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.
If you’re following along on our social media platforms, you may have seen that a few nights ago, girls’ camp had their very own Eras Tour! We gathered together at Netsy Playhouse where we had live performers singing and playing guitar, some amazing lip syncing, banner-making fun, AND!…we even got to dress up our counselors (always a camper fave ;)). Then boys’ camp got in on the fun and blasted Taylor’s Version of Speak Now all day on the day it was released.
To top it all off, after the new Speak Now release, our hi-senior girls had a Listening Party for their evening activity, where they dressed in different colors to represent their favorite era, made friendship bracelets together, danced their hearts out in the rain, belted out their favorite songs, and they ended the night with an ice cream treat. Doesn’t get much better than that!
After all of this excitement, one camper shared, “Well! It’s officially official – I’m DEFINITELY a Swiftie now!” Hard not to be after all of this fun!
Our 11th graders touched down this afternoon to begin the adventure of a lifetime! Bring on the zip lines, surf lessons and local food! AND, most importantly, they’ll be working on bringing the magic of CAMP to local children while they’re there. We can’t wait to follow along (when they have Wifi)! PURA VIDA!
Soccer and basketball intercamp games yesterday, leagues today and Hughie Black hoops tournament practice this afternoon. (Named after our founder and professional basketball player, Hughie Black)
And our first camp show “School of Rock” try outs along with July 4th talent show. Lots of talent on boys camp! Standup comedians, break dancers, jugglers, musicians and more.
Big news today: Bunk Locust survived and thrived on the first overnight hike. Through the woods to the hidden yurt set in a beautiful pine grove. And they made it! Locust campers looked happy but a little scruffy this morning. And very excitedly announced three salamander sightings at the campsite.
And our fearless leader, Hal Schwartz, continues to come up with interesting daily “Did you know?” facts at line up. Did you know, that a dollop of toothpaste is called a “nurdle? A good reminder to brush our teeth! And, the last letter of the alphabet to be invented was the “J.” Go figure.
Hey “uniors” (i.e. “J”uniors), did you get use a “nurdle” this morning?
WOW! Friday was an action-packed day at PFC. We closed out our first week of camp with lots of fun!
For starters, we had our first inter-camp day – Greeley Games – where Pine Forest, Camp Timber Tops, and Lake Owego all played sports against one another. Campers could sign up to play soccer, basketball, baseball, gaga, and/or softball. Next week we’ll do it again, adding even more games to the list: chess, swimming, archery, gymnastics, and more!
For lunch, we had a real fan favorite: quesadillas with all the fixings! YUM. Speaking of yum, we also had our very first camp Friday night dinner. We were practically sprinting to the dining hall for the world’s best challah, delicious matzo ball soup, BBQ chicken, and then chocolate matzah for dessert. The BEST.
Our day ended with our first Friday night service, where we gathered as a whole camp for the first time. Looking up at the stands at Netsy Playhouse, a sea of campers and counselors in their blue and gold – you could really feel the camp love! Bunk Buttercup led us in a beautiful service, where they each shared something they’ve learned in the first week of camp.
The fun didn’t stop there, though! Junior boys were off to play Gaga, a Friday night tradition. They especially loved cheering on their counselors when they took a turn in the Gaga pit. Inter boys played a fun game of PFC trivia. Senior boys were busy playing team handball, and our hi-senior boys played a crowd favorite too: knee hockey. With all that action, they slept well last night!
Girls’ camp gathered for their first Friday night campfire! They sang songs together, danced, and of course – made s’mores! It was a big hit. One of the counselors played guitar for everyone, which makes for great sing-alongs. Campers also received their special G.I.R.L.S. bracelets, made up of 5 strings that represent Gratitude, Inspiration, Respect, Love, and Support.
How is it possible that we’ve already been here a week? Slow down, time! Bring on the weekend! We’re ready for more.
Big news on girls’ side! Our big sister/little sister program is officially up and running, and we couldn’t be more excited about it!
It all started a few days ago for our inter and junior girl campers when they received their first letters from their camp big sisters: anonymous notes left on their beds while they were busy out and about at their activities, filled with fun clues about what their big sisters look like, what their favorite activities at camp are, and more!
Little sisters were excitedly comparing notes and making guesses about who their big sisters could be, while eagerly waiting to hear when they’d get to meet!
Well, we finally had the big reveal! Big and little sisters were paired up for an epic night of fun together! We got to know each other while making delicious ice cream sandwiches (what a treat!), decorating picture frame pillow cases, and learning our new 2023 camp song together: “Welcome to Pine Forest” – just wait until you hear it!
Throughout the summer, bigs and littles will have many special events together. During hobby time, you’ll often catch little sisters visiting their big sisters’ bunks, bonding with each other and getting to know each other’s friends.
Big brother/little brother is also in the works for boys’ side, so stay tuned for more details about that soon! This special PFC tradition is a highlight every summer, for sure.
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 3rd and 4th 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!
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, !
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!
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!
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!
We invite you to schedule a one-on-one, interactive family tour of camp, led by one of our awesome camp leaders. You'll meet our owners/directors and learn more about our amazing, 92-year camp history and traditions. Come feel the love and warmth that Pine Forest Camp has to offer! Email to coordinate!