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!


Sunday, July 23rd

Happy first full day of 2nd session! Today was mostly cloudy with temps in the mid 70’s. It was still the perfect weather to have some fun here at Island Lake. Our campers stayed busy with their 4-minors of auditions, level testing, and trying out activities that they’d like to sign up for as their majors.

This afternoon we held our special traditional ILC activity,…Panic! I announce items kids have in their bunks and they run in to retrieve them and bring them out to their group leaders/judges in the middle of their campuses. The bunk with the most points wins LTB (Late To Bed). We get creative and announce things such as 2 campers wearing last summer’s blue & grey Color War t-shirts doing leap frog from their bunk to the judges. Another item may be as simple as a red Island Lake canteen token. I play music after announcing each item so our campers can sing and dance along while playing Panic. It’s a fun activity for kids of all ages.

Once Panic was over our group leaders went around to all of their bunks to sign their campers up for their majors. All of our department heads were in the office to assist in case of any activity conflicts during the same major. We assist the campers with their schedule to make sure they can take every activity they like and be sure no one is closed out of an activity.

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s a run-down of what each group is doing: BOYS: Group 1- Campfire; Group 2- Theater Games (“getting to know you” games for the kids that will actually take place in a building other than the theater); Group 3- Kong Pong; Group 4-Dodgeball.

On the GIRLS side: Group 1- Messy Twister (In case you missed it last session, our little girls will play twister on a giant sized twister board with paint. It gets messy but it’s so much fun!): Group 2-Pool Party; Group 3-Campfire; Group 4- Scene It (The girls will watch movie clips and then will be asked trivia questions about what they just saw. It’s an activity to test their memories.)

Today’s special feature is PANIC! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!

Saturday, July 22nd

Happy Changeover Day! With sadness we bid farewell to our 1st session campers this morning. On a brighter note, we welcomed our 2nd session campers with open arms this afternoon. It’s always difficult to see good friends leave but fortunately, lots of campers stayed on from 1st session.

At this point (5:15pm), all of our session 2 campers have safely arrived at camp.

Last night’s performance of “Pippin” was truly unbelievable!   Combining the circus show with the musical up in the circus building was absolutely incredible. The kids all performed their hearts out. Between our wonderful theater staff, circus staff, and our talented campers, the show was a huge success!

With our 1st session performances all done now, we will start over again in the 2nd session with auditions tomorrow on 4-minor day. Our younger camper show will be “Seussical” and our older camp show will be “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”   Our sports tournaments will continue into the 2nd session, as well.

Tonight’s evening activity is “Make Your Own Mess” (aka “Make Your Own Sundae”)! Campers will go to the canteen with their bunkmates to make ice cream sundaes and get to know their new friends better.

I don’t have any photos for you today, but there will be tons of them posted on our website of this morning’s goodbyes and this afternoon’s hellos. Until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Friday, July 21st

I cannot believe that today was the last full day of session 1 here at Island Lake! These past 4 weeks have flown by way too fast. It’s going to be sad to say goodbye to many of our amazing campers tomorrow morning. I hope they had the greatest experience here at ILC & I hope to see them all at camp again next summer. All parents of session 1 campers should have received an email from me yesterday with changeover day information. Please read it thoroughly to make sure you are properly prepared to pick up your children at the bus stops tomorrow.

Today we offered all 3 of our majors and just 1 minor in order to have “super cleanup” in the afternoon. Those campers who are staying for 2nd session had to clean their cubbies and find those missing socks and brand new t-shirts they didn’t know their mom packed for them for camp. (wink wink!) Those campers who are going home tomorrow (tear!) had an opportunity to pack during this time.

I hate to sound redundant but today was yet another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA. The skies were a mix of sun and cloud in the morning and very sunny and about 80 degrees in the afternoon. We stayed dry all day long. (Whoop whoop!)

Last night’s Rock Concert was jamming! Our campers did a fantastic job singing and playing their instruments to cover songs as well as originals. Below at the bottom of today’s blog are some photos from the Rock Concert.

“We’ve got magic to do, just for you, we’ve got miracle plays to play,…” Tonight is our much anticipated, long awaited older camper show, PIPPIN! Combined with our theatrical performance is the CIRCUS SHOW! We are so excited to see both shows mixed into one in our circus building this evening. It’s going to be a wondrous, spectacular evening for everyone here at ILC.

Well, that’s about all the news that I have for you today, our very last day of the 1st session. For those of you with children coming home tomorrow, enjoy your last evening of peace and quiet! I truly hope your campers come home happy, healthy, and with tons and tons of amazing ILC summer 2017 stories and experiences to share with you. To everyone else, ILC U THERE!

Thursday, July 20th

Hey Island Lake Families! Wow, 1 more full day left in this session before our first changeover day on Saturday. Time sure does fly by when we’re having fun. And fun is indeed what’s being had here at Island Lake. Even with an extra week in our 1st session this summer, blink your eyes twice and it’s already over (Cue sad music and tears). For those of you with children coming home on Saturday, I hope they have only amazing ILC experiences to share with you.

Today was Wear Your ILC Screen Print Day here at camp. For those of you confused by this Island Lake national holiday, welcome to the club! Ha, but for real, our art department just wanted our campers to celebrate wearing the shirts that they worked hard on all session at screen printing. There are some really cool, creative shirts walking around here at camp today.

Last night’s younger children’s play, “Lion King Junior”, was a huge success! Wow, we have some talented children at this camp!!! Their acting and singing skills entertained the audience throughout the entire show. And those costumes,…wow! Our stagecraft and costume departments did a fabulous job transforming our campers into a variety of animals for this show. Just wait until you see the photos. Those little ones truly sang, acted, and danced their hearts out. It was very creative incorporating the dance concert into the show. I hope you enjoy the photos posted on our website and below here in the blog.

Over 30 of our baseball and softball campers went on a trip today to Cooperstown to the Baseball Hall of Fame. At the Hall of Fame they learn about the history of baseball, many of the previous top notch players, and our campers participated in some interactive games. They always have a great time in Cooperstown (and not just for the fudge!).

In other ILC sports news, our golfers went out to the local golf course to play 9 holes this morning. 10th & 11th grade girls participated in an all day volleyball tournament out of camp. 8th & 9th grade girls played basketball this morning out of camp, as well.

So yesterday I was chatting with some of our older girls at the cookout. We’re talking about our international campers from overseas and I mentioned that we have some children coming from Brussels next session. One of our campers asked in all seriousness, “Brussels, England?” I started laughing so she tried again, “Brussels, Australia?” Aahhh, kids say the darnest things!

Our special feature is LION KING JR! Tonight is our big 1st session ROCK CONCERT! We’ll be jamming out this evening in the theater. Due to some late afternoon rain, we’re unable to host the event outdoors by the lake (booo!). The theme for the concert tonight is “Summer of ‘17”. Verbatim from flyers that the rock shop department handed out at breakfast this morning, our hard core rockers asked our campers to “wear bright bandanas and shiny sunglasses, like the festival crowds when music history passes, or maybe some patterned shirts of purple haze, so you can join the bands in their rockin’ craze.” They added that “dressing like Hendrix too would be pretty fly, now ‘scuse me while I kiss the sky.” Based on this you can get a taste of what we’re expecting tonight from the following bands: The Bye Felicias, The Clueless, Blue Fire, and The Burritos. We will absolutely enjoy tonight’s festivities and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday, July 19th

Today we celebrated ILC National Neon Day here at camp so you should see lots of kids sporting their neon clothing in our daily photos on CampMinder.

Today was one of the most beautiful days we’ve had here at camp all summer. It was truly an absolutely gorgeous day in Starrucca, PA. The 18462 had clear blue skies and warm temps all day long. The morning started out in the upper 60’s and then the temps rose to the low to mid 80’s. What a perfect summer day to play camp!

Last night’s magic show was magnificent! Our prestidigitators performed some jaw dropping hocus pocus that conjured up shocking abracadabra for our audience. Ok, I may have gone a little overboard with magic terms that I googled but hey, it’s all about the kids here at Island Lake!

Now that Island Lake is in its 32nd summer, we have had 2nd generation campers for several years. Some of our former campers from our early years, the late 80’s to early 90’s, have children who are currently campers with us. We love keeping it in the family and offering this wonderful camp experience to the next generation of children. The photo at the top of this blog is a pic of all of our alumni’s children who are currently here at ILC. We’re missing a camper, a 10th grade girl, because she was playing in a tennis tournament at the time that this photo was taken. Hey, just use your imagination and add 1 more child to all who you see here.

Today was a perfect weather day for sports tournaments. 8th & 9th grade girls lacrosse team went out of camp early this morning. They came back at lunchtime cheering and screaming as they ran into the dining room. Why you ask? Because they won and now they will play in the finals. Yay! We’re so proud of our girls. 6th & 7th grade girls softball also left camp for a game this morning. 8th & 9th grade boys went to another camp for a beach volleyball tournament later this afternoon. 8th through 11th grade tennis kids, boys and girls, went to another camp for a full day competition.

Special feature of the day,…WATERFRONT! I had some campers borrow my waterproof camera to snap some shots swimming under water in the pool this afternoon. Sorry some of the boating photos are kind of far away. Short of going for a swim myself, I zoomed in as far as possible from the docks.

Tonight’s evening activity is LION KING JR. combined with the DANCE SHOW! These kids have been practicing for over 3 weeks now. We’re all very excited to see our little kids and our dancers of all ages perform on stage for the whole camp. We’ll have lots of pictures posted for you on CampMinder tomorrow. Until then, when you can see those adorable faces in photos, ILCUTHERE!

Tuesday, July 18th

Today was a warm and sunny day in Starrucca, PA. The rain has passed, the grounds have dried, and all outdoor activities have resumed once again. The air is humid but hey, it’s summer!

Over 40 of our campers 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. It was rained out last week so we are happy that they were able to reschedule it for today.

We hosted the 10th & 11th grade Wayne County Boys Volleyball Tournament here at ILC today. This is the 2nd of the two tournaments that we host every summer in different age groups. Today was the older campers’ turn to play against 5 other camps in the area.

Our fishermen/fisherwomen went on a trip today during 1st major and 1st minor. They hiked down to the water ski lake to catch a variety of fish. They were pumped to tell everyone that they caught some perch.

Theater, circus, magic, dance, and music rehearsals are winding down as we begin our performance week tonight. We kick off this special week with our Magic Show for evening activity in the theater.

Today’s special feature is HORSEBACK RIDING! I swung by during a few different periods to catch kids of different levels strutting their stuff with their horses. Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Monday, July 17th

Happy Monday everyone! Or as we say here at camp, “What day is today?” (wink wink!) We woke up to upper 60’s and sunny skies today. The temps warmed up to the upper 70’s and then we had some rain in the afternoon hours. We’ve had on and off again since snack break time.

Our female swimmers went out of camp today for a swim meet. Girls of all age groups participated in this one-day Wayne County event. 6th & 7th grade boys soccer played a game at home this morning. 4th & 5th grad boys played singles and doubles tennis late this afternoon out at a nearby camp.

The final matches of the ILC Open were played this morning and I now have a final list of winners to share with you. On the girls side: Girls 5th & 6th grade champion is Aubrey B. and the runner up is Sophia K. Girls 7th & 8th grade champion is Skyler B. and runner up is Maya K. Girls 9th & up champ is Gabby G. and runner up is Hallie M. On the boys side: Boys 5th & 6th grade champion is Christopher H. and the runner up is Matthew E. Boys 7th & 8th grade champ is David P. and the runner up is Benji B. Boys 9th & up champ is Scott S. and the runner up is Ethan M. Congrats to all of our runners up and winners! Our tennis department will give all of these kids their very own trophy on Wednesday evening at dinner during announcements.

Tonight’s evening activity is Steve Maxx, the professional Simon Sez guy. He has performed at NBA and NCAA basketball halftime shows and he makes his rounds to the sleep away camps in the tri-state area every summer. Steve Max has been performing here at Island Lake for over 18 years and our campers and staff still have a ball with his large camp-wide Simon Says games.

Today’s feature is PIONEERING/ROPES COURSE!   Due to some weather issues, I wasn’t able to capture the huge variety of activities we offer in this department, however I did still take some good shots. Until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Sunday, July 16th

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.

For the first time in many years we didn’t transition directly from Visiting Day into Color War. With our new 4 week/3 week sessions, these two big events are no longer taking place in the same session. But of course, our post-Visiting Day water fight would not have been complete without a couple of gun shots in the air symbolizing a fake break. I’m not sure how many kids heard it over the loud screams of excitement during the water fight but it was pretty funny.

In ILC sports today, our 8th through 10th grade boys soccer team went out of camp for a match against another camp. We have some amazing players on this team. Our ILC Open is winding down in tennis with just a few matches left until the finals.

Tonight’s evening activity is Mr. & Mrs. 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 beauty 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.

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 counseors have at this social event.

Within this special feature I have another special feature for you. I had a little helper last night named Aubrey. Aubrey decided not only to run around and take photos with me, but she wanted to photo bomb as many pictures as possible! Don’t be surprised when you see the same cute little child in many of the photos below. A special note to Aubrey’s mom and dad: Since you’re probably reading this blog, I hope you enjoy seeing your daughter in lots and lots of photos! Feel free to email me directly for copies. Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!