Monthly Archives: June 2017

Friday, June 30th

Hello Island Lake families! This morning we had a quick rain shower before wake up call but then it was activities per usual by 1st major. The sun shined through the clouds and the temps warmed up from the upper 60’s to the mid 70’s. It was activities per usual until late in 2nd major when the rain returned. It then rained on and off for another couple of hours at most until the sunshine returned after snack break.

Today I’m continuing my tradition of asking the oldest girls’ bunk, G24, to come to my office to blog about their summer camp experiences throughout the years. Although we have 4 bunks of girls going into 10th grade, many of these specific girls started at ILC at a very young age and have circled around girls’ campus from bunk 1 through bunk 24. Here’s what they had to say about their summers here at their home away from home:

“When I first arrived here at Island Lake I felt strangely comfortable because this is our home. We basically grew up here. Camp has made me comfortable in my own skin. So much happens in 1 week. It’s equivalent to a year at school. I just have a lot to say. I love camp!” –Danielle H.

“Island Lake has allowed us to grow into the people we’ve become today. Whenever the topic of camp comes up at home, none of my friends understand the excitement I feel. They just don’t understand unless they’ve been here.”- Maya S.

“At first when you arrive at camp it’s new and different. By your 2nd day you feel like you’re home. You never get bored. We all found ourselves at ILC. No one would ever understand the close bond we make at camp. The friendships are like no others.“ –Tyler L.

“I believe camp has changed me so much and made me who I am. The things I’m able to do, if you asked 7 year old me she would never believe it. My first year I was terrified of everybody. To think I’ve grown with everyone and become so close it’s crazy.” -Sara R.

“I truly live 10 months for 2 at camp. Throughout the year I always just look forward to camp. It’s all I talk about with my friends. Coming to Island Lake is like coming home to a 2nd family. (Sorry mom!)” –Hallie M.

“I think it’s really crazy how I never would have found my passion in life if it wasn’t for camp. I fell in love with circus! When you first arrive and are in a bunk with a bunch of girls you’re like, ‘oh my god’. But then you get to know them and they become your best friends.” – Nathalie M.

“I think camp has made me a really independent person. I learned how to do so many things I never would have learned at home.” -Julia S.

“I was going to say the same thing as Julia because I’ve tried so many things here at camp that I wouldn’t have tried. I branched out of my comfort zones” –Hannah M.

The girls were troopers and weathered the rain to come to my office at snack break and share with us. Today’s special feature is our photo shoot which is below at the end of this blog.

Tonight’s evening activity is Fear Factor! Remember that reality tv show? We’re bringing it back here at ILC. We’re going to break the camp up into lower camp and upper camp and run 2 separate evening activities. Tonight will be our campers’ opportunity to torture their counselors, who will be the participants. For example, the counselors may have to hold a bucket of water in front of them and then the campers will pour gooey gross stuff on top of their heads and see who can hold out the longest. Tonight will for sure be a lot of laughs.

After evening activity we have our very first ETB of the summer! For those of you new to Island Lake, ETB stands for Early To Bed. This means that the canteen is closed so all campers go back to their bunks directly after evening activity to get a good night’s rest. On a personal note, I have to admit it’s one of my favorite nights of the week. Hehe!  Until tomorrow, our first July summer day, ILCUTHERE!

Thursday, June 29th

After a fun day out of camp for Lazy Day, ILC majors and minors were back in action today. This morning we had a brisk chill of temps in the 60’s with a mix of sun and clouds. I’m happy to report that by afternoon the temps went up to the mid 70’s! Yay! Woohoo! Summer weather is officially here and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

All of us here at ILC hope you’re enjoying our social media updates so you can feel as if you are part of the excitement at camp this summer. As a reminder, you can find us on the following websites:

  1. Daily blogs here on our website
  2. Daily tweets on Twitter (twitter.com/IslandLakeCamp)
  3. Short videos on our Facebook page (facebook.com/IslandLakeCamp)
  4. And of course, our daily photos and weekly videos through your CampMinder account.

Tonight, after dinner, is our first staff meeting of the summer. While our counselors are in their weekly meeting, our campers will sit outside in front of their bunks with our adult non-bunk staff to write letters,…and hopefully those letters will be written home to you, mom & dad (but don’t hold your breath!)!

Evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s a breakdown on what’s going on around camp this evening: BOYS: Group 1- Campfire (they’ll make s’mores sing songs around the campfire,…ok, maybe I’m exaggerating the singing part but they’ll sure enjoy those s’mores!); Group 2- Kong Pong; Group 3- Gaga Ball (with girls group 3); Group 4- Dodgeball. And on the GIRLS side: Groups 1&2- continue to work on their Bunk Cup videos, flags, and plaques; Group 3- Gaga Ball (with boys group 3); Group 4- Theater Games.

Today’s special feature is CIRCUS! Step right up, come one come all to view the photos below. Until tomorrow, when we’ll do it all over again (Groundhogs Day anyone?), ILCUTHERE!

Wed, June 28th- Lazy Day

Happy Lazy Day! Today is our first weekly Lazy Day of the summer. Our campers had the opportunity to sleep in, which many needed, and then we had a big brunch at 10:30am. We had an optional breakfast at 8am for our early risers.

At 12pm groups 1&2 (7th grade and under) went to Binghamton to a big bowling alley there. The kids had fun bowling, bumper bowling, playing arcade games, and enjoyed the snack bar. Groups 3&4 (8th grade and up) went to see Pirates of the Caribbean at a local town. The overall feedback is that they enjoyed the movie and particularly loved the ending.

The sun shined bright today as the temps warmed up to a blistering 70 degrees. I’m happy to report that the temps are supposed to continue to increase another 10 degrees over the next few days. Yay, summer weather is upon us!

Tonight’s dinner was a cookout of burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, and all of the trimmings. Tonight’s evening activity is preparation for Bunk Cup.  All of the bunks in all of the groups worked on their bunk plaques, flags, and videos. Here’s a reminder of what Bunk Cup is all about:

Bunk Cup is a camp-wide activity that will go on for most of 1st session this summer.   Each bunk is its own team. The bunk/team can earn points in just about every activity here at camp. At the end of the session we tally up the points and have a winner on the boys side and a winner on the girls side. Each team will make a bunk plaque, a bunk flag, and a short video. This is our 4rd annual Bunk Cup and the kids are so excited for it.

Today’s special feature is the cookout! Sorry we didn’t post daily photos on CampMinder today but due to it being Lazy Day, we just didn’t feel like it. Just kiddin’! They’ll be posted tomorrow morning. Until then, ILCUTHERE!

Tuesday, June 27th

Hi Island Lake Families! This morning we woke up to some very nippy temperatures. Once our campers returned to their bunks for clean up, a rain shower came through the 18462. It ended during our 1st major and by 1st minor the sun shined and the temps started to warm up. We got hit again after lunch with another rain shower but again, it was soon followed by more sunshine. It’s been a cool start to summer but it looks like that will change very soon.

Island Lake Summer 2017 is now officially in full swing. Our campers are adjusting to their majors, trying out new activities for their minors, and are becoming great friends with their bunkmates. I hope you can see all the joy on your children’s faces in our daily photos.

Speaking of photos, we started to take bunk pictures. Once they’re complete, we will post them in their own folder on CampMinder.

Tomorrow is our first Lazy Day of the summer. The kids get to sleep in later and eat brunch at 10:30am. We will have an optional breakfast for the early birds at 8am. After brunch we will take groups 1&2 (7th grade and under) to a bowling alley in Binghamton. Groups 3&4 (8th grade through 10th grade) will go to a local town to see Pirates of the Caribbean. Dinner will be a cookout at our picnic tables.

Tonight’s evening activity is Taste, Touch, & Smell. We will break up the camp into lower campus (groups 1&2) and upper campus (groups 3&4). Each campus will host their own evening activity. Here is how the game works: The group leaders will call to their stage 5 contestants at a time. The contestants will be campers and counselors. They will then be blindfolded and given a surprise treat. The audience will know what that treat is (it will be written on a whiteboard behind the contestants). The humor will be in what the contestants think that they are tasting, touching, or smelling. Don’t worry, those with allergies will not be given anything that they cannot eat, touch, or smell. The item could be something as fun as chocolate pudding with rainbow sprinkles and marshmallows. This should be a fun evening activity for all, whether they are participants or spectators.

Today’s special feature is THEATER. This session’s shows are Lion King Junior and Pippin. There are also some photos of campers working in stagecraft and costuming. Enjoy and until tomorrow, our first Lazy Day of the summer, ILCUTHERE!

June 26th

Happy first day of majors and minors! The day started off party sunny and very cool but by after lunch the temps warmed up to about 70 degrees. Cool temps don’t really bother the kids, as they were still out and about running around all morning & afternoon. The camp spirit is very high and activities are all in full swing now.

Show rehearsals have started, rock bands have been formed, and dances are being choreographed. Kids are walking around doing magic tricks, making all sorts of arts & crafts projects, riding horses, waterskiing in the lake, swimming in the pool, and some campers are becoming little chefs in cooking. They’re flying in the air on the giant swing, as well as on the circus trapezes. Kids are learning to use the half pipes in our skatepark, the low and high ropes courses are being climbed, and science experiments are being created by children of all ages.   Sports and tennis went on outdoors and in the gym and it was great to see so many kids participating. We’re so pumped for all the action going on here at Island Lake!

Tonight’s evening activities are GROUPS! Here’s a breakdown of what everyone in camp is doing: BOYS: Group 1- Sidewalk Chalking (they’re going to decorate the new blacktop by the dining room); Group 2- Gaga; Group 3- Video Scavenger Hunt; Group 4- Bunk Feud (similar to Family Feud but the topics are all about camp, and with girls group 4). GIRLS: Group 1- Ugly Fashion Show; Group 2- Video Scavenger Hunt; Group 3- start working on Bunk Cup (I’ll get to that in a moment); Group 4- Bunk Feud (with boys group 4).

Bunk Cup is a camp-wide activity that will go on for most of 1st session this summer.  Each bunk is its own team. The bunk/team can earn points in just about every activity here at camp. At the end of the session we tally up the points and have a winner on the boys side and a winner on the girls side. Each team will make a bunk plaque, a bunk flag, and a short video. This is our 4rd annual Bunk Cup and the kids are so excited for it.

After evening activity tonight our campers will head to the canteen for a snack or two and then have the opportunity to socialize there and at the gym. We also opened our Teen Lounge for our campers who are entering 9th grade and older (boys and girls group 4 and CITs). They’ll have access to a television, a soda machine, and couches to hang around and socialize on. The teen lounge is a good alternative to hanging around in the gym and the canteen every night. Our kids seem excited about it, too! What will they watch tonight? American Ninja Warrior or The Bachelorette? Oh, such decisions!

To summarize the first few days here at Island Lake, I can honestly tell you that our campers are having so much fun and are forming everlasting friendships with one another while learning so many skills in their activities. We couldn’t be happier for all of them!

Today’s special photo feature is SPORTS. Here are a bunch of photos from a variety of sports majors today. I know there are a lot of photos to scroll through, more than usual for the daily blog, but we had that many sports activities (and more!) taking place today. Enjoy the pictures and until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!

June 25- 4-Minor Day

Happy first full day of camp! Yesterday’s Opening Day went extremely well with lots of happy campers coming off of the buses. New and old friendships are blossoming already. Campers are bonding with one another, as well as with their counselors, and they are settling into Summer 2017 here at Island Lake.   Be sure to check out our daily summer photos through CampMinder. We also tweet on our Twitter account daily, post on Instagram, and put up short videos on our Facebook page. There’s SO MUCH to check out that’s going on here at ILC.

Today was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL DAY in Starrucca, PA. The temperature hit the low 70’s with a light breeze and it was the perfect day to run around and have some fun. It was our 4-minor day so the kids were busy trying out activities to see what they’d like to sign up for as their majors for the remainder of the session.   Campers took deep-water tests, had sports orientation, pioneering, and were tested for their tennis levels outdoors. Auditions for the musicals went on all day today as well. We’re excited to offer a combination for our older campers of the show, Pippin, along with our circus department. The 2 departments will work together and at the end of the session the performance will take place in the circus building. Our younger campers will put on Lion King Junior in the theater at the end of the session.

Lots of other activities also took place today. Horseback riders and dancers were tested for levels, circus activities were in full effect, our magicians started to learn their skills, our skaters & bladers rode in the skatepark, in addition to all of the other activities we offer here at ILC: magic, video, cooking, rock shop, gymnastics, and more!

After lunch we gave out many 5-year jackets and 10-year jackets to our loyal Island Lakers, both campers and staff. In our daily summer photos through CampMinder we will show you photos of campers and staff in their ILC-wear. I hope this beautiful weather continues so they won’t have to wear these (rain) jackets quite so much over the course of the summer.

After their 4 minors and our snack break, we held our favorite camp extravaganza,…PANIC! It’s a camp-wide game where I call things out over the PA system and our campers have to run into their bunks, find the item(s) and bring them as fast as possible to their group leaders in the middle of their campuses. It can be something as basic as a red toothbrush or more involved like 5 campers wearing 2016 ILC Color War t-shirts singing the camp alma mater. I play music over the PA in between while the kids all sing and dance with their bunks. Ok, I’m not gonna lie. The boys don’t sing and dance as much as the girls! Regardless, Panic was a hit and the kids participated and cheered their bunks on as they ran around having a fun-filled fantabulous time.

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS, which means the group leaders take charge and run different activities for their bunks. Here’s a list of what everyone is doing: BOYS: Group 1- Video Scavenger Hunt; Group 2- Gaga Ball; Group 3- Dodgeball; Group 4- Capture the Flag. On the GIRLS side: Group 1- Theater Games; Group 2- Minute 2 Win It (game show that you’ll have to google because I’m not even sure how they play it!); Group 3- Ugly Fashion Show (the girls dress up in crazy funny outfits and have a fashion show); Group 4- Crazy Game (fun active wild game to try to tire them out!)

Below is an array of photos from down at the lake today. Please return to this blog each day, as I (Wendy) will be posting ongoing events happening here at Island Lake. Until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!

Opening Day Reminders

Hey Island Lake families!

Two more days!  Two more days!  The camp season is finally upon us and we just want to remind you of several important things.  This letter is for all camp families, new and returning, so please read it thoroughly.

All buses leave our bus locations on Opening Day at 11am sharp!  Please be sure to give yourself enough time to get to the buses by 10:30am, especially those of you going to our Queens bus stop. It is inevitable that there is always traffic heading to Queens, so leave extra early in order to arrive on time.

Don’t forget to pack your child a lunch for the bus ride to camp. Please do not pack anything containing peanuts or tree nuts.  For campers who are flying, it’s a good idea to send them with extra money for snacks that they’d like to purchase upon arrival at the airport.

Cell phones are strictly prohibited at camp!  Any child caught with a cell phone will be sent home from camp for a 3-day suspension.  Only campers flying to camp via airplane may travel with a cell phone.  We will collect your flying camper’s phone after your child calls home to let you know that he/she arrived at Newark safely.  Additionally, non-functioning iPhones are not allowed to be used as music players, even with the SIM card removed.

The bunks are all finalized and campers will receive their bunk numbers on their bus ride to camp.  We can no longer accept new bunk requests for the 1st session.  We try to honor all bunk requests to the best of our abilities.

If you have not yet sent in extra spending money for out of camp trips, it’s a good idea to send some money up with your child to place into his/her bank account. Although all trips out of camp are paid for, our campers like to have extra money for snacks and souvenirs, especially for Dorney Park in the 2nd week of camp. We recommend approximately $25/week ($100 for session 1 and $75 for session 2) but feel free to use your own discretion.

SOCIAL MEDIA
We will once again post hundreds of pictures to our website daily so be sure to go to islandlake.com and login to your Camp Minder account to view the photos and weekly videos. You can also view photos through our Island Lake app by logging into CampMinder.

We will also continue to post a daily blog to our website at islandlake.com. Scroll down and click the yellow “B” at the bottom of any page on our site to read the latest regarding what’s going on in camp and to see some extra photos. You can view the blog through our app, as well.

We will continue our practice posting to our Facebook page.  You do not need to have a Facebook account in order to view our posts.  You can just visit facebook.com/islandlakecamp.

Last, but definitely not least, we will be tweeting daily.  Once again, you do not need to have a Twitter account to see what we are posting.  Simply go to twitter.com/islandlakecamp to know more about your camper’s daily life at Island Lake.

We can’t wait to see all of our first session campers roll in on the buses this Saturday, June 24th!

Open House & Important Camp Info

This past Saturday was our Open House here at Island Lake for new campers and their families and it was a FANTASTIC DAY for all!!! We had a great turn out with lots of excited new campers. They all met one another, meet our staff, they toured camp, and they play games together in the afternoon. We loved meeting our rookie Island Lakers and we are that much more pumped for June 24th to arrive. We hope all of our campers are, as well.

With only 11 days until our opening day of camp (as of today, June 13th), many of our staff are arriving for training in their specific departments. Circus, waterfront, ropes/pioneering, and horseback riding are amongst the departments that are already in training. All counselors and staff will be here by June 16th for our staff orientation week.

We are sure many of our parents are now in full “camp mode” as you pack and prepare your children for their amazing ILC experience. Just a reminder that our packing list and equipment list are right here on our website under “Families” and “forms & mailings.” Any outstanding Medical Forms must be completed, signed, and returned to us ASAP, prior to your children’s arrival at camp.

By now you should have received your luggage tags and bus stop information packet. Place your children’s tags on each of their 2 duffel bags so we can transport them to their appropriate bunks upon arrival. All luggage goes to camp on the buses with our campers.

REMINDER: ALL BUS STOP DEPARTURES (other than Newark Airport) WILL BE AT 11AM! This is different from previous summers when the buses departed at 1pm. Please arrive at your assigned bus stop by 10:00-10:30am on June 24th for a prompt departure at 11am.

Today you can start calling camp to set up your children’s phone appointments for summer. The phones are closed the first week of the session and then each child can call home once per session. See your Parent Handbook for more details. Once you have dates and times in mind, just give us a call here at camp at 570-798-2550.

If you have any last minute camp questions, feel free to call us any time. Until camp begins, our office is open daily until 5pm with a break for lunch from 12-12:45pm. Once camp begins we’re open daily until 9pm.

Enjoy some photos below from our Open House this past Saturday. Lots of new, excited, happy campers joining us this summer. We CANNOT WAIT for everyone to arrive for an amazing, fantastic, out of this world ILC summer! In 11 more days, ILCUTHERE!!!

Pre-Camp 2017

Greetings from Starrucca, PA! Although it’s been a chilly and wet pre-camp thus far, we’re getting a lot done to make camp look beautiful for your children’s arrival in a few weeks. We’re looking forward to our Open House for our new camp families this upcoming Saturday. An email will be sent out to all parents of new campers later this week with more details.

Below are some photos of our pre-camp staff working yesterday and today. This morning they worked hard through some major rain to get the mountain biking pump track ready. Enjoy the photos and ILC Ur kids in 18 days!

June Parents News

Hey ILC parents! This is it! Summer is just about here and we are happy to report that we are back at camp once again! Words cannot even begin to explain how wonderful it feels to return to our home away from home. We are sooooo EXCITED for your children’s arrival on Saturday, June 24th. We have amazing plans for this summer including exciting evening activities, an awesome Color War theme, a day trip to Dorney Park, a teen trip to Cleveland Ohio in session 2, fun-filled theme days, and much more. Let us just say, we have some awesome plans to make summer 2017 the GREATEST, and we cannot wait to share it all with your children!

Summer 2017 parents, have you filled out your forms yet? Please make sure we have received your children’s Profile, Medical, and Transportation Forms, as well as your Travel Itinerary if you plan to go away while your kids are here at camp. You can fill out the Profile and Transportation Forms directly online by logging into your CampMinder account. The Medical Form is not an online form so please be sure that you and your pediatrician fill out the hard copy that we mailed to you a few months back. If you misplaced it, just click “Forms & Mailings” in the “Families” section of our website to download a new one. We must have one for each child prior his/her arrival at camp.

Don’t forget that by registering with CampMinder you can send emails to your children and view our daily summer photos and weekly videos. We will be posting daily blogs right here on our website once your children arrive at camp. Additionally, we will continue to tweet daily and post short video clips on our Facebook page as often as possible. With so much info for our parents, you, too, will feel as if you are experiencing a fun-filled summer here at Island Lake!

Now that we are back at camp, please be sure to mail any outstanding payments and forms directly to our summer address in Starrucca, PA. Do not use the New York return envelopes any longer, as that mail takes quite some time to be forwarded to us at camp.

Well, that’s about it for now! We look forward to meeting many of our new families at our OPEN HOUSE here at camp on Saturday, June 10th, at 11am.   We cannot wait to see the rest of our Island Lakers shortly afterwards! Below are some Island Lake sites for you to enjoy. ILC U HERE!!!