Monthly Archives: August 2015

Early Rates Reminder

It’s hard to believe that summer has come to an end and all of our campers in the northeast are heading back to school this week. Does summer 2015 feel like a dream? We hope our campers are still talking about their amazing Island Lake experiences from this past summer, even once they’re behind the desk at school.

We have a couple of reminders for our ILC parents. Our September 1st rates are only in effect for a short time longer. If you haven’t yet enrolled your child for summer 2016 and would like to take advantage of our early rates, please be sure to mail, fax, or scan/email your forms to us ASAP. You can also take advantage of our additional discount if you pay in full now. Please see the letter we mailed home for more details or give us a call.

That brings me to my second reminder. We are now back in our winter offices. We are no longer up at camp (boo!) so please use our winter address and phone numbers for all forms and inquiries. Here it is:

Sports & Arts Center at Island Lake

175 Tompkins Ave.

Pleasantville, NY 10570


914-769-6161- fax

954-688-9527- Wendy’s direct line in Fla

That’s about it for now. Until next week, ILC U THERE!

30 Year Reunion!

We just said goodbye to many of our alumni after having an incredible weekend with all of them.  It was great to see so many familiar faces ranging from back in the mid-late 80’s through the 90’s and into the millenium.  Everyone had a ton of fun together and took loads of photos.  Here are the highlights of the weekend:

1.  Friday night social up at the hockey rink.  Many arrived late due to traffic but immediately joined all of the fun into the late hours of the night.

2.  Panic!  Alumni brought out old bunk photos from when they were a camper, 5-year jackets, 10-year jackets, and even a 20-year jacket.  Some people sported their ILC shirts with our old logos on them, as well as Color War t-shirts from back in the day.

3.  Time Capsule!  3 guys who grew up with us in the 90’s- 2000’s from the youngest bunk to the oldest bunk buried a time capsule on the island in our lake back in 2001.  Yesterday they retrieved that time capsule and most of their treasures were still in great shape.  They found an old large canteen token, Color War lists, song sheets from a play they were in, silk-screened shirts they made, letters they wrote to themselves, photos, and other fond memories.  It was great to watch them remember all these mementos that were so important to them back when they were children.

4.  Bevwiches!  We opened canteen during the pool party and we can’t tell you how many people enjoyed their favorite canteen item, a Bevwich!  Yum!

5.  Cookout!  We took a huge reunion group photo during our Saturday evening cookout.  Although a few people missed the photo (myself included since I was taking it), I think we captured a good number of our alumni in it.

6.  Campfire!  Saturday night’s campfire was a good time for everyone to hang out together one last time.  S’mores were made and then many people watched the famous Island Lake Camp movie, Beaverhead.

I’m sure everyone who experienced this 30 year reunion has tons of additional great memories of our amazing weekend together.  Please feel free to upload all of your reunion photos to #ILC30Years.  Until our next big alumni reunion weekend, ILCUTHERE!

  • 30 Year Reunion Group Photo

Sunday, August 16th- Final Blog of the Summer

Sadly, today is our last full day of camp. Summer 2015 here at Island Lake has been absolutely fantastic! We could not have asked for a better summer filled with happy campers and amazing counselors. Your children will for sure come home with long lasting memories of their experiences here at ILC this summer.

Tomorrow the buses should all arrive at their designated bus stops between 11:30am-12:00pm, give or take a half hour. Please be there on time to pick up your children. If you are not sure which bus stop we have in our records for your children, please call us here at camp before 4:30pm when the office will be closing for tonight’s banquet festivities.

Today we let the camp sleep in and we had a late wake up and breakfast at 9am. The kids then went back to their bunks to start cleaning up. We then had our big session 3 Dance Show in the theater for all to enjoy. Lunch followed and then we had our 3rd annual Color Run. Most of the camp participated in this fun run today. As they reached certain locations they get sprayed with powdered paint of different colors. They all eventually gathered by the lake at the finish line, proud of their accomplishments.

Directly after the Color Run we have our final Rock Concert of the summer right there at the lake. Following the rock concert all of the kids go back to their bunks to pack, sadly. They collect all of their belongings at the different departments at camp- arts & crafts, skatepark, sports, music, etc.

Tonight we have our annual ILC banquet in the dining room. Instead of eating cafeteria style, the kids will all sit at the tables of their choice and the kitchen staff will bring the food out to the tables. We’ll play music and there will be some dancing, lots of picture taking, and some awards will be presented after dinner.

After the banquet we will go down to the waterfront where each bunk will take a candle onto the lake and make a bunk wish together. Following this we will burn the “Island Lake 2015” sign on the water and we’ll sing some camp songs, including our ILC alma mater. We will end the waterfront portion of the night with a big firework display.

Once the lakeside events are complete, we will all head into the theater to watch the summer 2015 Island Lake video yearbook. The yearbook is a compilation of the entire summer here at camp. After camp we will make duplicates of the yearbook and send them to every ILC family.

Although it will be a bit later than usual, we’ll allow all of our campers to make one last trip to the canteen to eat their hearts out one final time. Based on how late the yearbook runs we will decide when everyone’s curfew will be.

And that’s about it for the Island Lake Summer 2015 blogs. It’s been a pleasure writing for all of you every day. I hope you enjoyed reading my blogs as much as I enjoyed writing them for all of you. We hope your children all come home “happy campers” tomorrow and healthy, sort of clean, with all of their personal belongings. Our office here at camp will remain open for a couple more weeks so if you need to contact us, just give us a call here at the camp number.

It’s been the most amazing, fantastic, wonderful summer, and until next year when we can all be together once again, ILC U THERE!!!

Saturday, August 15th

Today is our last day of majors and minors for summer 2015. Hard to believe that camp is almost over! It truly feels like yesterday when our 1st session buses rolled in to drop off our campers. It will be sad to say goodbye to so many friends we made throughout this fantastic summer.

Today has been a very busy day here at Island Lake. It’s everyone’s favorite theme day, Counselor Switch Day. At breakfast, male counselors were moved to the girls bunks and female counselors to the boys bunks. The kids have a blast with this day as they dress up their counselors and terrorize them. You’ll see lots of pics below. Gotta love camp!

In waterfront news, today is the overnight river trip. Kids will spend all day canoeing and kayaking down the Delaware River. They’ll camp out and then return to camp tomorrow. The kids always rave about this trip.

Today is also International Sports Day. We offered international sporting events during all 3 of the minors. Such activities include cricket, world cup basketball, team handball, world cup soccer, Olympic archery, Olympic fencing, Olympic martial arts, Olympic wrestling, gaelic football, caber toss and field games, and 3 on 3 beach volleyball.

But wait, it doesn’t end there! Today is also our Magic Show. It’s being performed during the 3rd minor at the magic building for all who were interested in signing up to watch it.   Lastly, today we also offered American Ninja Warrior for kids to participate in running and obstacles around camp.

One more exciting event that is going on here at camp today- our Skatepark Competition! Campers of all levels, beginners to advanced, on skateboards and rollerblades, participate in this competition. Fun events for campers with all different activity interests here at Island Lake!

Camp of Thrones has come to an end. Our campers and staff had a fun time participating on the teams and in the challenges. The winning team, which will be announced at dinner tonight, is Theatria (theater)!

At the end of the 3rd minor I will read a poem over the PA about activities being over and end of summer drawing near.  Over 50-75 campers will then come to the office to sing our alma mater as I play it over the PA.  It’s all very bittersweet.

Today’s special feature- campers & counselors in the dining room at lunch during a Counselor Switch Day sing-a-long! Enjoy the photos of the LBC (lower boys campus) counselors singing a pop song and the whole camp joining in.

Tonight’s evening activity is our musical performance of Footloose. We’re looking forward to seeing our younger and older campers perform on stage for all of their friends.

We have only one more full day left for summer 2015 here at Island Lake. Our blogs will continue, even after camp ends, and will run all year long on a weekly basis. Be sure to continue reading them throughout the fall, winter, and spring months. If any of your children have written anything about their summer here at Island Lake that they’d like to share with their camp family, I’m happy to post it in the blog. Just email the info to me at

Enjoy your last full day of peace and quiet in your homes before your children invade it,…uh, I mean return to you on Monday. We have one more blog to go while our campers are still here for this Island Lake camp season. Until then, ILC U THERE!

Friday, August 14th

Hi Island Lake Families! I’m happy to report that our campers, staff, and I are all safely back from our big teen trip to Boston. We returned last night around 10pm. I for one am happy to be back home in the 18462 to enjoy our final few days with everyone here at camp. I hear there were some server issues so the blogs couldn’t get posted every day so I apologize for that. Hopefully this one will go up without any hitches.

Today was a tubing trip for all of our waterfront enthusiasts. Our pioneering kids also had their big game day for Fortifying the Frontier. They worked diligently building forts all session and then today is like a big capture the flag sort of game. It was a great time for all who participated.

There’s been lots of challenges going on this past week with the Camp of Thrones. Departments have been taking over their neighbors and challenging others in their determination to rule the camp. More info will come tomorrow when the game finally comes to a close.

And now onto the Boston trip! Our participating campers had the most FANTASTIC four days of their lives! The kids got along very well with one another and followed directions better than I could have hoped for (well, for the most part, lol!). We had beautiful weather all days except day 2, which we still got through just fine because we came prepared with raincoats. On our final leg back to camp last night I asked my bus what their highlights of the trip were. I received different responses from each child. Such answers were Faneuil Hall, Blue Man Group, Duck Tour, Fenway Park tour, Shear Madness, Martha’s Vineyard, Six Flags, & the Basketball Hall of Fame.

With that said, today’s special feature is photos from the Boston Trip! Tonight’s evening activity is our 3rd and final Circus Show. We know it’ll be the best show on earth! Until tomorrow, which will be our last day of majors and minors (tear!), ILC U THERE!

Wednesday, August 12th

We apologize for the delayed blogs but we’ve had server issues the past couple of days.  Although no photos, here’s what we wanted to blog on August 12th:

Hey Island Lake families! It’s hard to believe we only have five short days left in the summer. Time sure flies here in the 18462; it seems like Opening Day was yesterday, and here we are in the twilight of the summer.

We have a camp full of rested campers thanks to the final ETB of the summer last night. Tomorrow will be our final Lazy Day of the summer. Groups 1 and 2 are over the moon because they get to see “Minions”! Our older campers (Groups 3 and 4) will be relaxing and enjoying the sun at Nathaniel Cole Park. Lazy Day should be a great day for all!

Today we took a healthy contingent of campers to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. They spent the day learning the history of America’s pastime… and probably eating pizza and a whole lot of fudge!

Up in Boston our kids got a little wet yesterday but still enjoyed a full day of activities:  tour of Fenway, Duck Tour, Science Museum, dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, and then saw a show they absolutely loved called Shear Madness.  It was interactive so the kids were able to participate in the whodunnit themed show.  Today they spend a beautiful sunny day in Martha’s Vineyard.  They’ll finish the day at California Pizza Kitchen before heading back to camp.  Tomorrow they’ll hit up Six Flags New England before heading back to their favorite home in Starrucca, PA.  Lots of photos to come.

Here at camp tonight’s evening activity is groups. On the boys’ side, Group 1 is playing Gaga, Group 2 is having a campfire complete with s’mores, and Group 3 & 4 are playing Extreme Handball (similar to regular Handball, but more EXTREME!). On the girls’ side, Groups 1, 3, and 4 are having a Big Sister/Little Sister Night, and Group 2 is engaging in Cupcake Wars! I for one will be stopping by to taste…I mean, judge the cupcakes.  Until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!

Tuesday, August 11th

Hi Island Lake families! The weather gods did not smile on us much today. We had to deal with rain on and off for the majority of the day.  Thankfully, the sky cleared for us around dinner and we had a beautiful evening at camp.

Unfortunately, due to the weather, we were unable to send out our kids for the third session Tubing Trip.  Never fear though, the trip has been rescheduled and our campers will be on the water soon!  We were able to send out a group of campers to the Observatory this evening.  The sky has cleared and they have perfect observing weather!

Tonight’s Evening Activity is a Circus Show that will be preformed by our very own Circus Staff.  They’ve putting in hours and hours of hard work throughout the summer teaching our campers, but tonight, they are the stars!

In other news, our annual Teen Trip is underway and the lucky location this year is Boston!  Our campers have enjoyed a tour of Fenway Park, the Boston Duck Tour, spent some time at the Museum of Science, and walked the Freedom Trail!  Tonight they will be enjoying the theatrics of Shear Madness!

Enjoy the rest of your day, and until tomorrow ILC U THERE!

Sunday, August 9th

Hi Island Lake Families! I’m sure you’re sick of me saying this but today was another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA. The sun shined, temps were in the 70’s, and there was no humidity in the air. Another great day to play camp!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early at 6:30am we leave for our teen trip to Boston, MA. Our 9th grade and up campers who signed up for the trip, along with 8 staff and myself (Wendy), will be heading out of camp on two coach buses making our way to Boston (with a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard). Everyone is very excited for the trip. We will post photos of the trip with our daily summer photos on Friday once we return.

Today’s special feature is a little different. I had some CITs come to my office (3 are 1st year CITs and 1 is a 2nd year CIT). I asked them what their thoughts were about Island Lake over the years and their experiences as CITs. Here’s what they had to say, followed by a photo session (please excuse the grammar, as it’s all quotes directly from the kids):

Hayley R: I remember visiting my brothers here thinking I could never sign up and come to camp myself because I was terrified to be away from home. Now I can’t imagine not being here. I even show up in the winter office to say hi. I think that 8 weeks is too short because I would live my entire life here if I could. I watch a lot of my friends become counselors and think, “that’s going to be me next year”. It’s scary but I’m also very excited for it. I see similarities in my campers of things that I used to do, habits I’ve grown out of like messy areas. I see my counselors help clean my kids cubbies and I think, “that used to be me!” ILC is my home. I say every year when I go home that home is a 10 month vacation that I’m forced to take and ILC is my home.

Jordan C: It’s amazing to watch the camp change around me. The things I experienced at this place are truly incredible. To watch my campers make the same connections at similar events is amazing. It can’t just happen anywhere. I keep coming back because it’s awesome being here: the connections I make, the friends, the memories. Now I can guide my campers. And now I’m glad that I have this in my life. I would not be the person I am today without ILC.

Hailey B: I remember being in G1 and looking at my CITs thinking that it’s something I want to do when I’m their age. Now I’m there and I can’t believe it. I remember visiting in 2005 and thinking this is the coolest place I’ve ever seen. This is a place that I want to be. A lot of people don’t stay until they’re CITs so I’ve watched friends come and go. I’ve had so many over the years that even though I don’t keep in touch with all of them I’ve made so many memories with them.

Dustin S: So I think it’s really cool that we all started in group 1 and we were able to rise in the ranks up to be a CIT. Throughout the years as a camper we saw camp in a certain perspective that revolved around us doing everything: doing the activities, making friendships with our bunkmates. Now that we’re CITs we have a new perspective. It’s different and we get to help create those memories that we experienced as those campers. We get to watch all of these friendships grow. We get to help out at activities that make the camp run.

I hope you enjoyed reading perspectives from some of our CITs. Tonight’s evening activity is a camper favorite. Shhhhh, it’s a big secret,…Revival Night! If you aren’t sure what that is, just ask your children when they return home from their summers with us. I’m sure they’ll rave about it to you.

While I’m away on the Boston trip Dustin will take over the blog for me. No doubt, he’ll do a fantastic job reporting to you what’s going on here at ILC. We return to camp late Thursday night so I’ll be back behind the keyboard once again on Friday. Until then, ILC U THERE!

Saturday, August 8th

Today was another beautiful session 3 day here in Starrucca, PA. We had mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s. It’s starting to sound like Groundhogs Day but hey, better than the wet weather we had earlier in the summer!

Camp of Thrones is now in full swing. Kingdoms have been formed, royal families have been chosen, and challenges have been started. Today at lunch the royal families were introduced. Alliances have been formed between the following departments: Theater and Sports, Arts & Crafts and Pioneering, Waterfront and Circus, and Rock Shop and Horseback Riding. The first challenge has also been announced between Theater and Art. More news to come!

Today our mountain bike enthusiasts took a trip to Windham, NY to the 2015 Mountain Bike World Cup Festival. They had a blast watching bike races and enjoyed the entertainment all around them.

At snack break today I held my big Boston teen trip meeting with all of our campers and staff who are going on Monday. I handed out the itinerary, a packing list, talked about our expectations from them while out of camp, and discussed details about the overall trip. Our 9th grade and older kids participating in this trip are so incredibly excited for our 4 days of fun, which is only 2 days away.

Today’s special feature is the Camp of Thrones Royal Family introductions.

Tonight’s evening activity is Mr. & Mrs. ILC. This is one of our campers’ favorites. The female campers dress up the male counselors as females and vice versa. Those reps then perform in a variety of competitions on stage for the camp to watch. It should be a night full of laughs and cheers! Until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!

Friday, August 7th

Hi Island Lake families! Believe it or not, it was another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA. Today we had partly sunny skies with temps up to the mid 70’s. This morning started off cool but by afternoon it was a shorts and t-shirts kinda day. Perfect camp weather!

We are going to try something new this session called CAMP OF THRONES. No, it’s not the Game of Thrones, rather it’s similar to the game of Risk. I’ll try to explain it without it sounding too complicated. The goal is to be the kingdom (department) to acquire the most territory on camp by the end of the summer. Each camper has an opportunity to choose which kingdom they’d like to pledge their allegiance to. The kingdom head (department head) will appoint a Royal Family to be the official decision makers of the kingdom. The Royal Family will choose a kingdom Name and appoint citizens to create a Kingdom Crest (flag).

Once the kingdoms are decided upon, they may declare an invasion on a neighboring kingdom (i.e. tennis can invade theater but not horseback riding because horseback is not located near tennis). Invasions can only occur at specific times of day and there will be challenges set up for the citizens (campers) of each kingdom. The challenges must be appropriate to the defending kingdom. If the challenging kingdom wins, they acquire the entirety of the defending kingdom, including their terrirory, royal family, and all of its citizens. If the challenging kingdom loses, they forfeit their citizens to the defending kingdom.

A kingdom can decide to ally themselves with one other kingdom over the course of the game. The game is meant to be played only in fun. Our goal is to have our campers show off their talents and encourage one another to excel. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

Today our sports enthusiasts went on our 3rd session trip to Cooperstown to the Baseball Hall of Fame. As always, they had a great day there. We’re proud to announce that we won yesterday’s archery tournament at another camp. Our kids did a fantastic job!

Today’s special feature is Tennis! Tonight’s evening activity is a staff magic show. I promise it’s truly a magic show and not revival night (Lol!).

In the real world we hear it’s now officially the weekend. We lose track here at camp, but enjoy your weekend and until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!