Camp Hillard Week 4 Highlighted by Annual Charity Event

The fourth week of Camp was another exciting and successful one!  Camp is now in full gear with all of our swim, sports, and arts programs, as well as specialty activities and special events. Campers are in their instructional swim groups, sports leagues are in motion, as are all our regular program areas.

Our 2016 Summer Charity Event began on Monday, July 18. All campers will participate in a fun art event during that week. Any campers choosing to participate in the charity fundraiser can make a donation. More details on how to make donations will follow shortly. All money raised will be given to Friends of Karen.

For 38 years, Friends of Karen has been providing financial, emotional and advocacy support, at no cost, to families in the New York Tri-State region who are caring for a child battling cancer or another life-threatening illnesses.  In 2015 alone, Friends of Karen helped 669 critically ill children and 1010 of their siblings. Your donation will enable their experienced team social workers to guide families through their child’s illness and help them anticipate changes in employment, family routine, financial stability, social life and school. They cover vital medical and household expenses, child care for siblings, food, and other necessities that become unmanageable when medical costs soar and parents must stop working to care for their child – and address so much more during a family’s very difficult journey will illness.

Friends of Karen has consistently received the top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates the financial efficiency and responsibility of over 8,000 U.S. charities, and is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau, meeting 20 rigorous standards for accountability.  83 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to helping Friends of Karen’s families. For more information about this summer’s charity, visit the Friends of Karen website

All campers donating at least $40 per camper will receive a very special thank you package. This package will include a Camp Hillard/Friends of Karen T-shirt as well as many other surprises.  In addition, any camper donation of at least $100 per camper will entitle the camper’s family to participate in a raffle for a free summer for 2017. These donations must be made this summer during the fundraiser. The winner will be announced in the Winter Newsletter, and should the winner be someone who is not returning next year to Camp Hillard, they can give the award to a friend who is.

Thanks to Camp Hillard families, we have been very successful with our annual charity events over the past 21 years. With your help and generosity, we will make this year’s fundraiser the most successful ever.

This week has been highlighted by some exciting out of camp trips.  On Monday, the Navajo and Apache Boys and Girls visited Powerhouse Studios.  They enjoyed participating in an interactive game show, The Wild ‘N Wacky Challenge, where every camper had the chance to get doused with green slime or to get a pie in the face.  Good times!  The Emcee would call on certain campers to play the Lucky Number game, and the winners would get to choose a counselor or a Tribe Leader to slime!  One highlight of the trip was the lunch; really tasty pizza and All You Can Drink Soda!!!

On Tuesday, the Iroquois Boys and Girls embarked on a very special, Iroquois Overnight to Brookwood in Glen Spey, New York.  This annual trip is reserved solely for the oldest campers, the Iroquois, and the campers really look forward to it.  We departed from Camp early on Tuesday morning, in order to get in a full day of fun at Brookwood!  Lake activities were very popular with campers and counselors alike; everything from kayaking and paddle boating, to water tubing behind a speedboat and the Blob, a giant trampoline-like inflatable that campers could bounce up and down on, splash-landing into the refreshing lake.

The food at Brookwood was great; breakfast, lunch and dinner were served daily, and campers had the option of mac and cheese, fresh veggies, chicken nuggets and waffle fries, spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, grilled cheese, and more.  In the evening, we enjoyed a bonfire by the lake and a delicious s’mores roast.  We had a great full day of activities of Wednesday before saying goodbye to our new friends and making the return trip to Hillard.

Speaking of food, can we talk for just a minute about the food at Camp Hillard?  It really is pretty fabulous. A great deal of time and thought is put into the Menu planning prior to the Summer Camp Season.  Some of the more popular lunch offerings include Hillard’s Famous Cheese Pizza, Nachos Grande with Cheese, crispy Chicken Nuggets, the insanely popular Chicken O’s (think a chicken nugget shaped like a donut), Mexi-Beef Tacos served with Salsa and Sour Cream,  Asian-inspired Chicken with broccoli, to name just a few.  In addition to the Daily Menu, a variety of substitutes are readily available so as to accommodate all camper’s tastes, preferences and dietary needs.  Mid-day snacks and afternoon refreshments are also served daily; Goldfish and Pretzel Goldfish, Graham Crackers, Oreos, and fresh fruit are among some of the daily snack options.  Ice cream and iced pops are served on an alternating schedule in the afternoon; Twin Pops, Chocolate Eclairs, Firecracker Pops, Ice Cream sandwiches and more.  There is no better way to end a busy Camp day than sitting down with friends and enjoying a cool and refreshing treat before boarding the bus to go home.

Friday was our Annual Song and Cheer Contest and Tribal Color Day.  All of the campers and counselors sang their hearts out!  The judges are feverishly studying their notes and the Awards will be announced during Monday morning assembly.

The boys and girls attending the mini-sleepaways departed on Sunday morning.  One again, the boys and the girls will be visiting Camp Pontiac in Copake, New York.  Randi and Bruce, the INA girls and Boys Divisional Head Counselors, are very excited about joining the campers on their mini-sleepaway.

It is hard to believe that Monday is the start of the second half of the summer season.  There are still so many great activities and special events on tap.  Our Senior Camp Challenge continues with the Gray team currently ahead, instructional swim is in full swing and theater practice continues for Visiting Day and evening performances.

Swim races, s’mores roasts and ice cream parties are scheduled for next week, and Thursday is Tropical Islands Day; campers and counselors will participate in several tropical activities and events during the day, including a special Beach Dance Party in the Gymnastics Pavilion.