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Who Doesn't Want More Portman?!

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Hey, Natalie Fanatics!

Pretty much everybody has fallen in love with her since we all first met her. She’s America’s sweetheart and a Hollywood legend! Today I’m revisiting Natalie Portman! I posted about this beautiful actress a handful of years ago when we were first launching the Blog. Since I posted about her some five years back, I thought we’d go back in order to get to know Natalie at least a little bit better.Get ready for round 2 of posting on this beautiful actress!

In her previous post, I discussed how she attended Stage Door Manor and some other information like her most notable projects in her acting career. I also covered interesting little tidbits, like awards and nominations she’s won and other life achievements. Today, however, I want to go real deep so we can attempt to really get to understand who Natalie Portman is, not as a celebrity, but as a person:

Natalie “Not-in-the-Morning” Portman

As she confessed to Harper’s Bazaar, “If I didn’t have kids or didn’t have to go to work, I’d probably sleep till noon! But I do work and I do have kids, so I’m up and alert.” But she doesn’t like it! The leader of a well-disciplined life, Natalie has adapted to being up early, but she’s made it clear that if she had things totally her own way, she wouldn’t see much of the AM.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

We all end up at least a little bit like our parents in one way or another throughout our lives! Natalie was exactly like her mom in one very specific way from the very first day she was born. It was the day she was born—the same birthday as her mother, June 9. Isn’t that interesting?!

Psychology and Natalie

“I don’t care if [college] ruins my career; I’d rather be smart than a movie star,” Natalie was once quoted. She graduated with a Bachelors in psychology from Harvard in 2003. Of course she’s gone on to achieve a successful acting career, but she’s a legit nerd too! Her published paper, ‘Frontal Lobe Activation during Object Permanence: Data from Near-Infrared Spectroscopy’ makes my head hurt by its title alone.

Natalie has accomplished much in her life and learned so much in the process. An incredibly bright, shining star herself, a great quote of hers sums up how I always felt about my education: “I don’t love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.” And, with that, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John

Rachel N. Goes Back Again!!!

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Hey, Storytellers!

We love our annual ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest at Everything Summer Camp and with the turnout we saw from your experiences last summer, this has been the best year yet! Your stories were fantastic and it’s been great fun reading through them. Get a look at each submission as I post them one-by-one right here on the Blog!

Today’s post is from Rachel N. who wrote in to tell us about her returning year at YMCA Camp Tecumseh. Read over her summer camp story right now:This place sounds magical.

This summer I spent my second summer on staff at YMCA Camp Tecumseh, aka the best camp out there. This was my 11th summer at Tecumseh, and I am actually going to school so that I can work at a camp fulltime, so my dream is to do camp forever! This summer at Tecumseh I learned a lot about having great relationships with others. I created some of my new favorite friendships and relationships with campers. I had campers between the ages of 8 and 12 and loved getting to do life with them a week at a time. I also became friends with some incredible people who I love dearly and really believe that camp friends are the best friends. These people have become my home team and I am so excited to be able to do life with them in the future. Camp Tecumseh’s motto is to Live Third, and I think this idea is so important to live by. It states that you should be putting God first, others second, and yourself third. This is so relevant at camp because we try really hard to instill these basic Christian principles into our campers, and in return we are able to learn a lot from our campers about God’s unconditional love for us as well. I cannot express enough the love I have for Camp Tecumseh and all of the experiences that I had this summer. I will forever be in love with my time spent at Tecumseh!

Glad you had a fun return for your summer experience at Tecumseh, Rachel! I love that you continue to get so much from your time at camp—even into your eleventh year! How awesome for you to have such a constant positive influence for so many years! For anybody else interested in Camp Tecumseh, give it a closer look for yourself some time and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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Hello, Young Yogis out there!

All across the nation, the practice of Yoga is becoming more and more popular and summer camps are just as hip to that as any zen master. That’s why you’ll see Yoga being offered as a choice summertime activity which is great because there’s no age that’s too early to take in the breath of fresh air that is Yoga. 

Yoga and meditation are technically the same thing, so their histories can be difficult to distinguish, however, the traditional idea of Yoga essentially goes back just as far as traditional meditation practices anyway which is more than 5000 years ago with Buddhist monks.Get your yoga on at summer camp!

Lots of people find peace in their practice of Yoga! Check out what you can expect to get out of the experience if you want to participate at camp.

Lessen Pain

You might think you don’t need to worry about lessening pain until you’re an old person, but it can’t hurt to start when you’re young and prevent yourself from ever leaving your body susceptible to diminishing strength and resilience.  

Breathe Easy

Stretching and contorting your body into certain positions and deep-breathing is a refreshing experience that aligns your body in a number of different ways. The regular implementation of the Yoga practice creates an abundance of healthy benefits from the inside out including improved respiration, energy, and vitality!

Reduce Insomnia

Regular Yoga practice allows your body to be better in tune with itself. Tap into your body’s own circadian rhythm—your own, internal, biological clock—that will queue your body’s particular optimal time to fall asleep as well as the best time to wake up.

Mental Benefits

Similar to the way meditation will bring about mental clarity and peace of mind that allows individuals to manage stressful times, Yoga too helps us achieve an unclouded mental state that aids us better as we navigate through life.

If you’re passionate about Yoga, then I recommend you look into a summer camp that offers it as an activity to boost your techniques and skills on your Yoga mat. If you already have a camp in mind, call them up to ask about their Yoga program. And, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John

Zoe N.T. at Summer Music Camp

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Hey, Camp Kids!

We love our annual ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest at Everything Summer Camp and with the turnout we saw, this has been the best year yet! Your stories were great and it was such a fun time reading through them. Get a look at each submission as I post them one-by-one right here on the Blog!

Today’s post is from Zoe N. T. who wrote in to tell us about her returning year at Philadelphia International Music Festival. Take in her summer camp story right now:This place really does look like a castle!

It was tough keeping out the anxious, highly anticipated thoughts that would pop into my head about the new and unknown experience I was about to have at P.I.M.F. Sometimes, it would keep me up at night, wondering what I was going to learn there and if I could really do all that I had planned to do. Once I got there, I didn’t want to leave.

People come from all over the world for the education that’s in this camp.

When I went for the first time, I was surprised to see people from different cultures and ethnicities. Music is universal, it’s unifying, and inspiring. It’s what makes this camp the best.

The Bryn Mawr campus is where P.I.M.F is held. It’s beautiful and easy to navigate.

The buildings look like castles and have acoustics like them, too. They look identical to the one pictured in the Harry Potter films. The food is satisfactory; it can withstand any picky-eater with a variety of selections. The coaches on staff are brilliant. But talking about the camp doesn’t do it justice. You have to be there to experience just how exceptional it truly is.

It’s an international camp, and the people that come from all over the world are intelligent, kind, and talented. You will make lifelong friendships there, I should know.

You only need to go there once to meet great people.

You will endure intense but constructive practice sessions. It’s tailored to your playing ability and it will help you improve. The more I practiced, the more I benefited from the sessions.

The dorm rooms are located in two buildings. You can choose which building you want to stay in and you’re able to request a roommate. I bunked with one of my friends I made at camp the following year, and that made it easier to talk about what we’ve learned.

Every night, you go to see a performance. Most of the time it’s several shows in one.

It can either be a masterclass or a concert. The masterclasses are taught by a player of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Any kind of performance they put on is a great one.

Everyone travels to Ocean City, NJ for a day with their new friends. You hang out on the boardwalk with them, go back to the campus, have a pizza dinner, and relax for the rest of the night. It’s a marker for the end of our time there and how hard we’ve been working before the Grand Finale concert.

The staff is more than willing to accommodate you if you want extra lessons or if you need help with your schedule. They also offer secondary lessons, so if you play another instrument and you want to take lessons there, they will help you schedule it.

You will become a better person from the learning experiences you gain at this camp. Whether it’s from a person you’ve met, from the lessons, or from one of the performances that left a mark on you, you will strive to do better. You will want to learn more.

Your new friends will encourage you on this journey, and you’ll do the same for them because you’re all in this together.

When I came home from P.I.M.F, I couldn’t remember what life was like before. I am becoming a better musician from the challenging and intense music training and I have great friends from across the globe. I can’t wait to go back next year!” 

Glad you had yet another fantastic summer stay at Philadelphia International Music Festival, Zoe! I love how cool you make it sound at camp—like a castle and it’s great to hear your passion and musical drive! For anybody else interested in Philadelphia International Music Festival, give it a closer look for yourself some time and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Creating Summer Memories at Camp Kawaga

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Hey, Camp People!

Everything Summer Camp prides itself on being more than just your summer camp gear supplier and we hope you feel the same. We’ve done our best throughout the years to go beyond selling summer camp gear and really help you get the most out of your summer camp experience. We try to give you a glimpse of what the summer camp lifestyle is like and we try to introduce you to camps that are potentially a great fit for your camper in particular. Today, I’m telling you about Camp Kawaga. Perhaps Camp Kawaga is the summer camp for you!

Located on 160 acres of inspiring forestland on a peninsula near the town of Minocqua in the beautiful Wisconsin Northwoods, this piece of land convinced Dr. Bernard Ehrenrich (or Doc E. as he came to be known) almost immediately that this was the place that he was searching for to create Camp Kawaga.

Equipped for tons of fun activities, this camp boasts three Softball fields, five full Basketball courts, three Tennis courts, three Soccer/Football fields, a full Hockey rink, two Sand Volleyball courts, a Tramp-Ball court, as well as ranges for Archery and Riflery. Kawaga has a boathouse for four Ski Boats, two docks for Skiing, two for Swimming (one with a waterslide, raft, and trampoline), and one for Fishing. Go out on the water in Sailboats, Canoes, Paddleboats, and a Pontoon boat. And they also offer a premiere Slalom Ski Course.

There’s more fun to be had indoors in buildings like the Rec Hall where campers watch movies and plays. There’s also the Big House with a climbing wall as well as the Arts & Crafts Shop and more create a complementary look to the natural surroundings of camp. One of the first 25 summer camps in the country, Kawaga remains a gem in a sea of camps now with facilities and staff of the highest order.

Send your camper off to get their summer kicks at Camp Kawaga if it sounds like a good fit. Be sure to give them a closer look some time and as always, thanks for reading!


- John