Nothing But Blue Skies

What a picturesque Thursday! Perfect timing for our first official grove lunch which is always a camper favorite. Every field and court was full of activity today. It’s a good thing we added stadium seating to the new gaga courts because the Junior boys had a lot of excited spectators! It seemed like almost all of girls camp made their way through arts & crafts today with the amount of new friendship and initial bracelets at dinner.

Superstar Golf went out to the course this afternoon and our TOP Cooks went to a local farm to learn the true meaning of farm-to-table first-hand. They made blueberry yogurt muffins and boy, did they look delicious. The Beauty and the Beast cast list was posted today and this just in: everyone got a part!

We have a very special evening activity for the campers of girls camp tonight. Each new camper is assigned to a returning camper who becomes her camp big sister. Tonight is the big reveal and celebration. This is a very special tradition that our campers hold dear to their hearts.

Bunk Banana has an overnight tonight and can look forward to a great grove breakfast tomorrow morning. Tomorrow also kicks off the beginning of our 3-day TOP Basketball program and our intercamp games!

Until tomorrow, day is done…

IMG_0250                             Warrior games at the bunk Banana overnight



“Be silly, be fun, be different, be wacky. Because life is too short to be anything but happy.” 

Today was our first Wacky Wednesday of the summer and the campers (and staff!) sure got creative with their outfits. The wackier, the better!

Tonight, bunk Zinnia is going out on the very first overnight hike led by Tembe, “Mr. T”, and it’s going to be a beautiful starry Pocono Mountain night. Mr. T promises to teach some new songs at the campfire and then it’s time to hunker down in your Yurt, girls. You’ll sleep well. It’s early morning wake-up in the woods and outdoor breakfast. Speaking of outdoor breakfasts, today was our first outdoor grove breakfast with bunks Maple, Birch and Buttercup enjoying made-to-order eggs in Barbara’s Bar B Q pit. There was lots of Lacrosse on Mitchell Field today including Lexi J, “attacker”, in full pink gear with matching eye guard, lacrosse sticks, gloves and shorts.

And there was a big announcement yesterday (in addition to Junior towel service)! This year’s first show will be (drum roll please)… Beauty and the Beast! Try-outs have already begun! Everybody gets in! Or in the words of Lumiere, “Be our Guest!”

While we were being wacky in Greeley, our 11th graders were settling into their camp in Maui! Aloha, people! We can’t wait to hear (and share!) their updates.

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Cupcakes, Waterfalls and Clean Towels

Have we really only been here for 3 full days?! Our day started with the big CA send-off. Maui-bound, baby! The weather held out for us this morning for some Wibit action at the lake, an optional rest hour soccer clinic and a Junior girls hiking trip through Dingmans and Raymondskill Falls. Our other Junior girls loved playing basketball on Chadwin Court with Chad, a true PFC legend. We brought our second group of water-skiers to Lake Wallenpaupack and we’ll be bringing 3 boats of campers almost every day for the rest of the summer! We’ve been hearing a lot of singing around camp and it’s not just from the music playing at today’s well-attended hip hop dance class!

We kicked off the summer 2016 TOP Cooks program with cupcake decorating and boy was the result impressive! We think we have some future “cake bosses” on our hands. They’re even making their own recipe book so that they can recreate their masterpieces with their families at home!

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the big Junior camp announcement. We are now implementing a towel service pilot program for Junior camp! No more soaking wet lake towels on the clotheslines in Junior camp. We’ll be providing clean, dry towels to our Juniors at the pool and lake and we have a feeling our Seniors will be right behind them. PFC 2016: newer, cleaner, BETTER!

Tomorrow’s big reveal? A new activity that we think would look great on the game deck.

13439071_10153684857222944_2612495346072780748_n                                                             Aloha, CAs!

On Top of the World


It’s the most famous trail in the world, the iconic Appalachian Trail. If you start in Georgia you can reach Maine. And some of its most stunning sections are right here at the Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania. Today, our tripping leader, professional adventurer and award-winning teacher, Nafis took the boys of bunk Pine for a hike along the trail.

These campers will surely have many achievements and successes in their lives. And today will be one of them. One day they’ll be able to tell their grandchildren, “I hiked the Appalachian Trail.”

PS: Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about a new addition to Junior camp tomorrow! It’s a big one and is sure to be a parent-pleaser!

Today’s the Day! Summer 2016!

It’s the first day of camp, the sun was shining and we’re feelin’ good!

Last night, campers from all over the world went to bed at home with great hopes and big dreams for the summer. New friends, fun and adventure. And now, their dreams will come true.

Our campers stepped off their buses, out of their cars, off of their airplanes and stepped into their summer home. It was clear that our enthusiastic staff could not wait to welcome them.

Parents, relax. We’ll take it from here. Your children are in good hands. The best.

All of the planning and preparation is over and most of our campers have arrived. Pine Forest camp is alive again! Let the 86th season begin. It’s going to be the best summer yet!

PS: Log in to your CampMinder account for photos and make sure to check out our Facebook page, and Instagram and Snapchat accounts for live updates from camp!

Love from Greeley, Mom and Dad! So far, so good! Thumbs up!

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Even More to Be Excited For!

In LESS THAN A DAY we’ll be back in Greeley. And it’s not just reunions that we’re looking forward to!

Here are just a few of the things we’re counting down to:

THE FRESH MOUNTAIN AIR. Is it just us, or is it easier to breathe at camp? Why is it so hot in the city? How do people take this heat? Take us to Lake Greeley!

A WORLD WITHOUT RINGING and BUZZING! Listen, we love our phones during the year too. But you know what? We can’t wait to get away from them. Enjoy the break! You know what doesn’t need a filter? #PINEFORESTCAMP

FACE TIME. No, not the kind you’re thinking. When’s the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation with your friends? No phones. No TV. No homework. We can’t wait to SEE you and TALK to you and spend time with each other! It’s what makes camp friends the closest kind of friends. It really is!

CAMP FOOD. No, really. Is it just us, or do you miss it too? Maybe you’re a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, chicken curry salad for lunch, vegetarian meal for dinner kinda kid. Maybe you love grilled cheese on whole wheat bread and tomato soup on the side as much as we do! Maybe it’s just that freshly baked Friday night challah. No? How about bug juice? Admit it. We had you at “bug juice.”

FREEDOM. INDEPENDENCE. FUN. Hey, what do you want to do today? Swim, bike, canoe, climb, dance, run, act, paint, cook, serve, hike, read, write, shoot, score, draw, sing, perform, photograph? Oh, all today? With your best friends? From morning till night? Really? NO PROBLEM! Ya know, why? Because it’s camp, and that’s what camp is all about.

See you in 12 hours, happy campers!

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Hiding Behind My Sunglasses

Yes, that will be me on Saturday, hiding behind my sunglasses, holding back my tears.  Me, who promotes camp to other parents and me, who believes whole-heartedly in the lifelong benefits and pure and simple fun of overnight camp. But, still, 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 for 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 act we, as parents, have probably ever done to date.  Putting our needs and wants second to what we know is best for our children. It’s something we do everyday, but this is the granddaddy act of them all.

But, 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.  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 we as parents who get to send them. Their summer ahead at Pine Forest Camp is going to be incredible. For all these reasons, I truly can’t wait for my children to get started.

Good luck, Mom and Dad. I like to keep the morning short and sweet and without a lot of fan-fair.  That’s my advice. And, of course, don’t forget to wear your sunglasses.

Hillary Slovin


What to Do and Not to Do Before the BIG DAY!

It’s incredibly natural to go into apocalyptic mode in this next week.

You know what we’re talking about:

What do you want your last meal to be?
Do you want to see a final movie tonight or just relax and hug?
When would you like to take Rover for a final walk?
How about Grandma and Grandpa? Let’s give them one final call!
Give your sister one huge final good kiss goodnight! You won’t again till August!

We know you’re well-meaning, but we have some advice for what it’s worth: Stop. STOP! You’re freaking them out! Let’s all try to remain normal and happy and calm. Be cool! Let’s enjoy final pre-camp moments but not belabor them. Let’s focus not on what your kids are missing at home but what they’re about to embark upon at camp. In our experience, end-of-world conversations and conversations focusing on home breed anxiety for a number of reasons. Here are a few of those reasons, and here’s what your kids may be thinking: I don’t know what I want my last meal to be! Oh my gosh, but what if I pick the wrong one and I want mom’s mac & cheese tomorrow and I can’t have it! How can I live with that regret! I hadn’t thought about seeing a movie or walking Rover, and I’d sort of forgotten that I wasn’t kissing my little sister goodnight all summer. AH! That’s scary! Am I SURE I want to give all of this up?

Of course the answer is a resounding “YES!” The gifts of camp are immeasurable and what they’ll be experiencing in a few days is life-changing. So let’s not focus on a final tuck-in or that one last hug. Keep your kids happy and focused on moving forward towards camp. Will you treasure those final moments? YES! Should you talk about them with your kids? Probably not. We’ll say it again: play it cool.

Smile, keep calm, talk about the great adventure they’re about to have. “Goodnight, Honey. I love you, and I’m so excited for you” always works. It’ll make it easier for your kids to get on the bus, and it’ll give them the courage to get off that bus once they’ve arrived “Up Where the Sky Begins.” We’ll take it from there!

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Reminders from PFC!

It’s that time of the year! You forget what your living room floor looks like under all of that camp gear, you’re constantly hearing the most up-to-date countdown to camp (8 days, 21 hours, 43 minutes!), and you miss them already. Take a deep breath. We are here for you as always! Below are some last minute tips as you make your final preparations for PFC 2016!

What to pack:
Plenty of underwear
A good flashlight
Lots of socks
Bug spray
Stationary and stamps
A favorite stuffed animal
Hopes and dreams

What not to pack:
Electronic devices (Kindle, iPod Touch, screens that play games or shows, cell phones)

Important dates:
First day of camp: Saturday, June 25
Visiting Day: Saturday, July 23 @ 11:30AM
Last day of camp: Saturday, August 13

Important contact information:
PFC summer office: (570) 685-7141
Mountain Baggage: (570) 775-0556
R&B Baggage (for Florida families): (603) 536-2197
CampRx: (877) 302-3881

PFC mailing address:
185 Pine Forest Road
Greeley, PA 18425

Policy reminders:
-Phone calls are not necessary, but one can be scheduled before Visiting Day and one after Visiting Day. You can schedule your first call once your camper arrives at camp.
-NO packages, please! If a necessity is inadvertently left behind, please call the camp office for a pre-approval code so that your package will be accepted and delivered to your camper. We do allow birthday packages, so please clearly label these as birthday packages with your child’s birth date. Remember: NO food is allowed!

Photos from the day will be uploaded to CampInTouch almost every night. You can access them using the same login you use to fill out forms.

Expert tip: Mail a letter to your camper a few days before camp starts so that there’s one waiting for him or her on the first day of camp.

Follow us! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat using @PineForestCamp.

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We Love Our New Campers!

What a weekend!

New Family Weekend is an amazing Pine Forest Camp tradition: we invite all first-time campers and their families up to camp to spend their first weekend at PFC together! Families stay overnight in their own bunks before camp starts, and future campers participate in activities in their age groups to get to know one another. Think ziplining, canoeing, gaga, arts and crafts, basketball – you name it, we do it! It’s a good thing we lucked out with the weather! We end the day the best way possible: at a campfire! A big campfire highlight for us (besides the s’mores, of course) was Mickey leading a round of his famous “Fish and Chips.” We also loved watching the awesome talent show that included dances, jokes and gymnastics. You’d never be able to tell that these campers just met that day! We ended the campfire the only way we know how to: with “Taps and Friends.” After the campfire, there was a wine and cheese party for parents so they could get to know each other, too!

The next morning, families enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the Dining Hall, complete with hot chocolate and whipped cream. After breakfast, many families took advantage of the fields and courts being open and all new campers left with an exclusive new PFC sweatshirt and a great deal of excitement for what’s to come.

We want to extend a special thank you to our outstanding staff for making New Family Weekend 2016 one of our best yet. It really is all about the people! Being at PFC with new families each year confirms what we already know: Pine Forest campers are awesome because Pine Forest families are awesome.

As we sing when you visit:

And now, the big show! We can’t wait to see our new campers again in 18 DAYS!

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