Happy New Year!
We can’t believe Summer 2024, camp’s 93rd season, will be here before we know it! We thought it would be fun and helpful to share some fun facts about us so everyone is “in the know.” Pine Forest is full of tradition, rituals and special names and each one is so meaningful to both the campers and staff.
“Up Where the Sky Begins!”
Pine Forest Camp’s slogan/philosophy
“When Lights Are Low” and “High In The Mountains”
PFC’s camp songs, among many others
Blue and Gold – PFC’s camp colors
Many of PFC’s fields, courts and venues are named after camp’s founders, Hughie and Selma Black, their descendants as well as many old-timers.
“Hughie Hall” – Indoor venue that houses many camp activities, including basketball, broadcasting, yoga, spinning, the fitness center and much more.
“Libby Courts” – One of three sets of tennis courts, named after Libby Black Halpern, daughter of the founders and an avid tennis player.
“Marvin Hall” – Outdoor gymnastics pavilion, named after Marvin Black, son of the founders, PFC director for 65 years.
“Netsy Playhouse” – Outdoor amphitheater where camps shows and services are held, named after Annette “Netsy” Black, daughter-in-law of the founders who loved the performing arts.
“Mitchell Field” – Large field near entrance for sports and campfires, named after Mickey Black, his real name is Mitchell!
“Barbie’s Bar-B-Que” AKA “The Grove” – Outdoor picnic area where campers are served a weekly cookout, named after Barbara Black, who is in charge of our delicious food.
“Lauri Field” – Another large field at the top of camp that hosts various sports, including track and field. Great for star-gazing too! Named after Lauri Black Mufson, granddaughter of our founders.
“Lee’s Rink” and “Lee’s Tree” – the Hockey pavilion next to Hughie Hall and the tree in the center of camp in front of the Guest House are both named for Lee Forest Black, former PFC camper, counselor, head of boys camp and director. Lee, who passed away in 2021, was the son of Mickey and Barbara Black and the brother of Anna Black Morin, married to current director, Eric Morin. Lee was the great grandson of our founders.
“Ruby’s Canteen” – Various times a week, campers look forward to special treats! Named after Ruby Black Morin, great grand-daughter of the founders.
“Hattie Falls” – a great place to meet, at PFC’s town center, named after Hattie Black Morin, great granddaughter of the founders and Ruby’s sister.
“Chadwin Court” AKA “Main Court” – Popular basketball court in the center of camp with lights and stadium seating all around. Named after long-time athletic director, Steve “Chad” Chadwin.
Lake Greeley – The walk to our beautiful lake is always a special one. Stroll down “Milligan’s Trail”, named after long-time camp outdoorsman and overnight camping leader, Mike Milligan.
“Lisa’s Heart-Shaped Pond” – A special spot on the way to the lake. Turn around three times and throw a rock in over your shoulder. If it lands in the heart-shaped pond, your wish will come true. Named after Assistant Director, Lisa Sherman Fayne, grand niece of our founders, Hughie and Selma.
“Blueberry Island” – A private island by the lake where campers canoe and explore.
“Eric’s Fitness Center” – Get in shape in our newly-expanded fitness center, named after he-man Eric Morin, long time PFCer, Anna’s husband, and son-in-law of Mickey and Barbara and fitness enthusiast.
The “Old-Timers” Tree – This old tree proudly displays plaques of the names of all campers and staff throughout our 90 years that have gone to camp for 10 years or more. It’s very exciting for old-timers to have their names permanently added for all time. There are over 400 names now on the tree!
Bunk Names – The bunks are named after trees and wildflowers found in the area.
We can’t wait to see you this summer up at camp!
You’re invited! ⛄️ If you’re looking for a not-too-far-away outdoor adventure this winter, consider @SkiBigBear and stopping by to see camp covered in snow! ❄️ They’ll be offering our camp families a special 15% camp rate for non-holiday lift tickets in 2024 🎿 Email us for the code and to let us know if you plan on stopping by to drive through camp: ! Snow exciting! ⛷
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 92nd summer has come to a close and it was one of the best ever.
Thank you one and all, campers and counselors, housekeeping and maintenance, nurses and doctors, office staff and drivers, 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.
Like the song says, “All our bags are packed, we’re ready to go.”
Mountain Baggage, R&B Baggage, UPS, and FedEx.
Today we pack 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 we carry.
Color Days 2023 has officially wrapped up, and after an amazing 3 days of fun, we’re back to enjoying our regular programming. We’ve got an action-packed few days with league playoffs and championships, awards ceremonies, banquet and cabaret, candlelighting, and more! Trust us: we’ll take advantage of every minute we have and make the most of it all!
We’ve been busy wrapping up athletics! The past 2 days, campers played football, basketball, soccer, newcomb, and more. Hi-seniors boys enjoyed their last time down at the lake yesterday, and the hi-senior girls are headed there today.
Yesterday afternoon, we also had our annual Old Timers Club party – always a crowd favorite! Any camper or counselor who has been at camp for 3 years or more comes to this annual celebration. We had ice cream – with more toppings than you can imagine! – as we celebrated all of our summers here. What a blast! And early this morning, our hi-senior girls ventured down to the lake early in the morning while the rest of us slept for their annual Polar Plunge tradition.
Tonight, girls camp will gather for one of our favorite traditions: bunk Song & Cheer, while our lower camp boys will play an epic game of Capture the Flag together. Senior boys will play a favorite: Crystal Quest, and hi-seniors will have Auction Battle. Believe it or not, these activities will close out our regularly scheduled evening activities. Next up: banquet, cabaret, and candlelighting! How is it all coming to an end so soon? Say it ain’t so!
Time flies when you’re having fun and your campers will be home soon! 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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 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.
- 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?
Color Days 2023 has begun!
And the teams are…
Gold Summer Olympics
Blue Winter Olympics
What was the surprise, or “break,” to start it all?
A helicopter was heard circling camp as Taylor Swift’s greatest hits were heard all over Greeley. The helicopter landed briefly on Lauri Field and, soon after, an escorted Lincoln limousine made its way down girls’ loop to Netsy Playhouse. Could it be?!
Campers and counselors ran to Netsy Playhouse as a Taylor Swift impersonator serenaded them with four songs — which was just a distraction as the collegiate flags were swapped out on Chadwin Court for the flags of many countries. The Olympic theme song was heard from Chadwin Court and the campers made their way to the stands.
A parade of Summer and Winter Olympic athletes followed a flaming torch around the girls’ flagpole ending at Chadwin Court where a toga-clad Chad was waiting to announce this year’s Color Days theme.
It was the biggest parade Greeley, PA has seen in years!
Color Days lasts for 3 full days of competition with games, skits and songs all culminating in “The Sing.” To follow every score, game, and exciting moment, we have a special page designed just for PFC’s Color Days. Keep checking it for the latest news!
Let the fun and competition begin!