Monthly Archives: August 2019

Camp Hillard’s 91st Summer Comes to a close

It is hard to believe how quickly another summer has come and gone!  Camp Hillard’s 91st summer was another successful season, full of fun, friends and more fun!  Regular programming on the fields and at the pools continued on Monday, with more campers successfully completing the Deep Water Challenge and taking a trip down the Great Green River. 

On Monday night, the Apache-Iroquois Girls finally took to the stage for the Big Show. Camp Hillard’s original show celebrating American Bandstand; the cast of American Bandstand were not paid actors or dancers; they were kids, the Kids of America, and now, the kids of Camp Hillard! The audience was on their feet as Brian Childers in his role as Dick Clark, introduced the girls as they hit the stage, performing the Iconic theme song, Bandstand Boogie.  The girls danced and sang a variety of iconic hits from artists like Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, ABBA, Billy Joel and and more.  Camisha Mc Kenzie brought the house down as Aretha Franklin, where she and the A/I girls demanded Respect! Weeks of preparation and hard work went into this final theater Production of the season, and it certainly showed.    It was a truly memorable evening.

On Wednesday, we gathered at the stage for the Special Camper show, where the Pawnees and the Chickasaw Boys and Girls welcomed us all with their rendition of the Camp Hillard song, in addition to a reprise of songs from their Visiting Day Musical Performances; the Cye Coleman classics It’s a Good Day and Pass Me By. The entertainment continued as every Tribe was called to the stage to perform a selection of songs from their respective Theater Productions.

On Wednesday we also celebrated Camp Hillard’s 91st Birthday with the famous Camp Hillard birthday cake for everyone!

On Thursday, we gathered at the stage for one last time to give Special Recognition to counselors who really stood out this summer, followed by the Counselor Talent Show, which is always an entertaining display of talent and Camp Spirit!

Final Day Festivities on Friday 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!  This year’s Carnival theme was A Day at the Circus; every group in Camp was responsible for creating a game booth representing different aspects of the Circus. Bozo’s Bean Bags, Tightrope Tattoos and the Under the Big Top Marriage Booth,  just to name a few!  There were exciting inflatables and rides on the Main Field for campers to enjoy; the Dixie Swings, the Knight’s Castle Combo and the High Voltage Obstacle Course.  We all enjoyed a delicious All Camp Cookout of hamburgers and hotdogs, followed by the most popular refreshment of the summer; the Lick-A-Color Sour Iced Pop!

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 91st 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 2020.  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 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.  Shirts will be sent home next week, all initially washed, dried, organized, labeled, folded and bagged by Kathleen and her team with follow up instructions for parents included in the bag.

Green and White Spirit 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 spirited relay on the Main Field that included giant, inflatable ponies, a football throw, and soccer shoot outs.  It was a great way to kick off this very exciting week of friendly Green and White competitions.

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, the entire Camp assembled on the Main Field once again for the Closing Ceremonies.  Every member of the Leadership Team  and counselor Referees from their respective divisions participated in a thrilling Rock, Paper, Scissors Exhibition.  Paige Weiss, the overall Winner from the Leadership Team then faced off against Sam Glaser, who had won the first RPS Tournament during the Final Event of Counselor Orientation.  After a fast and furious Best Of 9, Weiss came out on top and was crowned the 2019 Hillard Rock, Paper, Scissors Champion!  A hush immediately fell over the crowd as the Final Green and White score was revealed.  The White Team was declared victorious, with 1,737 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 five 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 tribute to American Bandstand.  Final rehearsals have been in full gear, and the show is sure to be a fantastic one.

Wednesday is Camp Hillard’s 91st Birthday Celebration, as well The Special Camp Show; 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. Friday, the long awaited Hillard Carnival will commence. It’s also our final Tribal Color Day, an All Camp Picnic, and Moving Up Day 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.

Camp Hillard Week 6 Highlighted by Swim Festivals and 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 Tasty Turkey Sandwich meal accompanied by assorted cheeses, lettuce, tomato and raw veggies, followed by Taco Tuesday; Mexi-Beef Tacos with Cheese, salsa, guacamole and sour cream.  Wednesday featured a new addition to the Menu, gooey and delicious Grilled Cheese, a delicious dish formerly reserved for Visiting Evenings  Served with Cole Slaw and Potato Chips, this Classic Comfort Food was a huge hit!   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 Sports League, the first round of action saw the Green Dragons face the Ninjas while the Camp Hillard All-Stars took on the Star Warriors.  The Green Dragons and the Camp Hillard All-Stars were victorious, moving into the championship while the Ninjas and the Star Warriors headed to the 3rd Place matchup, with the Ninjas coming out on a top.  In the highly anticipated Championship, the Green Dragons defeated the Camp Hillard All-Stars by a score of 3-0 in a hotly contested soccer match to take home the 2019 Cheyenne Boys Sports League Championship!

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday saw real exciting and competitive play during the Comanche Boys Sports League championship games, with the Lightning Pandas, the Golden Ninjas, the Savage Boys and the Red Devils placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively in their American Division Championship Games.  Meanwhile, the Golden Lightning and the Fire Flaming Hot Golden Cheetos placed 1st and 2nd 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 Soccer Skills on the Main Field.  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 It’s A Good Day, Pass Me By 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 Motown and Mary Poppins!

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 Motown and the Girls enjoyed performing in their production of Mary Poppins.

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, after which the girls hit the stage to showcase their Aca-amazing voices in their production of Pitch Perfect.

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 girls in Broadway and Beyond and The Really Big Show during the final week of Camp.  This year, the A-I Boys and Girls are celebrating the iconic music of American Bandstand.

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!