Shopping Cart


Posted on

Hey, Camp People!

Amidst weeks of prepping and secret planning—your friend's surprise birthday party just around the corner—you can’t believe your own slip of the tongue when they ask you what you’re doing this weekend and you respond without thinking twice, “I’ll be at your party!”

You blurt it out...and then watch as their eyes widen in slow motion as you both come to the realization that this ‘surprise’ is no longer a secret. How did this happen? You just let the cat out of the bag.

But what's the origin of this curious phrase? Why do we use this saying when we accidentally reveal a secret? To find the answer, we journey back to a time when the marketplace was bustling with activity and cunning vendors.

Back in the day, livestock was bought and sold at the marketplace and there were many crafty traders who would trick their customers in order to make a dishonest sale. Someone purchasing a pig, for example, would get home to discover the pig they were supposed to have acquired had been swapped with a less valuable animal—frequently a cat.

As the unsuspecting buyer would open the bag and watch as a feline surprise would reveal itself, they would be—in a rather literal sense—letting the cat out of the bag. Thus, this phrase became synonymous with the act of accidentally revealing a hidden secret or truth.

In essence, whether you're navigating the labyrinth of secrets or sharing stories around the fire at summer camp, the origins of age-old phrases like these add an extra layer of depth and curiosity to our language. So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where you unintentionally reveal sensitive information, remember the story of the sneaky vendor and the bagged cat and let this phrase serve as a whimsical reminder of the consequences that come with revealing a secret out of turn.

Check back in when we return for another Adage Origin Blog post in February when we’ll take a look at our next phrase. Thanks for reading and, as always, Happy Camping!


- John

'Where There's Smoke, There's Fire': Unveiling the Campfire Saying

Posted on

Hey there, Summer camp Folks!

‘Where there's smoke, there's fire.’ The roots of this phrase date back to ancient times, with its first recorded use dating all the way back to 43 B.C. That's over 2,000 years ago! But it truly gained popularity in the 16th century, and since then, it's become a common saying in the English language. Smoke, being the cloudy gray or black mixture of air and carbon that comes from something when it’s burning, is most often directly related to fire that it’s a natural assumption that if you see one the other is present.

In the literal sense, it's true that where there's fire, you'll likely see smoke. But when we use this phrase in everyday conversations, we're not talking about actual smoke or actual flames. It’s a metaphorical phrase. It's a way of saying that if there's any suspicion or evidence of something, there's a good chance it's true.

Campfires are a cherished tradition at summer camp. Put yourself in the shoes of a summer camper, sitting around a roaring fire, roasting marshmallows, and entertaining one another with stories. Summer camp is all about building friendships, having fun, and learning valuable life lessons. But it's also about the responsibility of taking the appropriate measures for safety.

They provide warmth, light, and a sense of togetherness. However, they also come with a set of rules and responsibilities. One of the fundamental lessons you'll learn at summer camp is fire safety. You'll discover how to build and maintain a campfire safely, ensuring that the flames stay where they belong—in the fire pit. Camp counselors and staff will teach you the importance of fire safety rules and how to prevent accidents.

Beyond the Flames
Embrace the responsibility of campfire safety, but also carry this lesson with you beyond the campfire circle. This phrase isn't just about campfires. It's a valuable life lesson. It reminds us to pay attention to the signs and take action when something seems suspicious or wrong. Trust your instincts, look out for one another, and always seek the truth. Whether it's a situation at camp, school, or in your everyday life, this phrase encourages you to trust your instincts and seek the truth.

Remember the wisdom behind this age-old phrase that gives us truth in an everyday observation and take it with you on your summer adventures and all others throughout your life. Thanks for reading, Everybody and, as always, Happy Camping!


- John

Taking the Road Less Traveled at Summer Camp

Posted on

Hey, Adventurers!

As campers sat around a fire, taking turns sharing stories of their summer camp adventures, one of them recounted journeying deep into a forest to find a hidden waterfall. The tale was full of treacherous terrain and unexpected obstacles they encountered. It wasn't the easiest path to take, but it was the road less traveled. The campers listen intently, captivated by the sense of adventure and courage it took to explore such uncharted territories.

Just like these campers, the phrase "take the road less traveled" embodies the spirit of embracing challenges and forging your own path. It encourages us to step out of our comfort zones and discover new possibilities. But where did this phrase originate, and why has it become so popular?

From the poem "The Road Not Taken" by renowned American poet, Robert Frost, this poem resonated with readers and became an instant classic. Published in The Atlantic Monthly in August 1915, the poem's opening line, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood," sets the stage for the exploration of choices and individuality.

Frost's poem encourages us to step away from the crowd and venture into uncharted territories. The idea behind taking the road less traveled is to seek out new experiences, challenge the status quo, and forge our own unique journey in life—just like at summer camp!

Summer campers are encouraged to try new things, explore their interests, and break free from the confines of routine. Whether it's attempting a daring outdoor activity, participating in a talent show, or engaging in a new art form, camp provides a supportive environment for campers to take the road less traveled.

Summer camp is a place where individualism is celebrated and personal growth is nurtured. It offers a break from the pressures of conformity, allowing campers to discover their true passions and interests. By taking the road less traveled, campers learn to embrace uncertainty, overcome challenges, and build resilience. The road less traveled at camp might mean trying a new activity, making friends outside of one's usual social circle, or pushing a camper’s own personal boundaries. 

But how did this phrase become so popular? Well, it’s a really great poem: 

Over time, "take the road less traveled" has evolved into a cultural symbol, inspiring people to think outside the box and follow their own path. It has become a mantra for those who seek adventure, value authenticity, and dare to be different.

Embrace the spirit of adventure! Take the road less traveled and see where it leads you. As Robert Frost so eloquently put it, "I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Embrace the road less traveled at summer camp and create a truly extraordinary experience. Happy trails, adventurers!


- John

Seizing Opportunities and Hay in the Summer Season

Posted on

Once upon a brilliant summer day as the warm rays of the sun enveloped the landscape of the campgrounds, a troop of campers set out to embark on a summer camp adventure. As they began their trek along with the sunrise, the cabin leader called out to share an old saying: "Make Hay While the Sun Shines." Journey back with us to medieval times to discover the roots of this English proverb.

Back then, farmers relied on hay as an essential resource even though it’s a process that requires days of hard work—cutting, gathering, and drying it all. But so much hard work could be ruined with just a drizzle. In those days, wise farmers lived by one simple rule season after season:

"Make Hay while the Sun Shines."

Over time, the phrase went beyond its farming origins and took on a broader meaning. It became a reminder to seize opportunities before they slipped away. Just like farmers made hay when the sun shone, people realized the importance of recognizing and acting on favorable circumstances. It became a down-to-earth version of ‘carpe diem’—a reminder to make the most of every chance.

At summer camp, children embark on a whirlwind of adventures, exploring everything from the natural world around them to their own inner creativity. They forge friendships and create memories that last a lifetime. But camp provides a limited time to fit in so much exploration, education, and growth. Just how the farmers had to work efficiently to gather their hay, summer campers must make the most of their time, embracing every opportunity that comes their way.

So, as your child embarks on their summer camp journey, remind them of the significance behind "Make Hay While the Sun Shines." Encourage them to embrace the adventure, seize every moment, and make the most of the opportunities that unfold before them.

On the farm or at camp, in our personal or professional, the lesson remains the same—seize the opportunities and make the most of every moment. Remember, when life presents you with a sunny day, don't let it pass you by. Embrace the moment and make the most of it! Savor the sunshine and thanks for reading. As always, Happy Camping!


- John

The Sky's the Limit at Summer Camp

Posted on

Hey, Camp Folks!

The Climbing Wall towers overhead—your camper’s heart pounding with both excitement and fear. Determined to ascend to the top, they take their first step and hoist themselves up. After all, at summer camp, ‘The Sky’s the Limit’. Campers are encouraged to push their boundaries, explore new possibilities, and embrace the spirit of endless possibilities throughout their summer stay.

From challenging outdoor pursuits like rock climbing and zip-lining to creative endeavors like arts and crafts, campers are encouraged to dream big, set ambitious goals, and reach for the stars. Camp provides a supportive and nurturing environment where campers can step outside their comfort zones, discover hidden talents, and develop invaluable life skills.

Now, let's talk about the origins of the phrase ‘The Sky’s the Limit’ Some folks say it came from a book called Don Quixote, written by a famous writer named Cervantes. Don Quixote is a story about a brave knight who sets off on incredible adventures. Although the phrase "The sky's the limit" isn't actually found in the book, people often associate it with the adventurous spirit of Don Quixote.

But here's an even cooler fact for you: "The Sky's the Limit" emerged during a time of progress and optimism, right before World War I in the United States. It was a way to say that there are no boundaries to what you can achieve and that you can aim as high as the sky.

So, Summer Campers, as you ascend the Climbing Wall, navigate the wilderness, and bond with your fellow campers, always remember that your potential knows no limits. Summer camp empowers you to believe in yourselves, dream big, and understand that when it comes to reaching your goals, the sky's the limit.

So, as campers ascend climbing walls, create art masterpieces, conquer new skills, and forge lifelong friendships, they carry with them the timeless message that there are no limits to what they can accomplish. Summer camp empowers them to believe in themselves, dream big, and remember that when it comes to their potential, The Sky's the Limit.


- John