Camp Towanda Creates “Totally Epic” Pepsi Camp Half Time Videos

When we learned that Pepsi was launching a new series of videos called “Camp Halftime” leading up to the Super Bowl, we were excited. And then we saw that they were filmed on the Netflix set of Wet Hot American Summer…which is really the Hollywood replica set of Camp Towanda! If you remember, the original movie Wet Hot American Summer was filmed at Camp Towanda back in 2001 and helped launch the careers of Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd and then some.

Which got us thinking…we need to create our own Camp Halftime here at the real Camp Towanda. We had two consecutive weekends of Senior Sleepovers coming up, plus talent and a creative team ready to go! Over the years, we have amassed quite a bit of Pepsi signage and an affinity for making skits through our famous Friday Nite Flix, so this Pepsi challenge was a natural fit.

First check out Pepsi’s Camp Halftime videos starring Donald Faison:

https://youtu.be/cwBtoxqkk44

https://youtu.be/44fKCuflR34

And then check out the first two episodes of Camp Halftime from Camp Towanda, starring Roger the Broom Balancer.

A big thanks to the President of Pepsi’s Global Beverage Group, Brad Jakeman for tweeting that our videos are “Totally Epic” and  to Summer Camp Culture for all the coverage. It’s been fun. We hope you have enjoyed watching these videos as much as we enjoyed producing them.

We’re ready for the Super Bowl!

Post-Visiting Day, Week 5 Stride

c8ead8e9-525a-456c-a38a-9c2af91c857aWhen parents come to camp just four weeks into the summer, they say “how could it get better than this!?”. Well..it’s official, we have hit our post-Visiting Day, Week 5 stride! It’s not from the candy (that’s long gone)- it’s all natural, wholesome, organic, incredible, exhilarating, edge-of-your-seat fun!

08d4d4bf-1f38-4d58-a65c-e2f2caebf272-2This week alone, we packed so much in and we all know it’s just getting better from here on out! Casino Night, All Star Basketball Game, Gold Rush, Counselor Hunt, Intercamp games, Backwards Day, Wayne County Championships, waterparks, Inters to Cooperstown, Senior/Club Dorm Trip to Boston, LITs to Niagara Falls, Nationals Canoe Trips, General Swims, Culinary Classes kitchen raids (with Mitch–shhhh) and then our Lower Camp play Annie!

From the beginning of the summer when we had those very wet rainy days, the theme song was, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”. So it was only fitting for lower camp to serenade us and knock our socks off with an incredible production!

3ed9eb5f-fa0a-477c-b2a3-9ab3a6116746The entire camp gathered, as we do most evenings, all together, young and old, boys and girls and staff.  The production (song, scenery and costume), blew us away. Over 140 cast and crew participating, beyond adorable, beyond cute, it was broadway caliber.  The crowd was silent in awe as the cast performed with pride, passion and gusto!

c7df8c0f-ccba-44a7-acab-4c9b6d7e3969On stage, your kids (our kids) had the biggest smiles, their self-esteem and confidence bursting! Some of these same kids were shy and crying upon arrival just a few short weeks ago or clinging onto their parents legs just last week! Amazing what camp can do! This was different than if it was a home school play, because the parents weren’t there, they were in the moment and shining from the stage right up to the full moon, experiencing a big sense of accomplishment for themselves.

7404d253-e566-41c1-b70b-bc7c12a65c37We had never witnessed such a show here before. The crowd rose for an honest unprovoked standing ovation! As tears were running down our faces (honestly), we turned to look at the audiences, and we thought- THIS IS WHAT LIFE AT CAMP TOWANDA IS. This is what you want your kids to get from the camp experience: pride, support, confidence, accomplishment and enjoyment.  This is what kids thrive on, need and get here.

And as if the week couldn’t get any better, we had a couple of fake outs, one of which was pretty convincing! Here’s what went down.. at the end of Annie, we showed this week’s Friday Nite Flix (again on a Saturday) which culminated in a series time traveling movies, followed by the two teams coming up on screen: The Red Dimension Sliders vs. the Blue Time Travelers. The horns blared and “Is there anybody out there” played. Banners were ushered out from the fiedlhouse. They called down Generals and started calling down Camper Captains (CCs)…there was 1 Blue CC, then 2, then 3, and then they went to call down the Red CCs and FAKE OUT!

The fever is hot, the excitement is high; camp is on the move; hitting our stride; this is now the time we start reaping what we sowed!  And it will only get better each day…

 

Wet Hot American Fun!

Week one was off to a very wet but wildly fun start at Camp Towanda. We made the best of the weather, creatively using all of our indoor facilities to the max and the campers and staff didn’t miss a beat. Our Towanda ponchos and rain boots have gotten their fair share of wear and mud GHOST is a new activity here at camp!

984208f8-71bd-480b-9599-dba7bb88a075Even though it has only been a week, the camaraderie, smiles and friendships are as if we have been together a long time already. We have been appreciating the rare glimpses of sunshine, soaking in the fun of kickball, volleyball, basketball, free swim and more! And when the showers rain down on us, we have been seeking cover at indoor basketball, ping-pong tourneys, lego room, old-school board games, treehouse challenges, gaga, indoor arena soccer, Arts & Crafts, dance, Culinary with Chefs Ben, Hannah and Judi, gymnastics, martial arts, play rehearsal, zumba and more. And while the fields dry out we have managed to play lacrosse on the tennis courts because, why not!? We have enough to keep us busy. Rain doesn’t get us down one bit- we are “water resilient”!

8b700f77-4ca2-4077-81c9-267b5878040dOur evenings have been filled with Towanda favorites like talent shows, open mic night, Towanda Open (dizzy bats, pudding pie in the face, messy fun!) and Unique Entertainment Game Show to name a few and capped off with Under the Lights for our Upper Camp and milk & cookies for Lower Camp. We celebrated the July 4th long weekend with our annual traditions of breakfast on the lawn, Campapalooza outdoor concert, record-breaking attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records (this year the entire camp with stuck together with Chinese finger traps), a day of sunshine filled co-ed activities, luau, BBQ and fireworks set to 1812 Overture! The first week really did end with a bang!

2c17a50b-374e-4771-b2cc-90fa662ac633Stephanie and I and the senior staff (Head Counselors, Camp Moms, etc.) spend the bulk of our day out there…in the trenches, managing, observing, directing, participating…at eye level…getting into it. Knowing your kids and their counselors so we can successfully guide and direct them towards a successful experience here at camp.

626f0550-d907-473e-a1d3-ff9ed19c68ff

We are not in the office, we do not carry cell phones or technology with us…we are in the moment with the campers and staff. We break the cliques, we balance the group, we foster a brotherhood and sisterhood…the road to achieve that isn’t easy, but we have the tools here to be successful…things happen here that just can’t happen anywhere else! Just take a look at our oldest campers- The Dorm & Club!

By now you have probably received the first wave of letters…that’s what we call “old news”!   You may need to read it, take a deep breath and then go out to dinner! We are on it!

Let the excitement, activities, skill development and games continue! Thanks for trusting us to do what we do and thanks for making the tough parenting decision to let us do it!

Check out the first official highlights video of the summer! Friday Nite Flix Week 1: Wet Hot American Summer Edition: FRIDAY NITE FLIX

Quote of the week: “Wow!  Cannot believe how much rain you guys have had but glad to see that it cleared up .  Watching the FNF this week it seems that the rain has not managed to dampen the spirit of camp. That’s amazing.  The kids all look like they are having a fabulous time.  Very impressive given the weather conditions.” – Camp Parent

The Camp Towanda Education

camp conference collageOur Winter Office Crew (A/K/A The W.O.C.)  returned last week from our camp conference in Atlantic City. This consists of four full “reveille-to-taps” days of intensive educational and training seminars as well as terrific colleague networking and programming research.

We are often referred to as one of the top leaders in the camp industry; others look to us for advice, standards and guidance. We are proud of that. Being surrounded by other impressive camp professionals (it is an amazing industry) inspires us to be even better, reach higher and dream bigger while always staying true to what makes us Camp Towanda.

The conference pumps us to continue to enhance, improve and get even more psyched to provide the utmost of what I now call the “Camp Towanda Education”.

This continuing education was highlighted even more so by Hilary Clinton. You may have seen on the news that Hilary Clinton was our Keynote speaker. Despite anyone’s political compass, I felt she appropriately acknowledged, recognized and articulated the impact and richness that the camp experience provides as an important component of a child’s education. She also shared a great personal story about sending off Chelsea to camp for the first time, which all parents will appreciate.

Some quotes that really stood out (were you following our live Tweeting @camptowanda?):

• “Every child needs enrichment beyond what they have in the family or classroom.”
• “Every child needs a champion.”
• “Camps are safe havens in the storms that blow across everyone’s life. A place where they can get back to the basics.”
• “Most kids need a little more independence to test themselves and discover themselves.”
• “I wish parents today would stop overprotecting our children from discovering what they are capable of.”
• “We need to create more opportunities for people to spend time together & build relationships” (referring to rather than being online).
• “You need to be the lead actor in your own life.”
• “Start and end every day practicing the discipline of gratitude.”
• “It takes a village to raise a child and camp is a village”.

In addition to recognizing the benefits of camping, she specifically mentioned the impact of SCOPE (and the 1000s of children we have impacted with that program).

As an extra bonus, she remarked: “We really need camps for adults.  We have a huge fun deficit in America.” The good news is that we DO have camp for adults…. Check out our Labor Day Family Weekend or Soul Camp (We are happy to send you more information about both of these post season events)!

Stephanie and I were honored to sit front and center in the first row of the over 3000 camp colleagues in the audience. We had the opportunity to meet the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State personally after her talk, introduced as the owners ofTowanda and the President of SCOPE; we had a photo-op (not released yet) and received an autographed copy of her most recent book, “Hard Choices”.

Certainly inspiring….and fun!

Last week I also was elected to return to the ACA Board of Directors (American Camp Association).

Now, we are back in the winter office and ready to rock and roll!

Once that snow melts, off to camp!

From The First Family Of Camp Towanda!

 

Since you’ve been gone…

IMG_6890.JPGIt has been just over a month since camp ended…we miss everyone, but we have remained quite busy! We are getting ready for our annual Fall Foliage BBQ this Saturday, hosted by the Dorm Girls 2015. We have well over 200 people planned to come back to camp this weekend, including all our new families, and it should be a great day of ball games, BBQ and Towandering.

Before I share all the exciting action going on here at camp, I want to say first and foremost- what an excellent summer! Reflecting on it all, hearing from many of you and hearing the word on the street leaves us all gleaming with pride!

Of course, there is always room for improvement, enhancement and to do things better…and we are and will!

We have a major renovation of the main soccer field in progress as well as the new Treehouse area. We are very excited for the Treehouse to be in full operation for the start of next summer.  Visitors this weekend for the Fall BBQ will be able to walk up into the lower pod.

The Yurt platform is underway and will be all set for next summer, too. Jared’s “The Hut” Cabin, located between Triple and B-12, is also finishing renovations!

10502396_10154577584680725_5356740228946468275_nWe are revamping the sound and lighting capabilities for the amphitheater and Field House to step up our production quality. Major renovations to our swimming pool are also in the works! And a few more bunks will be receiving renovations!

So, that is just some of what is presently going on (more information, progress reports and details to come)!

Did you catch Stephanie and I on Letterman? We were invited VIP guests as a thank you from the producers for the original bit years ago when Biff came to Towanda; They say it was one of their favorites, and since Dave is in his final season, they wanted us back. It was a good time! Catch some pictures on our Facebook page.

soulcamp1If you didn’t hear the buzz about SOUL CAMP it was great. Two of our alums put together an adult mind-body-soul retreat; a very impressive array of speakers, sessions and excellent organic healthy cuisine; it was a love-hug-good vibe fest where I definitely got my Oms in check; we are talking a calmer, gentler and more relaxed Mitch! I definitely recommend it for you next year.  Check out Soul Camp 2014 on Facebook.

 

Interested in hiring our Media Team for Bar-Mitzvahs, Private Parties, Corporate Videos, On-Hold entertainment etc.? We have a great team (headed up by Erica Media and Skyler) who we want to keep part of camp and Friday Nite Flix for years to come, and we want to keep them busy year-round. You know the quality of their work already (check out FNF and our promo reels). Please let mitch@camptowanda.com know if you have any interest at all. They were the videographers for Soul Camp and did this awesome trailer (check it out here).

We also want to wish everyone a very happy, safe and healthy Rosh Hashanah. And again we want to acknowledge that we appreciate and value the trust parents give us to help influence their children. Camp Towanda is a very special place and we are really glad that your family is part of it. Thanks again and we will hopefully see you at one of the reunions.

-Mitch

P.S. MARK YOUR CALENDARS for The Madrid Reunion on November 1st; We are striving for a Paris Reunion November 2nd (while we are there for our 30th Anniversary and then off to China to staff recruit, food research, tour and our nephew’s wedding.); We return in time for the November 22nd New York Reunion then…..The Florida Beach Reunion, December 26th in Boca Raton, FL; The New Camper Group Scoop on January 11th; The Senior Sleepovers in January and The “unpopular” Meet & Ski on January 18th. As well as Stephanie’s Book Club (January 27) and Chat Rooms (January 28). The finer details all coming later this Fall!

1, 3, 5, 6, We Want Olympics!

2b6c5cd8-dafd-4ea4-a888-2978663e4648Camp is reaching it’s all time high as we sailed past Visiting Day, thru the candy crash, beyond amazing trip days (like the Wayne County Fair) in anticipation for OLYMPICS!!!! First came the psych outs to Pink Floyd’s “Is there anybody out there” chant.  But nothing.  Then Monday morning, the Club Boys initiated a somewhat intentionally lame “fake out” at lineup.  Let the buzz officially begin.

While the days are filled with “regular” activities, exciting Wayne County Championship matches and other traditional festivities (Dip’n Dots near the picnic tables…10 flavors to choose from!), everyone is feeling the same thing: 1, 3, 5, 6 WE WANT OLYMPICS!

ffced99b-2736-432e-8098-81989f4153daThe tension of observing the Senior Staff and me change shirt colors, from red to blue and back again, took the suspicion and nerves to a new level!  After the all camp play, Robin Hood Men in Tights, The Club and Dorm joined forces and created a stimulating fakeout based on The Hunger Games.  The Club and Dorm linked together emotionally and by their clenched hands while the Jets and Debs were temporarily confused, but still enjoying the excitement yet to unfurl. We are all enjoying the ride attempting to decipher all the hysteria from psych out to fake out to when and WHAT is the real thing!

8453baf4-44ef-4f97-a7be-35adaa24d58dOn Tuesday the entire camp headed to the Wayne County Fair! Over 257 chicken wing pretzel sandwiches were consumed and there are now 37 goldfish swimming in the Mansion patio pond.  I think many watched the pig races or ate a deep fried Oreo.

The energy level was high at dinner, which got interrupted by a Flash Mob Disney Dance throughout the mess hall with the waiters, waitresses and entire kitchen department bursting into Disney song and dance with their trays, ketchup bottles and silverware; dancing on the tables, chaos up and down the center aisles!

616d0b1b-1bee-4b50-aaa4-cb0da75a8d26The kids were swooped up into high alert, but the dance ended and I went on with my dinner announcements…..and oddly enough, despite a day of Carny Foods, I announced we were going to do an unprecedented all camp canteen, to be distributed on the main basketball court…..well, that just took about 15 seconds for everyone to head to the main basketball court….

523cf7f4-9927-4b02-8d80-80ad9222cc97

However, once they got there…..one couldn’t help but notice the blue and red smoke bombs out on the main soccer field, off in the distance…then the loudest rock and roll music was blasting from our aerial lift….as all the camp gathered in the soccer field, hands clenched, hearts beating, Pink Floyd’s “Is anybody out there” blasted…then on the zipline came a hard rocker with guitar wheeling the tunes…..THE BLUE DJS vs. THE RED ROCKERS. Was this it?

d864f639-f696-484c-89ad-525932c0e6d7The banners and Generals came running out…the Generals were annoiunced, the Club Camper Captains were announced and then just before the Dorm Girl CC’s were announced….the Club boys YELLED  ‘FAKEOUT”…

And with almost perfect timing, the skies opened up with a  heavy downpour and everyone retreated to the bunks.

Today is another day.  Is there anybody out there????

How Sweet It Is to be at Camp Towanda (week 4)

b37017ed-6d2f-49be-9a72-d8e237927240How sweet it is to be at Camp Towanda! Our week kicked off with a trip to Bethel Woods, a local attraction and spectacular concert venue, for the James Taylor concert (nothing like going to a concert with 200 kids!).  Stephanie and I joined the campers, which was a real treat for us.

We had a beautiful week of weather with so much to do packed into so little time.  Activities, general swims, boating and canoe excursions, intercamp games, group photos, banana splits, trips to the Blueberry Farm (safari-style) and more! And that’s just during the day!

The excitement is building for everything leading up to Visiting Day on Saturday…canteen craziness, music happiness, sportsmanship “achievementness” and group togetherness!  It is Towanda Time here in Honesdale!

98d849fa-d418-4122-92d7-2abcbbaad7bdWe had our annual Venezuelan Pizza  & Dance Party in The Mess Hall where Jared presented the annual gift to the campers and staff (Towanda Duct Tape they will take home at the end of the summer)!

Girls Sing was simply an amazing display of emotion, spirit, sisterhood, healthy competition and creativity. Win or lose, it really didn’t matter; all the girls sang with the hearts and the boys were a respectful audience.

e477b548-1da3-4da3-b3cd-61b35716176dIn the end, the Inters and Nationals “Internats the Musical” took 1st Place! Thankfully I am not a judge as it was all too close– from the Despicable Debs & Dills, to the Tweens & Junior’s Namaste to The Senior Night Fever and the incredible Sesame Street Dorm…GREAT!  Even the boys’ audience had signs of encouragement for their corresponding groups.

447caa8a-ddf5-48f1-9ad2-fb750ccaddd1We ended the evening with a very special late night campfire with the Dorm Girls and Stephanie and I talked with them about their role, their responsibility and their growth.  As the flames started small and grew, under the twinkling night sky an awesome shooting star flew above.  The Dorm Girls began to reflect on what their final year as campers is all about…and with the loudest burst possible, they screamed their DORM cheer,  it resounded thru the night sky as they walked back in the shadows of the night silently.

2cbf5796-a661-4a54-90d7-0158be0f5bfdStephanie and I had lunch with the camp presidents this week (our white glove service was served by the 8 former presidents still at camp). Good fun!  We needed to postpone our carnival because of weather and went indoors for a Karaoke Night and games followed by a pre-Olympic psychout gathering in the mess hall and impromptu Beatles Vs Rolling Stones Dance party that concluded with McDonalds served to the entire camp.  Still one of my favorite things is driving up to the local Mc D’s and saying I’ll take 246 quarter pounders, 13 plain burgers, 197 cheeseburgers, 17 with no patty, and 1 big mac…to go…oh and can I get a toy with that and 26 extra ketchups.

6d2a5f0d-f283-47fd-920e-5a498a24e978On Trip Day Thursday, the entire camp headed to Dorney Park, Wildwater Kingdom for a gorgeous day of rides and slides! And now it’s time to get ready for the big day TOMORROW!!!! Don’t forget to check out our latest Visiting Day issue of the Towanda Times here and look out for the latest edition of Friday Nite Flix, posted this weekend.

And I have been told that we are sharing some of our highlight photos on Facebook…so follow us there too!

We’re ready…are you?!

 

 

We Rocked Week 3!

c37e36c6-f12c-4d68-a817-a602f31b1fdeWeek 3 started off with a bang- when stormy weather caused us go indoors for Upper Camp’s roaring production of Queen’s We Will Rock You! The show went on and we all really enjoyed! We didn’t stop the music because Monday night followed with the Battle of the DJs! A dance party of epic proportions!!!

0a299a07-f736-490d-ac6b-a2582d5ec079We dodged some other showers on Tuesday evening to gather as a camp and watch the ALL STAR GAME live on the lawn on our extra-large outdoor projection screen in surround sound.  This is one of our favorite crazy nights, complete with Bob and Matt Miller grilling dogs, the Club boys hawking the dogs, Jared giving out Yankees popcorn bags from our vendor cart, Dorm girls serving beverages from the canteen window and Senior Staff acting as ushers at the game! 

rj 2The kids are busy enjoying culinary classes with Alumni Chef Ben- delicious, fun, educational. Recipes to follow at the end of the summer so you can make them at home and think of camp! The talented artists in Stephanie’s Fine Art’s class are becoming masters (of pride and art). General swims have kids swinging, sliding, sailing, windsurfing and swimming!

Another great evening activity this week was Electionality; our convention where each group comes as a “STATE” to cast their votes for the next Presidents of camp. State of “New Jerseys”, State of Selfies, State of Neon, State of Paper Plates and so on……  some very creative States…plus the state of the camp address and speeches by the candidates.

rj 12All good fun which ended with the election of our first ever international presidents, Maria & Juan from Madrid! Their successful campaign endorsed by the Giddiap Poll used the tag line: “We’re Number Juan”! They have promised Tapas Tuesdays and changing the name of rest hour to Siesta Hour.

Trip Day was wet and wild! Jets, Cadets, Debs & Dillies to Montage Mountain (lazy river and age appropriate water fun rides). Middies, Tweens & Juniors to Camelbeach! And Upper Camp to HERSHEY PARK!

1dc9d903-0386-4ff0-9d87-75f0f35c7740And here we are now, completing the 3rd week of camp and I can only say this place is magical. The experience of watching the young campers with the older campers, the mixed personalities, the varied interests and abilities, combined with the different backgrounds and upbringings funnel into creating this special “family” we all feel part of.

This is the sense Stephanie and I have…everyone waves hello to each other, smiles are exchanged and we are overall the way the world should be.  To think that camp will get better as the weeks go on is almost unimaginable. But we can’t wait!

There is so much MORE in week 4! Stay tuned…we know you will!

Second Week Stride!

85c6001d-6844-4791-a743-95183500a9daIt’s the second week and we are hitting our stride. So many quintessential camp activities that are great traditions here at Camp Towanda happen in the second week. We started out with a Buffet breakfast on the lawn picnic tables, activities and “make your own sandwich” lunch outside. All of camp then hit the waterfront for our amazing water carnival with loads of rides, slides, cotton candy, popcorn, fruit, melon, great dancing and music.  It was a warm sunny day that also featured a 10 minute rain shower that chased us all in to the boathouse (rain pounding on the tin roof while the girls sang as loud as they could to drown out the weather)…those are the things you remember most about camp! The unexpected moments. We then we went back out and continued the fun on the huge slides and rides! I couldn’t resist jumping in on the action…camp fun for everyone.

12834fbd-bdca-47e3-a478-242c0852127cIf you could be here you would feel the energy. Always exciting, always fun, always loving, growing and getting closer…as a big camp family. I see the older kids with the youngest, I see piggy back rides, I see kids playing activities and singing and dancing…the spirit and attitude is wonderful…even those few campers who write home telling their parents they are homesick are up on stage, involved, have friends and are smiling…..when I ask them why they wrote such letters, they look at me and say something like…”oh, I really don’t mean that, I was just writing that because I miss them and I love it here…” Kids!

d59e42d5-e589-4494-93e6-136fe67de26fThe rest of the week was beautiful weather, late reveilles, activities, inter-camp games, culinary classes, yo-yo clinic, Stephanie’s Fine Arts Class and so much more! We had an all camp magic show and the return of the very talented Steve Max–a camp favorite activity of Simon Sez. Old fashioned-fun that delivers the message of RESPECT.

We had our first official trip day this Thursday, bowling and the movies…or as the counselors say, “Ahhh, air conditioning”!  The Nationals had a 3 day excursion in the Adirondacks and our camp family is back together as we head into another Friday…which means an evening of shabbat services and our second edition of Friday Nite Flix!!! Woooo!

26e07da9-120d-4ad5-94db-8381245cdd09Our life at camp moves at a fairly quick pace; activity-to-activity; joke-to-joke; song-to-song and friend-to-friend. The real magic is that it all happens so naturally here; without intervention from the outside world. There is something special when one has a personal achievement, they can soak in the moment without searching for parental accolades from the sidelines. This is where we see growth, self-confidence and true healthy self-esteem build. It’s all happening here at camp…we’re enjoying every minute!

Four days of 4th of July!

It was an action-packed FOUR days of activities, and tribute to the red, white and blue! We told you there was MORE in 20-1-4! We cannot believe it’s only been a little over a week because our campers are in the routine, having a blast and the spirit is high!

ddd00dc9-c7eb-4335-aa1d-7aa2606f6321It all started on Thursday with a foggy lawn breakfast buffet (did you see it on the Live Camp Cam?), then we got in 2 activities, a sultry lunch and an awesome live CAMPAPOLOOZA concert in our amphitheater (complete with big beach balls, water hose, ice cream and the sounds of FIKUS blasting excellent classic rock and roll to our dancing crowd). As soon as the concert ended, we got some very specific lightning bolts jolting around our region. Our planning was right on target as we had already cancelled general swim due to our impressive weather staion with pinpoint lightning detection so everyone was already safely back in the bunks when the rain pummeled the already saturated ground…the rain and t-storms delayed dinner and our campers got some quality, relaxing time together in the bunks.

391fa01a-7600-4931-b197-52ac526e35bdWe finally ate and then the Dorm Girls (our most senior campers) ran an impromptu foul shooting contest, which we call Horseracing in the field house. And since I got in my famous backwards half court shot, I promised if I made it, reveille will be at 8:30 AM!! Whew…

We continued our July 4th festivities on Friday. The weather changed from sultry summer to dry and crisp autumn!   A beautiful day of patriotic honors, co-eding, silly name day, breaking the Guinness Record for yo-yo ing and then Friday Nite Flix.

We kicked off the festivities with the Jets and Debs’ Color Guard at Flagpole, a morning of fun Coed activities, an All-American chicken, rib & vegetarian lunch BBQ and then we all joined together to beat the Guinness Record of Yo-Yo participation; this was crazy fun and everyone received Yo-Yo lessons from our very own world champion Yo-Yo master, Dan Green (ranked in world competition) , returning for his 2nd summer.  As a souvenir of the day, everyone got to keep their very own Camp Towanda logo’d Yo-Yo!

a50fb751-1cf0-496c-aeb2-e0fc30255d28

Then the British Staff took over the newly paved road behind the Girls Bunk line and declared it forevermore “Abby Road”…the stripes will be officially painted in the coming days!

One more coed activity then we had our weekly Friday night shabbos dinner, services in the Field House with the fireplace lit, Friday Nite Flix which played to a standing ovation and under-lined the totally immersed excitement we are living here; having fun, learning, growing and did I mention FUN?!!!

Don’t forget to check out our Friday Nite Flix page for our weekly highlights. Usually posted on Saturday morning.

1d3b547f-ea92-4d31-a059-6f1929baf3d9I joined the oldest “CLUB” boys on Friday night for an after hours campfire; a very special gathering of the brotherhood from Club members of the past and now present. We can’t talk about it, but this ceremony underlines and reinforces the foundation of what these boys have gained over the years since they started here….and now they are ready to lead by example, spirit, trust, respect, confidence, balance  and pride!  This is what this what growing up at camp is about… in an unplugged, old school way of life….

5e4fb8fa-4e72-4dd0-b38a-12cef1c61a24The weekend was filled with more fun, activities and new families starting to tour Towanda for Summer ’15.  New campers and parents visiting tell us that Towanda looks, smells, sounds and feels like the way camp should be! Our kids and staff are smiling, active, look really happy and there is an overall sense of warmth and pride here……OMG and thanks!  That is our goal…so it is nice to hear it from the outside looking in.  I share that with our staff and it just helps them want to do even better!

931c9403-5713-452b-99df-ed0ed6697e18Saturday our campers put on a show that showcased their diverse talents! It was good fun and everyone cheered! Towanda’s Got Talent people!

Sunday was a Top 10 weather day and certainly one of the best days at camp so far (that’s a bit unfair since every day gets better). Activities, fun, Grateful Dead BBQ and Luau at Sunset Lake followed by our delayed 4th of the July fireworks which were just awesome…..set to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture!  It was a big sky of ooooh-ahhh-ohhh!

Life at CT is amazing…watching everyone grow, get together and hearing the feedback from staff that tell me…”I love my kids and I cant believe I feel like I have made so many new best friends in such a short time”…well, that attitude just trickles down to the kids; we all feel it here.

99724617-eb80-4f00-b100-d05b45460e6c

 

What a weekend and a week to come!!!! Magic Show, Steve Maxx Returns, Excursions, Upper Camp Play and much more in store in 20-14! Week 2 is in full swing already… off to lunch, we hear American Pie playing…