There are three signs that nature sends us every summer to let us know that camp is fleeting; going too fast. First we see the Canadian geese overhead, in tight V formation flying low over Mitchell Field heading south in advance of the cold. You can hear the squawking as they approach, zeroing in on their flight path.
Next is the sight of the first red leaves. Usually, you can find them down by the lake. There they are, on the tips of the tallest trees, red, yellow and gold waving in the breeze coming off Lake Greeley. It’s always the first week in August, just before Color Days, color!
And finally there are the crickets. They start at dusk, just as the sun goes down over the tree tops above the girls pool. You can hear just a few, here and there, during the month of July. The sound gets louder each week. Louder and louder, a crescendo, until the final days of camp, when they sound like a symphony. Sometimes you have to raise your voice to be heard over the cacophony of sound.
The smell of pines, the sight of a Milky Way of stars above, the feel of brisk mountain air and the happy crazy sound of crickets.
Set your ringtone to crickets as a reminder of those glorious, magical nights at camp.
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!
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.
PLAY DAY – Come Play! Visit us, eat lunch, spend the day and enjoy some activities…Stay a while! (No overnight). Register here!
For more information on tours, Explorers and play days contact Lisa Fayne: – 301.340.7373
As we embark on our 85th summer, we want to express our heartfelt thanks for the 4 generations of campers and counselors who have been a part of Pine Forest Camp.
From the tree tops of Lauri Field to the shores of Lake Greeley, from Juniors to mighty Hi-Seniors, from great –grandparents to great –grandchildren, thank you all.
Every camp tells a story. Whether you went to PFC for one summer or ten, you have written Pine Forest’s story and it is filled with fun, friendship and love.
Keep the memories alive and the friendships strong, not just in summer but in every season of the year and of your life. Wherever you are, Pine Forest is with you. And after all of these years and all of those generations, that is a lot to be thankful for.
On this Veteran’s Day we recognized with gratitude our own Pine Forest Camp Director, Marvin Black. Uncle Marvin, now 89, served in the US Navy in WWII and participated in the invasion of Okinawa in the South Pacific. He was a radioman on a landing craft that brought US Marines to the beaches during this crucial battle.
Many PFC counselors also served during WWII and in other conflicts. Uncle Marv remembers thinking of his parents and family back at Pine Forest Camp during the war. Although Uncle Marv said that he was homesick when he headed off to war, he took comfort in knowing that they were safe and sound back at camp in Greeley, Pa. He returned after the war to a hero’s welcome at camp and in his hometown of Upper Darby, Pa. Yesterday, Uncle Marvin and many other veterans were celebrated in a Veteran’s Day Parade. Uncle Marvin served our country with courage and valor and will forever be a bright, shining star in our proud Pine Forest Camp legacy. We salute you Uncle Marv!
Congratulations to our very own Program Director, Jess Chadwin, on her induction into the Germantown Academy Sports Hall of Fame!
Jess is the daughter of Sherrea (former Girls Head Counselor) & Steve ‘Chad’ Chadwin (current Athletic Director) and spent many many summers as a camper at Pine Forest. We’re so lucky & happy to have her as part of the PFC leadership team!