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Summer Camp News and Blog

A World Where Goodness Reigns

These are troubling times for parents and scary times for children. In the big picture of world events, summer camp is easy to trivialize. After all, it’s only about s’mores, Color War, and campfires, right? We believe camp is so much more, and your child undoubtedly feels it too.

Camp has a hidden power that can shine a light through the darkest of times. Across America, there are all kinds of camps that serve children from all different social and economic backgrounds. And for those children lucky enough to go to any well-run camp, the community of camp is a lasting source of strength and comfort. Where else can you be a part of a community that is supportive of every individual, where friendship and caring about others overrides everything else? Campers know, first hand, that a group of people, not just your family, can come together to create a world of goodness and love. If you are a part of one of these communities, you grow to believe in them and know their power. Camp gives children hope and optimism when they need it the most.

There’s an old traditional American  song that has been sung around the campfire at camps from Maine to California, for generations. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” For children who are part of a camp community, they know that their inner light is valued at camp and shines bright all year round. They also recognize the greater good in the world and see goodness in others in a unique and profound way.

The gift of camp brings children happiness and hope in every month of the year.

The trouble with camp…

The trouble with camp is that camp ends.

The buses pull out this morning. In an instant, camp is silent. But the air will be filled with happy memories. Pine Forest’s 87th summer has come to a close and it was one of the best ever.

Thank you campers and counselors, housekeeping and maintenance, nurses and doctors and office staff, one and all, for making it such a tremendous season.

And now it’s back to home and school. But everyone who shared this wonderful summer comes home a little different. A little better. Keep the spirit of PFC alive all year long. Stay in touch.

Pine Forest is more than a place in Greeley, PA. It’s a place in our hearts.

The Things We Carry.

Mountain Baggage, R&B, UPS, FedEx, parent pick-up. Like the song says, “all our bags are packed, we’re ready to go.”

Today we packed up, have our awards ceremonies, and tonight it’s the candlelight. It feels like we just arrived.

But we’re coming home with so much more than we can pack in a bag; new friends, new adventures, new confidence. There isn’t a duffle bag or shipping company big enough to handle it.

Those are the things that we carry.

Home from Camp: Warnings & Tips!

The transition to “the real world” isn’t always easy for you and your campers. Here are some tips to help both of you make the transition as smooth as possible.

  1. Don’t take it personally.

Yes, they’ll be SO happy to see you. They’re also very, very sad.

They’re sad to leave camp! They’re sad to leave their friends! They’re sad to leave their counselors! They’re sad to leave their independence and camp persona! It’s okay (great actually)! It means you gave them the best gift ever!

  1. Remember: They’re exhausted.

In the last week alone, they experience Color Days, the play, song and cheer, a gymnastics show, banquet, packing and more. Over the past seven weeks they’ve been living with ten other people, hanging out with friends day and night, participating in activities from sun up to sun down. Enough said.

  1. Be patient.

It might take a few hours or a few days to be entirely “on.” They might even seem a little numb. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you or didn’t miss you. It doesn’t mean that they won’t open up and start gushing in a few days. Nothing is wrong. They just need time! Things that are normal: wanting to talk to their camp friends immediately, all-day, every day for a few days (yes, they just spent seven weeks with them – we know). Wanting to spend some time alone before jumping into the deep end of home life (think family gatherings, sporting events, play dates). Any combination of the above. Normal. Normal. Normal.

  1. Focus on small moments and questions.

Think about your two best friends who live far away.

Friend one: you pick up the phone no matter what, even if you only have a minute. Though it’s been months, you know she’ll cut right to the chase and start where things left off. Or not. Maybe you just answer a quick question, maybe you talk about who got the final rose- you can hang up when you need to. One word answers, longer answers, anything goes. No pressure.

Friend two: You love her. Really. You LOVE her as much as friend one. But you really only pick up when you have time to sit, totally focused, for an hour-long catch-up. So, no. You don’t always pick up. Because you’re at work, or you’re making dinner, or you’re about to get the kids ready for bed, or you just don’t feel like telling your life story. That. Sounds. Exhausting.

The moral? Be friend one. You’ll learn more!

Good questions:
What was this morning like?
Which activity was the best?
Who was the goofiest counselor in your bunk?

Less good questions/statements:
Tell me EVERYTHING about camp.
Can you explain your weekly schedule?
What were all of your counselors like?

Ask a few, manageable, lighthearted questions every hour on that first day. You’ll open up that can of worms without having to pry, without overwhelming your fresh-off-the-bus camper.

  1. Give them wings.

At camp they were the most independent versions of themselves and they’re still basking in the glow of those camp freedoms. Advocating for themselves, making independent choices— it’s why you sent them to camp! Think about how you felt the first time you came home from college. It was a little weird! Think about small liberties you can introduce to reinforce your camper’s summer growth. If you have an eight-year-old who didn’t make his or her bed before camp, encourage him or her to make the bed at home (even if it isn’t as beautiful as you’d like). Though seemingly a “chore,” having your camper do things for him or herself at home will continue the summer’s momentum and make him or her feel happy and confident. And isn’t that what this whole camp thing was about from the start?

Into the Woods!

Into the Woods!

Today was Survivor Day and campers divided into 8 tribes and headed into the wilderness  for an afternoon of camp craft and adventure. Each team created a camp site with a shelter, cooking area, and play area. Some even had ingeniously-devised bathrooms (a Junior camper favorite!).  There was outdoor cooking, campfire building competition, banner and chant
presentations.

They don’t call it Pine Forest for nothing!

Color Days: Day 2!

Have you been following the excitement online? Blue and Gold are neck-in-neck!

http://home.pineforestcamp.com/CD2017/

Don’t forget to refresh your browser for LIVE updates during the the girls’ ‘A’ Game! You can even submit shout outs for us to read during the game! No better way to spend your Saturday night.