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!