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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

Kate C. at Camp T-Bird

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Hey, Camp Fans!

Your camp stories were great! I had a great time reading through them all and now I’m excited to share them with all our readers online and post each submission right here on the Blog! I’ve finished announcing our ten lucky winners who took larger prizes and moved on now to the rest of your submissions. The following post is from Kate C. who wrote in to tell us about her camp experience. This is her submission:

This year I spent my favorite two weeks of summer at Camp Thunderbird. It was the first time I’ve been to a two week overnight camp, and I loved it! I made dozens of new friends, tried many new things, and even earned my red bandana. Keep reading and you’ll learn more about my experience.

When I first got into my cabin I was nervous because I didn’t know anybody and the other girls looked like they knew each other and were already close friends. I met one girl, Makayla, who also didn’t know the other girls very well and we became closer that night. By the end of the first day I spent time with the other girls and we became close. We were all sad to go home, but promised to keep in touch.

Camp Thunderbird has many activities on land and on water. Ski tower was definitely one of my favorite activities at camp. Ski tower was a lot of fun because there are so many things you can do. For example you can tube, water ski, wake board, and knee board. All I did was tube, but next year I might try kneeboarding. My other favorite activity was challenge course. Challenge Course has all kinds of things to try including rock walls, a zip line, an alpine tower, and a high ropes course. I tried the rock wall several times but didn’t make it to the top. I did the zip line a lot which was super fun, and also did the high ropes course which was hard but super cool.

Overall the activities were my favorite part of camp. While doing all of these activities everyday I was earning points to get my red bandana. In each activity you can earn cards: red card, blue card, silver card, and gold card. Each card represents earning a certain amount of points. Those points help you get your bandanas. This year I got my red bandana, which is twelve points, but overall I earned a total of 24 points. Next summer I’ll definitely get my blue bandana because I’m only 12 points away!

In conclusion, Camp Thunderbird was one the best experiences I had this summer! All the friends I made were really kind, inclusive, and fun to be around. The activities were so much fun and I always looked forward to trying new things and earning points toward my bandana. I will definitely be going back next summer!

It certainly is difficult to say goodbye to the friends you make at camp, Kate. Camp Thunderbird sounds like a really wonderful place with wonderful people and some of the best ways to have some fun! Glad you had such a great experience from all your time there and that you do stay ‘close’ with the friends you made! For anybody else interested in Camp Thunderbird, you can give it a closer look by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


Susan M. and her Camp Peformance

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Hey, Camp Fans!

Your camp stories were great for the ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp! It was such fun reading through them all. Now I’m eager to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog!

I’ve finished announcing our ten lucky winners who took larger prizes and now I’m sharing the rest of your submissions. The following post is from Susan M. who wrote in to tell us about her camp experience at Nakanawa. Here’s her submission:

My name is Susan M. and I am not your average camper at a not-so-average camp. I am 13 and I go to Camp Nakanawa, which is located in Eastern Tennessee. I spend the best four weeks of my year each summer at Nakanawa. Nakanawa is a very important tradition in my family. My mom, aunt, great aunt, and great grandmother all went to Camp Nakanawa. Every year, all the girls in Junior Camp put on an Operetta for the parents on the last day. Some of the most recent productions include, The Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, and The Lion King. This summer’s Operetta was a revue of camp’s prior shows.

My age group was the oldest in Junior Camp so we could audition for a lead role. Prior to leaving for camp, I did not want to audition for a lead because I don't consider myself a singer and couldn’t carry a tune for a million dollars. The thought of singing on stage made my stomach turn. And turn and turn and turn. Enter Ms. Tiny. Ms. Tiny is the thoughtful, kind, “practically-perfect-in-every-way” Glee Club counselor. (Glee Club is an activity focused mostly on singing, acting and preparing for the Operetta.) Ms. Tiny was a camper herself for many years and has been a counselor many, many, many more summers. She is one of the most important and respected counselors in Junior Camp.

Jump to audition day: Since the 2019 Operetta was a revue there were lots of lead roles. When auditions started, I began to think. ‘Ms. Tiny is a great teacher and she said there were 30 main roles. That means I have a chance of becoming a lead!’ As I continued to process this exciting prospect I decided that one thing was certain… I was going to try out!! My audition certainly wasn’t the best, but Ms. Tiny saw something in me. The parts were announced the next day. One by one, the best lead roles were assigned. My hopes started to sink. I had gone out of my comfort zone by auditioning but I still wasn’t sure. ‘Cameron is Belle,’ Ms. Tiny read. ‘Brinkley is Aladdin, Morgan is Cinderella, Mary Meyers is Peter Pan…. and Susan will be Mary Poppins.’ ‘Wait, what!?’ I got a lead role! I was a very nervous but also extremely excited. Mary Poppins was a great lead and I couldn’t believe I would get to be her.

It took a lot more work than I thought to be Mary Poppins. Many days I had to use my free time to practice with Ms. Tiny. Her encouragement, enthusiasm, and excitement made spending my time rehearsing some of my most memorable days at camp. For weeks we worked on projection, our lines, the right costume, and so much more. Most importantly, I had to perfect my British accent!

On the day of the Operetta, I was a churning with emotion. I was nervous I would forget my lines, excited to sing in front of so many people, and ready to show everyone the Mary Poppins I had been perfecting for weeks. The show was a success and I was very proud of my performance. On the final night of camp, awards are given in each of the activities. I was very proud because all my hard work helped me get second place in Glee Club. It was the perfect way to end my best year at Camp Nakanawa yet. I am so grateful that Ms. Tiny gave me the opportunity to play Mary Poppins. I have so many wonderful memories from this summer. Being a camper at camp Nakanawa is nothing short of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Thank you so much for this great entry, Mary—I mean, Susan! You sound like a fantastic actress and a super speller! The Nakanawa tradition runs deep in your family! How cool that you enjoy keeping the family tradition each summer! How exciting that you really moved outside of your comfort zone this summer! And, what’s more, is that you enjoyed it and made yourself proud! Glad you had such a great time! If anybody else is interested in Camp Nakanawa, you can give it a closer look by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


Raag and Riflery at Camp Mowglis

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What’s up, Camp Fans?!

We received some quality camp stories for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest at Everything summer Camp. You knocked it out of the park this year, campers; these stories are fantastic! I’m eager to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog!

Now that I’ve finished announcing our ten lucky winners who took larger prizes, I’m sharing the rest of your submissions. All entrants win a $15 gift certificate to our online store simply for participating. The following post is from Raag M. who wrote in to tell us about his camp stay at Camp Mowglis. Here’s his submission:

It was a perfectly bright afternoon; the sun was warm on my back and a cool breeze was blowing. I was at Camp Mowglis, in Hebron, New Hampshire for the summer of 2019. I was walking down to the rifle range, which is the circled area.

I was walking down there for the first time, feeling a tinge nervous, but mostly excited.
When I stepped inside the rifle range after a short walk I had to choose a rifle to shoot with. I went with B2. It was the German Anschutz model. I then set up a target to shoot at and sat down on the bench. Then after getting our ammunition blocks, we lay down to shoot. 
And then the moment came. When the Riflery instructor told us to shoot I loaded, looked through the sights, and shot. I did this repeatedly until I was on my last and 5th shot. I then looked through the sights and I took deep breaths. When I shot, my eyes were closed. I felt like it had been a good shot.
When we went outside to retrieve our targets I was bursting with excitement! I wanted to know what score my target was. It was a 24/50. I felt like jumping for joy, I was so ecstatic. When I shot again, however, my shots were not that good. They were a 19 and a 16. I still went to the next activity happily because I had had a great time in Riflery!

Nice shooting, Raag! I love those moments when time seemingly freezes with some deep breathing and laser focus. It’s great to hear that Riflery was such a cool experience for you! Keep in practice if it’s something that you really like! I bet with some more focus and deep breathing you could shoot 24/50’s on the regular. Camp Mowglis sounds awesome! If anyone else would like to check it out closer, you can do so by clicking right here. As always, thanks for reading!


- John

Katie P.'s Camp Story

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Hey, Camp Aficionados!

Your camp stories for this year’s annual ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest at Everything summer Camp were fantastic! I’m eager to share them with our online community and post each submission right here on the Blog!

Last week concluded the announcements of our ten lucky winners who took larger prizes. And now today, I’ll begin sharing the rest of our submissions. All other entrants receive a $15 gift certificate to our online store simply for participating, making everyone a winner.

The following post is from Katie P. who wrote in to tell us about her time away at Camp Merrie Woode this summer. Here’s her submission:

One night me and my friend got up around 4:27 am to the sounds of rustling I quickly shined the light out of the window and she saw a bear, the bear’s name is Margaruite, I rushed over to see if she was telling the truth and she was. A quick reminder to help you with this story is that me and my friend go by dumb and dumber because we are both over-the-top stupid. I got out of bed rushed to the bathroom and came back to put the trunk in front of the door we didn’t want to wake anybody up and we also didn’t want to be killed for the rest of the night. As we were walking back to our beds my friend tripped on a suitcase and then to my foot making her break her nose and it started gushing blood. We tried to clean it up the best we could but obviously we are dumb and dumber so we didn’t know much on how to fix it. By the way none of the rest of the cabin was awake. We shoved a tampon up her nose and called it a day. We got back into one bed together instead of getting into each of our own beds by ourself. We thought this would be the safest way to sleep. For the rest of the night we were scared so much we couldn’t stop shivering. This was one of the funniest and most terrifying moments of my life!

You and your friend had quite a frantic night at camp! I’m glad that nobody got hurt too bad and nobody got eaten by a bear either! Thanks for your story, Katie! You had a number of us laughing pretty hard here around the office! How very resourceful of you two to use this hygienic bathroom product on (or should I say ‘in’) your friend’s nose.  Also, Margaruite is a wonderful bear name!

If you’re interested in checking out Camp Merrie Woode, give them a closer look sometime. And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John