Happy New Year and Holiday Home Visits!

Hello Canadensis!

First, I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  I hope 2012 brings everyone a great year ahead.  And, hopefully, just a few days in, everyone has stuck to their new year’s resolutions.  At the same time, I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday time, whether it be some time off from school or work and an opportunity to be with friends and family.

During the holiday week, our camp office is completely closed so we can all enjoy some time off as well.  I typically don’t go anywhere, but really enjoy the days to relax.  As many of you know, I am a huge music lover.  For the holiday break, Jaime and I decided to “test” our love of music by attending four concerts in a row, including New Year’s Eve.  I had never ever gone to four concerts in a row, but we were up for the challenge and saw the band Phish play four sold out nights at Madison Square Garden.  I know what you’re saying.  Four shows sounds repetitive.  However, the great thing about this band is that in the four nights, they never repeated one song.  The New Year’s Eve show is also a special treat as the band usually pulls a “stunt” at midnight.  This year didn’t disappoint as the band had trapeze artists (disguised as fans in the crowd) dancing over the crowd at midnight.  Check it out by clicking here.  Great, fun stuff!

Of course, on top of four very musical nights, there was also two additional great nights as I attended both the Giants vs. Jets game and the Giants vs. Cowboys game.  Both games were must wins for my Big Blue and we are now in the playoffs.  Sorry Jets fans.  Sorry Eagles fans.  Sorry Cowboys fans.  Ha Ha!  How great were these plays by Victor Cruz versus the Jets and the Cowboys.  I have to learn how to salsa like him!  Ha Ha!

Of course, there was also some great at home time over the holiday break.  With what has seemingly become an annual tradition, Jaime and I built a ginger bread house.  We made a fire and broke out the icing and candy to build this holiday treat.  Here is a picture of the final product…

The Ginger Bread House that Jaime and I made over the holiday break. Does anyone ever eat these things?

The holiday time for me brought the opportunity to see many camp families.  In Scotch Plains, NJ, I met up with Amanda and Kyle Burger.  Amanda, now in 5th grade, will be back at Canadensis for her 3rd summer as part of the Upper Inter Girls division.  She is excited to introduce to camp her brother Kyle, who is in 2nd grade and will be in our Junior Boys division.  This year, Amanda has been taking hip hop dance classes, preparing for a recital in the spring.  She is also taking piano lessons.  Amanda was also happy to tell me that she recently had a sleep over with bunkmate Valerie Solomon.  She is really looking forward to the reunion and wanted to give a shout out to the Girls of Bunk 8 from Summer 2011 and remind them of the clogged toilet chart.  As for Kyle, he is busy with a bunch of sports and plays flag football, basketball and soccer.  In the spring, he will also be trying lacrosse for the first time.  Speaking of first times, Kyle was psyched to tell me that he was going to his first NFL football game when the Jets played the Giants.  Kyle also loves video games and plays the drums.  This summer, he is ready to try rocketry, basketball, cooking, archery and the climbing wall.  Here is a photo…

Me with Junior Boy Kyle Burger and Upper Inter Girl Amanda Burger.

Also in Scotch Plains, NJ, I got to hang out with the Steeles, Ava and Max.  Ava can’t wait for her 5th summer as a Lower Senior and receive her 5-Year jacket!  Now in the 7th grade, Ava is still playing lacrosse and cheerleading for the Scotch Plains / Fanwood Raiders teams.  She is also involved in hip hop and jazz dance classes and will be performing at a recital in the spring.  Ava wanted to give a shout out to the Girls of Bunk 13 from Summer 2011 and had an inside joke for them…don’t swing on shower curtains.  Ava is so thrilled that she will be joined at camp this summer by brother Max Steele, who is currently in the 5th grade and will be in our Upper Inter Boys division in his first summer.  Max just recently finished up his football season as he plays guard, tackle and defensive end for the Scotch Plains PAL Raiders.  He was very happy to tell me that the team won its first ever state championship!  In the winter, Max is playing center on his travel basketball team.  In the spring, he will move to travel baseball, where he plays outfield, catcher, third base and first base.  When at camp, Max can’t wait for Color War, lacrosse and hondas.  Here is a pic…

Me with Upper Inter Boy Max Steele and Lower Senior Girl Ava Steele.

In Roslyn, NY, I got to see Jaymie and Avery Gilady.  Jaymie was telling me about how she is really enjoying middle school now that she is in 6th grade.  She is also taking art classes where she is primarily focusing on acrylic painting.  She is an avid reader and just told me that her most recent favorite book was “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” which she said was way better than the movie.  Jaymie will also be hosting a bunk sleep over in January.  She wanted to say hi to the Girls of Bunk 10 from Summer 2011 and can’t wait to see them.  As a Freshman Girl in 2012, Jaymie is really looking forward to her trip to Hershey Park.  As for Avery, now in the 3rd grade, he is still enjoys playing guitar and chess.  He is also currently in basketball season while also taking tennis lessons.  In the spring, he will move onto baseball.  He also recently saw all of his bunkmates at camp sleepover and wanted to give a shout out to the Boys of Bunk 3 from Summer 2011.  Next summer, Avery is looking forward to mountain bike rides as part of the Junior Boys division.  Here is a photo…

Me with Junior Boy Avery Gilady and Freshman Girl Jaymie Gilady (and their dog Scarlet).

In Jericho, NY, I got to spend some time with Mandi Kurtz, who is in the 3rd grade and will be coming to camp for her very first summer as part of the Junior Girls division.  Mandi is very busy with her competitive dance team in which she performs hip hop, jazz and ballet.  The team’s competitions will begin in March.  Mandi also loves hanging out with her friends.  She let me know that over the holiday break, she will be going to CoCo Key in Connecticut.  Mandi is a huge fan of the New York Giants (awesome!), that her favorite color is hot pink and that her favorite TV shows are Jessie, I-Carly and Victorious.  When she gets to camp this year, she is looking forward to cooking, horseback riding, being in the play, the dance team and BBQs on Saturday nights and waffles and ice cream for breakfast.  Most importantly, she is looking forward to making new friends at camp.  Here is a picture…

Me with Junior Girl Mandi Kurtz.

In Dix Hills, NY, I met up with Ryan Sher, who is in the 3rd grade and will be part of our Junior Boys division in 2012.  Ryan is busy with a number of different activities these days.  He just finished up his flag football season, where his team the Patriots made it to the playoffs.  Now, he is busy with his basketball season.  On top of playing, he is also a big fan of the New York Knicks.  When spring comes, Ryan will be playing left field, third base and second base on his baseball team.  Ryan is also an accomplished piano player.  Just recently, he performed in a recital as well as in front of a judges panel for NYSMA, which is for select players.  He will also be playing at a talent show in March.  Ryan loves video games and his current favorite is Madden ’12 Football, which he also beat me in while I was at his house.  This summer, Ryan is excited for all the water activities, swimming, sports leagues, movies, hiking, art and hanging out with his cousin, Zach Sher.  Here is a pic…

Me with Junior Boy Ryan Sher.

In Edison, NJ, I got to have lunch at the Skylark Diner with two girls from our 2012 Upper Senior Girls division, Jessie Novey and Dani Sussman.  The foodie in me picked the place as I saw it on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on the Food Network.  The three of us had a good time talking about our favorite place…Canadensis!  Both Jessie and Dani have been very busy in the 8th grade but have definitely been keeping in touch with camp friends and have even been able to see them at a few camp bat mitzvahs.  Both can’t wait for an awesome Summer 2012!  Here is a picture…

Me with Upper Senior Girls Dani Sussman (left) and Jessie Novey (right). We had lunch at the Skylark Diner in Edison, NJ.

We hope to see as many campers and staff this weekend at our Annual Reunion.  Just like last year, the reunion will be at Jeepers in Elizabeth, NJ from 11 am to 1 pm.  Everyone in attendance will receive two camp posters!

Come to Jeepers on Sunday, January 8 for our Camp Reunion!

Well, that’s all of the blogging for now.  More to come!

Have a great day!