Home Visits, Camp Conferences and Amusement Park Rides!

Jordan Willner


In between the constant snow storms we’ve been getting in the Philly area, I was able to spend some time with Jordan, who is currently in 2nd grade, and will be a Lower Junior Girl at camp for her first time this summer!  I met Jordan when she came up to take a tour of Canadensis last summer, and I knew that she would be a fun and spirited addition to camp right away!  After the tour, she even sent me a sweet “thank you” note, and I saved it on my bulletin board.  It probably means that she’ll be great at writing letters home, which is a good thing because her parents and little sisters will be wanting to hear about all the fun she’s having!

Jordan has been putting all this snow to good use – she likes sledding in the park across from her house, she built and decorated a snowman in her back yard, and she’s a good skier!  She goes on ski trips in Telluride, and is going to start doing black diamond trails soon!   She enjoys doing a lot of different activities, including hip-hop dance classes (they are doing a dance to the song Royals) and she plans on being a member of the Canadensis competition dance team this summer!  She also takes piano lessons and goes to gymnastics class…she is working on her back handspring!  Jordan goes to the Shipley school, and has done some cool arts and crafts projects that we displayed around the house.

We talked about the camp trips she’ll get to go on, and she already knows that when the Lower Juniors go to the movies, she’s going to get mint chocolate chip ice cream!  We also talked about all the different elective options she’ll get to choose from.  She picked out tons of different things she can’t wait to try…including windsurfing, photography, yoga, archery and fishing!  Jordan has gone fishing a bunch of times before and she’s very lucky – every time she dips her pole in the water, she catches something!  She usually goes fishing on family trips to Florida, and once she caught a hammerhead shark!  She’s gone snorkeling in Florida too and has seen really cool things under the water like stingrays, but she tries to stay away from the jellyfish!  Without a doubt, Jordan is up for anything this summer…even basketball has been really fun in school gym, so I have no doubt she’ll love playing everything at camp!

Ella Sobol


Another new camper from the Philly area is Ella, a current 5th grader who will be an Upper Inter girl at camp this summer!  She goes to Penn Valley Elementary, but she lived in Atlanta, Georgia for a few years and she has Canadian citizenshipAnother!  A lot of her family still lives in Montreal (where her parents were born).  It means she gets to root for both Team USA and Team Canada in the Olympic Games…how cool is that?

Another awesome fact about Ella is that she attends camps and classes at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.  She has been going for a while and her favorite is working on aerials, like the ropes & trapeze.  But her favorite is the silks, and I got to see a video of her doing a flip up in the air…and she told me it was easy!   Other activities she enjoys doing after school include singing at a local guitar shop, going to Hebrew school and cheering for her favorite team at Flyers games!  She loves the Flyers and goes to a lot of games with her family…but she doesn’t really love Hebrew school as much.  However, her family just spent time in Israel with their temple and it was an awesome trip!  Ella’s older sister got Bat Mitzvahed while they were there, and they ate a lot of hummus!  Another recent family trip was to Hawaii, and she was the best in her family at getting up on the surfboard!

Ella is the photographer of her family and keeps a bunch of photos under her bed in her newly redecorated blue room.  At home, she picked out an awesome blue chevron bedspread, but thinks she’ll get a pink one for camp.  Her room is HUGE, plenty of room to host sleepovers for the entire bunk of new friends she’ll be making at Canadensis! Ella is a sweet girl and will be a great bunk mate!  I’ve already recruited her to help me walk Annie this summer because she has two dogs at home, Leo & Mickey (full name is Mikayla).  And, speaking of Mickey…

Disney …I just spent a few days in Disney World!  Above are some photos from my trip – Dave and I made it to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney in two jammed pack days!  I think my favorite park was Animal Kingdom, I’d never been before.  Cara gets to take our amazing CITs on a 5-day trip to Disney World each summer, so she gave me fantastic suggestions for what to do at each park, and she told me I’d get extra credit if I went in the front row on Tower of Terror – and here’s the proof that I did it!  I love rides!  It was a huge drop and there was nothing to grab on to!  I loved every ride I did – some of the best were Everest, Rocking Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, Dinosaur and Space Mountain.

Camp ShirtThe reason we went to Orlando was to attend the American Camp Association National Conference.  It’s several days of speakers, sessions and vendors that all relate to the camp industry.  It’s pretty awesome to walk into a bookstore and see more than 100 books about summer camp!  In the vendor hall, you can find all sorts of awesome products for camp, including the shirt above.  If you’ve gotten an email from me recently, you might have noticed I often use “Think Camp!” at the end of it, so I thought this shirt was pretty great!  (FYI, my mentor Aaron Selkow, from URJ Camp Harlam developed “Think Camp!” and I have borrowed the awesome sign off from him!).  It was a great conference, and it got me extra excited for the ACA NY/NJ conference in Atlantic City next month!

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One last funny story…I’ve been working and blogging from home today, and guess who happened to stop by…Sam Ginsburg!!  He spent 13 summers at Canadensis, and in his past few years has been an extended member of the Operations team at camp.  He was in my neighborhood checking on some of his properties, and it was such an awesome surprise to see him!