Rise and Shine

When I was a Junior camper in Greeley, Pa., many moons ago, we woke up each day to the sound of a bugle and our Division Leader calling out “Rise and Shine!” Sometimes he even sang the song (do you know the Rise and Shine song?), followed by what to wear, “longs and longs” (long sleeves and long pants) if there was a chill in the air or “shorts and shorts” on a sunny summer day. I loved hearing those words, rise and shine. It was a call to take on the day, be your best, get up and get going. We’d brush our teeth, comb our hair and head out of our bunk and up to line-up.

At line-up, we’d stand together as a bunk and one camper would step forward, salute the head counselor and say, ”All present and accounted for, Sir!” And if someone in the bunk was away, maybe in the infirmary or on a canoe trip, it would be, “One absent, but accounted for, Sir!”


I think about those camp mornings a lot these days. We’re headed into a new year and a new camp season, Pine Forest’s 86th. It may be winter, but before you know it, spring. Then, the best season of all, summer. It’s a new year, a new beginning, a new morning. Adventure and fun awaits. It’s time to get up and take on the day. It’s time to get going. And just like a bunk at line up, stick together. At camp it’s your bunk, but the rest of the year it’s your friends and family. Make sure that the people who are important to you are in your thoughts, that they are “all present and accounted for,” always. In life, like at lineup, when you are excited to take on the day, this new year, don’t be afraid to show it! Try your best. Stick together. Don’t give up. Make it count. Dream big.

Rise and Shine.

Happy New Year from PFC,


Quintessentially Camp

You hear a series of car horns in the middle of the night. To most people, this indicates a disgruntled driver in the neighborhood. To camp people, the first instinct is COLOR DAYS! This is just one of the many examples of what makes “camp people” unique.

Camp is unlike any other experience. You spend two months in the woods, living in a cabin with a group of kids your age and some (really cool) college students. You do everything together; eat meals, sleep, rock climb, write letters, swim, play sports, make up dances, paint pottery – you name it. These experiences cultivate a shared understanding. You develop a respect for one another that’s different from the one you have for peers at school.

Below are some of the things that make camp, camp!

There’s nothing like sitting around a crackling campfire under the stars with your summer family. You listen to stories, watch skits, sing songs, and eat s’mores. It’s a shared experience that strengthens the bond of camp friends and represents the unique connection we have with nature. It’s one of camp’s most long-lasting and meaningful traditions and links us to generations of Pine Forest campers and counselors.

Friendship Bracelets
Anyone who has spent time at camp is familiar with the term “camp arm.” This expression is used to describe the seemingly endless amount of bracelets that blanket the arms of our female campers. The bracelets at camp aren’t fancy and aren’t (usually) trendy. Friendship bracelets are simple, timeless. All you need is string (the more colors, the better), beads, gimp, rubber bands, and just about anything else you can find at arts and crafts. They are a reminder of special times with summer sisters and oftentimes remain on camper arms in September, much to the chagrin of their parents.

In the dining hall, on a bunkmate’s birthday, around the campfire, and before bed every night are just a few examples of when we come together to sing at camp. We use songs as closure at the end of Color Days and at the Candlelight Ceremony on the last night of camp. Friends, friends, friends, we will always be…

Color War
1, 2, 3, 4, we want color war! There is nothing like Color Days at PFC. Though it starts around the same time every summer, the actual breakout is unpredictable and one of the biggest highlights of summer. With drummers, torches, amazing costumes, fireworks, and an 85 engulfed in flames in Lake Greeley, this past summer’s was particularly magical and surely will not be forgotten. Campers show support for their team in head-to-toe blue or gold, including high socks, face paint, headbands, and costumes that align with the theme. They lose their voices as they cheer on their teammates in Find the Hatchet, skits, races, and sporting events. They proudly hold signs supporting their generals and players during A-Game. Tears are shed as Color Days come to a close and PFC unites as one camp family again.

Crazy OutfitsPhoto307 (3)One of the best things about camp is that it allows you to let your guard down and be yourself. It’s cool to be different at camp, and that’s one of the many reasons that camp fosters confidence. Without this added pressure, we’re not afraid to cover ourselves in blue and yellow face paint or show up to breakfast in a tutu, or evening activity in a toga. Always wanted to dance on stage in a purple wig? Go ahead! It’s camp.

Now more than ever before, unplugging from the internet at camp has become a sacred tradition. This is something campers come to really appreciate. Interactions become more meaningful, they learn to appreciate time spent outside, they write letters. At camp, there’s no pressure to have the highest number of friends or likes, and text messages are replaced with face-to-face conversations. It gets increasingly more difficult with time to imagine a child keeping themselves entertained in a room without screens. Then how, we ask, is it possible that you can’t get bored at camp?!

Everyone is a winner at camp. You are free to try any activity you’d like, no matter what your skill level is. In fact, you have to! We all do! We’re all in it together. Your camp friends and counselors will be filled with pride as you hit your first home run, catch a fish, or earn a role in the play. From the beginning of the day when you motivate each other to get to breakfast on time, to doing your assigned job during cleanup, to trying to win the scavenger hunt at evening program, you spend your day working as a team.

All of the above elements of camp represent tradition. The word “tradition” is used to describe customs that are passed down from generation to generation. Whether you went to PFC in 1945 or 2015, you likely had many of the same experiences. These generational ties are an incredibly special part of camp. Taps and Friends, the Candlelight Ceremony, and A-Game are just a few. There are many other traditions unique to PFC that have remained the same for decades. This includes canoeing to Blueberry Island, Marv’s campfire, and lower camp overnights. Camp traditions are sacred and become some of our most cherished childhood memories.
What are some other things that only camp people understand?

S’mores Dip Recipe!

Although camp is officially less than 200 days away (!), it sometimes feels like infinity during the winter. Fortunately, we found a recipe that will give you a taste of camp in your own kitchen! It’s called s’mores dip and we recommend bringing it to all of your holiday parties. You’re pretty much guaranteed to be the favorite guest.

The best part? It only requires three ingredients and cooks in six minutes.

Smores Dip
4 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars
Graham Crackers

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Spray round or square pan that can go in the oven with spray butter.
3. Add a layer of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars.
4. Place a layer of marshmallows on top.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, until the marshmallows are toasted.
6. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Serve with graham crackers for dipping!


Source: http://www.cleverlysimple.com/smores-dip/

Camp All Year Round!

Pine Forest Camp is wherever campers are, all year round. We always love seeing photos of both current campers and old-timers having their own reunions!

PFC also hosts activities in every season, all over the map. If there’s another overnight camp that provides as many opportunities to meet, we haven’t heard of it!  That includes you, new campers! Come swim, ski, climb, and bowl with us. Check out these upcoming winter events and join us. Campers and counselors past and present: if you’re in the area, stop by and say hello! We may even have some fun PFC giveaways for you!

9th- Bowling on the Main Line at Devon Lanes, 1:00-3:00pm

10th– Climbing in New York City at Chelsea Piers, 1:30-3:30pm

24th– Gaga in New York City at The Gaga Center, 4:30-6:00pm

30th– Pool Party in Maryland at Germantown Indoor Swim Center, 7:15-9:00pm


21st– Carnival in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida at the Mandel JCC, 1:00-3:00pm

27th– Ski at Ski Big Bear, followed by hot chocolate at camp in Greeley, PA!
Spread the word! We’ve got open houses for prospective campers to meet our directors coming up in the below areas:

Potomac, MD; Montclair, NJ; Westchester, NY; Ridgefield, Connecticut; Main Line, PA; Center City, PA; Los Angeles, CA.

Call the office for more information, to RSVP, or to simply say hello: (267) 639-2488.

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