Monthly Archives: July 2018

Tuesday, July 31st

Wow, is it truly the last day of July already? Where has this summer gone? It’s wild how time really does fly by when you’re having fun. Speaking of fun, we have had a chock full of it, especially today here at Island Lake. Let’s start from the very beginning,…

Today’s weather is sponsored by Island Lake canteen Bevwiches. So yummy that you need more than 1 in your tummy! And now for the weather report,…the skies were mostly cloudy today with a looming threat of rain. The temps reached the mid 70’s in the afternoon hours. As of now, at almost 5pm, we had a little blue sky peep through and it’s still dry.

This morning our sports enthusiasts departed for Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. They’ll learn all about the history of baseball, about many of America’s greats, and then I’m sure they’ll search out the pizza place and fudge store. This bus full of kids will be out all day and should be returning shortly, just before dinner.

In addition to the previous trip, today is also our overnight river trip for our canoe and kayak aficionados. They will spend the day in their respective boats paddling down the Delaware River. They’ll camp out tonight under the stars and return tomorrow.

Lastly in sports, today our 2nd session ILC Open starts for our tennis players. It will run until the end of the summer when winners in all groups will receive trophies. Our tennis kids have also enjoyed a big game throughout the summer that has been titled, “One Point Tournament.” Kids of all ages, boys and girls, take turns playing one point against one another with single elimination until a winner is crowned. It always gets a huge crowd at the courts, spectators and players alike. Today a young boy named Emi won the whole tournament. He’ll be crowned the special belt in front of the whole camp at dinner tonight.

Yesterday’s riddle: The more you have of me the less you see. What am I? Do you give up? Do ya wanna know the answer? Ok, I’ll be nice and tell you. The answer is darkness! Here’s today’s riddle (spoiler alert: I knew this answer right away and I’m betting many of you will as well): Though full of holes, I still hold water. What am I?

Although just about the entire camp thinks that tonight’s evening activity is Revival Night, it’s actually a new activity called Masked Karaoke. We’ll have staff come out on the theater stage in a mask and a fully body suit to sing a karaoke song for the entire camp. The kids will then have to figure out who is behind that masked suit. For instance, one counselor will come out on stage in an ape suit that has been used in pioneering all summer for a “find Sasquatch” activity. They’ll sing a song in the ape suit and then the kids have to guess who it is. It should be a pretty hilarious evening activity for everyone!

Today’s special feature is from last night’s wild and crazy, fun for all ages evening activity, HOEDOWN! The kids had so much fun, as did our staff! Check out the pics below and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Monday, July 30th

Yeeeehaaaaaw! Here at camp it is COUNTRY WESTERN DAY! Bust out your best flannel, whip out your,…well, your whip, and ride ‘em on cowboy, because we’re celebrating today. Tonight we will end the day with a big Hoedown for evening activity. I’ll tell you more about it later in the blog.

I apologize because I forgot to post the ILC Morning News riddle yesterday. Please forgive me, I’m a little rusty after 4 days off from blogging. Here was the riddle from 2 days ago: What bow can’t be tied? Answer: A Rainbow! Yesterday’s riddle: With four oars it swims but it is always at home. Its back is like armor, tougher than chrome. What is it? Answer: A Turtle! And finally, here’s today’s riddle: The more you have of me the less you see. What am I?

Today’s weather was pretty decent. The morning temps quickly warmed up to the low 70’s and the sun shined with some clouds in the mix. By afternoon the skies were mostly cloudy but we didn’t have any rain with temps in the mid 70’s. It should hopefully be dry for tonight’s evening activity, the Hoedown, although it feels like it may rain in the near future.

In ILC sports, our 8th & 9th grade girls played basketball here at camp against a Wayne County camp. We didn’t win but our girls played hard. Our 5th and 6th grade girls played a soccer match out of camp this afternoon. I haven’t yet gotten word on how they did.

Tonight’s evening activity is the HOEDOWN! Yeeehaaawww! We will venture up to the hockey rink for a night of fun in the hay. Not only will we have music to dance to (country style but of course) but we will also have all of the following events happening in real time: line dancing (I’m going to guess that we’ll play “Cotton Eye Joe”!), marriage booth, pie eating contest (for the counselors), tractor photo shoot, find the Dum-Dum pops in the haystacks, the corn hole game, CIT’s relaxing in a horse trough of bath water, counselor petting zoo (which consists of them wearing animal onesies), and much more. We’ll have lots of photos to show you tomorrow.

Today’s special feature is TENNIS! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Sunday, July 29th

I’M BAAAAAACCCKKK!!! It’s Wendy here, back behind the keyboard once again. We returned from our successful trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls last night at 9:15pm. I’ll fill you in more about the trip later on in this blog. I just want to thank Dustin & Siobhan for writing such amazing blogs while I was away. They’re both very creative and their amazing writing skills shined right through these past 4 days.

We had party sunny skies here in Starrucca throughout the day. We started off a bit cool but the temperatures eventually rose to a perfect low 70’s with no humidity. It will probably be a cooler night once again but the temperatures will peak a bit higher tomorrow.

Today our dance team went to a nearby camp for a dance competition amongst many Wayne County Camps. Although our girls didn’t place, they enjoyed the experience and got some critical feedback to move forward with.

The Canada trip was a fantastic time for our campers. I, for one, am happy to be back home in the 18462 to enjoy our final couple of weeks with everyone here at camp. However, some of our campers weren’t yet ready to return because they were having too much fun. The kids got along very well with one another. They followed directions very,….uuuuhhhh, let’s just say that at last count, we returned with every child we left camp with.

We had great weather all 4 days away. It rained a bit on day 2 when we were at the CN Tower but we stayed nice and dry indoors. By the time we finished at this observation tower the rain had already passed. Other than that the weather was absolutely perfect for us in Canada.

Highlights of the trip: Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park- the lines were pretty short so the kids stayed entertained by going on the big rides multiple times: eating, eating, and more eating,…EVERYWHERE; Zach K. kissing a fish at the aquarium (picture to follow); Dave & Busters’ games, tickets, and prizes; getting soaked on the Hornblower Boat Ride; kids singing happy birthday to me and surprising me with a birthday brownie at dinner in Niagara (FYI, my birthday was in early July so it was an inside joke for them); riding the sky wheel on Clifton Hill; jet boating; returning to camp! (Oh wait that’s MY highlight!). I took tons of pictures (over 100) on the trip so I’ll feature some of them below in this blog and all will be posted on CampMinder today.

Since everyone on the trip missed the Luau on Friday, group 4 decided to make today their very own Hawaiian Day here at ILC. Many of them are sporting Hawaiian shirts and leis. Such rebels, huh?

Tonight’s evening activity is the big 2nd session SOCIAL! Our kids will put on their Sunday best (literally) and party like it’s 1999. An outside DJ will come to camp to turn the gym into a huge music festival with cool lights while pumping out the pop tunes.

Today’s special feature is from none other than the Canada Trip! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Saturday, July 28th

Hello parents and friends of Island Lake!

I hope that your day has been as gloriously sunny as ours has been, although I doubt yours could quite top ours here at ILC. Once again it is your favorite guest writer, Group Leader Siobhan, writing today’s post. I just wasn’t quite ready to relinquish this opportunity to tell you all what a great time we’ve been having here at 18462.

Today there were no inter-camp sports competitions so all of our campers enjoyed a day of fun at home base. To get the competitive juices flowing though, our group 1 and 3 boy’s Group Leaders, PJ and Big Mike had a tennis show down that entertained the masses during 3rd minor, providing enough sporting excitement for one day.

As per usual, theater rehearsals continued for You’re a Good man, Charlie Brown, and Sister Act. There’s no business like show business! Our budding chefs also continued to cook up a storm in the Bistro. Today’s meal of the day in the cooking department: Chicken Satay.

Some of my personal favorite minors on camp today include: aliens in a bottle in the Art Barn, Critter Catching in pioneering, and Ninja WOC in gymnastics. We truly have it all here at ILC!

As to our teen trip campers, I am happy to report that their day might possibly have rivaled ours here at camp. This morning the teen trip group checked out of their hotel, went on a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour, dined at the Queenstown Lewiston Duty Free for lunch, and stopped at Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY for dinner. We can’t wait to welcome them back to their home away from home tonight, and hear all their stories from the trip!

Tonight’s Evening Activity is Groups. The Group 1 and 4 girls will be having a campfire, with s’mores galore. What’s camp without a campfire, right? The Group 1 boys will be having a party in the canteen for their beloved Irish counselor, Mick (It’s an Irish takeover this year at ILC and I love it). Group 2 girls and boys will be partaking in a Mystery Tour, which promises to be as fun as it sounds. Group 3 girls and boys will be watching our in-house Island Lake movie, Beaverhead ( a rite of passage in every ILC camper’s life). Last but not least, our very sophisticated group 4 boys will be having a games night!

For those of you who are anxious to hear the answer to yesterday’s riddle, fret not, I will now provide you with the answer:

I won’t break if you throw me off from the highest building but I will if you place me in the ocean. What am I? A tissue! I hope the first parent to get the right answer duly took advantage of those bragging rights they were promised.

Here’s today’s riddle. It’s a short one!:

What bow can’t be tied?

All the best,

Your friendly neighborhood Siobhan

Friday, July 27th

Hello there, loyal readers-

My name is Siobhan (you may have already guessed correctly that I am, in fact, Irish). I am the Girls Group 3 Group Leader. But today I am also the guest writer for the ILC blog. Nice to meet y’all!

Yesterday we were off camp for one of the most anticipated Lazy Days of the summer, Dorney Park. The trip proved to be a roaring success and the weather held up for us, making it a day full of sunshine, good food, rollercoasters, and water rides.

This morning we had a lie in, and woke up to sunshine and mugginess. Not to worry though, today is Hawaiian Shirt Day, so all around camp our campers and counselors can be seen in their aerodynamic Hawaiian shirts.

Tonight’s Evening Activity is the LUAU, and we are all beyond excited! We will be having our best Hawaiian shirt contest, a musical towels contest, a photo booth, a slip n’ slid, a hula-hoop and limbo context, and a tiki bucket station where delicious mixed (soda and juice) drinks will be served with fruit as refreshments. To top it all off, our talented counsellors will be performing a dance for the campers to kick off the event. I can almost feel the ocean breeze hitting as I write this in my very own Hawaiian shirt!

For the rest of the day, camp activities continue as normal. Today in cooking the campers will be serving up pizzas and sloppy Joes, and in the Theater rehearsals continue for both Sister Act and You’re a good man, Charlie Brown. Some of our more adventurous campers have also set off on a hiking trip today with the pioneering department. There were no sports competitions today so our campers continue to train and play all around camp.

As to our friends on the Teen Trip, the fun also continues for them in Toronto. Yesterday they visited the Hockey Hall of Fame, after which they went to the Eaton Centre for lunch. In the afternoon they went to Ripley’s Aquarium, and the CN Tower before heading to Dave and Busters for dinner, and heading back to the hotel for some well-deserved shut-eye.

Today, the Teen Trip group visited Niagara Falls, went on a Hornblower Boat Ride, did a tour of the Clifton Hill Area, visited Ripley’s Believe it or Not, ate dinner at Al Mac’s Buffet, and topped a great day off with a turn around the Niagara Sky Wheel. Oh to be young again!

Continuing on in the legacy of our Beloved Wendy and Dustin, I will provide you with the answer to yesterday’s riddle:

I have keys but no locks. I have a space but no room. You can enter, but can’t go outside. What am I? A keyboard, of course!

Give this one a go! I won’t break if you throw me off from the highest building but I will if you place me in the ocean. What am I?

Bragging rights to the first parent to solve it.

It’s been fun dropping by, I hope your day has been as great as ours has been here at our home away from home, ILC!

Slán go foil (Bye for now, in Gaelic),

Group Leader Siobhan

Wednesday, July 25th

Good tidings, friends—

I feel like we’re stuck in a Groundhog Day Scenario this week at camp. We wake up, it’s raining. We go to activities, it’s raining. The rain briefly stops, the sun begins to shine, everyone gets excited only to have our hopes dashed by, you guessed it, more rain. In fairness to the rain, the grass has never been greener, but we’d love a bit of extended sunshine. The campers have been amazing throughout this rainy 2nd session. Activities are loud and lively full of leisure and laughter.

The camp day started bright and early here at Island Lake. The annual Teen Trip left at 6:30am. Our sleepy-eyed crew of teens, counselors, and Wendy set off for snowy Toronto* where they will enjoy four days of fun in the cozy embrace of our friendly neighbor to the North.

* EDITORS NOTE: I checked the weather, it is in fact not snowy at all, but when I think of Canada I think of snow and now hopefully you will too.

Stop one for the Teen Trip is Canada’s Wonderland. A 330-acre theme park located in a suburb of Toronto. Fun fact: It was the first major theme park in Canada and to this day remains the country’s largest. Canada’s Wonderland ranks third in the world by number of roller coasters and boasts a water park named Splash Works. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some kind soul brings a souvenir home for me.

Not to be outdone, we will be taking the rest of the campers to Dorney Park tomorrow for Lazy Day. There is a palpable sense of excitement in the air as the campers’ countdown the hours to Dorney. However, before we can all enjoy a day of rollercoasters and merriment, we have an Evening Activity and Canteen to attend. Tonight we are flip-flopping the normal routine. Canteen will be first and the Evening Activity will be second. Why? Great question, Reader. Tonight’s Evening Activity is a Movie Night and you can’t have an authentic Movie Night without snacks, thus, Canteen before Evening Activity.

I was informed by my esteemed predecessor that there is an active riddle community here on the blog and I must satiate your rabid desire for riddles by providing the solution to yesterday’s riddle:

I am a kind of coat that can only be put on when wet. What am I? A coat of paint *mind exploding gif*.

Try this one on for size: I have keys but no locks. I have a space but no room. You can enter, but can’t go outside. What am I? Stay tuned and ILCUTHERE!


Gossip Girl

Tuesday, July 24th

Today was another rainy day in Starrucca, PA. Didn’t you like it better when I say it was “another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA?” I definitely did. I long for those 1st session days when I kept repeating myself as if I were in a time warp (or the movie, Groundhogs Day!). The temps stayed in the low 70’s all day today but the day was filled with rain on and off. Our tennis staff gave up trying to squeegee the courts because they’d just get wet again shortly after drying them.

So remember those sports tournaments I told you about yesterday? Yeah, they got cancelled. I’m not even going to tell you about today’s sports schedule because those games were all cancelled, as well. Rrrrrr! Our grass is green again! Rain, rain go away!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early at 6:30am we are leaving for our teen trip to Canada. Our 9th grade and older campers who signed up for the trip, along with 7 staff and myself (Wendy), will be heading out of camp to make our way northwest over the border. Everyone is very excited for the trip. We will post photos of the trip with our daily summer photos and on this blog on Sunday, once we return.

Tomorrow we will head straight to Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park. After that we will go check into our hotel for the night. On Thursday we will visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower, and then head to Dave & Busters for some dinner and a night of fun and games.

On Friday we will head to Niagara Falls where we’ll check out the falls on the Hornblower Boat Ride (formally called the Maid of the Midst), we’ll tour Clifton Hills, check out Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and see the falls at night from the Niagara Sky Wheel. On Saturday we’ll check out of our hotel and then go Jet Boating before heading back towards Starrucca, PA. The buses should roll back into camp by 9-10pm, all depending upon customs at the US border.

For all of our campers who will remain at ILC, Thursday is our big Lazy Day trip to Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom! Woohoo! Yay! Our campers are getting very pumped for this day out of camp.

A reminder of yesterday’s riddle: The strongest chains will not bind it. Ditch and rampart will not slow it down. A thousand soldiers cannot beat it. It can knock down trees with a single brush. What is it? Answer: Wind! Here’s today’s riddle: I am a kind of coat that can only be put on when wet. What am I?

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s your breakdown: GIRLS: Groups 1-3 Lip Sync Battle; Group 4- Beaverhead (a movie made here at camp almost 20 years ago that our campers still love to watch each summer): BOYS: Group 1- dodgeball; Group 2- card game extravaganza; Group 3- theater games; Group 4- team building games at pioneering. If they get rained out they’ll join the girls for Beaverhead.

Today’s special feature is INDOOR ACTIVITIES. Since the rain was with us on and off all day, I decided to take some photos at skatepark, magic, and art.

Just a reminder for all of you that while I’m away in Canada, Dustin will take over the blog for me. No doubt that he will do a fantastic job reporting to you what’s going on here at ILC. He will not blog on Thursday since they will return from Dorney Park pretty late. The Canada trip will return to camp late Saturday night so I’ll be back behind the keyboard once again on Sunday. Until then, ILCUTHERE!

Monday, July 23rd

Hi Island Lake Parents! Today is our first day of majors and minors for session 2. Although it’s rained on and off all day, we were still able to get in some of our outdoor activities. The temps have been warm in the mid-70’s but I guess our grass needs to be watered from time to time.

Our intercamp games have started up once again so we had a couple of sporting events take place today. Our 8th & 9th grade girls played in a basketball tournament this afternoon out of camp and are not yet back. Our 4th & 5th grade girls departed camp after lunch for a soccer tournament and will return shortly, as well.  Hopefully they’ll have gotten in the whole game, all weather pending.

This Wednesday, 2 days from now, 75 campers, 7 staff members and I will hop on 2 coach buses and head to Toronto, Canada and Niagara Falls for 4 days of fun. We are very excited to check out the CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park, visit Ripley’s Aquarium, go jet boating, see the falls on the Hornblower (formerly called the Maid of the Midst), along with some other great attractions. We’ll be away from camp for 4 days/3 nights and we’ll return to camp on Saturday night. Our teen campers are getting soooo EXCITED for this trip! It’s usually the highlight of the summer for them.

After dinner today I will hold my big Canada trip meeting with all of our campers and staff who are participating. I’ll hand out the itinerary, a packing list, talk about our expectations while we are out of camp, and discuss details about the trip overall. Have I mentioned how incredibly excited our 9th grade and older kids participating in this trip are for our 4 days of fun? We have an enthusiastic group of kids going so we’re all really pumped.

While I am away in Toronto and Niagara Falls, Dustin, our fantastic ILC head counselor, will take over blog duties for me. He’s a very creative writer and will no doubt post very intriguing blogs for you to enjoy. I admit he’s a better writer than me but don’t worry, I’ve come to terms with it and I’m ok. (wink wink!) While we are in Canada the blogs will be posted later at night when Dustin has a few minutes to sit down and write them. He’ll try to post some photos for you, as well.

I bet you thought I forgot all about giving you the answer to the riddle I posted the day before changeover, huh? Don’t you fret because I definitely won’t leave you hanging any longer. Here’s a reminder of that riddle from last Friday: Sometimes I am liked, sometimes I am hated. Usually I am old, usually I am dated. What am I? Answer: HISTORY! Here is today’s riddle: The strongest chains will not bind it. Ditch and rampart will not slow it down. A thousand soldiers cannot beat it. It can knock down trees with a single brush. What is it? I don’t want to toot my own horn but I guessed Friday’s riddle and today’s riddle correctly. Woohoo! Go me! Oh wait, I just told you I didn’t want to toot my own horn…whoopsie!

Tonight’s evening activity is Minute to Win It! We’re splitting everyone up into upper camp and lower camp, half in the theater and half in the gym. This game works by having participants from each bunk compete in fun and friendly games/tasks. Some of these games work on a time limit (a minute) while others are judged by who can do them the fastest. For example, we will have kids pick up Skittles with a straw in their mouths and move the Skittles from one plate to another. There will be a time limit and whoever successfully moves the most Skittles win for their bunk. Another example will be campers taking Oreo cookies and rolling them down their faces attempting to successfully get the cookies into their mouths. The first one to do it wins that task. One other example is pulling tissues out of the tissue box and whoever empties the box first wins. Sounds like fun, huh?

Today’s special feature is MOUNTAIN BIKING! Since it’s difficult to find these bikers in action, I’ve been taking pictures of them all summer whenever I see them. Spoiler alert, these pics are a culmination of 1st session and today. Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Sunday, July 22nd

Happy first full day of 2nd session! Our campers stayed busy with their 4-minors of auditions, level testing, and trying out activities that they’d like to sign up for as their majors. We woke up this morning to rain and cool temps in the 60’s before it warmed up to the 70’s. The rain stopped during our first activity period so outdoor activities were able to resume per usual. The sun was in and out for the rest of our activities. We just had another rain shower come through this evening. It’ll rain on and off for the next several days.

This afternoon, after our 4 minors, we held our special traditional ILC activity,…Panic! I announce items kids have in their bunks and they run in to retrieve them and bring them out to their group leaders/judges in the middle of their campuses. The bunk with the most points wins LTB (Late To Bed). We get creative and announce things such as 2 campers wearing last summer’s blue & grey Color War t-shirts doing leap frog from their bunk to the judges. Another item may be as simple as a red Island Lake canteen token. I play music after announcing each item so our campers can sing and dance along while playing Panic. It’s a fun activity for kids of all ages.

Once Panic was over our group leaders went around to all of their bunks to sign their campers up for their majors. All of our department heads were in the office to assist in case of any activity conflicts during the same major. We assist the campers with their schedule to make sure they can take every activity they like and be sure no one is closed out of an activity.

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s a run-down of what each group is doing: On the GIRLS side: Group 1- ABC Superheroes (kids will dress their counselors up in “anything but clothes”- ABC- such as garbage bags, paper, etc. and make up a back story as to how their counselors became superheroes: Group 2-Great Imposters (kids are allowed to bring a laundry bag filled with items from bunk and then are told to put on costumes and act out famous people or camp people); Group 3-Storytime Extravaganza; Group 4- Pioneering team building.  On the BOYS side: Group 1- gaga: Group 2- Catch Me If You Can (a bunch of different fun tag games): Group 3- kong pong: Group 4- dodgeball.

Today’s special feature below is PANIC! Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILC U THERE!

Saturday, July 21st

Happy Changeover Day! With sadness we bid farewell to our 1st session campers this morning. On a brighter note, we welcomed our 2nd session campers with open arms this afternoon. It’s always difficult to see good friends leave but fortunately, lots of campers stayed on from 1st session.

For the first time in several weeks I have to report that it was pretty cloudy today. We’ve been so lucky for so long with clear blue skies that it was inevitable that we have a day like this. It stayed dry with temps up to close to 70 degrees so no complaints over here.

At this point, all of our session 2 campers have safely arrived at camp other than the Newark kids who are on their way and should be here during dinner.

Last night’s performance of “The Wedding Singer” was funny and entertaining! The older kids all performed their hearts out. Between our talented campers, wonderful theater staff, group leaders, and adult staff who made cameo appearances, the show was a great success!

With our 1st session performances all done now, we will start over again in the 2nd session with auditions tomorrow on 4-minor day. Our younger camper show will be “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and our older camp show will be “Sister Act.”  Our sports tournaments will continue into the 2nd session, as well.

Tonight’s evening activity is “Make Your Own Mess” (aka “Make Your Own Sundae”)! Campers will go to the canteen with their bunkmates to make ice cream sundaes and get to know their new friends better.

Today’s special feature is last night’s “The Wedding Singer!” Enjoy and until tomorrow, which is our 2nd session 4-minor day, ILCUTHERE!