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Climb it

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Hey, Mountain Men and Women!

Conquering a mountain is no easy feat. Breathing gets harder at higher altitudes and each step is work to lift yourself that much higher. But the feeling of accomplishment paired with a view that can’t be beat urges folks onward and upward to do what many others might say is impossible. Celebrated all over the world but on differing dates, today is Mountain Climbing Day in the USA.

You’ll want to have conditioned your body to be the best climber you can be.

There are a few different ways you can start your training. There’s no better practice than actually climbing—that’s for sure—but even before practicing, there are great exercises you can do at the gym or maybe even right at home. Here’s how I broke it down:

Upper Body Strength
Climbing, of course, takes a world of Upper Body Strength to hoist yourself into higher and higher positions. Any kind of muscle-building exercises will work—push-ups, pull-ups (if you have a bar available), or weightlifting (if you have the proper weights) are great ways to build strength in your arms and shoulders. Even more intricate of an exercise are Hand Grips. These will help develop the muscles in your fingers to build dexterity for those difficult-to-hold-onto-rocks.

Lower Body Strength
Sometimes when climbing, you’ll need your legs to make impossible strides upward and to push the rest of your body to the next point of pausing. Jogging is always a great way to build up those leg muscles. You’ll also want to incorporate some of the exercises we recommended for horse riding like Front Squats and Forward Lunges. Exercises like these are sure to sculpt your leg muscles for the job.

Stretches alone are a great means of training your body to be able to make far reaches and gliding steps. Sitting with your legs outstretched and touching your toes is one great way to extend the span of your stretching. For those with a chin-up bar available, you can practice what is called a ‘Deadhang’ in which you hold yourself up by your fingers. If you have a Finger-Board, that would be most convenient.

Rock climbing is fun, but extremely strenuous work. Make sure you’re ready for it when you head off to your mountainous adventures. Happy Mountain Climbing Day and, as always, thanks for reading.


- John

Make Next Year Easier

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Hey, Camp Folks!

It’s the end of July and the camp season is winding down. Most campers are likely either returned or still away for their stay. For some of you the rush of the camp season is already over. Others just need to pick up their kid on closing day. Time to unpack and take a year-long break from all the planning and prepping and thinking about summer camp. Right?

That’s an option, sure. However, if you push yourself to go the extra mile in putting away your gear now, the work for next season could already be done for you. Do it now while it’s fresh in your kid’s mind!

Listen to your kid’s stories and answers to your questions. You may learn that the raincoat didn’t fit or that the sandals hurt their feet. Ask them if their Duffel Bag was spacious enough for them to conveniently live out of or was it cramped and limiting—things like that.

As you go through your child’s gear to put everything away, ask your camper what worked well and didn’t. Should you discover a giant tear in their laundry bag, don’t just put it away and leave the problem for yourself to deal with next season. Instead, set it aside to throw away or cut up for dust cloths. Make a note to replace the laundry bag and do the same for any cracked water bottles or fans.

A more in-depth guide can be found right here on a previous post.

And, of course, listen to your child and ask them about the non-material aspects of summer camp. Was it lots of fun? Were they comfortable enough being away from home? How did they do at making friends?

Solutions to any problems your kid may have encountered at summer camp can be found by scrolling through our advice posts here on the Blog or in the invaluable guidebook, ‘The Summer Camp Handbook‘ from camp experts Dr. Christopher Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski. Check out this great book when you click here and browse our site for any other camping gear or summer camp supplies would have made things easier this year.

We sincerely hope you all had the best camp stay possible this summer. Enjoy the rest of the summer season and, as always, thanks for reading.


- John



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Hey, Summertime Explorers!

We love discussing all the amazing activities that may be available to you for your summer camp stay. If you’re passionate about Caving (also known as ‘spelunking’), maybe you were fortunate enough to attend a camp that offers it as one of their activities! Cave exploration is a thrilling experience. Today we're talking about some of the ways for you to get the most out of this awesome opportunity!

The advice to “travel light” has never been more appropriate than with Caving. Be safe with the proper equipment. Bring enough, but only what you need and the lighter-weight your gear is, the better! A few essentials to have along are:     

  • Food and Water—Have enough with you to last at least a day or even two.
  • First Aid Kit—When accidents happen you need to be prepared under the ground.
  • Extra Clothes—Caves are notorious for wet and muddy conditions; have an extra set of clothes to change into when your adventure is over.

Don’t Take it to the Limit
If you’re starting to feel kind of weird, be sure to let others know it. If you start feeling tired, uncomfortable, claustrophobic, or just not quite right, make sure that you take a break and rest before continuing on.

Stick Together
Caving trips should always be done in groups. The only reason to ever split from the group would be a serious injury or emergency.

Have a Plan
Confirm that every in your group knows what the emergency plan is. Appoint someone as the trip leader to make decisions during the crisis. You should only ever take action without consulting your trip leader if you’re life’s endangered.

Rule of Three
Similar to climbers, cave explorers should maintain three points of contact to prevent you from slipping and falling.  When moving on rough terrain, always keep three points of contact.

Protect the Cave
It’s simple: Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints. Caves are fragile ecosystems. It’s the natural habitat of the bat. Bats live and breed in caves. You should never damage or alter the cave and definitely never leave any trash behind. Also, do not disturb the bats!

Check out a previous Blog post about the boys who discovered the Crystal Cave here in our home state of Wisconsin. Click here to read it and enjoy spelunking if you get the opportunity to this summer! Have fun and experience a whole new world that’s totally peaceful, pitch-black, and quiet. As always, thanks for reading!


- John 

You're the Best!

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Happy Best Friends Day, Besties!

Best friends are great. You might hope to spend nearly every waking hour of these long summer days together. You’ll have plenty of time for that, but what about when the time comes for your summer camp stay? Maybe your friend isn’t going to camp or maybe you’ll be attending different camps.

Of course having your best friend join you for camp would be a blast! You’d create so many memories of summer camp fun—a season sure to go down in the books as one of the best summers for the pair of you! Maybe some year you’ll be able to make that happen, but sometimes it can be a good thing to spend a little time away from your friend.

Don’t Shortchange your Camp Experience
Camp gives kids the opportunity to be themselves. At camp, kids have the space to discover more about who they are and the freedom to be even more of their authentic selves. Attending camp with your best friend would likely hinder the opportunity to rediscover yourself. For this reason, many kids prefer to attend a camp without a friend from home. Learn more about attending camp with a friend from this Blog post from camp expert Dr. Chris Thurber.

Growing Together, Separately
Though some of you may feel as though your best friend is a long lost identical twin, you are still your own individual personalities. Allow each other space to grow on your own too! Just because your interests may differ from your best friend’s doesn’t mean you two aren’t great friends! Sometimes friends need to grow apart a little bit in order to keep growing together!

Fond Farewells Forge Fonder Hellos
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder. Think of all the fun memories your best friend will have to tell you and how much you will have for them when you finally see each other again! You’ll likely find your relationship is renewed and feels stronger than it was before! Be sure to be a good friend and really listen to all the things your friend wants to fill you in on!

Be thankful for your best friend today. Let them know how much they mean to you today and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Pleased to Greet You

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Hey, Camp Folks!

At Everything Summer Camp, we understand the importance of correspondence with your camper during their summer stay. It’s incredibly important they know that you’ve been thinking of them while they’re away. And since most camps limit their campers’ contact with the outside world solely to letters in the mail, we thought we’d offer the Summer Camp Greeting Card Pack.

We just worked on a bunch of new Cards—writing and designing them—so there’s a great new selection for you to pick from when you click right here. These Summer Camp Greeting Cards are a great sentiment and such a great show of thoughtfulness. Write a little message inside the card or just send it as is. Either way, it’s sure to put a smile on your camper’s face.

Not only is it good for a smile but it helps kids cope with a little homesickness. Let’s them know that everything is A-okay back home and their loved ones are thinking of them. Summer camp expert Dr. Chris Thurber discusses the importance of camp correspondence in a previous Blog post he supplied us with called Write Right. Check it out by clicking here.

From general camp-themed cards to other themes geared toward specific interests like fishing or horseback riding and, of course, all those magical camp moments, you’re sure to find a set of cards that speak to you for your camper. There’s a card for campers to send home as well!

Five cards in a set. You won’t find cards like these anywhere else. Pick the Set of 5 Cards (with their colorful envelopes) that fit your camper best and drop a warm hello with these cute, campy cards!

Enjoy these cute cards with your kids and get your Summer Camp Greeting Card Pack today. You can browse our Postcards too and other Stationery products right here and, as always, thanks for reading.


- John