You jump, talk, play… I loved it and I’m so happy that I did try it. I don’t regret it.

Delia: Doing the first week with just my cabin. I thought would be confusing and hard, but it helped us bond.

Lizzy: Before camp I was worried about not getting along with my cabin mates, but I haven’t fought with anyone in my cabin and everyone was kind to me and others.

Lou: I won my first race I skippered and I had so much fun!

Carlota: The rotation week because I tried new things that I ended up loving and learning a lot.

Caroline: I wasn’t sure how confident I would be on a horse because I didn’t ride for 2 years, but I’ve been doing really well!

Ivana: That the food is really good and the lake is really cold.

What was something you were able to do that you have not been able to do over the past year?

Sydney: I haven’t been able to sail or swim everyday in a lake, which are both things that I love to do.

Mariana: Wakeboarding! I have never tried it except for here at camp. I tried it for a couple days and I have been advancing very well. My record so far is going halfway around the lake.

Delia: I was able to do sail race and just regular sailing. I don’t get to sail at home so that’s why I love it so much at camp.

Lizzy: This year I was able to pass levels that I’ve been trying to pass for a long time like, level 5 and kneeling in Riflery.

Lou: I was able to reconnect with people I hadn’t talked to in a while. I was able to reconnect with my favorite activities as well.

Carlota: I was able to do a lot of things like sail and shoot in Archery and Riflery.

Caroline: I haven’t gotten the chance to go sailing with my grandpa, so I’m soo glad I was able to here!

Ivana: Probably all of the activities and having to take care of yourself for almost everything.

What did you learn most about yourself?

Sydney: That I love trying new things and I love learning about things that I don’t know much about.

Mariana: That it’s ok if something doesn’t go how you expected it to the first time. If you keep doing it and trying to get better at it you will get better and you will be able to do it how you wanted to.

Delia: To not get frustrated with myself when things don’t go how I planned.

Lizzy: This year I learned that I am good at keeping my emotions under control even when I feel super down.

Lou: I learned that I have the most fun when I am not stressing about things.

Carlota: I learned to believe in myself, keep trying, and not give up.

Caroline: I learned not to rush things, but also not to procrastinate. If I rush myself or procrastinate I feel really overwhelmed and anxious, so I have to take my time on school work and everything else.

Ivana: That I can be really responsible, enthusiastic, and mostly positive every day.