Things are heating up at Camp Towanda!

So, the weeks leading up to camp were damp, chilly, cold and raw up here in the rolling countryside of NorthEastern Pennsylvania…and we dreamed of hot summer days…there is no doubt that the summer has started off…..hitting 90 everyday so far!


The spirit, friendships and smiles represent a feeling that we all have been here for a long time while it has really been only 4 full days so far! If you were a fly on the wall, you would not believe it!

From the Dorm Girls dressing up for Maniac Monday to the Club Boys dressing up for “Half Christmas” on Tuesday (a celebration they concocted). They even played Christmas music all day, which psychologically cooled us off.

icecream mitch

The younger campers look up to these groups as if they were larger than life…and everyone else supports and gets into that!

We extended lunch hour on Tuesday for make our own banana splits  (D-LISH)…the perfect way to chill out on a hot day!


We’ve squeezed in General Swims whenever we can. Casper, the camp dog,  lifeguarded at the Tarzan Swing (making sure every single camper that dropped into the lake was safe).

Tuesday night, Steve Max returned to camp for his entertaining Simon Sez Show that got the whole camp involved!


On Wednesday, Stephanie and I hung out with the Debs & Dillies and the Jets…they are sooo cute and lovin life at camp!

The Culinary Classes at the Farm made sushi, spring rolls, brownies, and banana cake .  Really, impressive!  Recipes coming soon!

We also had a heavy duty downpour at lunch on Wednesday so we extended mess hall time with a classic rock tunes dance party!  Playlist coming soon!


Lower camp groups experienced real down to earth nature classes today with our resident guru, Nathaniel!

Last night, I reffed an intense GHOST game between the Middie and Junior boys…wow! Fun, excitement and intense play!

We had to use the GOAT ALERT ALARM system this evening as our “goats”, you know, our 2 miniature horses named Horsey and Donkey…escaped. What a scene with Casper and The Campers trying to round them up. Hey! Hay!

Afterwards, the LITs had a pizza party in the canteen. The CITs, who are excellent (also) ; enjoyed the sushi leftovers.

And The Dorm Girls were off campus at their Canoe trip.

zumbaCamp is moving; the kids are grooving, the counselors have begun days off and we are enjoying every minute with the kids; Camp Towanda is truly a very special family.


!yaD sdrawkcaB

BACKWARDS DAY was a hoot!

Dinner in the morning, breakfast at night. Taps in the morning, Reveille at night.

We enjoyed a beautiful, sunny, mild, breezy day filled with great Inter-Camp games!

COUNSELOR HUNT was the evening activity (like hide and go seek….counselors hide, campers find them, each counselor is worth a certain number of points, but we don’t learn their value until the end!). Can you believe I was worth negative 100 points!?

Then at Under The Lights I challenged Lower Camp to a backwards shot from half court on the main basketball court.  I thought I was being cute and said if you give me 5 chances and I sink it, then we will have a late reveille, a breakfast on the lawn and you can come to breakfast in your PJs.  Well, I made the shot!

The Senior, Club and Dorm trips to Montreal, Niagara Falls and Boston trips have all checked in.  Inters are back from a great trip to Cooperstown; as are the National Girls from their Canoe Trip.

Today we have trip day to cool down and relax at the movies (there is lots of excitement coming in the next two weeks!).  And then Goldrush in the evening!

I had to share this wonderful letter we received from a first time parent, who actually suggested we share this with all of you!

Dear Mitch and Stephanie,

Wow! Wow! Wow!  Being a sleep away camp “First Year ” Mom, I really didn’t know what to expect this summer in general and especially on VISITING DAY!.

Well, when I saw my daughter on visiting day I broke down like a baby!  Crying and shaking I had missed her soooo much!  We had such a fabulous day and I was dreading the end of the day because so many of my friends who send their kids to other camps told me what a nightmare the departure could be.


I left feeling confident and thrilled for my child that she was having a once in a lifetime experience.  Her  “first”  (of many) years at Towanda! Did I mention she never looked better!?!   Thanks for truly caring about these kids and running a tight ship!

2nd week stride!

Happy Monday everyone!  I didn’t intentionally take a weekend off from my daily blog (which is actually a reincarnated version of my nightly email that I send to parents).  It’s just that I am so busy at camp that I didn’t have a free second.  But let me tell you; all is great here; the 2nd week stride has begun.

We had Watermelon League for the boys, a singing bee for lower camp (that’s like a spelling bee, but you have to finish the words to the song), a Scavenger Hunt, inter-camp games, great activities, good jokes and even taking the time to walk the miniature horse and donkey (you remember donkey otie)!  The Club boys also returned yesterday from their overnight canoe trip; a powerful bonding experience for sure.

This weekend we enjoyed breakfast with The Beatles, banana splits with The Archies and of course, Sunday night BBQ with The Grateful Dead…classic vinyl all day long!

Now that a full week has passed, the kids are almost ready for me to start reffing their Ghost games (they must  be at level 2 for me to invoke grand master rule 123 point 5, sub-paragraph C…that’s the Tuesday rule of standing on 1-leg; not to be confused with rule number K-9; Casper’s slobber on the ball is part of the game! What a great game, Ghost is!

We had a beautiful Friday evening service lakeside with a spectacular bright red sunset followed by a great episode of Friday Nite Flix (so great that it took over 24 hours to upload via our gerbil powered internet service)! If you haven’t checked it out yet, click here.  Or set your e-dials to our Friday Nite Flix Vimeo Channel for weekly installments of our must-see TV.

Today is our winter birthday party and Big Brother/Sister ice cream event; Tuesday is the 5 year club trip to the Binghamton Mets; Wednesday is another relaxing porch breakfast (and we celebrate our independence on Thursday for the annual camp Towanda 5th of July celebration featuring fireworks to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture and a luau! We also will continue our tradition of breaking a Guinness World Record on Thursday as we create an epic version of everyone singing American pie (a camp favorite and the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day)!  More on that later in the week!

Tours have begun as families interested in next summer visit; our campers are singing, cheering and engaging the visitors while the counselors instruct and lead; it is very powerful to watch.

Last night during freeplay I was sitting on the hill above Stephanie’s garden when a group of younger campers (boys and girls) decided to sit next to me and just go on and on about how much they love it here, can’t believe it has been only a week and they feel so lucky.  (my keyboard is smiling)!!

Okay, before I go, I wanted to share this wonderful letter we received from parents of a camper that needed to arrive late……

“….I want to tell you how touched to my core I was with how thoughtful and caring the welcome for our daughter was. As I’ve been asked by many since yesterday how the drop-off was and I have had trouble putting the proper words on my feelings without getting choked up. Taking the ENTIRE group away from their activity to make sure she felt comfortable when she arrived was just an incredible touch. Screaming her name with a huge sign to welcome her was magical.  She was instantly swarmed by the kids and the counselors. Amazing!! But I guess that is what sets Towanda apart. I want to believe a similar arrival at another camp would be handled so perfectly but I just don’t  think it would be so. No way!! Yesterday was Towanda at it’s FINEST. It was pure LOVE! PURE JOY! A moment that I will never forget. You guys just get “IT” !! And “IT” is what made us look at each other when we toured camp in the rain 2 years ago when we first came to visit and it was pouring rain and yet there was still a spirit and a warmth that was tangible that we felt deep down and knew we had found the camp for our family. We were hooked and today I sit here and believe it was one of the best decisions we have made yet as parents. For we could not imagine having a more secure feeling knowing that the TOWANDA FAMILY is now our family as well and we are so lucky to be a part of it. I know our kids are getting the gift of camp, but it is the gift of Towanda that they are really getting. So again thank you from the bottom of our heart for how you handled her late arrival and since I know you will take great care of her I won’t even ask how she is doing!!!. All the best and have a great summer! ..”

On that note…we’ve got a great week planned!!

Let’s jump right in to week 2!