Camp Woodland Blog

Truly Family at Camp Woodland

Throughout the summer we will be posting incredible submissions by our Alumni.  It gives me goosebumps every time I get receive a submission like this one I am about to share.  Emily started at camp when she was just an infant and has only missed two summers of her entire life.  Emily and her older brother will not be at camp this summer, but we are so glad that their father, Chet, will be back maintaining Camp Woodland.  Emily is more than just a camper and counselor, she is family and will be missed this summer. Enjoy the read as much as I did:

It was the inevitable “get to know you” game that always made me realize how much Camp Woodland has become a big part of my life. Every camper and counselor remembers playing it on the first day; the one where we would line up in a circle based on how many years we have been at camp. I was always confident playing this game, because I knew exactly where to stand: right at the end, unless the Jordans were there of course. We made our way around the circle announcing years of attendance and when it was my turn I would proudly state 15 years, watching the astonished look come across the faces of all the new girls.
581216_10200627935852839_1654664399_nI actually spent 19 out of my 21 summers at Woodland, and when my school friends would call me “crazy” for spending an entire six weeks at an all girls camp, I considered myself pretty lucky. I can honestly say that I have tried every activity, have sang every camp song, played every circle game, heard all the infamous stories of the Hilltop stairs, and have ate my fair share of s’mores. But that’s the great thing about camp, you can spend nearly two decades there but it’s never something you get bored with. There are always levels to beat, goals to achieve, and new friendships to create. That is the magic of camp, even though it remains constant, it allows you to change and grow throughout the years.


With my older brother at Towering Pines, me at Woodland, and my dad part of the staff, we were able to each have our own camp experience, but also were all to able share something together. Not only were part of the Riehle family, but we were part of the camp family as well. It was nice seeing my dad around camp, and I think that he enjoyed being able to watch me from the sidelines making my way from day camper to counselor.


Now going into my senior year of college, and looking back at everything in my life, camp memories are the most prominent to me. I have met the most amazing people, learned how to sail, learned how to ride a horse, and I can write an entire co-ed show song in one Rest Hour. Although I haven’t been able to make it back to the Northwood’s in the past two years, I know that whenever summer rolls around, the view of Sand lake will come to my mind and I’ll always remember my second home.