What’s new in 2015!?

Here’s something to talk about this Memorial Day weekend. What’s new and awesome at PFC this summer!

– Most bunks will have new sinks, new vanities and…fans!

– Pool makeover – Expect some colorful umbrellas, beach chairs and landscaping at both the girls’ & boys’ pool. Ya Mon!

– New stage at Netsy Playhouse!

– Boys’ camp game deck for our knock-hockey fanatics! Score!

– Sports Broadcasting Clinic! Who’s the next Howard Cosell? or better yet, Zach Gelb!?

– New movie theater seating in Greeley Theater!

– An additional LAUNDRY RUN! WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?! #GAMECHANGER!

– New paving & landscaping around camp! A facelift, if you will…!

– Kelli Moshen is back! Hip-Hop Boot Camp!

– Night at the Ballpark (RailRiders AAA Baseball) for all upper campers!

– Surf Bikes at the lake! THEY’RE BACK! Bigger and better.

– Another wood-burning pizza oven! That makes two! We love Pizza.

– TOP Baseball. No extra charge. Available to all players interested. Gonna be a home-run!

– All-camp Survivor Day!

– Special Krav Maga Clinic!

These are just some of the things we’re working on in the Pine Forest Camp Laboratories…

Wilt Chamberlain: PFC Alum…Sort of.

53 years ago today, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single basketball game. Did you know that before Wilt was famous, he worked in the kitchen at PFC!? He was actually “asked to leave”, but later came back to visit after much fame and fortune.

Some remember that when Wilt rode a horse out on Route 6 (not allowed nowadays) his feet would drag on the ground! We’re guessing that if Wilt played in one of our counselor basketball games today, he’d likely score 100 points again.

Here he is signing autographs and posing with Uncle Marv & Mickey.

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The Best Internship Around: Camp Counselor

Many people will tell you that the key to a successful future in the workplace is a solid internship related to your field of (potential) expertise.  While that may be true for a lot of people and a lot of careers, a job as a camp counselor can give you the skills to succeed in not only the workplace, but in all aspects of your life.  We’ve come up with three major things a summer camp job has the potential to provide, but like anything else, you get out what you put in.

Confidence

One of summer camp’s greatest qualities is its appreciation for individuality.  The most notable counselors are the ones who sing the loudest, dress the craziest, and are willing to participate in any and all activities that his or her campers come up with.  At camp, it’s hard to feel embarrassed.  It is surprisingly easy to step out of your comfort zone and into the uninhibited summer camp lifestyle.

Selflessness

While being a camp counselor can give you a great deal of self-understanding and important life skills, the most successful counselors are those who are not at camp for themselves, but for the campers.  Camp teaches you how to put the needs of your campers, or of any group, above your own.  In order to deal with confrontations, homesickness, shower hour, and anything else that comes your way in the bunk, you have to know how to prioritize.  As camp counselor, you are truly a surrogate parent for your campers and, while their problems may seem small to you, to them they are big and should be treated accordingly.

Leadership Ability

At camp, campers do not judge your ability to show them how to kick a soccer ball, make a friendship bracelet, or ride a zip line.  We find that campers instantly idolize a counselor’s ability to do anything, giving you a solid platform to develop and transform your leadership skills from the get-go.  You’ve been hired as a camp counselor and specialist in a specific activity; your accountability is already there.  This gives you the time to focus on building your character, integrity, commitment, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness.

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What a weekend!

Wow! With two extraordinary new campers events in the books, we’re ready for summer 2015! Campers from far and wide came to meet one another, bowl, tumble, bounce, climb, eat and most importantly, get super excited about the upcoming summer! Always great to meet some new friends before the summer even starts!

We’ll mark this past weekend down in the ‘win’ column. We are so lucky to have so many nice new families!

But wait, there’s more… FAMILY SKI DAY! Saturday February 7th – For more info, call us. 267-639-2488

And then, NEW CAMPER WEEKEND: June 6-7

PFC doesn’t stop!

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We love our new campers!

Beginning tomorrow, PFC kicks-off a whirlwind weekend filled with new camper events!

A great opportunity for new campers to meet one another, eat some pizza and get excited for the 2015 summer!

Saturday Jan. 11th – Playdrome in Devon: 1 – 3pm

Sunday Jan. 12th – The Field House at Chelsea Piers: 1:30p – 3:30p

Any questions? Call us. 267-639-2488

SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND!!!!

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Milestones for Pine Forest Leaders!

Congratulations to our own PFC athletic Director Steve ”Chad” Chadwin on reaching his 600th win as coach of Abington Friends School. His Kangaroos have won 16 league titles. As Chad said when interviewed after the big win by the Philadelphia Inquirer, “No one person  was bigger than the program…we’ve had kids who are able to buy into the team concept.”  In his own humble way Chad always credits the group, but he is truly an outstanding individual leader, at school and at camp each summer at Pine Forest.

And Congratulations to Michael Silverman, Pine Forest alumni, old-timer and PFC parent who was sworn in as Mayor of the town of Livingston, New Jersey over the winter break last week.  Michael has been a leader ever since his days as a General in Color War at PFC back in the 70’s.  As Michael said, “I talk about camp and my experiences  in so many of my speeches and talks….the PFC family has shaped my life in many ways… PFC is more than camp – it is LIFE”. We salute you Michael, for your commitment to public service and for your bonds with Pine Forest Camp.

Pine Forest Camp = Leadership.

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Finding An Overnight Camp That’s Truly Worth It.

You may have seen the blog “The Opposite of Spoiled” by Ron Leiber that appeared in the New York Times on December 11th, entitled “Finding an Overnight Camp that’s Truly Worth It.” If not, it’s worth the read. Leiber raises five “essential” questions that parents should ask when choosing a summer camp that is truly worth it. Here are the questions from the article and our answers. We think that they truly set Pine Forest apart, above and beyond others. Read on!

1) “Where are other children going?”

As Leiber says, this is a trick question. There is a natural instinct to send your child to the same camp as his or her friends in the neighborhood. The answer should be that a worthwhile overnight camp has a diversity of geographic areas represented. Overnight camp friends should not be the same as friends at home. That’s the biggest difference from day camp. Every child has friends from home and school, but let camp introduce him to a whole new group of friends, some that span great distances, with different interests, styles and stories. Let your child reinvent him or herself!  An investment in camp should broaden a child’s circle of friends and prepare him or her for making connections in college, in the work place and in life!

Here’s an interesting statistic: At PFC we have campers from 114 towns, 15 states and 4 countries. There’s a whole world of new friends out there, and they might be living right in your cabin!

2) “What are the retention figures?

This is one of our favorites. Once a child starts at camp there is a 90% return the next year. This continues until “graduating” as 11th graders. Our retention rates are truly amazing. The author asks if we do follow up on those few who don’t return, and of course we do. Every camper is an integral part of our camp family. Honestly, the few children who depart before their final year do so for reasons unrelated to camp, a family trip is planned, a team requires practice at home, etc.

The blog also asks the retention rate of counselors and the percentage of counselors who are former campers. Here’s an answer that you might not expect: first as to counselor retention, our standards are high. Counselors are not automatically asked to return, in fact we are very selective about who meets our standards. Also, the truth is that not every former camper makes a great counselor. The transition is not easy. Not every young adult can make the change from being the one who is looked after to the person who does the looking after. New counselors bring new ideas, new energy and a gung-ho spirit, that not every former camper possesses.  Our experience and firm belief is that the best counselor team is a mix, new and old. We want the most enthusiastic, positive role models for campers, whomever they are!

3) “What can they do here that they can’t do at home?” 

Here’s the beginning of a truly endless list that starts with wake-up and goes till lights-out. Good morning, it’s group clean up, then off to rock-climbing, mountain biking, martial arts, sailing, canoeing the rapids of the Delaware. Travel with your camp basketball team to play another camp. Experience Capture the Assagi, join a dance team, start a rock band, hike the Appalachian Trail, overnight in a yurt, cook wood-burning pizza, visit a Triple A small-town baseball game, act in a bunk skit, link arms with a whole camp and sing songs around a campfire that have been sung for generations.

And by the way, we try not to do things that you do at home. So on trips we stay in college dorms-not hotels, we don’t normally go to amusement parks, bowling, movie theaters. It’s on purpose! You can do that at home with your parents!

4) “What makes your camp unique?”

To us, that really is the most important question. Our camp organization is 85 years old and has been in one family for 5 generations. There are thousands of camps in the USA, hundreds that are old but very few, if any, can say that. Our longevity and track record is truly unmatched. Our facilities are modern. The range of activity choices, amazing. Our camp staff is second to none, filled with coaches and teachers and camp folk. The ratio of staff to campers, almost 2:1. We have a rare range of campers from all over. But it’s our 5 generations, 85 years, of down-to-earth, friendly, warm, accepting, earthy, kids of character who make Pine Forest unique.

5) “Can you tell me about the ties that bind?”

Here the author is really asking about the soul of a camp.  He mentions his daughter, at lineup, watching two staff members honored who fell in love and became engaged at camp. He’s speaking to a sense of self, a sense of identity that links a person to his or her camp for all of time.

All you have to do is look around Pine Forest to see our ties that bind: from names on courts and fields to our Old Timers Tree and memory wall spanning generations. As you probably know, we keep in touch with campers and alumni during the off-season in ways that go above and beyond any other camps we know of. Between reunions, local get-togethers, alumni events in cities around the country, and alumni Facebook pages, Pine Forest Camp is with our campers, in their daily lives, long after they’re campers. If you’ve never done so, just take a minute to check out our online database of Old Timers Tree names or our Married Couples Who Met at Camp link. Both speak to the heart and soul of camp, and that heart and soul is you: each and every past, present or future camper who spends one summer or ten in Greeley, PA.

What a Thrill: An Alumni’s Perspective!

I went to PFC in the late 80‘s/early 90’s.  I started as a high senior 9 and continued on for the next 5 years into the counselor years.  Some of the best years of my life thus far.  I stopped only because it was time to get an internship “in the real world.”  It was not my choice, that’s for sure.

Fast forward many years, I am now a Mom of two childen at PFC…a13 year old girl, who will start her fifth summer as a high senior 9 and a 10 year old boy going into his second summer as an Inter 5.  I was an Inter 5 counselor and some of my then campers now have kids at camp as well!  How old that makes us all feel goes without saying!

When we started our family camp search, we researched a few camps.  I told myself what was right for me may not be right for my children.  PIne Forest was all I wanted for them but I tried to be fair and open.  It was my daughter who knew right away that Pine Forest was for her.  Perhaps her 2nd generation status wooed her a bit, but she said she just got “a feeling” the second she saw PFC.  She’s so my kid.

As I tell my children, PFC was my happy place for many years in my youth but it’s now theirs.  I try not to bombard them with memories and stories and resist the urge to point out pictures of me on the Hughie and dining hall walls.  They’re building their own memories now and the time is all theirs.  But as I’ve learned, PFC is still a place in all of our hearts.  The same incredible Black family still owns and runs it, 5 generations, 85 years strong.  A lot of course has changed with the times, but so much has remained the same.  Just how we would want it to be.

Sometimes you don’t know how much something means to you until you come back again and see it through the eyes of your children.  I encourage you to give camp a call, check out their website, schedule a meeting with one of the team and consider giving your child the gift of PFC, just as your parents did.  Give yourself the thrill of a lifetime, getting to watch your child walk the same hills, play on the same fields and sit in the same Netsy benches for Friday night services as you did!  It really is a rare and special gift, not only for your children, but for yourself!

– Hillary Lane Slovin

2015 Explorers & Play Days!

Block out an Explorer weekend or play day for this coming summer…Our 85th Summer Anniversary!!!

We love giving tours, but to really feel the magic of camp, we encourage your future camper to stay with us! Either for the day or even two days and enjoy all that Pine Forest has to offer: the activities, the food, and especially the people!

EXPLORERS – Come up for the weekend for two fun-filled days and one night at camp! If your child is entering 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade and is not yet ready for camp, we encourage you to visit while camp is in session and try our Explorer Camp! Click here to register.

July 18,19

July 25,26 

OR..

PLAY DAY – Come Play! Visit us, eat lunch, spend the day and enjoy some activities…Stay a while! (No overnight). Register here!

July 11

August 2

 

For more information on tours, Explorers and play days contact Lisa Fayne: LisaSummerFun@aol.com – 301.340.7373

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