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Bring on the Towel, Turkey!

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Hey, Towel Users!

Towels are a part of our everyday lives whether you’re taking a trip to the beach, doing the dishes, or drying yourself off after a hot bath or shower. We offer a great variety in towels for summer camp here on our online store—from Hand Towels, to Bath Towels, to Beach Towels, Cooling Towels, and more! Towels of all kinds are certainly an essential part of our daily routines and fun activities, but how often do you wonder about the history of towels and what did people do before they existed?

That’s what we’re investigating on today’s Blog post!

Believe it or not, there was a time when towels didn’t exist. How did primitive people of ancient times get themselves dry after they got wet? They either relied on sitting next to fires until the water was evaporated or they would use a dry animal pelt to wipe themselves down. So you could say that animal hides (that’s the skin and fur of an animal) were the original towels. People resorted to these means for a long time.

As for the first true towels, historians have found mention of woven pieces of cotton or some other absorbent fabric in medieval texts. But even then, the most recognized origin the present-day towel doesn’t begin until the 1600’s in the Ottoman (or Turkish) Empire. The Turkish Empire was a great state that stretched across parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa—essentially encircling the Mediterranean Sea.

Towels are steeped in Turkish culture. The people brought their exceptional skills in carpet-weaving to the towel scene and created towels with new designs, colors, and intricate detail. As the Empire expanded, the demand for towels grew. Royals of the time sought out towels of more and more elaborate design which drove towel-makers to push themselves for more unique and decorative pieces.

Had it not been for the Turkish Ottoman Empire, towels would never have developed into our store bought cloths that we know and love today! Browse through our awesome selection of colored towels, graphic towels, and towels with alternative purpose right here at Everything Summer Camp and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Cinco De Why-O

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¡Hola, Amigos!

Today is the fifth of May (or Cinco De Mayo for those of you who know your Spanish). This is one interesting holiday in that it’s incredibly misunderstood. For instance, did you know that Cinco De Mayo is actually more widely celebrated in the United States than it is in Mexico?

It’s seems preposterous at first, right? I mean, how can a holiday with a SPANISH name be a primarily AMERICAN holiday? And why wouldn’t Mexicans celebrate their own Independence Day? It doesn’t make any sense!

Well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. First and foremost, the main thing to understand about Cinco De Mayo is that it is NOT the Mexican Independence Day.

Mexico’s Independence Day (as relayed in my September 16 Blog post) is on September 16. It was on this date back in 1810 that one Father Miguel Hidalgo, a Catholic priest, literally rounded people up from the markets and streets of Mexico to declare their independence from Spain.

Cinco de Mayo, on the other hand, celebrates Mexico’s regaining of their freedom in 1862 from the short-lived French invasion. The Mexican state of Puebla calls the holiday The Day of the Battle of Puebla (or El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, Spanish Speakers).

Though the day is celebrated in parts of Mexico—especially in Puebla—their freedom from Spain is much more important to the Mexican people.

But despite the fact that Cinco De Mayo may be as confused and misinformed as it is, it’s also a day in which the Mexican culture is celebrated and honored by the citizens of another country—which I think is pretty cool! It’s certainly a day that’s worth acknowledging. Its purpose has just become a little clouded.

So with a clearer understanding of today’s celebration, I wish you all a good Day of the Battle of Puebla. Thanks for reading.

 

- John

A Look Back on Laundry

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Hey, Wishy-Washers!

Doing the laundry nowadays is as simple as loading a machine and pressing a few buttons, but this chore used to be much more involved and labor-intensive. The further back you go, the longer it took to do the laundry. And our methods of cleaning our clothes have shaped how we store and haul our dirty laundry.

In ancient times, people would tend to settle in spots nearby water sources since water is such an essential part of our lives—not just for consumption and survival, but for cleaning ourselves and our clothing as well. And back then, cleaning laundry was something practiced only by those with servants to do the chore.

And what a chore it was! A lot more than adding detergent and applying the right settings, washing clothes involved beating clothes over rocks and then scrubbing with abrasive sand or stone. After that, the clothes went into a process that we all know as the spin cycle: pounding the wet clothes with wooden tools or simply stomping them underfoot.

By the 1800s, wooden washboards had become popular to help make the chore less of a production, but, it still wasn’t until the early 1900s that the electric washing machine really cut this chore down to actual convenience. But where were laundry bags this whole time?

There’s not much record of them existing for a very long time. It seems that people stuck to wicker baskets for much of the evolution of laundry cleaning. Baskets and hampers are still the preferable choice for domestic use. However, the rise of community laundry services like your local laundromat brought people out of their homes to do their laundry and that’s when laundry bags found their time to shine.

While baskets can be beneficial to carry not just dirty clothes to the laundry room, but it can hold the clean, folded clothes to be carried back. To actually transport clothes out of your home and back, however, laundry bags are much easier to haul. As you can imagine, laundry bags are a popular and often times required item for summer camp.

Check out all the cute, stylish, and printed laundry bags we have available at our online store and enjoy picking out your favorite of our plentiful options! Bring convenience to your camp experience with your laundry bag and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John

 


A Pillow Post

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Hey, Comfort Lovers!

Who doesn’t love resting their head on the soft loft of a nice puffy pillow? It’s a pleasure known to most in the world today, but did you know that pillows weren’t always soft? Let’s take an in-depth look at the pillowy part of our past and find out how they came to be the cushy, decorative, and squeezable part of our lives that we know so well. Pillows go way back—as far back as 9000 years—but they weren’t soft until about 200 years ago.

That’s right! Pillows weren’t soft to begin with. And they certainly weren’t commonplace. It wasn’t just anybody who had a pillow. It was the kings and pharaohs who had such frills.

But even the upper class had it rough. What exactly were pillows made out of if they weren’t soft? People originally crafted and carved cradles for their heads out of stone or wood. This kept the neck in place and off the ground. But it certainly wasn’t the cushy night of sleep that we’re so well-accustomed to nowadays. The idea behind the pillow was based much more in head protection rather than comfort. Comfort was only an option.   

Things stayed much the same all throughout the Dark Ages. Kings enjoyed hard pillows with little cushion while the majority of the world rested their heads simply on gathered piles of straw, leaves, twigs that was maybe covered with a woven fabric.

But that all changed with the swing of the Industrial Revolution when fabrics became much more affordable for store purchase gave just about everybody the ability to make their own pillow. Most folks filled their fabrics with hay or maybe chicken feathers. Hunters were fortunate if they could fill their pillows with soft goose down.

By the 1960s, polyester filling was invented and led to the new standard of synthetic stuffing for pillows along with the introduction of advanced synthetics. Pillows are still changing with today’s further advancements with Styrofoam pellets and memory foam, but pillows seem to have gone through their major transformation by this point.

That doesn’t mean they can’t still be more creative, and cozier, and crazier! Check out some of our latest pillows from brands like iScream and Top Trenz, available here at Everything Summer Camp. And, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Happy Employee Appreciation Day

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Hey, Members of the Workforce!

While I’m writing about it today, there is no actual date to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. The strategy behind this, of course, is to make it an extremely flexible holiday—very easy to work some kind of recognition around the busy schedule of a business. In other words, Employee Appreciation Day is any day you make it!

The actual beginning of Employee Appreciation Day is somewhat of a mystery; however, most people logically suspect that it was formed as a means of bringing balance to October 16. National Boss’ Day was registered by a woman named Patricia Bays Haroski in 1958. But as the day’s popularity rose and rose, employers began Employee Appreciation Day to return the favor.

Here at Everything Summer Camp, our employees do everything in their power to ensure the products we manufacture are of high quality and that the service our customers receive is to their utmost satisfaction and helpfulness.

That’s the reason why we pride ourselves on being the best summer camp retailer there is—because our employees pull together to make sure campers have a great camp experience. Our smooth collaboration between departments (especially in our busy season) is the key to our success in continuing to make happy customers.

From our trunk manufacturers in the Production Department to our devoted crew in shipping and, of course, the *AHEM* extremely talented Blog writer, Everything Summer Camp employees always aim for perfection.

“Everyone at Everything Summer Camp knows how important it is that campers have their camp gear with them,” says our company president, Ed. “That’s why our employees are willing to do whatever it takes to get our gear to our customers—even if it means an employee is running one customer’s order directly to UPS after hours.”

So if you work for someone, Happy Employee Appreciation Day and thank you for your services.

 

- John