In our 35 years of owning and running Island Lake we never thought we would have to send this letter. Due to restrictions placed on our operations, Island Lake will be unable to open this summer. We are heartbroken by this.
The guidelines that have come out from the American Camp Association and their consultants say that social distancing is a recommended guideline for 2020. Island Lake cannot be Island Lake with these restrictions so we have made this difficult decision.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is in a phased reopening; Red, Yellow, & Green. Wayne County is currently in red which means stay at home. When it goes to yellow there are restrictions in place that will not allow us to open. The Green Phase has yet to be defined; the rules currently say follow current CDC guidelines. We are sure those will include distancing and mask requirements through the end of the summer. In fact, the criteria that will be used to move a region from the Yellow Phase to the Green Phase are still not determined. A region could be moved back to yellow or red if there is a resurgence of the virus meaning that even if we don’t have an outbreak at camp the Commonwealth could shut us down.
To give you an idea of how important camp is to us, for Matt this will be his first summer not at camp since 1985 and second since 1972. Wendy has also only missed one summer since 1972 and she was very young at the time. The worst decision that we could make would be to open and then have to close because of an outbreak at our facility or in our region.
COVID-19 has changed all of our lives in some way. As adults, we have all had different emotions and difficulties dealing with this pandemic. It is impossible for us to understand the emotions our children are going through as a result of this decision. We were so hopeful to be able to have our campers come to camp and erase some of their fears, anxieties and day to day worries with good old fashioned fun. We are heartbroken that summer will not be a reprieve for them, and for you.
As stated in an earlier email, all registrations for 2020 will be honored for 2021. Campers who would have been entering their last year as campers will still be allowed to be together, as campers, for 2021. If anyone would like to be a CIT, they may choose that option. Please hold off on letting us know your decision until we ask for it. We are still absorbing this in our minds.
It seems surreal to be writing this to you and I’m sure it seems the same to be receiving it. I press the send button with great sadness. We wish you and your families health and happiness in the coming months. And of course, ILCUTHERE 2021!
Wendy, Ricki and Matt, Bev
P.S. Please watch the video below with your campers. It is with heavy hearts that we put this together, along with making the decision, to not open Island Lake this summer. We wish you all good health and happiness this summer.
Hi Island Lake families! Although the weather gods have not been very nice to us thus far, it hasn’t affected your children’s experiences here at camp. The kids are making the best of a bad weather situation and as the saying goes, the show much go on!
The talk around camp is Thursday’s Lazy Day trip to Dorney Park. Everyone is getting so excited for what is supposed to be a fun day in the sun! They’ll have the opportunity to go on roller coasters, smaller rides (especially for the younger kids), and a super big water park. Last year’s trip was a huge success so we’re anticipating the same this summer.
The other talk around camp is our 1st annual teen tour to the west coast for our CIT’s. They are sooo pumped for Thursday morning when they depart camp, fly out of Newark, and head directly to San Francisco for 3 weeks of travel. I’ll give you lots of updates on this trip along the way.
Tonight’s evening activity is Steve Max. He’s the super duper fun and exciting Simon Says guy. The kids always have a blast participating in this camp-wide game. After evening activity we have our first weekly ETB of the summer. ETB stands for “early to bed”. That means there is no canteen and the kids go straight back to their bunks after evening activity to get a good night’s rest. With so much running around these past few days, they can all use an ETB night.
Today’s special feature is theater! Below are photos from rehearsals for High School Musical and Legally Blonde. Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!
Happy first day of majors and minors! We’re excited to report to you that we witnessed some blue sky today! The sun shined through this afternoon! Woohoo! The grounds are starting to dry and outdoor activities have resumed once again. The children are swimming, playing soccer, mountain biking, riding horses, in addition to all of our other activities currently going on. Show rehearsals have started, rock bands have been formed, and dances are being choreographed. Kids are walking around doing magic tricks, making all sorts of arts & crafts, and are becoming little chefs in cooking. They’re flying in the air on the giant swing as well as the circus trapezes. We’re so pumped for all the action going on here at Island Lake.
Tonight’s evening activities are groups once again. Those who worked on bunk flags last night will work on their bunk videos tonight and vice versa. Then they’ll be off to socializing at the canteen once again. We have to tell you, even though the weather hasn’t been in our favor just yet, you’d never know it with all of the laughter and smiles around camp and cheer in the dining room. Our campers are forming everlasting friendships with one another and learning so many skills in their activities. We couldn’t be happier!
Today’s special photo feature is SPORTS. Here is only a few of the activities that’s been going on all day up there. Enjoy the pictures and until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!
Happy first full day of camp! Yesterday’s Opening Day went extremely well with lots of happy campers coming off of the buses. New friendships have already formed and old friendships are resuming. Campers are bonding with one another and their counselors as they settle into Summer 2015 here at Island Lake. Be sure to check out our daily summer photos through CampMinder along with our daily short videos on our Facebook page (starting tomorrow) to check out more that’s going on here at ILC.
It may be cool and rainy here at camp but our children & staff have prevailed! Today was 4-minor day and the kids were busy trying out activities to see what they’d like to sign up for as their majors for the remainder of the session. Deep water tests have been put on hold and will hopefully resume if weather improves tomorrow. Sports still took place in the gym, pioneering under cover, tennis in the hockey rink, and all else resumed as normal.
After lunch today we gave out over 50 5-year jackets, as well as 10-year and 15-year jackets. Below, at the end of this post, are some photos of our campers sporting their new ILC-wear. I have a feeling they’ll be wearing their jackets quite a bit over the course of the next week (but hopefully not too much as we send out positive weather vibes!).
After their 4 minors, we split the camp in half and had a fun extravaganza of Crazy Games up in the gym and hockey rink. The kids participated and cheered their groups on as they ran around having fun-filled fantabulous time.
Tonight’s evening activity is groups, which means the group leaders take charge and run different activities for their bunks. This session we will once again start up Bunk Cup so tonight the bunks will either work on their bunk flags or their bunk videos. For those of you not familiar with Bunk Cup, it’s an event that runs throughout the session where each bunk is its own team. They can earn points in just about every activity here at camp. At the end of the session we tally up the points and have a winner on the boys side and a winner on the girls side. This is our 2nd annual Bunk Cup and the kids are so excited for it.
Well, that’s about it for now. Please return to this blog each day, as I (Wendy) will be posting ongoing events happening here at Island Lake on a daily basis. Until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!
Hey Island Lake families! We’re all so excited for our campers’ arrival here at camp tomorrow. We just want to remind you that all buses leave from their designated bus stops at 1pm sharp. Arrive no later than 12:30pm (& give yourself extra time if you’re going to Queens). ILC is a cell phone free so please collect your children’s phones before they board the bus.
If you have any last minute questions for us, feel free to call us here at the camp office before 5pm today or after 8:30am tomorrow morning. Tomorrow we will start keeping the office open until 9pm every night.
A social media reminder: As of tomorrow we will start blogging here daily, tweeting day, posting pictures on CampMinder daily, posting videos weekly, and short videos on our Facebook page daily. Lots for parents to stay in touch and see how much fun your children are having here at summer camp!
Enjoy your final evening with your children. We CANNOT WAIT for them to get here to their home away from home tomorrow! ILC U THERE!
Hey Island Lakers! Can you believe that camp begins in only 6 days? Let the countdown begin! Once Saturday arrives, Island Lake will be filled with smiles, hugs, screams of excitement, and love as your children step off of the bus into their home away from home. We cannot wait to see our returning campers and meet those who are new to the Island Lake family.
Staff orientation is in full swing now and our counselors are soooo excited for the campers to arrive. Below are some photos of our staff in their departments. Not all activities are represented here because we have just too many great staff and activities to post them all. For now, enjoy the highlights. For our campers, in 6 days ILC U THERE!!!
This past Saturday we hosted an Open House for our new summer 2015 Island Lakers and it was a fantastic day! Thank you to all who made the drive up here to meet other campers, staff, and see the grounds. We hope your children are even more excited for an amazing summer at ILC. Below are some highlights from the afternoon events. Remember, only 12 days until camp begins! ILC U THERE!
Hey Island Lakers (& parents)! With 17 more days until camp begins, camp is looking FANTASTIC! Our pre-camp staff is working really hard to make our summer home perfect for your arrival. We are very excited to meet lots of our new campers at our Open House this Saturday. New ILC parents, look for an email from us in the next couple of days with a weather update to make sure you and your children are dressed appropriately for our country climate.
Tomorrow our circus staff arrive, Friday our waterfront staff arrive, and more and more will be making their way to Starrucca PA over the course of the next week and a half. We can’t wait to see our campers in 2 1/2 weeks! ILC U THERE!!!
Hey Island Lakers! With 3 weeks (plus 1 day) until camp begins, many of us are up here in Starrucca, PA making your home away from home look beautiful for your arrival real soon. It’s way too quiet though. We need our campers to fill 18462 with lots of laughter and cheer so hurry up and get here already. In the meantime, check out some of your favorite Island Lake staff hard at work. ILC U in 22 days!
Summer is almost here and we are already back at our favorite place, Island Lake Camp! Not only is Summer 2015 going to be amazing, it’s extra special because of our 30 year anniversary. To celebrate we picked just 30 things, out of hundreds, we are excited for this summer at ILC. Check them out and tell us what you’re most excited for!
Slumber parties with your camp friends every night
Make your own sundae on the 1st night of camp
5-year jackets (& 10-year ones too!)
Lazy Day – A chance to go out of camp and relax with your camp friends!