Monthly Archives: August 2018

Camp Hillard’s 90th Summer Comes to a close

It is hard to believe how quickly another summer has come and gone!  Camp Hillard’s 90th summer was another successful season, full of fun, friends and more fun!  We had a bit of rain this summer, and Mother Nature decided to kick off the last week of Camp with a rainy day!  Campers and counselors took the rain in stride, enjoying lots of fun indoor activities like games, Trivia and Arts and Crafts.  The Apache and Iroquois boys and girls took advantage of the opportunity to fine tune their dance moves for the Big Show, which was rescheduled due to the weather.

On Tuesday, the Libman family was joined on stage by representatives from the Focus For A Future for the presentation of a generous check of $12,000 to this worthwhile organization.  Thank you to all the campers and counselors who participated in this year’s Charity Event.  We also enjoyed the Counselor Talent Show, which is always an entertaining and spirited display of talent!

On Tuesday night, the Apache-Iroquois Boys and Girls finally took to the stage for the Big Show. Kathleen Libman, who looked stunning in her black evening gown, welcomed everyone to a very special production that she created, a celebration of 90 years of Hillard Theater and Music, particularly the 25 years of Kathleen’s very imaginative and unique productions.  Kathleen then handed the microphone over to Jill Libman, Hillard’s sister, Elaine’s sister-in-law, and Kathleen, Jon and Jim’s Aunt.  It was a touching homage to the Hillard Family as Aunt Jill was the Creative and Performing Arts Director for many years.  The boys and girls took to the stage, where they performed a selection of musical numbers including Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Luck Be a Lady, What the World Needs Now, Mama I’m a Big Girl Now, just to name a few!  It was a truly magical evening, which concluded with a very special surprise; a rendition of Edelweiss, which was Hillard and Elaine’s favorite song.  There was barely a dry eye in the house.

On Wednesday, we gathered at the stage for one last time to give Special Recognition to counselors who really stood out this summer, followed by a very special Camp show where campers performed some popular tunes from their Visiting Day performance.

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.  The fun continued with the annual Camp Hillard Carnival, which as rescheduled from Tuesday due to rain.  This year’s Carnival theme was A Trip Through the Decades; every group in Camp was responsible for creating a game booth representing a different decade.  Totally Tubular Tattoos, The Y2K Rubber Duckie Remix, and the I Do Love the 80’s Marriage Booth,  just to name a few!  There were exciting inflatables on the Main Field for campers to enjoy; a Fun House obstacle course, the Knight’s Castle and the Sea Fun House, and an Amusement park Obstacle Course.  We all enjoyed a delicious lunch of Chicken O’s, followed by an Ice Cream Sundae, before hitting the pools for one last free swim.

Jim Libman continued his father’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 90th 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 2019.  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 Tie Dying and Green and White Spirit and Sports Cup Week

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 talent show performances worthy of America’s Got Talent.

Week 7 was highlighted by an incredible week of Tie Dying at Nature. Campers chose from a array of designs, using mostly their Camp Hillard T’s but sometimes bringing in another favorite T.  Many shirts were sent home on Friday, with a final batch on Monday, all initially washed, dried, organized, labeled, folded and bagged by Kathleen and her team with follow up instructions for parents included in the bag.

Spirit and Sports Cup Week Opening Ceremonies took place on Monday morning.  Campers and counselors filed onto the Main Field, all of them broken out into Green and White Teams, to witness the raising of the Green and White flags as Jon Libman declared, “Let the games begin!”  Green and White counselor representatives from every tribe participated in a free throw shooting contest, dizzy spins and blindfolded soccer!

Competitions continued in earnest throughout the entire week; groups came together and broke out into their respective Green and White Teams for a variety of events, including mini-golf and tennis tournaments, water polo matches at the Pool, as well as intense Baseball, Basketball and Soccer tournaments.

Campers continued to work on their American Red Cross swimming skills and are making great progress.  In addition to our regular swim program, Junior Campers participated in Green and White Swim Fun, complete with Medal Hunts, swim races and “silly’ jumps!

On Friday afternoon, the CIT’s took a short jaunt down to the Candlelight Inn for the Annual CIT Luncheon.  CIT’s or Counselors in Training, are the eldest campers at Hillard; all are rising 7th-10th graders who work side by side with General Staff in Group or Specialty Assignments. As a special thank you for all of their hard work, they were treated to a lunch that included the Candlelight Inn’s World-famous chicken wings, a messy and thoroughly delicious reward for a successful summer!

On Friday afternoon, when all of the events concluded and the scores were tallied, The Green Team was declared the Victors with 101 points.  The scores couldn’t have been much closer; the White Team finished with 95 points!  Regardless of the point totals, every camper was filled with a sense of Camp Spirit, pride, and accomplishment for their intense participation, great sportsmanship and Green and White pride!

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 are ready to cut loose in their production of Showtime.  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 Special Camp Show and Charity Presentation are on Wednesday; campers are gearing up to take the stage to perform some of the most notable songs from their Visiting Day performances. The counselors have been furiously preparing for the Annual Counselor Talent Show on Thursday, which is sure to be a lot of fun.    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 and Program Newsletters which are found in the Enrolled Camp Families section of our website.

Camp Hillard Week 6 Highlighted by Tribal Color Day

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; the South Campus Swim Festival on Tuesday and the Main Complex on Friday.  There was music at the pools, treasure hunts, swim races, musical water buckets and more!

S’mores Roasts and Ice Cream Parties are in full swing.  This week, the Pawnees, the Chickasaw boys, the Huron boys and girls, the Cheyenne boys and girls, Comanche boys and the Cherokee and INA girls all enjoyed their ooey, gooey, sticky-delicious S’mores Roast, while the Comanche girls and their Cherokee and INA boys 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 Make Your Own Sandwich meal of assorted cold cuts, cheeses and French fries, followed by Taco Tuesday; Mexi-Beef Tacos with Cheese, salsa and sour cream.  Wednesday featured Hillard’s insanely popular Chicken O’s; 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! Thursday featured a Topsy Turvy Breakfast for lunch: French Toast Strips, Turkey Sausage Tater Tots and Chocolate Milk, and we rounded out the week with a Baked Rotini with mozzarella cheese, mixed green salad and bread sticks!

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, we also saw several nail-biting Sports League Playoff and Championship games.

In the Cheyenne Boys Hudson River League, the Golden Lightning played the Swimming Tigers while the Musical Alans took on the Mashed Potatoes.  The Golden Lightning and the Musical Alans were victorious in the first round and played each other in the Hudson River League finals with the ­­­­Golden Lightning coming out on top.  The East River League saw the Soft Pretzels play the Flying Tigers and the Fire Shark Devils take on the Red Lightning.  The Soft Pretzels and the Red Lightning won their respective first round games and had an epic East River League finals matchup with the Scarsdale Soft Pretzels coming out on top.

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday saw real exciting and competitive play during our  the Comanche Boys Sports League championship games; with the Flying Chicken Nuggets, the Burning Orange Potatoes, the Flaming Titans and the Deadly Puppies placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively in their American Division Championship Games.  While the Flying Pancakes, the Lightning Beez, the Spicy Ninja Meatballs and Goofy Llamas placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in their National Division Championships

Congratulations to all of the Sports League participants, who all demonstrated good sportsmanship and great Camp spirit.

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 Rubber Ducky, The Rainbow Connection, One Small Voice 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 All Shook Up and Annie!

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 hit the stage to perform their version of All Shook Up and the Girls enjoyed performing in the well-loved, Disney hit, 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 The Blues Brothers, while the Girls entered a world magic in the perennial Broadway and Hillard favorite, Wicked.

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 and Hairspray and The Really Big Show during the final week of Camp.  This year, the A-I Boys and Girls are celebrating 90 years of Camp Hillard songs and performances in Showtime!

Next week, the fun continues!  The excitement is building for the Opening Ceremonies of the Green and White Spirit Week competition.  The Opening ceremonies will include a Top Secret Counselor Event; the event is so secret that Directors Jon and Jim Libman are still not privy to the details.  It is certain to be memorable!

For more details specific to your child’s group, please read our Weekly Tribal Newsletters and Program Newsletters which are found in the Enrolled Camp Families section of our website.  Have a great weekend!