Monthly Archives: July 2017

Camp Hillard Week 5 Highlighted by Halloween 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 the brand new Tarzan Swing 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, 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 Halloween Dance Party in the Gymnastics Pavilion and the Freaky Fun House in The Creative Art Center!

Speaking of Halloween 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 Tropical Islands Day, complete with a Tropical Dance party and a Cruise Ship around the Islands in the Creative Art Center; International Day, when we celebrate different cultures and customs from around the world; and this summer, DJ Joe spun the hits on the turntables for our Monster Mash Dance Party, complete with princesses and Pirates, Ninja Turtles and Ballerinas, a Limbo Contest, and a Spooky Snack; Ominous Orange Punch and Cheesy Popcorn.  A Freaky Fun House, complete with goblins and ghouls, mummies, monsters and Mad Science, lay in store for the campers when they Trick or Treated through the Creative Arts Center.  Halloween Tribal Games, including a Halloween Scavenger Hunt, a Witch’s Broom Relay Race and Mummy Wrapping Contest, took place on the Upper Field.  The Day concluded with a special afternoon refreshment; a Polar Orange 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!
  • On Wednesday, The INA Boys and Girls can look forward to a trip Yankee Stadium to watch the Bronx Bombers take on the Detroit Tigers.
  • Our Visiting Day and Evening Programs continue in earnest, with Cheyenne Boys and Cherokee and Navajo Girls scheduled for next week.
  • Ice cream parties and s’mores roasts continue, as do Talent Shows and Hillard’s Got Talent.
  • Friday is Tribal Color Day IV, Topsy Turvy Day, as well as the Announcement of Spirit Week Teams for Green and White, which kicks off on August 7th.

Camp Hillard Week 4 Highlighted by Charity Event for the Westchester Children’s Museum

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 2017 Summer Charity Event began on Monday, July 17.  All campers participated in a fun science event at their group’s Nature period during the week.  Any campers choosing to participate in the charity fundraiser can make a donation.  Your support will directly help those most in need of the Westchester Children’s Museum’s services. Money raised from our fundraiser will provide programming for underserved children throughout Westchester by providing field trips to the Museum and similar STEAM programs at local organizations that serve the underserved. Our goal is to offer the programming to Bright Futures Summer Day Camp, a camp for children living in shelters in Westchester

The Westchester Children’s Museum, located in the North Bathhouse at Rye Playland is a light-filled, colorful, vibrant learning space filled with hands-on exhibits not found anywhere else in this region. Since the Museum opened in March 2016, more than 40,000 people have experienced the amazing exhibits the Museum has to offer in physics, science, art, technology, and design, with places to climb, build, and explore. It is a place where children lead the process of discovery and learning while adults share the experience through their child’s eyes. The Westchester Children’s Museum is seeking to expand its ability to provide a welcoming and enriching environment for as broad an audience as possible, in particular those who need it most in our undeserved communities.

All campers donating at least $40 per camper will receive a very special thank you package.  This package will include a Camp Hillard/Westchester Children’s Museum 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 2018.  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.

This week was also highlighted by the Annual 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, Graham Crackers, Oreos, and Kettle Cooked Potato Chips 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 Instructional swim program 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 Halloween In July; campers and counselors should come to Camp in costume, and be prepared for some Spooktacular Tricks and Treats!

Camp Hillard Week 3 was another action-packed week highlighted by The 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 Monday, the Navajo and Apache boys and girls visited Powerhouse Studios
  • On Thursday, 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 wireless Bluetooth speaker, emblazoned with the Camp Hillard logo!
  • Wednesday was our Annual Festival of Fun.  This year’s theme was the Wild West; Camp was transformed into a rooting-tooting, boot-stomping hoedown! Hillard Cowpokes and cowgirls got to enjoy some inflatable rides and attractions on the Main Field, as well as some Ride ‘Em Cowboy Relay Races, Boot Tossing and Steer Roping on the Upper Field.  Everyone gathered at the Watering Hole for some tasty Barbeque grub.  Yee haw!
  • Senior camp boys and girls all had fun on Thursday with the Senior Camp boat races.

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.

The Performing Arts program is off to a great start!  The Huron Girls are learning how to have fun “Under the Sea” in The Little Mermaid while the Huron and Cheyenne Boys are having fun pretending to be lions as they learn what it is like to be King of the Jungle in their show The Lion King. Watch out for their “roars!” The Cheyenne Girls are enjoying the songs from the classic musical Annie, while the Comanche Boys and the Cherokee Boys Theater Club are learning how to rock & roll in their show All Shook Up.  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.

Finally, in senior camp, the Cherokee Girls are learning about the amazing singer/songwriter, Carole King and her timeless music in Beautiful. In addition to that, the Navajo Girls are having an “Aca-mazing” time with their show Pitch Perfect. For the big show, the I-A girls as well as the INA Boys, are preparing to “Welcome in the 60’s” in the Broadway hit, Hairspray!

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 Wednesday.. 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.

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

  • Our Annual Charity Event for the Westchester Children’s Museum begins 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!


Camp Hillard Week 2 Highlighted by the Lollipop Hunt and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year Camper Gifts

The second week of Camp was just great!  After a patriotic Four Day Weekend in honor of Independence Day, campers and counselors were anxious to get back into the Camp routine!

On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday morning, 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!!!!   Campers collected and sorted the lollipops into colors, receiving points for the most pops collected.  Congratulations to the Cheyenne B boys, Cheyenne A girls, Comanche C  boys, Comanche A girls, Cherokee A boys, Cherokee A 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 Wednesday, July 5th, all our 2nd year campers received the traditional Camp Hillard banner, and on Thursday, July 6th,   3rd and 4th year campers received their specially designed and highly coveted t-shirts!  Camp Picture Day also took place on Thursday; campers and counselors sported the traditional white Camp Hillard shirt and their best and brightest smile for their Group Pictures.  The Apache, Iroquois and CIT boys and girls embarked on a fun-filled trip to Playland on Thursday, July 7th, where they enjoyed various rides and attractions and games of skill of chance.  The overcast, drizzly weather was actually a hit rather than a hindrance; smaller crowds, shorter lines, more fun!

On Friday we continued our summer tradition of Music at the Pools during the afternoon free swims. Marshmallow Roasts continued with the INA boys 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!!!!!

It has been an amazing first two weeks of camp fun, but we still have lots of special events to look forward to. On Monday, the Navajo and Apache Boys and Girls are travelling to Powerhouse Studios where they will participate in a Wacky and Wild Game Show; 5th year campers can get psyched for their Ice Cream Party on Tuesday; 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; 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 89th Summer is Now Underway!

Camp Hillard’s 89th Summer Season kicked off on Monday, June 26th. After a long, cold 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 camper and counselor introductions were made. Tribes got to know each other’s names by playing all different types of Getting To Know You 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.
• Marshmallow Roasts began on Wednesday.
• Our Independence Day celebration on Friday was highlighted by an exciting Independence Day parade, an all-camp cookout, special refreshments, a visit from the Fire Department, 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 Annual Camp Lollipop Hunt will take place on Wednesday; 2nd Year Campers will receive their Camp Hillard banners on Tuesday.
• On Thursday, our 3rd and 4th Year Campers will receive their special T-shirts.
• Thursday is also our Camp Pictures day. All groups will have their group picture taken. We ask that all campers wear their white Camp Hillard T with the green logo.
• Some tribes are also scheduled for their Marshmallow Roasts.
• On Thursday, the Apache and Iroquois Boys and Girls 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 everyone has a safe, healthy, happy, festive 4th of July Holiday! We can’t wait to see everyone on Wednesday!happy, festive 4th of July Holiday!  We can’t wait to see everyone on Wednesday!