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Wednesday, August 2nd

Happy 2nd day of Color War!   Last night’s rope burn was a very close call with the two teams’ ropes burning within a few minutes of one another. Ultimately, the grey Horror team won and took more of the time differential points.

At the end of each day, decorum points are handed out to the teams for cheering, dressing up, banners, sportsmanship, etc. The decorum points for day 1 went to the blue Comedy team. With the decorum points tallied up with all of yesterday’s friendly competitions, as of this morning the leading team with 322 more points was the blue West Coast team.

Today we woke up to partly cloudy skies and the temps rose to the mid 70’s. It started off as the perfect day to be running around outdoors for Color War. This morning we hosted the Swim Meet down by the lake and the pool. A variety of groups participated in the following on the lake: canoe relay, kayak relay, freestyle relay, medley relay (freestyle, backstroke), sweat suit relay, greased watermelon, & swim to the island and back. Here’s a list of activities that took place in the swimming pool: penny fetch, water basketball, medley relay, kickboard relay, paddleboard relay, & freestyle relay. Due to thunder, we ended the staff greased watermelon relay early and sent everyone back to the bunks before lunch. The winner of the Swim Meet was Comedy by a hair!

Another activity that runs throughout Color war is the “Find the Hatchet” event. The hatchet is hidden somewhere in camp. Our campers (who must be accompanied by a counselor) search high and low throughout ILC looking for the hatchet. Clues are given out one per day and are quite difficult to solve. Once the hatchet is found, the clues all make sense and the points are given to the team who finds it. This morning, during the team meeting, the Comedy team found the hatchet. We watched as they ran down the road screaming with pride.

We had some rain during lunch and afterwards but that’s ok because after lunch we had rest hour and then team meetings. After the meetings was snack break followed by Battle of the Bands. Our campers (& staff) played a variety of instruments, sang songs related to their team’s names, and each group had a separate battle against one another.  The whole camp stood up on their seats and sang and clapped along with the bands. Everyone was super into it, which was great. There’s been an amazing amount of Color War spirit these past couple of days. The winner of the Battle of the Bands was Comedy!

After the battle we ran sports. Here’s a list of what everyone played: Group 1 boys played kickball and girls played Gaga. Group 2 boys had an engineering challenge in science and the girls played charades in the theater. Group 3 boys played sand soccer and the girls played water basketball. Group 4 boys played chopped in cooking while the girls played a game of giant foosball at the hockey rink.

Sidebar: A few years ago we ran something called “Tribals”, which was a smaller version of Color War. We introduced the camp to “silent dinner” during that event. I personally loved it! A dining room filled with children and hardly a sound was made throughout the meal. So peaceful! Well, some older girls wanted us to bring it back and yesterday Matt told them that if they got 250 signatures from campers then we will apply it to Color War this summer. Well, these determined girls got right to it and brought him over 250 signatures first thing this morning after breakfast. Low and behold, tonight’s dinner will be a silent meal. Take note parents, as you may want to apply this event to your own homes after the summer!

Evening activity will be Lip Sync Battle and Music Videos. Each team has spent the past 2 days creating a music video that relates to their team’s theme. We’ll play them in the theater on a big screen for the entire camp to view tonight.

Lip Sync Battle is inspired by the tv show. Our team representatives will attempt to intimidate their opponents with their sweet dance moves and lip sync abilities. Each team will have 3 dance crews: lower camp (groups 1&2), upper camp/CITs (group 3&4), and counselors. Each crew will prepare two dances, complete with props, costumes, and a song relating to their theme. Each crew will compete head-to-head against their opponents. This is new to Island Lake Color War and I’m so excited to see it. I’ll report the winners to you in tomorrow’s blog.

Below are photos from this morning’s swim meet. Until tomorrow, our final day of this intense, powerful, yet fun-loving Color War, ILCUTHERE!

Tuesday, August 1st

Happy Color War ya’ll! The energy is high here at ILC as we complete our first full day of CW. We broke it directly after a surprise snack break Revival Night (or shall I call it “Revival Day”?) yesterday afternoon. Once the gun shots rang through the air, the whole camp ran to the gym where they picked up flyers to see which team they were on. We then introduced all of the officers of each team. The cheering immediately began and Color War was born!!! The next 3 days are all about Horror (grey) vs. Comedy (blue).

The kids had their first team meeting after introductions and then we played “5 Period Basketball” for evening activity. Different groups played each period (youngest to oldest) and the game ended with a staff round. In the end, the blue Comedy team dominated over the grey Horror but don’t worry, this is only the beginning.

This morning we woke up to sunny skies and warm temps outdoors. After breakfast and clean up, the teams each had their respective meetings. Once the meetings were over we started our first full camp Color War activity, Sports. We’ve changed up our Color War sports quite a bit this summer so here’s a list specifying what they all did. In Group 1 the boys went Fishing and the girls played Bocce Ball. In Group 2 the boys played Gaga and the girls played Sand Soccer. In Group 3 the boys played Kong Pong and the girls played Charades. In Group 4 the boys played Giant Foosball (which was really cool!) and the girls were broken up into two groups to play either Kong Pong or Chopped (in cooking). Our campers really seemed to enjoy this change of events from past summers. It was very close but the winner of sports was Grey Horror! At this point in the day the Blue Comedy team is only ahead by 8 points.

Following Sports was lunch and then rest hour and show rehearsals. In the early afternoon we held a Fire Brigade and then Tug O’ War. With the Fire Brigade, each team lined up from the lake all the way up the hill where there was a huge empty garbage can. The kids by the lake had small buckets, water pitchers, and drinking cups that they had to fill with water and then pass along to each and every child until it finally makes its way up to the large can. First team’s garbage can to overflow with water is the winner of the Fire Brigade. And that team was Horror!

Following the brigade was our traditional Tug O’ War up at the beach volleyball courts. Each group had representatives participate. The winner was Comedy!

The kids then went back to their bunks for a snack break followed by another team meeting. Late afternoon we hosted our annual trivia game, Unique. It’s held in the theater and it’s done group by group. The kids come up to the stage and stand before podiums with lights. When a camper knows the answer to a trivia question, whether it is related to the CW teams or camp, they flip a light switch and then answer. They earn points for their team by answering questions correctly. And the winner of Unique is,….Grey Horror!

It’s a tight race so far. Off to dinner we go, followed by the final team meeting for the day. Then the teams are off to present their entrance for the big Rope Burn. The counselors fetch wood and build their fires while the kids cheer them on. The first team to burn the rope with their fire wins. This is truly an amazing Island Lake tradition.

Below are some photos from sports earlier today. For more photos, please view our daily summer photos through CampMinder. Until more Color War scoop tomorrow when I tell you which team is in the lead, ILC U THERE!

Monday, 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,… (& I strongly encourage you read this entire blog!)

We woke to normal chilly temps but blue skies. As the sun rose, the temps warmed up for a perfect 80 degrees Starrucca day. Our overnight Delaware River trip returned and our tubing trip went out after breakfast this morning. They spent a few hours relaxing on what? Oh tubes, out on the Delaware but of course.

In ILC sports, our 8th & 9th grade and 10th & 11th grade girls had a volleyball tournament this morning here at camp. 5th & 6th grade girls went out of camp after lunch to play soccer in a tournament at a nearby Wayne County camp.

And then came snack break,…this usually consists of a 30 minute break back at the bunks, enjoying a mid-afternoon snack together. However, today was different. Halfway through snack, 2 gunshots rang out. Oh wait, it’s just another Color War fake break. It was the music that played throughout the camp on the loud speaker that excited our campers. What kind of music you ask? Revival music!!! That’s right, we surprised our campers with an afternoon Revival instead of a “Revival Night”! Everyone ran down to the lake to enjoy this Island Lake tradition. If you don’t know what Revival is, just ask your children when they get home. They’ll be more than happy to share the details with you.

So Revival went well as planned and all was good in the land of Starruccapa. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Gunshots sounded out,….ONE,….TWO,….THREE,….COLOR WAR HAS BEGUN!!! We are now officially in Color War for the next 3 days. It’s going to be great, it’s going to be nuts, it’s going to be fantastic!!! Not only are the next 3 days gonna rock, but we’ve adjusted some activities and events to make them more appealing to our campers with all different kinds of interests. Just you wait and see!

The Color War teams are Horror vs. Comedy! Which team do you think your children are on?   Aaahhh, let’s hope to find out via photos over the next 3 days. I’ll blog daily with Color War updates and post some photos from special events. Speedy will take tons of photos to post on CampMinder, as well. I hope you love every minute as much as our campers will.

Below are photos from last night’s HOEDOWN! The kids had a fantastic time playing in the hay,…literally! Many of them decked out in flannel, denim, hair braids,…and I haven’t even told you what the girls wore yet! (Just kiddin’!)

Back to Color War now. Go Blue! I mean Go Grey! I mean, have a great one and until tomorrow when I have lots of Color War info for ya, ILCUTHERE!!!

Sunday, July 30th

I’M BAAAAAACCCKKK!!! It’s Wendy here and we safely returned from our successful trip to Cleveland, Ohio last night around 9pm. I’ll fill you in more about the trip later on in this blog. I just want to thank Dustin for writing such amazing blogs while I was away. He’s very creative and it shined right through in his writing these past 4 days.

Here at camp it is COUNTRY WESTERN DAY! Yeehaaawww!!! Bust out your 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.

In ILC news, today is our overnight river trip for our canoe and kayak enthusiasts. 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.

Tonight we also have our annual Science Observatory Trip. They will leave after dinner and head to Binghamton, NY to the Kopernik Observatory and Science Center. There they’ll explore computer science, solar system travel, view a meteor shower, Lego robotics, and a whole lot more.

We had blue skies here in the 18462 today. The day started off very cool but the temperatures eventually rose to a perfect mid 70’s. It will probably be a cool night once again but the temperatures will peak a bit higher tomorrow.

The Cleveland 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 on 3 out of 4 days away. It rained a bit when we were at Cedar Point Amusement Park. Due to high winds (the park is right on Lake Erie) some of the larger thrill rides had to close. But there are so many different rides to choose from that it didn’t put a damper on any Island Laker’s day.

Highlights of the trip: Getting on the jumbotron at the Cleveland Indians game; eating, eating, and more eating; Dave & Busters’ games; everything at Cedar Point, for sure; that there are 4 claps in the Friends theme song (we watched enough episodes on the bus for everyone to now know); returning to camp! (Oh wait that’s MY highlight!). I took close to 100 pictures on the trip so I’ll feature some of them below in this blog and all will be posted on CampMinder today.

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, 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 from none other than the Cleveland Trip! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Saturday, July 29th

Hey, Best Friends! I’ve missed you. It’s been too long. I’ve got some bad news; this is my last blog entry before Wendy resumes her role as blog author extraordinaire. Please, don’t cry. I’ve shed enough tears for all of us. Besides, the great Dr. Seuss said it best, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” We’ll always have these last four days to cherish and reminisce about in the future.

Our weather today started off almost fall-like. We were downright chilly at breakfast, but as the sun rose high in the Pocono skies so did our temperatures. Today was a cracker of a day. We had blue skies and temperatures in the 70s. I don’t think we could have programmed anything better!

I spent a good part of the day visiting all the departments so I could observe the progress of our campers. It is extraordinary to see how far our campers have come since they arrived at camp. I saw a camper that could barely stand on a skateboard drop in from the half pipe; another, who in past summers, out and out avoided the water, take and pass her swim test while her bunkmates swam next to her in a show of solidarity. Whether it’s a bunk that has been together for years or there was a cabin of new campers, the bunk dynamic is incredible to witness. The counselors’ feel like the campers are “their kids”, and the campers return that affection. The family atmosphere that has developed throughout camp is fantastic to witness first hand.

Over in the City that LeBron built, our teen trip campers are wrapping up their Ohio adventures with a trip to Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park. I’m sure Wendy will have a full recap of today’s events tomorrow, but in the interim I will take an educated guess that fun was had by all and more than a few campers took a nice long nap on the bus ride back to camp!

That about does it for me folks; I had a blast keeping y’all updated on the ongoing adventures here at Island Lake.

Love and Latkes,


Friday, July 28

Aloha ahiahi, Island Lake Families!

‘Ohana is a Hawaiian term that means family. Watching our campers grow into a family has been a highlight that I will treasure from the summer. It truly feels like yesterday we were unloading buses and hugging campers’ hello; it’s dizzying to believe that come tomorrow there are just two weeks of camp left.

Why all the Hawaiian lingo, Dustin? Thank you for asking! Today is a very special day here at Island Lake because we’re having a theme day! The theme today is a reflection of tonight’s evening activity: A LUAU!

Campers are decked out in their best Hawaiian shirts, rocking some gorgeous handmade grass skirts, and there are leis as far as the eye can see. Our Group Leaders have been hard at work all day to bring a little bit of island flavor to the 18462. Tonight is shaping up to be a fun-filled night full of sand, surprises, ukuleles, hulas, and bubbles (so, so many bubbles).

This morning we sent campers and counselors from our Pioneering Department to Honesdale where they went on a hike, explored a cave, swam, and capped off the day with ice cream. I spoke with Olivia Rogers, a G14 camper and avid Pioneering enthusiast, about the trip. She exclaimed, “it was LIT!” which, I believe in camper parlance means she enjoyed herself immensely.

Changing gears and heading over to that magical land we fondly refer to as the last frontier, the land of opportunity, a place where the campers instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano: Cleveland. Our campers spent today at the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States. Cedar Point, known as “America’s Roller Coast,” the park features a world-record 71 rides, including 16 roller coasters – second most in the world (thank you Wikipedia!).

Our slideshow tonight is a collection of photos from today’s Hawaiian themed day along with some snaps from the Luau! Enjoy and a hui hou (until we meet again), ILCUTHERE!!

Thursday, July 27

Good Tidings, Best Friends!

It’s Dustin again and I’m here to provide you with the 411 on all the merriment taking place here at Island Lake.

Today started rainy and cloudy but the weather quickly improved and we enjoyed some blue skies and temps in the 70’s,

While we didn’t have any Sports taking place today, we do tomorrow so today was chalk full of sign ups and practices. Fingers crossed that in tomorrow’s blog I can regale you all with stories of Island Lake’s dominance on the athletic fields!

Our Teen Trip is in full swing and our campers spent a fun filled day in that magical, mysterious, mythical land they call Cleveland. Our crew spent the morning taking in the sites and sounds at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some sweet Elvis swag from Wendy! The afternoon was spent at the Great Lake Science Center for some fun hands-on learning that culminated in a screening of “Incredible Predators” in their Dome Theatre. This evening dinner and entertainment brings the ILC teens to Dave & Busters.

Tonight’s Evening Activity is Groups!

Girls Group 1 is embracing their creative side with a game of The Great Imposter; while Girls Groups 3 & 4 saw how much fun Lip Sync Battle was yesterday and demanded they have a go at it tonight! Girls Group 2 is teaming up with Boys 2 for some Crazy Balloon Games in the Gym. Our older boys are keeping their arms loose because tonight is the camp classic Dodgeball!

Before I let you go, I’ve attached an assortment of photos from the day. There’s nothing like the smile on a camper’s face to get you through today and keep you excited for tomorr


Wednesday, July 26th

Hi Island Lake Families! We finally had a beautiful day in Starrucca, PA. After seemingly endless days of rain showers and cloud cover, we had a gorgeous day with mild temperatures and lots of sunshine.

Today was Wednesday, which means a Lazy Day here on camp. The campers had a late wakeup, brunch, and then we headed out to a couple different activities. Our Group 1 and 2 campers went to the movies. They watched Cars 3 and after speaking with a variety of campers the consensus was it was a great movie but the popcorn and candy was even better! Groups 3 and 4 went hit the lanes for some intense bowling.

This morning, bright and early at 6:30am, our teen trip hit the open road for beautiful Cleveland. Oh, Cleveland: Land of Enchantment; the city that never sleeps; land of ten thousand lakes.

EDITORS NOTE: Dustin has never actually been to Cleveland.

Our 9th grade and older campers who signed up for the trip, along with four staff members and Wendy, are in for an adventure of a lifetime.   They arrived in Cleveland around 2:00pm and went straight to the Football Hall of Fame to soak up all the majesty that is the National Football League. Following the Hall of Fame and a brief stop at their hotel, the gang will be heading to a Cleveland Indians game for the night. The Indians are locked in a tight 2-2 game with the Angels. Check out Sportcenter tonight, maybe you’ll see a familiar face!

Back at camp tonight’s evening activity was Groups. The Girls and Boys Group Leaders had a little something special planned for the campers.

Girls Groups 1 and 2 battled it out on the theatre stage in a Lip Sync Battle; while Girls Groups 3 and 4 chilled at the campfire with s’mores and guitars. Meanwhile, the Boys activities were camp classics: Gaga for Group one, Kong Pong for Group two, and Capture the Flag for our Group three and four boys.

That’s all for tonight but tune back in tomorrow for the continuing adventures here at Island Lake. Until then, ILCUTHERE!

Tuesday, July 25th

Today was another cloudy day in Starrucca, PA. Don’t you like it better when I say it’s a “beautiful day in Starrucca, PA?” I definitely do. The temps cooled off late yesterday into the evening hours so we only hit the mid 60’s today. Pretty wild for July temps, huh?   We had some rain on and off in the morning only. This cool rainy weather won’t last too long, don’t worry.

We still had some sporting events today, regardless of the wet weather. 8th & 9th grade boys played baseball this morning out of camp. 6th & 7th grade girls also went out this afternoon to play basketball. Lastly, 8th & 9th grade girls played soccer here at home today.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early at 6:30am we are leaving for our teen trip to Cleveland, Ohio. 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 the Midwest. Everyone is very excited for the trip. We will post photos of the trip with our daily summer photos and on this blog on Sunday once we return.

Tomorrow we will head straight to the Football Hall of Fame. After that we will go check into our hotel and then head to Progressive Field to see the Cleveland Indians take on the LA Angels. On Thursday we will visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and then the Great Lakes Science Center (a great hands-on museum that our campers have loved in trips past). We’ll watch an IMAX movie at the science center and then head to Dave & Busters for some dinner and a night of fun and games.

All day Friday will be spent at Cedar Point Amusement Park, one of the largest amusement parks in the world. Saturday we will start to head back towards camp and stop off at Splash Lagoon, an indoor water park, on the way. We should arrive back at camp around 10pm. Everyone going to Cleveland is super excited for this trip.

Tonight’s evening activity is ILC Game Night! Have you ever watched “Hollywood Game Night” on tv? If so, it’s very similar to that but altered for camp with ILC-related trivia questions and games.

Today’s special feature is last night’s Ceilidh dance party! It’s a little different because I posted a video instead of photos. Enjoy!

While I’m away in Cleveland, 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 Saturday night so I’ll be back behind the keyboard once again on Sunday. Until then, ILCUTHERE!

Monday, July 24th

Hi Island Lake Parents! Last night we had lots of rain that stuck around until breakfast this morning. Lucky for us, by 1st major the clouds started parting and blue sky peeped through here and there. We were fortunate that it stayed dry most of the day. The rain only just started again for 3rd major.

Our intercamp games have started up once again so we had a few sporting events take place today. Our young gymnasts went out of camp for a full day competition at another camp in Wayne County. 4th & 5th grade girls headed out of camp after lunch for a soccer game. 8th & 9th grade girls went out for a basketball game this afternoon, as well.

This Wednesday, 2 days from now, over 50 campers, 4 staff members (including 2 group leaders), and I will hop on a coach bus and head to Cleveland, Ohio for 4 days of fun. We are very excited to check out the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Football Hall of Fame, Cedar Point Amusement Park, visit an awesome hand-on science museum, attend a Cleveland Indians game, along with some other great attractions. We’ll be away from camp for 4 days/3 nights and we’ll return to camp on Saturday night. Our teen campers are getting soooo EXCITED for this trip! It’s usually the highlight of the summer for them.

At snack break today I held my big Cleveland trip meeting with all of our campers and staff who are participating. I handed out the itinerary, a packing list, talked about our expectations while we are out of camp, and discussed details about the trip overall. Have I mentioned how incredibly excited our 9th grade and older kids participating in this trip are for our 4 days of fun? We have a great group of kids going so we’re all really pumped.

Back here at camp, tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s a list of what’s going on tonight: GIRLS: Group 1- Hungry Hungry Hippo (the boardgame comes to life!); Group 2- Cupcake Wars; Groups 3&4- Ceilidh (pronounced “Kee-lee”) (it’s a Scottish dance that our Scottish counselors will teach all of the kids in girls group 4 and boys groups 3&4). On the BOYS side: Group 1- Casino Night; Group 2- Pioneering Team Building; Groups 3&4- Ceilidh.

Today’s special feature is DANCE! Enjoy and until tomorrow when we’ll do this all over again, ILCUTHERE!