Monthly Archives: July 2014

Camp Hillard Week 4 Highlighted by Charity Event, Song and Cheer Contest, and Senior Camp Trips

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.

On Monday, our 2014 Charity Event for Heeling Autism began.  All money raised will be given to Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s Heeling Autism Program to provide specially trained service dogs to children with autism, offering safety, companionship and opportunities for independence. All campers had a chance to meet some of these very special dogs on Monday and Tuesday.

The dogs are trained primarily to prevent children from bolting, either into the street or away from parents in a crowded area. They also provide a reduction in family stress, improved sleep behaviors and school participation. The program serves families who live locally in the tri-state area and have a child between the ages of 2 and 10 on the autism spectrum.

Campers will receive special Thank You bags with a special charity event T-shirt and other goodies for all donations of $40 per camper or more.  For all donations of $100 per camper or more, campers’ names will be entered into a raffle for a tuition-free Summer 2015.  All checks should be made out to Heeling Autism – Guiding Eyes with the camper’s first and last name and tribe and group letter on the check  Checks can be given to the camper’s bus captain in an envelope marked “Charity Event”.

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, which included getting slimed or getting pied in the face.  The Emcee would call on certain campers to play the Lucky Number game, and the winners would get to choose a counselor to slime!  One highlight of the trip was the lunch; pizza and, wait for it….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 tacos, grilled cheese, spaghetti and meatballs and fried chicken.  The Iroquois boys took on the 8th grade Brookwood basketball team, an exciting challenge for our mostly 6th and 7th grade boys.  In the evening, we enjoyed a bonfire by the lake, a delicious s’mores roast and the evening’s highlight, an outdoor viewing of Frozen.  Campers enjoyed singing along to the soundtrack!  We had a great full day of activities of Wednesday before saying goodbye to our new friends and making the return trip to Hillard.  It was a really great time!

On Thursday, the Apaches, Iroquois and CIT’s visited Playland Park in Rye.  This trip had been postponed from last week due to inclement weather, and Thursday’s forecast was spectacular.  Barely a cloud in the sky, moderate temperatures and low humidity made for an excellent atmosphere for riding the Dragon Coaster and taking the Playland Plunge.  Our three buses arrived at approximately 11am, and campers and counselors enjoyed a tailgate-style brunch in the parking lot while we waited for the park to open. Then we slipped on our wrist bands and hit the gates, touring the park in small groups of 7-8 campers along with one counselor.  We took turns on a variety of rides, played games of chance, winning oodles of prizes and we ate lots of yummy amusement park food.  It was a really great day!

Friday was our Annual Song and Cheer Contest and our second 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.  The boys will be visiting CampPontiac in Copake, New York while the girls will be staying at Iroquois Springs in Rock Hill, New York.  Hillary and Randi, the Cheyenne and INA girls Divisional Head Counselors will be tagging along with the girls, while INA boys Divisional Head Counselor Bruce, will be joining the boys on their mini-sleepaway.

It is hard to believe that Monday is the start of the second half of the summer season.  There is 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 International Day.  Campers and counselors will compete in several activities and sporting events inspired by cultures and civilizations from around the world.  Campers are welcome and encouraged to come to Camp wearing a shirt, or hat or any other article of clothing relating to their favorite country.  An Asian-themed lunch of chicken with broccoli is on the menu, and campers will be enjoying a special international snack!

For more details specific to your child’s group, please read our Weekly Tribal Newsletters which are found in the Enrolled Camp Families section of our website.

Camp Hillard Week 3 Highlighted By Festival of Fun

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 theater rehearsals, arts and crafts projects, and so much more.

Last week was highlighted by the following special events:

  • On Monday, 5th year campers attended a special party, enjoyed ice cream cake, and received a Camp Hillard pillow.
  • Junior campers enjoyed some exciting boat rides at the pool.
  • On Wednesday, campers who have been here for 6 or more years, celebrated with a special breakfast and received an extra special gift.
  • Also on Wednesday, Middle Campers enjoyed some exciting Boat races!
  • On Thursday, we had the Festival of Fun, an All-Camp Cookout, and received our Tribal Color Shirts
  • Senior camp boys and girls all had fun on Friday with the Senior Camp boat races.
  • The Senior Camp Challenge continues, with Green currently in the lead but there is still many weeks left of fun competition!

Camp Hillard’s Junior Camp swim program for the Pawnees, Chickasaws and Hurons had gotten off to a great start!  All campers have been assessed and placed in their appropriate swim lesson group. The campers have been assessed based the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program and the Camp Hillard Aquatic Groups  by certified Water Safety Instructors. Afternoon swims are for play and fun. Campers swim with their friends and are able to use different pools throughout the week. Many campers enjoy a ride on the water slide, while some have fun playing with rings, beach balls or noodles. The deep water challenge is offered to any Junior Camper that is interested. Once campers have passed the deep water challenge they can use the diving board.

Our Junior campers had a great time during the annual Junior Camp Boat Rides. Everyone went for a race across the pool in our inflatable pirate ships! We also had a great time during the Festival of Fun. Junior campers got to run though the inflatable “Car Wash”. The campers had a blast cooling off in the sprinklers of the float and then enjoyed free swim! Junior camp has more very exciting special events and visiting days coming up!

The Middle Camp swim program is also off to a great start! After being skills tested, all Cheyenne and Comanche campers are completing their third week with their swim groups. They are already learning new skills and refining old ones. Our instructors are working diligently with your children to help them achieve their swim goals for the summer.

Campers are taking a break from the summer heat during afternoon free swims and enjoying all that the Camp Hillard pools have to offer! Every Cheyenne and Comanche group has taken at least two trips down the “Great Green River,” the water slide located at South Campus. At Main Complex, the campers who have passed the deep water test jump off the diving board, go down the slide, and swim in the deep end.  All campers can play in the shallow sections to search for sunken treasures, play with noodles or toss around balls.

The Festival of Fun was excellent!  All the campers loved trying to cross the enormous Tiki themed pool float.  Some fell off along the way (the giant palm trees were difficult to pass!) but many made it to the slide at the end.  Either way, the slide was a huge hit.  For many, a favorite part of the experience was sitting at the edge of the pool splashing their feet and cheering as they watched their counselors, Tribe Leaders and Division Heads attempt the challenge.

Any camper who has not yet passed the “Deep Water Challenge” can attempt it during free swim at Main Complex.

We accomplished a lot of things during the first 3 weeks of this season in Senior Camp Swim.  The first days saw many of our campers take and pass the Deep Water Challenge.  We continue to offer the challenge every single day of the summer.

All campers have been placed in swim classes.  We refer to last year’s swim records and this year’s swim profiles.  If a camper is new to camp, our staff assesses each camper’s individual abilities and places them appropriately.  By now, we have had many full days of swim instruction, and all campers are progressing nicely.

In the afternoons, many fun activities are well under way.  Campers have had the opportunity to play in a structured game, enjoy the cool water of the Hamptons (ask your kids about this) and all groups have now experienced the Great Green River water slide.

In addition, this Friday campers participated in Boat Races.  It was a relay race by letter group, and campers had a wild time paddling their boats across the pool.  We also had “Music at the Pool” the last two Fridays.  It’s a joy to watch swimmers and counselors alike grooving to songs as they relax and play in the water.

The Theater program is in full gear.  In junior camp, the Huron Girls are learning what it’s like to have the “perfect nanny” in Mary Poppins, while the Huron Boys are working on their “roar” for their production of The Lion King. The Cheyenne Girls have a “golden ticket” to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in their show Willy Wonka while the Cheyenne Boys are imagining what it would be like to taste a variety of “glorious food” in Oliver!

In middle camp, the Comanche Boys and the Cherokee Boys Theater Club are learning how a little “magic” goes a long way in Aladdin. On the other hand, the Comanche Girls are learning what is like to live in a world like their books, full of adventure, in Disney’s classic, Beauty & the Beast while the Cherokee Girls are having fun in McKinley High’s “glee club” with their show Glee 100!

 Finally, in senior camp, the Navajo Girls are having fun learning the songs and history of Les Miserables while the I-A girls and boys as well as the Navajo Boys, are learning what is like to live in a world full of ice and adventure, in Disney’s latest hit, Frozen.

Our shows are rapidly approaching, so please check your camp calendars for visiting days and evenings. We look forward to seeing you all soon!

The arts and crafts program is in full swing!   Since camp is doing an International Day and also celebrating the excitement of the world cup, we have introduced projects with cultural infusion.

A few of the projects in Junior Camp include tiled hand prints and suncatchers for the Pawnees, pinwheels and clay fish for the Chickasaw boys and girls, star glasses for the Huron girls and mustache bowties and glasses for the Huron boys.

In Middle Camp, the Cheyenne girls enjoyed making a seahorse fishbowl, while the boys had a lot of fun making paper rock guitars.  Comanche boys and girls made patriotic bandanas and mobiles to celebrate Independence Day.

Senior Camp art projects ranged from bracelets and note holders to clay bowls and wood sculptures, not to mention basic cartooning, Minion drawing, beading, clay and mixed-medium 3-D design!

This week will again be very busy.  Here is what’s on tap:

  • Our Annual Charity Event for Heeling Autism begins.
  • The Navajo and Apache Boys and Girls will be visiting Powerhouse Studios on Monday.
  • On Tuesday, the Iroquois Boys and Girls leave for their Overnight Trip to Brookwood.
  • The Comanche Boys Visiting Evenings will take place on Monday and Wednesday.
  • The Pawnees have their Visiting Morning on Tuesday, and the Visiting Morning for the Chickasaw Boys and Girls takes place on Thursday.
  • On Friday, it is our annual Song and Cheer contest.  The campers have been practicing every day for this big event.  Make sure to have your campers wear their new Tribal T-shirt.
  • Marshmallow Roasts continue, Talent Shows and Ice Cream Parties begin, and our regular programming schedule continues!

For more details specific to your child’s group, please read our Weekly Tribal Newsletters which are found in the Enrolled Camp Families section of our website.

Recap of a great second week at Camp Hillard!

The second week of Camp was a great week of Camp!

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 theater rehearsals, arts and crafts projects, and so much more.

The week started off with our Senior Camp Challenge opening ceremonies.  Cherokees and INA’s were divided into teams of Green and Gray, with everyone receiving a special t-shirt.

On Monday and Tuesday,we had our annual lollipop hunt, divided by division.  Over the long holiday weekend, fireworks went off above the Upper Field, dropping lollipop seeds everywhere.  When we arrived on Monday morning, Junior campers discovered that lollipops had sprouted and we needed to collect them so we could play ball again! Freshly picked lollipops always taste the best!!!!  On Tuesday, middle and senior campers enjoyed their Lollipop Hunt, with as slightly different twist.  Campers collected and sorted the lollipops into colors, receiving points for the most pops collected.  Congratulations to the Cheyenne AB boys, Cheyenne GH girls, Comanche AB  boys, Comanche EF girls, Cherokee AB boys, Cherokee EF girls, Iroquois Girls and Navajo Boys for being the best lollipop pickers in camp.  As a reward they will each receive a super yummy S’mores Roast!!!!

On Tuesday, July 8th, all our 2nd year campers received the traditional Camp Hillard banner, and on Wednesday, July 9th,   3rd and 4th year campers received their specially designed and highly coveted t-shirts!  Wednesday was an exceptionally busy day at Camp with group pictures during the Camp day and the INA Boys and Girls Event in the evening.  During the day, campers and counselors sported the traditional white Camp Hillard shirt and their best and brightest smile for their Group Pictures.  In the evening, the INA boys and girls enjoyed a delicious dinner and swim, before they participated in the Apache Relay.  The Gray Team was victorious for the INA boys, while the INA girls race ended in a thrilling jump-rope photo finish!

Marshmallow Roasts began with the INA boys this past Wednesday.  It was a very messy, but delicious affair.  The Chickasaws followed suit on Thursday and showed those big boys how to really get messy!!!!!

On Friday we started our summer tradition of Music at the Pools during the afternoon free swims.

It has been an amazing first two weeks of camp fun, but we still have lots of special events to look forward to. 5th year campers can get psyched for their Ice Cream Party on Monday; Apaches, Iroquois and CIT’s will be travelling to Rye Playland on Tuesday; preparations are already in high gear for our Festival of Fun and our first Tribal Color Day on Wednesday; the Cherokee boys are gearing up for their Visiting Evening on Wednesday; and 6th year and more campers will enjoy a bountiful breakfast buffet and a special gift on Thursday!  All of this in addition to more marshmallow roasts, Junior Camp boat rides, Middle Camp boat races….Phewww!  What an exciting week coming up!

See you Monday!!

Camp Hillard’s 86th Summer is Underway!

Camp Hillard’s 86th Summer Season kicked off on Tuesday, July 1st.  After a very long, cold and snowy winter, campers and counselors and parents were thrilled that Opening Day was finally upon us!  On Opening Day, campers and counselors got to know one another.  As groups got off the bus, they were brought to their respective Tribal meeting areas where campers were introduced to one another and counselors met their campers. Counselors and children got to know each other’s names by playing all different types of games. After putting things away in our bunks, we had a great first day of activities including our first swim.  Camp Hillard’s famous pizza was on the menu for all campers, and the end of day refreshment, the Crumbled Cookie Cone Ice Cream, was truly delicious!

The rest of Week 1 was also highlighted by:

  • Campers being assigned to their swim instruction groups.
  • Exciting sports instruction and games.
  • Many groups had their first arts and/or other specialty activities.
  • Our Independence Day celebration on Thursday was highlighted by an exciting Independence Day parade, an all-camp cookout, special refreshments, and other special activities throughout the day.

Next week will be another fun filled week of excitement.  In addition to all the fun of the regular schedule, we will also have the following special events:

  • The Junior Camp Lollipop Hunt will take place on Monday, as will the Senior Camp Challenge Opening Ceremonies for Cherokees and INAs.
  • The Middle and Senior Camp Lollipop Scavenger Hunt takes place on Tuesday.
  • 2nd Year Campers will receive their Camp Hillard banners on Tuesday, and our 3rd and 4th Year Campers will receive their special T-shirts on Wednesday.
  • And on Wednesday it is our Camp Pictures day.  All groups will have their group picture taken.  We ask that all campers where their white Camp Hillard T with the green logo.
  • Wednesday is also a special evening for our INA Boys and Girls!
  • Some tribes are also scheduled for their Marshmallow Roasts.

For more details specific to your child’s group, please read our Weekly Tribal Newsletters which are found in the Enrolled Camp Families section of our website.

We hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend!  We can’t wait to see everyone on Monday!