Camp Woodland Blog

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


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.

Driftwood… Setting Good Examples

Posted by on March 4, 2022

February 28th was “National Set a Good Example Day,” which inspires us reflect on all of the extraordinary ways our girls learn this at camp.  From the time they wake up in the  morning to the sound of the Woodland bell, to the moment they fall asleep in their bunks at night after a busy day of activities, they are surrounded by staff and other campers leading by positive example.

There are role models surrounding and guiding them each step of the way as they stay in their summer home at Camp Woodland. There are a plethora of opportunities to learn healthy, productive and favorable habits by observing, listening, interacting and practicing what they see.  These girls are encouraged to live by their “good examples” and to be a positive force in all aspects of not only what they do at camp, but also what they do at home, in school and for their communities.

The young leaders from Driftwood are no exception to these principles. They have grown into some of the best role models for our younger campers and embody all things Camp Woodland. They jumped right in to their activities with passion and enthusiasm and are always willing to lend a helping hand. This fun loving, tight knit group of girls had a lot of memories to share from their most recent summer at Camp Woodland, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next summer when they officially join the CIT program!

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

Bri: Getting to meet the girls in my cabin, make new friends, meet all of the amazing counselors, try new activities, gain new skills, pass levels, play amazing CIT games, host camper council, go to a TP exchange, and have an amazing social!

Megan: I liked that we got to try new things and that we got to be creative.

Maya: Meeting all the new people, shooting riflery and learning a lot about the rifles and how to maintain them, seeing friends I have not seen in forever, and learning that I love playing tennis!

Lindsey: My favorite things were getting to do my activities, meeting new people, and trying new things. I also loved the food. I loved getting to try things I can’t normally do at home.

Isabella: I loved all of my activities this year, and I had far more opportunities this year than last year.

Tess: Every one of my activities brought me so much joy this summer. I also absolutely loved getting to see all my friends who sow me everyday that they care about me as much as I care about them.


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

Bri: All of the people here being so nice and caring, as well as the incredible food! I was also surprised how I actually got to be a Pre-CIT and help out the actual CITs and counselors with the games and activities!

Megan: Riding. I thought that I was going to be really bad at it, but I was better than I thought.

Maya: Having a smaller cabin. I was sad a lot of my close friends were not coming back, but it gave me time to meet all of the new campers and get closer with the people in my cabin.

Lindsey: Actually going out and approaching people. I was nervous about whether I should talk to people and once I did I met some really nice people.

Isabella: I’ve improved a lot in tennis and riflery, and the P-CIT surprise was fun too.

Tess: I never imagined that I would get so much better at skiing or riding. I also didn’t expect Driftwood being such a small cabin to be as fun as it was.

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

Bri: I was FINALLY able to not wear a mask! Also, it was so cool to be able to go to a summer camp again!

Megan: Riding. Where I live there are not many barns so it was nice to ride again.

Maya: Shoot a gun! I love how I can set personal goals for myself in riflery and have fun at the same time. Shooting is something I can’t do at home, which makes coming back to camp 100 times better because you can do new or fun things that you can’t elsewhere.

Lindsey: Socialize, I tried swimming again.

Isabella: Of course, riding horses and sailing boats is something I don’t get to do at home. I’ve also been doing more physical activity every day, which is good.

Tess: Literally every single one of my activities are things I cannot do at home. I also got to hug all my friends which I missed last year.

What did you learn most about yourself?

Bri: That I really like teaching all the girls and helping when needed! It’s helped me know that I wouldn’t mind being a music teacher one day!

Megan: That when I am around supportive people I try new things that I am normally scared to do.

Maya: Saying “no” to people, younger or older, can be difficult, but super important in many situations. So pretty much to put myself as first priority instead of being last priority.

Lindsey: I do better in archery than I first expected. I learned that I might have acid reflux. I learned how to be a role model to other girls.

Isabella: I’m now 95% certain that I am in fact an introvert.

Tess: I worry too much If I live in the moment more then I have a good time and don’t freak myself out as much. I need to trust that things will work out.


Let’s Celebrate I HEART CAMP DAY!

Our favorite time of year (during the winter) is almost here!!  February 1st (this Tuesday) 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 over the past summers? Well, this Tuesday Camp Woodland campers, parents, staff, and alumni are encouraged to post their favorite “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 hang your favorite photo on your fridge
  • Make it a screen saver on your computer
  • Use one of our virtual backgrounds for zoom meetings

Click the link to retrieve your daughter’s 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 Tuesday, February 1!

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