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Summer Camp News and Blog

Home from Camp: Tips + Warnings!

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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

Good questions:
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.

  1. 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?

 

 

Thank You from Pine Forest Camp

Dear PFC Families,

The trouble with camp is that camp ends. Tomorrow night is the candle-lighting ceremony. Songs will be sung, good-byes will be said, and tears will be shed.

It’s hard to leave Pine Forest.

Tonight is also a time to reflect on camp friendships, fun and an unusually memorable season. And for us, it’s a time to express special gratitude to every family who shared their children’s safety and well-being with us. We hope that your children come back to you a little more independent, confident and a little happier than when they left.

On behalf of all 5 generations of our family, thank you for being a part of our 90th summer, one of the most monumental in our history. We look forward to seeing you back “Up Where the Sky Begins” in 2022 and for many years thereafter.

With heartfelt appreciation and warmest wishes from us all for a happy, healthy school year ahead.

The Black/Morin Family

 

Color Days 2021 has begun!

 

Color Days 2021 has begun!

And the teams are…

Gold Autumn vs. Blue Spring 

What was the surprise, or “break” to start it all?

Quiet came over the crowd at our counselor basketball game, galloping was heard in the distance. Two riders on horseback with torches trotted up girls’ loop, pointed their torches toward the upper field…then, “Cue the Music!” Two amazing floats traveled down, one with springtime flowers, the other with bales of hay and autumn leaves. In each float were counselors dressed up as baseball and football players, butterflies and scarecrows. Next stop, Mitchell Field, where a huge bonfire ignited for our 90th summer, and then a grand finale of fireworks. Awesome!

But it wasn’t over! Back at the bunk on every camper’s bed was their own team’s knee-high socks and wristbands.

Color Days lasts for 4 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!

 Reminder: Please no visitors at camp for any reason.
P.T.B. Protect The Bubble!

Let the fun and competition begin!

Forever Lee Forest Black

 

Honoring Lee Forest Black

This summer and forevermore, we will celebrate the memory of Lee Forest Black at Pine Forest Camp.
Lee would want us to be happy and enjoy life, especially at camp.

In this 90th season, we are honoring Lee in many ways:

Honoring Lee Forest Black

An Oak tree has been planted in the center of camp, the spot where the famous Friendship Tree stood for 80 years, planted by Lee’s great grandfather Uncle Hughie, our founder. Many alumni remember this sacred spot as the “Booty Tree” where campers say goodnight before heading back to boys or girls camp. At its base stands a bronze plaque memorializing “Lee’s Tree.” Someday it will tower over all of the trees surrounding it, providing shade and comfort to future generations of happy campers.

Honoring Lee Forest Black

Lee loved birds and he loved the beauty and peace of nature, especially the lake trail. Any camper interested was invited to build and decorate a unique birdhouse to line the lake trail. At last count, over two hundred bird houses have been built.

Starting with the oldest campers, a bracelet was awarded for any good deed or to acknowledge leadership on boys camp. Each bracelet is embossed with the acronym “WWLFBD,” What Would Lee Forest Black Do? These bracelets have multiplied. They’re everywhere around camp and a constant reminder to those who wear them to act with kindness and care, with goodness, friendship and love.

Hi-Seniors requested to include Lee’s initials and number on their treasured “A Game” shirts. These oldest campers all knew and loved Lee, and he knew and loved them back. Lee loved the “A Game” and played in 3. Director Eric Morin and our oldest CA campers spoke beautifully at Services Friday night, their theme was “Because of Lee…”.

But the most meaningful ways to remember Lee Forest Black, at camp and in the world, are by acting with kindness, living life with joy and humor, and looking out for one another. May we always remember the goodness of Lee Forest Black through his friendships at camp and his eternal legacy “Up Where the Sky Begins.”

Honoring Lee Forest Black

A *FLASH* of News from Boys Camp!

Eric Morin talks flashlights with Bunk Birch!

As their auction prize award Bunk Birch chose to take some quality time in their bunk with director Eric Morin as he showed them his famous flashlight collection. Turn off the lights, get out your notebooks and pens, because it’s all you need to know about flashlights.You got your Archer 2A v3, compact, small but mighty. The Manker E12  as sleek as a stiletto and of course the rechargeable TC15. Campers were mesmerized. And intertwined with the tech talk  was Eric’s story telling and jokes all  about his wilderness adventures.  Come back Eric! And bring the Super Mag light next time!

Clubs
Also on boys camp. Today’s announcement about the first meeting of the “Club Club”. It’s a club to talk about and analyze all of the clubs in boys camp- there’s Jonah’s Design Club, Zach’s Soccer Club, Ethan’s Baseball Club and Mickey’s Book Club. Lots of clubs and lots going on.
Lifeguards
Also big news on boys camp- 10 of our CA’s completed their lifeguard certification. After many hours of drills, study and demonstrations, they did it! New lifeguards and a new skill for life. Thank you gentlemen! We’re safer now!
Assagi
And it wouldn’t be the 4th week of camp without the all campus wide, always exciting, exhilarating, exhausting and somewhat confusing  “Capture the Assagi”. Campers raced around boys camp looking for the secret Assagi hiding in plain sight. Did they find them? We’re not sure, but everyone had fun!
Line-Up fun
What will be Jack’s “Day of the day”, Jon’s quote of the day, Adam’s fun fact,r Poppel’s Pop Drop, or  Josh’s sports scores? Never a dull moment on PFC boys camp!

What’s Happening! Divisional Round-Up!

 

Junior Girls had a fun-filled week!

We are all about the lake. Canoeing, paddle boarding, beach volleyball, swimming, and climbing on the Wibits are among just a few things we enjoy. On our walk down the lake trail, we are sure to pick up a rock, spin three times, make a wish and throw it over our shoulder into Lisa’s heart-shaped pond!

Our evening activities are HUGE hit! Junior Girls joined Jaime at art for a special night making bunk plaques. Each bunk collaborated, shared ideas, and sketched plaques to represent them! We cannot wait to hang the finished products in our bunk! We also joined our Big Sisters for a fun night together singing, playing the Mostest, and making picture frames for our portraits.

This week we also took a trip to three different waterfalls! The Junior Girls hiked and enjoyed the views of the roaring waters. On the way home, we enjoyed a special treat!

We cannot wait to see what adventures are in store for our next week at camp!!!

Inter Girls

What a week it has been, running on the field and court,

The rain came in but the fun was not cut short.

Little and big sisters gathered as one,

Making picture frames and dancing we sure did have fun.

The photo scavenger hunt had us on the run through camp,

A human pyramid led the judges to a champ.

During swim, we did relays and diving for rings,

In art, we are decorating our initial letters with strings.

Canteen is a hit after evening activity,

In STEM and music, we share our creativity.

Olympic Day is quickly approaching,

Swimming, running and jumping our counselors can’t wait to be coaching.

Our wrists feel heavy with bracelets by the ton,

So much to come with the fun in the sun.

Senior Girls

Another great week is in the books for the senior girls! It started off strong with several girls participating in the 4th of July talent show and everyone having a blast at the carnival. Through all of this week’s rainy days, the girls had extra time to continue bonding with one another and enjoyed dodgeball, gymnastics, and crafts. One rainy night, the girls even dressed up their counselors as “dynamic duos” and made up backstories for their counselors as the counselors modeled their new hair, makeup, and wardrobe. It was awesome! Another huge evening activity hit this week was Guest Your Best where we found out some girls’ hidden talents. The senior girls are SO amazing and I can’t wait for another week of fun together! 

High Senior Girls

The last 2 weeks have been AMAZING up where the sky begins for the hi-senior girls. It started with the 4th of July. Everyone got all dressed up in red, white, and blue and in full spirit for the events. The 10s woke the whole camp up with music and a golf cart and the 11s planned an amazing carnival with games and activities for the rest of camp to enjoy.

Camp is in full swing now. Hi senior girls are rocking out in their leagues, preparing for their MTV night mixes, enjoying coed lake and helping out with activities all over camp. The 10s did an amazing job last Friday night leading the campfire by singing songs and talking about camp. We can’t wait for the rest of the summer!

Junior Boys

Bunk Cherry had a party in Bunk Apple for having the cleanest bunk in the Junior Division. Leagues are off and running and the boys’ competitive juices are flowing.

Inter Boys

Monday Night Flag Football evening activity has proven to be a highlight each week. The boys are thoroughly enjoying the lake and are starting to explore all the opportunities to explore the water.

Upper Camp Boys:

Senior and High Senior boys are enjoying week 3 of camp here at PFC. Leagues are in full swing, cookies are being made at Cooking, trips to Blueberry island at the lake, and we had our second social of the season. Everyone is excited for Olympics starting up and the anticipation of who will be victorious is mounting. Will it be Senegal 🇸🇳, Greece 🇬🇷, Japan 🇯🇵, or New Zealand 🇳🇿?

No Tours, Here’s Why: An Update

Hello friends and followers! We’re writing to share some news with you which we sent out into the world this morning. We have made the difficult decision not to open up camp for tours this summer. We are doing so because we’re putting the health and welfare of our current camp community first.
Please see below. And please let family and friends interested in camp know that we’ll look forward to meeting them after the summer! Thank you for your ongoing support!
The best thing about camp is our wonderful camp families: YOU! 

Dear Future Camp Families,

Thank you for your interest in Pine Forest Camp for the 2022 summer! Although it’s been a challenging year, we are thrilled to report that we’re off to a remarkably great start, our 90th under the same family ownership. Ask any camp family what a wonderful season we’re having! And we don’t take it for granted. Campers and counselors are healthy and happy, there are more new, young campers than ever before, and we are fully enrolled.

Being at camp together this summer has been nothing short of magic. And we are very grateful for the many new and re-enrollments and for the enthusiastic  interest in Summer 2022. Our most discounted tuition, “Early Bird” tuition, ends on July 31 when we expect most places to be filled. Here’s a link to save a spot at our lowest tuition, refundable through 2/1.

We have made the difficult decision not to host in-person tours at camp this summer. Our top priority is keeping our current community whole. First and foremost, we feel that tours could compromise the “bubble” that has been created with much effort and cooperation by our entire camp family. Our parents, campers and our extraordinary staff have made great sacrifices for camp to run smoothly this summer, and it’s working! And, as much as we’d like to show off camp, our staff, and most importantly our amazing, welcoming, down-to-earth campers, we do not feel that it is in their best interest to have visitors on campus. Even if vaccinated, even if wearing masks, even at a distance, we need to preserve the bubble at all costs.

In our view, keeping camp truly limited to those within our bubble is extremely important at this time. We have asked staff not to go home or to see family or friends on off days, cancelled Visiting Day for parents and grandparents, postponed overnight trips to public areas and taken every safety precaution recommended. In our opinion, it just doesn’t feel right to allow some ins and outs but others not. It is not business as usual. We want to ensure our current camp family is prioritized above all else, that they feel as though we are being fair and keeping their best interest at heart.

We’re committed to having you get to know us, and we’re excited to get to know you! Instead of an in-person visit, here is what we can offer:

1) A virtual tour of camp! We’ll be sending it out soon!
2) A zoom with the directors!
3) A LIVE virtual tour experience from camp, in a bunk or with real-live campers!
4) A visit to camp after the season or our fall open house!
5) A home visit from one of our directors!
6) A camp gathering throughout the year (we’ll keep you posted)!

Thank you for your understanding as we focus on those here in our community during this unusual summer. We hope you can trust our judgement and care and, for those reasons among others, decide to join our camp family for 2022! We look forward to prioritizing you and your future camper in 2022 and beyond!

Please, keep in touch, and we will too!

With deep appreciation and all the best from Greeley, PA,
The Black/Morin Family

Greeley Games — Going Great!

One of the best things about being part of a 3 camp Bubble is that we can have Intercamp games! This week it’s the first every “Greeley Games” competition between PFC and our brother/sister camps, Lake Owego and Timber Tops.

Here are the activities taking place for the next 3 days!

Basketball

Volleyball

Soccer

Swim Meets

Flag Football

Chess Tournament

Climbing Competition with Nafis

Ga Ga extravaganza!

Dance and Gymnastics Competition

Art Gallery Displays

Canoe Race/Regatta

Tennis tournament

Lacrosse

Archery

And more!

Red, White, Blue and Gold!

July 4th is one of the best days at camp, so we woke up to pure excitement today! Our oldest campers woke camp up,  decked out in red, white and blue and they paraded around camp with whistles and bullhorns.

We walked into the dining room to find the entire place decorated with red, white and blue balloons and streamers. For breakfast, we had french toast with strawberries (red), whipped cream (white), and blueberries (blue) and fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts – a true PFC tradition!

We did lunch the only way we know how to on the 4th: a special meal complete with foot-long hot dogs!

The talent show did not disappoint.

The highlight of 4th of July at camp are the best fireworks display in Pike County over Mitchell Field. We always hear from alumni that July 4th reminds them of their cherished time in Greeley. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy birthday, America!