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.