Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sunday, July 15th

Hi Island Lake families! For all of you who joined us here at camp yesterday, I hope you had a wonderful Visiting Day with your children. I especially hope you received tons of positive feedback from your kids and their counselors while also getting to see activities that your children have been participating in all summer long. The weather gods were working in our favor and we had a fantastic day with all of you, so thanks for coming.

Speaking of weather news, the sunshine stayed with us all day yesterday through Visiting Day and the waterflight. It rained at the end of dinner and then the downpour came later at night during evening activity. We had quite a storm roll through, as some of you may already know if you were still staying up here in this neck of the woods overnight. Fortunately, we woke up to warm dry weather and it’s stayed that way all day today. It’s was more cloudy than usual in the earlier half of the day but now it’s once again the perfect Starrucca day- not a cloud in the sky.

In ILC sports, our 6th & 7th grade boys played in a tennis tournament today during the morning and afternoon hours. Amongst the 12 camps participating, our boys made it into the semi-finals. Not bad, huh? Our 11th grade and under boys had another soccer match, this time at a different Wayne County camp. They didn’t leave until later in the afternoon so I don’t yet know if we won.

A reminder of the riddle from 2 days ago: What is the difference between one yard and two yards? The answer: a fence. Hardy haha! Ok, here’s today’s riddle: What is always coming but never arrives?

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s the breakdown: GIRLS: Group 1- self-portraits with Stacey (in arts & crafts); Group 2- campfire; Group 3- spa day; Group 4- messy twister (an AMAZING evening activity for the oldest girls each summer. It’s a huge life-size twister board and a great big paint fight. The girls have the best time. Pics to follow tomorrow!): Boys: Group 1- gaga; Group 2- campfire; Group 3- gaga; Group 4- capture the flag (they love it,…what can I say?)

Since your kids still have tons of junk in the bunk, canteen will be closed tonight. They’ll still have the opportunity to hang out at the gym until curfew, as usual. Don’t worry about your children’s junk food coma’s, I’m doing my best to help them eat it all in within 3 days!

Our special feature for today is actually from last night’s evening activity, Squeaky Clean. They are a rock & roll band and they’ve been coming to Island Lake to perform for over 20 years now. It’s somehow become tradition for our campers to dress up for this show, either by dressing in a onesie or,…wait for it,…wait for it,….by dressing up in shower attire! And by shower attire I mean bathrobes, towels, hair twirlies, etc. I just had to grab my camera and snap some photos from this event to show you all of the silliness and fun that our campers and counselors have at this social event. Enjoy these pics and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Posted July 15th, 2018 by

Saturday, July 14th

Happy Visiting Day everyone! We hope you all had a WONDERFUL time here at ILC today. Lots of parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends joined us to spend the day with their campers. Today was a fantastic experience for everyone. I loved having the opportunity to see and speak with so many of you. It means the world to hear what a wonderful summer your children are having here at ILC.

Our annual post-Visiting Day water fight was a huge success. This event was a great distraction for those campers who had some difficulty saying goodbye to their parents. Hot sunny day + cold water = happy wet campers!

Tonight’s evening activity is Squeaky Clean! They’re a rock and roll band who perform here at camp every summer on the night of Visiting Day. Squeaky Clean covers classic rock and roll oldies but goodies such as “Stop In the Name of Love.” We are excited to sing and dance along with them tonight in the gym. Canteen will be closed after evening activity since there is soooooo much junk food in the bunks.   Curfews will still be regular time for everyone.

I just want to take a moment to thank all of you who took the opportunity today to thank me for all of these blogs. I was overwhelmed by all of your wonderful feedback, so thank you very much. I’ve been attending sleep away camp since the age of 2 (I’m 30 years old in case you’re wondering,…wink wink!) so camp is truly in my blood. I live and die for this place and I love telling you all things camp so you can feel as if you are part of the ILC family here, too.

Ok, I’ll stop getting sappy now. I hope you all had the most fantastic, stupendous, remarkable, memorable time here at ILC today. Until tomorrow, the start of our final week of 1st session, ILCUTHERE!

Friday, July 13th

Happy “Visiting Day Eve”! We’ve been preparing for this very special day and we anticipate that it will be fantastic for all. Please peruse yesterday’s blog for more details about tomorrow’s festivities.

I know I sound monotonous at this point but once again we had a beautiful day in Starrucca, PA. We woke up with some clouds mixed but by afternoon the temps rose to the low 80’s with hardly a cloud in the sky. Did we even have 1 day like this last summer? I love this camp weather!

There’s been a weather update for tomorrow that you should continue to follow on your devices. There is now up to a 50% chance of rain in the afternoon hours. This can change again many times so please be prepared when you come to camp tomorrow morning.

In ILC sports, I found out late in the day yesterday that a couple of our avid golfers went out of camp yesterday morning for a big competition against several other camps. In their group of about 20, they placed 3rd and 5th. Whoop whoop! Our 9th– 11th grade boys went to another camp this morning to play in a soccer match and we won, 9-0! Great job to our boys with the shutout! Over 20 of our avid pioneers took a trip to Prompton State Park in Honesdale, PA for a climbing trip today.

Being that this is our 33rd summer of ownership here at Island Lake, we currently have campers of alumni who attended ILC in our early years. As the group gets larger and larger each summer, I like to gather those kids for an annual photo. Here’s our session 1 group of “alumni campers.”

The answer to yesterday’s riddle was ember or lava. Here’s today’s riddle: What is the difference between one yard and two yards? I tried guessing the following: more to mow, 3 feet, the letter “s”, but apparently none of these are the answers. Help me!

Tonight’s evening activity is the amazing, fantastic, superb hypnotist, Brad Henderson! Our campers and staff will witness Brad hypnotize about 15 of our counselors on the theater stage. This is another one of our campers’ favorite evening activities. They get to watch their counselors embarrass themselves while doing hysterically funny things in front of the camp. Tonight is also ETB, Early To Bed. Once our counselors are done making fools out of themselves on stage (hardy haha!), everyone will go back to their bunks to get a good night’s rest for tomorrow’s festivities.

Today’s special feature is ROCK SHOP! Until tomorrow, when we will see many of your smiling faces here at Island Lake, ILCUTHERE!

Thursday, July 12th

Hi ho, hi ho, back to majors and minors we go! Only 2 more days until Visiting Day! Pretty wild how quickly it snuck up on us, huh? All camp parents should have now received an email from my account regarding this Saturday’s festivities. There will be more info about Visiting Day further below in this blog.

On the weather front, another great day of blue skies, warm temps, and hardly any humidity in the air. The weather gods are definitely making things up to us after last year’s cold and rainy weather (Knock on wood! Knock on wood!).

Today was a busy day for many of our Island Lakers. Our gymnastics campers went out of camp for a big competition this morning. Our 8th & 9th grade boys’ basketball team went out of camp to play in a game this morning too. Our ILC Tennis Open continues with its next round being played today.

Over 50 children also left camp this morning for a tubing trip down the Delaware River and returned in the afternoon. This is always a fun and relaxing day for those who participate.

Saturday is approaching fast and with that comes our one and only annual Island Lake Visiting Day! (Cheers in the background,…woohoo,…yay!) We know you’re excited to come up to camp to see your children and we’re excited to have you join us. We will have lots of activities and exhibits going on all day along with a huge lunch buffet. If you prefer, you can take your children out of camp for the day.

I’m sure you’re planning to bring lots of junk food, baked goods, and sushi to shower your children with affection so please keep in mind that we discard all of the food 2 days later. Do not bring so much that your children have to throw away lots of great homemade brownies, cookies, bagged chips, chocolate, grandma’s secret recipes, etc. We truly hate to waste food, so don’t shlep too much up here.  We kindly as that you do not bring anything with peanuts or tree nuts in it.

Please refrain from bringing bottled water and drinks, too. We have amazing well water here at camp that tastes as good as bottled water. Bottled drinks will also be discarded so save yourself the hassle of carrying these heavy items into camp.

Visiting Day hours are from 9:30am-3:30pm. If you leave camp for the day, please bring your children back on time for our other annual super duper, huge, extravagant Water Fight! Parents are fair game if you’re still here for the water fight so just remember; quick and speedy goodbyes are easier on your children. We expect that some campers will be in tears so our staff will be around to help them through what’s usually just a short moment of sadness. The water fight is a great distraction to get children through their difficult goodbyes. Please work with us and know your children are in great hands here at camp.

In today’s issue of the ILC Morning News, the riddle is the following: What turns from red to black as soon as it touches water?

Tonight’s evening activity is the Island Lake Film Festival! Each bunk had the opportunity to make their own ‘bunk video’ with a television theme. They submitted their videos and will be shown to the camp tonight for evening activity. Certificates will later be awarded for the following categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.


Today’s special feature is THEATER & DANCE! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday, July 11th

Today was Lazy Day so our campers all went out of camp for the day. We had a big brunch at 9:30am before the kids departed for their fun destinations. Although we had a quick rainstorm come through camp yesterday just before and during dinner, we woke up to mostly sunny skies this morning once again. The temps dropped a bit and we reached the mid-70’s with mostly blue skies all day today.

Groups 1 & 2 went to Montage Mountain Water Park where they had a fantastic day outdoors. Groups 3 & 4 went to Sky Zone, a trampoline park just outside of Scranton, PA.

Here’s a reminder of yesterday’s riddle: Neither bought nor sold but more valuable than gold. I am built but not by hand. What am I? The answer is Trust! Good one, huh? There’s no riddle today since it’s lazy day. I’ll start up again tomorrow when it’s posted in our morning news. I love hearing from some of you with your guesses. I even had one parent emailing me riddle answers while driving in traffic! (Shout out to you, Jill! Good job figuring it out!)

And now back to camp,….our kids all returned before dinner so we dined outdoors at the picnic tables where we had our weekly cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, and all of the trimmings and sides. Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s the rundown for ya: GIRLS: Group 1 & 2- karaoke night; Group 3- messy fashion show with boys group 1 (that should be interesting!); Group 4- pool party (with boys group 4): BOYS: Group 1- messy fashion show with girls group 3; Group 2- kong pong & gaga; Group 3- capture the flag; Group 4- pool party (with girls group 4).

Until tomorrow when our majors & minors will resume and I’ll have more photos for you once again, ILCUTHERE!

Tuesday, July 10th

Happy Dress Like Your Favorite Counselor Day here at Island Lake! You should see some cute photos on CampMinder of your kids all dressed up like many of our staff. It’s always so much fun for our campers and our counselors.

On the weather front, we once again we woke up to beautiful blue skies and perfect morning temps which warmed up to the low 80’s. Some clouds rolled in this afternoon and there’s still a chance of some rain in the next few hours, but so far so good. This summer has been unreal with this fantabulous weather.

Tomorrow is already our 3rd Lazy Day of the summer. Where does the time go? We’re going to send our campers on a few different adventures. Boys and girls groups 1 & 2 will go to Montage Mountain Water Park. Groups 3 & 4 will go to Sky Zone for a fun day of jumping on trampolines. Please remember that our camp photographer will not be posting photos tomorrow but he’ll try to get pics up as soon as possible Thursday morning.

Today was a very busy day in sports. We hosted our annual 8th & 9th grade boys’ volleyball tournament here at camp today.  A few other camps came here to play in an elimination tournament and guess what? We won the entire tournament! Go boys volleyball!  Our baseball fanatics took a trip to Cooperstown today to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. Our avid golfers went to a nearby golf course to play 9 holes this morning. The ILC Open is still running strong on the tennis courts. Lastly, we also hosted a mountain biking competition against a nearby camp this afternoon. Each camper is currently participating in timed trials (it’s 3rd minor right now as I post this online), one at a time, to see who can ride up and down hills around camp in the best time.

So as to not sound like we’re only all about sports, our theater campers are busy rehearsing and preparing for their upcoming performances of The Wedding Singer and Wizard of Oz. I can’t wait to see these shows at the end of the session. Our dancers are practicing for their end of the session show next week. Our rock band kids are jamming out in order to fine-tune their skills for their show at the end of the session, as well. Our magicians are practicing for their show with card tricks, coin tricks, illusion, balloon animals, and more. Lastly, our circus performers are practicing really hard to become “The Greatest Showmen” at the end of the session. See if you can figure out that pun!

I guess that’s a great segway into tonight’s evening activity. We’re going to have the kids go to the canteen first and then head to the theater for the whole camp to watch the movie, “The Greatest Showman.”  They will then have LTB, Late to Bed, since tomorrow is Lazy Day with a 9:30am brunch.

Oh yeah, I can’t forget the riddle section of the blog. The answer to yesterday’s riddle, as some of you reached out to me and figured out correctly, is a golf ball. Today’s riddle is: Neither bought nor sold but more valuable than gold. I am built but not by hand. What am I?

Abracadabra, today’s special feature is MAGIC! Enjoy and until tomorrow, which will be a much shorter blog since the kids will be out of camp all day for Lazy Day, ILCUTHERE!

Posted July 10th, 2018 by

Monday, July 9th

Hello ILC Families! Today was another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA with bright blue skies and temps reaching the low 80’s. It was another perfect summer day for sleep away camp. Today was a busy day so lots to share with you, including a special blog tradition, so keep on reading.

Here is the link to our week 2 video. Be sure to check it out. It features activities and our special 4th of July celebration.

In ILC sports, our 9th – 11th grade girls went out of camp this morning to play in a tennis tournament, which lasted through the afternoon. They just returned and several of our campers made it to the semi-finals as well as the finals. Our 8th & 9th grade boys played in a basketball tournament this afternoon out of camp. We also started our annual ILC Open this morning. It’s an in-camp tennis tournament for kids of all ages and all levels. The tournament will be completed with a list of winners to come towards the end of the 1st session.

The answer to yesterday’s riddle was the letter “T”. Today’s riddle is a bit easier (since even I figured out the answer at breakfast): I can be driven but have no wheels. I can be sliced but still remain whole. What am I?

Last night a bunk of girls entering 8th grade decided to throw a B’nai Mitzvah for 2 girls in their bunk who are not Jewish but attended all of their Bat Mitzvahs this past summer. The 2 girls brought dresses to camp for their big night & the whole celebration was hysterical. Female campers from all of the neighboring 8th grade bunks attended as the kids gave speeches, had a photo montage (someone has a mini-projector), and they had a big dance party. Of course, I had to drop by and take some photos of this classic event. Below are a few highlights:

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 3 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 at their home away from home. They told stories and gave me quotes:

Shana: So I think it was our G12 summer and we went to Dorney Park. There was the thunder canon ride, which was rapids, and our bunk had to split up because there wasn’t room for us on 1 boat. So I decided to throw my flip-flop from 1 boat to another and Elaina decided to toss it in the river. And then we watched it float away. When we got back to camp we buried the lonely flip-flop behind our bunk. My nickname for the next two years was “Lonely Flip-flop”.

Mackenzie: This story is titled, “The Journey of Mr. Bubbles.” It was a few months before camp and I decided that our bunk needed a new addition this summer. I decided I was going to get us a bunk pet. I couldn’t bring any furry animals so why not bring a fish. It’s not like anyone can be allergic to them. So it’s the day before camp starts and I go to the pet store and I buy a fish. The morning of the start of camp I put it in a water bottle and I put it in my bag to take on the bus. Once we got on the bus I open the water bottle and he was just sitting with Montana and me the whole time. We get to camp and we try to slyly set up the bowl and introduce him to the whole bunk. Everyone came into the bathroom so the surprise was ruined but it’s 2 ½ weeks later and he’s still thriving. We even made a video about him.

Camp Pranks 2016- we teepee’d Matt’s office porch so he put our beds on the picnic tables. We then spray chalked and shaving creamed “16”, our bunk number, all over his office windows. He then screwed our bunk doors shut. We then saran wrapped his entire golfcart. He then took our shoes and our mirrors and made us bow down to him in front of the camp to get them back. We then had a truce for the rest of the summer.

Spider Club- when we were in G12 we had to all pick up a spider behind our bunk in order to overcome our fear of spiders. We then named ourselves the “Spider Club”.

“Because we get to do stuff we never have the opportunity to do at home and we get to form bonds with people that you wouldn’t get at home, it makes camp different. You live with them 24/7.” –Jessica

“No phones!” –Elaina (Note: They said they love not being connected here at camp!)

“It’s been such an amazing 7 years. I can’t believe this is our last summer.” –Mackenzie

“At camp no one is afraid to hold back. Everyone just always has a great time. We get to just go for it. It’s a no judge zone. Each day we get to make good memories. We get to be crazy together. It’s a little bubble. Island Lake has become such a special place for all of us over the past 7-8 years. It’s the sweetest escape. You get to make a new home and a new family.” –all of the girls

I hope you enjoyed hearing what G24 had to say. Tonight’s evening activity is our super duper much anticipated 1st session SOCIAL! An outside DJ comes to camp to spin some tunes in the gym and get our campers up and boogying all night long. Ok, perhaps they don’t call it “boogying” anymore, but ya know what I mean. Our girls love to get dressed up and do their hair and make-up for the socials. You should see how cute our little girls look! On the boys’ side, if they shower, comb their hair, and put on a clean shirt then we consider that a win.

Today’s special feature is the G24 BLOG! Sari and Olivia missed the fun while they were out of camp playing in the tennis tournament. Disclaimer: Ignore my finger at the top of one of the photos! Enjoy a few photo highlights below and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Sunday, July 8th

Today was literally a “Sun”-day Fun-day here at Island Lake! Beautiful blue skies, temps in the upper 70’s, low humidity…who could ask for better? Our campers are all settled into their majors and continue to try out next exciting activities for their minors. To show you what a “Sunday Funday” we had here at camp, I took a variety of photos from activities all around the 18462. They’re posted at the bottom of this blog. I apologize that I couldn’t capture every department but over the course of the summer I will do my best to hit them all up.

Yesterday’s Rookie Day was FANTASTIC! We had almost 30 kids who experienced a day in the life of an Island Laker for the very first time. A special thank you to our group leaders and CIT’s who worked very hard with these kids to make their day so special and memorable. We hope they will be amongst our 2019 new recruits.

This morning a little girl from bunk 2 went up to Matt and told him that she had a dream last night that her horse, Gunther, turned into a unicorn. Well, you all know that here at Island Lake we make dreams come true, right? During 1st minor, our horseback riding staff and campers actually dressed Gunther up and turned him into a unicorn! Here are some pics for proof!

In sports news, our 8th & 9th grade girls played lacrosse here at home this afternoon. We won by a score of 18-11. How awesome is that?

For those of you who are wondering what the answer was to yesterday’s riddle, it’s ECHO! Thank you for those of you who reached out to me. Here’s today’s riddle for your enjoyment: I can travel from there to here by disappearing, and here to there by reappearing. What am I?

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS. Here’s a list of what everyone is doing: GIRLS: Group 1- campfire & s’mores; Group 2- Spa Night with boys group 2 (this should get very interesting. Nails, hair, make-up galore!); Group 3- crazy games in the gym with boys group 3; Group 4- campfire with boys group 4. BOYS: Group 1- capture the flag; Group 2- spa night with girls group 2; Group 3- crazy games with girls group 3; Group 4- campfire with girls group 4.

Today’s feature is SUNDAY FUNDAY! Enjoy this medley of photos of your kids busy having a blast here at camp. Until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Saturday, July 7th- Rookie Day

Happy Rookie Day! Today we had almost 30 future Island Lakers come to camp and receive the royal ILC treatment. They experienced activities, dined with us for lunch, received a special magic show during snack break, and had a big pool party at the end of the day. These children made friends with other rookies, in addition to our current campers. Some rookies are younger siblings of our campers and some rookies are the first in their family to get a taste of what Island Lake has to offer.

We had beautiful blue skies today, the temps were much cooler, and no humidity to hold anyone back from having fun. The afternoon temps hit only in the low 70’s. What a difference from a few days ago! Our rookies chose from a variety of activities all around camp while our campers continued with their majors and minors today.

Last night our pioneering campers had an overnight up at “tent city.” That’s one of the highest points in camp with an area all cleared out for them to pitch tents, build fires, make s’mores, tell stories, and get a good night sleep under the stars. They returned by breakfast, as well as our overnight river trip campers. Those who went on the river trip raved about their experience. Some of the girls had the funniest quote I’ve heard in awhile, “We thought we were going ‘glamping’ and then found out that we were camping!” Gotta love pre-teen girls, huh?

In ILC sports our 8th & 9th grade girls played basketball at a nearby camp this afternoon. Spoiler alert: They won with a score of a lot to a little! Go Island Lakers!

When Oliver, our program director, makes up the daily “ILC MORNING NEWS” for the kids to read when signing up for their minors at breakfast, she likes to add some fun riddles for the kids to figure out. She doesn’t post the answer until the following day. I already asked her for some help with yesterday’s riddle so I didn’t want to push it and ask her for today’s answer. Can any of you figure out this riddle (without looking it up on google, Siri, or Alexa!)? If you can figure it out, please email me the answer at Here’s the riddle: Be sure to shout for its answers are weak, but there is no language it cannot speak.

Tonight’s evening activity is a camp-wide fav: Mr. & Miss ILC! This is a special one for the books. The girls’ bunks dress up male counselors and the boys’ bunks dress up female counselors to look, act, and perform as the opposite gender. Mr. & Ms. ILC is a light-hearted, fun pageant and quite an entertaining show for everyone involved, including our spectators. It’s all about being in the audience to enjoy this evening activity.

Today’s special feature is ROOKIE DAY! Below are a variety of pics of our rookies participating in Island Lake activities. Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Posted July 7th, 2018 by

Friday, July 6th

We’re baaaaaack! ! Today we’re back to our majors and minors after celebrating a super fun 4th of July holiday here at camp and then spending an amazing Lazy Day out of camp yesterday. Groups 1&2 went to Sky Zone, group 3 went to Montage Mountain Waterpark, and group 4 spent the day in Ithaca. The weather was beautiful with no rain in the forecast. Ithaca was pretty hot but the kids had the opportunity to swim in the gorges so they enjoyed cooling off. Our campers at Montage also stayed cool with the waterpark attractions. And our Sky Zone kids, well, they had air conditioning!

Below is a link to a video of a talented camper, Trey, taking a dip in the Ithaca water:

Camper Diving Board Flip

This morning we woke up to some rain but it was over by the time Matt finished his wake-up call. The skies were pretty dreary at the start of the morning as the temps made their way to the upper 60’s. Luckily by lunchtime the sun started peeping out and by afternoon we had the perfect summer day with lower humidity and temps in the low 70’s.

Today is our first session overnight river trip for all of our canoe and kayak enthusiasts. A group of campers departed this morning for a fun trip down the Delaware River. Tonight they will camp out under the stars (in tents) at nearby camp ground. I’m looking forward to receiving feedback tomorrow from these kids regarding how fun this trip was.

In ILC sports our 8th & 9th grade girls softball team played a nearby camp this morning. Our 4th & 5th grade boys basketball team also played a game here at home this morning.

Tonight’s evening activity is the finale of ILC’s Got Talent! Our performers will take to the stage to sing, dance, do stand-up, etc. for the entire camp to enjoy. It should be an entertaining evening for all. After evening activity we have ETB, Early to Bed. These kiddies need a good night’s rest (as do their counselors!). Have a good rest of your Friday and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!