Monthly Archives: July 2019

Camp Hillard Week 5 Highlighted by the We Are The World Celebration!

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 home at Hillard, just in time for our International Day Dance Party.

Speaking of International Day, during the fifth week of Camp every summer, we celebrate a different special event.  Everyone knows that the regularly scheduled programming at Camp Hillard is unparalleled, but every once in a while, we like to switch things up a bit and add something special.  In summers past, we have celebrated Halloween in July; Tropical Islands Day, complete with a Tropical Dance party and a Cruise Ship around the Islands in the Creative Art Center; and Winter in July, Snow Included! This year’s International Event, a We Are the World Celebration kicked off with the entire Camp assembled at the Hillard Stage for a very special International Musical Performance by the Performing Arts Staff. It was a wonderful way to start the day’s festivities, which included Tribal Dance Parties in the Gymnastics Pavilion, special International Games like British Bulldog, Hopscotch and Frisbee Golf, an Italian-inspired lunch and a special refreshment to conclude the day!

It has been an awesome fifth week of camp 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!
  • Tuesday is Favorite T-Shirt Day!  Hillard T-Shirts are not required; it is always fun to see what the campers and counselors choose to wear to Camp that day!  Favorite movie or Rock Band?  High School or College Alma Mater?  Or maybe Favorite Super Hero?  We will just have to wait and see what Tuesday brings!
  • On Wednesday, The Cherokee and INA Boys can look forward to a trip Yankee Stadium to watch the Bronx Bombers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • 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.

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 4 Highlighted by Song and Cheer Contest

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.  Visiting Day programs continued in earnest this week, with the Pawnees, the Chickasaw boys and girls and the Comanche boys.

Our 2019 Summer Charity Event began on July 15. This summer we will be collecting non-perishable food items and delivering them to the Feeding Westchester organization.

You may be surprised to learn that children and adults from all walks of life go hungry, in every community across Westchester. Your neighbor, your child’s classmate or even your coworker may struggle to get enough to eat. Hunger is here – right where we live. Although many in Westchester are wealthy, wages remain low and stagnant for the working poor. And with fixed expenses like rent and childcare on the rise, groceries are often the first line slashed in a household’s budget.

When you think of Feeding Westchester, you may think of truckloads of donations, secured by major partnerships with corporations and foundations. So it may surprise you to learn that old-fashioned community food drives remain foundational to our work. Those bags of non-perishable food actually provide us with much-needed essentials that would otherwise be unavailable. And this is where you come in!

This week, all of our Camp families and staff members have been bringing in a non-perishable food items, but nothing in glass, which were collected off the buses each morning and then delivered e to Feeding Westchester.

As a thank you to everyone, all campers will receive a special Thank You bag that will include a special Camp Hillard T-shirt and other items. All staff members will also receive the special Camp Hillard T-shirt.

Thanks to Camp Hillard families, we have been very successful with our annual charity events over the past 24 years. With your help and generosity, we will make this year’s fundraiser the most successful ever.

For more information on Feeding Westchester, please visit

This week was also highlighted by a new Special Event for the oldest Hillard campers; an extended evening for the Cherokee and INA Boys and Girls which included a special Dinner and a Dance Party in Bunk 14.  The Campers enjoyed finger-licking delicious fried chicken and a Build It Yourself Hamburger Bar complete with all the toppings you could think of!  It was such a fun evening!

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,  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 items 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; Fresh fruit, String Cheese, Sun Chips and Pirate’s Booty, just to name a few.  Ice cream and iced pops are served on an alternating schedule in the afternoon; the new Philly Swirl Iced Pop has been a delicious, refreshing addition to the Refreshments Menu, in addition to Crumbled Cookie Cones, Sour Blueberry Pops and Fudge Pops.  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.  

We enjoyed a variety of fun events at the pools this week.  Pawnees, Chickasaws and Hurons participated in a tropical Swim Luau on Wednesday; the Main Pool complex was transformed to a Hawaiian paradise of palm trees, pineapples, coconuts and limbo sticks!  Campers enjoyed exhilarating rides on the Alligator floats, relaxing floats on the watermelon inner tubes, underwater treasure hunts and more.  On Thursday, Middle and Senior Campers took part in Hillard’s Famous Wacky Dive Contest; Cheyennes and older showed off their cannonballs and belly flops for a team of Celebrity judges who provided exciting color commentary during the Event. 

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 our We Are the World celebration!  There will be a Dance Party for all Tribes in the Gymnastics Pavilion, International games and activities, and a very special musical performance by the Creative and Performing Arts Staff in honor of this extra special event!

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:

  • Monday was Crazy Hat and Hair Day.  All of the campers and their counselors wore their best Crazy Hats and Wild Hairdos.
  • The Cheyenne Boys and Girls participated in Boat Races.
  • 2nd year campers also received banners on Monday while 3rd and 4th year campers received commemorative shirts on Tuesday to celebrate their tenure.
  • We took our Group Photos on Tuesday; everyone was looking sharp!
  • Also on Tuesday, the Apache Iroquois boys and girls and the CIT’s headed out to Playland for some thrilling rides and entertaining attractions.  
  • We enjoyed the Festival of Fun and an All-Camp Cookout on Wednesday.  It was quite a day, highlighted by inflatables on the fields and at the pools, Castle Ball, a Gaga center, and a multimedia experience at the Creative Arts Center.
  • On Thursday, 5th year campers attended a special party, enjoyed ice cream cake, and received a Camp Hillard pillow.
  • On Friday, 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 in honor of Camp Hillard’s 91st summer; an embroidered Land’s End style tote-bag, perfect for toting to the Beach or the Club, to the Gym or to the Market!

Camp Hillard’s Swim Program is off to a great start.  All campers 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.  Every Cheyenne and Comanche group has taken at least two trips down the “Great Green River,” the water slide located at South Campus. 

Campers at the Main Complex have also experienced some very exciting special events.  Campers participated in the annual Boat Rides, with everyone getting a chance to race across the pool in out inflatable boats.  Also, Junior Campers had a great time getting wet at the car Wash, or running across the Arctic-themed inflatable pool float during The Festival of Fun.  Music Friday is a huge hit as campers get to listen to tunes as they enjoy afternoon free swim.

The Theater staff is busily preparing for their shows.  In junior camp, the Huron and. Cheyenne Girls are enjoying the songs from the classic musical Mary Poppins. Meanwhile, the Huron & Cheyenne Boys are learning about soul music in their show Motown

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!

The Sports Program is also off to a great start this summer.  . 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 the 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:

  • The Cherokee and Navajo Boys and Girls will be visiting Powerhouse Studios on Monday.
  • The Pawnees and the Chickasaw Boys and Girls have their Visiting Day on Tuesday,
  • There will be lots of excitement at the pools with the Junior Camp Swim Luau on Wednesday and the highly anticipated Crazy Dive Contests for Middle and Senior Camp.
  • The Comanche Boys Visiting Evenings will take place on Monday and Wednesday.
  • Friday 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 Lollipop Hunt and July 4th Celebration

The second week of Camp was just great!  On Monday, we had our annual lollipop hunt, divided by Division.  Over the weekend, fireworks went off above the Upper Field, dropping lollipop seeds everywhere.  When we arrived on Monday 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 A boys, Cheyenne Bgirls, Comanche B boys, Comanche A girls, Iroquois Girls and Apache-Iroquois 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 3rd, we celebrated Independence Day, Camp Hillard Style!  We had a Patriotic Parade of famous Americans, led by Uncle Sam on a tractor, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and the Statue of Liberty, Pocahontas, and a wide array of athletes, celebrities and American Icons proudly marching down the road to the Main Field.  We all stood proudly as the National Anthem was played and the members of the Greenville Fire Department stood silently in Salute of our Grand Old Flag. The Theater Staff got kept the Independence Day spirit going, leading an All Camp Singalong of patriotic part tunes that included This Land Is Your Land and Yankee Doodle Dandy.  

Everyone enjoyed an Independence Day All Camp Cookout featuring Hillard Dogs, assorted fresh veggies, mixed green salad, Apple Juice and Lemonade and Watermelon for dessert!  We ended the day with a patriotic red, white and blue Firecracker Junior Iced Pop for refreshments .

Speaking of food, the Hillard Menu is varied and delicious, offering a wide variety of tasty, well-balanced meals; hearty baked ziti with cheese, chicken nuggets with roasted potatoes, Mexi-Beef tacos with salsa, cheese and sour cream. And of course their is always a variety of healthy side dishes and desserts daily.  Mixed green salad, tasty carrots and crispy celery, sliced cucumber and tomato salad, green beans and chick peas, Hillard’s Homemade Hummus, sesame free, but creamy and delicious! And there is always tasty fresh fruit like orange and apple slices, watermelon and fruit salad for dessert!

Sports League Teams have been formed, and inter-tribal games have begun, campers have all been assigned to Instructional Swim Groups.  Wacky Friday featured some exciting Tribal Activities like Capture the Flag, Breakfast for Lunch and our summer tradition of Music at the Pools during the afternoon free swims.  Campers and Counselors also sported their Favorite Socks as part of this Wonderful Wacky Day.

It has been an amazing first two weeks of camp fun, but we still have lots of special events to look forward to. Monday is Crazy Hat and Hair Day; the Apache, Iroquois and CIT Boys and Girls can get psyched for their trip to Playland on Tuesday; Tuesday is also Camp Picture Day: campers and counselors should wear the Traditional White Hillard t-shirt with the green logo; 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; 5th Year Campers will celebrate with Carvel Ice Cream Cake and punch on Thursday; and 6th year and more campers will enjoy a bountiful breakfast buffet and a special gift on Friday!  All of this in addition to more marshmallow roasts, ice cream parties and more….Phewww! What an exciting week coming up!

Camp Hillard’s 91st Summer is Now Underway!

Camp Hillard’s 91st Summer Season kicked off on Tuesday, June 25th.  After a long, cold winter, and a fairly rainy Spring, 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.  Campers enjoyed Hillard’s Famous Cheese Pizza for lunch and the end of day refreshment, a Philly-Swirl Pop, was truly delicious! 

There are some exciting new additions to the Hillard Menu this summer.  Our new Snack line-up includes a wide variety of fruit, cheese and crackers and crowd pleasers like Pop Corners and Pirate Booty!  The new convection ovens give us the capability to bake rather than fry many of our popular dishes, and we are excited to be able to offer new healthy, kid-friendly faves like grilled cheese and quesadillas!

The rest of Week 1 was also highlighted by:

  • Campers being assigned to their swim instruction groups.
  • Exciting sports instruction and games, including Sports Leagues
  • Many groups had their first arts and/or other specialty activities.  This included the first Arts Choice periods: Comanches and older have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of exciting creative and performing arts including HillArt, Breakdancing with Bruce, Karaoke, Drumming and much, much more.
  • Marshmallow Roasts began on Thursday.  Every group can look forward to one Marshmallow and one S’mores Roast over the summer, in addition to an Ice Cream Party. 
  • Friday 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.

This coming 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 Monday.
  • Campers can look forward to our Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, 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. 
  • Camp is closed on Thursday, July 4th.  Happy Birthday, America!
  • Camp will be open on Friday, July 5th for Wacky Friday and Favorite Sock Day.  Campers can look forward to a fun-filled day which will include Wacky Tribal Activities, Breakfast for Lunch, and extended swim periods, along with other special surprises.

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.