My name is Jaime and camp has always been a huge part of my life. I started sleep away camp at 5 years old, with my mom working as the camp mother. I always knew that when the time came and I had children of my own, I would also want to spend my summers working at camp. This summer my daughters, Ruby and Eden, will be experiencing their first summer at sleepaway camp, and we are beyond excited for PFC 2017!!
I work year round as a speech pathologist in an elementary school in Livingston, NJ. While I love getting to work with children in a school setting, nothing compares to getting to know kids in the unique laid back environment that camp provides. I call it the camp bubble. Now more than ever, it is so important to slow down, log off and connect with our kids. Working in a camp for the past 5 summers gave me the opportunity to expose kids to so many different types of art…whether it was leather work or jewelry making, woodworking or ceramics. Camp is full of creative outlets and everybody gets a chance to try out new mediums and get their hands dirty in a creative and fun environment. I am excited to share so many AWESOME projects with the campers this summer. For me, arts and crafts is about providing instruction and learning new skills, but then giving kids the freedom to have fun and go for it!!! It’s a time to bond with your counselors and friends while you create projects (and memories) to last throughout the year!
A cool project to be on the lookout for this summer: WATER BALLOON CANVAS ART!
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.
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.
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.
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?
Congratulations to to our own Steve “Chad” Chadwin who will be honored as a “Coaching Legend” by Coaches vs. Cancer on April 5th. Here’s the link for those who would like to attend or make a donation in Chad’s honor. Yo Chad! Way to go! We are proud of you!
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?)!
Enrollment for our 2017 Explorers Program is now open! Are your children interested in camp but not ready to commit to a long stretch away from home? Send them up for a fun-filled Explorer Weekend or action-packed Play Day! They will have the chance to participate in exciting camp activities (think boating, zip lining, gymnastics, yoga, cooking…you name it!) with other prospective campers while camp is in session. While children are enjoying Explorer Camp, parents can tour Pine Forest and meet with our directors!
For more information or to sign up, check out our Explorers page:
As always, feel free to call the camp office at (267) 639-2488 with any questions.
Spread the word! The more, the merrier!
“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.
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!
Saturday, January 21st, 1:00pm-3:00pm
Philadelphia New Camper Bowling Event!
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.