Thursday, June 19, 2014

On Your Mark…Get Ready…Get S.E.T….

Wow, that title included an unforgivable pun. I wish you didn’t have to see that.

Yes, we are right around the corner from our first campers arriving for Summer 2014, because our annual S.E.T. Camp begins on Monday June 30th. 

S.E.T. stands for Science, Engineering, and Technology and it’s the merging of classic summer camp fun with some exciting cutting edge technical challenges.

What goes together better than Canoeing and Rockets? Campfires and CSI? Archery and Ocean Robotics? Cabins and Crazy Contraptions?

Speaking of Crazy Contraptions, here’s a video of last year’s final project, the High-Five Machine.


And if you know any campers who love weeks in the woods around a lake almost as much as they love learning the ins and outs of science gadgets with their bare hands, send them our way! We're still accepting S.E.T. Camp registrations till next Wednesday, the 25th.

( I couldn't figure out how to rotate the video properly on the computer, so you'll just have to rotate your head. It's easy and fun! Just use your "neck" to tilt your head either left or right. Keep tilting with your eyes open until it looks like you're watching the video the right way. It's way easier than figuring out how to rotate things on the computer. 
*Safety note. If you start hurting your neck STOP tilting your head. You've tilted too far.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Hats for a New Season

As some of you may know, there is nothing I like more than a good camp hat, and the Summer 2014 edition just arrived. Sporting just the outline of our campfire lantern logo, this casual  yet fashionable cap lets you  announce your L.G. Cook camp spirit in subtle insider style. Perfect for weeks in the woods around Lake Shawanni, trips to the ball park or black tie affairs at the White House. Comes in several sizes (because if you think about it, one-size-fits-all is actually many many sizes.)  Pick one up now at your local camp store! (All of your local camp stores are located at 100 Struble Rd, Branchville NJ and are open about 11 hours a year.)

And don't worry, I'll have the new editions  just as worn in, beat up and camp experienced as these old guys in no time.

Rob Hart

Over the years, hundreds of counselors have walked through our cabin doors and each one leaves an indelible mark on the summer they were here, the campers they counseled, and the history of camp itself.

One of these counselors was a young man from England named Rob Hart. One of camp's great prides is the international counselors who journey across the Atlantic (or more rarely Pacific) to come and spend a summer with us, and Rob was among their ranks. He was a cabin counselor in 2006 and 2007 and, if my memory serves me right, he spent most of his time working with our youngest campers in Cabin #5.

I volunteered during those two summers, so I didn't get to know Rob as well as his true camp family who was on staff with him those years, but he was still the kind of guy who left quite an impression. He was extremely outgoing and extremely funny. Like, extremely funny. Like really, really, really honestly, really funny. I think the best thing a person can be is really funny. And Rob was really funny.

Rob passed away yesterday, too early, far too young, and an ocean away from camp. 

Camp counts itself grateful, lucky, and forever marked by the fact that Rob chose to spend two of his summers here at Lindley G. Cook. His campers, co-counselors, and future story tellers around the fire will long remember what he meant to them and what he did during his time here. 

Two summers are short, but they also last forever.

He was one of us.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

New Counselor Interview: Alex Ramey

Alex is a new-comer to L.G. Cook and a first-time counselor. She learned about camp from our longtime camper-CIT-volunteer-returning counselor Bridget. She also is ahead of the game and earned her camp nickname in her job interview, so everyone meet Ranger Ramey.

Why in the world do you want to come live in the woods at L.G. Cook 4-H Camp for two months?
  •     There was a sasquatch sighting in Virginia and I am traveling north in search of refuge!
  •     Also, I love being outdoors and can't wait to spend time with people who share that passion :)

What questions about camp are you looking forward to having answered?
  •   Do I get to bring my ukulele?
  •   Are there bears in New Jersey?
  •   Does camp really change you as much as they say?
(Editors Note: Great and easy questions. The answer to all three is a definitive "Yes".)

What are you the most excited about?

  •  Walking in the woods and learning campfire songs!

What do you think is the most important trait of a great camp counselor?

  • A good mix of compassion and humor :)

What are your personal goals for the summer?

  • Practice ukulele!  
  • Connect with campers in a meaningful way.
  • Learn as much as I teach.

Is there any specific type of forest-dwelling animal you hope to have the chance to see this summer?

  • Porcupine! I live a little too far south of porcupine country to come across any, but I'm hoping New Jersey will be closer to their preferred habitat. Here's hoping if I do see one I won't be stabbed in the eyeball by its quills!

What's your ideal weather?

  • Sunny and 75... with a breeze :)

If you were in a canoe in the middle of the lake and you got to have one person to keep you company, one object in your possession, one kind of hat on your head and one song playing the whole time, what would they all be?

  1. Colin Mocherie (a bald Canadian comedian most famous for his part on the improv show, "Whose Line is It Anyway?")
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (because when I start crying Colin will be there to cheer me up)
  3. I'd have one of those super-neat soda-drinking hats (like the one on Spongebob!) except instead of soda it contains coffee.
  4. "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin (because it was the first thing that came to mind)