Happy New Year: January Parent News

Happy New Year!  All of us at Island Lake hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with love, happiness, presents, and lots to reminiscence about your children’s wonderful memories of their 2019 ILC experiences.  As we sit here in our winter offices with the chill outside, it feels as though summer 2019 is a distant, yet fond, memory.  Our countdown for summer 2020 has already kicked into gear and our opening day of camp will be here before we know it.  Words cannot even describe our excitement for summer to get here already!  178 days until camp begins (as of January 1st)!

Our camp reunion in November was a huge success!  Screams of excitement filled the air as campers and staff embraced one another.  We had a fantastic turnout, including children and counselors who flew in from other parts of the country just to see their camp friends.  The reunion never seems to last long enough.  Time flies when we’re having fun catching up with many of our Island Lakers.  Check out our reunion photos posted right here in December’s blog. 

We’re busy planning for our annual session 2 TEEN TRIP, which this summer will be to Montreal & Quebec.  This trip will be offered to all campers entering 9th grade and higher.  Check out more details in your January newsletter and if you have any additional questions, feel free to give us a call.  The enrollment form and details for this trip will be mailed out shortly to all who are eligible to take advantage of this fun-filled experience. 

A reminder to our summer 2019 and 2020 families; don’t forget to read our monthly newsletters!  You can access them right here on our website.  Our newsletters provide important information for parents as well as campers, including enrollment and availability updates.  Here’s a direct link to the newsletters on our website: ILC Newsletters

Speaking of enrollment, if you have not yet registered your children for summer 2020 but plan to do so, please, please, please do not put it off any longer.  Some of our bunks are now completely full.  We truly do not want to turn away loyal campers, so let’s avoid that from happening.  You can register your children with the enrollment form mailed to you with your newsletter or you can download the form here on our website under “Island Lake Families” and then “Forms & Mailings” (on the left-hand side of the page).  It only takes a few minutes to fill out the form, we promise! 

To all current and new Island Lake families, we look forward to an amazing summer 2020 with your children.  To all previous or prospective families, feel free to contact us if you have any questions after browsing our website: 914-769-6060 or info@islandlake.com.  And last but not least, all of us here at Island Lake wish you, our campers, parents, and staff, a very Happy & Healthy New Year!!!  ILC U THERE!!!

December Parent News

Hey Island Lake Parents!  We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  With winter just about here, it is our hope that your children still have “camp on the brain” and continue to share their wonderful ILC summer 2019 memories with you.  Our countdown for next summer has already kicked into gear and opening day of camp will emerge upon us before we know it.  As of December 1st, only 209 days until summer 2020 at Island Lake will be here!

Our camp reunion on November 23rd at Sportime USA was a huge success!  Screams of excitement filled the air as campers and staff embraced one another.  We had a fantastic turnout, including children who flew in from other parts of the country just to see their camp friends.  Pretty cool, huh?  The reunion never seems to last long enough.  Time flies when we’re having fun catching up with many of our Island Lakers.  Check out our reunion photos posted on social media and below here in this blog.

By now, all of our summer 2019 camp families should have received an email with a link to our amazing ILC video yearbook located on youtube.  If you need another copy of the link, feel free to contact us at info@islandlake.com and we’d be happy to help you out.  We hope you and your children have taken the opportunity to watch this super fun video yearbook filled with many exciting summer activities and memories.  For almost an hour you can forget about all that’s going on around you to truly feel a part of the ILC experience.  We hear some children have been watching it on loop over and over again!

Reminders to all families, returning and new, don’t forget to read our monthly newsletters.  They are located right here on our website.  Our newsletters provide important information for you, including enrollment and availability updates.  If you’d like to read our newsletter on our website, you can simply go to the “Island Lake Families” link above and then “ILC News” on the left-hand side of the page.  You can also click the following link to view it:  https://www.islandlake.com/current-camp-families/island-lake-newsletter.php

Speaking of enrollment, if you have not yet registered your children for summer 2020 but plan to do so, please, please, please do not put it off any longer.  Some bunks are now completely full.  We truly do not want to turn away our loyal campers, so let’s avoid that from happening.  You can register your children with the enrollment form mailed to you with your monthly newsletter or you can download the form here on our website under “Island Lake Families” and then “Forms & Mailings.”

With all of the winter cheer around us, we wish you and your family a spectacular holiday season!  Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year to all!  ILC U THERE in 2020!

November Parent News

Hey ILC Parents!  We hope you and your children had a fun, safe Halloween filled with enough candy to last them a lifetime.  We also hope your children SHARE all of their treats with you.  (Otherwise, you may want to pull a “Jimmy Kimmel” and eat all their candy while they’re asleep!)

All of us in the ILC winter offices are very excited for our CAMP REUNION on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23rd at SportimeUSA in Elmsford, NY.  The reunion will be held from 10am until 1pm and details are provided in all of our monthly newsletters since summer.  We look forward to seeing many of our campers and staff members at the reunion that day, no RSVP necessary.

By now all of our summer 2019 parents should have received an email from us with the link to our Island Lake Video Yearbook on youtube.  We hope you and your children have taken the opportunity to “chillax” with a bowl of popcorn to watch this amazing video filled with many exciting summer activities and memories.  For about 45 minutes you can forget all about the real world and truly feel a part of the ILC experience.

Are your children still sharing their wonderful ILC memories with you?  We sure hope so!  Our summer 2020 countdown is in full swing and camp will sneak up on us before we know it.  As of November 1st, only 239 days until Opening Day at Island Lake!  In the meantime, you and your children can continue to view our daily summer photos on Waldo, our weekly videos on youtube, our daily blogs that were written all summer long right here, as well as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts.  We will continue to post on all of these social media platforms throughout the year so be sure to check us out often and “like” our posts.

Registration for summer 2020 is going very well thus far.  If you have not yet enrolled your children for next summer, what are you waiting for?  Some bunks are already full.  Please don’t put off enrollment any longer, as we do not want to have to turn away our loyal campers. You can enroll your children with the registration form that we mailed home to you with your monthly newsletter or you can download the form right here on our website by going to “Island Lake Families” and then “Forms & Mailings.”

Being that next summer will be our 35th summer that my family, the Stoltz’s, have owned Island Lake, we are excited that the number of 2nd generation campers has been increasing each and every summer.  We’re so lucky to have 2 brothers whose parents met at ILC as children, got married many years later, and now share their special home away from home with their own children.  Talk about true 2nd generation campers, huh?  The above photo is a group of our 2nd generation campers who were all at ILC during the 1st session this past summer.

Well, that’s about it for now.  We are soooooooo EXCITED to see many of our Island Lakers at our camp reunion later in the month on November 23rd.  Until then, ILCUTHERE!

October Parent News

Hey Island Lake Parents!  With fall upon us, we hope your children are still sharing tons of wonderful ILC memories with you.  Our summer 2020 countdown has already kicked into gear- 270 days as of October 1st!  Next summer will sneak up on us before we know it.  In the meantime, you and your children can continue to view our Waldo photos, weekly videos, social media posts, & daily summer blogs for several months to come.

Shortly, all our 2019 camp families will receive info regarding viewing our Island Lake Video Yearbook online.  We hope you and your children will enjoy watching this amazing video filled with so many fond memories of this summer past.  For 45 minutes you can forget about all that’s going on around you, sit back, relax, and enjoy being taken back to summer so you can truly feel a part of the ILC experience.

We are all getting pumped up for our CAMP REUNION on Saturday, November 23rd at Sportime USA in Elmsford, NY.  The reunion will be held from 10am until 1pm and details are located in our monthly newsletters.  We look forward to seeing many of our summer 2019 campers and staff there, no RSVP necessary.

We are happy to announce that camp is filling up very nicely for next summer.  Be sure to register your children right away if you have not already done so.  Certain bunks are already full in specific sessions!  You can sign up your children with the registration form we mailed home with your newsletter or you can download our form here on our website under “Island Lake Families” and then “Forms & Mailings” to your left.

Well, that’s about it for now.  We wish everyone a safe and spook-tacular Halloween at the end of the month.  Until then, ILC U THERE!

September Parent News

It was with great sadness that we bid farewell to our ILC family on August 17th.  We truly enjoyed spending an AMAZING summer with all of our campers and staff.  Was summer 2019 the best because of our incredibly awesome counselors?  Was it because we had the greatest group leaders, department heads, and head counselor ever?  Was it our fantastic teen trip to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard?  Could it be because of the fun theme days and evening activities such as Campchella, Christmas in July, and Revival Night?  Or was it because we had the coolest, happiest, most amazing campers ever?  We are sure it was a combination of all of these things that made this summer so special.  One thing we can tell you with all sincerity is that this was one of our BEST ILC SUMMERS YET!!!

We’d like to thank you for your wonderful emails, phone calls, and letters regarding this past summer.  These gracious gestures mean so incredibly much to us as camp directors.  Now go get a pen and paper to save the date for our annual camp reunion, which will be held on Saturday, November 23rdat SportimeUSA in Elmsford, NY.  Details are in our September newsletter and we hope our campers and many of our staff can join us for this special day of fun.

Registration for Summer 2020 has exceeded last year’s enrollment at this point in time.  We are thrilled to know that we had so many happy campers with us this past summer. Due to the school calendar dates in the northeast, camp will begin on Saturday, June 27th, our changeover day will be on a Saturday, July 25th, and closing day will be on a Saturday, August 15th.  Our Open House will be on Saturday, June 13th, our Rookie Day will be offered on Saturday July, 11th, and our annual Visiting Day will take place on Saturday, July 18th.

Remember; take advantage of our early rates! If you have not yet registered your child, please do so immediately!  All you have to do is fill out your 2020 enrollment form and send it to us with a $1700 deposit by either check or credit card.  A copy of your child’s registration form was already mailed to all returning families so you don’t even have to do much work.  Our office has moved, so please send all mail to the following address from now on:

Island Lake Camp/PO Box 228/Chappaqua, NY  10514

Our early rates run through September 15th so take advantage of these prices and avoid getting closed out later on.  Cancellations can be made through December 1st and we will refund all of your money less the $250 enrollment fee.  Remember, there is a rate increase on September 15th.

Well, those three torturous words, “Back To School,” have already become a reality for many of our campers who are stuck behind a school desk, daydreaming about their Island Lake experience. We wish you all a wonderful school year.  Our campers can now start their countdown until next summer when we can all be reunited in Starrucca, PA once again!  As of September 1st, we have only 300 days until ILCUTHERE!

Friday, August 16th- Last Day of Camp

Sadly, today is our last full day of camp.  Summer 2019 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 4:00pm 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 9:15am.  The kids then went back to their bunks to start cleaning up. Lunch followed and then we had our 7thannual 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.  Everyone eventually gathered by the lake at the finish line, proud of their accomplishments.  At the end of this blog are photos I took at the finish line.

Directly after the Color Run we had our final Rock Concert of the summer outside 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 2019 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 “2019” sign on the water and we’ll sing our camp alma mater.  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 2019 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.

One last time, here is the link to look at all of David Lobel’s photos at camp this summer.  He took some great ones during Color War, in addition to all of Ally’s on Waldo.

Island Lake Pics

And that’s about it for the Island Lake Summer 2019 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.  Continue to check in throughout the year since I’ll continue to blog every month.

I hope your children all come home to you as “happy campers” tomorrow.  Hey, it’ll be a 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.  Until next year when we can all be together once again in the 18462, ILCUTHERE!!!

Thursday, August 15th- Color War Day 3

Today is the 3rdand final day of Color War.  It’s been a fierce but friendly 3 days of competition between Wonderland and Oz. Last night’s Lip Sync Battle & Music Videos were FANTASTIC!  I kid you not, these campers and staff did a stupendous job choosing songs, choreographing them, and then performing them for their peers.  The videos were adorable, light-hearted, and fun.  Both teams did a superb job with this evening activity so it was extremely difficult for our judges to choose a winner. Ultimately, the winner of the Music Videos went to the Wonderland (grey team) and the winner of the Lip Sync Battle went to the Oz (blue team).

The overall winner of yesterday’s sports was the Oz team (blue)! The point differentials for day 2 decorum were extremely close with just 5-points between the 2 teams.  Ultimately, the team who received those 5 extra points and won the decorum points overall was team Oz.

Yesterday’s big winner leading into today’s final day of color war is,…….drum roll please,……WONDERLAND (grey)!  Wonderland is leading Oz by a score of 2049 – 1926. That was the score as of this morning at breakfast with a difference of only 123 points.  Color War can still go to either team, as it will all come down to the Sing tonight.

Today’s weather report is sponsored by Glinda, the good witch of the south, making hearts warmer, brains smarter, and campers courageous.  J  This morning we woke up to beautiful blue skies and warm temps reaching the mid-70’s. This afternoon the weather remained fantastic for the Apache Relay.  We had beautiful blue skies with temps hitting the mid to upper 70’s.

And now back to Color War. This morning we held our last day of sports.  Here’s a list of what everyone did:

Group 1:  Boys- Fishing Challenges       Girls- Crazy Games

Group 2:  Boys- Kong Pong                    Girls- Gaga

Group 3:  Boys- Chess Tournament        Girls- Chopped

Group 4:  Boys- Touch Football               Girls- Giant Foosball

Although it was very close overall, the winner of this morning’s sports was Wonderland (grey team)!

After lunch we had team meetings and then our big Apache Relay.  The Apache spans over the course of a few hours and it 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 somewhere around camp.

The Apache is a big camp tradition and it involves all of our departments here at camp.  We include a whole lot of fun tasks such as unrolling and then re-rolling toilet paper 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 dock 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/CIT from each team successfully shoot a half court basketball shot.

The Apache Relay represents a special thrill and excitement as an Island Lake summer camp tradition! It’s all about fun during this event here at ILC, and it shows.  In the end, team Oz (blue team) took home the win.

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 (“Keep The Moment”) so everyone joins together to sing.  Since Color War is taking place at the very end of the summer, it’ll be that much more depressing for everyone.

And finally, once the scores are all tallied up, Oliver will stand up on stage and thank everyone for their participation these past 3 days.  A special thank you will be extended to the officers who worked day and night, night and day, to organize their teams and bring on a victory.  She’ll then announce the winner of the Sing and the overall winner of Color War.  The winning team will jump for joy, scream like crazy, and go wild with excitement. The other team will be sad for a moment but they’ll be 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 here on the blog, Facebook, and Instagram.  I didn’t take any photos today because I know there are tons available to you on Waldo.  Until later when I present to you the overall winner of Color War, ILCUTHERE!!!

Wednesday, August 14th- Color War Day 2

Happy 2ndday of Color War!  Our campers are having the greatest time participating, cheering, dressing up, and enjoying the overall camaraderie of these 3 days of friendly competition. Let’s get right to the events and scores.  Last night’s Silent Dinner was as fun as it sounds.  The kids did a marvelous job staying quiet throughout the entire meal, even as some of our non-bunk staff (yours truly included) tried to terrorize them and make them speak.  The winner of the silent dinner was the blue team- Oz.

The winner of yesterday’s Unique trivia game was the grey Wonderland team.  Last night’s Rope Burn was fantastic!  Both teams built sturdy fires and luckily with the lack of wind, the fires burned the ropes directly above.  Wonderland’s rope broke first at the time mark of 39 minutes and change, with Oz’s rope breaking about 5 minutes later.  We had a light rain just prior to the rope burn so the wet wood and wet rope made it that much more challenging for our staff.


At the end of each day, decorum points are handed out to the teams for cheering, dressing up, banners, sportsmanship, etc.  The decorum point spread was close but the win ultimately went to the grey Wonderland team.

After the first full day of friendly competition, with the decorum points tallied, the team leading Color War by just under 200 points is,…drum roll please,… WONDERLAND!

Since no one found the hatchet yesterday, the points decreased from 300 to 200.  This morning’s clue was “flood.”  This clue completely makes sense to me, but that’s only because I know where the hatchet was hidden.  (insert wicked witch evil laugh here)

But wait, stay with me because later this morning during the team meeting the hatchet was found!  The Wonderland team discovered it in the bushes at the dining room.  Here is what the clues meant:   Shermer stands for Shermer, Illinois, which is the town where the Breakfast Club took place.  Get it?  Breakfast? Dining room?  And today’s clue was flood, because last summer during color war we had a torrential rainstorm and the dining room flooded.  So there ya have it,…the 2019 hatchet clues!

We woke up this morning to cloudy skies and it looked as if it may have rained overnight. Lucky for us, the small amount of rain we had yesterday didn’t affect any of our color war events.  Today the sun was in and out, but unfortunately more out than in until the late afternoon when the sun burned through the clouds and made for beautiful blue skies once again.

David Lobel has posted some amazing Color War pics on his smugmug website.  You must take a look at them when you have a few moments.  He captured one of the ropes burning in real time and the photos are super cool:

Island Lake Photos by David Lobel

This morning we held our annual Color War Swim Meet.  A variety of kids from each age group participated in the following on the lake: canoe relay, kayak relay, freestyle relay, medley relay (freestyle, backstroke), kickboard relay, sweat suit relay, greased watermelon, & swim to the island and back.  Here’s a list of activities that took place in the swimming pool:  penny fetch, water basketball, medley relay, kickboard relay, paddleboard relay, & freestyle relay.  The overall winner of the Swim Meet was Oz, the blue team.

After lunch we had rest hour, team meetings, snack break, and then Battle of the Bands in the theater. I personally love this event.  Our campers (& staff) played a variety of instruments, sang songs related to their team’s names, and each group had a separate battle against one another.   The whole camp stood up on their seats to sing and clap along with the bands.  Everyone was super into it, which was great.  There’s been an amazing amount of Color War spirit these past couple of days. The winner of the Battle of the Bands was Wonderland, the grey team.

After Battle of the Bands we held our Sports events.  Although we call it “sports,” it’s not all sporting events.  Here’s a list of what all of our groups participated in:

Group 1:  Boys- Kickball                              Girls- Gaga

Group 2:  Boys- Engineering Challenge      Girls- Theater Challenges

Group 3:  Boys- Sand Soccer                      Girls- Dart Tournament

Group 4:  Boys- Giant Foosball                    Girls- Water Basketball

Boys/Girls- Chopped (in cooking)

Since I’m posting this blog before dinner, I’ll tell you the winner of Sports tomorrow.

After dinner this evening we will have another team meeting followed by tonight’s evening activity, Lip Sync Battle and Music Videos.  Lip Sync Battle is inspired by the tv show.  Our team representatives will attempt to intimidate their opponents with their sweet dance moves and lip sync’ing abilities.  Each team will have 3 dance crews:  lower camp (groups 1&2), upper camp (groups 3&4)/CITs, and counselors.  Each crew will prepare dances to 2 different songs, complete with props and costumes. The songs must relate to the team’s theme name.  The crews will compete head-to-head against their opponents.  Judging will be based on choreography, accuracy of lip sync’ing, and how well it relates to the team’s theme.  I’ll report the winners to you in tomorrow’s blog.

Each team has spent the past 2 days creating a music video that relates to their team’s theme. We’ll play them in the theater on a big screen for the entire camp to view tonight.  The more creative the video, the more points the team will receive.

Below are photos from this morning’s swim meet.  I captured photos of the penny fetch, kayak relay, freestyle relay, sweat suit relay, water basketball, and everyone’s favorite greased watermelon.   Until tomorrow, our final day of this intense, powerful, yet fun-loving Color War, ILCUTHERE!!!

Tuesday, August 13th- Color War Day 1

COLOR WAR COLOR WAR COLOR WAR!!!  That’s right, summer 2019 Color War is in full swing here at Island Lake.  The teams are Wonderland vs. Oz!  Wonderland is the grey team and Oz is the blue team. I’m excited to see how each of these teams uses their themes to their greatest advantage in all aspects of Color War. (Disclaimer:  Being that I’ll be typing the words, “color” and “war” a million times over the course of the next 3 days, sometimes the “c” and “w” may be capitalized, sometimes they may not be, and sometimes I’ll refer to it as “cw” or “CW.”)

So, which team do you think your children are on?   Let’s hope to find out via photos over the next 3 days.  We give every camper and counselor a blue or grey Color War t-shirt, depending on the team they are on.  Some little boys will choose to wear this t-shirt for all 3 days straight (ew, gross!), but hopefully they will not.  J  A lot of kids have cw paraphernalia that their parents sent to them and they have fun painting their bodies and dressing up to their team’s theme.

I’ll blog daily with tons of Color War updates and I’ll post some photos from special events.  Ally, our camp photographer, will take tons of photos to post on Waldo.  David Lobel is here so he’ll also take photos to post on Waldo and on his smugmug page. I’ll provide the link later on in this blog.  Our video department will also be all over camp recording Color War from start to finish for our final weekly video and for the video yearbook.  I hope you will love all that you will see on my blog and on our social media as much as our campers will love experiencing it all.

Yesterday, as we broke color war during snack break, our campers all instinctively ran to the gym where we kick off the 3 days of events with officer introductions.  Everyone here at ILC automatically runs to the gym, as they know that’s where we begin the events with the intros.  Our campers and staff went crazy as they read the team lists and all screamed and hugged one another in excitement for what’s ahead. Ashley Oliver, aka “Oliver,” who is our program director, runs Color War from start to finish.  She announced all of the officers and the camp went wild in support of their generals, majors, captains, lieutenants, and sergeants. Once the intros were complete, the teams split up and went into their meetings.  That’s all we did for Color War yesterday.  Dinner and rest hour took place as usual followed by Peter and the Star Catcher.

Speaking of Peter and the Star Catcher, our older campers put on a wonderful performance last night.  Their hard work and dedication to this show was apparent based on how well they performed on stage last night.  You can view tons of photos from the show on Waldo later on.  We also videotaped the show for you to order post-camp.

Before I forgot, David Lobel is here taking fantastic photos out and about in camp.  In addition to our photographer Ally’s amazing photos, David has some fantastic pics from the performance last night, too.  I’m sure he’s going to take pics alongside with Ally during Color War.  Some of David’s photos are on Waldo and here is a link to view all of his summer pics on smughug.


So you know how we’ve had the most amazing, incredible, fantabulous weather of all time this past summer?  And as many of you may be aware, you know how it almost always rains on our first day of Color War when we have the rope burn?  Well, of course once again this summer, low and behold, it rained on and off today because it’s rope burn day.  That’s the only reason why I can think of that it should rain today after a long streak of beautiful weather.  Regardless, our CW activities were able to continue on and nothing had to be replaced with a special rainy day activity.

One last thing before I get to all things Color War,…our final riddle of the summer!  Yesterday’s riddle was:  What can be liquid or solid, sometimes it bubbles, and it can be found in every home?  Answer: Soap!  Congrats to Jordan G, Morgann G, Lisa S, and Ben W for getting this riddle correct.  Thank you to the many parents who participated and contacted me with your responses all summer long.  I hope these riddles were as entertaining for you as they were for me!

And now, on to Color War! Each summer we hide the hatchet and each team heads out in search of this hatchet based on clues provided in the morning during breakfast announcements in the dining room.  Today’s clue was “Shermer.”  The clues are always very difficult to decipher and to be honest, the kids just go and seek out the hatchet in the same locations every summer in hopes of getting lucky.  They all look in the pioneering area, the ball fields, the rock shop, etc.  We’ll see how long it takes for a team to find the hatchet this summer.  The sooner they find it the more points it is worth, losing value with each additional day it takes for them to find it.  Our campers are only allowed to search for the hatchet during team meetings and they must do so with a counselor.

This morning each team had a meeting prior to a brand new event that we added to ILC Color War this summer called, “A Hero’s Scavenger Hunt.”  Here’s how it worked.  The Queen of Hearts and the Wicked Witch of the West teamed up to terrorize Island Lake. Our campers had to seek out allies hidden across camp and complete their challenges to gain key items necessary in their quest.  The teams were encouraged to split into several groups for searching, along with at least one counselor.  The winner of this scavenger hunt was Oz, the blue team.

After lunch we had rest hour (as opposed to after dinner, which is when we usually have rest hour) and then Five Period Basketball in the gym.  It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like with each period being played by each of our different age groups, including counselors.  The overall winner of our Five Period Basketball tournament was Oz by only 4 points or 2 baskets.  It was an exciting game to watch.

After basketball we had snack break at the bunks followed by a team meeting.  After the meeting we held our annual trivia game, Unique.  It takes place in the theater and it is played group by group.  A select number of campers go up to the stage and stand before podiums with lights. When a camper knows the answer to a trivia question, whether it is related to the CW teams or camp, they flip a light switch and then answer the question.  They earn points for their team by answering questions correctly.  I’m posting this blog before Unique starts so I’ll tell you the winner tomorrow.

After Unique we will have our new annual tradition that is personally one of my favorites- a Silent Dinner!!!  Believe it or not our campers absolutely LOVE the silent dinner, as well!  They petitioned for us to bring it into Color War a few summers ago.  After a couple hundred kids signed this petition we just couldn’t say no to it. A dining room filled with children and hardly the sound of a pin dropping throughout an entire meal is amazing! I have to admit, it’s so much fun messing with the kids and trying to make them speak.  It’s amazing how resilient they can be when they’re taking one for the team.   Take note parents.  You may want to apply this event to your own homes after the summer!

Post dinner is one more team meeting followed by the Rope Burn.  Each team walks down to the rope burn by the waterski lake together with a grand entrance worth points.  The counselors fetch wood and build their fires while the kids cheer them on.  The first team to burn the rope with their fire wins.  This is truly an amazing Island Lake tradition.  Tomorrow I’ll tell you who won rope burn.

And that’s about it for our 1stfull day of Color War here at ILC!  Below are some photos of our campers at the basketball game and some staff all dressed up as characters from the books.  Until more Color War scoop tomorrow when I tell you which team is in the lead, ILCUTHERE!