Dear Parents, Campers, Staff, Alums & Friends,
It’s May 1st. Already! And that’s really great. One week from today it will be May 8th (did that math in my head), and I will be behind the wheel and driving northeast from Tucson, Arizona down that well-worn path to Woodruff, Wisconsin! Do I love driving 32 hours in the car? No…no I do not. I’ll try to make it with one overnight stop, but it seems as I get older, that becomes much more a fantasy than an achievable goal. I’ll probably spend the first night somewhere in western Nebraska, and if things go well, I could get to camp that 2nd night, or maybe take another break somewhere close, like Stevens Point, WI. Either way, I’ll be unloading dogs and stuff outta my car on May 10th and we’ll be at camp!! Woooo Hooooo! Michael Breen will arrive up there a few days later, Leslie, Dusty, and Sammy shortly after that, and then the pace will pick up a bit towards the end of the month. We have all sorts of training that goes on in late May and early June, so before ya know it, the place will be hopping! It is one of my favorite experiences each summer…as we watch the leaves pop out onto the trees we also watch camp fill up with counselors brimming with enthusiasm and excitement. You just can’t help but have a great time when all that’s going on!
And 7 weeks from yesterday, one of the two happiest days of the year will arrive, along with 160 or so very excited campers! Y’all have very real reasons to be pumped for the summer. It is going to be epic! Did you know this is our 52nd summer of camping fun and friendship? It’s true, and we’re sure it’s going to be our best ever!! We’ve got a full camp both sessions, we’ve got an awesome and experienced staff with a grand total of 2 (count ‘em…TWO!) new cabin counselors, a bunch of very nice, and highly qualified new activity specialists and trip leaders, a newly renovated Lodge, 3 newly renovated cabin bathrooms, A NEW WAKEBOARD BOAT*, and more. The trips calendar is loaded with outstanding opportunities, and we’re really pleased with the number of older and seasoned campers who have pre-registered for some of our longer and more challenging trips. It’s all adding up to another fantastic time with great people. If you’re joining us for the first time, you might be a little nervous. That’s okay…it’s completely normal, and within a few minutes of being at camp, we think you’ll see what all the excitement is about. Get ready for the best summer of your life!!
And parents, in case you are still not ecstatically happy that you are letting your kiddies join us at camp, please have a look at this article that appeared last February in “Psychology Today”. It’ll help you feel great about this important decision you’ve made!
Welcome back to these “old-timers” who re-enrolled this past month: BRYAN BERKOWITZ of Los Angeles, CA; RYAN GARLAND of St. Louis, MO; and SPENCER LITOW of Glencoe, IL.
Welcome aboard to the following new campers who will join us this summer: JAZ ZAVALA of Boulder, CO; SPENCER COUDAL of Chicago, IL; KASEY GRAYER, and CAM & DYLAN STERN of St. Louis, MO; JACK VAN OOYEN of Brooklyn, NY; MATEO D’AGARO of Northbrook, IL; KOLBY MONROE of Memphis, TN; MICHAEL KAPLAN of Milwaukee, WI; SANTIAGO TERRAZAS of Chihuahua, Mexico, and SEAN BAILEN of Mexico City, Mexico.
May is an exciting month, but if you’re a camp parent, it is also time to pay your camp bill. If you have not yet paid the balance on your son’s camp account, please remember that it is due by May 15th. Thanks to some recent work on our website, we have emailed you all a copy of your camp statement….zing! Right to your email inbox. And remember, you can access your account info whenever you wish from your Parent Keylog Page. You can even print it out if you like by clicking on the link on the statement that says “Click here to to print this Statement.” Your payment can be made by check, or if you prefer to pay by credit card, you can do so on Google Checkout by clicking the link on your statement that says “Click here to make a payment online using Google Checkout.” REMEMBER, the online transaction is assessed a fee of 2.25%. If you are using AOL’s web browser, or Mac’s Safari browser, they sometimes don’t play well with newer technology sites like ours. So if you’re having problems with that, please try to use Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox as your browser. And, as always, please feel free to call us if we can be of assistance.
CAN’T REMEMBER YOUR KEYLOG PASSWORD? If you’re like most people, you have tons of usernames and passwords for various purposes. In the event you cannot remember your password for your Keylog account, it’s easy to get. Just click on the blue “Keylog” tab in the top-right corner of every page on our website. Then click the “Forgot your password?” link. Enter your email address and make your selection in the “I am a” field (Parent, Camper, Staff, etc), and you will receive an email right away with your password. So easy!
A few other reminders for parents:
- Many forms are also due on or before May 15th. You will receive an email from us very soon listing which forms we have and have not yet received from you. We cannot stress enough how important this information is to our preparations. Even if your son is a 2nd session camper, those preparations happen now, before camp starts, so your cooperation is critical and very much appreciated.
- If you are going to mail any payments or forms to us, please stop using our Winter address now, and direct all mail to our Summer address.
- REMEMBER THE DEADLINE FOR FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS AT GROUPRX PHARMACY FOR 1ST SESSION IS MAY 18TH. 2nd session deadline is June 15th to get your prescriptions to them.
- If your son will take non-pill form medications this summer (which you do NOT fill at GroupRX), please be sure to send those up to camp to arrive at least 1 week before your son arrives. So the deadlines are June 11th for 1st session/8 week campers, and July 8th for 2nd session campers.
- ANOTHER DEADLINE: If you are going to buy logo’d items from the Cloz website, you should place your order in the next few days to assure receipt of your items before the start of camp
- If your son is or may be planning to participate in one of our trips to Canada, HE WILL NEED HIS PASSPORT! We ask that you err on the side of caution and send his passport to us even if he is only considering such a trip. We ask that you mail the passport to us when or shortly after your son is coming to camp. Please address it to Leslie’s attention. We hold all passports in a safe place until the boys need them. The Trip Leaders hold the passports during the trips into Canada, and then after the trip, we mail the passports back home. So your son is never responsible for the safe-keeping of his passport.
YO OLDER GUYS: 2 reminders for you:
- If you have been assigned a camp Little Brother, please remember that you are to CALL (not text, email, tweet) your little bro as soon as possible. Thanks very much.
- We have had a very good number of guys pre-registering for our big trips this summer. If you are eligible for one of these trips and you want to go, we recommend your pre-register to help assure you will have a space on the trip available to you. THIS IS FOR RETURNING CAMPERS ONLY. Trips eligible for pre-registration include:
- BWCA Canoeing (1st and 2nd Session)
- Isle Royale Backpacking – 10 Day trip (1st Session)
- Sand River Canoeing (1st Session)
- Apostle Islands Sea Kayaking (1st and 2nd Session)
- Quetico Provincial Park – The Canadian! – 12 Day trip (2nd Session)
- Isle Royale Backpacking – 6 Day trip (2nd Session)
- Lake Superior Provincial Park Backpacking – 8 Day trip (2nd Session)
You can pre-register for these trips by clicking here, then clicking “Trips Info” and then clicking “advanced registration.” We do require parental permission for this. If you prefer, your parents can just email us and tell us which trip you have permission to pre-register for. Some trips include extra fees, but payment for these is not required until the end of the summer. These trips are incredible opportunities. C’mon you guys….GET OUT THERE!!
YO STAFF: We’ve sent many of you some snail mail recently. All first-year staff have been mailed (or emailed to those from other countries) a copy of our First Year Staff Manual. We have also mailed out manuals to our Nurses, Rock Climbing Director, Waterfront Director, Waterski Directors, Sailing Director, Riflery Director, Timberbat Director, Trip Leaders, and Cooks. Phew! If you are a CIT, we have mailed you a great little book to help you start thinking about how to communicate well with kids. That’s just a little platform that we’ll build on throughout Staff Training, so read up, and everyone – please be sure to bring all the manuals and books we have sent you to camp. Thanks.
CERTIFICATIONS: We still have room in our American Red Cross Lifeguard Training school from May 29th – June 1st. The course will cost you nothing, and the certification is valid for 3 years. We pride ourselves on having a staff full of lifeguards (more than 40 each summer), and it is so vital to our program. So even if you’re primary role at camp is not on the water, we want you to get this training. You can sign up from your Staff Keylog page. Click the “Extra Training” link.
If you are a first-year Junior Counselor (CIT last year), your LGT and CPR certs are valid through this summer.
If your LGT will expire before the end of the summer, you must re-certify. You can do that at camp FOR FREE! That class is on June 8th. The cert will then be good for 3 years.
You know we think this is important, right? Why else would we make this so easy for you and so affordable (FREE!). Please sign up today if you haven’t already. To see our list of who we have signed up, please click here. Thanks.
Some other reminders for our staff:
- If you are a cabin counselor or activity specialist and you have not yet completed your Activity Expertise Survey, we need you to do that TODAY! This includes CITs.
- Do you know how you’re getting to camp? If you have not yet completed your Travel Plans form, please do so. You can access that from your Staff Keylog Page. We need that one REALLY SOON! Thanks.
SHEA RAFTUS—Shea, a 21 year old Sophomore at Stephen F. Austin State University, is originally from Corsicana, TX. He is studying Radio and TV/Mass Communications and contributes actively to a sports blog. In his 2nd year at camp, Shea is looking forward to joining us again as part of our kitchen staff.
LAUREN GARDNER—From Frontenac, MN, Lauren is a 18 year old senior at Red Wing High School where she is a schoolmate of former camper BRIAN BARLOW. Next year, Lauren will attend UW-Stout where she will study Interior Design. Lauren is incredibly excited to join us this summer; she will be splitting her time between hanging out with LIAM and CARTER HITCHENS and helping out in our office.
CARLOS GOMEZ—Carlos is a 21 year old culinary student at the Swiss Culinary Institute in Puebla, Mexico. Majoring in Hospitality, Carlos will be bringing his years of cooking and hospitality expertise from working at Mexican coastal resorts to camp. Carlos says, “This is my first experience in a summer camp and first in the States! I’m very excited about knowing people and working and having fun!” He will be working in our kitchen where he will be our Assistant Cook.
CHRIS SAJDAK—Currently studying Outdoor Education at Indiana University, Chris is an 19 year old freshman from Granger, IN. Chris is currently a trip leader for Indiana University’s Outdoor Recreation Club where he has led many trips for his fellow students. He runs with a pretty elite crowd in Bloomington; his close friends include camp folk EMILY JONES, BRIDGET MASUR, and SAM GILBERT. We are thrilled to have Chris join us as one of our trip leaders this summer!
CALLIE SIMMONS—A freshman at Pacific University near Portland, OR, 18 year old Callie is studying Zoology, Environmental Science, and Outdoor Leadership (that’s quite a course load!). As Callie explains, “I plan on receiving my bachelor’s [degree] in Zoology and traveling around the world helping animals! I love doing anything outdoors and I love working with people and animals.” Callie will be bringing this same enthusiasm to camp where she will be working as part of our kitchen crew.
DANIEL WARSHAUER—Originally from Indianapolis, IN, Daniel is a 21 year old junior at Albion College in Albion, MI where he studies Geology. Having grown up on a lake, Daniel developed a love for the outdoors and has been doing intense backpacking and mountaineering trips for the past several years. Daniel is looking forward to joining us as a trip leader this summer.
MICHAEL WEBER—Hailing from sunny Miami Beach, FL, Michael has been running his own catering business for over a decade. Michael has had a multitude of culinary experiences, even acting as a private chef for a family in Italy and cooking at a tent encampment in the Saudi Arabian desert, serving the US Air Force. We are so fortunate to have Michael join us as our Head cook this summer.
In Chicago, some of our many talented guys were recently on the stage! JOSH SPAETH and GARRETT SHUMAN both had parts in their school’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” and played to world renowned theater critics such as RYAN COHEN and MICHAEL BREEN. DAVID RINGEL is playing volleyball, and played recently against “old-timer” DEREK GOLDSTEIN. All sorts of traveling camp buddies made it to Chicago last month to help SAM JAFFE celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, including GARRETT GLOVER from Houston, JAKE MAZOW and BEN SCHACHTER from Dallas, and MAX GOLDENBERG from St. Louis. Can you imagine how much they ate? And it doesn’t stop there….this month JACK LYNCH will be traveling from St. Louis to Dallas to help JAKE HOFFMAN celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. Also this month, JULES BLUM will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah in Brooklyn, NY. Congrats, Jules!!
We know our high school seniors are in that process of deciding where they’ll go to college. It’s an exciting time! Congratulations to DAVID ARTZI who will attend the University of Arizona. DUSTY COHEN will extend his time in the Midwest by attending the University of Wisconsin next fall. HANNAH JONES will be a cadet at the US Military Academy at West Point. We know a bit about some other “old-timers,” including JORDAN HERZ and ZACK FRIEDENBERG, who will attend Indiana University, and AARON ROSEN who will be at the University of Arizona. BEN PERCIFIELD is off to McGill, SAM KAPLAN is bound for Cornell, LUCAS BESLOW is heading to Purdue, and DANNY ZAGA is going to Wisconsin. Geez…smart group! COLBY SHARLIN and SETH GROSS will finish school this month and take a trip to Israel together. Congrats to WILL HALE who will graduate this month with a Social Science degree from Northumbria University in England. MAX WALLDER just completed his lifeguarding course in the UK and is embarking on a Mountain Leader training course.
A certain employer of mine is not a huge fan of professional basketball. Let’s just call him M Cohen. No…that reveals too much. Let’s call him Mike C. Anyway, this employer has a lot of really valid points about professional basketball, yet my rebuttal is always two words—MICHAEL JORDAN.
Growing up in Chicago in the 90’s was a pretty glorious time. From age six to fourteen I was able to watch the Bulls take home 6 Championships—a team led by Michael Jordan. Past, present, future, Michael Jordan will always be the greatest basketball player to ever live (Danny Zaga: if you even mention the words Kobe or Bryant I will be VERY disappointed).
What is interesting is that during my camper days, the reason I idolized Michael Jordan was that he just made everything look so EFFORTLESS. However, as time has gone on and I’ve learned more about his endless gym sessions, I’ve developed a new appreciation for his Royal Airness. He would be the first to arrive for practice and the last to leave, taking thousands of free throws and jump shots in between. Natural talent helped, but there is no doubt that MJ was the best because he worked harder than any other player out there.
Now, stick with me guys, I’m about to get to camp.
As a camper myself way back when, I understand why you all revere your counselors. They are fun, caring, enthusiastic, and always know exactly what to do and say. AND, they all make it look so EFFORTLESS! They are all Michael Jordan.
But, here’s a little secret guys: it’s not so effortless. They are the first up in the morning and the last to go to bed and in between they are working their a la tucheses (took·es·es) off to turn thousands of everyday moments into lifelong moments. Truly, this is why they are worthy of your idolization. And, in truth, they idolize you. Wake-up bell to bedtime story, they are working tirelessly because they derive joy from seeing you experience joy.
I don’t remember ever seeing Michael Jordan experience joy when I lit up with a smile every time he dunked the ball. However, I see this joy in counselors every time they teach you to waterski, watch you conquer that rapid, make a new friend, or go home a more powerful person. You know what…on second thought…forget Michael Jordan…I have about 70 new idols and, like you campers, I can’t wait to see them up north in just a few months!
Alright, let’s wheeze some juice:
You are a second session camper and are shocked that the summer has flown by—you find yourself already sitting at the final campfire for the summer. Suddenly, the somber mood is shattered when Ryan Wagner and Brian Brochstein get up to perform a song. Forget Jason Mraz (sorry Rodin), forget the Grateful Dead, these guys have created an original song—and they rock out! They somehow manage to compose an epic Timberlane symphony that includes nearly every camp song into a catchy beat. They put a smile on your face and everyone else around you, reminding everyone that even that last night there is still plenty of camping left to be done.
– Michael Breen
BRAVO TO OUR MAY BIRTHDAY BOYS & GIRLS!! Sarah Davidson – 5/1/1988, Adam Susman – 5/1/1999, Ben Tamsky – 5/1/1997, Chad Kamen – 5/2/1998, Adam Wasserman – 5/2/1998, Sean Bailen – 5/3/1999, Jack Kaplan – 5/3/1996, Zac Warr – 5/3/1998, Ben Fowler – 5/6/1989, Vicki Setzer – 5/6/1956, Jackson Turner – 5/6/2004, Mateo D’Agaro – 5/7/1999, Brandon Tucker – 5/11/1998, Adam Hoffman – 5/12/1999, Jacob Kline – 5/13/2002, Jules Blum – 5/15/1999, Steven Cooke – 5/15/1991, Corrie Hitchens – 5/15/1971, Ben Kite – 5/19/1999, Eliot Padzensky – 5/19/1996, Luke Sclamberg – 5/19/1999, Ben Schachter – 5/20/1999, Dan Shelanski – 5/20/1999, Blake Berkowitz – 5/21/1998, Jake Hoffman – 5/22/1999, Jack Van Ooyen – 5/23/2002, Ryan Elias – 5/24/1993, Stephen Wayne – 5/24/1989, Jacob Elias – 5/27/1998, Rich Mc Gowan – 5/27/1972, Grant Kaufman – 5/28/2003, Henry Echt – 5/29/2002, Jakob Scharnagl – 5/29/1992, Ian Jacobs – 5/30/1997, Ben Levey – 5/30/1995.
Well, folks, this is our last issue of “Timberlife!” that will come to you from the desert southwest. Next month when you click on the link for the June issue, you’ll be able to smell the pine from the beautiful Northwoods! We’ll see many of you next month, and then the good times will surely roll!!