Monthly Archives: September 2014

October Parent News

Hey Island Lake Parents!  With fall upon us, we hope your children are still sharing tons of wonderful ILC memories with you.  Our summer 2015 countdown has already kicked into gear (267 days as of October 1st) and next summer will sneak up on us before we know it.  In the meantime, you and your children can continue to view our daily summer photos, weekly videos, Facebook videos, & daily summer blogs for several months to come.

Don’t forget to check out our Island Lake App for your iPhones and iPads.  The app has been developed for Apple products only, not for other smartphones and tablets.  We hope all of our campers, parents, and staff have already downloaded our app to take advantage of all of the amazing features it entails.  You can check out this past summer’s photos, videos, read our monthly newsletters, and even log onto your CampMinder account, which will come in handy next summer while your children are with us at camp. The home screen of our app even has a countdown of the number of days until summer 2015 begins.  Definitely take advantage of our app if you haven’t already checked it out.  We’re really proud of it!

Shortly, all our 2014 camp families will receive their very own copy of our Island Lake Video Yearbook on DVD.  We hope you and your children will enjoy watching this amazing video filled with so many fond memories of this summer past.  For over an hour you can forget about all that’s going on around you, sit back, relax, and enjoy being taken back to summer so you can truly feel a part of the ILC experience.

We are all getting pumped up for our camp reunion on Saturday, November 22nd  at Sportime USA in Elmsford, NY.  The reunion will be held from 10am until 1pm and details are located in our monthly newsletters.  We look forward to seeing many of our summer 2014 campers and staff there, no RSVP necessary.

We are happy to announce that camp is filling up very quickly for next summer.  Be sure to take advantage of our pre-November 1st rates and register your children right away if you have not already done so.  You can sign your child up with the registration form we mailed home with your newsletter or you can download our form here on our website under “Island Lake Families” and then “Forms & Mailings” to your left.

Well, that’s about it for now.  We’d like to once again thank all of our Island Lake families for making summer 2014 so special.  We look forward to our camp reunion on November 22nd.  Until then, ILC U THERE!

Poem From A Camper

ILC Poem by Sammi Smith

18462, grey vs. blue,

color war, wheel of chores,

revival, arrival,

canteen, dining hall cuisine,

cow palace ice cream, color war theme,

skate estate, social dates,

beaverhead, bunkbeds,

music lunch, Thursday brunch,

Steve Max, wanting an extra snack,

I miss camp, take me back!

Wonderful Letter From a Counselor

The Island Lake Feeling

When I was first hired at Island Lake, I didn’t know what to expect. I was told of this certain feeling that nobody could explain when headed to camp. It was repeated over and over, “Until you’ve been to Island Lake and the connection you feel to the kids after a summer here, you will not understand what that feeling is like.” So I was eager to find out what that feeling was. I’d never been to America before. It was my first time hundreds of miles away from Liverpool, UK. But as I stepped off that bus after a long journey from Newark airport, there was a huge culture shock that hit me, and I was completely out of my comfort zone, but the overwhelming niceness and greetings I got from returning staff and new staff as well really made me feel at home. I started off in B-15 with other fellow Group 4 guys, and although I stayed quiet for the first two days, the guys really got me out of my shell. At the end of orientation week, I know I had made my first set of friends in Will, Duncan, B-Rad, Tom, Ben, James, Rocky, Joe, Christian, Nick and Dan. Orientation week as a whole was a really good learning experience for me, because for somebody who isn’t that confident, it puts you in a very “out of comfort” situation, where you either suck it up and get on with it or go home. And I did, and the first thing Island Lake did for me was make a more confident person and Orientation Week really brought me out of my shell and then I was ready for the weeks that followed with the kids, It was not going to be easy, but I expected that.

The kids finally arrived, and us Group 4 guys were constantly questioning what the kids were going to be like, and how prepared we all were! When the kids from First Session first arrived, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I had support in knowing that Tom and B-Rad could not better people to be paired with as they knew their stuff when it came to these kids. As the weeks went on, and since I was a Lazy Day Counselor, I spent a lot more time with the kids than I originally thought I was going too, really opened my eyes to beginning to realise what camp was really like, that feeling was soon becoming understandable. Lazy Day’s for all three sessions were incredible, and what Island Lake puts on for those children is something special, I loved Lazy Day’s, whether it was seeing one of the best theme parks in the world (Dorney Park) or whether it was just chilling out at Skate Estate, they gave me a chance to bond with my kids in B-13, and gave me the chance to spend some one on one time with a few of them, which was really helpful because I thought I had finally built a connection and friendship but also a role model persona amongst them.

One of the hardest days for me was the end of each session, 1st 2nd and 3rd. All three where hard because I had developed such a bond with some of these kids, whether it was spending time with them on my minors off, or just simply sitting and chatting to them on bunk OD, you get this sense of care for them that you simply cannot explain. As I witnessed from other counselors around me, the emotion hits you so hard you cant help but cry when they leave, because they have been a part of your life for just 3 short weeks, but it feels like so much longer, and when you develop that role model persona and realise “these are my kids now, and I need to make their time here amazing regardless, they come first!” then there is no going back on that.

In the end of it all, the bond you develop with the kids and also the counselors and other fellow staff, is a feeling that I now can’t explain. I was told it at the start and until people experience Island Lake for themselves, you wont know. But the best idea I can fathom from all this and the best way I can explain it to you reading this, is that you are put in a daunting but exciting situation that you didn’t think would hit you on all emotional levels. From Day 1 to the final day of camp, Island Lake is a different world outside of all the excitement of real life and the normal routine. I urge you to experience this “Island Lake Feeling” yourself, because before I did, I didn’t understand it and now, I cant explain it, but i know one thing since returning to the UK…

 .. Is that I cannot wait to prepare for next summer, and I am already doing my best to get myself back to Island Lake as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who made my Summer 2014 one to remember. Thank you to Matt, Wendy, Dustin and Trip, The Theatre Department, my group leader Tyler, and for all of my friends for life who stuck by me through every single memory at this amazing place. 

IL(hopefully)C you next year!

Mike Bainbridge

A Counselor’s Perspective of Camp

Michaella Beatty, one of our counselors, is a blogger for her university and she wrote a fantastic article all about her experience at Island Lake this past summer.  It’s a wonderful article and we’re so proud to have been a part of Michaella’s memorable experience at camp this past summer.  Enjoy this amazing read!


Good news!  We’ve extended our September 1st rates deadline until September 15th!  If you have not yet registered your children for camp but would like to do so now, we will still offer you these early rates.  Please mail, fax, or scan/email your children’s registration forms to our New York office since we are no longer at camp (tear!).  If you’d like to scan/email the form, just send it to

The following is our winter address:

Island Lake Camp     175 Tompkins Avenue     Pleasantville, NY  10570     914-769-6161- FAX

If you have any questions regarding enrollment for summer 2015, feel free to call us at our NY office at 914-769-6060 or 800-869-6083.  Don’t forget, we will send a special edition ILC t-shirt to all campers who register before December 1st.  Another good reason to sign up now!

Cancellations can be made through January 1st and we will refund all of your money less the $100 enrollment fee. You will save more than $100 if you re-enroll now, so financially it makes sense to hold a spot and be guaranteed another summer of fun. Remember, there is another rate increase on November 1st.

Although next summer seems very far away right now, we’re already looking forward June 2015 when we can all reunite once again at our home away home in Starrucca, PA.  Until then, ILC U THERE!

Parents September News

Hi Island Lake Parents!  It was with great sadness that we bid farewell to our ILC family on August 18th.  We truly enjoyed spending an AMAZING summer with all of our campers and staff.  Was summer 2014 the best because of our incredibly awesome counselors?  Was it because we had the greatest group leaders, department heads, and head counselors ever?  Was it our fantastic teen trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls?  Could it be because of the fun theme days and evening activities such as Counselor Switch Day and Revival Night?  Or was it because we had the coolest, happiest, most amazing campers ever?  We are sure it was a combination of all of these things that made this summer so special.  One thing we can tell you with all sincerity is that this was one of our BEST ILC SUMMERS YET!!!

We’d like to thank you for your wonderful calls, letters, and emails regarding this past summer.  These generous gestures mean a great deal to us.  Now go get a pen and paper to save the date for our annual camp reunion, which will be held on Saturday, November 22nd at SportimeUSA in Elmsford, NY.  Details are in our September newsletter and we hope our campers can all make it!

Registration for Summer 2015 has exceeded last years’ enrollment at this point in time. We’re thrilled to know that we had so many happy campers with us this year. Remember, camp fills early! If you have not yet registered, please do so immediately so you can take advantage of our Pre-November 1st rates and avoid being closed out later on. We don’t like turning campers away so pleasedon’t hold off too long.

Cancellations can be made through January 1st and we will refund all of your money less the $100 enrollment fee. You will save more than $100 if you re-enroll now, so financially it makes sense to hold a spot and be guaranteed another summer of fun. Remember, there is a rate increase on November 1st.

Well, those three torturous words, “back to school,” have already become a reality for some of our campers and the remainder will be stuck behind a school desk shortly, daydreaming about their Island Lake experience. We wish you all a wonderful and healthy school year .  Now your campers can start their countdown until next summer when I-L-C U in Starrucca, PA once again!