Happy Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving is here!  As I have mentioned before in other blogs, this is my favorite holiday by far.  Since I was a little kid, I always loved this day of stuffing your face and being around family and friends.  For me, the day has usually played out similarly from one year to the next.  I love waking up and watching the Macy’s Day Parade from bed.  A little bit later, we will head over to the house I grew up in for a feast of epic proportions.  In fact, at our Thanksgiving, a lot of it has to do with the appetizers.  Every year, my mom makes somewhere between 10-12 hors d’oeuvres even before the big meal.  Another odd tradition for me personally is that my mom always saves me the turkey neck that she used to make the gravy.  This is my favorite part of the turkey.  I know it might sound gross, but it is delicious.  Of course, there is always football to watch, too.  I hope everyone enjoys their holiday and a Happy Turkey Day to all!

Certainly, this holiday is all about giving thanks.  For me, as many of you know, I love being a director at Canadensis.  I am extremely thankful for that day back in September 2005 when Aunt Terri asked me to join the Canadensis family.  I am thankful for having a job where I can be a mature goofball.  I am thankful for all of the campers that continually tell me how much they love camp.  I am thankful for all of the staff that work their tails off making each and every year “the best summer ever!”  I am thankful for family and friends that support this crazy lifestyle of mine where you have to leave every year for 3 and a half months.   

In the spirit of being thankful, I want to thank all of the senior campers and their parents who took time out of their schedule to attend one of our Senior Summits, which were held in Long Island, Main Line PA and online.  The online format was very cool and something we might try again in the future.  The feedback we received in these three sessions provided us with a lot of good ideas and gave us insight on how to make our senior program better and better.

Just the other day, me, Eric and Pam started placing events on the summer calendar which got me really excited for the summer.  That’s right!  We even know when Color War is going to be!  The planning of the 49 days of camp truly is an all-year round project.  From coordinating the buses on opening day to deciding when we can do all the overnights of the summer to planning the nights when we can actually do all-camp activities to slotting in all of the inter-camp athletics, it really is a daunting task.  The meeting had us discussing some new options and activities for the summer as well, much of which was given to us by our campers through the surveys we received after camp.

Speaking of campers, in Merrick, NY, I got to have dinner with the Grama Family and get to hang out with campers Lauren Grama and Isaac “Ice G” Grama.  Lauren will be back at camp for her 7th summer in 2012 as part of our Super Senior Girls division while “Ice G” will be back for his 3rd summer in our Upper Inter Boys division.  While eating “Grandma’s Chicken” (delicious, by the way), both told me what they have been up to.  Lauren is absolutely loving her first year at Kennedy High School even if the workload has been a lot.  She is currently on the Cougars Cheer Squad as a base position.  The team cheers at football and basketball games as well as competing in year-round competitions.  She wanted to give a huge shout out to the girls of Summer 2011’s Bunk 19.  She also let me know that she is an avid reader of the Canadensis blogs and Twitter.  As for Isaac (aka “Ice G”), now in the 5th grade, he just finished up his fall baseball season as part of the Yankees team where he played second base, third base and outfield.  Now, it’s onto basketball season, which just got underway.  His team, coached by his dad, is off to a 1-1 start to the season.  On Sundays, Isaac loves watching his New York Jets on TV.  He will also be attending the Jets-Giants game at Met Life Stadium later in the season.  Here is a picture from my visit…

Me with 2012 Super Senior Lauren Grama, 2012 Upper Inter Isaac "Ice G" Grama and their dog Woody.

It’s always great to be surprised by fellow Canadensians, too!  At last week’s Giants game , I was spotted by the Appelbaum sisters, Brooke and Haley, who were both campers and counselors at camp.  Both mentioned how much they miss camp.  However, it was great to hear just how well their studies are going and that they will both be finishing up their degrees in college very soon.  And yes, Eagles fans, I know who won the game.  You got us this time.  Our tailgate was still really good with a menu that included Philly cheese steaks (of course), bacon-wrapped scallops, shrimp, short ribs, chili, mac & cheese, soft pretzels (another Philly tradition), sirloin steak tips and grilled pineapple.  Here is a picture…

Me with Brooke and Haley Appelbaum at the Giants game.

On a completely random note, has anyone ever continually had a song stuck in their head for more than a day.  I have.  As many of you might already know, I love music.  Well, last week, I went to see Chris Robinson (of the Black Crowes) with his new band called “The Chris Robinson Brotherhood.”  The band played a cover of the Three Dog Night Song entitled “Never Been to Spain.”  The next day, I went to YouTube because all I could think about was this song.  I was surprised to find that the song has been covered by a wide range of artists.  It’s a great song and you can check out versions by (click on the band to see their link): Three Dog Night, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Chris Robinson, but my personal favorite is the one by my guilty pleasure band Hanson.    In fact, I think it’s the Hanson version that is stuck in my head.

Finally, for someone that rarely travels, Jaime and I will be going heading to New Orleans (or as they say, Nawlins) on Friday for a mini vacation.  We have some great stuff planned including an airboat ride in the swamps, a bike tour and a Monday Night football game, the Giants vs. the Saints.  Should be fun!  I will include pics in my next blog.

Until then…Have a great day!