February Freeze!

Hello Canadensis…

So, I am looking out my window right now and I all I can see are pellets of ice flying into the glass!  Call it a February Freeze!  Usually I like to always say that summer is just right around the corner, but it sure doesn’t feel like that at all right now.  I hope our campers have been enjoying some of the snow days that have come their way with some good sledding or snowman building.  Or, maybe you are just staying inside logging onto to www.canadensis.com to read our blogs or watch videos from the summer.  Anytime the weather gets me down, that always seems to help.

I have been able to get out on the road more and more to see campers and camp families.  A few weekends ago, I got the chance to see 2011 Upper Inter Oliver Shaw and his Montclair School of Rock perform Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in it’s entirety.

Oliver Shaw and his Montclair School of Rock performed the Pink Floyd and Roger Water classic album "The Wall" on Saturday, January 22 in front of an audience of hundreds.

The two hour concert, which featured Oliver on bass and vocals, was absolutely amazing.  In fact, I learned that Oliver is now part of a band that calls themselves “Going Dark.”  They have even released their first EP entitled “I Am,” which can also be found on i-Tunes.  To hear the songs as well as see videos, visit their myspace page at:  http://www.myspace.com/going-dark .  Apparently, the band recently just played a Battle of the Bands competition in Asbury Park, NJ.  No word as of yet on how they fared.

This is the EP album of Oliver Shaw's new band called "Going Dark." The album is entitled "I Am."

Speaking of rocking out, I got to see another of our campers, 2011 Upper Inter Ryan Lefkowitz, up on stage playing his guitar with his band that calls themselves “C4.”  At the Crash Mansion in New York City, the band performed as part of their music school’s annual Big Gig and played Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock-N-Roll,” Rhianna’s “Umbrella” and Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”  Here are some pics…

Me and Ryan Lefkowitz talking about the performance.

Me and Ryan after the Big Gig. Sorry for the blurry photos, but you know how those rock-n-roll things go.

I must tell you that seeing both Oliver and Ryan on stage was just so awesome!  There is no doubt that both will be major contributors to our Rock Band program this summer.  Maybe even I will get up on stage and sing with them?  Ha Ha!

This time of year also means more home visits to campers old and new.  In Syosset, NY, I hung out with first year camper and Junior boy Jack Lagnado.  Jack, who is currently in 3rd grade, told me that when he is home, he enjoys baseball in the fall and spring and plays both catcher and shortstop while he is also active taking tennis lessons.  He is also a big fan of the WWE and his favorite wrestler is John Cena.  This summer, Jack can’t wait for the special events like Color War and Rope Burn as well as evening activities like Crazy Night.  He is also ready for all the sports at camp including hockey.  Of course, he can’t wait to make a whole new bunch of friends.  Here is a picture…

Me with Junior Boy Jack Lagnado.

In Melville, NY, I got to see 3rd grade girl Sarah Abrams, who is also coming to Canadensis for her first summer.  Sarah, who is in the 3rd grade, has been busy practicing for an upcoming talent show at school in which she will be singing and dancing to the popular song “Freak the Freak Out.”  A lot of her time has also been donated to dance classes and preparing for a recital in May.  On top of all that, she loves gymnastics, tennis, arts and crafts and having sleepovers with friends.  This summer, she promises a lot cartwheels at camp (out of nowhere, she added).  She also wants to be in the camp shows, do all the activities in the Art Center and jump on the water trampoline and all the other things to do at the lake.  Here is a photo…

Me with Junior Girl Sarah Abrams.

In Huntingdon Valley, PA, I met up with 2011 Freshman Girl Rachel Cebula, who will return for her third summer at camp, and will be introducing her brother and Junior Boy Adam Cebula to the world of Canadensis.  Now in 6th grade, Rachel plays tennis and soccer, loves hanging out with friends and apparently is obsessed with the show “Pretty Little Liars.”  She wanted to give a shout out to all of her camp sisters from last summer’s Bunk 8 and said, “I love all of you guys.”  She also had an inside joke to tell them and says, “OZEN to everyone.”  As for Adam, who is in 3rd grade, he plays basketball, tennis and indoor/outdoor soccer.  He likes to collect sports cards, play X-Box (and beat Brian in Madden football), watch ESPN and art.  When at camp, he looks forward to basketball, flag football, tennis, soccer, baseball, glass fusion and hockey.  Here is a pic…

Me with Freshman Girl Rachel Cebula and Junior Boy Adam Cebula.

In Roslyn, NY, I got together with Upper Inter Girl Jaymie Gilady who is returning for her third summer and will now be joined by brother and Junior Boy Avery Gilady.  Now in 5th grade, Jaymie has started a Harry Potter Book Club with her friends and have already had a number of Harry-themed parties.  Like many campers at camp, she has read all the books in the series.  She is also active in horseback riding, dance, zumba and lots of reading.  This summer, she is excited once again about playing jacks, the lake, the trip to Dorney Park, A/C Shack, Color War, Crazy Night and Ms. Canadensis.  She is also hoping there will be a Harry Potter type of activity this summer.  As for brother Avery, currently in 2nd grade, he has been playing in a rock band at the School of Rock and recently had a concert where he played guitar and bongos.  At the show, his band performed the Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the Devil” and The Troggs “Wild Thing.”  He is also currently playing basketball and also plays baseball, football and hockey.  When he comes to camp this summer for his first time, he looks forward to all the lake activities, Color War, evening activities, Dorney Park, sports and the food.  Here is a shot from the visit…

Me with Junior Boy Avery Gilady and Upper Inter Girl Jaymie Gilady.

In Jericho, NY, I met up with the Leib sisters.  Older sister Alex Leib, who will now be a Lower Senior Girl and returning for her five year jacket, will be welcoming her younger sister and Junior Girl Jessie Leib.  Now in 7th grade, Alex is active with tennis, softball, dance and working out at the gym.  She has also been busy attending Bat Mitzvahs of camp friends.  In Summer 2011, she can’t wait for her big move to Senior Side, looking to defend the bunk’s divisional MTV Night crown and Color War.  She also wanted to give a big shout out to last year’s Girls Bunk 12 and of course, Hillary (she said that Bunk 12 would know what that means).  Younger sister Jessie, who is in 3rd grade, loves basketball and is currently playing on a team called the “Chillers,” is busy with dance and rehearsing for her recital in the Spring, playing tennis and softball, playing the viola and spending time with friends.  This summer, she is excited to play GaGa, softball, basketball and tennis as well as go waterskiing, make amazing things in cooking, Color War and being in a camp show.  Here is a photo…

Me with Lower Senior Girl Alex Leib and Junior Girl Jessie Leib.

In Wayne, NJ, I caught up with another sibling duo and spent time with the Halpern boys, Josh and Sammy.  Older brother Josh, now in his third summer at Canadensis, will be a Freshman Boy while brother Sammy, coming for his first year, will be in the Lower Inter Division.  In 6th grade and now starting middle school, Josh plays basketball and soccer, plays Call of Duty on his X-Box and has been loving all of this snow we’ve been having.  This summer, he is excited for his trip to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame as well as having Hondas and Cooking as electives.  Sammy, who is in the 4th grade, is a really active guy and plays soccer, basketball, baseball and flag football.  When at camp this summer, he can’t wait to try the Hondas as well as all of the lake activities, especially the water mat and waterskiing.  Here is a shot of us…

Me with Lower Inter Boy Sammy Halpern and Freshman Boy Josh Halpern.

I know the month of February will bring more great visits with camp families.  If you would like a visit from either myself, Eric or Pam, give us a call.  We are always more than happy to come out and see you.

A great camp get-together was had on Saturday, January 30 as 2011 Lower Senior Boy Max Vorcheimer celebrated his Bar Mitzvah.  Max was joined in celebration by a large number of his bunkmates as well as some campers from other bunks.  Of course, younger sister Samantha (a.k.a. Sammy V) also helped her big brother party down.  Max’s mom Stephanie, who is also the Camp Mom in the summer, invited several camp people to the affair.  We had a wonderful day and Max certainly made his family and all of us in attendance so very proud of him as he did so well leading the service.  Afterwards, Max threw a New York Giants tailgate themed party for everyone (which of course, made me feel right at home).  I even finished in third place during the party’s Coke & Pepsi game.  Unfortunately, I was very sore afterwards.  Ha Ha!

I forgot to add a picture in a recent blog.  But, as you might have read, the day before the reunion, our leadership team had a full day of meetings at the local Marriott Hotel.  Look who was also there…

Camp Canadensis Meeting was right next to the Syracuse University Basketball team meeting. Pretty cool, huh?

Finally, what would a February blog be without a mention of the Super Bowl?  In my opinion, it’s a National Holiday.  In fact, I think I wake up Super Bowl morning much like people that celebrate Christmas on Christmas Morning.  As is usually the case, I throw a Super Bowl Party.  This year’s menu includes Steak Tips, Chicken Wings, Pigs in a Blanket, Shrimp Cocktail, Clam Dip, Veggies and Dip, Baked Brie, Hummus, Pulled Pork and Prosciutto Pinwheels.  In the hours leading up to the event, I always like to watch my favorite Super Bowls of years past, including Super XXI, XXV and XLII.  Can you figure out why those?  I’ll give you some hints:  22 of 25, Norwood Wide Right and the Helmet Catch!

This year’s game should be a really good one as the Packers and Steelers both have great defenses and offenses that can put points on the board.  Right now, I’m picking a Packers victory by a score of 23-20.  That should make Shawn Bolton feel good!  For the camper or staff member that e-mails me with the winner and closest score, I will send you a camp prize.  E-mail me at brian@canadensis.com .

Packers vs. Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. Who are you rooting for? Pick the score and e-mail it to me. Closest score with the winner will receive a camp prize.

Well, in the time that it has taken to write this blog, the ice is still tapping on my window.  However, with all these good thoughts about camp, it is warm here.  Until the next blog…Have a great day…Brian