Friday, July 12th

Aloha everyone! Tonight is our Luau here at camp so our campers and counselors are dressed up in their Hawaiian gear today. As you all know from our emails, we woke up this morning with no power throughout camp, and we hear the entire area of Starrucca was out.  You don’t realize how much you rely on electricity and wifi until it’s taken from you. When it returned towards the end of 1stminor we all cheered in the office.  I even heard campers cheering out and around camp when they heard power was restored.

So now that Lazy Day is behind us and the power outage is old news, camp continues for us here at ILC.  We had a bunch of campers leave today for our overnight river trip.  They take canoes and kayaks to the Delaware River where they go boating for the day. They then pitch tents at the nearby campgrounds overnight and they will return to camp tomorrow morning.

We also had some sporting events take place today.  Our 8th  & 9th  grade girls played in a lacrosse tournament here at camp this morning.  Unfortunately we did not win.  Our 4th  & 5th  grade boys basketball team went out this afternoon to a nearby camp to also play in a tournament game.  I don’t know the results yet, sorry.

Today’s weather has changed quite a bit throughout the day.  The morning was mostly cloudy and although it looked like we might have some rain, we were lucky and the precipitation stayed away.  In the afternoon some of those clouds parted ways and we had partly sunny skies (see, I’m the optimist!  I’m saying partly sunny instead of partly cloudy!).  The temps reached the mid 70’s by the afternoon hours.

Today’s riddle was a little joke Oliver (our program director who creates the morning news and minors sheets every day) played on our campers:  What happened to the power this morning?  But hey, if any of you know why we lost power, we’d love to know!!!

Tonight’s evening activity is the big Luau!  It will be held in the gym and the grassy hill above the gym.  Here’s a list of all of the events that will take place: There will be an opening dance performed by many of our staff.  We will also have the slip & slide out, a water balloon toss, a hoola-hoop contest, and limbo.  We’ll have a Hawaiian playlist of music and we’ll be passing out tiki beverages.  It should be a blast.  I’ll take photos and post them tomorrow.

Today’s special feature is photos from our girls’ evening activity last night.  They had a big sister/little sister bonding party. Enjoy the photos below and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Thursday, July 11th

Happy Lazy Day!  Today was our second 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 assortment of eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, cold cereal, fruit salad, and our famous delicious sticky buns. Prior to brunch we had an optional breakfast at 8am for our early risers.

Prior to brunch, we had a quick rain shower pass through.  Our weather today wasn’t as stellar as it has previously been, but we were due for a cloudy day since we haven’t had one in quite awhile.  The gloomy weather didn’t affect us much since our campers were indoors at the movies and bowling alley.

Speaking of which, Groups 1 & 2 went to the bowling alley in Binghamton and Groups 3 & 4 went to the movie theater in Deposit to see Spiderman:  Far From Home.  The older kids said they really liked the movie.  Our younger kids had so much fun at the bowling alley where they went on bumper cars, played arcade games, and hey, some even bowled!

Yesterday’s riddle:  You can see me in water but I never get wet. What am I?  Answer: REFLECTION!  Congrats to Amanda H., Rachel B., and Meredith W. (not her husband this time around) for emailing me the correct answer.  A reminder to all of you other parents:  Feel free to email me your guesses for the daily riddles to find out if you got the answer correct and have your name posted in the following day’s blog.  I can be reached at

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS.  Here’s a breakdown of what everyone is doing:  GIRLS: Groups 1 & 3- Big Sister/Little Sister;  Groups 2 & 4- Big Sister/Little Sister.  We will match up the little ones with the older ones and they will do a bonding activity such as manicures/pedicures, makeovers, etc. BOYS:  Group 1- Moo Moo Capture.  It’s a big game of tag that involves wolves, calves, and cows.  The cows have to protect the calves and there’s a whole bunch of other rules involved.  Group 2- Casino Night.  DISCLAIMER: No real money will be exchanged! Group 3 & 4- Campfire.  Lots of S’mores will be made (Lucky kids!  If you know me personally then you’ll understand that I just may have to crash their evening activity!)

I just want to remind you that we didn’t post photos on Waldo today because it’s Lazy Day and we just didn’t feel like it.  Just kiddin’!  We’ll post pics again tomorrow, once our campers are back at their regularly scheduled major and minor activities.

Although it hasn’t rained since that shower earlier this morning, our cookout for dinner became a “cook-in” because we weren’t sure if rain would hit us (spoiler alert:  it’s didn’t!).  I took lots of photos (below) of campers at their dining room tables. These are not complete bunk photos by any means, as lots of kids were up getting food or visiting their friends. If you don’t see your children with their bunk then don’t worry, I promise all campers are here and accounted for. Until tomorrow when we will resume with our majors and minors, ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday, July 10th

Happy Wednesday everybody! I know I’m getting very repetitive by saying this but today we had yet another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA . We woke up to sunny skies and warm temps and we reached a high of around 80 degrees by this afternoon.  Who could ask for better?

Tomorrow is our 2nd Lazy Day of the session.  We are breaking up the camp into 2 groups to go out of camp.  Groups 1 & 2 are going to the bowling alley in Binghamton. This bowling alley is a lot of fun because not only can the kids go bowling, but they can also play arcade games, laser tag, bumper cars, virtual simulator machine, and more.  It should be tons of fun for our campers.   Groups 3 & 4 are going to the movie theater in Deposit to see Spiderman:  Far from Home.  I’ll post a blog tomorrow once everyone returns from their trips to tell you all about it.  The blog will go up later than usual tomorrow because I’m going to take photos at our cookout for dinner.  If for any reason it gets rained out then I’ll take pics in the dining room and post them all some time after dinner.

Since tomorrow is Lazy Day and everyone gets to sleep in, tonight is LTB, Late To Bed.  We give our campers an extra half hour of curfew to run around the gym and canteen and socialize with their friends (& terrorize their counselors while all hyped up on sugar!!!).

Last night I received a lot of responses from parents regarding yesterday’s riddle.  Thank you to all who reached out with their correct answers.  Congrats to Meredith W. (and her husband), Rachel B., Adira B., Meredith B., and Lisa A. Here’s a reminder of the riddle: I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness.  There’s no happiness without me nor is there sadness.  I am always in risk, yet never in danger.  What am I?  The answer,…drum roll please,…..the letter “S”!  Here’s today’s riddle:  You can see me in water but I never get wet. What am I?

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS.  Here’s a breakdown of what everyone will be doing tonight:  Girls Groups 1 & 2- Disney Karaoke;  Girls Groups 3 & 4- Campfire (can somebody say S’MORES!?!?!  Yummy yum yum!  I bet you can guess where I’ll be tonight any time between 7:45-8:30pm!); Boys Groups 1 & 2 & 4- Lawn Games (they will be playing backyard BBQ games such as corn hole, frisbee toss, can jam, spike ball, and more); Boys Group 3- Kong Pong & Gaga Conga (“Conga” is just to add a spin on the name).

Since it’s such a beautiful day outside, today’s special feature is WATERFRONT!  I apologize that I didn’t have time to go on the motor boat to get photos of kids on waterskies and kneeboards, but there are a whole bunch being posted on Waldo today and tonight.  Enjoy and until Lazy Day tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Tuesday, July 9th

Hello ILC Families! Today was another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA with bright blue skies and temps reaching 80 degrees today.  We hardly had a cloud in the sky.  It was another perfect summer day for sleep away camp. We couldn’t ask for better!

Last night’s social was a huge success.  We had a PROM theme to the night with an Island Lake Walk of Fame and photo booth. Our girls were dolled up in cute dresses, boys who claimed they look like professional golfers (collared shirt and khaki shorts), little boys who put on clean clothing and gel’d their hair, campers dressed in onesies (don’t ask because I don’t have an answer for that one), and even a group of girls dressed up in touristy Hawaiian shirts (again, ???).  Ya never know what you’re gonna see at the ILC social!

Today our golfers went out of camp to a local course to play 9 holes.  For some of these campers, it was their first time playing on a golf course. They all said they had a great time. I was also informed that our 5th  grade and under girls played in a tennis tournament the other day and we won! Whoop whoop!

Thanks to all of the parents who are emailing me their riddle guesses.  Congrats to the following parents for getting yesterday’s riddle correct:  Meredith W., Jen W., and Jordan G.  Here’s a reminder of the riddle:  What has cities but no people, roads but no cars, and rivers but no water?  Answer:  a map (or an atlas would also be an acceptable answer).  Here’s today’s riddle challenge:  I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness.  There’s no happiness without me nor is there sadness.  I am always in risk, yet never in danger.  What am I?  I feel like this one should be obvious.  Any ideas?

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!

Today’s special feature is SPORTS!  Today was an absolutely beautiful day for all types of sports, team and individualized. Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Monday July 8th

Happy Monday to all of our Island Lake families!  We had another great day of weather here in Starrucca.  It was partly cloudy and the temps reached the mid-70’s.  The weather gods have been listening to our prayers because we’ve been very lucky thus far (knock on wood!!!) and for the most part, the rain has stayed far away from us.

I have a great camp story to share with all of you.  Yesterday evening our 10th and 11th grade boys soccer team played in a round robin tournament at another camp. Griffin B., a wonderful CIT, came to my office to dish all of the details.  He exclaimed, “It was out of a movie, Wendy!”  He then proceeded to tell me that half of our team was 11th graders and half was younger.  We lost the 1st game, we tied the 2nd game, and we lost the 3rd game.  We were seeded last in the official tournament and the hosting camp was the #1 seed and defending champions.  Our campers played their hardest, they were tired from playing so long without subs, and their final game went into overtime.  They then went into a shoot out and won the game!  Due to our win, we essentially canceled the other camp’s evening activity because they anticipated going into the finals and had their entire camp watch the game.  Their whole camp was lined up on the side of the field watching during the final 10 minutes. We proudly won the game with a score of 3-2 in penalty kicks.  It was a rush of emotion for our kids as they stormed the field and piled onto our camper who kicked the winning goal.  Griffin told me that they felt like they had just won the World Cup as they celebrated during their drive back to camp last night.  I’m so proud of our boys!!!

And to add to our victory, this morning our 8th & 9th grade girls went to another camp to play in the Wayne County Volleyball Tournament and we came in FIRST PLACE!!! WOOHOO!!!!  Our girls lost only 1 set throughout the entire tournament and they were undefeated overall.  How fantastic is that?  I’m extremely proud of our girls, as well.

In case you didn’t see my blog post this morning, our week 1 video is now up for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy watching a compilation of our first week here at Island Lake.

Congrats to Rachel B., a mom who emailed me with the correct answer to yesterday’s riddle.  Here’s a reminder of the riddle:  Forwards I’m heavy, backwards I’m not.  What am I?  Answer:  a ton! Get it?  “Not” backwards is a “ton”!  Here’s today’s riddle:  What has cities but no people, roads but no cars, and rivers but no water?  Hmmmm,….Any guesses?

It was brought to my attention that not all parents know what groups their children are in.  This info is helpful when we have “groups” for evening activities.  Here’s a breakdown of our campers’ grades and their groups:  5th grade and under are in group 1:  6th & 7th grades are in group 2:  8th grade is in group 3:  9th & 10th grades are in group 4.  All of our CITs are in either group 1 or group 2.

Tonight’s evening activity is our super duper much anticipated 1st session SOCIAL! An outside DJ comes to camp to spin some tunes and get our campers dancing and boogying all night long in the gym. By “spin some tunes” I mean he probably presses “play” on his computer playlist.  And perhaps they don’t call it “boogying” anymore?  Our girls love to get dressed up, do their hair, and put on 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 THEATER!  Below are photos from rehearsals for Frozen and Matilda.  Our campers also assist with building sets, making costumes, lighting, and sound.  In the following photos you’ll see several campers building and painting the sets with our counselors.  Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Week 1 Video

We are soooooo excited to share our WEEK 1 VIDEO with all of you!!!  Kick back, relax, and enjoy this 4 minute video of our campers’ start to their fantastic Summer 2019 adventure.

Sunday, July 7th

Happy Sunday Fun-day, or as we like to call it here at Island Lake,…another day of camp.  We had an absolutely beautiful morning in Starrucca, PA.  The sun shined and the warm temps made it a great day for outdoor activities.  The clouds rolled in after lunch and the rest of the day was partly sunny.  Today was a perfect summer day.

We had lots of intercamp sports games today.  Here’s a list of all who participated:

5th grade and younger girls played basketball out of camp this morning

8th & 9th grade girls played soccer out of camp this morning

6th & 7th grade boys played basketball out of camp this morning

10th & 11th grade boys played soccer out of camp this afternoon

It’s great to see that our tournaments have picked up pace and our campers are playing lots of sports in and out of camp.  I’ll blog photos of all of the sports happening here in camp over the next few days so you can see all of the action going on here at ILC.

Riddle me this! Here’s yesterday’s riddle and answer: Whoever makes it, tell it not. Whoever takes it, knows it not. And whoever knows it, want it not. Answer:  counterfeit money.  Who would have guessed?  It was a tough one.  Here’s today’s riddle:  Forwards I’m heavy, backwards I’m not.  What am I?

 Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS!  Here’s a list of what all of our campers are doing this evening:  Boys Group 1- Kickball;  Girls Group 1- Dodgeball;  Boys & Girls Group 2- Campfire;  Boys & Girls Group 3- theater games (fun improv games that will make everyone laugh the entire time);  Boys & Girls Group 4- Capture the Flag.

Today’s special feature is TENNIS!  It’s so nice to see tons of campers out there on the tennis courts each period.  I could have easily posted over 50 pictures but I narrowed it down to my best 30.  At tennis, we have instruction going on for all 3 of the majors and recreational tennis happening during the minors.  Campers are hitting with one another and I love seeing additional tennis lessons taking place during the minors.  It’s fantastic to see all that our campers have learned in just this past week alone here at ILC.  That goes for all of our departments, not just tennis.

Enjoy the photos below and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Saturday, July 6th

We’re baaaaaack! !  Today we’ve returned to our majors and minors after celebrating a super fun 4thof 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 super warm and it was beautiful out so everyone had fun-filled successful Lazy Day trips out of camp.   In Ithaca, our campers had the opportunity to swim in the gorges.  Our kiddies at Montage Mountain also stayed cool with the waterpark attractions.  Children follow directions better than me.  They used sunblock while I burned my shoulders by forgetting to place sunblock on them.  Lesson learned,…practice what you preach!  And our Sky Zone kids,…well,…they had air conditioning so they stayed cool while jumping around.

Last night for evening activity the boys and girls of each group rallied and played together. Here’s a breakdown of what they all did: Group 1- Dance Party;  Group 2- Messy Fashion Show;  Group 3- Gaga:  Group 4- ABC Fashion Show (Anything But Clothing Fashion Show)

Today’s weather was a mish mosh of stuff.  We had sun, we had clouds, we had a brief rainstorm during lunch, we had more sunshine, then more clouds,…but overall it was a beautiful day and only 2nd major was affected by the rain.

In ILC sports, our 8thand 9thgrade girls went out of camp to play basketball this morning.  Our 8th& 9thgrade boys also went out of camp this morning, but for a baseball game at a nearby camp.  Our campers all played hard and they played well.

Riddle time!  Here’s a reminder of Thursday’s riddle and the answer: I march before armies, a thousand salute me.  My fall can bring victory, but no one would shoot me.  What am I?  Drum roll for the answer please,…..a FLAG!  I wasn’t even close with that answer.  Here’s today’s riddle:  Whoever makes it, tells it not.  Whoever takes it, knows it not.  And whoever knows it, wants it not.

Tonight’s evening activity is Masked Karaoke!  Have any of you watched The Masked Singeron Fox this past winter?  If so, then you know what this evening activity is all about.  We’ll have staff on the theater stage in a mask and fully body suit to perform a karaoke song for the entire camp.  The kids will then have to figure out who is hiding behind the masked suit.  For instance, a staff member will go out on stage in an ape suit singing “Bohemian Rhapsody”and then the kids have to guess who that staff member is.  We first ran this evening activity last summer and our campers truly enjoyed it so it should be pretty hilarious again tonight!

Today’s special photo feature is Lazy Day at Montage Mountain, Sky Zone, and Ithaca.  Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

4th of July- Independence Day

Happy 4thof July and Happy Birthday, America!  I hope you’re all enjoying your holiday as much as we are here at Island Lake. Our campers have completely gotten into the patriotic holiday spirit, all decked out in their red, white, and blue clothing and accessories.  They look amazing!  You’ll have the opportunity to see for yourselves here in my blog, as well as in our daily photos on Waldo.

To add to all the spirit and glory that this holiday brings, the weather today was absolutely stellar!  We had beautiful skies with hardly a cloud out there, along with temps in the low 80’s.  Tonight it should be in the mid-70’s for our fireworks extravaganza. We will have absolutely perfect weather for our Island Lakers to enjoy our huge firework display.  We make the 4thof July very special for our campers and staff here at ILC.  I’ll list all that this day entails.  Let’s start from the beginning,…

At breakfast this morning we started our 4thof July with our friends, the Brits, who stood in front of the camp in the dining room singing their national anthem.  The rest of us then sang the Star Spangled Banner, followed by the chant, “U-S-A! U-S-A!  U-S-A!”  Our kids were pretty enthusiastic singing the national anthem considering it was the morning and they had just woken up prior to breakfast.

Next highlight of the day- MUSIC LUNCH!  I played the role of “DJ Wendy” as I spun tunes in the dining room.  Ok, truth be told, I just hit the play button on my ipod with a pre-made music lunch play list.  In any case, the kids had an amazing time singing and dancing to the pop music, camp alma mater, and USA theme songs (Party in the USA by Miley, God Bless the USA by American Idol singers from many seasons prior, & Firework by Katy Perry).  Everyone joined in on the fun and they didn’t want to leave for their next activity, 2ndmajor.  I know when Music Lunch is a success when our campers, who are singing and dancing, refuse to leave the dining room (all in a positive manner of course)! You can view photos from our music lunch here in this blog.  I posted a ton!  There will also be lots of music lunch pictures in our daily photos on Waldo.

Next highlight- COOKOUT for dinner tonight!  Burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, watermelon, cupcakes, and more were devoured at supper.  Our campers enjoy dining outdoors for our cookouts.

Next highlight- CANTEEN will follow rest hour instead of our usual evening activity prior to canteen.  We do this so that we can put on our firework show once the sun sets.  (Sidebar: By the way, I have to tell you that we have the most beautiful sunsets over the lake here at ILC.  Legit, no filters necessary as the sky does all the work for us.  I’ll have to take some pictures one evening during sunset to share with you.) Ok, back to 4thof July here at camp,…After canteen and prior to the fireworks, our rock shop staff and campers will put on a ROCK CONCERT on girls campus.  We’ll also send off some SKY LANTERNS into the air, which always makes our campers “Oooooohh” and “Aaaaaaahh”.

Next highlight- our huge FIREWORK extravaganza!  We pride ourselves in having a fantastic firework show.  Our neighbors on the lake even come outdoors to enjoy watching our show because it’s truly spectacular.  I don’t want to toot my own horn but Magic, our amazing caretaker and head of our maintenance department, goes all out to create a fantastic firework show for our Island Lakers.  Our campers all sit together on the hill by the canteen and girls campus to enjoy this traditional annual event.  We’re looking forward to another great show tonight.

As a reminder, tomorrow is our Lazy Day.  Boys and girls groups 1&2 are going to Sky Zone, group 3 is going to Montage Mountain (waterpark), and group 4 is spending the day at Ithaca.  I’ll be on the Montage Mountain trip and we’ll hopefully have another day of beautiful weather.  In Ithaca (I went on that trip last summer), our campers will swim in the gorges and then spend a couple of hours at Ithaca Commons.  There at the Commons they will have lunch and do some “Ithaca is Gorges” t-shirt shopping.  Since we’ll be out of camp until dinnertime, I’m going to forego posting a blog tomorrow.  I promise that I’ll fill you in any lazy day gossip on Saturday, along with some photos.

Today’s feature:  Patriotic campers at MUSIC LUNCH!  I hope you’re all having a wonderful 4thof July. Until Saturday when we will resume our regular camp schedule, ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday, July 3rd

Happy Wednesday to all of our ILC families!   How excited are you for tomorrow’s big patriotic holiday?  Can somebody say “no work and long weekend?”  Ok, that doesn’t occur for us here at camp but we’re getting pretty pumped for tomorrow’s 4thof July festivities.  We have some great annual traditions planned such as our morning breakfast speech, music lunch, dinner cookout, and then an outdoor rock concert and huge firework display at sunset.  It’s always fun seeing everyone dress up in their patriotic colors to represent their countries, Americans and overseas staff.  I’ll fill you in with more details tomorrow.  I’ll also blog photos of the kids at music lunch all decked out in their red, white, and blue.

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 (
  3. Short videos and photos on our Facebook page (
  4. Photo posts and stories on Instagram (com/islandlakecampofficial)
  5. And of course, our daily photos on Waldo and weekly videos on youtube. We’ll send you links for the videos so you can find and view them easily.

This morning we awoke to cloudy skies and temps in the upper 60’s.  The mornings are starting to warm up as summer progresses.  Today we hit a high of around 80 degrees in the afternoon hours with partly cloudy (or shall I say “partly sunny”) skies which became mostly sunny by the time I posted this.

During the morning activities our little 5thgrade and younger girls went to another camp to play in the Wayne County Soccer Tournament.  They played well, had fun, scored some great goals, but ultimately they lost by only 2 goals.

Today’s riddle is the following:  I come with tales that could not be.  Of wondrous visions the eyes can’t see.  My fables birthed from what you know; yet when I leave they too will go.  What am I?  Here is a reminder of yesterday’s riddle with the answer:  A sundial is the timepiece with the fewest moving parts. Which timepiece has the most moving parts?  Answer: an hourglass!  Props to Dana M. for sending me the correct answer (without googling it I hope!)

Tonight’s evening activity is an all camp Counselor Hunt.  Each counselor has a sealed envelope and inside is their point value.  Counselors are worth positive or negative points, all of different values.  They run and hide around camp (outside of buildings only and not up in trees), and our campers have to run around camp, find counselors, and bring them back to the gym.  At the end each bunk finds out the point values of the counselors they find and a winner is announced.  The group leaders are adding a little edge to the game with some riddles to allow bunks to “steal” counselors and their points from other bunks.  It’s a fun game that should tire our campers out before we put them to bed.  You’re welcome! (Wait, they’re OUR responsibility now!)

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 will 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!

Today’s special feature is CIRCUS!  Have a great evening and until tomorrow when we celebrate our nation’s independence from our friends on the other side of the pond, ILCUTHERE!