Monthly Archives: August 2016

September Parent News

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It was with great sadness that we bid farewell to our ILC family on August 15th. We truly enjoyed spending an AMAZING summer with all of our campers and staff. Was summer 2016 the best because of our incredibly awesome counselors? Was it because we had the greatest group leaders, department heads, and head counselor ever? Was it our fantastic teen trip to Montreal and Quebec City, Canada? Could it be because of the fun theme days and evening activities such as Counselor Switch Day, the Hoedown, 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 emails, phone calls, and letters regarding this past summer. These gracious gestures mean so incredibly much to us as camp directors. Now go get a pen and paper to save the date for our annual camp reunion, which will be held on Saturday, November 19th at SportimeUSA in Elmsford, NY. Details are in our September newsletter and we hope our campers and many of our staff can join us for this special day of fun!

Registration for Summer 2017 has exceeded last year’s enrollment at this point in time. We are thrilled to know that we had so many happy campers with us this past summer. We are super excited for our change in dates and sessions for next summer. Instead of offering 3 sessions, we are changing it and offering 2 sessions. Session 1 will be 4 weeks long and session 2 will be 3 weeks in length. Camp will begin on a Saturday, June 24th, our changeover day will be on a Saturday, July 22nd, and closing day will be on a Saturday, August 12th. Our Open House will be on Saturday, June 10th, our Rookie Day will be offered on a Saturday in July, and our annual Visiting Day will take place on Saturday, July 15th. It will be simple and convenient to have all of our important dates take place on a Saturday, huh?

Remember, camp fills early! If you have not yet registered your children, please do so immediately! All you have to do is fill out your 2017 enrollment form and send it to us with a $1500 deposit by either check or credit card. A copy of your child’s registration form was already mailed to all returning families so you don’t even have to fill much out on the form. Our office is moving back down to Pleasantville, NY in the first week of September so please send all mail to that address from now on. We extended our early rates through September 15th so take advantage of these prices and avoid getting closed out later on. Cancellations can be made through December 1st and we will refund all of your money less the $250 enrollment fee. Remember, there is a rate increase on September 15th.

Well, those three torturous words, “Back To School,” have already become a reality for many of our campers who are stuck behind a school desk, daydreaming about their Island Lake experience. We wish you all a wonderful and healthy school year. Our campers can now start their countdown until next summer when we can all be reunited in Starrucca, PA once again! As of September 1st, we have only 296 days until ILC U THERE!

Sunday, August 14th- Final Day of Camp!

Sadly, today is our last full day of camp. Summer 2016 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 with 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 4th annual Color Run. Most of the camp participated in this fun run today. As they reached certain locations they got 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 had our final Rock Concert of the summer in the theater. Of course, because it’s the summer here at camp, we had a thunderstorm during the rock concert so we kept the kids in the theater a bit longer than expected. Following the storm and the rock concert, all of the kids went back to their bunks to pack, sadly. They collected 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 tables of their choice and the kitchen staff will serve food to their 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 all head down to the theater to watch the summer 2016 Island Lake video yearbook. The yearbook is a compilation of the entire summer here at camp. Post-summer we will share the yearbook with all of our ILC families. Our video department and advanced video campers worked extremely hard to make this summer’s yearbook an amazing! It’s a wonderful memento for our Island Lakers to view all year long until they can return back here to their home away from home once again next summer.

Upon completion of the video yearbook, we will all move lakeside to the waterfront where each bunk will release a candle onto the lake and make a bunk wish together. Following this we will burn the “Island Lake 2016” 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. This is all a very somber and bittersweet moment of the night. Tears fill many campers’ eyes (ok fine, possibly mine as well!) as we make bunk wishes, sing our camp songs, and watch the 2016 summer sign burn. This sign represents the ILC summer in its entirety.

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 2016 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 you. I’d also love feedback from you, the parents, with regards to these blogs. If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding how to make it even more entertaining or better, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a note at wendy@islandlake.com.

We hope your children all come home to you as “happy campers” tomorrow. Hey, bonus if they’re healthy, sort of clean, and even have 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: 570-798-2550 or email us at info@islandlake.com.

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 13th

Today was our last day of majors and minors for summer 2016. It’s 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 was a busy day here at ILC. . We had our River Trip for campers who enjoy spending the day canoeing and kayaking down the Delaware River. We also sent a large group of campers to Cooperstown to enjoy the Baseball Hall of Fame. Our ILC Open in tennis will complete all of their matches today and the winners will earn trophies. We also had a Fencing Competition this morning for our avid “foilers.”

But wait, it doesn’t end there! Today was also our Magic Show. It was performed during the 3rd minor at the magic building for all who were interested in signing up to watch it.

Our Camp of Thrones challenges will all be completed today. Who will reign supreme over Westerstoltz? Will they demand Dustin’s manbun as tribute? The results will be announced at dinner this evening.

At the end of the 3rd minor I will read a sad poem over the PA about activities being over and end of summer drawing near.  Over 100 campers will then voluntarily come to the office to sing our alma mater as I play it over the PA for the entire camp to hear.  It’s all very bittersweet.

Tonight’s evening activity is our musical, Once Upon A Mattress. This session we will perform the one show for both our older and younger campers. . We’re looking forward to seeing our campers perform on stage for all of their friends.

We have only one more full day left for summer 2016 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 experience here at Island Lake that they’d like to share with their camp family, I’d love to post it in the blog. Just email the info to me at wendy@islandlake.com.

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 tomorrow’s final summer 2016 blog, ILC U THERE!

Friday, August 12th

Hi Island Lake Families! Today was Counselor Switch Day, one of our Island Lake special theme days that our campers truly enjoy. 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 posted with our daily photos. Gotta love camp!

I’m happy to report that our campers, staff, and I have all returned safely from our big teen trip to Montreal. We pulled into camp last night around 10:30pm. I, for one, am happy to be back home in the 18462 to enjoy our final few days with everyone here at camp. I apologize that the blog didn’t get posted last night but hopefully today’s blog will make up for it all.

The Canada trip was a fantastic experience for everyone! 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 perfect weather every day and the kids stayed busy, day and night.  Feel free to read through the past few days’ blogs to see all of the touristy attractions we hit up days 1 through 3 of this trip.

Yesterday morning of our 4th and final day, we checked out of our hotel and went directly to the Olympic Park. There we rode to the top of the Montreal Tower to check out a great view of the city. After that we went to the Planetarium and saw 2 really cool movies, one about asteroids and the other about Mars. Sitting on beanbags, watching a movie on an all-surrounding sphere-shaped screen was pretty gnarly. After the planetarium we visited the Biodome where we walked through replicas of four ecosystems found in the Americas.

Finally, once we completed our tour of the Olympic Park, we boarded the buses and headed back to our home away from home here in Starrucca, PA. The border was surprisingly an easy, pleasant experience in both directions and it didn’t take long for us to pass through going to and from Canada. We returned to camp last night at 10:30pm in the rain, which seems to happen to us frequently. Regardless, we returned to camp with the same number of campers we left with so I’d say it was a successful trip overall! (Wink Wink!)

Back here in the land of ILC, yesterday was our Lazy Day and we hosted a big carnival for our campers. We had an outside company bring in a ton of rides and games. Here’s a list of all that the kids enjoyed: Inflatable Pool Castle, Sno-Kone machine, Bungee Run, 3 Lane Sports Obstacle Course, Rock Slide Interactive Game, Whirly Bird Mechanical Ride, Gravity Ball Game, Frog Hop, Horse Shoe, Ring Toss, Tip A Jug, and a Dunk Tank. We also surprised our campers with a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream truck, which was a hug hit for a hot summer day.

Today in the world of sports, our 8th & 9th grade girls competed in the Wayne County tennis finals. Unfortunately, we lost 3-2, but we are extremely proud of our girls. They worked hard, they played hard, and they should be pleased by their accomplishments. Out of all of the girls who competed in this tennis tournament throughout the numerous camps involved, our girls are the special ones who made it this far into the finals. It was a very close competition up until the bitter end so we’re very happy for our Island Lakers. This afternoon our 8th & 9th grade boys played in a basketball game here at home against another nearby camp.

There have 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.

Step right up because tonight’s evening activity is the Circus Show! We’re looking forward to our 3rd and final circus show to see all that our campers have learned over the course of the session (and entire summer for many of our participating campers). We know it’ll be the best show on earth!

Enjoy the variety of photos below from our super rad, awesome, fantastic, amazing trip to Canada. We have even more photos posted on CampMinder via our website so definitely go and take a look.

Until tomorrow, which will be our last day of majors and minors (tear!), ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday August 10

Hello Island Lake Families!

Today started as a raining day here but the weather quickly cleared up into a beautiful day in the 70’s.

This morning we sent campers from our magic department to the Houdini Museum in Scranton. The campers and staff who went had a magical time.

We continued our Camp of Thrones challenges today as well. The kingdoms (departments) are creating alliances to add specific skill sets to gain an advantage. Which Kingdom will win? Who will be crowned our Camp of Thrones champion?

Our Montreal trip continued today at Montmorency Falls. Then they visited Quebec City where they saw Old Quebec, Citadel, Lower Town as well as the Palace Royal. It was a very full day of sites, sounds, memories and fun.

Tonight’s evening activity is Groups!

Girls Group 1 and 4 are having a Big Sister and Little Sister night. They will have a blast with nail painting, bonding and Girls Group 1 giving makeovers. It will truly be a “girls night in”. Girls Group 2 is having a PJ Party Extravaganza Dance and Girls Group 3 will be having fun on the Slip and Slide.

Boys Group 1 is playing Xtreme Games, while Boys Group 2 is playing Tchauckch Ball. Tchauckch Ball is a game that is played quite often at pioneering, so the Group 2 Boys are really looking forward to tonight’s activity. Boys Groups 3 and 4 are having a Campfire, s’mores and all.

Tomorrow is our lazy day, where we will have a Carnival on camp. The campers are looking forward to the games, and activities that will be set up all across the grounds. Check back tomorrow for pictures of our festival fun.

On to your special photo feature surprise… Qudditch! Our sports staff went above and beyond creating a Qudditch pitch today for our campers to learn how to play a real Qudditch match.

Tuesday, August 9

Hello Island Lake Families!

We have had a beautiful day here in Starrucca, and lots of activities happening on and off camp.

Last night we had campers visit the observatory. Our science department does this trip once a summer and it is an absolute favorite every time. We also had our Session Three Social last night for evening activity. There are photos on the CampMinder daily photo page as our very own staff members took turns guest “D.J.ing “ the event. The camper’s favorite seemed to be DJ Matt Stoltz.

In today’s news Our Teen Trip is enjoying Montreal, with today’s visit being to the Lachine Rapids. After a day playing in the water on a jet boat, they will visit the Old Port of Montreal for food, and then experience the Voiles en Voiles. The Voiles en Voiles is a pirate ship that contains a ropes course, extending their day of being pirates into the afternoon. Finally they will visit the SOS Labyrinth, before ending todays memorable site visits in Old Montreal.

Speaking of Pirates, the weather was perfect for today’s campers that were on our Third Session Tubing trip down the Delaware River. The campers had a blast, calling this session’s trip the best one of the summer.

Back at camp tonight’s evening activity is Groups. The Girls and Boys Group Leaders have outdone themselves again with tonight’s inventive activities.

Girls Groups 1,2, and 3, are having Cupcake Wars, which sounds like a very yummy activity; while Group 4 Girls will be enjoying the Slip and Slide. Boys Group 1 will be enjoying the traditional camp activity of a Campfire. Boys Group 2, 3 and 4 will be having some fun with our remaining water balloons and water guns from our visiting day water fight; as Boys Group 2 will be playing Water Balloon Battleship. Boys Groups 3 and 4 will be playing Laser Tag with water guns.

Also still going on around camp is our 2nd annual Camp of Thrones. We hope you enjoyed your sneak peak into the challenges with yesterday’s video. It has been a day full of challenges, so here is your daily update:

The Treedom have challenged Walterfell to which Walterfell has replied with a challenge task equal to that of Treedom’s initial challenge. Translation: Pioneering challenged Sports and won, so Sports has challenged Pioneering to another challenge to even the score.

The Shredquarters have not given up hope, attacking Bakingham for a second time; perhaps it is courage or foolishness? Translation: Skatepark challenged Cooking to another challenge, after losing the first task, you think they would have learned?

As the Challenges continue some departments are trying to regain their kingdoms by issuing a second challenge. Will this work in their favor? Or will it lose them their kingdom? Tune in tomorrow for your Camp of Thrones daily update to find out.

Today’s special feature is a variety of activities! Enjoy for now until we have a special surprise feature tomorrow!

Monday, August 8th

Good evening, Island Lake Families!

Our annual Teen Trip is under way and the lucky destination this summer for our campers is Montreal.  They will be spending the day at La Ronde Amusement Park and I for one am extremely jealous.  Rides will be rode.  Snacks will be eaten.  Games will be played.  And prizes will be one.  The fun is only beginning for a Canadian-bound campers because they have three more days of memories to make.

Here on the home front, our we are in the throes of our 2nd annual Camp of Thrones.  Who will win? What alliances will form over the next week?  Here is your daily update:

Today we have witnessed both victory and defeat as giants fall to tamer lands and weaker kingdoms are engulfed by the flames of grander empires.  TRANSLATION:  we had one exciting day full of upsets and heated competition.

The Kingdom of Rockopolis triumphed in the siege bestowed upon them by Poseidon’s Landing.  TRANSLATION:  The Rock Shop defeated The Waterfront.

The Shredquarters saw to the demise of Chemmunist Russia.  TRANSLATION:  The Skatepark got the win against Science.

Poseidon’s Landing also suffered grave defeat at the hands of the Middle Arts.  Perhaps they should take a respite from the battlegrounds until the new moon.  TRANSLATION:  Waterfront lost again!  This time to the Arts and Crafts Department.  Maybe they should take a short breather and devise a new strategy.

Bakingham Palace held their own when challenged by The Shredquarters.  TRANSLATION:  Cooking managed to secure a surprise victory of The Skatepark!

Sunday, August 7th

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 are leaving for our teen trip to Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. Our 9th grade and older campers who signed up for the trip, along with 4 staff and myself (Wendy), will be heading out of camp to make our way to Montreal, Canada. Everyone is very excited for the trip. We will post photos of the trip with our daily summer photos on Friday once we return.

Tomorrow we will head straight to La Ronde Amusement Park for the entire afternoon into the evening. We will check into the hotel at night and get a good night’s rest for the following day. On Tuesday we’ll go to Lachine Rapids (jetboating) and then do a variety of activities at the Old Port of Montreal. We’ll go to Voiles en Voiles (a pirate ship with a ropes course), the SOS Labyrinth (indoor maze), and walk around Old Montreal.

On Wednesday we will spend the day in Quebec City. We’ll visit Old Quebec, the Citadel, Lower Town, and the Palace Royal. On Thursday, our final day of the trip, we will travel to the Parc Olympic. We’ll visit Montreal Tower, the Biodome, and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. We’ll watch some short movies at the planetarium and explore before boarding the bus to head back over the border and return here to camp. Everyone going to Canada is super pumped for this exciting trip ahead.

Here at ILC, Camp of Thrones continues. Last night at dinner we had the opening ceremonies. This included a precession of royals who were dressed up to present their respective kingdoms. There are photos posted on our CampMinder daily photo page dated from yesterday. Challenges have begun and alliances have been formed. Skatepark has challenged science and cooking, therefore skatepark is at their mercy with science and cooking’s choice of an event to be challenged with. Waterfront challenged arts & crafts and the rock shop. Again, art and rock shop get to decide what the challenge will be. Skatepark and art, waterfront and sports, tennis and pioneering, theater and circus, and rock shop and horseback riding have all formed alliances with one another respectively. As alliances, they are allowed to use each other’s forces (campers) for challenges and what not.

This evening after dinner our science campers will be taking a trip to Binghamton to the Kopernic Observatory. There they will explore the outer worlds, space, and the stars. Always a fun out of camp trip for our campers who love astronomy!

Step right up because tonight’s evening activity is the Staff Circus Show. It is sure to astound us. It is sure to amaze us. It is sure to be out of this world amazeballs!

Today’s special feature is PIONEERING! Enjoy the photos.

While I’m away in Canada, Dustin will take over the blog for me. No doubt that he will 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 for our final few days of camp (Tear!). Until then, ILCUTHERE!

Saturday, August 6th

Today was another wonderful day here in Starrucca, PA. We woke up to early morning rain but it had already passed before our 8am wake up call. The temperature rose to the upper 70’s and the sky was a mix of clouds and sun until lunchtime. At that point the sun fully broke through and made for a beautiful day here at ILC with temps in the low 80’s.

Camp of Thrones is now in full swing. Kingdoms have been formed, royal families have been chosen, and challenges are on the horizon. Today at dinner the royal families will be introduced. Alliances are currently being discussed. No challenges have occurred yet but that’s next to come.

At rest hour today I will hold my big Canada teen trip meeting with all of our campers and staff who are going on Monday. I will hand out the itinerary, a packing list, talked about our expectations from the kids while we are 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.

Tonight’s evening activity is Island Lake Live! What is Island Lake Live, you may ask? Well, let me tell you. It’s like Saturday Night Live meets the Tonight Show. A couple of our group leaders will host the event and our rock shop counselors will perform as the house band. We will show some pre-taped segments such as Carpool Karaoke, Mean Tweets, and our CITs will do some live bits for the camp to enjoy. This is the first time we’re hosting this evening activity here at ILC and it’s sure to be a memorable event.

Today’s special feature is LUNCHTIME in the dining room! I just walked around and took photos of a variety of our campers while eating their Philly cheesesteaks, French fries, mushroom cheesesteaks (for our vegetarians), and delicious chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Enjoy drooling over this great food and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Friday, August 5th

Hi Island Lake families! Today we had a beautiful morning in Starrucca, PA. The skies were sunny and the temps hit the mid 70’s. Perfect camp weather! By afternoon the clouds slowly rolled in but the temps stayed warm and camp proceeded per usual.

This session we are going to once again play 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 territory, 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 8th and 9th grade girls tennis team went out of camp to play in the Wayne County semi-finals. Guess what? That’s right, you guessed it, they won! Our girls are now in the finals! Go Island Lake 8th & 9th grade tennis girls! We’re so proud of them!

Today’s special feature is dance, cooking, video, and science! Tonight’s evening activity is a Staff Magic Show. This is an opportunity for our Island Lake magic counselors to show off their abracadabra skills and entertain the camp with the wonderment of the magical world. They’ll mix some stage magic with illusion to astonish our campers and leave them in amaze. Rumor has it that halfway into the magic show we’re going to break out into Revival Night. Shhh, don’t tell your children! For those of you who don’t know, Revival Night is one of our campers’ all time favorite evening activities. I’ll let your children tell you more about it when they get home from camp.

In the real world we hear it is now officially the weekend. We lose track here at camp, but enjoy your weekend and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!