New Day, New Summer, New Website!

87 (seasons) never looked so good!

It’s hard to capture the sounds of happy campers, the smell of fresh pines and the taste of s’mores on a starry night. But if you wander through the new PFC website it might just make you feel, for a moment, that you are “Up Where the Sky Begins.” It’s also chock full of information about camp and all that you need to know to get ready for summer.

And if you’re an alum, don’t forget to watch the “decades videos.” Pick your childhood decade and be transported back in time!

Happy summer!

This World is Pine Forest Camp

Imagine a world with no TVs, no cell phones and no internet access, where…

– “Mail” is simply on a piece of paper, hand written, with a pen.

– The only “gaming’ is on a field or a court.

– “Chatting” is done verbally: in a cabin, on a walk, over a meal or around a  campfire, the purest form of “FaceTime.”

– You can only “like” something or someone by giving a real compliment, a smile or a hug.

– A ‘wink’ is done with eye contact and a grin, and ‘laughing so hard you cry’ is not an emoji but rather the funniest late-night bunk conversation that will live on for decades.

– The biggest news of the day is whose birthday it is, what evening activity will be or what’s for dinner.

– You don’t need to have hundreds of “friends,” instead you strive for a quality handful of the best, truest friends you could ever imagine.

– A “snap” is simply a hand gesture.

– Silly costumes are homemade or brought up in trunks not created with apps or filters.

– The only “tweet” comes from birds and being one with nature.

– A “house party” is getting to hang out in your cabin with your favorite people, bunk mates.

– The latest songs and videos come out of a bunk skit, song or cheer rather than top 40 radio hits.

– And, the only photos you take during the day are ones that live in your mind, providing you with lifelong memories.

This world is Pine Forest Camp. It was this way for me as a camper at PFC, and it’s the same for my own children. Kids need camp, now more than ever. I am tremendously thankful that my children get to turn off, unplug and disconnect every summer. Where else in the world can that truly happen? And, although they may not always admit it, I know that my kids wouldn’t have it any other way.

2017 Optional Activities!

Registration for our 2017 Optional Activities is officially open! Click here to register!

Superstar Tennis: Private and group tennis lessons, USTA tournament play, individualized stroke analysis and strategy sessions.

Personal Fitness Training: One-on-one personal training with a certified pro, including a take-home, year round exercise plan.

TOP Cooks: Farm-to-table experiences, gourmet cooking classes with professional chefs, trip to the Culinary Institute of America.

Superstar Golf: Private lessons with PGA pro, weekly golf outing to beautiful private courses, USGA membership.

Professional Tutoring: SAT, English, Math, Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Individualized plan, hourly rates with experienced educators.

TOP Ranch Riding: Small group riding lessons, grooming and competition on our beautiful private 250-acre ranch. Beginner to advanced.

TOP Basketball: 4-day intensive program for campers interested in taking their skills to a new level.

Private Gymnastics Lessons: One-on-one lessons with skilled instructors for all ages and skill levels.

Senior Trips!
7th Grade: The Adirondacks
July 25-26, 2017
Highlights include: Six Flags Great Escape, dinner on Lake George, Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame, Howe Caverns.

8th Grade: Vermont
July 25-26, 2017
Highlights include: Church Street Marketplace, Bromley Mountain Adventure Park, Ben & Jerry’s Factory, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
New additions for 2017 to follow!

9th Grade: New England
July 24-26, 2017
Highlights include: Historic Boston, Fenway Park, Old Orchard Beach and Palace Playground, Portland, Maine and Newport, Rhode Island.
New additions for 2017 to follow!

10th Grade: Montreal
July 24-26, 2017
Highlights include: Jet boating on the Lachine Rapids, Laser Quest, La Ronde amusement park, Lake Placid Olympic Sports Complex.

What Your Child Will Get Out of Camp

In addition to mastering the zip line and perfecting the butterfly stroke, the intangible lessons of camp know no bounds. In fact, it’s these more abstract takeaways that make the biggest impact on our campers. When we talk to families about camp in their living rooms, when we walk touring families around our grounds, we tend to focus on schedules and special programs; the most important thing about camp, though, is its people, the community, and the gifts we take from it.

We often say that camp teaches you to be the best version of yourself, but that doesn’t always come easily. Nothing great does! It takes work to practice living away from your parents! It takes work to live with people from different neighborhoods or even countries who might have different views! It’s not easy to have face-to-face conversations instead of sending a text or email in camp’s tech-free zone!

So, what will your child get out of camp? We hope team-sport skills are perfected and yoga is given a real chance, but it’s so much bigger that. Your child will come home more confident for having stood up for a friend, happier for having spontaneously burst into song and cheer, more comfortable in his or her skin for having navigated both big and small tasks independently. Oh, and your child will have a group of friends and community for life that are sacred, that are all his or her own, that they can always come back to and rely upon.

Camp takes a sense of adventure and grit and stick-to-it-ness and empathy and goofiness and a zest for life that we all wish for our kids! Those are the true gifts of camp, and what gifts could be more important?

Recap: New Camper Events!

Our weekend full of new camper parties was awesome! In the Philadelphia area, we had 15 first-time Pine Forest campers gather together to bowl and meet new friends. At Chelsea Piers in NYC the following day, we met 30 (!) first-time campers! Everyone had a blast jumping, bouncing and climbing with their future bunkmates.

Thanks to all new camp families, and our amazing staff and campers who made the weekend such a success! And new campers, be sure to stay in touch with one another! Camp is officially less than 5 months away (but who’s counting?)!

PS: You can check out more photos from our events on Instagram and Facebook! Follow @PineForestCamp for daily updates from your summer home.

Camp and Character

“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can give our children many things, but as parents, we cannot give them character, independence, optimism, and enthusiasm – these are qualities that children have to discover and develop on their own. And that is the true gift of camp. Camp is a place that provides a safe environment to find adventure, friendship and ultimately to find one’s self, to find one’s true character.

At camp we often call ourselves a camp “family,” and for those summer months we really are. We are one community, relying on each other and looking out for one another. It feels like family. And at its heart, that is how Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us to look at the world around us: one family, each of us treated with respect and compassion. May the strength and love that we feel at camp send ripples to the world around us. For those of us lucky enough to go to camp, it’s our obligation to make it so.

Let us know what your kids are doing out in the world for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Email, tag or direct message us, or use the hashtag #PFCCares2017.

New Camper Events!

Come one, come all! Our upcoming new camper parties are a perfect way to get to know us, so bring friends and family! It’s a great opportunity for new and prospective camp families to meet the directors, meet some of our fabulous counselors and maybe even connect with future bunk mates!

PHILADELPHIA
Saturday, January 21st, 1:00pm-3:00pm
Philadelphia New Camper Bowling Event!
Devon Lanes
300 Lancaster Avenue
Devon, PA 19333

NEW YORK CITY
Sunday, January 22nd, 1:30pm-3:30pm
New York New Camper Event!
Chelsea Piers, Between Piers 61 & 62
23rd Street and the Hudson River
New York, New York 10011

Call us at the camp office for more information or to RSVP: (267) 639-2488.

Individual Laundry for 2017!

Say goodbye to missing socks! The news broke on social media last night and we have some very happy campers (and parents!). When have your children gotten this excited about laundry?!

That’s right, we’ve stepped up our game with laundry service this year. Each camper will place his or her laundry in an individual bag and it will be returned clean and FOLDED in the same bag! Hallejulah!

Happy holidays and happy camp laundry, everybody!

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.

Maryland Open House!

Pine Forest Camp is coming to North Potomac, Maryland! Live in the area and want to learn more about sleepaway camp? Come on down! Have a friend nearby who is starting their camp search? Send them our way!

Our Open House is on Sunday, December 11th from 5-7pm and we’re looking forward to tackling our favorite subject: the magic of PFC! Directors from Camp Timber Tops and Lake Owego Camp will also be there.

Contact Lisa Fayne at 301-340-7373 or for more information!

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