Monthly Archives: August 2015

Camp Hillard’s 87th Summer Comes to a Close

It is hard to believe how quickly another summer has come and gone!  Camp Hillard’s 87th summer was another successful season, full of fun, friends and really fabulous weather.  This last week of Camp kicked off with a bang on Monday, with the Apache and Iroquois Visiting Evening performance.  The boys and girls traveled to a small-town in middle-America where both dance and music has been forbidden in their spectacular production of Footloose.  Let’s hear it for the boys and the girls!

The fun continued on Tuesday, with the annual Camp Hillard Carnival.  This year’s Carnival theme was Outer Space; every group in Camp was responsible for creating a game booth with an intergalactic theme.  Pin the Antenna on the Alien, Saturn Ring Toss, Space Jam Shootout, and Black Hole Bowling just to name a few!  There were exciting rides and attractions on the Main Field for campers to enjoy; a Space Shuttle obstacle course, the Dixie Copter, the Dixie Dragonfly, and the Jurassic Adventure.  As an extra special sweet treat, every camper and counselor received a bag of tasty treats including Hershey’s kisses and Twizzlers from the Candyman. The Carnival culminated with one of the most popular refreshments of the summer; a sour, Lick-a-Color ice pop.  It was a truly spectacular day from start to finish.

Senior Camp Challenge Closing Ceremonies took place on Wednesday morning.  Counselors representing the Green and Gray teams took part in a rousing Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament, followed by the traditional Pie Eating Contest.  The competition was heated and messy, and in the end, the Gray Team was victorious.  Congratulation to all of the Senior Camp participants for their energy, enthusiasm and good sportsmanship during the summer long contest.

On Wednesday, we gathered at the stage to give Special Recognition to counselors who really stood out this summer, followed by the ever-popular Counselor Talent Show.  The INA boys rocked their Bruno Mars inspired performance of the Amy Winehouse classic, Valerie, the Cherokee Girls engaged in a Green and Gray Acapella Battle, a la Pitch Perfect, and Jessie from the Creative Arts Staff led the Gymnastics Staff in an energetic Zumba workout.   It was a very entertaining and spirited display of talent!

Final Day Festivities on Thursday included the traditional Moving Up Ceremony, where campers and counselors moved over or up to a different Tribal Assembly area.  This is always an exciting event for the Huron boys and Girls, who will be moving out of Junior Camp, and the Comanche boys and girls, both moving up to Senior Camp.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch of Chicken O’s, followed by an Ice Cream Sundae, before we gathered at the stage for one last time for the Special Camper Show, where campers performed some popular tunes from their Visiting Day performance.  In addition, the Libman family was joined on stage by representatives from Sunrise Day Camps for the presentation of a generous check of $24,000 to this worthwhile organization.  Thank you to all the campers and counselors who participated in this year’s Charity Event.

Jim Libman continued his Hillard’s tradition of jumping into the pool in his clothing, much to the delight of campers and staff alike!  The day seemed to fly by, and before we knew it, Tribes were meeting for their Final Afternoon Assembly and refreshments, this time with lots of goodbye hugs and some tears.  When Lenny gave the word, campers took one last walk with their counselors to their buses, buckled up and rolled down Elizabeth Street for the last time, as The Libman Family and the Leadership Team waved goodbye.  The end of yet another successful Summer!

The 87th Summer was truly terrific. Camp Hillard is a special place, and a big part of what makes it so special is due in large part to that very special group of people, the Hillard Counselors.  What they did this summer was very special.  Our campers truly benefited from all of the care and attention they received from these dedicated and enthusiastic people.

We will shortly begin the cycle again and start getting ready for Summer 2016.  In the meantime, we wish all of you the very best for the rest of the summer and on into the school year.

Thank you again for a great summer!

Camp Hillard Week 7 highlighted by Favorite School and Sports Team Day and Sports League playoffs

Week 7 was another fun and exciting week at Camp, highlighted by a variety of fun events. Campers continue to put their talents on display, showcasing their singing, dancing, boxball, basketball, break dancing, beat-box, piano, and “armpit-tooting” skills in performances worthy of America’s Got Talent.

Campers continue to work on their American Red Cross swimming skills and are making great progress.  In addition to our regular swim program, all campers got to have some extra special fun at the pools; Junior Campers were transported to Hawaii for an Aquatic Luau Wednesday, complete with inflatable Limbo sticks, palm trees and Tiki torches. Middle and Senior campers took to the diving board for their Crazy Dive contests on Thursday.  Cheyennes and older showed off their formidable diving skills, spinning and twisting and cannonballing and bellyflopping into the pool!  Their counselors also participated in this highly anticipated event, jumping into the pools while being cheered on and splashed by their campers!

Thursday was Favorite School/Sports Team Day!  Campers and counselors sported t-shirts, jerseys, hats and headbands representing their favorite school, from Quaker Ridge  and Brearley, to Hackley and Stepinac, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Duke and more; or their favorite sports team, be it Yankees, Giants, Red Sox or Red Bulls!  In some cases, campers combined the two, wearing garb that represented their Favorite School’s Sports Team; Mamaroneck Tigers, Scarsdale Raiders, Wisconsin Badgers, Duke Blue Devils, Florida State Gators, just to name a few.  It was great to see such an expression of spirit all throughout camp!

Sports Leagues are entering into their Playoff and Championship rounds.  Wednesday saw several nail-biters of Sports League championship games for the Cherokee Boys, with the All-Star Underdogs, Green Gators, Space Jam, and Hall-of-Famers placing first, second, third, and fourth respectively in their Division 1 Championship Games and the Legends and Green Goblins placing first and second in their Division Two Championships.

The Comanche Boys concluded their Sports Leagues on Friday; this year the boys competed in two divisions, La Liga and Serie AThe Fireballs took home the crown in La Liga and The Thunderbirds earned the championship in Serie A.  Congratulations to the champions and all of the campers who participated and gave it their all during this year’s Sports League season.  The results of the Cheyenne Boys and Cheyenne Girls Sports League Finals are still being calculated; the winner will be announced next week!  Senior Camp Challenge will conclude next week; the race between the Green and Gray teams is still too close to call, so the Closing Ceremonies are sure to be more exciting and action-packed than ever!

The eighth and final week of Camp is sure to be an exceptional four days of fun. The Big Show is on tap for Monday evening; the Apache and Iroquois Boys and Girls and are ready to cut loose in their production of Footloose.  Final rehearsals have been in full gear, and the show is sure to be a fantastic one.

Tuesday, the long awaited Hillard Carnival will commence. It’s also our final Tribal Color Day and an All Camp Picnic. The counselors have been furiously preparing for the Annual Counselor Talent Show on Wednesday, which is sure to be a lot of fun.  The Special Camp Show and Charity Presentation are on Thursday; campers are gearing up to take the stage to perform some of the most notable songs from their Visiting Day performances.  On Thursday, we will also have a Moving Up ceremony for all the campers as they step into the shoes of their future tribe; Pawnees to Chickasaws, Hurons to Cheyennes, and so forth!  It is sure to be an exciting and memorable week.

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.

Week 6 – Another Great Week Highlighted by Tribal Color Day and more Visiting Days

Week 6, Week 6!!? It’s hard to believe just how quickly the summer is flying by.  The week was highlighted by the Swim Festivals; Senior Camp on Monday, Junior Camp on Tuesday and Middle Camp on Wednesday.  There was music at the pools, treasure hunts, swim races, musical water buckets and more!  On Friday, we honored and celebrated the Women’s World Cup Soccer with Hillard’s own World Cup Soccer Tournament!

S’mores Roasts and Ice Cream Parties are in full swing.  This week, the Pawnees, the Huron boys and girls, Cheyenne and Comanche boys and the Cherokee girls all enjoyed their ooey, gooey, sticky-delicious S’mores Roast, while the Cheyenne and Comanche girls, the Cherokee and INA boys and the INA girls enjoyed their Tribal Ice Cream Party.  Nothing beats a Camp Hillard Ice Cream Party; campers build their very own Ice Cream Sundae, choosing two scoops of ice cream, chocolate or vanilla (or both), assorted tasty toppings like rainbow and chocolate sprinkles, caramel sauce or chocolate syrup and maraschino cherries.  An Ice Cream Float is another option; two scoops of ice cream, swimming in fizzy, bubbly Coca Cola.  A refreshingly tasty treat on a hot summer day!

The week’s Lunch offerings were varied and delicious, as usual.  We started the week with a Mexican Monday, Mexi-Beef Tacos with Cheese, salsa and sour cream.  Tuesday featured one of the more highly anticipated lunches of the summer, Sloppy Joes, prepared with lean ground turkey and served with sweet potato fries.  Hillard’s insanely popular Chicken O’s were served on Wednesday; most campers and counselors will admit to saying, “I’m just going to have one more.”  But everyone knows you can never just eat one more Chicken O! A Make Your Own Sandwich meal of assorted cold cuts, cheeses and french fries was on the Menu for Thursday, and we rounded out the week with warm and cheesy macaroni and cheese on Friday.  For the first time ever, South Campus Cookout was transformed into A Grilled Cheese Grill; rather than Hiilard Burgers and Hot Dogs, every group had the chance to partake of this special sandwich that has heretofore only been offered for dinner during Visiting Evenings.

Tribal Talent Shows are in full swing.  Tribes assemble during their Rest Periods, and campers show off their skills; the acts ran the gamut from karate chops and arm farts to hula hooping and rope jumping, to singing and acting and joke telling!  Hillard campers are a pretty talented bunch!

This week also featured another Tribal Color Day on Friday.  This time around, campers and counselors added some colorful flair to their Tribal Color Shirt; the INA girls sported some red face and body paint, many of the Huron Girls were bejeweled with pink beads and headbands, Chickasaw girls added yellow knee socks and tutus, and the Huron Boys rocked some cool blue hair and wrist bands.  Campers and Counselors assembled on the Main Field, which was awash in a sea of Tribal Colors,  for our first All-Camp Assembly and an All-Camp Photo.  Such a fun and colorful start to another great Friday at Camp Hillard!

As we near the end of the sixth week of camp, almost every Tribe in Camp has experienced either a Visiting Day or a Visiting Evening.  Campers look forward to these very special days when moms and dads, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas come to watch them swim, play sports and perform songs or put on a show at theater, while also finally getting to meet the counselors who have been essential in making every camper’s summer fun and successful.

The Pawnees and the Chickasaw Boys and Girls had their Visiting Mornings early in the summer; for many of our youngest campers, Camp may be their first full-day group experience, and moms and dads are eager to meet the counselors and see their little ones in action!  This year, the Pawnees and the Chickasaws showcased their developing athletic skills at a Sports Skills Showcase on the Main Field, participating in a mini-obstacle course which included shooting hoops, kicking a soccer ball and scoring a goal at field hockey.  On the musical side of things, they performed a few special songs that they had been perfecting for the first few weeks of the summer, including What a Wonderful World and the Camp Hillard song.

The Visiting Day programs for Hurons and older are a little more intense; in addition to participating in sports and swimming, campers perform a Broadway style show on the big stage.  This summer, the Huron Boys and Girls hit the stage for the very first time, performing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and The Sound of Music!

Visiting Day for the Cheyenne Boys and Girls included baseball and softball and swimming at South Campus Pool Complex, which always includes a ride down The Great Green River!  The Boys traveled to the Arabian city of Agrabah and met a magical genie in their production of the Disney classic, Aladdin and the Girls were transported to the snowy realm of Arendelle for their production of Frozen!

Comanches and older are always excited by the prospect of a Visiting Evening.  These Tribes get to remain at Camp after every other camper has gotten on their bus and headed home!  Dinner is served at South Campus and campers and counselors gear up for an exciting evening!  The Comanche Boys and Girls showed off their athletic prowess during games of basketball and soccer, respectively, after which the boys hit the stage to perform a new show to Camp Hillard, The Blues Brothers, while the girls entered the story book world of the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast.

Visiting Evenings for Senior Camp take place towards the end of the summer; campers spend six to seven weeks rehearsing for some very exciting shows; the Cherokee and Navajo girls in Pitch Perfect, the Cherokee Boys Theater Club’s rendition of The Blues Brothers, and The Really Big Show during the final week of Camp.  This year, A-I Boys and Girls will be cutting loose in their spirited production of Footloose.

Next week, the fun continues!  More Talent Shows and S’mores roasts, in addition to the Junior Camp Swim Luau and the Middle and Senior Camp Crazy Dive Contests.  Thursday is Favorite School/Sports Team Day; everyone is looking forward to getting all decked out and representing their favorite!

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 5 Highlighted by Winter / New Year’s Eve in July

It’s hard to believe we have just finished up the fifth week of Camp!  We are now deep into the camp season and there’s no end to the fun we have been having.

The boys and girls departed for their mini-sleepaway to Camp Pontiac on Sunday morning, and they had an amazing time!  Water front activities, including banana boating, kayaking and paddle boarding were a big hit with campers and counselors alike.  The boys and girls also enjoyed arts and crafts, cooking, dance and woodshop.  The food at Camp Pontiac was varied and delicious; multiple salad bars, pasta, grilled chicken, homemade, thin-crust pizza hand-fired in state of the art pizza ovens, in addition to afternoon snack offerings and evening trips to the Canteen or the Ice Cream Shop. A particularly cool aspect of Camp Pontiac’s Canteen, The Pont Roc Cafe, is that it is a stylized version of the Hard Rock Cafe!  One particularly special highlight of the trip was an Overnight Sleepout in Tree Top Village for both the boys and the girls.  This sleepout was a great opportunity for team building and bonding, as well as for a mini-prank war between the boys and the girls.  When the Pontiac Shuttle buses returned to Hillard, the everyone chattered excitedly about their experience, and they are all looking forward to visiting again next summer.  But everyone was really excited to be back home at Hillard, just in time for the New Year’s Eve Dance Party in the Gymnastics Pavilion and the Winter Wonderland in the Creative Arts Center!

Speaking Winter and New Year’s Eve in July; during the fifth week of Camp every summer, we celebrate a different special event.  Everyone know that the regularly scheduled programming at Camp Hillard is unparalleled, but every once in a while, we like to switch thing up a bit and add something special.  In summers past, we have celebrated Halloween in July, complete with spooky costumes and trick or treating; International Day, when we celebrate different cultures and customs from around the world; and , This summer, we had a DJ Joe spun the hits on the turntables for our New Year’s Eve Dance Party, complete with noisemakers, a Countdown to Midnight and the Ball Drop, and a special snack at the Stroke of Midnight: White Cheddar Popcorn and sparkling cider.  The Creative Arts Center was transformed into a Winter Wonderland, where campers took a walk through the Hillard Blizzard, learned some fun facts about snow, wintry climates and polar animals, and had the opportunity to take photos with some very special guests from Arendelle; Anna and Elsa, and Olaf and Sven!  Tribal Winter Games, including a Mock Snowball Fight and an Abominable Snowman Relay Race, were just another part of this fun day, which concluded with an extra special afternoon refreshment; a Rainbow Polar Push Up Pop.

It has been an awesome 5 week of camp for Here at Hillard. A little more than half the summer is done but there are so many fun activities to go!!

  • Our Swim Festivals begin next week!  Campers can expect treasure hunts, boat rides, lifeguard relay races, music at the pools and more!
  • The INA Boys and Girls Night, originally scheduled for July 8th but postponed due to inclement weather, will take place on Monday night.  The INA boys and girls eagerly anticipate this Annual Evening Event, a Hillard tradition, that includes spirited competition between the Green And Gray teams.
  • The INA girls can look forward to some more wintry fun on Tuesday when they travel to the Brewster Ice Arena for a skating trip.
  • Our Visiting Day and Evening Programs continue in earnest, with Cheyenne Boys and Girls and the Cherokee Girls scheduled for next week.
  • Ice cream parties and s’mores roasts continue, as do Talent Shows and Hillard Voice.
  • Friday is Tribal Color Day.  Every camper should remember to wear his or her Tribal tee-shirt!

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.