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The On-the-Go Desk

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Hey, Camp Fans!

A flat surface is something you should never take for granted! Of course we have desks for a home office and classrooms full of school desks, but where can you turn when you need a hard surface and there are no desks available? This is liable to happen in plenty of settings like a warehouse, sporting events, and—for sure—summer camp.

With the Storage Clipboard from Everything Summer Camp, you can head off to summer camp complete with stationery, pens, and stamps. Writing materials store right inside the clipboard! Its hinged lid opens to reveal the handy storage bin below. Keep your stationery, pens and more organized with this great clipboard that doubles as a makeshift desk.

Yes, our Storage Clipboards are cool, colorful, and convenient, but clipboards weren’t always so. In fact, just 150 years ago, they weren’t around at all. And when the first ones emerged, they weren’t referred to as clipboards; they were called board clips.

It was George Henry Hohnsbeen who patented the very first ‘clipboard’ by name

in 1908. Of course there’s not a whole lot to a clipboard in the first place, but the earliest models were about as basic as they can be—a wooden board with a metal hinged clip.

It didn’t take very long, however, for different materials and variations to be included in the construction. Aside from the original wood, people began making clipboards out of heavy-duty aluminum, PVC, high-impact polystyrene, and more. Storage clipboards were an obvious expansion to add to product to create convenient safe-keeping for documents that belong together.  

Clipboards are perfect for taking along on day trips in the woods where you can sit with Nature and write a letter, or a poem, or draw a picture of your surroundings. The paper on your clipboard offers a whole world of possibilities! See where your artistry and imagination can take you! Thank goodness for clipboards. And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Can You Handle these Sandals?

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Hey, Camp Folks!

The classic summertime footwear—nowadays, sandals may be made from rubber, leather, wood, tatami, or rope. You can find them in cool colors and sweet styles, available on our online store and displayed for you when you click right here for everyday, casual wear and then when you click here as well for our selection of sport sandals.

But it wasn’t always like this with options and fashion and availability. Sandals have been around for a long time, yet there was a time when they hadn’t been invented yet. The oldest pair of sandals ever discovered were found in the state of Oregon in Fort Rock Cave. They were carbon dated to be at least 10,000 years old.

Crude footwear for sure, the original sandals were made of natural elements which were handy to folks of particular regions. Tree and other plant leaves, twigs, fibers, dried grass, and non-processed leather were all used in constructing the world’s first sandals—literally whatever was lying around. Take a look at how people got around in ancient times. 

Walk like an Egyptian…sandal
Ancient Egyptian sandals were made out of the leaves of palm trees and their trademark paper-like invention, papyrus.

You can spot their old sandals depicted on the feet of Egyptian statues and reliefs.  

It’s all Greek Feet to Me
Greek sandals were made up of multiple layers of cattle skin for the sole which proved to be much better quality. After that, they were a mess of straps that wound around the ankle for a secure. The top of the sandals were usually made of colored leather.

Sandals of Biblical Proportions

Ancient Levant sandals—also known as Biblical Sandals as these are the style worn by folks of the times and regions covered in The Bible. These were typically made of leather and dry grass and given strings or ropes made of simple, cheap materials. Some sandals for royalty, however, were ornamented with gold or silver beads and gems to add decoration.

Today’s sandals are much more focused on comfort, functionality, and fashion than sandals from the days of old. Material availability and construction methods of our current day create high-quality, convenient, comfortable, and cool-looking sandals. Thank goodness improvements kept coming along the way. Enjoy wearing your sandals today and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Can I Write on That?

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Hey, History Buffs!

Summer camp products are all made to be packable and mobile. How do you turn something like a desk into something you can take out into the wilderness? Put a cushion on the bottom of a flat surface and you got yourself a Lapdesk! We carry Lapdesks from this awesome brand, iScream. But how did we get to this point of providing a camping desk? Let’s take a peek at the history of desks and the transformation they’ve made over the years.

We don’t need to go back to ancient times like we did for the desk’s partner in crime: the Chair. Desks appear to be a much more current necessity, going back only to the Renaissance Period—as early as the 1300s. We get the word ‘desk from the Latin word ‘desca’ which in English means “table to write on".

Just for Scribes
We see desks of the Medieval and Renaissance times in illustrations, depicted as large, cumbersome contraptions with giant storage spaces dedicated to the large and dense manuscript volumes from back in the day. These desks would be equipped with slots and hooks for bookmarking as these desks were utilized by scribes who would spend their days reading and writing.  

Take Your Seats
For a long time, most children either attended their small, village schoolhouse or were given their education at home. But by 1880, schools had grown more popular and bigger. It was an Ohio man named John Loughlin who invented the first school desk with chair attachment that connected to the desk. It’s undergone some changes since the original, however, but it became an extremely popular style for students and is still used in the classroom today.

This is Business
In more recent times, the business boom exploded with certain fields that

involve call centers, computer work, finances or any other profession that requires sitting at a desk (desk jobs). The sudden demand for an infinite number and style of desk sparked mass production and steered desk manufacturing away from finely crafted office furniture as woodworking machinery could rapidly assemble batches of desks.

Maybe your home is still adorned with a desk that’s a work of art from some craftsmen of the current day or a long time ago. No matter what desk you typically sit at, appreciate the function and purpose it provides you and, as always, thanks for reading.



- John

The History of Chairs

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Hey, Camp Folks!

You may want to take a seat for this Blog post. An unbelievably popular item, you likely sit in at least a couple of chairs if not a handful more every day! I mean, where else are you going to sit? The couch? Your bed? The car?!! It’s hard to imagine a world without any, but once upon a time there were no chairs for you to take a load off.

Prehistoric Chairs (a.k.a. taking a seat)
Of course, there was a time when there were no manmade objects at all—chairs notwithstanding! No chairs?!! Say it ain’t so!

Before there were chairs, people would sit on anything that was handy like a big log or a tree stump…maybe a large rock, or a miniature mound in the grass. These may not have been the greatest options in the comfort department, but it was the best folks could do for the time (and it got the job done)!

Chairs of Old
One of the earliest seats in the world is from roughly 5000 years back, made by the Ancient Egyptians for their Pharoahs and High Priests to sit upon: an Elevated Throne. In another 2000 years, the Romans introduced the Divan. Essentially a sofa, the Divan was a frill only found in the possession of the wealthy.

Around the same time, the Greeks contributed a bench style seat. It was simple, with no back to it. Its simplicity led to large scale seating in amphitheaters and the Roman Coliseum. The Ancient Greeks are also to credit for the Klismos Chair which included the back of the chair (as a throne, but with less ornament an detail). This Klismos Chair was mostly used by philosophers, scholars, and artisans.

Chairs and Chairs…
Eastern cultures didn’t do much to develop the chair—even today, they tend to squat, kneel, or sit on the floor instead of using a chair. Of course, they have chairs, they just use them much, much less. The Western world, however, REALLY likes chairs and brought about plenty of chair changes. It was Guiseppe Gaetano Descalzi, an Italian cabinet maker who crafted the first basic wooden chair for a dining room table (considered to be the first modern chair), the Chiavari Chair. At this time, things had yet to be mass-produced, so the Chiavaris remained rare.

Along with the Industrial Revolution came mass production of chairs at a cheaper rate. Chairs were suddenly found in just about every western home. And they kept evolving. Thomas Jefferson actually invented the swivel chair just a year or two before our nation’s Independence. He supposedly wrote the Declaration of Independence from the (at the time) one and only swivel chair in existence.

Charles Darwin is credited with the accidental invention of the office chair in the 1840s. Weary of the constant up-and-down of his office work, he added wheels to his favorite chair. A decade later, one Otto Von Bismarck provided wheeled chairs to all his government workers in an effort to increase their efficiency. This directly brought Darwin’s accidental invention into the mainstream.

By 1904, focus was finally brought to an outdoor chair. An absolute classic, the Adirondack Chair is still in great demand today. Another American outdoor classic came along in the late 40s: the folding lawn chair with woven webbing. While they’re quite outdated now, these lawn chairs used to be the epitome of luxury and convenience at the beach or in the backyard!

Nowadays, we have collapsible camping chairs and extremely portable chairs for your summer camp stays and any other outdoor adventures you have this summer! Take a look at our seating selection from Helinox and Crazy Creek when you click right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Adventure Island Camp

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Hey, Camp Fans!

Door County was full of summer campers in the 1920s. Chock full of forests, fields, and bays, that Wisconsin State Legislature designated for preservation in 1909, the Peninsula State Park offers a breathtaking view looking northwest: the chain of Strawberry Islands as they skip through the Green Bay water. A world of fun was had here by children in the Midwest area who attended camps in this gorgeous part of beautiful Wisconsin such as the rustic Adventure Island Camp off the shores of Ephraim on the thumb of the state.

Check it out! 

It was a man from Illinois, Charles “Skipper” Kinney who spearheaded a boys camp on the largest of the Strawberry Islands (initially named Big Strawberry Island and renamed Adventure Island) in 1925. He kept dominion over the land and summer operations season after season, and remained true to the original purpose the camp was founded upon—“The Spirit of Adventure which is inherent in practically every boy.”  

Adventure Island Camp was truly a self-made camp. Aside from the cooking, all the work at Adventure Island Camp was done by the campers. They did it all and they did it without electricity or running water. In the very beginning, work included the construction of the camp’s cabins and other structures.

To compensate the boys, Skipper gave them incredible freedom. Every day, he would ask them individually what they wanted to do for the day and, as you weren’t going to kill yourself doing it, he provided the material and guidance for them to achieve their goals.  

The 7 to 14 year old boys would venture out on solo treks for overnights in the woods or build their own wooden kayaks. One year, the kids constructed their own Viking ship and named it ‘Serpent of the Sea’. They took it on a five-day cruise, a voyage off to distant lands like Escanaba and Marinette!

To make the freedom that much freer, the boys could even bring their dogs for the summer. The freedoms taught the campers invaluable lessons. They found that they were ‘free’ not to do their dishes, but then must eat on dirty plates. They were ‘free’ to stay up at night, but had to be up and at ‘em with the sun.

With further establishment in later days, the camp came to offer a baseball league, stamp club, journalism, orchestra, and shooting range to expand the activities, the boys created for themselves. A true inspiration to the very heart of why we have summer camp, the Skipper was a wonderful influence on the youth of his day. The camp stayed in operation until 1952.

There were a handful of other historic camps that operated in close proximity to Adventure Island such as Meenahga Girls camp and the Cherry Camp. I’ll cover these camps and more in future Blog posts. And, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John