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All About All Hallow’s Day

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Hey, Saint’s Day Celebrators!

This upcoming major holiday, which we call Halloween in our contemporary day, was once known as Samhain (pronounced Sow-ween). A sort of ancient New Years and Harvest celebration, this celebration over time took on a new name and new meaning. Learn more about Halloween than you ever did before on today’s eerily interesting Blog post!

Check out these fun facts about our beliefs behind this celebration:

It Doesn’t Matter if Your Cat’s Black or White

Everyone knows that black cats bring bad luck…right? Yeah—lots of people think that. Black cats are actually less likely to be adopted because of the superstition surrounding them. But this belief isn’t held worldwide. In fact, in other parts of the world such as the United Kingdom, it is a white cat which is thought to bring misfortune. I have an all-black cat named Aiden Carl who is the sweetest, most handsome cat I’ve ever met and I don’t feel unlucky!

The Razor Rumor

Of course, it’s always good to take precautions with candy (especially overeating it!) But unlike what most people have come to believe about Trick-or-Treat candy, there have never actually been any reports of razor blades in apples or poisoned sugary treats. There have been some strange cases that involved poisoning and Halloween candy, but not to Trick-or-Treaters. That has all been rumor.

I-Rish My Case

Halloween’s predecessor, Samhain, seems to have been an ancient Celtic festival in which they lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. So how did this celebration turn into Halloween? The Christian movement in Ireland (thanks to ol’ St. Patrick) delivered the Samhain celebration to the converted Irish Christians. It was in the 8th century that Pope Gregory III announced November 1st as a day to honor all saints. He called it All Saints Day. Hallow, being another word for holy or saintly is commonly used. So All Hallow’s Eve is also known as All Saint’s Eve which still incorporates some of the traditions of Samhain.

Hope this post has cleared up some misnomers and mysteries you may have had surrounding the Halloween celebration. I hope you’re all getting excited to don your dreadful costumes and enjoy some scares in the coming couple of weeks! Happy Halloween, Everybody! And, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Lovely Camp Laurelwood

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Hey, Camp Fans!

If you’re unsure where you want to attend camp in the following season, then today’s Blog post just might introduce you to your summer camp experience for next year! We’re shining our summer camp spotlight over to the eastern coast where we find this Jewish summer camp in Connecticut since the long ago year of 1937, Camp Laurelwood.

Perched upon 140 magnificent acres of magical wooded wilderness, Camp Laurelwood is the summer setting for life-long memories and friendships. It’s a place where kids can develop a better understanding of who they are and how they fit into a community that they’re happy to be a part of!

Summer camp at Laurelwood offers classic camp activities such as Archery, Baseball, Basketball, Boating, Dance, Ga-ga, Fitness, Football, Floor Hockey, High and Low Ropes, Kickball, Lacrosse, Martial Arts (including Krav Maga), Mountain Biking, Ping Pong, Playscape, Soccer, Softball, Speedball, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Yoga, Zip Lines, and more! Have fun in the water too with Canoeing, Kayaking, Surf-Biking, and everyone’s favorite—Paddleboarding!

You can have fun indoors at Laurelwood too with fun activities like Arts & Crafts where campers can create pottery, ceramics, jewelry, soap, candles, mosaics, and other craft projects. They can learn new songs and dance routines. And their aerobics program combines the music kids love with fitness, exercise and fun.

Sprinkled with adorable cabins to accommodate campers in the girl’s campus as well as the boy’s campus, Camp Laurelwood features the Drazen Dining Hall, Dance Studio, the Nature Hut, the Health Center, and so many more great facilities that are more than complementary to the surrounding wilderness!

If Camp Laurelwood sounds like it might be the place for you check it out further by clicking here for your next summer’s camp experience! As always, Camp Fans, thanks for reading.

 

- John


Creepy Crafts

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Hey, Artsy-Fartsy Folks!

If a clever means of three-dimensional, multi-media art is your idea of a good time, you’re likely to find this kind of fun at your next summer camp experience! Arts & Crafts is a definite essential to just about any summer camp. Camps know that kids love to break out the construction paper, popsicle sticks, and glue. What’s especially great about Arts & Crafts in particular is that you can work on something pretty much any time of year right at home!

While timely Arts & Crafts projects can be appropriate any time of year, the current Harvest season offers a great time to craft your own creations to make some spooky Halloween decorations! Along with pumpkin carving, this holiday is begging for you to roll up your sleeves and get creative!     

Check out these great examples of holiday crafts:

Toilet Paper Roll Bats

These guys are really fun to hang up every year! A million Halloweens ago, my mother and I made bats out of toilet paper rolls! I cut black construction paper to glue over the rolls and we put paper circles with faces over one end to make ‘the head’. Then we cut a couple wings to glue on the middle section of the roll. My mother helped me attach invisible string so they could hang from the ceiling and ‘fly around’ when I’d set them in swinging motion! They were always my favorite.


Stapled Spiders
These creeping little buggers were quick projects to work on among my brothers and sisters. We’d set them on kitchen counters and the entertainment center. Simply wadded up paper a little smaller than your fist and sandwiched between two larger circles of paper, the ‘body’ of the spider was then stapled together along the edges of the circles. Then we stapled eight accordion-folded ‘legs’ to the body. Add some eyes and put it in a dark corner where it might surprise an unsuspecting brother or sister!

 

Cheesecloth Ghosts

Another favorite of mine growing up were these spooky specters. I never did make these myself and they likely require a trip to the store. This Arts & Crafts project is a little more involved; I’d tell you how to make them right here, but it’s probably easier to just watch this short and sweet video!

Hope these ideas aren’t too scary for you and that they create some fond memories of the Halloween season as they have for me! Enjoy spreading the holiday fear and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Violette W. has a Camp Experience that's New

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Hey, Camp Fans!

We were delighted to see such a great response to our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp and now we’re eager to publish each one right here on the Blog! After our seven lucky winners, everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our online store!

Today’s post is from Violette W., who had her first year at Camp Eagle Hill. Check out her story and why it was a different experience for her!

I was so nervous about camp this year. This was my first year attending a camp that wasn't just for kids with autism. This year I would be with neurotypical kids who might not understand what autism is. I worried that the campers would think some of my quirkiness was just weird and avoid being around me. When I arrived at camp the counselors were friendly and welcoming. The other kids also seemed nervous. It was a relief to realize that I wasn't the only kid who was feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

We moved our things into the cabin and right away I noticed some kids staring at me. I thought my autism was what was making them stare. I began worrying that I looked weird. Some of the kids came right over. It turned out that they hadn't noticed anything different about me but had been admiring my neon trunk. The kids all loved my custom made hot pink, green and purple trunk that I had ordered from Everything Summer Camp a few months before. The trunk was like a magnet to the other kids and it was my icebreaker for conversations. Usually conversations with kids are hard for me but I found talking about the colorful trunk was an easy way to form friendships.

The weeks flew by and instead of going off by myself and reading (which is what I usually do when socializing gets too overwhelming) I took part in all the activities. I learned to swim and for the first time in my life I played ball games with my friends and teammates. No one cared that I wasn't very athletic. We just enjoyed playing as a team.

I am so thankful that I had such a terrific experience. The campers and staff were so supportive and I'm also so pleased that I was able to form friendships with the other kids. That neon trunk helped give me a way to start to feel comfortable talking and feeling less awkward around my bunkmates. It was like a neon light in a dark tunnel for me. While I always struggle a bit with social skills, the camp experience gave me confidence and I no longer feel so anxious about being in new situations. I am looking forward to beginning a new school year and meeting even more new people.

It’s awesome to hear what a smooth transition you made from a your previous camp to Camp Eagle Hill, Violette! Sounds like you did a great job socializing with all those neuro-normies this summer! That’s excellent. Obviously, no one knows how things are in someone else’s head, but I can assure you that social anxiety runs rampant among folks who land all over the spectrum! I’m glad you didn’t let it affect your time at camp. And we’re all so happy to hear that your custom-made colorful trunk gave you such an easy conversation piece! Nice work this summer, Violette!

Everyone else can have a great time like Violette did at Camp Eagle Hill and check it out for yourself by clicking here. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

 

- John


Camp Mystic Trip for Emerson C.

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Hey, Camp Fans!

Having received more than 30 entries for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp, we’re eager to publish each one of them right here on the Blog to share with all our readers! After announcing our lucky winners, we’re now sharing the stories from everyone else who submitted and received their $15 gift certificate to our website!

Today’s post is from Emerson C. who wrote in to tell us about her tasty time at Camp Mystic.

Crunch! crunch! crunch! It all started at a buffet breakfast one morning at camp... Our cabin was trying to break the record of the most cereal boxes eaten at one sitting, which was 43! Only about 7 girls out of 15 in our cabin were there, so we all got on one table of the dining hall after we got our breakfast. One of my cabin mates sat down with about 5 or 6 lucky charms packets in her hands. After everyone else had finished eating, we all began to watch my cabin mate eat her cereal. After about 8 cereals, we noticed that she was pouring a packet of honey into each one! Then a couple minutes after, she started to go on a sugar rush!!!! A few laps around the dining hall later, I decided to run back to the cabin to grab a piece of paper and a pen so we can find out just how much sugar she was eating!!!! After the cereal craze was over, our cabin had eaten a total of 48 CEREALS!!!!!!!!!!! We gave the title of MVE (Most valuable eater) to the girl that went on a sugar rush!!!!!!! She ended up eating 17 cereals, about 300 grams of sugar, and around 3,000 calories!!!!!!!! Stories like this always gets me super excited to go to camp every year!!!

Crazy times certainly seem to ensue all over at summer camp! Whether you’re out on an expedition deep in the wooded wilderness or simply in the Dining Hall, camp is full of fun (and funny) times. Nice work to the girls from your cabin on busting the record on bowls of cereal eaten! It’s great to hear that Camp Mystic has turned you into a serial camper (or cereal camper?). Check out Camp Mystic to see if it might be a good match for you. And, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John

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