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On the Ropes

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Hey, Adventurers!

Summer camp is full of adventure. Thrilling times abound whether they be in the water, in the woods, or high up in the air! Just about every camp boasts a Ropes Course. It’s sort of a summer camp staple—these structures of wood, cables, and rope that are strung between trees and poles. And yet, Ropes Courses are much older than summer camp. Much, much older.

No one knows who created the first Ropes Course, nor do we know when or where the first one was constructed. What we do know is that they go at least as far back as ancient times when early civilizations created advanced obstacle course challenges for their military training.

Despite not knowing the original inventor of Ropes Courses, physicians and specialists give credit to Georges Hébert for the ‘modern’ Ropes Course.

Born in 1875 Paris, Mr. Hébert became a naval officer of France in the early 1900s. During his service, he was stationed on the Martinique island in the Caribbean Sea. A major volcano eruption in 1902 caused disaster for one little town. The first officer to arrive at the scene, Hébert orchestrated the evacuation and rescue of more than 700 residents!

This experience stayed with him the rest of his life and cemented his concept that soldiers must meet their athletic skill with altruism and courage for their best performance. Along the way he came up with his own personal motto: Be strong to be helpful.

After his time in the Navy, he became a pioneer of physical education in the French military. His naval background gave him a unique idea of an obstacle course—Navy troops would create obstacle courses on the decks of ships which utilized all the aerial exercises that we see in Ropes Courses.

Here he developed his own education system that worked on his three levels: physical training, morality, and fortitude. He called his program the ‘Natural Method’ but it has also come to be known as ‘Hébertism’. In fact, many European and French Canadian Ropes Courses are commonly referred to as Hébertism Courses.

Be sure to test your skills in the ‘Natural Method’ or ‘Hébertism’ during your next opportunity at summer camp. Bring your bravery and, remember: it’s not just a challenge—it’s a lot of fun too! Till next time, Campers! And, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Photography Aficionados

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Hey, Phans of Photography and Deliberate Misspells!

Photography is one among many of the creative arts to be offered as an activity at summer camp. If you’re interested in…*ahem*…DEVELOPING your photography skills, you can seek out the summer camps that offer photography as an activity. On this Blog, we like to zero in on some of the record setters and pioneers of sports, crafts, and other summer camp activities. And who else to highlight as a pioneer in the field of photography other than the master himself—Ansel Adams?

Ansel Easton Adams was born well over a hundred years ago just past the turn of the 17th to the 18th Century in 1902. When he was just 12 years old, he was handed his first camera while he was away, seeing Yosemite National Park and he never really put it down. Needless to say, he was rather taken with this art form and went on to become one of the greats in the history of photography.

Focusing mainly on the landscapes of the American West, Ansel fell in love with producing black and white images that often evoked some kind of message or emotion upon viewing. His work advocated a style referred to as ‘pure photography’ which is prone to sharp focus with clear definition and using all accessible tones in each photo.

He is quoted saying “Photography is not about how something looks, but how it feels.” In other words, Ansel was never simply trying to just show us a mountain, but trying to evoke how it felt to look upon one. Exploring techniques in his photography, Ansel’s work always encouraged minimalism, introspection, and a calming effect.

Ansel lived to be 82 years old and died in the year of 1984. And though color photography had existed throughout the active years of his career, Ansel stuck to his black and white productions. Have fun exploring your own style in photography and enjoy developing your skills in this form of art whether it be at summer camp, school, or some other available class. As always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Foos Fighters

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Hey, Foosball Fans!

Bound to be included in many summer camps’ rec rooms, Table Soccer (also known as Foosball) is a huge sport turned indoor game, much like its distant relatives of Billiards, Darts, Ping Pong, and Air Hockey. Surprisingly enough, this popular summer camp activity doesn’t have just one origin story…it’s got three!

Soccer itself dates back 2000 years—which you can read all about on a previous Blog post when you click right here. But the invention of the ‘pocket version’ came within the same 13 years from three different countries! Check out the stories of each inventor for the odd history of Foosball!

First Come, First Patented
Who registered the first confirmed 1923 patent for a foosball table in London? It was Harold Searles Thorton. His favorite among London’s Soccer teams of the day was the Tottenham Hotspurs. He got the idea from a box of matches. The box with an open top made for the perfect ‘table’ and the matches were fashioned into rods and players. It was only the size of a matchbox, but Harold Searles Thorton made the very first foosball table.

And the Next Inventor Is…
It is said that Lucien Rosengart of France in the 1930s invented the foosball table for his family. The story seems more than credible as Rosengart was a brilliant and capable inventor who had patented an early seatbelt design as well as artillery shells that exploded in mid-air. He had a really big family with many grandkids that lived with him. The Foosball table was a game to help stave away boredom for kids in the winter during the Depression.

Final Foos
Alejandro Finisterre was a soldier in the Spanish Civil War during 1936 who was wounded in battle. While he recovered in the hospital, he saw children with severe leg injuries. A big Soccer fan, he immediately considered that these children would never be able to play football. This thought inspired him to contact a friend of his who was a carpenter and, together, they made a foosball table.  

So, there you have it: the three men from London, France, and Spain of no relation who each invented their own primitive Foosball tables right around the same time. How crazy is it that Foosball should have three different inventors from three different countries with no connection? Just goes to show how much people love their Soccer! Enjoy a game of Foosball if you have one handy and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Folks!

 

- John


Legendary Aaron Rodgers

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Hey, Football Fans!

As we draw away from the summer season, we’re typically left with some disappointment. One thing that always brightens the coming Autumn season, however, is the beginning of the football season! Born and raised Wisconsinites here at Everything Summer Camp, the Green Bay Packers are our favorite when it comes to the football team we root for.  So it should come as no surprise that when writing about a record setter in the world of the NFL, we would choose to highlight the Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers!

A Green Bay starter for the past 12 years (which happens to be his jersey number), Aaron has proven to be quite the capable quarterback. While most Packers fans were concerned to see the legendary Brett Favre leave the team, we had no idea what we were getting in his place: a two-time MVP, record breaking stud of the NFL.

Among a plethora of other records, his chief achievement gives him the title of ‘Most Productive Passer in NFL History’. Proving himself by his passer rating, Rodgers displays a strong lead over all other NFL quarterbacks when it comes to his passing success.  

Rodgers surpasses all other quarterbacks with such a high rating that it’s sure to put him in the hall of fame. His passer rating is so high, in fact, that up until last year, he had been the only quarterback in the history of the NFL whose passer rating climbed into the triple-digits (recently joined by Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks at 101.2). Though it used to be higher a number of years back at 106, he still holds an impressive lead at 102.4!

For his record-setting performance thus far in his career, Aaron Rodgers has become a lock as a future Hall of Famer which couldn’t make Packers fans more excited. Eager to see what the 2020 NFL season brings, we’re thrilled to sit back and enjoy the show. We hope our readers all over the country will enjoy the return of football and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Endless Tennis Records

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Hey, Tennis Enthusiasts!

Tennis records are being made all the time. For instance, this dog was able to fit six Tennis balls in its mouth at the same time! But there are many more records for the human Tennis players. One player of extreme notability is the German players, Steffi Graf from Germany.

Ranked at the top for a world record of 377 weeks—the longest period that any player (male or female) has held the number-one ranking since rankings were first issued—Steffi Graf stands out on a level that surpasses all other Tennis players.

What other records does she hold? Let’s find out:Well, Steffi is the only Tennis player to have won each Grand Slam tournament at least four times. She’s also the only player to win all four Grand Slam singles titles as well as the Olympic gold medal in the same year! Besides that, she won 107 singles titles and 22 Grand Slam singles titles putting her in third place of the WTA all-time list and second place of the Open Era.

Those are the highlights, but that only scratches the surface of all Steffi’s Tennis achievements. To keep going for just a little while, we can also credit her with six French Open singles titles, seven Wimbledon singles titles, four Australian Open titles, and five U.S. Open singles titles.

Steffi’s claim to fame also has to do with her style of gameplay. The versatile nature of her style spans across all elements of the game, from her footwork to her powerful forehand drive. Thanks to her athleticism and aggressive approach to the game played from the baseline, she’s been credited with the development of the modern style of gameplay that players adhere to today.

Enjoy playing Tennis when you get your chance to head off to summer camp or just whenever you hit the courts! Who knows where the next Steffi Graf could pop up! As always, thanks for reading!

 

- John