Divisional News – Week 2

Senior Boys

The second week was as enjoyable as the first! July 4th was a booming success. The kids loved the fireworks, inflatables, and delicious holiday-themed menu. The intermediates also stole the fourth of July talent show with some incredible acts. The best part of their day is still evening activity. The highlight of the week was the “Auction” where some great prizes were awarded thanks to the cleanliness of all the bunks (they truly do a great job cleaning). Some prizes include getting ice cream sandwiches with Hal or getting a golf cart ride down the looooong lake trail. Can’t wait for all the great days ahead!

Senior Girls

Week 2 began with fun July 4th celebrations! The day started with a lake luau! The afternoon included a carnival, pool time, and inflatable slides! The day ended with an outstanding talent show and a beautiful fireworks show! During the week, our senior 8 girls started planning the Pine Forest Banquet! They even picked a theme! The favorite evening activity this week was capture the flag! The 7s were in blue and the 8s were in black! It was a capture the flag game across all of camp! See the pictures below! They had the best spirit! The days are filled with football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball leagues. Most days include choice! Cooking, dance, spin, and gymnastics are among the favorites! On Friday night, we had an all girls campfire with delicious s’mores!

Camper Scamper!

Today was the morning our campers have been training for all summer.  This morning we held the 2019 CAMPER SCAMPER!  Campers from Pine Forest, and our sister and brother camps, Camp Timber Tops and Lake Owego Camp, ran as fast as they could through the hills of camp.  Campers cheered on their friends from the sidelines, handing out cups of water and encouragement.  Even some of our key staff joined in!

Welcome to Costa Rica! Pura Vida!

Pura Vida!

Our 11th graders have landed in Costa Rica and adventure (And service learning!  And leadership!) awaits!  They’re off with their peers from Camp Timber Tops and Lake Owego Camp to explore a new place and grow as leaders!  They’ll begin their experience in Costa Rica with a whitewater rafting trip down the Pacuare River. After a few workshops and bonding experiences, our campers will work together and utilize their (New!) Spanish skills to create and run a summer day camp for local children who would not otherwise have access to a camp experience.  They’ll develop meaningful connections with their campers through fun, engaging, and team building activities.  We can’t wait until they come back to camp and share what they’ve learned!

Mickey’s Book Club: Summer 2019!

A Note from Mickey Black:

I love to read. This summer I look forward to hosting the second season of “Mickey’s Book Club” for Middle school age campers. Stay tuned for the announcement of our first book for discussion!

One of my favorite authors for older campers and parents is John McPhee. He is an award-winning  non-fiction writer who is curious about everything. There is no one better at explaining how things works. And the range of his subject matter is limitless. He explains everything from fly –fishing in the Poconos, to building a bark canoe, to the origins of prehistoric oysters.

Last night as I was reading his latest collection of essays “The Patch,” I came across this passage that I wanted to share. He describes lecturing at an elite Northeastern college, when the first question raised by someone in the audience is “Of all the educational institutions you went to when you were younger, which one had the greatest influence on the work you do now?”

This is what he said.

“The question stopped me for a moment…Across my mind flashed the names of a public-school system K though 12, a New England private school (13), and two universities-one in the United States, one  abroad -and in a split second I blurted out. ‘The children’s camp I went to when I was six years old’… The response drew general laughter, but, funny or not, it was the simple truth.”

McPhee spent his summers at Camp Keewaydin , an all boys, primarily canoeing camp in Vermont, but his observation about the profound and lifelong impact of camp on one’s intellect, curiosity and creativity is true of any good camp, like Pine Forest.

Camp teaches campers to be aware of all of the things and adventures around them and to find out more. It gives every camper a chance to explore whatever peeks  their curiosity at their own pace. And in today’s pre-programmed world, that is rare and special, indeed. With enthusiastic staff around them to guide them forward, there is no limit to what they will discover.

Fun Facts about Pine Forest Camp!

“Check out these fun facts about Pine Forest Camp!”

  • Pine Forest was founded by Hughie Black, a teacher and professional basketball player. His team the Philadelphia SPHAS (South Philadelphia Hebrew Athletic Society) was the beginning of the Philadelphia Warriors (now the Golden State Warriors) and the Philadelphia 76ers. Hughie and his team are celebrated in the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • Established in 1931, Pine Forest was started in 1931 and is still owned and operated by its original family on the same land, making it one of the oldest camps under continuous ownership in America.
  • Pine Forest is located in the middle of 1,000 acres of woodlands but is only an hour and half away from NYC.
  • Campers come from 404 towns, 11 states and 6 countries.
  • The return rate of eligible campers is 98% and there are almost 100 new campers every summer, taking the place of those who “graduate”.
  • In partnership with Rustic Pathways our 11thgraders do community service, working with underprivileged children in Costa Rica.
  • The ratio of staff to campers is 1 staff member for every 2 campers.
  • An “Old-timers” Tree stands in the middle of camp with the names of those campers and counselors who have attended Pine Forest for at least 10 years. There are over 400 names on the tree.


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 88th 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.