Monthly Archives: November 2016

December Parent News


Hey Island Lake families! We hope you all 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 2016 memories with you. Our countdown for next summer has already kicked into gear, as the opening day of camp will emerge upon us before we know it. As of December 1st, only 206 days until summer 2017 at Island Lake will be here!

Our camp reunion on November 19th 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 (California & Florida) 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 our website’s home page as well as on our Facebook page.  I also posted a great deal of fun reunion photos here on my previous blog.

By now all of our summer 2016 camp families should have received an email with a link to our amazing ILC video yearbook located online on Vimeo. If you need another copy of the link, feel free to contact us at [email protected] 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 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, as well as in your regular postal mailbox at the start of every month. 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, click “Island Lake Families” at the top of the page, and then “ILC News” on the left-hand side of the page. You can also click the following link to view our newsletters since summer:

Speaking of enrollment, if you have not yet registered your children for summer 2017 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 registration 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 families a spectacular holiday season! Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year to all! ILC U THERE!

Successful Island Lake Reunion!

Our annual camp reunion this past Saturday was a huge success! Our campers were soooo EXCITED to see all of their camp friends. Lots of screaming, hugging, smiles, and hey, even clean children filled Sportime USA in Westchester for 3 hours of fun. Campers flew in from as far as Florida and California just to spend some memorable time with their fellow Island Lakers. Several counselors took time off from college to come see “their kids.“

After the reunion, many campers then went back to their camp friends’ houses for big sleep over parties. We’re glad friendships at Island Lake are so special to all of our campers and staff.

Below are some highlights of all of the fun this past weekend. We’ll post a full photo album of reunion pics on our website very soon, along with featured photos on our social media. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! ILCUTHERE!


This Saturday, November 19th is our annual CAMP REUNION at Sportime USA in Elmsford, NY!!! Details regarding our greatly anticipated reunion are located in our November newsletter (as well as in our previous monthly newsletters), which can be found directly here on our website at:

All 2016 campers and staff are welcome to join us from 10am until 1pm to spend this amazingly fun time with all of their camp besties. We’ll serve a light breakfast with beverages, but it’s advisable to give your children some extra spending money for the hosting revenue’s snack bar. We will also give our campers game cards to play video games and enjoy their indoor rides, go-carts, climbing wall, laser tag, etc. Extra spending money can come in handy if your children plans to play a great deal of games with their friends.

Parents are welcome to stay and hang out in the snack bar area while your children run off to have fun with their camp friends.   However, most parents do not stay, as they choose to just drop off their children, hit up the mall, and then return 3 hours later. However, if you’d like to stay then you’re more than welcome to.

We CANNOT WAIT to see all of your children’s smiling faces on Saturday morning! We will take tons of pictures of this memorable event to post directly on our website next week. We will also feature several photos all over our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and our blog), as well as feature them in our December Island Laker newsletter.

Saturday, November 19th, ILC U THERE!!!!!

ILC Represents in National Camper Tshirt Day

Yesterday was National Camp T-shirt Day and we’re proud of our many Island Lakers who participated. Regardless of the chilly temps up north, it was nice to see our loyal campers weather the cold and represent their favorite home away from home, Island Lake.Below are some photos of our campers showing their pride for ILC.  (Apologies to those whose faces got cropped out.)

National Camp T-shirt Day

Tomorrow is the day we’ve all been waiting for… National Camp T-Shirt Day! To participate, all you have to do is:

1) wear your ILC camp shirt TOMORROW, 2) take pictures wearing it and post to social media, and 3) tag ILC in your posts and use the hashtag #CampTShirtDay!

Parent, please remind your campers to enjoy participating in this event.  Staff, we’d love for you to participate, as well.  We look forward to seeing everyone in their Island Lake T-shirts on social media (Instagram and Facebook) tomorrow!  ILC U THERE!

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An Alumni’s Circus Journey (Started at Island Lake)


For 31 years, we have watched our campers’ lives change as some of them have turned their favorite Island Lake activities into their passions. We love hearing from former campers and staff to find out what they are up to today. Emily Scherb was a camper and then a counselor with us in the 90’s during our early years. She developed her love for circus and more specifically, the flying trapeze, during her summers at ILC. Read her amazing experience below.

As a young child I was always an athlete. I have also always been easily struck with motion sickness, and I have an aversion to risk. So, how did I end up on the flying trapeze at Island Lake Camp? It’s simple, a little coaxing (some might say peer pressure), fun, and a sense of adventure.

As a gymnast, I wandered over to the circus area (there was no building yet!) and happily hopped on the mini tramp. With slight trepidation, I followed a friend from mini tramp to sign up for static trapeze. It was hard, it was fun, and I found I was good at it. There is nothing more appealing than finding something that seems to fit how you want to move and the types of challenges you enjoy. Static trapeze was my gateway to circus. I would take any aerial elective that was offered. I spent that summer showing my circus bruises proudly to my bunk-mates as I acquired the new skills to match them.

The next summer when I returned, I would do anything up in the air. I’d hang from anything and even would have anyone hang from me. I would do it all, except flying trapeze. I knew my history of motion sickness, and swinging back and forth in a large pendulous arc looking like the worst thing I could imagine. But, I was twelve. All my cool circus friends were doing it. The super cool counselors were doing it. I wanted to do it too, and one day I did.

I was standing on the platform, determined with my right hand grasping the bar. I was scared, but was going to do it. I could feel the board shaking and turned to blame Nate, whose normally jocular behavior could be the cause of the quake. But, he had turned calm and patient gently letting me know that unbeknownst to me, the whole left side of my body was shaking. Once I realized it was me, I was able to put that second hand on the bar and hop off.

My stomach dropped as I swung back and forth, but I went back up. I continued to go back up all throughout the session. The stomach drop feeling slowly subsided as the skills and tricks started to add up. All of a sudden I could add height to my swing, I could flip in mid air, and I could get caught by a catcher. I was blissfully in love with circus; the sense of achievement as I gained strength and unique talents lit up my summer.

With the encouragement from my counselors, I returned summer after summer, soon becoming a staff member myself around the time the circus building went up. Being able to share the knowledge I had gained helped fuel my own desire for more knowledge and training.

When I finished high school, I moved out to Portland Oregon and joined Pendulum Dance Theater and interned with Do Jump! Extremely Physical Theater. There I learned how to be a professional performer and to translate my tricks and skills into art. My time there was filled with growth, as it was my first time truly living away from home, other than my times at ILC, but eventually it was time to return to school.

While in college, I remained involved in circus through Circus Harmony, an urban youth circus in St. Louis, MO. I was generously taken on as an instructor of amazing children who performed multiple times a week. Through teaching those talented and dedicated kids, I further honed my teaching skills learned as a counselor at Island Lake.

After college, I still couldn’t let go of my circus dreams and ran back to New York to teach circus and join a dance company. While teaching flying trapeze at Trapeze School New York and the Espana Streb Trapeze Academy, I saw circus explode into the public awareness. All of a sudden, circus was something you could take classes in while still having a ‘normal life’. People were amazing to see friends and family up in the air, and I adored helping them get there. Having excited new students always reminded me how much I enjoyed getting to work on the trapeze everyday.

Through circus, I learned to move my body, and how to communicate to others how to move theirs. As a performer an instructor, I learned to observe movement, to deal with challenges, to understand discomfort, and to give and receive feedback in a constructive way.

Eventually, I decided to go back to school to put some of my skills to use in a novel way as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. With all of the knowledge I gained through circus, I believe I am a better practitioner, better able to understand my patient’s challenges, to understand their movement, and to educate them in how to move better.

Currently, I have my own physical therapy practice in Seattle, WA where I specialize in the treatment and education of circus students, instructors, and professionals. I lecture at circus schools, teaching injury prevention and functional anatomy. I also still teach flying trapeze and try to train whenever I can. Throughout my journey, from my first bounce on mini-tramp at Island Lake, circus has been a driving part of my life that I will never leave behind.

(Emily Scherb lives and works in Seattle, WA as a physical therapist. Her accomplishments include owning Pure Motion Physical Therapy, as well as working as a flying trapeze instructor at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts. Please visit Emily’s website at You can read about circus injury prevention there on her site.)

Do you have a story about how Island Lake has influenced you or your child? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit a blog (approximately 3-5 paragraphs) to [email protected] and be featured on our blog.

November Parents News

Hey ILC Parents! We hope you and your children had a fun-filled, safe Halloween. We’d love to post photos on our blog of our campers in their Halloween costumes. Please send pictures of your children all dressed up for their special day of trick-or-treating to [email protected] and we’ll happily post them.

All of us in the ILC winter offices are very excited for our CAMP REUNION on November 19th at Sportime USA in Elmsford, NY. The reunion will be held from 10am until 1pm and details are provided in our monthly newsletters. We look forward to seeing many of our summer 2016 campers and staff there on that date, no RSVP necessary.

By now all of our summer 2016 ILC parents should have received our email with the link to our Island Lake Video Yearbook online. We hope you shared it with your children and you all took the opportunity to watch this amazing video filled with many exciting summer activities and memories. For an hour, you can forget about all that’s going on around you and truly feel a part of the ILC experience.

Are your kids still sharing their wonderful ILC memories with you? We sure hope so! Our summer 2017 countdown is in full swing, as camp will sneak up on us before we know it. In the meantime, you and your children can continue to view our daily summer photos, weekly videos, blogs, Facebook videos for several months to come.  We continue to post throughout the whole year on our blog and our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts so be sure to check us out and like us.

Don’t forget, we have a wonderful Island Lake App for your iPhones and iPads. We hope all of our campers, parents, and staff have already downloaded our app and have taken advantage of all of the amazing features it entails. You can check out this past summer’s photos, videos, read our monthly newsletters, and even log onto your CampMinder account, which will come in handy next summer while your children are with us at camp. The home screen of our app even has a countdown of the number of days until summer 2017 begins. Definitely take advantage of our app if you haven’t already checked it out. We’re really proud of it!

Registration for summer 2017 is going very well thus far. If you have not yet registered your child(ren) for next summer, please don’t put it off any longer! We truly do not want to turn away our loyal campers. You can enroll your child(ren) with the registration forms we mailed home with your monthly newsletters or you can download the form here on our website under “Island Lake Families” and then “Forms & Mailings”.

We look forward to seeing many of our Island Lakers at our camp reunion on November 19th. Until then, ILC U THERE!