Monthly Archives: July 2015

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 2015 Charity Event, Swim for Sunrise, began.  All campers participated in lap swim and swim races during their Instructional Swim period, and everyone received a special Sunrise Day Camp bracelet.  Sunrise Day Camps are the world’s only dedicated day camps for children with cancer and their siblings, provided completely free of charge.  Providing memorable summers since 2006 for children ages 3 ½ -16, Sunrise Day Camps brings the simple pleasures of childhood back to children struggling with cancer, changing months of loneliness and isolation into summers filled with sunshine, laughter and happiness.   Sunrise Day Camps are located in Pearl River and Long Island, as well as in Israel, and are affiliated with 22 renowned hospitals and medical centers.  Sunrise Day Camp-Pearl River is a proud member of the Sunrise Association, whose mission is to bring back the joy of Summer Day Camp to children with cancer and their siblings.  For more information on Sunrise Day Camp-Pearl River, please visit their website at

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 2016!

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.  The Iroquois boys took on the Brookwood 6th grade soccer team; for the first team in a number of years, the Hillard Boys notched a decisive 5-1 victory over the Brookwood boys. A most impressive win! 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, Graham Crackers, Oreos, 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.  This year, 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 New Year’s Eve and Winter In July. Campers and counselors will participate in several winter-themed activities and events during the day, including a special Winter Wonderland in the Creative Center and a New Year’s Eve dance party the Gymnastics Pavilion.

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.  Have a great weekend!

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 Tuesday, the INA boys headed out to the ballgame, taking in a Rockland Boulders Minor League Baseball Game.
  • On Wednesday, campers who have been here for 6 or more years, celebrated with a special breakfast; pancakes, french toast sticks, tater tots, eggs and turkey sausage. They also received an extra special gift, a beautiful Hillard golf umbrella.
  • On Thursday, we had our Annual Festival of Fun. This year’s theme was Super Heroes and Cartoon Characters.  Campers and counselors alike participated in a festive costume parade after morning assembly to kick off this exciting day.  There were Supermen and Wonder Women, Annas and Elsas, some famous Flintstones, and even some Minions!  Rumor has it The Flash made an appearance on the Upper Field, but he was here and gone in such a flash, we can neither confirm nor deny this rumor!
  • Senior camp boys and girls all had fun on Friday with the Senior Camp boat races.
  • The Senior Camp Challenge continues, with Grey currently in the lead but there is still many weeks left of fun competition!

Camp Hillard’s Swim Program is off to a great start.  In Junior Camp, the Pawnees, Chickasaws and Hurons 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.

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.

A lot was accomplished at Senior Camp Swim during these first three weeks of Camp. Many of our campers have taken and passed 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 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.

Camp Hillard’s Performing Arts program has gotten off to an illustrious start.  In junior camp, the Huron Girls are celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music while the Huron Boys are learning about the all America’s favorite sport in their production of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The Cheyenne Girls are learning what is like to live in a world full of ice and adventure, in Disney’s Frozen while the Cheyenne Boys are learning how a little “magic” goes a long way in Aladdin.

In middle camp, the Comanche Boys and the Cherokee Boys Theater Club are learning how to have “soul” in their show Blue Brothers. On the other hand, the Comanche Girls are learning what is like to live in a world full of adventure, in Disney’s classic, Beauty & the Beast.

 Finally, in senior camp, the Cherokee and Navajo Girls are having an “Aca-mazing” time with their show Pitch Perfect while the I-A girls as well as the INA Boys, are learning what is like to live in a world without dancing, in the Broadway hit, Footloose!

In music, the Pawnee and Chickasaw Girls and Boys are busy getting ready to perform for all of their family and friends on Visiting Day, which is right around the corner.

Speaking of Visiting Days and Evenings, the Cherokee Boys enjoyed a very successful Visiting Evening on Thursday. The original date was scheduled for Wednesday, but an unfavorable weather forecast necessitated a change to Thursday, and the weather was absolutely spectacular. While Visiting Days are always fun and exciting, there is something extra special about a Visiting Evening; campers get the opportunity to stay after camp has ended, where they get to enjoy a Tribe Dinner at South Campus before family and friends arrive for the evening program.  The Cherokee boys showed off their progress at swim before hitting the courts and the hockey rink to showcase their athletic skills.  The Comanche Boys are looking forward to another exciting visiting evening on Monday; they will be the first Tribe to hit the stage to perform for their family and friends.

There is never a dull moment on the fields at Camp Hillard. The Junior Campers have done a wonderful job playing baseball and softball. They have been working hard on the skills of throwing and catching, hitting live pitches, and running bases.  The Cheyenne Boys have also been working on their baseball skills. The boys have learned how to use pitch backs to not only work on their throwing but also their fielding skills.

The Cherokee Girls have also spent a lot of time on the softball field.  The focus for the last couple of weeks has been practicing situations. “You have the ball, now what?” Hitting skills and fielding skills have shown great improvement.

Soccer has been a major focus over the past few weeks for the Cheyenne and Comanche girls, who have been working on their throw-ins and trapping, shooting a moving ball, as well as honing and refining their dribbling and passing skills.

The Iroquois, Navajo, and Apache Girls have also been hard at work on the soccer fields.  They have been focusing on following their passes, shooting a moving ball, and dribbling.

The Iroquois, Navajo, Apache Boys as well as the Comanche and Cherokee have been working on their basketball skills. Shooting, passing and zone defense have been stressed by the sports counselors and the carry-over has been seen in game play. Their skills are getting better each day. The Sports counselors are very excited over the improvement.

Sports Leagues are in full swing and are going well. Exciting Intra-Tribal competitions take place daily on the hockey rink, the soccer fields and the basketball court, on the baseball and softball diamonds and on the flag football gridiron.At the Gymnastics Pavilion, the team of instructors has been as excited to participate in Fun, Fitness and Balance activities as the campers have. Junior Camp has been engaged in Exploration Activities while Middle and Senior Campers engage in an obstacle course designed specifically for Fun and Fitness. Middle and Senior campers have also been using all of our gymnastic apparatuses in a variety of activities promoting balance.  Zumba is a new addition to Individual Activity Choice, or IAC, this summer; this dance-fitness program, that incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo has been met with great enthusiasm and success.  Each day staff strives to hear our favorite phrases in the gym: “I DID IT!! And I WANNA DO IT AGAIN!!”

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

  • Our Annual Charity Event for Sunrise Day Camps 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.
  • 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 Tribal T-shirt.
  • Marshmallow Roasts and Ice Cream Parties continue, Talent Shows 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.

Camp Hillard’s 2nd Week Summary – All This In Just One Week!

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

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 D boys, Cheyenne A girls, Comanche D  boys, Comanche B girls, Cherokee C boys, Cherokee C girls, Navajo Girls and Iroquois 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!  On Wednesday, campers and counselors sported the traditional white Camp Hillard shirt and their best and brightest smile for their Group Pictures.

 Marshmallow Roasts began with the INA and the Chickasaw and Huron girls this past Wednesday.  It was a very messy, but delicious affair.  The Chickasaws followed suit on Thursday and they really showed us 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; the boats are out of dry dock and are being shined and polished for Junior Camp Boat Rides and Middle and Senior Camp Boat Races ; the INA Boys are heading out to the ballgame on Tuesday, for a Rockland Boulders Minor League game; preparations are already in high gear for our Festival of Fun and our second 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, ice cream parties and more….Phewww!  What an exciting week coming up!

See you Monday!!

Camp Hillard’s 87th Summer is Underway!

Camp Hillard’s 87th Summer Season kicked off on Monday, June 29th.  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 campers 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, a Twin-Pop, 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.
  • Tuesday was our first Tribal Color Day.  Camp was awash in a sea of colors as campers and counselors alike were decked out in their special colored t-shirt.
  • 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.
  • Wednesday 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.
  • On Thursday, the Apache, Iroquois and the CIT’s will visit Playland Amusement Park in Rye.

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!