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Hey, Camp Cooks!

Cooking is an invaluable life skill to develop and many summer camps offer excellent programs providing campers the opportunity to put on the chef hat and practice this art. On this Blog, we like to zero in on some of the record setters and pioneers of sports, crafts, and other summer camp activities. Who to choose as a pioneer in the field of Cooking?

The answer seems obvious that a foremost figure in the fine art of Cooking is the pioneering food writer and chef herself, Julia Child.

A sensible chef, Julia kept her Cooking simple and accessible for people to learn. “You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.” Her skills in the kitchen turned her into a famous chef and, with her success in Cooking, she became an author as well as one of the first women to host their own televised Cooking show.

American herself, Julia’s main focus was on the French cuisine which she more-or-less introduced to her audience in America and contributed tips and lessons on the simplicity and easiness of preparing her wide variety of French foods.

Her TV show was called ‘The French Chef’, a Cooking show that she created and hosted herself. The show was broadcast by the public TV station in Boston, Massachusetts WGBH for ten straight years from 1963 to 1973. ‘The French Chef’ goes down in history as one of the first cooking shows on American television!

As we appreciate our summer camps for teaching and sharing Cooking tips and advice, let’s give the same appreciation toward Ms. Child and her ability to reach thousands of viewers and help introduce them to new foods and methods. Julia shared all she could with her show and her cookbooks. Enjoy sharpening your Cooking skills at summer camp—the foods you make might have French origins!

As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

 

- John


Kareem Supreme

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Hey, Sports Fans!

This time of year, people are typically deep in the basketball frenzy of March Madness, but this year is different as we all know sporting events are all canceled indefinitely. With basketball currently missing from everyone’s lives right now, I thought we could celebrate one of the all-time greats and true record setter of Basketball, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Throughout the performance of his entire career, Kareem had accumulated more points scored than any other NBA player. It’s a big number—ready?!! Kareem has 38, 387 points all to his name! That’s almost 1500 more points than Karl Malone who holds the second most points scored. And near 5000 more than LeBron James who comes in third highest.

Kareem won a league-record of six MVP awards as well as a couple of Finals MVP awards. He also earned six championship rings and won a record of 19 NBA All-Star call-ups. He was honored 15 times on NBA first or second teams. For each game he averaged 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.6 defensive blocks. Those are fantastic averages.

Truly a legendary presence in the world of professional basketball, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shadows the amazing achievements of plenty of other basketball players such as Bill Russel, Wilt Chamberlain, or Michael Jordan who has already had two posts written about him here on the Blog—check one out by clicking here and another one by clicking right here.

While he certainly didn’t invent the game of basketball (you can read all about who did with the recent post about Dr. James Naismith out of Springfield, Massachusetts), Kareem will likely remain the leading basketball all-star athlete of the NBA for many years and decades to come. Learn more about this great record-setting athlete from our past on your own and, as always, thanks for reading, Everybody.

 

- John


Greatest of the Golf Greats

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Hey, Golf Lovers!

It’s no surprise to find Golf offered at most summer camps since it’s an incredibly popular activity among children and adults alike. Just because you like to play it, doesn’t mean that you follow the professional sporting events and the golfers of the day. In case you don’t, I thought we’d feature one of the leading figures in Golf: Jack Nicklaus. He performed in 164 major tournaments which is more than any other player. Mr. Nicklaus holds the record of 18 majors that he won. The Major Golf Championships are essentially the World Series or Superbowl of Golf. While other golfers like Tiger Woods have won more total events on the PGA tour, no one comes close to Nicklaus’ record. While extremely few golfers exceed ten victories in the majors, Tiger Woods’ 14 wins are shadowed by Jack’s many championship wins.

Nicknamed by a sportswriter as The Golden Bear for Nicklaus' blonde hair and burly physique, he was only just getting started through his hot decade in the 60’s. He would continue for another 20 years after that too, still remaining a formidable force throughout the 70’s and 80’s as well!

He was the first player to win the Masters Tournament two years in a row in 1965 and 1966. He also won The Open Championship at age 26 which made him the youngest player to win all four golf majors! While there was never any other golfer who had more than 46 top-10 finishes, Nicklaus was a top-10 finisher 73 times and 56 of those times, he was even in the top 5! He is considered by many to be one of the greatest golfers of all time.

Enjoy playing Golf during your summer camp experience if your camp offers it! Who knows where the next Golden Bear could pop up! As always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Booger Champ Bill Watterson

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Hey, Comic Strip Lovers!

Interest in Comic Strips has held the fascination of children and adults alike throughout the decades. Summer camps know how cool comic strips are so most are sure to offer a comics program. When I set my mind to feature a Pioneer or Record Setter from the world of Comic Strips, one name immediately comes to mind: Bill Watterson. For 10 years, from 1985 to 1995, Mr. Watterson captured the essence along with the magic of childhood in his strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes’.

One record he holds is the first cartoonist to use the word ‘booger’ in a newspaper comic strip—a record he expressed that some historian would someday confirm—you’re welcome Mr. Watterson.

We’ll get to more about his record setting in a minute, but first, a personal word about my connection to this strip. As I write this post, I look up at the four panels of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ wall art I have above my computer and recall fondly all the great adventures I went on with these two lovable characters!

His artwork has an intimate attitude about it, possibly because of where he drew his inspiration. Hobbes, Calvin’s stuffed tiger, was fashioned after Watterson’s cat, Sprite. And he’s said that in the past that he never thought about all the people he was reaching with his comic but his main inspiration for writing ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ was to entertain his wife, Melissa.

Bill Watterson is a hero of mine for his consistent refusal throughout the years to license ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ merchandise (despite nonstop proposals for toys, animated series, and more). He never took the ticket and his strip lives on transcending the generations!

One last interesting point to make before we move on is that Mr. Watterson’s middle name is the same as the town where Everything Summer Camp headquarters is located—Boyd. His full name is William Boyd Watterson II.

And now back to his achievements in the comic strip world! In just his second year of writing ‘Calvin and Hobbes’, Bill won the Reuben Award for ‘Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year’. That year, he became the youngest person to ever win the award! He won the award yet again in 1988.

For a strip that ran in only 35 newspapers to begin with, it grew to over 2400 newspapers at the strip’s peak! Bill’s work reached hundreds of millions of readers by newspaper alone and who knows how many by his book collections! There are plenty of book collections that explore all 3,160 published strips of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ and the sales of these books are in the tens of millions!

Easily the reigning king of comic strips, Bill Watterson, through his work, has worked his way into plenty of people’s hearts. Be sure to check out ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ if you’ve never given it much attention before and let it inspire you to make your own cartoon creation. As always, thanks for reading! See you in the funny papers.

 

- John

 

 

 

 


Just Kick It

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Hey, Kick Baseballers!

Kickball is a pretty big staple to any given recess session, gym class, and summer camp activity! Loved by many kids as their twist on America’s favorite pastime with ‘a little kick’ to it, Kickball came along about six or seven decades after the rise of baseball’s popularity in America. And it was all thanks to one man who invented it in 1917, named Nicholas C. Seuss.

Mr. Nicholas Seuss (who has no relation to Dr. Seuss) was the Supervisor of the Cincinnati Park Playgrounds in Cincinnati, Ohio. He saw kids in the park playing baseball despite being short on equipment. After all, back in those days, it was uncommon for everyone to have their own catching mitt, batt, and ball. Nicholas wondered how you might cut back on the equipment needed to play the game.

He introduced a new, oversized baseball to the park and taught the kids there a game he called ‘Kick Baseball’. It only took three years for it to grow in popularity and it spread like wildfire! By 1921, it started getting used by phy. ed. teachers in public schools in order to teach the basic rules of baseball to young students.

Through the early 20s, Kick Baseballs simply borrowed a ball from soccer or volleyball. And the rules weren’t quite the same as they are now to begin with; there used to be no pitcher—the ball was simply set in the ‘home base’ area waiting to for the next player to come along for their turn to kick. But as time went on, the name got shortened to ‘Kickball’ and changes were made to make it even more like baseball.

If you’re a fan of Kickball, get a group of your friends together for a friendly neighborhood game and let them all know about the inventor of the game, Nicholas C. Seuss. As always, thanks for reading, everybody! Till next time.

 

- John