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Let Freedom Ring

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Hey, Fourth Fans!

A Happy Independence Day to all our patriotic customers out there! The modern festivities we have today may be a familiar sight but before 1776, the fourth of July wasn't our Independence Day of the United States of America; it was just another date on the calendar. For well over a hundred years prior to 1776, the tyrannical King George and the British government kept the colonists under their rule and unjust law despite their move to 'The New World'.

Unfounded taxes and a multitude of other conflicts grew between the colonists and King George (who was literally losing his mind). In response to the unyielding reach of the British Crown, the colonies held a Continental Congress to resolve the matter once and for all. It was one Virginia statesman named Richard Lee who is now known for his famous words at the meeting of June 7 in 1776,

“Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

Rather different from our current way of speaking, Mr. Lee was simply saying that the colonies were able to govern themselves and would no longer needed Great Britain filling any governmental role.

These famous words were the catalyst to form the committee that drafted a document to state the colonies’ case for freedom from British reign. The committee was composed of five members: Ben Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson was the one to physically write up the document.

They named it The Declaration of Independence.

After days and days of careful examination and minor revisions, the document was finally completed on July 4. The colonies voted in favor of this independence declaration and our founding fathers signed the document at the bottom—John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, signed the largest so “King George can read that without spectacles!” he noted.

And now we celebrate our Independence Day to observe the day that the colonies adopted our Declaration of Independence in 1776.

So, from everyone here at Everything Summer camp, enjoy your Fourth of July and revel in our Independence Day!

- John

History of the Helmet

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Hey, Helmet Heads!

People have been wearing protective gear on top of their heads, one of the most vital parts of our body, for thousands of years—pretty much since the dawn of civilization. Whether they be ceremonial and symbolic or practical and effective, helmets have been around for a long time to protect our brains and heads.

Battle Helmets
Coming from ‘helm’, the Old English word for protective head covering, the job of a helmet is pretty clear. That’s why the first helmets in history were for military purposes—doing battle was the main reason from centuries ago that anyone would need to wear head protection. Knights of the Medieval Ages wore their swinging visor helmets and all other types of models for the same reason. 

It wasn’t until the 1800s that huge developments were made both in terms of helmet construction methods as well as manufacturing materials such as leather, felt, and pith. But even then, helmets remained items exclusive to the military or law enforcement along with hazardous occupations like coal mining.

High Helmet Demand
The supplies and production (and even the demand) just wasn’t there back then, though people did things all the time without a helmet for which you ought to be wearing one. From riding bicycles to climbing rocks, playing full-contact sports and riding horseback—people did it all without a helmet. Unfortunate spills and blows, however, would sometimes result in much worse consequences that could have been prevented with a helmet.

But the 1900s and mass production put an end to that. The development of highly specialized helmets for a multitude of athletic and professional applications began emerging. With new crazes beginning, like roller skating, riding motorcycles, and skateboarding—different styles of helmet were designed to give the best protection in each particular activity.

Riding Rules
1956 introduced the ‘Caliente’ helmet in the USA. Proper safety helmets crossed from racing into other equestrian fields and, in 1986, the United States Pony Club asked the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) to design a riding helmet made for equestrians. The first ASTM/SEI certified helmet was developed in 1990 just as helmet laws spread throughout the States and made helmets mandatory for riders on the road or under the age of 14.

Remember to always ride with your helmet on! Check out the helmets we have available for your horseback adventures here at Everything Summer Camp. You can click here for all our horseriding gear and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John


Sun—AND SNOW—Glasses

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Hey, Cool Campers!

Easy to obtain, you can pick up a pair of sunglasses for yourself at any ol’ convenience store. Or, if your vision requires corrective lenses, splurge on a nice pair of prescription sunglasses. But things weren’t always so. Sunglasses have been around for a long time, but not forever. So when were these crafty specs invented and who were the first folks to wear these cool shades?

The Alaskan Inuits, also known as Eskimos, get the credit for the invention of sunglasses, though the very first ‘sunglasses’ didn’t look anything like a cool pair of shades that we know and love today. They made them for staring out upon the vast plains of blindingly white snow sparkling in the sunlight.

The ancient ‘snow goggle’, however, essentially worked the same way as our modern polarized sunglasses. They were typically carved out of bone or ivory, featuring a long, single slit or multiple slits for each eye to see through. Some modern sunglasses are even modeled after this style with bars running across each eye covering.

Sunlight comes down in vertical light waves, reflects off surfaces, and changes into horizontal light waves. Polarized sunglasses are designed to block horizontal light waves, cutting back on glare. The small viewing slit did the same thing. Along the same lines of squinting as well as narrowing a camera’s aperture, the science is the same as it was 2000 years ago! Learn more on the topic with this old Blog post

Chinese judges in the Middle Ages wore glasses with a smoke-colored quartz lens not for the purpose of protective eyewear, but to hide any expression that could be revealed through their eyes. For a time after that around the 16 to 1700s, darkened glasses were thought to help correct visual impairments. While the science of this was shown to be untrue, they were eventually sold as sunglasses.

It was a man named Ray Ban who made the first polarized pair of sunglasses that reduce glare from sunlight. And a commercial for Foster Grant sunglasses in 1960 skyrocketed the popularity for this product making them the cool, long-lasting fashion that they still are today. Check out the shades we’ve got available here at Everything Summer Camp and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John

The Boot Scoop

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Hey, Boot Boys and Girls!

These boots are made for walking. It’s not just a catchy line in a song; it’s a fact. Boots were designed for walking through snow, shallow water, and mud while keeping your feet clean, dry, and protected. The closely stitched design of leather, rubber, and canvas (or other similar materials) keeps it so everything on the outside STAYS on the outside.

Some boots, like a hiker, have tongue and laces like your everyday tennis shoe. Other boots, like rain boots, don’t have those different parts because they seal everything out. And yet, other kinds of boots, like a winter boot, may have insulation to provide you with warmth. We’ll explore this more in a minute.

With so many styles, purposes, and functions, how did such a versatile invention get started? Well, boots evolved as new conditions were encountered. For example, people didn’t need winter boots until they started expanding their territories into colder climates. So what was the original boot? When was it made and for what purpose?

Began in Pieces
Because of depictions in cave paintings that geologists date back to about 15,000 years ago, it’s suggested that boots are at least that old. Other, historical evidence shows us that early boots were made of separate coverings: a two-piece—one piece to cover the foot and another piece for the lower leg. It was about 3000 years ago now that we see the two coverings welded together as the single unit of footwear we know today. 

Cold Feet
Back that long ago, it was common for people to just walk around barefoot for everyday activities. A trip across longer distances would maybe get sandals or wooden shoes. Boots were for journeys across rough terrain, hunting, and sports. Boots were a natural need for nomadic cultures. People traveled from Asia to China to India to Russia and pushed into colder lands. Alaskan Eskimos began wearing animal parts, lining the inside with fur as early means of insulation.

War Boots
Militaries throughout the years and all over the world supplied their soldiers with the proper footwear for battle: boots! In fact, they’re responsible for developing a number of different styles such as boots that featured thick soles and turnover tops, designed to protect soldiers on horseback. Thigh-high boots were worn by Hessian soldiers of the American Revolutionary War which brought a big influence on the iconic cowboy boots of the American West cattlemen. For commanding officers in more recent years, boots have become more of a symbol of rank as opposed to any practical purposes.

Be sure to check out the boots we have available here at everyone’s favorite online store for kids camping gear, Everything Summer Camp. Appreciate it every time you strap on your boots that you can go muck it up or trudge through hills of snow while keeping your feet perfectly comfortable. Until next time, Camp Folks! And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Frisbee Fun

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Hey, Frisbee Fans!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a flying saucer! No, I’m not talking about any close encounters of the third kind sort of flying saucer. It’s the toy flying saucer that I’m talking about. You can use it to play a game of catch unlike any other—no ball involved—along with a number of other Frisbee-centric sports such as Ultimate Frisbee or Disc Golf.

The Frisbee glides by providing its own lift as it moves through the air and its spin is what creates its stability (using angular momentum in the same fashion as a gyroscope). This allows for aim and accuracy when it’s thrown.

Such a different concept from the typical ball that most sports use, how did such an interesting toy as the Frisbee come to be invented anyway? Well, it’s a cool story—one that starts in 1937 on a Thanksgiving Day evening.

After enjoying a delicious meal, one Walter Morrison and his one-day wife, Lucille, were having some fun, tossing around the lid of a popcorn canister. They discovered how well a flat disc could travel with the proper throw.

Another day, experimenting with the same concept, Walter and Lucille were tossing a cake pan back and forth on an afternoon at the beach. They were offered 25¢ for the pan despite the fact that cake pans, at the time, only cost a fifth of the offer that was made.

The couple saw that this idea could produce a profit and Walter sketched up a new design to make the disk more aerodynamic for improved flight. They named it the Whirlo-Way after a famous racehorse, however, in the midst of increasing UFO sightings after the incident at Roswell, New Mexico, they renamed their toy the Flyin-Saucer to capitalize on the craze.

From there, Walter started his own company in 1954 and redesigned the Flyin Saucer model, calling it the Pluto Platter. Before long, he sold the rights to Wham-O. That pretty much completes the history of the Frisbee—except for how it got its name.

Ironically, the name comes from students of Yale University who started tossing around empty pie tins from the Frisbie Pie Company—just the way Walter and Lucille threw around popcorn tin lids and cake pans! Once the co-founders of Wham-O learned of this term for throwing discs, they renamed the Pluto Platter for good. Catch your own light-up Frisbee right here at Everything Summer Camp and, as always, thanks for reading.


- John