Thanking Zelkova 2019 and Introducing…Kauri 2020!

Tonight’s top-secret Banquet theme, brought to us by the 9th graders was…Zelkova Goes Up! Like, from the movie “Up!” As the movie says, “you’ll always be our greatest adventure.”

Our 9th graders have spent the past number of weeks planning, organizing, and putting together tonight’s banquet which honors the CAs for their leadership this summer. It’s a Timber Tops tradition that we look forward to all summer and take very seriously- from Oaklings to CAs! The entire camp ate breakfast and lunch in the grove to give our 9th graders ample time to prepare in private, and they surpassed all expectations! You would not believe the way our 9th graders transform the dining hall each year, and it’s hard to put into words just how awesome it really is.

This year, “Zelkova Goes Up,” was amazing. Balloons filled the air, colorful banners were everywhere. The dining hall was just totally transformed!

It’s our tradition for CAs to get dressed up for banquet while the rest of camp dons their officials. Zelkova is officially presented one by one,  thanked, presented with awards, and made to feel like the stars of the show they truly have been this entire summer. Thank you, Zelkova, for a summer filled with love for camp and each other. We have another tradition at Banquet where our counselors who grew up as campers at CTT serenade the whole camp with a special song to the tune of “Uncle John’s Band.” The lyrics include “When you leave Timber Tops, friends will still remain. People grow, each year will pass, but the memories never change…” And counselors get awards too! MVC and the “Most Sucked In” were so special this year, that there wasn’t a dry eye in the dining hall.

At the end of the banquet, the 9th graders thanked Zelkova and then, after much anticipation, introduced their CA name and sang their CA song for next summer. And the CA Village next summer is…

Kauri 2020!
Song: “Running Home to You” by Michelle Osorio

In addition to a big CTT/9th grade (now known as “Kauri”)/Zelkova love fest, the night was filled with especially delicious appetizers, dinner and desserts including pesto chicken, caprese salads, sliders, shirley temples and homemade ice cream sandwiches. It was like being at a wedding! It’s called Banquet for a reason. Really, ask your camper all about it!

An extraordinary night for extraordinary people in this extraordinary place. There’s a little extra magic in the air tonight at Camp Timber Tops, even though chants of “we’re not leaving” echo through the trees. It’s a bittersweet but awesome moment in the life of every summer and this summer is no different.

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We know you want to swallow her whole. Here are some tips to help you help yourself (and in doing so, help your camper re-enter the world).

1. Don’t take it personally.

Yes, she’ll be SO happy to see you. She’s also very, very sad.

She’s sad to leave camp! She’s sad to leave her friends! She’s sad to leave her counselors! She’s sad to leave her routine, her independence and her camp persona! It’s okay (great actually)! It means you gave her the best gift ever!

2. Remember she’s exhausted.

In the past week alone she’s experienced Pioneer Days, the play, a dance show, a gymnastics show, banquet, wishing boats, packing and more. Over the past seven weeks she’s been living with ten other people, hanging out with friends day and night, participating in activities from sun up to sun down. She’s going to be exhausted! To be expected!

3. Be patient.

It might take a few hours or a few days to be entirely “on” and especially to open up. She might even seem a little numb. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you or didn’t miss you. It doesn’t mean that she won’t start gushing in a few days. Nothing is wrong. She just needs time! Things that are normal: wanting to talk to her camp friends immediately, all-day, every day for a few days (yes, she’s just spent seven weeks with them- we know). Wanting to keep on that disgusting arm of camp friendship bracelets (don’t tell her they’re ridiculous unless you want to get hurt). Wanting to spend some time alone before jumping into the deep end of home life (think family gatherings, the mall, play dates). Wanting to sleep sleep sleep. Any combination of the above. Normal. Normal. Normal.

4. Focus on small moments and questions.

Think about your two best friends who live far away.

Friend one: you pick up the phone no matter what, even if you only have a minute. Though it’s been months, you know she’ll cut right to the chase and start where things left off.

Friend two: You love her. Really. You LOVE her as much as friend one. But you only pick up when you have time to sit, totally focused, for an hour-long catch-up. So, no. You don’t always pick up.

The moral? Be friend one. You’ll learn more! She’ll start talking!

Good questions:
What was this morning like?
Which choice activity was the best?
Who was the goofiest counselor in your bunk?

Less good questions/statements:
Tell me EVERYTHING about camp.
Can you explain your weekly schedule?
What were all of your counselors like?

Ask a few, manageable, lighthearted questions every hour on that first day. You’ll open up that can of worms without having to pry, without overwhelming your fresh-off-the-bus camper.

5. Give her wings.

At camp she was the most independent version of herself, and she’s still basking in the glow of those camp freedoms. Advocating for herself, making independent choices— it’s why you sent her to camp! Remember how you felt the first time you came home from college. It was a little weird! Think about small liberties you can introduce to reinforce your camper’s summer growth. If you have an eight-year-old who didn’t make her bed before camp, encourage her to make her bed at home (even if it isn’t as beautiful as you’d like). Though seemingly a “chore,” having your camper do things for herself at home will continue the summer’s momentum and make her feel happy and confident. And isn’t that what this whole camp thing was about from the start?


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Health Checks, Gymnastics Show, Socials, Oh My!

Hello friends and followers,

It’s another great day at camp, our last day of regular schedule. We’re biking, we’re swimming, we’re canoeing, we’re climbing, we’re cooking, we’re creating, we’re running, we’re competing … It’s a great Greeley Day, and we’re basking in the glow of the warm summer sun and cherishing our dwindling time here together.

This morning, between activities, everyone had a health screening by our nurses and enjoyed a head check from “Lice Be Gone,” a professional lice company that travels from Short Hills, NJ to Greeley, PA to ensure that we come home to you lice-free! If you haven’t gotten a friendly call from us at camp today, your daughter is in the clear! Woohoo! Aside from our lice friends, other exciting happenings include banquet prep, a canoe trip, and a top cooks trip! We’re also preparing for this afternoon’s gymnastics show followed by tonight’s all-camp social with Lake Owego Camp, entertainment provided by RockIt Entertainment! It’s crazy over here! In all seriousness though, we’ll dance and sing into the night. It’s always an especially fun night here in Greeley.



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Our Final Timber Tops Tuesday

It’s our final Timber Tops Tuesday, filled with all Timber Tops Tuesday things. It’s hard to believe that next Tuesday we won’t be with our summer sisters. This summer has flown by so quickly that sometimes it feels like a dream!

This morning, we had a hard-earned late sleep. After breakfast, our horseback riders participated in horse shows! And seniors signed up for tomorrow’s final canoe trip. Today we also had all-day play practice in anticipation of tonight’s Broadway Review! It’s the big show, and we can’t wait to watch out bunkmates perform. These girls are AH-MAY-ZING. And then they’ll enjoy a cast party, celebrating their hard work and success!

Though for the most part we’ve maintained a regular schedule today, there have been thunderstorms on and off throughout the day. It sort of reflects our mood, though. Tomorrow, we begin lice checks and health screenings, the gymnastics show, a final social and more. But more on that tomorrow. For today, we’re just making every moment count.

More tomorrow from Greeley!

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Mission to Space, Pioneer Days 2019: The Final Day!

It’s the final day of Pioneer Days 2019! We can’t believe how fast it’s gone, but it’s been among our best ever. Truly! Today is marked by flagpole activities (including lemon sucking, watermelon seed spitting, butter churning and so much more) and rope burn. This afternoon brings individual activities and the judging of campsite and team meal! Each team has built a campsite in the woods and will make the judges a gourmet meal over their campfire! It’s truly amazing. Tonight, it all comes down to the song, banner and tall tale (a sort of comic take on and occasional roast of all things summer 2019). It’s sure to be among our most memorable days and nights of summer! Follow along!

Pioneer Days 2019
Mission to Space

Day 3 – Monday, August 5th 2019
7:45 CA’s wake up campers
8:10 Junior breakfast; Senior clean up
8:40 Line-up
8:50 Junior clean up; Senior breakfast
9:00 Captains meeting in the dining hall
9:25 Team meetings: Select participants for flagpole and individual activities
9:45 Line-up at the flagpole for FLAGPOLE ACTIVITIES + ROPE BURN!
12:30 Junior lunch; Senior recall
1:00 Junior canteen and rest; Senior lunch and canteen
1:30 Teams begin meal preparation 2.5 hours before judging time
2:00 Team meetings: Finish selecting participants for individual activities
2:30 Report to various activity areas for individual activities!
3:45 General Swim: Everyone to the pool
4:00 Judging- Meal and Camp Site
4:00 Yellow (Lower tennis court) (1:30 prep)
4:40 Blue (Lake) (2:10 prep)
5:20 Red (Pool) (2:50 prep)
6:00 Green (Lower parking lot) (3:30 prep)
4:30 Showers
5:30 Junior dinner (SILENT)
6:00 Line-up
6:10 Junior recall; Senior dinner (SILENT)
Committees continue working on projects
6:30 Final preparation
7:30 Line-up at flagpole for the finale – Outdoor Theater
Team Song
Tall Tale

Followed by the closing awards show for Pioneer Days 2018!

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Mission to Space Pioneer Days 2019: Day 2!

Welcome back, friends! It’s DAY 2 of Pioneer Days! There are all kinds of smaller committees working as hard as ever, but today’s big events are THE ADVENTURE COURSE in the morning (all participate!) and A SWIM MEET this afternoon! And tonight we highlight our smaller committees of barbershop quartet, dance, cheer, and totem pole! It’s one of the best days of summer. Follow along, won’t you?

Pioneer Days 2019: Mission to Space! 
Day 2 – Sunday, August 4th 2019

7:45 CA’s wake up campers
8:10 Junior breakfast; Senior clean up
8:40 Line-up
8:50 Junior clean up; Senior breakfast
**Tall tale must perform at lunch today.
9:00 Captains meeting in the dining hall
9:25 Team meetings: Select participants for tug of war, ridic relay, swim meet + bike relay
10:00 Report to the adventure course prepared to participate (sneakers!)
11:45 Tug of war/ ridiculous relay – meet at upper field
12:30 Junior lunch; Senior recall
1:00 Junior rest; Senior lunch
2:15 Swim meet ————– Bring sneakers for dodgeball too
Bike relay dodgeball
4:30 General Swim: Everyone at the pool
5:00 Showers
6:00 Junior dinner (SILENT)
6:35 Line-up
6:45 Junior recall; Senior dinner (SILENT)
Committees continue working on projects
7:10 Team meetings in preparation for tonight’s evening activities
7:45 Line-up at flagpole for tonight’s evening activities
Cheer — a gymanstics/cheerleading team from each color!
Quartet — each time has been practicing and will perform a barber shop quartet!
Totem Pole — each team designs a totem pole!
Dance — each team presents their dance team!
“Props” — it’s a camp thing!
9:00 Junior bed time
9:30 Junior lights out; Senior bed time
10:00 Senior lights out
Pioneer days OD – rest up for tomorrow’s activities! 🙂

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Pioneer Days 2019: Day 1!

Pioneer Days 2019
Mission to Space

Day 1: Saturday, August 3rd, 2019
7:45 CA’s wake up campers
8:10 Junior breakfast; Senior clean up
8:40 Line-up
8:50 Junior clean up; Senior breakfast
9:00 Captains meeting in the dining hall with Kate Page
9:25 Team meetings: Red- Oak, Yellow- Palm Court, Green- Redwood, Blue- Willow
Sign up for: Lakefront Activities, Jug Band, Upper field activities, Dance, Cheer, Song, Banner, Meal, Quartet, Camp Site, Totem Pole, Freeze Frame, Hat, Tall Tale, Props

10:30AM Lakefront activities: all campers to the lake!
Be ready to participate and cheer!
Begin working on: Jug Band, Quartet, Freeze Frame, Hat, Dance, Cheer, Totem Pole
** Committees organize schedules Props
Begin working on camp site
12:30 Junior lunch; Senior recall
1:00 Junior rest; Senior lunch
2:00 Captains meeting in the dining hall.
2:15 Team meetings: Select participants for Upper Field Activities
2:40 Everyone to the upper field! ** Each team bring: laundry bag, zipper bag, jeans, button-up shirt, socks + tie shoes

4:30 General Swim: Everyone at the lake
5:00 Showers
6:00 Junior dinner (SILENT- save your voices! They’ve been working hard!)
6:35 Line-up
6:45 Junior recall; Senior dinner (SILENT- save your voices! They’ve been working hard!)
7:00 Committees continue working on projects
7:15 Team Meetings
7:45 Line-up at flagpole for tonight’s Evening Performance – Outdoor Theater
Jug Band
Freeze Frame
9:00 Junior bed time
9:30 Junior lights out; Senior bed time
10:00 Senior lights out/Sr. & Couns. Overnight
Pioneer days OD – rest up for tomorrow’s activities!

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Blueberries, Nature Walks, and SOPHIE BEEM!

Friends, this will be short. There’s so much happening that we can’t keep it all straight, but here are today’s happenings and highlights:

  • Funfetti pancakes for breakfast and mac & cheese for lunch. We’re here to tell you that dreams really do come true.
  • 5th graders went blueberry picking at a local blueberry farm! And they ate blueberry ice cream! And they they came back and made blueberry muffins!
  • 6th graders returned from their (optional) campout! It was a great night!
  • Those in outdoor rec took a hike in our woods today! There’s so much to explore right here in our own backyard!
  • Gorgeous drawing and painting happening in A&C!
  • Kickball on the lower field!
  • Lacrosse on the upper field!
  • Mike’s aerobics, bigger and better than ever!

And tonight, we’re ready and waiting for our special visitor: Sophie Beem! Google her! She was on X Factor, she was signed by Beyonce… I mean, this concert at the Timber Theater is going to be MAJOR! We gotta go! There’s a meet and greet, and this blogger doesn’t want to be late!


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August!? What!? Say it Ain’t So!

Wow. This whole August 1st thing has us appreciating where we are and who we’re with even more than we normally do. Today it felt like we were singing a little louder, laughing a little harder, and doing our best to make each and every moment count. And it was a great day for diving into all things camp! There was so much to do!

This morning our Polar Bears headed out into Lake Selma and enjoyed their dip in the lake (with a side of hot chocolate and cookies) before the rest of us even opened our eyes. And though today was an S.F.A. (Supervised Free Activity) day, there were SO MANY THINGS to choose from, it felt even busier than usual. So much for a “lazy day!” This morning there were friendly hi-senior competitions happening against the boys of LOC! Our girls were INCREDIBLE, participating in soccer, basketball, lacrosse and tennis doubles. And we had the best time! And Owego wasn’t our only out-of-camp adventure today. We sent out another hiking trip to Raymonskill Falls and our hi-seniors got their turn at Costa’s!

In camp today, in addition to a delicious grove lunch, special activities were everywhere we looked! In cooking, “dirt cups” (more delicious than they sound) were a hit, in Zumba there was a Zumba dance-move competition (hey, we take our Zumba seriously around here), in fitness there was a grueling (but fun!) fitness challenge, and in mountain biking there was a “learn to ride a bike” workshop! So much to do, so little time!

Tonight, the seniors will enjoy a social with Lake Owego and the juniors will play a longtime camp favorite activity: jukebox!

Oh, and chants of “We want, we want, Pioneer Days! Pioneer Days”” have filled the air over the past few days. You may want to sleep with your shoes next to your beds, friends and followers. It (our version of Color War!) could happen any moment!

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Polar Bears, The Camper Scamper, Costa’s and So Much More!

As a surprise to no one, it was another GREAT and busy day at camp!

This morning, many of us began the day with a cool, 6:30AM dip in Lake Selma as part of THE POLAR BEAR CLUB! Our Polar Bears elected to wake up before the sun, jump into the lake, sing three songs, and run back to shore all for bragging rights, hot chocolate, cookies and, if they do it three days in a row, a Polar Bear Club t-shirt. We just think it’s amazing that the majority of our campers here opt to participate! SO many participated in the first half of the summer, the second half of the summer, or both!

Then, it was breakfast and our next happening: The Hughie and Selma Black Camper Scamper 5K! The Camper Scamper is a tradition, hosted by Pine Forest Camp, which includes PFC, LOC and CTT, all founded by Hughie and Selma Black! And we sent TWO BUSES packed with campers to race. Have we already said that Timber Tops girls are amazing in this post? Timber Tops girls are amazing! Some ran for bragging rights, others for fitness, hey some ran for the t-shirt (do you sense a theme?), but it was an awesome morning of spirit, fitness and fun. But aren’t they all!

And then Costa’s! That’s right, our juniors spent the morning at Costa’s! Our Seniors spent the afternoon! Why? Why not?! Ice cream, water slides, bumper boats, mini golf and so much more at our local family fun park was just what the doctor ordered.

All this amidst a continued regularly scheduled program made for a busy, happy day at camp (and just beyond)! To top it all off? Trips to Emily Island during general swim!

The fun never stops here at CTT!

Have a great night, folks!

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