The First FULL Day of CAMP!

Hello, Parents, Friends and Followers! 

It’s a beautiful day in downtown Greeley! We started the day fully energized from last night’s particularly awesome staff show. And though we may or may not have been wearing our brightest and fuzziest pajamas from last night’s first sleep (okay we were!), we danced with gusto and sang our hearts out while learning the moves for this year’s song of the summer: THIS IS ME! (We emailed you today with the file to download!) It’s really amazing how well our new campers are acclimating. They slept well, they walked arm-in-arm to breakfast, and they’re smiling with confidence and ease. Oh, and many new campers told us that in addition to trying new activities today, they made their beds for the first time ever this morning during cleanup! (They were unusually excited about this accomplishment!) We’re here to tell you that dreams really do come true, moms and dads! 

Our first breakfast was delicious: scrambled eggs, bagels, lox, lox spread, all the fixins and, of course, our usual spread: cold cereal, oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and fruit options. Lunch today was a fast favorite: chicken tenders, grilled chicken, more sauces than we can name, curly fries, egg salad, tuna salad, pasta salad, broccoli slaw and regular salad bar options, too. Every day we do serve plain pasta at lunch and dinner as well as soy nut butter sandwiches to those who would prefer. In short, there’s a lot to choose from! Tonight’s dinner is a pasta bar: tortellini, ziti, penne, and more with different sauces and roasted summer vegetables, caprese salad, Cesar salad, salad bar, garlic bread and brownies for dessert. YUM! Oh, and by the way, snack is delivered to the girls at 4PM daily. There’s also always fresh fruit in the dining hall, no matter the time of day! So fear not: we are definitely not hungry at camp! We’re hydrating at hydration stations and applying sunscreen at sunscreen stations. And it’s a good thing, because it was truly a sunny, gorgeous Pocono Mountains day. Perfection. 

Seniors began following their newly chosen, individualized schedules, and Juniors participated in choice for the first time today! After hearing from specialists describing all the fun options of the day, our 2nd-6th graders choose their own adventure. This happens twice a day, and it’s a highlight of life in junior village! Both during choice and with their bunks, juniors swam, they boated, they played yoga games, they rocked the new lake inflatables, made shortbread, learned hip hop, practiced tennis drills, began their “camp wrists” (bracelets), tried out archery, danced to 90s jams during Zumba, worked on skills in gymnastics, dribbled and pitched and served and scored and continued team building activities. Our 11th graders began their leadership training, since Friday they’ll be leaving us to do some work (and have some fun) in Costa Rica. More on that later in the week. Waterskiing boats went out, private tennis lessons began, horseback riders made their way to the ranch, and we took bunk photos! Photos of the day and junior and senior bunks will be posted tonight (hi-seniors tomorrow), so stay tuned! In short, it was pretty much the perfect day here in Greeley. 

Tonight? Seniors will be participating in team-building scavenger hunts and games, and juniors will be heading towards the ropes course for ADVENTURE CHALLENGE! And we’ll be practicing our lineup dance, of course!

Life is good at CTT. Tune in tomorrow for more Timber Talk!

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Opening Day 2018! World Premiere of CTT’s 2018 Summer Song!

Today! It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for! We’ve dreamt of it since last August, and it was even better than imagined. Opening Day 2018!

There’s magic in that drive down the winding road into Timber Tops; we leave the stress of the world outside and breathe the crisp mountain air in. It’s especially magical when we’ve been away for 10 months. And also when it’s been raining all morning and then the clouds part, the sun comes out, and birds start chirping just in time for those first buses to arrive. See! The magic of camp! Returning campers ran out of cars and off buses and leapt into each others arms, and new campers were greeted by enthusiastic faces of friendly counselors and new friends, ready and eager to help them find their way to the dining hall for our first pizza (regular pizza, veggie pizza, white pizza, red pizza, gluten free pizza, diary free pizza) lunch of the summer! For the first time ever, we unpacked all of our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in advance, so bunks were colorful and welcoming from the moment of arrival. An added bonus of unpacking juniors in advance was extra time for bunk bonding, get-to-know-yous, and ice breaker fun (with s’mores!) on the shores of Lake Selma! We should also mention that every camper was given a health screening and lice check (by professional lice company Lice Be Gone) and that seniors chose their first schedule of the summer. Juniors, after their lake escapades, had an all-important, top-secret junior meeting to get to know key players and learn the ins and outs of junior life at CTT, including many super-important songs!

Speaking of songs, tonight, after a delicious barbecue dinner (of bbq chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, zucchini kugel, pasta salad, spinach strawberry salad, and quinoa salad) we headed down to the Timber Theater for the traditional first-night staff show! It’s so much fun watching counselors from different activity areas perform for us and introduce themselves, and the girls especially love cheering on their own bunk counselors, many of whom they’ve just met! It’s amazing how fast each bunk starts to feel like a little family here. Parents: make sure you check your email for an e-blast from us with your camper’s bunk information!

A highlight of the staff show every summer is the announcement of the Song of the Summer! Every year, we rewrite a song to reflect Timber Tops life! It’s the song we use to signal the start of lineup each day, and we choreograph a dance the whole camp participates in during lineup every morning and every evening (don’t fear, non-dancers: it’s a fun-for-all, goofy, campy dance). In a way, it becomes the summer’s anthem, and its reveal is THE MOST anticipated moment of the first day, since both the song and dance become such a big part of our routine here. So, at tonight’s staff show it was finally revealed…

This year’s song of the summer is a rewritten, Timber Tops version of “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman! We think it’s our best anthem ever, and the girls went crazy! We think they agree!

After the show is over and we sing the Timber Tops Alma Mater, campers will make their way back to their bunks, their home away from home for the next seven (or 3.5!) weeks. Though they may look like ordinary wooden cabins from the outside, inside each lies that CTT magic, the story of summer 2018 just waiting to be written. The best is yet to come.

Thanks for reading, and make sure to check back tomorrow night for tales of our first full day at camp!

PS. Listen to the song below or download the MP3 file here!

Here are the lyrics:

We set off down the winding road
Greeley, PA, we say ,you’ll always be our summer home
At camp we celebrate all that we are

Timber Tops, th’world stops
We love each other as we are

‘Cause In our hearts throughout the winter months We know that there’s a place for us
And it’s Camp Timber Tops

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna think of you, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am free
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out when summer comes
When I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I’m myself at CTT, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

From Oak to CAs summers seem to fly

When I’m with you, I’m most true, summer sisters by my side
We are singing and swimming and
Reaching for the sun (we are camp sisters)
Yeah, that’s what we’ve become (yeah, that’s what we’ve become)

‘Cause In our hearts throughout the winter months

We know there’s a place for us
And it’s Camp Timber Tops

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna think of you, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am free
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out when summer comes
When I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I’m myself at CTT, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

This is me

and I know that I always have your love
(Oh-oh-oh-oh) ’cause there’s nothing I’m not worthy of
(Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh)

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna think of you, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am free
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out when summer comes (look out when summer comes)
When I’m marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching on)
I’m not scared to be seen
I’m myself at CTT, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna think of you, gonna drown them out
I am brave I am free this is me

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Camp Tomorrow! We Got This!

Dear Timber Tops Families,

As we write this note we know that your hearts are beating out of your chests, that you’re fighting back tears of both excitement and nervousness, that you’re holding her tight, giving extra kisses and doing your best to stay calm. We also know it’s so much easier said than done to try to play it cool (which we recommend you try)!

We want to tell you that we’re ready for your children, and that you’ve made the best choice in choosing Timber Tops. We’ve trained our counselors on everything from CPR to kindness. We’ve role-played difficult situations and every day camp situations. We’ve read and re-read and re-re-read your confidential forms and notes. We’ve meticulously arranged bunks, made welcome signs, and put the final touches on activity areas. We have repaved and colorized the the basketball and tennis courts; the wibits in the lake are inflated to the max; our nurses are standing by, ready to meet and support your girls; the dining hall is ready to welcome with fresh flowers and fresh fruit; counselors are practicing for tomorrow night’s staff show; junior girls in 2nd through 5th grade are unpacked. We’re ready for your girls, and we will take the very best care of them. They are ready for this adventure, and you are too.

We want you to know that tomorrow we will be waiting with open arms and open hearts. If it’s your camper’s first, fifth or eighth summer, we know she’s grown since we’ve seen her last, that she comes to camp bringing new experiences, new hopes, and new dreams. We cannot wait to see your girls, our girls, tomorrow, and get started!

Try to keep goodbyes short and sweet, remember to breathe, and if you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts call or email us any time. We’re here for your girls, but we’re here for you too! Good luck in these final moments and know that the gifts of camp you’re giving are immeasurable. You’ve made a great choice in sending your daughter to Camp Timber Tops, and we’re waiting for her and ready down the winding road.

Bring on SUMMER 2018!

Missy, Andy, and Anna

PS- This will be the first of our daily camp blogs! Make sure to check back for camp updates and happenings!

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What TO DO and What NOT TO DO Before CAMP!

We post this every year, but here it is again. Cue the tough love…

It’s incredibly natural to go into apocalyptic mode in these next few weeks. You know what we’re talking about:

What do you want your last meal to be?

Do you want to go to the movies tonight or just relax and hug? You won’t have another chance!

Would you like to take Fluffy for a final hike around the neighborhood? We might not have time next week!

How about Grandma and Grandpa? Let’s give them one final visit!

Hey, this is your last birthday party with school friends before camp! Make it count!

Give your brother one huge final good kiss goodnight! You won’t again till August!

We know you’re well-meaning, but we have some advice for what it’s worth: stop. STOP! It’s very dramatic! You’re freaking her out! You’re freaking us out! You’re freaking yourself out! Let’s all try to remain normal and happy and calm. Play it cool! Let’s enjoy final pre-camp moments while trying not to belabor or draw attention to them. Let’s focus not on what your daughter will be missing, but what she’s about to embark upon. In our experience, end-of-world conversations, conversations focusing on last-moments-at-home breed anxiety for a number of reasons. Here are a few of those reasons, and here’s what your daughter might be thinking: I don’t know what I want my last meal to be! Oh my gosh, but what if I pick the wrong one and I want mom’s mac & cheese tomorrow and I can’t have it! How can I live with that regret! I hadn’t thought about seeing a movie or walking Fluffy, and I’d sort of forgotten that I wasn’t kissing my little brother goodnight all summer. AH! That’s scary! Am I SURE I want to give all of this up?

Of course the answer is a resounding “YES!” The gifts of camp are immeasurable and what she’ll be experiencing in a few days is life-changing. So let’s not focus on a final tuck-in or that one last hug. Keep your daughter happy and focused on moving forward towards camp. Will you treasure those final moments? YES! Should you talk about them with your daughter? Probably not. We’ll say it again. Play it cool.

Smile, keep calm, talk about the great adventure she’s about to have. “Goodnight, Honey. I love you, and I’m so excited for you” always works. It’ll make it easier for your daughter to get on the bus, and it’ll give her the courage to get off that bus once she’s down the winding road at Camp Timber Tops. We’ll take it from there!

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New Camper Weekend 2018!

This weekend!  It’s finally here! New Camper Weekend 2018!

Did you know that each June we invite all new campers and their families to spend the whole weekend at camp a few short weeks before opening day? It’s a unique opportunity for campers and their families to connect with staff, meet future bunk mates and really start to feel at home in Greeley, PA. We don’t know any other camp that opens its doors the way we do, and we’re proud of it!

Attending New Camper Weekend? Here’s what you need to know:
Please arrive at camp between 11:30 AM and 12:45 PM on Saturday, June 2nd to experience your first camp lunch!  Introductions begin around 1:00 PM.  As a reminder, nights in the mountains can be quite chilly, so bring warm and comfortable clothing for the campfire and warm PJs, too! Don’t forget warm bedding or sleeping bags, and remember toiletries and towels as well. There will be free time to explore, so if you’d like to play, boat or swim as a family, bring tennis racquets, softball gloves, and bathing suits.

Follow us on social media (@camptimbertops) for live updates and photos from what will surely be a weekend of lifelong memories in the making!

WELCOME, NEW CAMPERS!

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Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitos: Oh my!

A Note from the Health Center to our Camp Parents:

We’d like to take a moment to share our plan of action for an increased risk associated with tick, flea and mosquito bites throughout the United States. Camp has been taking steps to minimize exposure for our campers and prevent the spread of disease. In addition to the measures outlined below, camp regularly consults with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to update our protocols.

Prevention

  • Outside lawn chemical professionals have been hired to treat all fields and field perimeters with flea and tick control as well as areas around bunks, buildings, and activity areas with flea and tick control.
  • All trails and paths at camp are treated with flea and tick control.
  • An outside professional pest control company has been contracted to regularly treat for rodents, etc.
  • Grass is cut frequently and brush is trimmed back in regularly trafficked areas.
  • Application of CDC approved bug spray throughout the day as needed for activities in wooded areas. There are also bug spray stations throughout camp.

Education and Practice

  • All counselors have training sessions on ticks and the counselor’s roles in health care, including
    • Hygiene, shower hour self-check prompting, tick checks after hikes, walks in the woods, and campfires
    • Basic tick prevention, best practices, bug and bite identification
    • Camper clothing coverage, including long pants and sleeves on hikes
    • Avoiding brushy areas, high grass and leaf litter.  Walking in the center of trails.
  • Nurse education during training
    • Tick checks, identification, removal
  • Full body checks after all hikes and walks in wooded areas.
    • A note: Nurses and counselors prompt campers to self check in and around the bathing suit area.
  • Check clothing.

Please don’t hesitate to call us with questions or concerns. We will stay vigilant!

The Health Center

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Every Day is Earth Day at Camp!

Camp is many things, like making new friends, having fun at activities and learning new skills. But at its core, going to camp is a return to nature. It is a simpler life, unplugged but connected to the wonders all around us. Smell the pines! Breathe in fresh mountain air! Listen to the sound of crickets at night! Feel the warmth of the sun on your shoulders. Happy Earth Day from Greeley, PA!

Here’s a short Earth Day quiz, Greeley edition!

What is the Pennsylvania state flower that can be found throughout our beautiful camp, just beginning to bud during this time of year?
Answer: The Mountain Laurel

What environmentally important site is located in Milford, Pennsylvania, one of the closest towns to camp?
Answer: Grey Towers in Milford is the original 1900 site of the Yale School of Forestry Summer Camp!

Who lived at Grey Towers, Milford and is known as the “Father of American Conservation”?
Answer: Gifford Pinchot

Every summer, campers canoe the Delaware and Lackawaxen rivers. The two rivers converge in Lackawaxen Pennsylvania, a beautiful spot very close to camp. What famous American bird do campers frequently see there, soaring high above them?
Answer: The American Bald Eagle. Lackawaxen is home to 200 bald eagles!

Camp is located in Pike County, named after Zebulon Motgomery Pike. What famous mountain did he discover and where is it located?
Answer: Pike’s Peak, Colorado

Bonus Question!
Our camp was one of the first camps in American to win the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star Award. Which of these things didn’t we do to earn it?
1) Change all light bulbs to LED
2) Cover the pools with special pool covers to preserve heat and lower use of energy
3) Recycle waste
4) Change from disposable dishes to reusable dishware
5) Hang underwear from the flagpole

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PA and NY New Camper Weekend was AWESOME!

Bowling together at Devon Lanes outside of Philadelphia, rock climbing at Chelsea Piers in New York, it was all about making future camp friends and meeting future bunkmates! And it was awesome! What a fabulous turnout! This summer there will be plenty of first–time campers in Greeley, PA, so it’s an especially great time to start camp. In addition to campers, the weekend was a chance for some of our young counselors and veteran camp leaders to say hello and welcome. As we sing to you at camp “we’re mighty glad you’re here!”

Remember: June 2-3 weekend is our overnight New Camper Weekend! Stay overnight in a bunk! Enjoy camp activities! Sit around the campfire! Make real s’mores at camp! There will be many more new friends to meet. Please call the office for more information or to RSVP.

Also coming up…

Ski Day in the Pocono on February 10th

Maryland Pool party on March 10th

Florida event coming soon!

Spoiler alert: new campers, it’s going to be the best summer ever!

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Camp + Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can give our children many things, but as parents, we cannot give them character, independence, optimism, and enthusiasm – these are qualities that children have to discover and develop on their own. And that is the true gift of camp. Camp is a place that provides a safe environment to find adventure, friendship and ultimately to find one’s self, to find one’s true character.

At camp we often call ourselves a camp “family,” and for those summer months we really are. We are one community, relying on each other and looking out for one another. It feels like family. And at its heart, that is how Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us to look at the world around us: one family, each of us treated with respect and compassion. May the strength and love that we feel at camp send ripples to the world around us. For those of us lucky enough to go to camp, it’s our obligation to make it so.

Let us know what your kids are doing out in the world for Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

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Upcoming Events: Spring 2018!

Philadelphia Bowling Party!
Saturday, January 20th, 2018
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Devon Lanes
Devon, PA
New and prospective camper party!

Chelsea Piers Fun!
Sunday, January 21st, 2018
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Pier 62
New York, NY
New and prospective camper party!

Ski Day!
Saturday, February 10th, 2018
8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Ski Big Bear
Lackawaxen, PA

Maryland Pool Party!
Saturday, March 10th, 2018
7:15 PM – 9:00 PM
Germantown Swim Center
Boyds, MD

New Camper Weekend!
Saturday, June 2nd – Sunday, June 3rd
at CAMP in
Greeley, PA
All new campers and their families are welcome!

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