Camp News & Blog

Big News From Cabin Row

Welcome to the Poplar Posts!

After decades in publication, this year the Poplar Post is officially going digital!

This year has been challenging for all of us, but if there’s one thing that camp has taught us (besides the Angel Code, the value of friendship, and the words to countless songs and cheers), it’s that a tough challenge has the potential to bring out the best in each of us. We didn’t get to spend our summer together at camp this year, so we’re meeting that challenge with innovation! 

While we are socially distanced, we’re going to make even more of an effort to ensure that we stay socially connected. Taking the Poplar Post online means we can publish more often and include more fun elements, like this video from Jane and Dan:

Now here’s our challenge to you: Find one new way to stay connected to your camp friends this winter! Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Turn some of your favorite camp photos into postcards and mail them to your friends
  • Schedule an all-bunk afternoon “rest hour” videoconference
  • Meet up for a hike or other safe outdoor activity (remember to maintain distance and mask up!)
  • Coordinate a craft, book or friendship bracelet swap by mail (if you’re looking for inspiration, how cool is this rainbow craft swap?

Send your updates and post ideas to Eliza for inclusion in a future Poplar Post!

Be sure to add the Poplar Post blog to your bookmarks, and make sure your parents have their Campanion app notifications turned on so you’ll be the first to know when there’s new content to check out!

Camper News

Goodbye Bunk 22, Hello Swings!

It’s been a sunny and busy fall season at camp!

Every year, our year-round crew makes the most of the beautiful Poconos autumn to get as much work done as they can before winter sets in. This year has been no different! They have been busy this fall replacing exterior siding on Bunk 1, Bunk 2, the Lodge and the Manor House.

But the biggest change is happening in Junior Camp, where we have something exciting happening! Bunk 22 has been used over the years as an infirmary, a camper cabin, and staff housing, and after a long life, this fall it was torn down to make room for something we think you’ll really enjoy… a new swing set!

Next summer, the Lower Juniors’ area will have a fresh new look and a beautiful new play area to enjoy during free time. We can’t wait to see the smiles on your faces when you see this special new spot on Cabin Row! 

Birthdays

Today is Somebody’s FALL Birthday…

Happy birthday to all of our October and November Angels!

October:

Addison (Lower Seniors)
Brandi (Upper Juniors)
Charlotte (Bunk 1)
Elle (Upper Juniors)
Eloise (Manor House)
Emily (Upper Juniors)
Emma (Bunk 2)
Hannah (Upper Juniors)
Isabel (Upper Juniors)
Isabelle (Bunk 2)
Ivy (Lower Juniors)
Lila (Lower Juniors)
Liv (Manor House)
Lucy (Lower Juniors)
Maya (Upper Seniors)
Morgan (Bunk 2)
Olivia (Lower Seniors)
Olivia (Upper Juniors)
Shoshana (Manor House)
Zoey (Bunk 2)

November:

Abby (Bunk 2)
Aerin (Bunk 2)
Alexandra (Bunk 1)
Angelin (Upper Seniors)
Brooke (Lower Juniors)
Charlotte (Lower Juniors)
Dahlia (Manor House)
Elisabeth (Bunk 1)
Jessica (Bunk 2)
Julia (Upper Seniors)
Lucy (Bunk 1)
Natalya (Lower Seniors)
Sasha (Lower Juniors)
Shoshana (Bunk 1)
Sophie (Lower Juniors)

Tradition Time With Eliza!

Ice Cream Night

“I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!!!”

There’s no sweeter sound than hearing Bunk One start this chant that lets us all know it’s time for a surprise Ice Cream Night!

At camp, we enjoy a snack each night after evening activity. On a few exciting nights during the summer, we are treated to a special snack. One of these is Ice Cream Night.

Ice Cream Night is always a surprise, and it is always fun! We bring out a variety of flavors and toppings, and instead of going straight back to our cabins, all of camp goes to the Dining Hall together to enjoy sundaes.

Ice Cream Night is more than a special snack, though; it’s a special event all on its own. Once everyone has had their ice cream, our oldest campers in Bunk One will call up girls to sing for the whole camp. It is extremely special to see Angels from all age groups stand up in front of everyone and share their songs. There is truly magic in the Dining Hall on Ice Cream Night, and that’s why I love it.

Another reason I love Ice Cream Night: sprinkles. Many of you know that I love my ice cream with rainbow sprinkles on the top AND bottom… always. If you have never tried ordering your ice cream this way, that is your first task after reading this post. 

So — what is your favorite ice cream? Chocolate? Vanilla? Cookie Dough? Sorbet? Dairy-Free Ben & Jerrys? You’ll have to let me know!

Love,
Eliza

Freeform (no theme)

How to Practice Thanksgiving All Year Long

This is the time of year when we start to talk about thanks and thanksgiving (because, well… it’s time for Thanksgiving!). But the idea of “thanksgiving” is more than a holiday or a family celebration — and it’s something we can practice all year round.

What is gratitude?

“Gratitude” is more than just saying the words “thank you” (that’s just good manners). It means truly being grateful for the good things in your life and being willing to express that thankfulness. Even when times are hard, you probably have a lot to be thankful for — a warm home, a loving family, a great teacher, friends who care about you, experiences you’ve had, places you’ve been, special memories, things in the future to look forward to (like Summer 2021 at LBMC!).

Just like a muscle, gratitude gets stronger with practice! Get in the habit of expressing your appreciation, and soon you’ll find yourself spotting the good in almost any situation.

Why does gratitude matter?

Besides living out the Angel Code value of Beauty, gratitude has scientifically-proven benefits! Researchers have found that gratitude can lead to better physical and mental health, more friendships, even better sleep! 

A gratitude mindset also makes it easier to bounce back when you experience difficulties. (This is known as “resilience.”) When you focus on looking for the good, you’re building up emotional strength that helps make you more resilient so you can get through tough times.

And of course, when you express gratitude to other people, you’re making them feel good, too — so your gratitude mindset can have a positive ripple effect!

How do I practice gratitude?

Practice makes progress. That’s true of anything you want to get better at, from sports to school to music — and that includes gratitude! Try making gratitude a daily habit. If you keep a planner or diary, dedicate a little corner of each page to writing down something you’re thankful for. Or leave yourself a note on the bathroom mirror to remind you to think about what you’re grateful for while you brush your teeth. (Maybe you’ll even start brushing longer!)

Here are some more fun ideas to help strengthen your gratitude muscle:

Coming in 2021

Coming to LBMC in 2021…

Welcome to our newest Angels! We can’t wait to see you at camp in June.

Manor House: Addision G (Long Island), Dahlia S (New Jersey), Elle M (NYC), Eloise C (NYC), Haily K (NYC), Jordyn E (New Jersey), Lily H (Florida), Liv S (Westchester), Logan M (New Jersey), Mila M (Maryland), Shoshana W (Long Island), Sienna C (Westchester). Lodge: Alexis D (New Jersey), Alyssa K (New Jersey), Ava M (Philadelphia), Campbell R (NYC), Charlotte R (Westchester), Elle S (NYC), Grace P (Westchester), Hayley K (New Jersey), Juliet R (Westchester), Kate K (New Jersey), Maya M (Philadelphia), Nora C (NYC), Parker L (Westchester), Riley C (Connecticut), Zoe G (New Jersey), Gabriella H (NYC). Lower Juniors: Brooke M (Westchester)

Preparing for Summer 2020

The new year is here, and the countdown to our 100th summer has officially begun!

Each month, we’ll be buzzing your inbox with a quick roundup of to-dos, reminders, and tips for new parents. Keep an eye out for Bryn Mawr Buzz and stay in the know as we prepare for Summer 2020! Here are the highlights from the January Buzz:

Everything Camper

Our official camp outfitter is Everything Camper. Whether you’re outfitting your camper for the first time or just replacing a few pieces from last summer, all official camp uniform must be purchased through Everything Camper. Roadshows, where your camper can try on uniform items in person, begin Jan. 31 — you can make a roadshow appointment or order uniform online at EverythingCamper.com.

Learn more about the benefits of a camp uniform in this post from our blog archives!

Get All Your LBMC Gear

Packing for Camp

Download Your 2020 Camp Packing List »

Please look it over and feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Storage space in the cabins is sufficient for the amount of clothing on this list, and we thank you in advance for not overpacking — more “stuff” is hard for campers to keep organized!

Please make sure everything you send to camp is labeled with your camper’s name, including sporting equipment and shoes. Everything Camper does not automatically label all uniform clothing. If you want your daughter’s clothing labeled before it’s shipped to you, please be sure to select that option when placing your uniform order.

Pen Pals

Nobody is better at explaining camp life than campers themselves. That’s why we pair each new camper with a returning Bryn Mawr Angel as a pre-camp pen pal! In the coming weeks, we’ll be reaching out to some of our returning campers to ask you to participate in the pen pal program. Thank you for living the Angel Code value of Comradeship by being good friends to our newest Angels before the summer even starts! New campers, you should expect to hear from your pen pal sometime next month. If you haven’t received a letter by the end of February, please contact the winter office.

Bunk One Weekend

This year’s March Meeting will be held March 7-8 at camp. Super Cabin One parents (girls entering 10th grade), be on the lookout for a separate mailing with details about this special weekend.

New Parent Tip

In addition to her uniform clothes, we recommend sending your daughter to camp with two to three non-uniform all-green and all-gold/yellow outfits that she can wear on spirit days and during Color War.

Camp Kindness Day @ LBMC

Today we had the opportunity to join camps across the country in Camp Kindness Day, a very special event highlighting the kind of intentional, thoughtful and powerful caring that is reflected in our camp values of Loyalty, Beauty, Merit, and Comradeship. Every division in camp participated in age-appropriate activities focused on nurturing, sharing, and spreading kindness both within our camp community and all year round.

In Junior Camp, our Manor House and Lodge campers talked about how to practice kindness by including others, standing up to bullying, and the way small acts of kindness can snowball into something wonderful. To practice recognizing and perpetuating those small acts of kindness, campers wrote notes to their counselors thanking them for the little things counselors do for them every day. They also drew pictures interpreting what kindness looks like.

Upper and Lower Junior campers spent the day talking about how to identify acts of kindness and how respect is tied to kindness. Recognizing that kindness is something that can sometimes be hard to tap into, our older juniors also spent time talking about and strategizing how to look past someone else’s negativity and set a loving example. Like the Manor House and Lodge, our Upper and Lower Juniors wrote anonymous notes to their counselors sharing their appreciation for their counselors’ hard work this summer.

 Our Senior Campers came together to celebrate Camp Kindness Day by focusing on self love and positive affirmations, built around the mantra “I Accept Who I Am” — a message inspired by our summer theme, “This Is Me.”

 We started by discussing the importance of kindness and where it all begins. Our seniors unanimously agreed that in order to be kind to others, we have to start by being kind to ourselves. Each of their Camp Kindness Day activities was designed to help build a foundation of kindness toward themselves so they are better able to share kindness with the world.

 We started off with an activity called “World’s Biggest Fans,” in which campers took turns proclaiming “I’m really cool because…” and then sharing something they love about themselves. Each girl followed her declaration by running down an aisle formed by lines of her peers, all cheering her on (like the world’s biggest fans!). The sense of joy and togetherness was palpable — and it’s interesting to note that many campers shared qualities about themselves that that they used to dislike but have learned to love.

 After this enthusiastic, energizing exercise, we moved into a guided meditation/mindfulness practice focusing on positive affirmation and releasing tension. The sense of calm and purpose provided a perfect starting point for the next exercise, in which each girl authored her own set of “I Am” statements, her own positive affirmations. We discussed the purpose of affirmations and how, while they can’t erase moments of sadness or doubt, they can promote a sense of balance and harmony that provides confidence and reassurance in tough times. Camper after camper read aloud powerful statements of self-affirmation: “I am strong,” “I am intelligent,” “I am courageous,” “I am creative,” “I am beautiful,” “I will find a solution to my problems,” and “I am me.”

 Finally, we closed with a reflection during which campers wrote letters to themselves. They included messages that they may one day need to hear to get them through difficult times, to support themselves and give themselves strength, or even to make themselves laugh.

 It’s hard to put into words the sense of strong, positive energy that permeated the room by the close of our Camp Kindness Day event! Campers and staff alike left feeling refreshed, revitalized, and grateful, thanking one another for what they had shared and experienced. It was wonderful to see our campers embrace and express the values of the Angel Code in such a special way.

Visiting Day 2017!

With the exception of Color War break, probably no single event of the camp season is as hotly anticipated as Visiting Day! From the Manor House to Bunk One, camp is buzzing with excitement as we prepare to welcome parents, grandparents and siblings this weekend.

Here at camp, we always put some extra effort into getting ready for Visiting Day. The kitchen staff cooks up a storm to get that big, tasty lunch ready. Program staff help campers put the finishing touches on projects, presentations and new skills to show off on Saturday. And everyone works together to get every bunk extra clean for the big day.

We know our camp parents back home are anticipating this weekend every bit as much as their daughters are, with preparations for the trip to Honesdale underway well before the weekend rolls around! If you have questions about the best way to get to camp or other tips for Visiting Day, feel free to call us anytime.

It’s hard to explain the feeling of Visiting Day to someone who hasn’t experienced it. There is a lot of excitement leading up to the moment that the gates are opened to let parents on campus, followed by greetings that can be a bit emotional — understandably so! Afterward, though, the rest of the day tends to be calm and relaxed, with campers and their families simply enjoying their reunion in the way they like best. Campers may want to show off their new skills in their program areas, challenge their parents to a friendly tennis match, or simply relax and catch up over lunch. Counselors, group leaders and program directors are on hand to chat about how the summer has been going. We serve a full lunch at the Dining Hall, and many parents choose to bring some special treats from home to enjoy during the afternoon.

It seems like every year there’s another news story out there about how some summer camp parents go over-the-top for Visiting Day. While we understand there’s some entertainment value in hearing about parents who go to extremes to celebrate this special time with their children, we hope first-time camp parents know that elaborate bunk gifts, catered lunches and fancy gift baskets aren’t the norm. Ask our seasoned camp families and they’ll tell you the same thing we do: The most important present you can give your daughter on Visiting Day is the gift of your time and attention.

Years from now, when your daughter remembers her Visiting Day experiences, she probably won’t be able to recall whose parents brought what treats or how many gifts she got. What she will remember is how it felt to see your face for the first time in three weeks, and how special it was to have those hours of uninterrupted time with her family, sharing everything she had learned and experienced so far during her summer at camp.

No matter how you and your daughter spend Visiting Day, the time you’ll have together at camp is precious — not because of the gifts you bring or the treats you share, but because you have this time together.

Professional Development in the Winter Office: Filling our Backpacks with new Perspectives

Every summer we arrive at Bryn Mawr with our own “backpack” made up of the experiences we have had over the past year. Some of those experiences have been happy and others may be sad, yet they have all shaped us in some way. As we told our leadership and general staff last summer, regardless of the number of years each one of us has been at Bryn Mawr, at the beginning of camp, everybody is new.

 While we all live in similar types of communities, we all have different perspectives based on our own family dynamics, school environments and groups of friends. These factors have a direct impact on how each one of us behaves and responds to others.

Try this activity: Think of a childhood memory in which you misbehaved in some way. What was the response from an adult? How did it make you feel? And what was the reason that you engaged in that behavior? Then reflect on how this incident may have influenced how you now manage behavior in your daily life.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend an all-day seminar at Columbia School of Social Work: Understanding and Managing Behaviors in Children and Adolescents. Throughout the day, we were led through discussions and exercises that focused on why kids act out, how we should respond and ways in which we can support them. Whether through our use of language, physical cues or positive reinforcement, we strive to continuously model appropriate behavior for our girls.

At Bryn Mawr, we spend two weeks before our campers arrive training our leadership and general staff. Of course, we can’t anticipate every scenario that we will experience during the summer (these girls can really keep us on our toes!) yet through workshops and conferences in the winter months, we can bring fresh ideas and new strategies to ease the transition to camp life and the challenges of a summer away from home. I am grateful to work with Jane and Dan who believe that professional development is critical to our success. Through my training, I have become less reactive, more mindful and acutely aware of how actions can have an impact.

 In light of Thanksgiving, here are some inspirational words from our lecturer, Dr. Rick Greenberg: the next time you talk with your daughter, actively listen. In fact, try to listen so closely that you are not even thinking about what you will say in response. You will be grateful that you gave her that time…those are the moments that she will remember!

Enjoy the Holidays!

Love,

Jocelyn Glantz

Assistant Director