Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

Friday, July 20th

Happy 80’s Day here at Island Lake! We’re celebrating with neon, big hair, side ponies, scrunchies, and more for tonight’s big performance of “The Wedding Singer.” We also surprised the kids with an extra MUSIC LUNCH today, all 80’s music. You’d be surprised how many 80’s tunes these kids know! You’ll see lots of pictures of this celebration posted on our site.

I cannot believe that today was the last full day of session 1 here at Island Lake! These past 4 weeks have flown by way too fast. It’s going to be sad to say goodbye to many of our amazing campers tomorrow morning. I hope they had the greatest experience here at ILC & I hope to see them all at camp again next summer. All parents of session 1 campers should have received an email from me yesterday with changeover day information. Please read it thoroughly to make sure you are properly prepared to pick up your children at the bus stops tomorrow.

I know I sound redundant but today was yet another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA. The skies were a mostly sunny and after a cool wake-up, we reached almost 80 degrees in the afternoon.

Today we offered all 3 of our majors and just 1 minor in order to have “super cleanup” in the afternoon. Those campers who are staying for 2nd session had to clean their cubbies and find those missing socks and brand new t-shirts they didn’t know their mom packed for them for camp. (wink wink!) Those campers who are going home tomorrow (tear!) had an opportunity to pack during this time.

After super clean up we are now in the midst of entertaining the camp with our big ROCK CONCERT! Everyone is down in the theather jamming out to rock tunes of yesteryear and today.

I found out yesterday after posting the blog that our 8th & 9th grade girls volleyball team came in 1st place out of 5 camps! Whoop whoop! Our 10th & 11th grade girls volleyball team also played well and came in 4th place out of 11 camps. This morning our 4th & 5th grade girls played soccer here at camp and won 8-1!  Our 8th & 9th grade boys played baseball here at home this afternoon. Our 8th & 9th grade girls had a soccer game here at camp this afternoon, too. Funny enough, they ended the game early because many of their bunks had won inspection every day this session and they didn’t want to miss out on their opportunity to go to Cow Palace for ice cream. So I guess you can say we forfeited that game. Priorities man! They chose ice cream over a soccer game (and I can’t say I blame them!?!?!).

The ILC Open at tennis has finally completed their final rounds. I have all of the winners for you. Group 1- Girls- runner up- Daniella T., champion- Aubrey B.: Boys- runner up- Evan S., champion- Alex Z.: Group 2- Girls- runner up- Fiona G., champion- Kiley G.: Boys- runner up- Chris H., champion- Ian F.: Group 3- Girls- runner up- Marion K., champion- Natalie O.: Boys- runner up- Trey S., champion- Ryan H.: Group 4- Girls- runner up- Skyler B., champion- Bella G.: Boys- runner up- Erick M., champion- David P. Congrats to all of our players!

“Girls just wanna have fun,…” Tonight is our much anticipated, long awaited older camper show, “THE WEDDING SINGER!” We are so excited to see this 80’s flashback show (well, at least for those of us who lived the 80’s era, we’re excited for the “flashbacks”).

Last night’s Circus Show was STUPENDOUS! I can’t even begin to tell you how amazingly well our campers performed. I’ve seen dozens and dozens of circus shows here at camp over the past 30 years and this one particularly stood out as one of the best ever! Our circus staff and the kids worked so hard and it was apparent in their amazing efforts and spectacular performances. The greatest show definitely took place here in Starrucca, PA last night, that’s for sure. For those of you with children who performed in the show, it’s a video you won’t want to miss out on after the summer. Today’s special feature is some highlights from last night’s outstanding evening.

Well, that’s about all the news that I have for you today, our very last day of the 1st session. For those of you with children coming home tomorrow, enjoy your last evening of peace and quiet! I truly hope your campers come home happy, healthy, and with tons and tons of amazing ILC summer 2018 stories and experiences to share with you. To everyone else, ILCUTHERE (tomorrow!)!

Thursday, July 19th

Hey Island Lake Families! Wow, 1 more full day left in this session before our first changeover day on Saturday. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, time sure does fly by when we’re having fun. Even with an extra week in our 1st session for the second summer now, blink your eyes twice and it’s already over (Cue sad music and tears). For those of you with children coming home on Saturday, I hope they have only amazing ILC experiences to share with you.

Do I even need to tell you once again that today was yet another day of blue skies and temps in the 70’s here in the 18462? We woke up to some cool, brisk temps but it warmed up nicely into the afternoon hours. There is not a cloud to be seen, only bright blue above.

I’d like to fill you in on some info I received yesterday after the blog was already posted. Our 8th & 9th grade boys’ volleyball team came in 2nd place out of 8 camps. Yay! One of our mixed doubles tennis teams took home 1st place in the finals. Congrats to Sarah F. and David P. on their win! Last night two boys bunks from group 2 camped out under the stars in tent city. I saw them first thing this morning and they were so excited about their adventures. They built a fire without their counselors’ help, which was a huge feat for them.

In sports news today, our 10th & 11th grade girls’ volleyball team went out of camp this morning to play in the big Wayne County tournament. We also had an out of camp 8th & 9th grade girls’ volleyball tournament out of camp this afternoon. Our 6th & 7th grade girls played softball out of camp this morning. They lost by 1 run but said it was a close game the entire time. Lastly, the ILC Tennis Open winds down with the finals approaching.

Today’s riddle: What is higher without a head than with? Yesterday’s riddle was: As I walked along the path I saw something with four fingers and one thumb, but it was not flesh, fish, bone, or fowl. What is it? Give up? A glove!

Tonight’s evening activity is the much anticipated, super duper greatest extravaganza, that some may even call the greatest show on earth. Yup, that’s right, it’s the Island Lake Circus Show! And I think you can guess what the theme will be. The Greatest Showman!

Last night’s younger children’s play, “The Wizard of Oz”, was a huge success! Wow, we have some talented children at this camp!!! Their acting and singing skills entertained the audience throughout the entire show as they followed the yellow brick road to Emerald City. Enjoy some of the photos below as well as in CampMinder and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Wednesday, July 18th

Today was wait for it, wait for it,…another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA! Shocker, huh? We woke up to clear blue skies and cool temps in the low 60’s and it warmed up to the low 70’s by the afternoon hours. What a perfect day to play camp!

We had quite a bit of sports going on throughout the day. Our tennis kids who participated in the mixed doubles tournament spent the day out of camp playing against a variety of Wayne County camps. Our 8th & 9th grade boys’ lacrosse team played out of camp this morning, too. We also had girls 4th & 5th graders play softball at a nearby camp this morning. Lastly, our 8th & 9th grade boys played in a beach volleyball tournament out of camp this afternoon and have not yet returned. Phew, that was a lot!

Our skatepark was able to hold their advanced competition during 3rd minor yesterday after all since the skies had cleared up and the ramps were dry and safe. Here’s a list of our advanced winners: Skateboarding: 3rd place- Jacob M., 2nd place- Miko M., 1st place- Abigail W. Rollerblading: 3rd place- Jared B., 2nd place- Michael P., 1st place- Chase M. Big Air (jump over numerous boards): 3rd place- Dylan C., 2nd place- Michael P., 1st place- Aidan D. Congrats to everyone who participated!

A reminder of yesterday’s ILC Morning News riddle: What odd number becomes even when beheaded? A toughie for sure and I admit I didn’t even think along the lines of the answer. Here it is: Seven! Get it? Even, seven,…yeah, I was bamboozled by it. Here’s today’s trivia: As I walked along the path I saw something with four fingers and one thumb, but was not flesh, fish, bone, or fowl. What is it?

Tonight’s evening activity is our younger camper show, The Wizard of Oz! These kids have been rehearsing and working hard all session to put on a fantastic performance for the camp to enjoy. We’re all very excited to see our little ones take to the stage to sing, act, and dance their hearts out tonight. We’ll have lots of pictures posted for you on CampMinder tomorrow and I’ll also post some on the blog.

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

Tuesday, July 17th

Happy Tuesday everyone! Or as we say here at camp, “What day is today?” Can you believe we’re already in our 4th week of camp? We only have a few more full days left in this session. I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. Time flies when we’re having fun! Speaking of which, here’s a link to our week 3 video for your enjoyment:

After several weeks of fantastic weather, I guess just like high Fitbit steps, all good things have to come to an end,…or at least take a break. Today we finally had some rain sporatically throughout the day into the mid-afternoon. Some activities were affected until 2nd minor when it seemed to have stopped raining for the day.

This morning our waterfront department started a Polar Bear Club. Every morning just before wake up at 7:45am our campers who passed their swim tests are welcome to come down to the lake for a quick dip in the water. About a dozen kids join our lifeguards this morning and they said it was a lot of fun. It’s a great way to wake up and start the day, huh?

Here at ILC we hosted the 10th & 11th grade Wayne County Boys Volleyball Tournament. We have indoor facilities so the rain didn’t inhibit any game playing. This was the 2nd of the two tournaments that we host every summer in different age groups for the boys. Today was the older campers’ turn to play against approximately 5 other camps in the area. Our boys played hard and almost made it into the finals.

This afternoon we had a girls’ 6th & 7th grade lacrosse game here at camp against another Wayne County camp. We were also supposed to participate in an Outdoor Adventure Field Trip at a local camp this afternoon but it got rained out. This competition consisted of mountain biking, archery, and climbing so it was rescheduled for next week.

I have the winners of yesterday’s beginner and intermediate skatepark competition. Skateboarding Beginners: 3rd place- Maya, 2nd place- Nathan, 1st place- Skyler. Skateboarding Intermediates: 3rd place- Telmo, 2nd place- Bennie, 1st place- Danica. Rollerblading Beginners: 2nd place- Anders, 1st place- Leah. Rollerblading Intermediate: 3rd place- Eliot, 2nd place- Ian, 1st place- Griffin. Weather permitting, the advanced competition will take place tomorrow.

A reminder of yesterday’s riddle: How much dirt is in a hole 4 feet deep and 2 feet wide? Answer: None! Hahaha! Ok, here’s today’s riddle: What odd number becomes even when beheaded? Hmmm, this is a thinker,…

Theater, circus, magic, dance, and music rehearsals are winding down as we begin our performance week tonight. Abracadabra and a 5, 6, 7, 8! We kick off this special week with our MAGIC & DANCE SHOW for evening activity in the theater.

Today’s special feature is yesterday’s HALLOWEEN evening activity and festivities! The haunted house was actually pretty scary! I walked through it last night to take some photos. The first several pics below are of our staff working in the dark haunted house. It just doesn’t look dark and scary because of my world-class point and shoot camera flash. Enjoy and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Monday, July 16th

Happy Halloween! “Wait, it’s not October 31st” you may be thinking and you would be correct. However, here at ILC we like to break all holiday barriers and celebrate whenever we feel like it! Today in the 18462 we are celebrating Halloween with our campers and staff. I have lots to share with about our Halloween celebration later in this blog.

On the weather front, the temps quickly rose to the mid-80’s today with mostly sunny skies. Dare I say it once again? It was another beautiful day in Starrucca, PA!

We had a busy day in sports today. Our female swimmers went out of camp today for a swim meet. Our ILC Open continues on the tennis courts today. And as promised from yesterday, I want to fill you in on our 11th grade and under boys’ soccer tournament that ran into the nighttime hours. The boys played hard and made it through to the semifinals amongst over half a dozen camps. Their game went into overtime, a shootout, and then sudden death, at which point we missed a goal by 3 inches. Oh well, we can’t win them all!

Today is our big Skatepark Competition for our beginner and intermediate campers. These rad dudes and dudettes will use their newly learned skills on the ramps, rails, and half-pipes to show their friends what they’ve learned throughout the session this summer. The competition takes place right now during the 3rd minor, which is as I post this blog, so tomorrow I’ll have a list of winners for you. I’m actually going to run over there and watch the competition as soon as I post this.

A reminder of yesterday’s ILC Morning News trivia: What is always coming but never arrives? The answer: Tomorrow! Here’s today’s trivia question: How much dirt is in a hole 4 feet deep and 2 feet wide?

Tonight’s evening activity is our Halloween Party! Today many campers have been dressing up in costumes. They vary from wearing onesies to dressing as revival night henchmen, Pink Ladies, purple skittles, unicorns, zombies, and more. We had a costume competition for which the group leaders voted on some winners.

Tonight we will have a big haunted house in the canteen. The rest of the festivities will take place in the gym, which will be set up like a carnival filled with booths. We will have a ton for the kids to participate in at the gym tonight. Here’s a list of the events: fortune tellers, photo booth with props, mystery boxes for kids to put their hands in and figure out what’s in them (such as spaghetti), peculiar potions (figure out what’s in some drink mixtures), Halloween corn hole games, trick-or-treat spin wheel, counselor carving competition (with fruits since pumpkins aren’t exactly in season right now), pin the nose on the witch, sweets in a jar (guess the number), face painting stall, and death certificate booth (instead of a marriage booth). To add to all of this, we will also have spooky social Halloween music playing throughout the gym for kids and staff to dance to. It should be a super silly, fun, fantastic night for everyone. I’ll post blog pics from Halloween for you all to view tomorrow and we’ll have lots of pics up on our website CampMinder page too.

Today’s special feature is yesterday’s MESSY TWISTER with girls group 4! It actually more so turned into just a messy paint party photo session but hey, the girls had fun and that’s all that matters. Enjoy the pics, Happy ILC Halloween, and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Posted July 16th, 2018 by

Sunday, July 15th

Hi Island Lake families! For all of you who joined us here at camp yesterday, I hope you had a wonderful Visiting Day with your children. I especially hope you received tons of positive feedback from your kids and their counselors while also getting to see activities that your children have been participating in all summer long. The weather gods were working in our favor and we had a fantastic day with all of you, so thanks for coming.

Speaking of weather news, the sunshine stayed with us all day yesterday through Visiting Day and the waterflight. It rained at the end of dinner and then the downpour came later at night during evening activity. We had quite a storm roll through, as some of you may already know if you were still staying up here in this neck of the woods overnight. Fortunately, we woke up to warm dry weather and it’s stayed that way all day today. It’s was more cloudy than usual in the earlier half of the day but now it’s once again the perfect Starrucca day- not a cloud in the sky.

In ILC sports, our 6th & 7th grade boys played in a tennis tournament today during the morning and afternoon hours. Amongst the 12 camps participating, our boys made it into the semi-finals. Not bad, huh? Our 11th grade and under boys had another soccer match, this time at a different Wayne County camp. They didn’t leave until later in the afternoon so I don’t yet know if we won.

A reminder of the riddle from 2 days ago: What is the difference between one yard and two yards? The answer: a fence. Hardy haha! Ok, here’s today’s riddle: What is always coming but never arrives?

Tonight’s evening activity is GROUPS! Here’s the breakdown: GIRLS: Group 1- self-portraits with Stacey (in arts & crafts); Group 2- campfire; Group 3- spa day; Group 4- messy twister (an AMAZING evening activity for the oldest girls each summer. It’s a huge life-size twister board and a great big paint fight. The girls have the best time. Pics to follow tomorrow!): Boys: Group 1- gaga; Group 2- campfire; Group 3- gaga; Group 4- capture the flag (they love it,…what can I say?)

Since your kids still have tons of junk in the bunk, canteen will be closed tonight. They’ll still have the opportunity to hang out at the gym until curfew, as usual. Don’t worry about your children’s junk food coma’s, I’m doing my best to help them eat it all in within 3 days!

Our special feature for today is actually from last night’s evening activity, Squeaky Clean. They are a rock & roll band and they’ve been coming to Island Lake to perform for over 20 years now. It’s somehow become tradition for our campers to dress up for this show, either by dressing in a onesie or,…wait for it,…wait for it,….by dressing up in shower attire! And by shower attire I mean bathrobes, towels, hair twirlies, etc. I just had to grab my camera and snap some photos from this event to show you all of the silliness and fun that our campers and counselors have at this social event. Enjoy these pics and until tomorrow, ILCUTHERE!

Posted July 15th, 2018 by

Saturday, July 14th

Happy Visiting Day everyone! We hope you all had a WONDERFUL time here at ILC today. Lots of parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends joined us to spend the day with their campers. Today was a fantastic experience for everyone. I loved having the opportunity to see and speak with so many of you. It means the world to hear what a wonderful summer your children are having here at ILC.

Our annual post-Visiting Day water fight was a huge success. This event was a great distraction for those campers who had some difficulty saying goodbye to their parents. Hot sunny day + cold water = happy wet campers!

Tonight’s evening activity is Squeaky Clean! They’re a rock and roll band who perform here at camp every summer on the night of Visiting Day. Squeaky Clean covers classic rock and roll oldies but goodies such as “Stop In the Name of Love.” We are excited to sing and dance along with them tonight in the gym. Canteen will be closed after evening activity since there is soooooo much junk food in the bunks.   Curfews will still be regular time for everyone.

I just want to take a moment to thank all of you who took the opportunity today to thank me for all of these blogs. I was overwhelmed by all of your wonderful feedback, so thank you very much. I’ve been attending sleep away camp since the age of 2 (I’m 30 years old in case you’re wondering,…wink wink!) so camp is truly in my blood. I live and die for this place and I love telling you all things camp so you can feel as if you are part of the ILC family here, too.

Ok, I’ll stop getting sappy now. I hope you all had the most fantastic, stupendous, remarkable, memorable time here at ILC today. Until tomorrow, the start of our final week of 1st session, ILCUTHERE!