The Things I Love About Camp

Today was another one of those days when I just kept thinking about the summer over and over again.  The biggest reminder of summer sits right in front of me in my office.  From Summer 2012, the leaders of Comic Book Blue cut out a piece of their Color War Sing scenery and gave it to me as a memento.  It is the picture of me, letting everyone know that “The box is missing!”  For those that need a visual, here it is…

From Color War 2012, here is a piece of Comic Book Blue's scenery, which is me!

When I look at this artwork of me, it always has me thinking about camp and how much I love things like Color War Sing.  Not just the Sing, itself, but the moment I actually enter the Rec Hall for the Sing.  It’s one of my favorite moments every summer.  As I walk into one of camp’s most historic buildings, I see all of the hard work that the CITs, Senior campers and an assortment of Staff have invested over the prior five days and it gives me goosebumps!  The sets, decorations and plaques never cease to amaze me.  The songs always blow me away.  And, the night is always a magical one.  This year, I was so thrilled when Jason “J.Cal” Calabretta came up to me with the idea of wanting to broadcast the Sing live over the internet.  At one point, we had over 300 people, many former alumni, logging in to be part of this night from all over the world.  So cool, right?!

So, today, not only am I thinking about Sing, but just some of the things I love about camp.  Like, I love the moment when I get up to the amphitheater right before turning the corner to see everyone.  The music is usually already blaring!  I get pumped up for the day!  Then, when I see everyone getting excited, I also get excited!  As I walk down the steps, it almost gives me the feeling of a boxer entering the ring or a relief pitcher coming in from the bullpen.  I’m ready for the day!

Morning Line-Up at Camp is something that gets me so psyched up for a day at camp!

Or, I love when I get the opportunity to see a camper go down the zip line for the very first time in their life.  It usually goes the same way.  The camper is usually a bit scared (some more than others).  Usually, their bunkmates are cheering and encouraging them to go, letting them know it’s going to be great!  Sometimes, it even takes the camper a few minutes before they actually push off of the platform.  But, once they do, when the get off, they always have a big smile on their face and feeling of complete satisfaction!

I love going the lake.  Whether it is taking a funyak out on the water, riding on the triple dare, jumping on the water trampoline, going up and down the Summit or just hanging out on the water mats.  Not many camps have a lake as great as Lake Lenape, perfectly situated right in the middle of camp.  Last summer, I got to go in the lake on a number of occasions with a number of different divisions.  Each and every time is so memorable.

I love playing tennis at camp.  Whether during one of the regular periods of the day or at Free Play, the campers like to play against me in King / Queen of the Court or in singles or doubles matches.  I love watching campers improve their tennis games over the summer, especially with our amazing tennis staff in private lessons or in the Tennis Academy.  Tennis is definitely one of those sports that many continue to play well after their camper years, so its great to always see so much interest at camp.

I love MTV Night, especially the night when we have the MTV Night Finals!  Many of our bunks put so much time and energy into their skits that show great teamwork.  The acts usually have a lot of humor in them as well, so anytime I get to see campers being silly and goofy, I smile.

The acts at MTV Night are always fun!

I guess I could go on and on about all the things I love about camp.  Like Fruit on the Fly.  Or, seeing great projects being made in the Art Center.  How about our day at Dorney Park?  That’s always awesome!  I especially love the days leading up to Color War break and the anticipation of when it is actually going to happen and all the guesses I get from the campers and counselors of how they think they know when it is going to break.  I love the last night of camp and the bunks engaging in their candle lighting tradition with all of the lights illuminating Lake Lenape.

When you get the chance, tell me all that you love about camp!  Send an e-mail.  Post a comment right here on the blog.  Post something on our Facebook page.  Give me a call!

How many days until Summer 2012?  Ha Ha!  For now, I will have to just reminisce.  But, in the meantime, I can love all of the opportunities I get to see campers and staff in the winter months.  Here is who I got to see recently…

In Bala Cynwyd, PA, I met up with the Rosenau Family for a lovely dinner, which has somewhat become an annual tradition with us.  It is always great to see Julia and Emma, who have been at camp for quite some time now, as well as their younger brother AJ, who could be joining us this summer for our Tour and More Weekend at camp.  Julia, who will be an Upper Senior for her 6th summer in 2012, is really enjoying life in the 8th grade.  She just recently finished up her soccer season in which she played defense on the Bala Cynwyd Middle School Knights team.  In the spring, she will be playing for the school’s softball team.  She wanted to make sure that she gave a shout out to Girls Bunk 16 from last summer as well as counselors Lauren Berry and Lindsay Steckler!  If you remember from last year, Julia was the camper that scored a perfect score on the Harry Potter contest and received a piece of the actual red carpet from the movie premiere in New York City.  Julia is still crazy about Harry Potter!  Emma will be an Upper Inter Girl in 2012, which will be her 3rd summer at Canadensis.  She has been busy with tennis lessons and her basketball season just got underway.  She is an avid reader and told me that she can’t wait for the “Hunger Games” movie after she read all of the books.  She also wanted to give a shout out to her bunk from last summer, that being Girls Bunk 8!  Emma says, “What’s up, Bunk 8?!?!”  She also wanted to say hello to Steve, the albino chipmunk (which must be some kind of inside joke to Bunk 8).  Here is a picture…

Me with Upper Inter Emma Rosenau (left) and Upper Senior Julia Rosenau.

In Dobbs Ferry, NY, I got to hang out with Drew Spielberger, who will be joining us at Canadensis for his first summer in 2012.  Currently in the 2nd grade, Drew will be in our Junior Division.  Drew is a busy guy to say the least.  He just finished up his soccer season on his Fulhom team.  He plays defense on that team.  Now, he is starting his basketball season.  In the spring, it will be a baseball team where he plays both first base and short stop.  He is also a big New York Yankee fan!  In this mix, Drew also plays flag football.  He also loves music and is looking forward to starting drum lessons in a few months.  This summer, he can’t wait to make new friends.  He is also looking forward to all the sports, including hockey, Color War, the lake and the water slides.  Here is a photo…

Me with Junior Boy Drew Spielberger and future Canadensis Camper Ruby Spielberger.

Last week, at the Giants game, I got to see campers Harrison and Ben Keim, who were joined by parents Dan and Gail.  At our tailgate in Lot L12, we ate sirloin steak tips, chili, kobe beef bacon cheeseburgers and onion rings.  Unfortunately, we forgot to take a picture, but thanks guys for sharing the day with me.

Speaking of food, here is a random thing to share.  Today for lunch, I had Syracuse University pasta.  That’s right.  You heard me correctly.  As a graduate of Syracuse, I purchased a bag of pasta just for me.  Just look…

My lunch today was pasta in the shape of Otto the Orange and the Syracuse "S." Pretty funny.

Earlier this week, I got to do some staff recruiting at some of the colleges near my home in Montclair, NJ.  On Monday, I was at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ.  On Tuesday, I was at William Paterson in Wayne, NJ.  On Wednesday, I went all of five minutes from my home for a full day at Montclair State.  I got to talk with a number of terrific applicants, some who you are sure to see at camp this summer.  Of course, this is only the beginning of our new staff hiring.  But, if these three days are any indication of what’s to come, it is safe to say that we are once again going to have the best staff around!

Well, that’s all of the blogging for now.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

More blogging to come….Have a great day!