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Celebrating National Chocolate Day

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Hey there, Sweet Tooths! (or is it Sweet Teeth?)

A crackling fire on a starry summer night and laughter all around. Who could ask for more? …except for maybe some tasty s’mores with that melted, mouth-watering chocolate bar sandwiched between graham crackers and gooey marshmallows! As we celebrate National Chocolate Day today, let's revel in the versatility of this decadent delight that adds a touch of sweetness to the summer camp life!

Indulgent, irresistible, and loved by all, chocolate holds a special place in the hearts of summer campers and dessert enthusiasts the world over. Its versatility knows no bounds, whether it takes the form of a solid bar, a drizzle, or a velvety stream cascading into a steaming cup of cocoa. Chocolate offers a world of possibilities.

The Journey of the Chocolate Bar

From the humble cacao tree to the mouth-watering candy chocolate bar, each step in the chocolate-making process plays a crucial role in creating the delightful treat we all love. It's a journey that blends science, craftsmanship, and a touch of magic to bring us the joy and indulgence of chocolate in all its delectable forms.


The journey of the chocolate bar begins with harvesting ripe cacao pods from the cacao tree. These football-shaped pods contain cocoa beans—the primary ingredient in chocolate. Using machetes or specialized tools, harvesters carefully cut the pods from the trees.


The harvested pods are then opened and the cocoa beans, surrounded by a sweet and tangy pulp, are extracted. The beans and pulp are placed in large, covered piles and left to ferment for a few days. This is a crucial step to enhance the flavor by breaking down the pulp, triggering chemical changes.


After fermentation, the beans are spread out on large trays to dry under the sun. Drying the beans reduces moisture and prepares the beans for further processing. It also contributes to the development of flavor characteristics in the cocoa beans.


The dried cocoa beans are carefully roasted to bring out their rich flavors and aromas. Depending on the desired flavor profile, the roasting process will vary. This process removes any residual moisture and develop that characteristic taste of chocolate we all know and love.



The roasted cocoa beans are ground into a paste called cocoa liquor. This process involves grinding the beans into a fine powder. Continuing to grind, it eventually transforms into a smooth liquid as the grinding process generates heat which melts the cocoa butter and coats the powder specks.  



The cocoa liquor is further refined to reduce the particle size for a super smooth consistency. This process involves passing the cocoa liquor through machinery like refining mills or conching machines. They grind away and smooth out the particles, ensuring a fine texture and uniform chocolate quality.



This step involves careful heating and cooling of the chocolate to specific temperatures. This process ensures the cocoa butter crystallizes in a stable form, giving the chocolate its desirable glossy appearance, snap, and smooth texture!


Once the chocolate has been tempered, it gets poured into molds where it finds its final shape as a candy bar, a chocolate chip, or any other desired form. The molds are then cooled to allow the chocolate to solidify and retain its shape.


After the chocolate’s cooled and solidified, it’s removed from the molds and prepped for packaging. The bars get wrapped in foil or other materials to protect them from moisture and ensure freshness. They are then labeled and ready for distribution to be enjoyed by chocolate lovers around the world.


Whether we enjoy a chocolate bar during a s'mores session at camp or savor it in other delightful forms, chocolate has the power to uplift our spirits and create moments of pure delight. So let’s honor National Chocolate Day. Grab your favorite chocolate treat, gather around the bonfire, and savor the magic of National Chocolate Day. Thanks for reading, Everybody. And, as always, Happy Camping!


- John

A Tall Tale of Camp Trunks, Trees, and Paul

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Howdy, Little Loggers!

Today we raise our axes as a salute to the legendary lumberjack of American folklore. June 28th is Paul Bunyan Day. A towering figure, his immense frame filled with extraordinary strength, Paul worked tirelessly, felling trees in the bountiful forests of North America during the lumber industry's golden era, the mid-1800s.

According to the tales, Paul Bunyan and his loyal companion, Babe (the Blue Ox), roamed the North American forests, leaving behind a legacy of incredible stories. His exploits were told around campfires, with the stories getting more embellished all the time. From creating the Great Lakes with his enormous footsteps to carving out the Grand Canyon with his trusty axe, Paul Bunyan's exploits were said to have shaped the very landscape of our country.

Back in those days, logging was a thriving profession, driven by the demand for wood to fuel the growth and development of our great nation. From mighty ships that sailed the seas to sturdy homes that sheltered families, wood played a vital role in crafting the world around us.

Even footlocker trunks, essential for travel storage, were fashioned from this precious resource. Inspired by Paul Bunyan's understanding of the importance of forests and their abundant resources, we proudly carry forward the legacy of wooden craftsmanship with our remarkable C&N Footlocker Trunks—crafted with the same dedication and attention to detail as those long ago.

Our trunks are built to withstand the test of time and the rugged roads of adventure at summer camp and beyond. Just as Paul Bunyan commanded respect with his unwavering might, our C&N Footlocker Trunks stand tall as symbols of quality construction and reliability.

Here at Everything Summer Camp, we recognize the importance of preserving our forests and cherishing the trees that provide us with such valuable resources. That's why we've partnered with One Tree Planted, a remarkable, nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to reforestation efforts. For every camp trunk sold, a new tree is planted, contributing to the preservation and restoration of our natural landscapes.

As you embark on your own adventures, let the spirit of Paul Bunyan's legend inspire you to cherish the wonders of nature and forge lasting memories at summer camp. Thanks for reading, Lumberjacks and Lumberjills. And, as always, Happy Camping!


- John

The Color Behind the Rain

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Hey, Camp Folks!

It’s April 3rd which means it’s Find a Rainbow Day, the perfect time to appreciate those colorful arches of color that you can sometimes spot after a rain shower. April is known for its rain showers (word has it they bring May flowers)—the perfect time to celebrate the beauty of rainbows. Let’s take a close look at these optical wonders and learn some of the fascinating science behind how they appear in the sky.

Is that Rainbow Waving at Me?
Rainbows appear when light gets bent, or refracted, as it passes through water droplets. The water droplets act as a prism, splitting sunlight into the colors it’s comprised of. Each color has its own wavelength and frequency when it gets reflected back towards the lucky spectator. Each color appears to arc across the sky, shifting from red to orange to yellow, then green to blue, blue to indigo, and finally violet.

A Bow Twice as Nice
Less common than their singular primary predecessor, double rainbows are an amazing sight to behold. Occurring when light gets reflected twice within the raindrop, this phenomenon appears with a fainter, secondary rainbow above the first one. The secondary rainbow displays its colors in the opposite order of the first rainbow—violet to indigo to blue, then green to yellow, yellow to orange, and lastly red.

And the Arches Comes Full Circle…
Would you believe that rainbows are actually full circles? We only see half of the circle because the horizon is typically blocking the rest. It's possible to see a rainbow as a complete circle if you’re lucky enough to spot one from an airplane. That’s because the plane is likely ABOVE the rain shower—a vantage point that reveals the entire rainbow ring.

There's definitely something special about catching a glimpse of a rainbow after a rain shower, but whether or not you're lucky enough to see a rainbow, a double rainbow, or a rain ring from high above, you can appreciate the magic of rainbows today and the science behind them. Take a moment on Find a Rainbow Day to enjoy the colorful arches that display the wonder of nature across the sky.


- John

Scratch That—Reverse it!

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Happy Backwards Day, Folks!

A seemingly strange idea for a holiday, Backwards Day allows us to see a different perspective which is always helpful. Taking a view in reverse lets people observe things in a new light. We often work things out working backwards. When figuring out how long you need to get ready for school in the morning, you take your school’s starting time and work backwards. An effective method of designing something is called ‘reverse engineering’ in which the end result is envisioned and disassembled.      

This day was created by Sarah Nicole Miller and Megan Emily Scott, who came up with the idea while milking cows on a farm one day. They initially came up with the day and designated January 29 for it back in 1961. Word quickly spread around their town to do things backward. The day got switched to the 31 and has only grown in popularity.

An interesting example in history of doing things in reverse was from none other than one of the world's most well-known artists, Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward—right to left. Not only did the artist and inventor write in the opposite direction, but he also wrote his letters backward! His hand-written letters could be properly read in a mirror.

Learn the TEBAHPLA
*ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA* No easy feat, it could be fun to challenge yourself to try and learn the alphabet backwards. It’s so ingrained in our heads front ways that it’s difficult to unlearn that and reverse it. Can you memorize the alphabet backwards?

What’s a Palindrome?
If you don’t know what a palindrome is, just ask Mom or Dad. Or someone named Bob. Or Dr. Awkward. Or I’ll just tell you. Palindromes are words that spell the same thing backwards as they do forward. Other examples of palindromes would be ‘racecar’, ‘kayak’, and ‘level’. Phrases and sentences are acceptable palindromes as well such as ‘A man, a plan; a canal Panama’. Oddly enough the word ‘palindrome’ isn’t one itself.

However you choose to flip the script and reverse things up today, enjoy seeing things from a different perspective. Happy Backwards Day and thanks for reading. As always, Happy Camping!


- John

What's Your Handwriting Say?

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Hey, Writers!

Happy Handwriting Day! Did you know that the way we write can reveal a lot about your personality? Things about your handwriting such as how large or small you write, how much space you leave between words, the general shapes of your letters, and more. Small handwriting, for instance, tends to come from someone who tends to be quiet, studious, and on the shy side whereas larger handwriting is a sign of a more outgoing person who loves the company of others.

Dotting All Your I’s

How do you dot your ‘i’s? It can say a lot about you.

  • A dot that’s hovering high above the body means there’s a good chance that you have a powerful imagination.
  • A slash above your ‘i’s means that you might be overly critical of yourself. You probably don’t have much tolerance for shortcomings
  • If you put your dot right over the ‘I’, then you’re likely detail-oriented, organized, and resolved in the things you say and do.
  • A circle over your ‘i’s may be a sign that you’re a child-like visionary or a dreamer.

Crossing Every T

  • If you put your cross at the very top of the ‘T’, it means you’re ambitious and positive with good self-esteem.
  • A cross in the middle of your ‘t’ means you’re likely confident and comfortable in any situation.
  • If you give your ‘T’s long crosses, it could mean that you’re determined and enthusiastic. It could also mean that you’re stubborn and have a hard time letting things go.
  • Short crosses, on the other hand, mean you may portray slothfulness and give up on projects or tasks prematurely.

Writing Pressure

  • If you write with heavy pressure, it could mean that you take things seriously. Excessive pressure could mean that you have a tendency to get stressed out.
  • Light Pressure, however, points to a more sensitive and empathetic personality.

So, did you know our handwriting could say so much about us? Did today’s Blog post teach you anything about yourself by the way you write? Investigate what other things about your handwriting might indicate about your personality by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John