Friday, August 11- Final Day of Camp!

Sadly, today is our last full day of camp. Summer 2017 here at Island Lake has been absolutely fantastic! We could not have asked for a better summer filled with happy campers and amazing counselors. Your children will for sure come home with long lasting memories of their experiences at ILC this summer.

Tomorrow the buses should all arrive at their designated bus stops between 11:30am-12:00pm, give or take a half hour. Please be there on time to pick up your children. If you are not sure which bus stop we have in our records, please call us here at camp before 4:30pm when the office will be closing for tonight’s banquet festivities.

Today we let the camp sleep in and we had a late wake up with breakfast at 9am. The kids then went back to their bunks to start cleaning up. Lunch followed and then we had our 5th annual COLOR RUN! Most of our campers and staff participated in this fun event throughout camp today. As they reached certain locations they got sprayed with powdered paint of different colors. They all eventually gathered by the lake at the finish line, proud of their accomplishments.   Our campers had been looking forward to this special event for weeks and they had a fantastic time running around camp getting sprayed with different colors, congregating at the end.

Directly after the Color Run we had our final Rock Concert of the summer outdoors by the lake. Our rock and roll campers jammed out to their favorite tunes while the rest of the camp watched and sang along. Following rock concert, all of the kids went back to their bunks to pack, sadly. They collected all of their belongings at the different departments at camp- arts & crafts, skatepark, sports, music, etc.

Tonight we have our annual ILC banquet in the dining room. Instead of eating cafeteria style, the kids will all sit with their friends at the table of their choice and the kitchen staff will serve food to their tables. We’ll play music and there will be some dancing, lots of picture taking, and some awards will be presented after dinner.

After the banquet, we will all head down to the theater to watch the summer 2017 Island Lake video yearbook. The yearbook is a compilation of the entire summer here at camp. Post-summer we will share the yearbook with all of our ILC families. Our video department and advanced video campers worked extremely hard to make this summer’s yearbook amazing! It’s a wonderful memento for our Island Lakers to view all year long until they can return to their home away from home here in Starrucca once again next summer.

Upon completion of the video yearbook, we will all move lakeside to the waterfront where each bunk will release a candle onto the lake and make a bunk wish together. Following this we will burn the “Island Lake 2017” sign on the water and we’ll sing our camp alma maters. We will end the waterfront portion of the night with a big firework display. This is all a very somber and bittersweet moment of the night. Tears fill many campers’ eyes (ok fine, possibly mine as well) as we make bunk wishes, sing our camp songs, and watch the 2017 summer sign burn. This sign represents the ILC summer in its entirety as we all say farewell.

Although it will be a bit later than usual, we’ll allow all of our campers to make one last trip to the canteen to eat their hearts out one final time. Based on how late the evening runs, we will decide when everyone’s curfew will be.

And that’s about it for the Island Lake Summer 2017 blogs. It’s been a pleasure writing for all of you every day. I hope you enjoyed reading my blogs as much as I enjoyed writing them for you. I’d also love feedback from you, the parents, with regards to these blogs. If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding how to make it even more entertaining or better, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a note at wendy@islandlake.com.

We hope your children all come home to you as “happy campers” tomorrow. Hey, bonus if they’re healthy, sort of clean, and even have all of their personal belongings! Our office here at camp will remain open for a few more weeks so if you need to contact us, just give us a call at the camp number: 570-798-2550 or email us at info@islandlake.com.

It’s been the most amazing, fantastic, wonderful summer, and until next year when we can all be together once again in the 18462, ILCUTHERE!!!

Thursday, August 10th

Today was our last day of majors and minors for summer 2017. It’s hard to believe that camp is almost over! It truly feels like yesterday when our 1st session buses rolled in to drop off our campers. It will be sad to say goodbye to so many friends we’ve made throughout this fantastic summer.

In the meantime, guess what time it is? That’s right, it’s ILC weather forecast time! With winds coming in from the southwest,….just kiddin’! We woke to blue sunny skies and temps in the 60’s. It quickly warmed up to the low 70’s by lunch and mid to upper 70’s in the afternoon hours with partly cloudy skies. It was fantastic weather for our final day of majors and minors.

For the final time this summer, here’s your ILC sports: 8th & 9th grade girls played lacrosse out of camp this afternoon. 5th grade girls played basketball out of camp, as well. Our athletes had a fun summer learning and playing hard on the ball fields and courts.

At the end of the 3rd minor I will read a sad poem over the PA about activities being over and end of summer drawing near.  Just about the whole camp will then voluntarily come to the office to sing our alma mater as I play it over the PA for everyone to hear.  It’s all very bittersweet. Lots of tears will fall onto the office porch just before dinner this evening.

Tonight’s evening activity is our musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie! We’re thoroughly looking forward to seeing our older campers perform on stage for all of their friends.

Today’s special feature is from last night’s fantastic, amazing, stupendous, out-of-this-world phenomenal CIRCUS SHOW! Our campers were on the edge of their seats watching the wondrous acts of their fellow bunkmates and friends as they performed their hearts out.

We have only one more full day left for summer 2017 here at Island Lake. Our blogs will continue even after camp ends and will run all year long every couple of weeks. Be sure to continue reading them throughout the fall, winter, and spring months. If any of your children have written anything about their summer experience here at Island Lake that they’d like to share with their camp family, I’d love to post it in the blog. Just email the info to me at wendy@islandlake.com.

Enjoy your last full day tomorrow of peace and quiet in your homes before your children invade it,…uh, I mean return to you on Saturday. We have one more blog to go while our campers are still here for this Island Lake camp season. Until tomorrow’s final summer 2017 blog, ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday, August 9th

Happy Counselor Switch Day! Today is one of our Island Lake special theme days that our campers truly enjoy. At breakfast, male counselors were moved to the girls’ bunks and female counselors to the boys’ bunks. The kids have a blast with this day as they dress up their counselors and terrorize them. Let’s just say there are a lot of counselors’ beds outside of the bunks instead of inside the bunks. Gotta love camp!

And now for your daily ILC weather report. I’m happy to tell you that we woke up to clear blue skies and we just had a few clouds in the afternoon hours. Per usual, the day started off cool around 60 degrees but it warmed up to a blistering mid 70’s later in the day. Dare I say it? It was a beautiful day in Starrucca, PA!

Today in sports: Our avid athletes took a trip to Cooperstown, NY to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. They journeyed their way around the museum to learn about the history of baseball and take in the aw-inspiring memorabilia from seasons’ past.

Step right up because tonight’s evening activity is the Circus Show! We’re looking forward to our 2nd and final circus show to see all that our campers have learned over the course of the summer. It’s going to be an exciting fun-filled night with the flying trapeze, high wire, fabric, lyra, mini-trampoline, rolling globe, ground skills, and more! We know it’ll be the best show on earth!

Today’s special feature is from last night’s amazing performance of Seussical! Check out this fabulous set and spectacular costumes. Our campers worked hard and it showed as they performed their hearts out. Until tomorrow, which will be our last day of majors and minors (tear!), ILCUTHERE!

Tuesday, August 8th

Hi Island Lake Families! I’m happy to report that the rain has finally stopped! After a full day of wetness, it was time for the grass to dry, tennis courts to get squeegeed, sports balls to be brought back outdoors, horses to ride the trails, swimmers to go back into the lake and pool, and overall have another great outdoor day here in Starrucca, PA. The temps are already warmer than yesterday, reaching 70 degrees for a high. Hopefully the layers of clothing will be discarded as shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops return as the casual wear of our campers once again.

Last night’s Dance Show and Magic Show was spectacular! The dance show theme was Beyonce vs. Gaga. There was a story narrated in between the dances, which were all performed to the songs by these two great artists.  We have some very talented dancers here at ILC! The magic show theme was Magic Through the Seasons so they went through every season performing stage illusion for the camp. The whole night was entertaining and our campers and staff did a fantastic job. Kudos to all of them for a wonderful show!

And now in ILC sports,…it’s back! 7th, 8th, and 9th grade girls played volleyball here at home this morning. 6th & 7th and 8th & 9th grade boys played in basketball games out of camp this afternoon.

In ILC Open news, our finals were played this morning so I have a list of winners for you:

GIRLS: 5th & 6th grade winner- Olivia M. 9th grade & older winner- Gabby G.

BOYS: 5th & 6th grade winner- Ian F.   7th & 8th grade winner- Luc L.   9th grade & up winner- David P. Congrats to all of our 2nd session ILC Open Winners. They will receive their very own tennis trophy at the banquet on Friday night.

Tonight’s evening activity is our younger campers’ show, Seussical! Our little ones put on a sneak peak for us in the dining room last night during dinner announcements and it was adorable. This show should be another fun one to watch.

Today’s special feature is the DANCE & MAGIC SHOW! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Monday, August 7

Good afternoon ILC families! Today has been the first day all summer that it rained continuously throughout the day. We have been very lucky up to this point and rain would only stick around for up to an hour or so (every other day! Ha!).   This is our first wash out of a day where activities had to be brought indoors for every major and minor. It’s also been unseasonably cold with temps only hitting a high of around 60 degrees. I think in my next life I’ll return as a weather woman!

Due to the rain, our Island Lake Open tennis finals will have to be postponed until tomorrow. Our Skatepark Competition successfully took place. The winners of our competition are:

Skateboarding:

Beginners: Liam M.:  Intermediate Girls: 3rd place- Hallie M., 2nd place- Abigail W., 1st place- Danica M.:  Intermediate Boys: 3rd place- Ryder M., 2nd place- Charlie R., 1st place- Jordan K. Advanced: 3rd place- Jonathan (Noni) A., 2nd place- Chase M., 1st place- Miko M.

Rollerblading:

Beginners: Sam B.:  Intermediate: 3rd place- Logan C., 2nd place- Ian F., 1st place- Jared B.:  Advanced: 3rd place- Michael P., 2nd place- Chase M., 1st place- Christian W.

I was asked to do the following for an avid Island Lake blog reader: A special shout out to Lyndsey’s mom who’s got it going on. She lives far away on the other side of the pond. She and this blog have a very special bond. Let’s hear it for Lyndsey’s mom!

I have a surprise guest bunk here today that would like to blog for all of you parents. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you GIRLS BUNK 21!!!!!

Yo yo yo what’s poppin’ Island Lake blog readers?!?! It’s your girlz, G21, comin’ at ya live from Starrucca, PA! Today’s a rainy day in Starrucca, PA but we’re happy anyway. Since this is our last summer together as campers, we’d like to tell you our favorite parts of camp.

“The 1st day of camp is my favorite because we get to see all of our friends again.”– Charlotte D.

“Color War Sing because then we sing the alma maters and I hug everyone and realize how much I’m going to miss everyone,…and I cry.” -Rachel B.

“Getting my 5-year jacket! Oh and Revival Night!” –Julia B.

“Steve Maxx so I can show off my Simon Sez mad skills.” – Rebecca P.

“Brad Henderson because it’s cool to watch our counselors getting hypnotized for real.” – Sara B.

“I liked the teen trip because we got to do different and fun activities with our camp friends.” – Ali G.

“Science with Ben Weber! And Council Fire!” – Sarah C.

“All of banquet day (last full day of camp) because like, I don’t know, how do I say it, uuummmmmmmm, because we have the Color Run, the Rock Show, and we get to do it all with our, like, best friends.” – Ryan P.

“I love making the bunk wishes at the waterfront after banquet and then watching the current year burn away while singing the camp alma mater.” – Sami B.

“I like when our bunk is just together and we sit out on the grass during canteen and talk for hours.” – Gabby G.

“This has been the best summer. It’s my favorite so far. We’ll never forget the last 5 years together. We love each other and our group chat is never gonna die. Friends Forever at ILC.” – XOXO, G21

This group of girls is unusually special. They all get along so well, never have big bunk issues, and just truly love one another and love camp equally. It was a great time having them in my office with me today. Today’s special feature is heartwarming. After G21 blogged, we all sang the camp alma mater together. The following is a video clip from this momentous event.  Please click “clip #13” to view it at the bottom of the blog.

Tonight’s evening activity is the DANCE SHOW & MAGIC SHOW! Our dancers and magicians will perform their hearts out for all of their friends.

Until tomorrow, once we’ll all know who the Bachelorette Rachel picks to marry (inside scoop- I already know!), ILCUTHERE!

Clip #13

Sunday, August 6th

We’re in our final stretch here at Island Lake. It’s our last week of camp. Although it feels like yesterday when the opening day buses rolled onto Island Lake Road, it’s already been 6 full weeks of camp. I hope your children come home next Saturday happy, healthy, and with only amazing memories to share with you. And hey, if there’s a pair of matching socks thrown into the duffel, even better!

This morning was a chilly one with temps only in the 50’s but sunny skies. By lunchtime the temps reached the mid 60’s and the high was only around 70 degrees today. Although chilly for August, it’s perfect for children who are running around all day.

This has been a great summer for prank wars here at camp. I thought you’d get a kick out of hearing what’s been going on all over camp this summer. Let’s see,…so the summer started out with a continuation of last summer’s prank war between the current G20 vs. Matt Stoltz. They decorated his golfcart and then sprayed his office windows by writing G20 everywhere with shaving cream and window markers. Matt besought his revenge by stealing their pillows and not returning them until the girls announced in the dining room in front of the whole camp that Matt is the king of all prank wars. Then there was some good ol’ fashioned fun between G2 vs. me (Wendy). They (& G12) love to take the bungee cords off of my quad and not return them. G2 did so and declared war on me so I went into their bunk during an activity and took all of their spare blankets. Don’t worry, I returned them before bedtime that night. I kept them just long enough for them to notice. Well then they got ahold of some silly string and slaughtered my quad with it. That was a real treat to clean up! I decided to retire the war with them at that point and let the little girls declare victory over me.

Here are some other prank wars that occurred this summer: G24 moved all of the boats to blockade the dining room doors and let B24 get blamed for it. G23 stole all of G20’s orbeez and delivered them in cups and pitchers on their dining room table.   Just recently, G24 stole all of girls campus’s shower curtains. To get retribution, Dustin and Trip are in the midst of taking all of G24’s towels & linens, which they may notice by dinnertime shortly. There’s another trick up their sleeve for later tonight but I can’t yet share it with you in case you’re the parent of a G24 camper with a phone call this evening. These prank wars have all been good ol’ fashioned camp fun and no personal property was damaged.

Back in ILC news, our theater shows, Suessical and Thoroughly Modern Millie, practiced full run throughs today. Suessical, our younger camer show, will perform on Tuesday night and Modern Millie, our older camper show, will perform on Thursday. Circus is also practicing for their big performance for the camp on Wednesday night. Tomorrow night our magicians and dancers will show off their skills for the camp when they perform for everyone at evening activity.

Our tennis campers have been competing in another ILC Open this session and this morning was our semi-finals. Our tennis finals are tomorrow so I’ll let you know who the winners are then. Skatepark is having their once per session competition tomorrow for our avid skateboarders and rollerbladers of all skill levels. I’ll let you know who those winners are, as well.

Tonight’s evening activity is our big, spectacular, 2nd session SOCIAL! ILC’s favorite DJ Dennis will be here to spin tunes and bring our campers to their feet to dance all night long. Our girls will get dressed up and look very pretty. Our boys,…well, we’re lucky if they shower. Our campers always have a blast at the social.

Today’s special feature is CIRCUS! Please excuse some of the action blur. Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Saturday, August 5th

Hi ILC Parents! Today we resumed our regular camp schedule with majors and minors once again. Being that this has been quite the rainy summer, of course we woke up to those liquid droplets pouring from the sky. Before first major, the sun started to peak out from behind the clouds. The temps stayed cool in the 60’s most of the day with the skies partly cloudy. It was a bit on the windy side, too. Great for sailing! What a summer in terms of weather, huh? I can write a whole blog about that alone! But I won’t bore you any further,…

It seems like we’re always celebrating something here at Island Lake. Today I held MUSIC LUNCH in the dining room. Some of you may be asking what Music Lunch is. Why it’s Island Lake’s very own Lollapoalooza/Coachella! Just kiddin’, I play music throughout the dining room for everyone to enjoy. Once the kids finish eating their lunches, they get up and dance and sing along to the pop tunes. It was a fun, festive time for our campers and staff. I even took lots of pictures to share with you below (see if you can figure out which pictures were taken during “The Wobble”).

Tonight’s evening activity is the Campers’ Choice Awards. It’s like the Teen Choice Awards except we don’t slime anyone! The Campers’ Choice Awards is a special night for the campers, by the campers. The goal is to have fun recognizing campers and staff who stood out this summer. We handed out ballots to each bunk ahead of time and asked them to fill them out and submit them back to their group leaders. The ballots were then tallied up and nominees were informed.

At the start of the night, we will lay out the red carpet in front of the theater. The nominees will walk down the red carpet while being interviewed by staff. Our photographer will be snapping photos and our other campers will be spectators. We’ll try to make it feel like a real red carpet event! Everyone will then enter the theater for the award show.

Here’s a list of categories for tonight’s festivities: rookie of the year (best 1st year counselor), most adorable camper, best major or minor, favorite department head/assistant department head, camp clown (funniest camper and funniest counselor), cutest camp couple, counselor of the summer, most likely to never stop coming back to camp, most likely to be famous some day, and most likely to be Color War general next summer. As the summer 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, I’m very excited to attend the Campers’ Choice Awards tonight!

Below are photos from MUSIC LUNCH! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Friday, August 4th

Hi Island Lake families! It was an amazing 3 days of Color War and the Comedy Blue Team took home the win by only a few hundred points. Last night’s Sing was exciting for everyone. Great songs, funny skits, and fantastic plaques were enough to make each team proud. The whole camp later sang the camp alma mater while the scores were tallied up and many kids and counselors were in tears. Tears of joy for the 3 fierce and intense days they experienced and tears of sadness, for camp is over in 8 days. Friendships and bonds were strengthened and the love everyone has for one another filled the room with joy.   Although one team had to win Color War, the memories over the course of the 3 days are what will stay with everyone for a long time to come. It was absolutely fantastic, but we will now move on, as the friendly competition is over.

Today is our very last Lazy Day for summer 2017. Tomorrow we resume our regularly scheduled program. But for today, groups 1&2 went to Montage Mountain Water Park and groups 3&4 went to Sky Zone in Scranton, PA. These children are bundles of energy so if 3 days of Color War and a day of jumping around at a trampoline park and running/swimming/tubing on water doesn’t wear them out, well then,…I don’t know,…they’re all yours in another week!

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s the rundown: GIRLS: Groups 1&2 (& boys group 1)- movie; Group 3- Hungry Hungy Hippo (human version); Group 4- Pool Party (with boys group 4). BOYS: Group 1- movie (with girls groups 1&2); Group 2- Capture the Flag; Group 3- Gaga; Group 4- Pool party (with girls group 4)

Because today is Lazy Day, there’s no special feature slide show. I’ll make it all up to you tomorrow when we resume our majors/minors once again. Until then, ILCUTHERE!

Thursday, August 3rd

Today is the 3rd and final day of Color War. It’s been a fierce but friendly 3 days of competition between Comedy and Horror. Yesterday’s rain let up after lunch so we were fortunate to be able to play the Sports before dinner. The winner of sports was grey Horror, but by only a few points.

Last night’s Lip Sync Battle & Music Videos was truly FANTASTIC! I kid you not, these campers and staff did a stupendous job choosing songs, choreographing them, and then performing them. The Horror team’s music video was aesthetically rich, gruesome in context, and perfect for their theme. The Comedy team’s video was cute and light hearted since hey, it’s comedy! Because both teams did a superb job with this evening activity, it was extremely difficult for our judges to choose a winner. Ultimately, the scored was drawn as a tie.

Yesterday’s decorum points went slightly more to the grey Horror team but again, only by a few points because both teams are truly going above and beyond in so many aspect of Color War this summer. With all of these points in place, and the recovered hatchet points added in from yesterday (Comedy found it), the team who was winning this morning at breakfast was,….drum roll please,….COMEDY by 73 points! It’s truly anyone’s game and it can go in either direction today with sports, our big annual apache relay, and Sing tonight.

And now onto all of today’s Color War events: We woke up to blue skies and cool temps that the sun burned off pretty early on. The temps reached the upper 70’s, which was perfect for running around for Sports and then doing the afternoon Apache Relay. But before I get to all of that, here’s a list of what everyone did for sports this morning: Group 1: Boys- dodgeball, Girls- musical chairs; Group 2: Boys- theater challenges, Girls- Gaga; Group 3: Boys- chess tournament, Girls- Chopped (cooking) & Kong Pong; Group 4: Boys- touch football, Girls- water basketball.

The winner of this morning’s sports goes to Horror but again, only by a small amount of points! Here are the scores as of lunchtime: 3147 to 3129, for a difference of 18 points, in favor of BLUE COMEDY!!! It was still anyone’s game. After lunch we had team meetings and then we hosted our sailing regatta and staff island swim meet that was previously rained out. Following that we went directly into our big Apache Relay. The Apache spans over the course of a few hours and it involves a couple hundred campers on each team. The relay entails a total of 167 tasks for each team to successfully complete. The kids run from one location to another throughout camp and tag a child in a specific department to do an activity/task. Once complete, they then tag another camper either in the same department or someone to then run to a different department to tag a child and perform another activity/task.

The Apache is a big camp tradition and it involves all of our departments here at camp, and then some! We include a whole lot of fun tasks such as eating saltine crackers and then whistling Yankee Doodle Dandy before tagging another camper to run to the next department listed on the schedule. Other fun activities in the Apache are kayaking around the floating raft in the lake, filling a cup of water using a teaspoon, saddling a horse, beading a bracelet, typing “Island Lake Rules” in different languages in the video room, self-hit a homerun on the baseball field, run to pioneering with a jalapeno pepper in their mouth (Oy vey!), drop in on the half-pipe in the skatepark, deflate a tire in mountain biking, sing the camp alma mater over the PA system in the office, and much, much, much, much more. Our counselors also have some difficult tasks to perform such as doing 100 push-ups or hitting a baseball over the fence on the ball field. The Apache Relay finally ends with all campers and counselors in the gym sitting on the bleachers watching a camper from each team successfully shoot a half court basketball shot.

The Apache Relay represents such a special thrill and excitement of summer camp tradition! It’s all about fun during this event here at ILC, and it shows. In the end, the blue Comedy team beat the grey Horror team by about 14 minutes. Below are just a few photos from the start and the end of the Apache. Please see our CampMinder page for many more photos from all of today’s events.

Color War closes tonight with our annual Sing. Each team is judged for their creative entrance into the theater. They then take turns performing a March/Fight song, a Comedy song, a Skit, an Alma Mater song, and then they present their team’s Plaque. The entire night is bittersweet and somber as Color War comes to an end. Everyone hugs, many cry, and while the final scores are tallied we play the camp alma mater so everyone joins together to sing.

And finally, once the scores are all tallied up, Oliver, who is in charge of Color War, will stand on the theater stage and announce how proud she is of everyone who participated these past 3 days. Then she’ll announce the winner of the Sing and the winner of Color War overall. The winning team will jump up and scream and go crazy with excitement. The other team will be sad for a moment but they’ll quickly get over it by the time they head to canteen. Since this blog is being posted prior to Sing, later tonight I will post the winner for all of you. Until then, ILC U THERE!