We had such a blast at the reunion yesterday! It was awesome being able to spend time with our PFC family again and we could not be more excited for what next summer has in store. A big thank you to everyone who came out, from campers to counselors, to head counselors and beyond. With buses from Westchester, Livingston, and Maryland, we were so thrilled with the turnout. Next up: PFC 2016!
We are just HOURS away from the 2015 camp reunion! Final details and reminders:
Sunday, November 1st
The Funplex, Mt. Laurel, NJ
Please note that, if you are traveling from PA, the Ben Franklin Bridge will be closed that Sunday. It also happens to be Daylight Savings — don’t forget to turn your clocks back!
Westchester Bus (Bloomingdale’s in White Plains, NY):
Livingston Bus (Livingston Mall, across from Macy’s):
Maryland Bus (Wootton High School and the Maryland House):
6:45AM Assembly at Wootton HS
7:00AM Departure from Wootton HS
8:30AM Departure from the Maryland House
1:30PM Pick-Up at the Maryland House
3:30PM Pick-Up at Wootton HS
We can’t wait to see you there!
Was 3 days away from camp friends as hard for you as it was for us? Then we have some good news! The countdown is on (74 days!) for our summer 2015 reunion!
When: Sunday, November 1, 2015
Where: The Funplex in Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Why: Because we miss our camp friends!
How: Information on transportation to follow
Yes, that will be me this Saturday, hiding behind my sunglasses, holding back my tears. Me, who promotes camp to other parents and me, who believes wholeheartedly in the unparalleled benefits and fun of overnight camp. Even so, that’ll be me.
It doesn’t matter how much you know they’ll love it. It doesn’t matter that you know they’re about to make friends and memories that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter that you know they’re about to have more fun than they ever thought imaginable. The bottom line is, letting your child go, allowing and empowering them to spread their wings without you is hard. Really hard. I think of this as the most “selfless” thing we as parents have probably ever done. Putting our needs and wants second to what we know is best for our children is something we do every day, but this is the granddaddy act of them all.
When it comes to camp, I find all the comfort and solace I need knowing my children will be safe, loved and cared for by some of the most amazing people I know. That they will be making friends and living with other amazing children who, like them, just want to have fun and take in all that camp has to offer. Pure, unplugged fun. I will, like you, pour over the posted pictures each night and hang on every word that comes to me in letters. All the while, reminding myself how lucky we all are…the kids who get to go and us parents who get to send them. The summer of 2015, Pine Forest Camp’s 85th summer, is going to be incredible and I truly can’t wait for my children to get there.
Good luck Saturday, parents. I like to keep the morning short and sweet and without a lot of fan-fair. That’s my advice. And, of course, wear your tinted sunglasses :).
This letter from a Pine Forest parent was sent to the office just yesterday and we reprinted it with her permission.
Hello PFC summer staff 2015-
I am a parent sending [my children] to PFC this summer. They are so excited, and we are thrilled and grateful to be able to give them this gift of camp. However, my sleepless pre-camp nights have begun, because letting your children go away and leaving them in the care of others, is not a mother’s natural inclination. It is definitely unsettling.
I tell you this because I want you to know, that in caring for my children this summer, I consider you to have the most important job in the world! You probably have some friends who may be studying in a science lab or working for a judge or taking summer school classes…all to better their resume’ and prepare for their future. But if I were an employer looking to hire…your job as a counselor at camp would far outweigh those supposed resume building experiences. You have an opportunity to really care for and truly influence an individual. If you do it right, you can do anything well! To me, you would be the definition of a successful person.
So, thank you, in advance, for trying your best each and every day, even when it isn’t easy, and thank you for keeping my children safe and happy. You should feel honored and proud to have this most important job!
We are thrilled to announce that we’re bringing these exciting special guest instructors to camp this summer for ALL campers!
SOCCER: Gordon Hill, a soccer legend! World renowned former Manchester United star and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) “A” licensed coach, the highest coaching designation in Europe.
ART: Steven Charny, PFC alumna and former Art Director at Rolling Stone Magazine will create a special mural with campers.
BASEBALL: Frank Decembrino, Head High School Baseball Coach and Former Associate Scout for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club will host his Elite Baseball Clinic.
CHESS: Danny Kopec, International Master Chess Champion and teacher and Director of TOP Chess Camp.
SELF-DEFENSE AND FITNESS: Eugene Gershman of Krav Maga Centers of America
SPORTS BROADCASTING: Jeremy Treatment, TV play-by-play, color announcer and reporter. Campers will learn and practice the art of sports broadcasting.
ULTIMATE FRISBEE: Philadelphia Spinners Team Members.
DANCE: Kelli Moshen, Owner/Founder of Moshen Dance Project, performer and teacher. Back by popular demand!
And there are even more to come. Stay tuned!
Wow! What a weekend! Pine Forest Camp was filled with new families, new friends and fun for the overnight New Family Weekend. The sun shone on a glorious two days at camp. It started with bunk assignments, introductions at Netsy Playhouse, and then families went off for a tour of camp and activities were in full swing. Campers and their brothers and sisters climbed the climbing wall, canoed to Blueberry Island and even inaugurated the boys’ pool, with a splash.
Later in the day, Moms and Dads had a chance to meet the camp leaders at a question and answer session about getting ready for camp, while campers played games and practiced for the talent show campfire.
Barbara served a delicious barbeque chicken dinner with homemade apple cobbler and ice cream for dessert. We all saved room for s’mores at the campfire, and what a campfire it was! Songs, jokes, skits, karate demonstrations, Rubik’s cube feats, and even yo-yo tricks by Chad. At the end, both new campers and old, Moms, Dads, and even grandparents, linked arms and sang for the first time this year, the songs that we have been singing around that same campfire for 85 summers, “Taps” and “Friends.”
The next morning, everyone looked settled into camp life in their pajamas as we met for breakfast and goodbyes. It won’t be long before those new campers are back for the real thing. Hopefully they will be more confident and secure than ever as they arrive at their summer home. The best is yet to come!
Thanks to all for a spectacular New Family Weekend! See you on opening day!!
New Family Weekend is just one week away! The comfort and excitement of our new campers and their families is a top priority, so PFC opens its “doors” just three weeks before opening day! It’s our official start-of-summer!
To truly experience camp life in all its glory, each new camper family gets a cabin to stay in overnight. It’s really a perfect way to see the facilities, experience the activities and get a taste of bunk life. This weekend is also a perfect opportunity to meet new friends, their families and our awesome camp leaders.
There is nothing like these first sounds of summer: children’s laughter echoing throughout camp, balls bouncing on the courts, crickets chirping at night and even the sound of the cabin doors opening and closing. It’s a right of passage for all PFC campers to smell a campfire and taste a s’more. And there is nothing that brings the day to an end like breathing in fresh mountain air, gazing up at millions of stars in the sky, singing “taps and friends” arm-in-arm with incredible children and adults, all with the same goal in mind: becoming acclimated and excited for the best summer ever.
I attended New Family Weekend last year with my son, my second PFC camper. Having this inside perspective and first-hand experience of what camp is truly like was incredibly valuable for me as a parent. The weekend gave my son (and me!) that extra bit of confidence and comfort, and he made his best friend of the summer that weekend (I made a few new friends as well)!
Created so that each new camper’s first night at camp, is not actually his or her “first night at camp,” this weekend is truly such fun and so very special. Wishing you a great first camp adventure!