New Year, New Campers!


2016 has started off with a bang over here at Camp Canadensis!  There’s been so much travel and fun stuff in the works – but one of my absolutely highlights during the winter is going and visiting new campers before their first summer at camp.  First up, is Will from Bucks County, PA!  He’s currently in 3rd grade, and will be an Upper Junior Boy at camp this summer!  Although it’s his first official summer as a camper, Will is the 4th generation of the Saltzman family (he’s named after his Great-Grandfather, camps founder!) to spend the summer around Lake Lenape.  He’s had a taste of camp in the past through Tour & More and other visits, so he knows how much fun he’s in for this summer!!  At camp, you’ll find him in the middle of a gaga game, and he’s excited to choose it as an elective.  He’s also going to be on the courts playing tennis and can’t wait to help his bunk stay clean and will the Honor Bunk competition!  He is a big brother, and his family recently got an adorable new dog named Rogan!  Here’s what you need to know about this great, awesome and cool new camper: his favorite food is pizza, he loves the color blue and the TV show “Wander Over Yonder”.  He’s a fan of rock music, the Eagles (the football team, not the band!) and his favorite hobby is football.  He’s going to be packing a few books for camp, and right now he lives the “Humphrey” series.  It’s going to be a great summer!


Another new camper coming from Buck County, PA is Chloe!  Chloe is currently in 2nd grade, and will be a Lower Junior Girl at camp this summer.  She love gymnastics, and during our home visit she was wearing her leotard (it was right after class!) and she showed me some of her routines and moves – I was so impressed!!  Here’s what you need to know about this happy, nice and kind new camper: her favorite food is spaghetti, her favorite color is “tickle me pink” and she loves to watch “Dance Moms”.  She loves pandas too, and we watched the recent YouTube video of the panda playing in the snow!  She’s into all types of music, and chocolate!  Her favorite thing to do after school is gymnastics – it’s her favorite hobby!  She’s looking forward to the gymnastics elective at camp, but also likes building legos and thinks glass fusion and ceramics will be fun.  She’s a good artist, and we drew a bunch of fun doodles during out time together.


Chloe’s the youngest of 3, and her older sister Brittney started back when she was a Lower Junior too.  Now, Brittney is in 6th grade and will be a Freshman girl at camp this summer – I cannot believe she’s getting her 5 year jacket this summer!!  We had so much fun catching up, and her enthusiasm for all things Canadensis is contagious – we even listened to old almas during the visit (and Chloe already knows some of the words from old marches!).  She can’t wait for Hershey Park, taking cooking as an elective, and so many exciting new things coming her way this summer!


In Ambler, PA, I got to hang out with Alana.  She’s a current 3rd grader, and will be an Upper Junior Girl at camp this summer.  She first came to Canadensis in summer 2014 for the Tour & More Playday, in 2015 she did the Tour & More Weekend, and this summer she’ll really get to experience all the fun of camp!  She goes by the nicknames Laina & Lai Lai, and she is a big sister to younger brother Shane.  She’s excited to do glass fusion, cheerleading and fabric arts as electives this summer and maybe be in our camp show!  Here’s what you need to know about this cute, silly and fun new camper: She loves pasta, the show “Gravity Falls” and dancing.  Her favorite books are the “Dork Diary” series, and the Monster High Movies, and the song X’s and O’s.  She also likes the song “Circus of Your Mind” (a Broadway show tune).  She loves making up characters and stories, and she loves lots and lots of pigs, lots and lots of unicorns…and did I mention she likes mustaches too?  Her favorite color is purple, and her second favorite color is “sparkles” so I cannot wait to see her purple/sparkly bed at camp this summer!


In Marlboro, NJ  I got to see Rebecca again (I met her this summer as her tour guide!).  She is a current 4th grader and will be a Lower Inter Girl at camp this summer.  She is the second oldest of 4 siblings (and she’s the only girl!) plus they have two dogs in their family – it was so much fun to meet everyone!  You can’t tell from the photo, but just an hour before our visit she was all decked out for a cheerleading competition.  They came in first place, and I was so impressed watching the video of the routine!  Here’s what you need to know about this funny, kind and cheerful new camper: Her nickname is “Bex”, and she’s excited for fishing, roller hockey, gaga and cheer electives this summer.  Her favorite food is spaghetti, her favorite color is blue and she loves the TV show “Master Chef Junior”.  Her favorite animal is a turtle, and she will often be seen eating skittles in our canteen this summer!  Her favorite hobby and thing to do after school is be practice her cheer skills for the Youth Supremacy team.  She also loves art, the Harry Potter Books, the movie “Legally Blonde” and her favorite song at the moment is “Like I’m Gonna Lose You”.  She’s incredibly well rounded, and I can’t wait to see her having fun at camp this summer along with her older cousin Ben!


In New York City, I got to have a pre-Super Bowl home visit with Julia.  She’s a current 4th grader who will be a Lower Inter Girl at camp this summer.  She had just come from her Sunday basketball league, and there have been days when she’s played up to 4 games, she’s in high demand from the other teams!  While basketball is definitely her number one hobby, after school she likes to have playdates, play video games and ping pong (they can transform their dinner table into a ping pong table!).  Here’s what you need to know about this friendly, funny and sport new camper: her favorite color is orange, her favorite TV show is “Sports Center” and she loves oysters and seafood in general!  She loves the Brooklyn Nets, NY Giants, NY Yankees and the Columbia Lions, and she has attended their basketball camps in the past.  She also loves dogs, gummy candies and this summer she’s planning to do the fishing, legos, basketball and quads electives, but might also give the ceramics wheel a try!  Her favorite book is “The Honest Truth”, her favorite band is “Imagine Dragons” and her favorite movie is “Big” – such a classic!  I can’t wait to see her again at the New Camper Event in April!


This summer, Julia will be joining her twin sister Rebecca (on the right), who will be back for her second summer at camp.  Rebecca recently had an amazing time catching up with friends at the Camp Reunion, and she’s planning to host a Bunk 5 sleepover soon!  She’s been having a great year, and showed me the telescope she recently got as a gift, and may bring to camp this summer – it’d be awesome to get a closer view of the stars at Canadensis!!  The girls are holding up the glued together puzzles they recently put together with their grandparents.   They came out so cool!  The puzzles were part of our Holiday Carewear Mystery Boxes!


Above is a peek at some of the other items that went into the mystery box, which almost 100 people signed up for, helping camp raise over $2,000 for Canadensis Cares Scholarships.  This years box had the jigsaw puzzles, bucket hat (it’s going to be a big trend this summer!), knit scarf, and other items like tattoos, a picture frame, balloons and other Canadensis swag!B16It was fun seeing so many of our 2015 campers at the Camp Reunion last weekend!  We love taking over Funtime America and having a full morning of rides, games, lasertag, pizza and of course camp friends!!  In the photo above, you’ll see some of our incoming CITs of 2016 – the reunion is the official kickoff of their CIT year, and they couldn’t be more excited to work with our younger campers this summer!

Speaking of working with younger campers…this is the time of year when we are busy meeting and hiring the very best staff!  We take the job of hiring the perfect “Mature Goofballs” very seriously, and we meet most of our staff in person!  That means we do a lot of traveling during the winter – about 15% of our counselors come from outside the US, and this year kicked off with a trip to staff fairs in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.  Above, Dave and I checked out the sights in Sydney before heading to a staff fair.B12

We later met up with Josh, Lachie and Steph who helped us hire great specialists for the lake, mountain bikes and swim programs!

B13In Melbourne, we met up with Dale, Justin and Josh at the fair, and their passion for camp was contagious!  It was so fun seeing them and hearing more about why they love camp.  The next day we got to see Phoebe and hear all about the plans for her growing family!  I also had fun playing tourist with Justin and seeing the entire city…when we saw this adorable blue and golf beach cabin, we had to take a photo!

In Auckland, New Zealand, Jamie & Arnav came out to help recruit the new crew of staff, and share all about their experience!B1

In NZ, I found some people who love avocados as much as me!  It was on the menu everywhere…and I enjoyed one every day!  I’m sure my fellow “Avocado Aficionados” totally understand!  (Btw, the Avocado Aficionados is a club started at camp that meets several times during the summer to learn avocado facts, and how to prepare them a bunch of delicious ways, like in smoothies and guacamole!)B4After the fair, Dave and I spent a few days touring around New Zealand.  We loved it, and he wanted to stay!  Seriously, he would have been so happy to be stuck in Russell, NZ…luckily I convinced him to come home because I think the Senior Boys would have really missed him this summer.B3Straight from New Zealand, I met Carli in the United Kingdom, and we had a great time meeting staff at the London fairs!

B2We had so many amazing camp staff from past and present offer to help us out!  We ended up throwing a big gathering after the fair to spend some time with everyone who was in town – you are looking at staff members from 4 different years and 3 different countries (not including us from the US), and it was a great time!