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What's Interesting About Halloween...

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Hey, Halloween Lovers!

The time of year has come again to celebrate Halloween. It’s a time to dress up like creatures we know only from Hollywood and scary dreams and to gorge ourselves on hard-earned candy! I’ve gone over lots of useful Halloween facts in past Blog posts for this holiday including origins of Halloween traditions and tips on decorating for the season.

Don’t let me scare you today with a few freaky facts about this holiday that you likely didn’t already know… This pumpkin nearly weighs in at one metric ton. Now that's a big pumpkin!

The Many Colors of Halloween

Pumpkins are typically the first thing to come to mind when I think of Halloween. What else says Halloween in one fell, silent swoop? When we speak of pumpkins, most folks will think of the traditional orange squash, however, pumpkins can be green, white, yellow, red, and gray! Not only do they grow in a variety of colors, they range greatly in size as well from mini pumpkins to the largest in the world which grew to be 1,872 pounds (almost a metric ton).

Spirit Guardian Spiders

Spiders play a big role in the theme of Halloween. For long time I figured Halloween was simply trying to play up on people’s arachnophobia (fear of spiders) until one day when I heard that if you encounter a spider on Halloween, it's actually the spirit of a loved one watching over you. Most spiders have eight eyes; spirits are using spider eyes for a little check-up.  

Once in a Great Moon

Of all the things you have to worry about on Halloween night, at least a Full Moon is a rare event to be wary of. Though often used to set the picturesque scene on our All Hallow’s Eve, Full Moons almost never happen on this night. Despite its extremely rare occasion, it is predicted to happen on Halloween night two years from now in the year 2020. Be on look out then for sure!

From everybody here at Everything Summer Camp, Happy Halloween, Summer Camp Families! Set out your pumpkins of all colors, enjoy an incomplete moon for the night, and be nice to any spiders you see! As always, Camp Fans, thanks for reading!


- John

Nice Smile, Jack...

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Hey, Pumpkin People!

The Halloween celebration is heavy in the air—the sensation thickens as the days draw nearer and it’s right around the corner now. There are lots of things to do to be prepared for the fast-approaching holiday. By this time I hope most of your households have been decorated with spooky characters and creatures. I expect you all have your costumes ready as well—conceptually, at the very least.

Get your haunt on with a hollowed out and carved up pumpkin!

And what else?

Ah, yes! You’d better have your place populated with pumpkins! And, in case you haven’t done so yet, today is National Pumpkin Carving Day. So gather your gourds around and pick out your best carving knife (safety fist, remember), and pop that top off your pumpkin so you can clear it out and carve him up!

Pumpkins are certainly an essential part of the holiday and, even more so than pumpkins, we need Jack-o-Lanterns when it comes to Halloween. During this time of year, pretty much everybody tries their hand at carving. Halloween is just days away. If you haven’t carved your pumpkins yet, I suggest you get to it today before All Hallows Eve is upon us.

It makes a little more sense to carve your pumpkins a week or so in advance and give your neighbors a chance to see your carving handiwork; your pumpkins won’t go bad in just a week’s time. But for anybody who’s a little late to the game, today is a great reminder. Or, if you enjoy pumpkin carving as much as I do, go out and find yourself one more pumpkin to carve just for today!

If you have enough pumpkins, it can be a lot of fun to make a night of it. Enjoy some apple cider while you sit with friends or family and carve away! The more the merrier for an activity like this. You can exchange ideas for faces and help each other with stencils. Also, don’t forget to save your pumpkin seeds for a delicious and healthy roasted snack!

Thanks for reading, Blog Fans. Now go cut up some pumpkins! 


- John

It's Dictionary Day!

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Hey, Die-Hard Dictionary Lovers—

The dictionary is an excellent resource for gaining confidence in your vocabulary and recruiting new words for the refining and precision of the language you use. Exclusive to book form before computers and Internet digitized the world of print, dictionaries have proven their resilience going forward into the modern world. Bust out your dictionary when you need some help with your verbage!

I covered a brief history of the dictionary in our previous post for National Dictionary Day which you can check out by clicking right here. In observation this year, however, I thought I’d mention a number of interesting tidbits about dictionaries you’re not likely to have known…

50 Years and 26 Languages Later…

Noah Webster’s amazing efforts to create the expanded and fully comprehensive ‘American Dictionary of the English Language’ in 1828 took him 27 years to complete and it would be another 23 years before it reached publication. What’s crazier is that he learned 26 languages in his 27 years of working on the dictionary—just under one language per year!

Long Words, Loooong Words

Dictionaries as we know them today aim to be all encompassing, listing a definition for each and every word—including the word the. But publications before the time of Webster only bothered to list the complex words.

Merriam Trickster

Did you know that not all words in the dictionary are real words?!! More often than not, you can trust your dictionary, but these publications are not impermeable to missing hyphens or typos. Some dictionaries even include fake words as a means of protecting their copyright! Such was the case with The New Oxford American Dictionary’s entry ‘esquivalience’.

Dictionaries are incredibly handy resources to utilize in today’s world when it comes to reading as well as writing. Enjoy observing National Dictionary Day in whatever way you decide—hopefully you learned a thing or two on today’s Blog post. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John

Turn that Frown Upside-Down!

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Hey, Smiley Readers!

Nice pearly whites! Smiles are infectious, rewarding, and communicative. We know a lot about smiling. For instance, we use 42 muscles in order to smile, simply smiling can put us in a better mood, and this facial expression is most recognizable as a welcoming, warm show of friendliness or love.

But for as much as we know about smiling, we don’t know for sure how it is that smiling came to mean what it does among us humans. After all, we’re the only animal on earth that do it. And, what’s more, the act of baring teeth across the animal kingdom typically is used to threaten or display a warning.Kids wear a smile all throughout the camp stay!

So when most other animals across the world use the visibility of their teeth as a sign of danger, how did humans start interpreting this gesture as a show of friendliness?

Our smiling faces have been traced back 30 million years in which our earliest ancestors started using a sort of code among each other. Human ancestors along with other types of primates were able to distinguish the difference between baring one’s teeth with a frightening open mouth and showing your clenched teeth with barely opening your mouth at all.

A show of clenched teeth was meant to indicate to predators that you were harmless and submissive. The idea is that different species developed their own inside understanding of this gesture—especially so in human beings.

Obviously, in our modern day, a smile has come to mean much more than just a sign of submission. In fact, smiles have taken on a versatile role in our culture, capable of communicating such emotions as love, happiness, delight, pride, hatred, even embarrassment.

Be sure to share your friendly smile with those you love today and enjoy celebrating National Smile Day. And, as always, thanks for smiling—errr—I mean, reading!


- John

Happy Veggie Day!

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Hello, Omnivores, Herbivores, and Carnivores alike!

That was a pretty all-inclusive greeting I just started out with, there. It pretty much includes every living thing on the Earth (except for plants and fungi). But, really I’m just talking about people—I didn’t expect any animals to be reading this Blog anyway. Whether you’re familiar with the above three terms, or not, you definitely belong to one of them.

Today is Vegetarian Day. A hot steaming plate of veggies is a refreshing dinner for a nice summer day!
Vegetarians (or herbivores) don’t eat meat but will eat other animal products like milk and eggs (unlike vegans who cut out all animal products). Pretty much no humans are carnivores—eating an all-meat diet (though some people have attempted this which is not doctor recommended and cannot be a healthy option). Then there are omnivores who eat both plant-based foods as well as meat.

The vast majority of people in the world would be classified as omnivores. But no matter which of these diets you ascribe to, it’s a great idea to observe Vegetarian Day. Here are three good reasons why:

Meat in the Middle
Our meat industry has become so oversized that it has taken a serious toll on the environment. You don’t have to go 100% vegetarian to make a difference (though you might feel better if you do); if the world observed Meatless Mondays throughout the year, it would be the equivalent of removing 273 million vehicles from the road for those 365 days!

Dream of Leafy Greens
When considering our dental hardware as well as the length of our intestinal tract, it shows that we are not biologically meant to eat meat. Obviously meat has been a great source for us to resort to when necessary, but unlike true omnivores (such as raccoons or bears), our bodies are simply not built the same. Not only that, but consuming less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and more.

Creature Compassion
For anyone striving to be more conscientious about their diet, Vegetarian Day is a great opportunity to really think about the meal you’re having and how it got to your dinner table. Despite a meat industry that poses so many threats to our environment, people tend not to think about where their food came from. Observing Vegetarian Day can help to break down this cognitive dissonance and have a deeper appreciation for the animals of our world that we love so much!

So get your healthy dose of vegetables and other plant-based foods in observation of Vegetarian Day and enjoy looking into the options of this alternative. If you aren’t used to it, you might find yourself surprised at the boundless options you still have after nixing the meat. And, as always, thanks for reading!

- John