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!

Saturday, July 15th

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.

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. The happy-go-lucky camp spirit filled the dining room at dinner this evening, although many didn’t eat because you brought up so many delicious snacks!

Tonight’s evening activity is Squeaky Clean! They’re a rock and roll band who performs 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.

We hope you all had a fantastic time here at ILC today. Until tomorrow, the start of our final week of 1st session, ILCUTHERE!

Friday, July 14th

Happy almost Visiting Day! Or shall we name it a new national holiday, “Visiting Day Eve”? Wow, how did this time of the summer sneak up on us so fast? 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.

Unfortunately, the weather gods have not been working in our favor these past few days. We woke up to misty rain with dreary skies. The light rain stopped around breakfast time but the dark, heavy clouds stayed with us for most of the day, along with on and off misty rain. We did have some blue sky peak through the clouds here and there in the afternoon hours. For those of you joining us here at camp tomorrow, be sure to check the Starrucca, PA weather forecast and dress appropriately in case we have any rain. Even if we’re lucky and we stay dry here at camp, the grass may still be wet and the paths/roads may be a bit slick so sneakers will probably be your best bet.

In ILC sports today: A few tournaments were rained out but our 4th & 5th grade girls were still able to go out of camp to play basketball. 8th & 9th grade girls also played softball this afternoon here at home. Our ILC Open is winding down on the tennis courts with just a few rounds left. I’ll announce the big winners once the challenges are complete.

I have a cute quote to share with you from a couple of evenings ago at the canteen. Dustin, our head counselor, plays movies every night on the flat screen tv in the canteen for campers to watch before their curfew. These movies tend to attract a lot of kids, especially the younger ones, as many movies are animated. A few nights ago Dustin put on Back to the Future, a classic from our generation. A little boy walked up to Dustin and asked, “Is this based on a true story?” Dustin said it took all of his will to not elaborate an entire story about time travel, the DeLorean, and Marty McFly. Instead he responded, “No buddy, it’s not a true story.”

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.

Our special feature of the day is photos of girls group 4 from last night’s evening activity, Messy Twister! It ended up being less twister and more messy but I have to tell you, these girls had an absolute blast! As a matter of fact, rather than running back to their bunks to shower, they went straight to canteen to show off to everyone else in camp looking like this. Now this is what camp is all about! Having fun being a child and living in the moment. You can see even more Messy Twister photos on CampMinder today.

Until tomorrow, when we will see many of your smiling faces here at Island Lake, ILCUTHERE!

Thursday, July 13th

Hi ho, hi ho, back to majors and minors today 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.

Today was a busy day for many of our Island Lakers. Several of our avid pioneers took a trip to Prompton State Park in Honesdale, PA for a climbing trip. Unfortunately, it got cut short due to rain. We’re going there again next session so we’ll hope for better weather then.

Our gymnastics campers went out of camp for a big competition this morning. We also participated in a swim meet at another camp today. 6th & 7th grade boys played basketball this morning out at another camp.

Our ILC weather was a big mish mosh today. We actually woke up to warm temperatures this morning (YAY!). Throughout the day we had sunshine, we had clouds, and unfortunately we had rain. Although lots of different weather patterns crossed our path today, at least we didn’t have snow! (I’m looking on the bright side here!)

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.

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.

And now back to our regular scheduled program. Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s a breakdown of events: BOYS: Group 1- Pioneering Games (run by our pioneering department head along with girls group 1); Group 2- Dodgeball; Group 3- Casino Night (Don’t worry, it’s just our fancy way of saying card games. There’s no gambling or money involved!); Group 4- ILC Movie Night (Extravagant way of saying they’re watching a movie in the theater tonight). GIRLS: Group 1- Pioneering Games; Group 2- Ugly Fashion Show; Group 3- Minute 2 Win It; Group 4- Messy Twister (A favorite evening activity amongst our oldest girls. They play twister on a giant sized twister board with paint. Messy and fun!)

Today’s feature is MOUNTAIN BIKING! Enjoy and until tomorrow, Visiting Day Eve, ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday, July 12th

Today was Lazy Day so our campers all went out for the day. Although we had cloudy skies for most of the day, the rain stayed away while our kids were on camp. The temps reached the mid 70’s but it was warmer at the destinations of all of our Lazy Day trips. Here at camp it rained in the late afternoon before kids returned and then the sun came out.

Groups 1&2 (boys & girls) went to Sky Zone, a trampoline park just outside of Scranton, PA. The feedback was, “It was really fun!” I also heard, “I wish this was every Lazy Day!”, “We bounced off the walls”, “I jumped high in the ‘sky zone’”, and “Well, we did some jumping.” (Deep thoughts by children).

Boys and girls group 3 went to Montage Mountain Water Park where they had a fantastic day outdoors. The feedback was, “The ski lift was so pretty. Amazing view!” They also said “The funnel ride was fun too. It’s even more fun if you close your eyes!” I also heard “T’was lit!” and “I’m tired and I can’t walk up the hill to my bunk.” So hey, I guess they had a great time and we did our job by tiring them out!

Group 4 boys & girls went to Ithaca for the day. Due to rain on their drive, they didn’t get to go swim in the gorges. Instead they went to Ithaca Commons, a shopping area where they ate some good food. Don’t worry parents; we didn’t give them enough money to eat and shop till they dropped. What I heard from some kids was, “We got really good food and waffles!” and “We made cool t-shirts!”

Lots of Lazy Day photos will be posted on CampMinder tomorrow. Please forgive us for not having pictures posted today. I promise we’ll get them up as soon as possible tomorrow morning.

Tonight for dinner we had a “cook-in” because the picnic tables and the grill were too wet from our afternoon showers. Evening activity will be GROUPS! Here’s a list of what everyone is doing. BOYS: Group 1- Dodgeball; Group 2- Capture the Flag; Group 3- Kong Pong; Group 4- Gaga. The boys will be very active this evening. Maybe we’ll even tire them out! On the GIRLS side: Group 1- Pool Party; Group 2- Little Sis/Big Sis (with girls group 4); Group 3- Sidewalk Chalking (they’ll decorate the blacktop here at camp); Group 4- Big Sis/Little Sis (with the group 2 girls).

Until tomorrow when our majors & minors will resume once again, ILCUTHERE!

Tuesday, July 11th

Another day in the books here at ILC! Although cloudy in the first half of the day, we were happy that the rain stayed far away and activities resumed per usual. The sun peeked from the clouds here and there during the afternoon hours but otherwise it was a cloudy day in Starrucca, PA.

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 Sky Zone. Boys and girls group 3 will go to Montage Mountain Waterpark. Boys and girls group 4 will head up to Ithaca for a fun day of site seeing. They’ll check out the gorges (waterfalls), I’m sure they’ll go shopping for “Ithaca is Gorges” t-shirts, and they’ll relax around the town. 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.

We hosted our annual 8th & 9th grade boys volleyball tournament here at camp today. Other camps came here to play in an elimination tournament of which we did very well. Our 8th & 9th grade girls soccer team went out of camp to play a match, as well. We shut out the other camp (Woohoo!) so we’re moving on to the next round.  And as usual, our ILC Open continued to run strong on our tennis courts during all of the minor periods today.

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 Lion King and Pippin. Pippin is going to be performed in the circus building as we combine the two departments for this show. I can’t wait to see it! 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.

A few days ago our skatepark department held a competition amongst our rollerbladers and skateboarders of all levels. The kids who placed received certificates of their accomplishments.

In Bunk Cup news, there have been some recent challenges. G14 challenged B6 to newcomb and the girls won. They also challenged G13 to gaga and beat them. B6 & B7 will be playing baseball today to win some Bunk Cup points. B2 and G2 will battle one another in a dance off (which I personally would like to see!). Lastly, G11 has challenged G13 to a game of gaga. Bunk Cup is in full swing!

Tonight’s evening activity is a camp wide Spelling Bee in the theater! There will be 2 representatives per group, 2 on the boys side as well as the girls side. They will battle it out to spell words correctly. The winner of each round will have the opportunity to choose a counselor to then pie in the face. There will also be a counselor round and the winner gets to pie a group leader in the face. Should be fun!

Abracadabra! Today’s special feature is MAGIC! Enjoy and until tomorrow when we get to sleep in for Lazy Day, ILCUTHERE!

Monday, July 10th

Today was another fun day in Starrucca, PA! As we say every morning in our wake-up call, “The birds are singing, the sun is shining, the grass is growing,…” Your children had yet another busy day of majors and minors here at ILC. Per usual, the temps started off cool but quickly warmed up to the low 70’s by 1st major and mid 70’s by lunchtime. We had lots of clouds in and out throughout the day but the weather stayed dry.

We had another busy day in sports. 8th & 9th grade girls, as well as 10th & 11th grade girls, left straight from breakfast to play in a tennis tournament out of camp today. Our 6th & 7th grade girls played a home game of soccer this morning. The 6th &7th grade girls’ basketball team then played here at camp this afternoon. 8th & 9th grade boys played in a basketball tournament at another camp this afternoon, as well. Our in camp ILC Open continued at tennis today for boys and girls of all age groups.

Today’s quote: After my Sidewalk Chalking With Wendy minor this afternoon, while all of our campers were heading to their bunks for snack break, a first time young camper runs toward me yelling, “Wendy! Wendy!” I said hi and asked him what’s up and he simply asked me, “Can I stay next session?” Well, could you ask for a better question from a child here at summer camp? That means he’s loving life and his experience here at ILC. For all of you who want to know what happened next, I told his mom and she said, “I knew it! I just told his father he was going to ask.” Unfortunately, he can’t stay due to other summer plans but they’re already planning for next summer.

Evening activity tonight is everyone’s favorite, most anticipated secretive activity of the summer. No, it’s not Color War! Here’s a hint,…it takes place down at the waterfront. All parents of returning campers or parents who are alumni here should know exactly what I’m talking about. Those of you new to ILC will for sure hear about this activity when your child returns home. Oh ok, I’ll tell you. Evening activity is Revival Night!!! I can tell you now since we’re breaking Revival directly from dinner. We’re going to have evening activity and then rest hour instead of vice versa. After rest hour we’ll go to canteen. This will really surprise the kids, as they will never expect Revival to start at the end of dinner announcements.

Today’s special feature is GYMNASTICS! The kids practiced their floor skills, the beams, and the bars. Enjoy the pics and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!