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Saturday, August 4th

“Here comes the sun,….badadada,…” The rain has finally ended and our grass is starting to dry with the sun shining down on us once again. Yay! Woohoo! It’s so nice to see blue skies peep through the clouds once again. The temps were warm today in the low 80’s. It was a perfect day to play camp.

In celebration we held our session 2 Music Lunch today! I played the role of DJ Wendy and spun tunes on my ipod in the dining room so the kids could sing and dance throughout lunch. Just about everyone was singing along to new and old school tunes of different generations (“Build Me Up Buttercup” and “I Want It That Way”) and they danced to different genres of music (“Uptown Funk”, “Cha Cha Slide”, and “Cupid Shuffle”). It’s always a fun time for our campers and our staff as you’ll see in our daily photos online.

I’m happy to report that our ILC Tennis Open is back on track with games being played throughout the minors today. Yesterday’s girls lacrosse semi-finals will have to be rescheduled so hopefully we’ll be able to make that happen with many camps already in or about to go into Color War (hint hint, but not quite yet!).

In other departments in camp, circus has been busy rehearsing for their big show tomorrow night. The theme is music from the Grammy Awards. If this show is anything like our session 1 Circus Show then it should be magical entertainment for the whole camp to enjoy.

In cooking today they made sushi and dumplings during the majors and channa masala & curry for the minors. Don’t ask me what that is because I have absolutely no idea. I don’t have my assistant, “Alexa”, here at camp to help me out either. I guess I can resort to the old fashioned Google way. (Haha!)

Up in Pioneering they made use of all of the equipment once again and resumed activities on the upper and lower ropes courses, zipline, and giant swing. After all the rain we’ve had there should have been lots of success with “critter catching” earlier for 1st minor. Outdoor cooking, treetopia, pioneering all-stars, and fortifying the frontier continued once again today, too.

In riddle news, here’s a reminder of yesterday’s: Every night I’m told what to do and each morning I do what I’m told, but I still don’t escape your scold. What am I? Answer: an alarm clock! Here’s today’s riddle: I have two legs but they only touch the ground while I’m at rest. What am I?

Tonight’s evening activity is our younger campers’ performance of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” I’m soooo excited to see this show. I was actually in it when I was a camper myself (only 20 years ago,…wink wink!) so I’m going to have to refrain from singing through the show. We have a great deal of talent this session and I’ve heard this show is going to blow our audience away!

Today’s special feature is highlights from last night’s Dance Show & Magic Show. Enjoy and until tomorrow (as Color War nears), ILCUTHERE!

Friday, August 3rd

Hi Island Lake families! First and foremost, here’s the week 5 video for your enjoyment.

Well, we’re now in the final stretch for summer 2018.  One more week of fun in the uh,….clouds with a little peak of sun here and there???  I’d love to see the weather from 1st session make a come back for the final week of camp. We have so much to look forward to in this last week in the 18462.  Let’s discuss,…

Today begins our super duper stupendous performance week! Tonight our campers will enjoy the Dance Show and Magic Show. Today we had a “magic lunch” performance in the dining room. Tomorrow night is the younger kids performance of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” The Circus Show will follow this and then the older kids show, “Sister Act.”

There is also a great deal of talk around camp about those 3 big days approaching. What 3 big days you may be asking yourselves? Let’s just say they start with the word “color” and end with the word “war!” Yup, that’s right, Color War is approaching. I can’t tell you when because that’s top secret, but I can tell you that it’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to EPIC! (Do the kids still use that term?) I will keep you posted of all things Color War when it finally breaks. Get pumped; get excited, it’ll be here before we know it! When you ask? Sorry, I can’t tell you. How will it break? I can’t disclose that information to you. What are the teams? Again, my lips are sealed (or in this case, my typing fingers are resisting the temptation to give you the answers).   Stay tuned,….

One other big day to tell you about is our final day of camp, next Friday. On that day we will have a Rock Concert, let the kids pack, have a big Color Run (also an ILC fav), and then our entire summer is all culminated into the final Banquet night. The kids will get dressed up and sit with their friends in the dining room where food is served to their tables. We’ll give out awards, announce the summer’s “Last Will & Testament”, dance, and take lots of photos. We’ll then head down to the lake to make bunk wishes with candles that each bunk will place in the crib of our lake. We’ll burn the “Island Lake 2018” sign and sing sad songs together, including the camp alma mater. We’ll then gather in the theater to watch the 2018 video yearbook. The night ends later than most with canteen. It’ll all be very bitter sweet.

But back to today here in Starrucca, PA. We woke up to rain (again!), it ended during breakfast, and it’s been raining on and off throughout the day. It seems that every time our tennis staff dries off the courts they get wet again. Ugh! We’ve had quite a few downpours throughout the day today, too. It’s been an unfortunate washout for many outdoor activities.

And now for Wednesday’s riddle: What jumps when it walks and sits when it stands? Answer: a kangaroo or a frog! Here’s today’s riddle: Every night I’m told what to do, and each morning I do what I’m told but I still don’t escape your scold. What am I? (Are these riddles getting easier or am I getting smarter? I got Wednesday’s and today’s riddles pretty quickly.)

Today in ILC sports, everything was canceled because of the darn rain! Rrrrrr!!!! Our campers still stayed busy played indoor sports, making projects in arts & crafts, hanging upside down in circus, cooking up a storm in the Bistro, riding on horses, mountain biking, skateboarding, waterskiing and wakeboarding in between the rain storms, etc. It’s a good thing we have so many indoor facilities for days like today!

Tonight’s evening activity is the Dance Show and Magic Show! We’ll have lots of photos of these performances to share with you tomorrow.

Today’s special feature is all about the girls! It’s messy twister and big sister/little sister photos from last night’s girls’ evening activities!!! After posting yesterday’s blog the boys older groups changed their evening activity schedule and they all ended up watching Ben & Dustin’s show, Star Wars. Since all of the action was on the girls’ side, I decided to get it on digital film for ya (is that a thing, “digital film?”).

Tonight is our very last ETB, early to bed. How excited are the staff and I? Everyone is going into their bunks after the dance & magic shows for a great night’s sleep. Enjoy your evening and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Thursday, August 2nd

Today is our very last Lazy Day for summer 2018 (Violins are playing in the background as tears well up in our eyes.). Our campers slept in for some much needed rest and then we had a big brunch at 10:30am. We also offered an option 8am breakfast for our early risers.

For Lazy Day, Groups 1 & 2 went to the bowling alley in Binghamton for a fun day of rolling heavy balls down narrow lanes to knock down pins. 😉 Our younger kids also had fun playing laser tag, bumper cars, a flying ride that no one seems to be able to describe well to me, and the kids had snack food galore.

Groups 3 & 4 went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp. They had a relaxing afternoon at a local town watching this movie while enjoying popcorn, candy, and a drink. Don’t worry; we limited their junk food intake so as to not overdo it. So far the feedback has been very positive about the movie. The kids say they really enjoyed it.

Today we woke up to warm temps and partly sunny skies after having some rain hit us late last night around our older kids’ curfew. We had some rain during the day while everyone was out of camp but they were all indoors so they probably had no idea it even rained. The skies are mostly cloudy now but there isn’t any threat of rain until possibly much later tonight.

Tonight for dinner we will have a cookout. We’ll serve hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs along with all of the trimmings. We’ll also serve a delectable baked dessert and watermelon to top it all off.

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s a breakdown of it all: GIRLS: Group 1- lil sis/big sis (with girls group 4); Group 2 & 3- messy twister (a fan fav- kids get filled with paint on a huge life-size twister board and it turns into a fantastic photo session); Group 4- lil sis/big sis (with girls group 1): BOYS: Groups 1 & 2- Star Wars (2 staff who are former campers wrote a Star Wars play that they’d like to perform for the boys); Group 3- gaga (surprise,..not!); Group 4- dodgeball (another shocker, huh? Hey, it’s what the boys want to do!)

Because today is Lazy Day, there’s no special feature slide show. I’ll make it all up to you tomorrow when we resume our majors/minors once again. Until then, ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday, August 1st

Happy Counselor Switch Day! Today is 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. Let’s just say there are a lot of counselors’ beds outside of the bunks instead of inside the bunks. Gotta love camp!

It’s Group Leader Siobhan here, taking the reigns for my third time on the ILC blog because I just couldn’t get enough of gushing to you all about our beloved ILC and our day-to-day activities.

This morning, we woke up to rainy skies and we were collectively saying to ourselves: rain, rain, go away, please don’t stay for Lazy Day! Our wish was mercifully granted, and the clouds have passed to make today pleasantly warm and sunny. There’s still a looming threat of rain but hopefully it’ll pass us by.

This afternoon, our pioneers ventured to foreign bouldering walls for a climbing competition at a local camp. Otherwise, our sports competitions remain in-house with the ILC Tennis Open matches taking place throughout the day. Expectations are high with a lot of great matches expected. Head of the Tennis Department, Steve says: “We’ve got a lot of matches being played in the next few days and I’m looking forward to seeing who comes out on top.” The courts dried up right in time for the matches this morning and a delighted winner of Last year’s Coach of the Year Award, Dan, says: “The talent on show at the ILC Open really illustrates how far the kids have come.” It’s a Wimbledon Wednesday here at ILC and we’re so proud of our campers’ hard work!

Around the departments it’s business as usual this sunny Wednesday. Some of the minors taking place on camp today include: Pop Art, in the art barn, Tumblemania in gymnastics, Crystal Snowflake Making in science, and the batting cages will be open in sports so I will most definitely be visiting for a bat myself at some point.

Also, today rehearsals continue for the Theatre, Circus, and Dance shows which are fast approaching. Last session’s shows were extremely impressive but from what I’ve seen so far of rehearsals, session 2 looks to be just as mind-blowing with so many talented campers ready to perform in front of their friends and counselors!

In the Bistro, it’s a Mexican day, and the budding chefs are cooking up Chilaquiles in the majors, and salsa and dips in the minors. I myself visited the cooking departments and can confirm that it was delicious. Of the food, Hudson M. from Group 2 said “It was delicious. If I could eat it every day I would.” Rave reviews all around from our campers!

Tonight’s evening Activity is Steve Max. The entire camp will meet in the gym for a giant game of Simon Says. Only one winner will be crowned and the stakes are high with every campers competing for a coveted Steve Max original t-shirt!

Just to mix it up a little, today we decided to interview a camper from one of our youngest boy’s bunk, B3, and a girl camper from our oldest bunk, G24, to find out how they’ve been finding this summer at Island Lake. Evan S. told me that what makes Island Lake the best camp on earth is: “Good friends, good counselors, and a lot of good activities.” Jessica L., who is in her eighth year at ILC, puts it down to the fact that, at ILC: “You get to make friends that become part of your family.” And I couldn’t agree more!

In relations to their favorite meals, our two campers also differed. Jessica said that her favorite meal is “chicken nuggs” (not nuggets), and Evan said that cookout burgers are his absolute favorite. Lucky for him, it’s cookout tomorrow after our Lazy Day trips off camp. We all can’t wait!

Yesterday’s riddle was another mind bender: Though full of holes, I still hold water. What am I? You know the answer is…a Sponge!

And today’s riddle is: What jumps when it walks and sits when it stands?

Best of luck figuring it out. If you happen to find the answer, please let us know. Bragging rights are renewed on a daily basis so it’s all to play for.

Today’s special feature is GYMNASTICS!  It’s been a pleasure writing to you all and I hope your day has been as great as ours here!

All the best,

Group Leader Siobhan

Week 4 Video

My apologies for posting this video late but I hope you feel it’s worth the wait.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31st

Wow, is it truly the last day of July already? Where has this summer gone? It’s wild how time really does fly by when you’re having fun. Speaking of fun, we have had a chock full of it, especially today here at Island Lake. Let’s start from the very beginning,…

Today’s weather is sponsored by Island Lake canteen Bevwiches. So yummy that you need more than 1 in your tummy! And now for the weather report,…the skies were mostly cloudy today with a looming threat of rain. The temps reached the mid 70’s in the afternoon hours. As of now, at almost 5pm, we had a little blue sky peep through and it’s still dry.

This morning our sports enthusiasts departed for Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. They’ll learn all about the history of baseball, about many of America’s greats, and then I’m sure they’ll search out the pizza place and fudge store. This bus full of kids will be out all day and should be returning shortly, just before dinner.

In addition to the previous trip, today is also our overnight river trip for our canoe and kayak aficionados. They will spend the day in their respective boats paddling down the Delaware River. They’ll camp out tonight under the stars and return tomorrow.

Lastly in sports, today our 2nd session ILC Open starts for our tennis players. It will run until the end of the summer when winners in all groups will receive trophies. Our tennis kids have also enjoyed a big game throughout the summer that has been titled, “One Point Tournament.” Kids of all ages, boys and girls, take turns playing one point against one another with single elimination until a winner is crowned. It always gets a huge crowd at the courts, spectators and players alike. Today a young boy named Emi won the whole tournament. He’ll be crowned the special belt in front of the whole camp at dinner tonight.

Yesterday’s riddle: The more you have of me the less you see. What am I? Do you give up? Do ya wanna know the answer? Ok, I’ll be nice and tell you. The answer is darkness! Here’s today’s riddle (spoiler alert: I knew this answer right away and I’m betting many of you will as well): Though full of holes, I still hold water. What am I?

Although just about the entire camp thinks that tonight’s evening activity is Revival Night, it’s actually a new activity called Masked Karaoke. We’ll have staff come out on the theater stage in a mask and a fully body suit to sing a karaoke song for the entire camp. The kids will then have to figure out who is behind that masked suit. For instance, one counselor will come out on stage in an ape suit that has been used in pioneering all summer for a “find Sasquatch” activity. They’ll sing a song in the ape suit and then the kids have to guess who it is. It should be a pretty hilarious evening activity for everyone!

Today’s special feature is from last night’s wild and crazy, fun for all ages evening activity, HOEDOWN! The kids had so much fun, as did our staff! Check out the pics below and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Monday, July 30th

Yeeeehaaaaaw! Here at camp it is COUNTRY WESTERN DAY! Bust out your best flannel, whip out your,…well, your whip, and ride ‘em on cowboy, because we’re celebrating today. Tonight we will end the day with a big Hoedown for evening activity. I’ll tell you more about it later in the blog.

I apologize because I forgot to post the ILC Morning News riddle yesterday. Please forgive me, I’m a little rusty after 4 days off from blogging. Here was the riddle from 2 days ago: What bow can’t be tied? Answer: A Rainbow! Yesterday’s riddle: With four oars it swims but it is always at home. Its back is like armor, tougher than chrome. What is it? Answer: A Turtle! And finally, here’s today’s riddle: The more you have of me the less you see. What am I?

Today’s weather was pretty decent. The morning temps quickly warmed up to the low 70’s and the sun shined with some clouds in the mix. By afternoon the skies were mostly cloudy but we didn’t have any rain with temps in the mid 70’s. It should hopefully be dry for tonight’s evening activity, the Hoedown, although it feels like it may rain in the near future.

In ILC sports, our 8th & 9th grade girls played basketball here at camp against a Wayne County camp. We didn’t win but our girls played hard. Our 5th and 6th grade girls played a soccer match out of camp this afternoon. I haven’t yet gotten word on how they did.

Tonight’s evening activity is the HOEDOWN! Yeeehaaawww! We will venture up to the hockey rink for a night of fun in the hay. Not only will we have music to dance to (country style but of course) but we will also have all of the following events happening in real time: line dancing (I’m going to guess that we’ll play “Cotton Eye Joe”!), marriage booth, pie eating contest (for the counselors), tractor photo shoot, find the Dum-Dum pops in the haystacks, the corn hole game, CIT’s relaxing in a horse trough of bath water, counselor petting zoo (which consists of them wearing animal onesies), and much more. We’ll have lots of photos to show you tomorrow.

Today’s special feature is TENNIS! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Sunday, July 29th

I’M BAAAAAACCCKKK!!! It’s Wendy here, back behind the keyboard once again. We returned from our successful trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls last night at 9:15pm. I’ll fill you in more about the trip later on in this blog. I just want to thank Dustin & Siobhan for writing such amazing blogs while I was away. They’re both very creative and their amazing writing skills shined right through these past 4 days.

We had party sunny skies here in Starrucca throughout the day. We started off a bit cool but the temperatures eventually rose to a perfect low 70’s with no humidity. It will probably be a cooler night once again but the temperatures will peak a bit higher tomorrow.

Today our dance team went to a nearby camp for a dance competition amongst many Wayne County Camps. Although our girls didn’t place, they enjoyed the experience and got some critical feedback to move forward with.

The Canada trip was a fantastic time for our campers. I, for one, am happy to be back home in the 18462 to enjoy our final couple of weeks with everyone here at camp. However, some of our campers weren’t yet ready to return because they were having too much fun. The kids got along very well with one another. They followed directions very,….uuuuhhhh, let’s just say that at last count, we returned with every child we left camp with.

We had great weather all 4 days away. It rained a bit on day 2 when we were at the CN Tower but we stayed nice and dry indoors. By the time we finished at this observation tower the rain had already passed. Other than that the weather was absolutely perfect for us in Canada.

Highlights of the trip: Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park- the lines were pretty short so the kids stayed entertained by going on the big rides multiple times: eating, eating, and more eating,…EVERYWHERE; Zach K. kissing a fish at the aquarium (picture to follow); Dave & Busters’ games, tickets, and prizes; getting soaked on the Hornblower Boat Ride; kids singing happy birthday to me and surprising me with a birthday brownie at dinner in Niagara (FYI, my birthday was in early July so it was an inside joke for them); riding the sky wheel on Clifton Hill; jet boating; returning to camp! (Oh wait that’s MY highlight!). I took tons of pictures (over 100) on the trip so I’ll feature some of them below in this blog and all will be posted on CampMinder today.

Since everyone on the trip missed the Luau on Friday, group 4 decided to make today their very own Hawaiian Day here at ILC. Many of them are sporting Hawaiian shirts and leis. Such rebels, huh?

Tonight’s evening activity is the big 2nd session SOCIAL! Our kids will put on their Sunday best (literally) and party like it’s 1999. An outside DJ will come to camp to turn the gym into a huge music festival with cool lights while pumping out the pop tunes.

Today’s special feature is from none other than the Canada Trip! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Saturday, July 28th

Hello parents and friends of Island Lake!

I hope that your day has been as gloriously sunny as ours has been, although I doubt yours could quite top ours here at ILC. Once again it is your favorite guest writer, Group Leader Siobhan, writing today’s post. I just wasn’t quite ready to relinquish this opportunity to tell you all what a great time we’ve been having here at 18462.

Today there were no inter-camp sports competitions so all of our campers enjoyed a day of fun at home base. To get the competitive juices flowing though, our group 1 and 3 boy’s Group Leaders, PJ and Big Mike had a tennis show down that entertained the masses during 3rd minor, providing enough sporting excitement for one day.

As per usual, theater rehearsals continued for You’re a Good man, Charlie Brown, and Sister Act. There’s no business like show business! Our budding chefs also continued to cook up a storm in the Bistro. Today’s meal of the day in the cooking department: Chicken Satay.

Some of my personal favorite minors on camp today include: aliens in a bottle in the Art Barn, Critter Catching in pioneering, and Ninja WOC in gymnastics. We truly have it all here at ILC!

As to our teen trip campers, I am happy to report that their day might possibly have rivaled ours here at camp. This morning the teen trip group checked out of their hotel, went on a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour, dined at the Queenstown Lewiston Duty Free for lunch, and stopped at Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY for dinner. We can’t wait to welcome them back to their home away from home tonight, and hear all their stories from the trip!

Tonight’s Evening Activity is Groups. The Group 1 and 4 girls will be having a campfire, with s’mores galore. What’s camp without a campfire, right? The Group 1 boys will be having a party in the canteen for their beloved Irish counselor, Mick (It’s an Irish takeover this year at ILC and I love it). Group 2 girls and boys will be partaking in a Mystery Tour, which promises to be as fun as it sounds. Group 3 girls and boys will be watching our in-house Island Lake movie, Beaverhead ( a rite of passage in every ILC camper’s life). Last but not least, our very sophisticated group 4 boys will be having a games night!

For those of you who are anxious to hear the answer to yesterday’s riddle, fret not, I will now provide you with the answer:

I won’t break if you throw me off from the highest building but I will if you place me in the ocean. What am I? A tissue! I hope the first parent to get the right answer duly took advantage of those bragging rights they were promised.

Here’s today’s riddle. It’s a short one!:

What bow can’t be tied?

All the best,

Your friendly neighborhood Siobhan

Friday, July 27th

Hello there, loyal readers-

My name is Siobhan (you may have already guessed correctly that I am, in fact, Irish). I am the Girls Group 3 Group Leader. But today I am also the guest writer for the ILC blog. Nice to meet y’all!

Yesterday we were off camp for one of the most anticipated Lazy Days of the summer, Dorney Park. The trip proved to be a roaring success and the weather held up for us, making it a day full of sunshine, good food, rollercoasters, and water rides.

This morning we had a lie in, and woke up to sunshine and mugginess. Not to worry though, today is Hawaiian Shirt Day, so all around camp our campers and counselors can be seen in their aerodynamic Hawaiian shirts.

Tonight’s Evening Activity is the LUAU, and we are all beyond excited! We will be having our best Hawaiian shirt contest, a musical towels contest, a photo booth, a slip n’ slid, a hula-hoop and limbo context, and a tiki bucket station where delicious mixed (soda and juice) drinks will be served with fruit as refreshments. To top it all off, our talented counsellors will be performing a dance for the campers to kick off the event. I can almost feel the ocean breeze hitting as I write this in my very own Hawaiian shirt!

For the rest of the day, camp activities continue as normal. Today in cooking the campers will be serving up pizzas and sloppy Joes, and in the Theater rehearsals continue for both Sister Act and You’re a good man, Charlie Brown. Some of our more adventurous campers have also set off on a hiking trip today with the pioneering department. There were no sports competitions today so our campers continue to train and play all around camp.

As to our friends on the Teen Trip, the fun also continues for them in Toronto. Yesterday they visited the Hockey Hall of Fame, after which they went to the Eaton Centre for lunch. In the afternoon they went to Ripley’s Aquarium, and the CN Tower before heading to Dave and Busters for dinner, and heading back to the hotel for some well-deserved shut-eye.

Today, the Teen Trip group visited Niagara Falls, went on a Hornblower Boat Ride, did a tour of the Clifton Hill Area, visited Ripley’s Believe it or Not, ate dinner at Al Mac’s Buffet, and topped a great day off with a turn around the Niagara Sky Wheel. Oh to be young again!

Continuing on in the legacy of our Beloved Wendy and Dustin, I will provide you with the answer to yesterday’s riddle:

I have keys but no locks. I have a space but no room. You can enter, but can’t go outside. What am I? A keyboard, of course!

Give this one a go! I won’t break if you throw me off from the highest building but I will if you place me in the ocean. What am I?

Bragging rights to the first parent to solve it.

It’s been fun dropping by, I hope your day has been as great as ours has been here at our home away from home, ILC!

Slán go foil (Bye for now, in Gaelic),

Group Leader Siobhan