After camp ends, I have the enormous (and fun!) task of going through every single one of the amazing photos that capture the summer fun at Camp Canadensis. Without these photos, it would be hard to remember the unbelievable moments and summer memories. 95% of the approximately 25,000+ photos uploaded every summer are taken by Lauren “LMac” McGuire – shown in a rare photo above where she is in front of the camera! She’s spent 5 summers at Canadensis, and this year she went above and beyond every single day. She created and supervised our Media Programs, ensuring that our photos & videos helped families at home be a part of the magic at Camp Canadensis.
Many of our families use these photos to share on social media, put together collages, posters, photobooks, slideshows, and much more. If you have a great way you display your summer 2013 photos at home, take a photo and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to see it, and include it in a future blog post! Thanks to LMac, some of my own summer highlights were captured, and here they are…
We know the campers live 10 months for 2, and that’s especially true for us directors…we wait all year round for the campers to step foot off the bus! I’m lucky to work with Brian Krug & Eric Forti, and the rest of the full time staff year round. It’s become a tradition for us to take a photo on opening day before the first bus pulls in – look how excited (and well rested!) we are on day 1!
We love seeing camp come to life as the kids jump off the bus. The Lower and Middle Campers (current grades 1-6) bunks are already unpacked and setup, so they get to start bunk bonding and activities right away. Kylie (a new Junior Girl) got off the bus, and handed me my first Rainbow Loom bracelet – checkout her full wrist!
For me, camp is all about the games and friends – and Mah Jongg brings those two things together! It was a new elective at camp this summer, and thanks to the Super Senior Girls (like Heather & Julia above), it was a popular! I loved every minute spent teaching this game and playing with the amazing girls who learned Mah Jongg this summer.
Another game I can’t get enough of is Connect Four! I came out on top in this round vs Sami (a Lower Senior Girl), but I’m up to be challenged anytime!
My desk is in the programming office – and luckily campers stop in all the time to check what’s on their schedule or make changes to their electives. We love visitors, like the Upper Inter Girls above (from left to right, Samara, Haley, Elana & Sarah)!
But most of all, I love getting out and visiting the campers at activities – especially when I get to craft alongside them at art! Here, the Junior & Lower Inter Girls art elective were teaching me how to finger weave and make a headband! From left to right, my teachers were Skye, Amanda, Kailey, Brooke, Paige, Annie & Sierra.
We start every day with a whole camp dance party, followed by Morning Line Up (MLU), where we celebrate birthdays and make announcements for the day. This summer, mystery envelopes were being hidden all over camp with facts and clues inside. When campers found an envelope around camp, they brought it up at MLU and we opened it on stage. In the photo above, Lower Junior Boys, Mitchell & Luca found one!
In one of the mystery envelopes, it said “Pam Levi, Jump In The LAKE!” – so I had no choice but to run and belly flop off the dock! When we discovered the mystery writer was our one of our ceramics specialists, Mike Morrissette, I got my revenge by sending him into Lake Lenape! It was all in great fun, a definitely highlight of the summer!
At another MLU, we had a staff limbo contest. It was during Staff Appreciation Week, and the winners got Dunkin Donuts coffee delivered to their table during breakfast! In the photo above, Theresa from programming, AKA “Mama T” helped judge – checkout the amazing moves for our soccer specialist Issac Peglow!
Right before parents arrive on Visiting Day, we have a jacket ceremony for campers and staff that have spent 5, 8 or 10 summers at Canadensis. This year I received my 5 year jacket with my favorite partner in crime, our unbelievable Program Director, Moira Ciechoski! It’s been amazing to work next to this lady for the past few summers, and getting our jackets together was a special moment.
After the parents leave on Visiting Day, all of Lower Camp, Middle Camp and the CITs have a huge water fight! I look forward to this every summer, and it just keeps getting bigger and better every year!
We have endless activities at camp, but for our Seniors (currently in grades 7-10), the program includes weekly trips. I had an amazing time chaperoning the Super Seniors at the Skytop Adventure Course & Ziplines! We go through training before getting up in the trees. I took a break from learning how to work our harnesses and carabiners to snap the photo above with Alex Ehrenthal (counselor) and Erica, Amanda & Morgan.
The whole camp is treated to special events and programs! One of our summer highlights is when Rak Dan comes and teaches us Israeli line dancing – we love it so much, we do it as a preview with the staff before the campers arrive! It happens to be a great workout, and excuse to dress in some crazy outfits!
But, the most highly anticipated event of the summer is Color War!! When is it going to break? How is it going to break? What will the team names be? What do the shirts look like? Will there be a fake break? The color war hysteria reaches its peak in the 6th week of camp every year…and it becomes hard to focus on anything else! In the photo above, I was mid-interrogation with some Senior Girls – Ally, Jamie, Madison, Lauren & Ali. I love listening to their theories, and not revealing any of the fun surprises!
A few days later, when Color War did break (in the rain!) the CIT Leaders dug up some buried treasure on camp, and inside were the Color War Shirts! As a tradition, Eric and I hold up and display the shirts that all the campers receive!
There are so many amazing photos from the summer – I hope this post encourages you to go back and look at some of yours! Close your eyes, and imagine you are back at camp enjoying Fruit on the Fly (like in the photo above – with Junior Boys, Andrew, Ben, Eddie, Jason & Andrew).