Top 10 Tips for New Families!

Calling All New Camper Parents! 

April showers will bring May flowers, and do you know what May flowers bring? CAMP, of course! We know that the change in weather has all of us thinking SUMMER, and we hope that these tips will be helpful to you during the excitement of the final countdown. Even if you’ve sent an older child off to camp before, these TOP TEN TIPS for NEW CAMPERS might be worth a refresher! 

1. Communicate with the directors about any and all family, social or medication issues or changes during the year and in the summer. Nothing is too small! A meaningful camp/parent partnership benefits your camper. Call or email us anytime! We are here for you! 

2. Stay positive about separating from home! Don’t focus on what your camper will be missing (vacation, trips to a favorite ice cream shop), rather discuss what he or she has to look forward to at camp! (The same goes for what you write about in your letters once the time comes!)

3. If your camper asks about homesickness, normalize it! “Of course you’ll miss things about home every now and again, because you have a wonderful home and family! It would be unusual for you not to miss home!” Also, in the same spirit, try to minimize your own feelings of child-sickness! “Of course we’ll miss you, but we’ll be fine! The summer will fly by and we’re so excited for you. You’re going to have an awesome time!”

4. If your camper has specific needs (in the cabin, in the health center, in the dining hall), make sure to call or email us,  and make sure to write about it in your confidential forms (or as an addendum to the form) before camp– those confidential forms are our bible!

5. Discuss different activities your camper might enjoy and also talk about trying new ones, keeping an open mind! Camp is a great, safe place to go outside of one’s comfort zone!

6. Take advantage of New Camp Weekend on June 1st and 2nd at camp, either for the day or stay overnight! It’s a great opportunity to meet other first-time campers, see camp, get to know staff, and have positive camp experiences together as a family.

7. Keep all “camp talk” light! In letters, in person, keep it upbeat! 

8. Now is when your camper may start asking you about what he or she will bring. Make sure to send your camper’s stuffed animal, a favorite book or two, and any other item that makes them feel at home; if there’s something your camper sleeps with every night, please make sure to send it! Believe us when we say that most campers bring a security object of some sort. You’re never too old! And don’t overpack!

9. If panic sets in, call us. We’ll talk you through it, but when speaking to your camper NEVER promise to PICK UP YOUR CHILD. He or she might ask in the time between now and camp! It’s normal to get cold feet in the spring! Remind your camper that you’ve made a commitment as a family, that  camp is only for a short amount of time, and that you know he or she is in the right place, that they can do it! They are in a safe place. CAMP IS WHERE CHILDREN LEARN INDEPENDENCE! By giving your camper the gift of camp, you’re giving them independence, resilience, and the ability to adapt to and thrive in new environments! If your children know that they’re definitely going to camp and definitely staying at camp for the summer, they’ll allow themselves to relax and let go. Squash the “what if!” 

10. If there’s anything (big or small!) you’re worried about before, during, or after the summer, call or email any time: 570-685-7141, !

We’re here for you, always, so keep in touch!

We can’t wait to get started!

Eric Morin, Owner/Director

Lisa Fayne, Assistant Director

Stephanie Dubin, Head of Girls’ Camp

Hal Schwartz, Head of Boys’ Camp

P.S. For summer reading, parents, we highly recommend “Homesick and Happy” by Dr. Michael Thompson.

Fleas, Ticks & Mosquitos: Oh My!

A Note from the Health Center to our Camp Parents:

We’d like to take a moment to share our plan of action for the risks associated with tick, flea and mosquito bites throughout the United States. Camp has been taking steps to minimize exposure for our campers and prevent the spread of disease. In addition to the measures outlined below, camp regularly consults with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to update our protocols.

Prevention

  • Outside lawn chemical professionals have been hired to treat all fields and field perimeters with flea and tick control as well as areas around bunks, buildings, and activity areas with flea and tick control.
  • All trails and paths at camp are treated with flea and tick control.
  • An outside professional pest control company has been contracted to regularly treat for rodents, etc.
  • Grass is cut frequently and brush is trimmed back in regularly trafficked areas.
  • Application of CDC approved bug spray throughout the day as needed for activities in wooded areas. There are also bug spray stations throughout camp.

Education and Practice

  • All counselors have training sessions on ticks and the counselor’s roles in health care, including
    • Hygiene, shower hour self-check prompting, tick checks after hikes, walks in the woods, and campfires
    • Basic tick prevention, best practices, bug and bite identification
    • Camper clothing coverage, including long pants and sleeves on hikes
    • Avoiding brushy areas, high grass and leaf litter.  Walking in the center of trails.
  • Nurse education during training
    • Tick checks, identification, removal
  • Full body checks after all hikes and walks in wooded areas.
    • A note: Nurses and counselors prompt campers to self check in and around the bathing suit area.
  • Check clothing.

Please don’t hesitate to call us with questions or concerns. We will stay vigilant!

The Health Center

Fun Facts about Pine Forest Camp!

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!

Camp Family Ski Season – 2024

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…

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.

The Things We Carry

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.