Welcome Back, Superstar Craig!

Craig Wallace is the founder of the Superstar Tennis program and has been its director for over 30 years! His 3 children were PFC campers and he met his wife there, too. He is the charismatic leader of the program and has credentials that are top notch, among them certification by LTA (British Tennis), coaching badges level 1-4, Australian Module One Tennis Coach, United States Tennis Pro (USPTA) and United States Tennis Registry (USPTR). Not only does Craig oversee the entire program but he also personally teaches one-on-one private lessons on a daily basis. One of our favorite features of the Superstar Tennis program is the individual stroke analysis. Each camper receives a computerized “Zoom Report” (just like the below photo) of their game!

All campers signed up for Superstar Tennis will also receive:
-One daily high-energy instructional drill session including conditioning and tactical sessions.
-Two private individual lessons per week.
-Membership in the USTA.
-Participation in a USTA sanctioned tournament.
-Personalized, in-depth evaluation and development plan by the head tennis pro.
-Certificate of completion.
-Tennis Ladder competition.
-Superstar Tennis T-shirt.
-Stroke Analysis and strategy sessions.

An exciting highlight for this year: all of our tennis instructors play on their school’s teams!

To sign up for Superstar Tennis, private lessons or our other extraordinary Optional Activities, click here or call the office at (267) 639-2488.

Welcome to our Fitness Team, Stephanie!

We are so excited to welcome one of our newest Fitness instructors, Stephanie! Stephanie has been a CrossFit coach for over 4 years and earned CrossFit Levels 1 and 2 and Children’s certifications. She has experience training high school rugby and rowing teams and coaching lacrosse and track. Stephanie is passionate about teaching motivated athletes how to make real progress through encouragement and proper training techniques. Most importantly, Stephanie is going to make fitness a lot fun at PFC! Welcome to the PFC family, Stephanie!

Click here to learn more about our One-on-One Fitness Training program and other extraordinary Optional Activities!

Nurse Appreciation Week

To all the camp nurses out there, Pine Forest Camp would like to wish you a Happy Nurse Appreciation Week!

PFC would like to thank all of the camp nurses from the past, present and future.

To the past camp nurses: Thank you for paving the way of camp nursing!

To the present camp nurses:  Thank you for keeping camp safe and healthy!

To the future camp nurses:  We can’t wait to see you “up where the sky begins!”

Unofficial Counselor Packing List

Welcome, new PFC counselors! We’re SO excited to have you on board and hope you’re getting excited for the best summer of your lives. Camp will be here before we know it (79 days until the campers arrive!), so it’s not too early to start thinking about packing! To supplement your regular packing list, we asked our returning counselors what they wish they had during their first summers as camp staff. It may seem like a lot, but many of these optional items can be purchased during our organized trip to Wal-Mart after you arrive in Greeley.

Egg crate/mattress pad
Crazy Creek chair or something similar to sit on
Patriotic clothes for July 4th – prepare to represent your country with pride!
Blue and gold/yellow shirts for Color Days!
Inexpensive waterproof watch
Extra bug spray and sunscreen
Flip flops for the shower
Raincoat
Extra socks
Books
Long sleeve shirts and long pants for nighttime – it can get very cold!
Crazy hats/fun dress-up clothes for theme days
Wellies or rain boots
Small clock
Jokes, songs and cheers to teach your campers
A fun playlist of songs for the bunk
And most importantly, a good sense of humor and a positive attitude!

If you’re a returning counselor and have anything to add, please comment below or post in our official staff Facebook group!

 

Camp Counselor: More Than an Internship

This guest blog post was written by all-star former counselor and year round Staff Coordinator, Elly Wallace.

Many people will tell you that the key to a successful future in the workplace is a solid internship related to your field of (potential) expertise.  While that may be true for a lot of people and a lot of careers, a job as a camp counselor can give you the skills to succeed in not only the workplace, but in all aspects of your life.  We’ve come up with three major things a summer camp job has the potential to provide, but like anything else, you get out what you put in.

Confidence

One of summer camp’s greatest qualities is its appreciation for individuality.  The most notable counselors are the ones who sing the loudest, dress the craziest, and are willing to participate in any and all activities that his or her campers come up with.  At camp, it’s hard to feel embarrassed.  It is surprisingly easy to step out of your comfort zone and into the uninhibited summer camp lifestyle.

Selflessness

While being a camp counselor can give you a great deal of self-understanding and important life skills, the most successful counselors are those who are not at camp for themselves, but for the campers.  Camp teaches you how to put the needs of your campers, or of any group, above your own.  In order to deal with confrontations, homesickness, shower hour, and anything else that comes your way in the bunk, you have to know how to prioritize.  As camp counselor, you are truly a surrogate parent for your campers and, while their problems may seem small to you, to them they are big and should be treated accordingly.

Leadership Ability

At camp, campers do not judge your ability to show them how to kick a soccer ball, make a friendship bracelet, or ride a zip line.  We find that campers instantly idolize a counselor’s ability to do anything, giving you a solid platform to develop and transform your leadership skills from the get-go.  You’ve been hired as a camp counselor and specialist in a specific activity; your accountability is already there.  This gives you the time to focus on building your character, integrity, commitment, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness.

Interested in working at PFC? Check out our staff page!

Congratulations, Chad!

Congratulations to to our own Steve “Chad” Chadwin who will be honored as a “Coaching Legend” by Coaches vs. Cancer on April 5th. Here’s the link for those who would like to attend or make a donation in Chad’s honor. Yo Chad! Way to go! We are proud of you!

http://coaches.acsevents.org/site/Calendar?id=121335&view=Detail

Guest Post: What PFC Means to Me

This guest post was written by Alli Lowenstein Cahill, who grew up at Pine Forest and returned last summer as the Intermediate Girls Division Leader. During the year, Alli works as a teacher in New Jersey.

I think that camp is one of the biggest gifts in life.  When I think of how Pine Forest has shaped me and how it has impacted me, I think about the past, present and future.  I am extremely proud to call myself an “old timer.”  I have spent thirteen incredible years at Pine Forest.  From being a camper in bunk Fern all the way up to Cliff as a waitress, to a counselor and member of the athletic staff, to having the awesome responsibility of caring for the Intermediate girls this past summer, every next year brings more joy.

When I think of past summers I remember the sounds of Purple Haze, campfires with Aunt Blanch, biking to NY, Sing in Hughie Hall, inter-camp competitions, the Friendship Tree, the long walks up to Lauri Field, pizza burgers and candy at canteen, Sparky in the kitchen, loud chants in the dining hall, and so much more.  Camp helped shape my character by showing me the real meaning of friendship and community.  There is a reason why we cry so much on the last few days.  It’s because Pine Forest Camp is and always will be our home away from home.  When I was going through the normal growing pains that every child experiences, I remember the way that camp always made me feel, so safe and comfortable.  It taught me how to be adventurous and to try new things.  It taught me cooperation, sportsmanship, and how to play fair.  It taught me compassion and understanding, acceptance and tolerance.  It taught me leadership skills.  It taught me vulnerability and how to handle it.  It taught me the real meaning of laughing out loud.  Camp is a truly a gift.

I always dreamed of becoming a teacher and having summer off so one day I could go back to Pine Forest and bring my own children with me.  That dream came true this past summer when I became a member of key staff, Intermediate Girls Division Leader.  It is definitely one of the most rewarding roles I have ever had at Pine Forest.  The Black family is near and dear to my heart and I would not want to work for anyone else.  They are so special.  The campers, counselors, and staff members are nothing less than magnificent.  I actually got to scream “shorts and longs today girls” instead of hiding underneath my covers.  Every day brought new adventures with my campers and counselors, and I cherished every minute.  I had so much fun planning the night activities for the Inter girls.  I love the traditional ones such as The Mostest, Statues, Bunk Feud, and Counselor Hunt, but I also started adding some new ones like World’s Greatest and Cupcake Wars.   It was an amazing summer and I look forward to so many more.  There is no better honor and privilege more rewarding than being able to impact the life of a child.  Camp is truly a gift.

When I think about the future for my daughter Alexandra, I think about how lucky she is to be able to spend her summers at Pine Forest.  The campers, counselors, and staff members have opened their arms to her.  She thinks that Mickey and Lee are superheroes in a way that little kids see their teachers out of school.  It is magical.  She will create friendships that will last a lifetime.  I did.  I long for camp days.  Camp is truly a gift.

Lenny Rapkin

This summer, one of the giants of Pine Forest leaders passed away, Lenny Rapkin, the boys camp Head Counselor and Director. Lenny was the ultimate camp director, confident, organized and fun. He led the boys camp in the late 1970’s and most of the 1980’s with gusto and humor. For most of those years Lenny’s counterpart was Edie Klein, head of the girls camp. In his perfectly pressed and matching jump suits, Lenny was one of PFC’s most popular leaders. His camp persona was like a combination of Mel Brooks and Gen. George Patton. His schedules were exact and comprehensive and boys camp ran with efficiency and care. Lenny and his dear wife Jane were a fixture at camp and his sons Mickey and Jonathan grew up at camp. Lenny and Jane’s grandchildren are currently PFC campers.

There was never a camp leader like Lenny Rapkin and there never will be again. He was a teacher, a leader and a role model to a generation of campers. The many, many lives he touched in boys camp and the men they became will be his lasting legacy.

Rapkin

Nurse Appreciation Week

PFC Health Center

Happy Nurse Appreciation Week to all of our nurses and health staff!

With summer approaching, we look forward to welcoming an all-star team of 18 nurses to Pine Forest and our brother and sister camps, Lake Owego and Timber Tops. Please join us by welcoming them for summer 2016!  They will be an extension of home to take care of all the campers when they need extra TLC, from a belly ache to a sting.  Our health center has a great collection of skills; it’s made up of nurse practitioners, ER nurses, school nurses and professionally trained military nurses.  Your children are in great hands!  You are welcome to call the health center and speak to our nurses anytime when camp is in session!

A big thank you to all of the 2016 nursing team, this week and every week. Camp is lucky to have all of you this summer!

Also, a special thank you to the team of doctors we will have at camp this summer.  Our doctors are so dedicated to camp and we can’t thank them enough for all that they do.

In good health,

Rachel Waszczak and the rest of the PFC family

Packing Tips for New Counselors

You’ve just scored this AWESOME job at Pine Forest and you’ll be turning onto Pine Forest Camp Road before you know it. You can practically hear the campers singing and see the bright Greeley stars. Before you leave for the best summer of your life, we want to provide you with this “unofficial” packing list. These are items that past staff members have found to be “essentials,” and most can be purchased at a low cost near camp!

Gear: Your favorite hoodie (hooded sweatshirt), lots of socks (when you think you packed enough, pack more!), rain boots, comfortable athletic shorts, blue and gold gear (think Color War!), white T-shirt for tie-dye, sunglasses.

Bedding: Warm blanket or comforter in addition to a light one. We know, we know- it’s summer! But we are in the rural mountains and the nights and mornings are cool! If you’re coming from overseas, don’t worry. We’ve got you!

Equipment: What will you be doing at camp? Will you need something specific for your activity? (Think baseball mitt, tennis racket, etc.)

Everyday Stuff: Sunscreen, water bottle, laundry bag, casual watch (you won’t have your phone with you to tell you the time!), headphones, pen and paper (to actually write letters!).

Fun: Theme-night clothes or wacky gear, clothes for a day off out of camp, bunk games like Jacks or a deck of cards.

Random awesomeness: Guitar (if you play), Diablo, juggling balls, playlist of music for your bunk, flag from your country, college gear, photos of your family and friends.

And most importantly, bring a camp state of mind: a sense of humor, enthusiasm, a great attitude, openness to try new things, excitement to meet new people and the realization that you are about to embark on an incredible, rewarding adventure that is truly life-changing!

Beth Mandel 2 054