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King of Wood Chopping

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Hey, Axe Fanatics!

Axemanship, also known as lumberjack sports, is a competitive sport that may be offered as an activity at your summer camp. It involves an assortment of skills and techniques which are related to forestry and logging. In fact, as you may have guessed, this sport originated from the logging industry and slowly transformed into a pastime for enjoyment. One of the leading names in Axemanship isn’t a man at all. Martha King is a world-famous, record-setting champion in a number of events.

Martha is reputed to be one of the best female axemen in the world; born to a family of loggers in 1971, she had a good start, competing in her first axemanship event at just 16! Her expertise is attributed to more than just her upraising, though. Her tireless work ethic and dedication to logging is bolstered by the countless hours she’s spent training in the gym and the woods. 

Setting multiple world records for speed as well as accuracy in a number of different events, Martha excels in events including the standing block chop, the single buck saw, and the springboard chop. She’s also won championships in lumberjack sports and is considered one of the best in the world.

With a completion time of 29.43 seconds the world record for standing block chop belongs to her! She’s also set records in the single buck saw and the springboard chop. In addition, she’s won several championships in lumberjack sports, including the Stihl Timbersports Series (the most prestigious competition in the sport). She’s been inducted into New England ‘Logger's Hall of Fame’. And she’s been inducted into the ‘the U.S. National Axe Throwing Federation' Hall of Fame! That’s a lot!

A true legend in the sport, Martha’s accomplishments have been inspirational for countless young women to try their hand at lumberjack sports. Is Axemanship something you have an interest in for the coming summer camp season? Confirm that it’s an activity your camp offers and have an axe-swinging good time! Thanks for reading, Camp Folks! And, as always, Happy Camping!


- John

Painting Pioneer Claude Monet

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Hey, Painting People!

Claude Monet was a French painter who focused heavily on capturing reality through light and natural forms. The main objective of his work was to analyze light and color and its ever-changing nature. A pioneer in the Impressionist movement, Monet experimented plenty with his work. He was known to paint the same subjects repeatedly to see how appearances changed at different times and in different light.

Without meaning to, Monet gave Impressionism its name. The artistic movement was named after one of his paintings: “Impression, Sunrise”, which was exhibited in 1874. It was the critic Louis Leroy who accused Monet’s painting of being a sketch or “impression,” of a piece, but not a finished painting itself. Despite it being meant as an insult, the name stuck.  

Creativity and Cataracts
In 1905, 65-year-old Monet began to notice his vision deteriorating. Colors had grown dimmer and in less than ten years, he was diagnosed with nuclear cataracts in both of his eyes. His paintings started featuring more yellow and purple tones. Because Monet often repainted the same subjects, his body of work was studied to better understand eye disease and how it affects our vision.

Ultraviolet Painting
Though Monet didn’t want surgery for his cataracts, he eventually agreed to the operation on his right eye. He didn’t have any surgery done on his left eye, however, even though it still had cataracts and violets and blues had vanished from his vision. When he had the operation, the lens of his right eye was removed, allowing more light into his eye. It’s believed that Monet was seeing ultraviolet wavelengths that would otherwise be filtered out by the lens. Blues became very prominent his work from then on.

Do you like to paint? Who knows where your ventures on the canvas will end up! Maybe one day you’ll be considered to be a revolutionary part of the art movement. Keep painting. Thanks for reading, Everyone. And, as always, Happy Camping! Thanks for reading, Everybody!


- John

Guinness-Level Glass

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Hey, Students of Stained Glass!

On this Blog, we like to zero in on some of the record setters and pioneers of sports, crafts, and other summer camp activities. Last week we went over the process of creating Stained Glass. Today, I thought it’d be in the spirit of the season to set our scopes on the awe-inspiring windows of many churches and cathedrals that use stained glass for the windows of their glorious architecture.

The record for the biggest stained glass window ever goes to a couple of master masons, Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil. These two were contracted in the construction of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris—the structure that boasts the biggest window in the world: the south rose window.

This stained glass panel measures in at more than forty feet in diameter and was first built about 800 years ago in 1220 AD!

The project of the south rose window was funded by the king, King St. Louis and the stained glass panel was installed in the Notre-Dame cathedral window within the next 40 years. An exceptional piece of artwork, the window complements the glorious architecture of the 12th Century cathedral.

The south rose window is comprised of 84 glass panes and it amazingly still has most of its original glass and tracery intact! In fact, it’s another record that this window holds as the superior survival of the initial glass. This window along with many of Notre-Dame's stained glass windows have become iconic and important work of Gothic art from the 13th Century.

Be sure to appreciate any beautiful stained glass windows you encounter! They may not all be the jaw-dropping works of cymatic pattern art as the Notre-Dame cathedral south rose window, but all stained glass has an impressive effect. And thanks for reading this Blog post! Till next time.


- John

Riflery Records

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Hey, Camp Folks!

A few years back in January of 2019 is when I started this category on the Blog of Pioneers and Record Setters of summer camp activities. The first person I posted about was Brady Ellison, the world’s leading archer. Since Archery and Riflery are considered to go hand in hand, you could say Paul Phillips is the Brady Ellison of Riflery.

Having established 25 years of awesome success in competitive marksmanship, Paul Phillips was already a formidable force:

Over the course of his career, he has acquired 47 national records, 14 national championships, three U.S. Team gold medals, and one individual gold medal at the world championships, three "King of 2-Mile" championships, an International Distinguished Shooting Medal, and a Congressional Medal for Lifetime Achievements in Shooting.

What he and his team of 13 members did just a couple years back, however, is an incredible feat in all history of rifle shooting! His Riflery team made an astounding rifle shot of four miles—an immediate world record that won’t likely be broken any time soon! But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Discover your Riflery skills and maybe you’ll find that your abilities exceed those who first inspired you! Look into the activities your camp offers or get out for a Riflery class near you and test out your skills to see how much you enjoy it. Have fun out there and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

Dancing King

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Hey, Dance Fans! 

Dance is one among many of the performance arts to be offered as an activity at summer camp. If you’re interested in stretching your skills, you can seek out the summer camps that offer Dance 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 Dance other than the great Gene Kelly? 

Gene Kelly, of course, is considered one of the best dancers of all time. He performed in films throughout the 1940s and 1950s, striking it really big in 1952 with the production of the smash hit musical ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. Starring alongside fantastic co-stars and performers, let’s take a look at this trio. 

Gene Kelly
Hailed as the world’s greatest dancer, Gene actually dreamt of becoming a baseball player when he was little. His mother, however, had a different plan for her son, enrolling him in dance lessons. He wanted to quit at first because he would get teased, but he soon realized girls loved a boy who could dance! 

Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds was certainly made famous by her breakout role in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, but her career had really kicked off several years prior when she won the Miss Burbank beauty pageant in California. She was offered a $65-a-week contract—much more than the free scarf and blouse, the sole reason she entered the competition. 

Donald O’Connor
Born into a family that traveled as a Vaudeville team, Donald’s family moved around so much that neither of his parents could recall where and when he was born. Donald was once quoted saying, "I was about 13 months old, they tell me, when I first started dancing…they'd hold me up by the back of my neck and they'd start the music, and I'd dance. You could do that with any kid, only I got paid for it." 

With jaw-dropping performances, these three dancers put together an unforgettable production that still has the ability to wow audiences today! If you haven’t seen ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ I highly suggest you check it out and discover why these three dancers are obvious honorable mentions for their work in this movie. Keep on dancin’! And, as always, thanks for reading. 


- John