Introducing CLC’s New Assistant Director

We are excited to announce that Ali Koenig will be our new full-time Assistant Director. Ali joined CLC last summer as the Kaya Division Leader and quickly became one of the leaders of camp. Whether in the bunks, on the fields or at line-up, Ali’s positive energy and welcoming smile has an impact on everyone she comes in contact with. She has a passion for camp and we look forward to her working with us all year long.

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Message From Ali:12366334_1081466171893580_7515115554785747774_n

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved summer camp.     I had the privilege of attending camp as I grew up and the memories, friendships, and opportunities that camp provided me are still with me today. I am now lucky enough to go to summer camp each and every day! I am very excited for the opportunity to work full time with the Chestnut Lake and Trail’s End Camp families. I had an amazing first summer at Chestnut Lake as the Kaya Division Leader and through my campers, staff and the rest of the CLC Family, I was able to learn the meaning of “our summer home.”

I grew up in Colleyville, Texas; a suburb just outside of Dallas/Ft. Worth. I played competitive soccer growing up and continued my passion for the sport playing at Jacksonville State University. I received a Bachelors of Science in Physical      Education and continued my education working as a graduate assistant in the athletic department at JSU. I will receive a Masters of Education with a major in Physical Education this December. I am looking forward to continuing my growth as the Assistant Director of Chestnut Lake Camp “Bringing out the Best” in         everyone!

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We Love Chestnut Lake Summer Camp!

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Jake and Lucy Sher just completed their first summer at Chestnut Lake and wanted to share some of their favorite things about the Summer of 2015.

Jake Sher:

My first summer at Chestnut Lake Camp was one of the best summers that I’ve ever had. Even though I missed my parents the first day, all the fun stuff at CLC made it easy to be away from home.

One of my favorite things about CLC is the food, because there are so many different varieties of things that you can eat. I really like the chicken nuggets and the french toast! The food was the best!

I really like the bunks because you have a lot of space for your stuff. The counselors were awesome. They didn’t act like a parent, but almost like a big brother or sister. I     really liked my counselors, David, Martin and Joe, who slept in my bunk. I also really liked my division leader, Curtis, and my bunk’s partners, Garin and Joe (aka J-Fresh).

Two of the best activities were Outdoor Adventure (which includes ziplines, rock       climbing and ropes course) and the lake. At the lake, I loved the inflatables like the    water trampoline, the Blob and the Rock-it.

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Another thing I really enjoyed about CLC was Tribal. I really liked the activities and the friendly competition. I’ll never forget when I ran from the soccer field to Outdoor          Adventure as part of the Apache relay race. Unami Turtles forever! These are some of the things that made my first summer at CLC the best. I can’t wait until next year!

Lucy Sher:

My first summer at Chestnut Lake was one of the best times I’ve ever had. At first, when I got there, I didn’t know anyone and I was a little nervous. But after a while, I got to know a lot of kids and a lot of counselors who were so nice and friendly. It felt like home, and I didn’t want to leave.

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The counselors were like big sisters. Without them, I don’t know what I would do! One of my counselors, Kenzie, even taught me how to play the ukulele. The counselors are       always there for you whenever you need them, and they always know what’s best.

 

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One of my favorite activities is the lake. Once I even got to eat breakfast at the lake. At the lake, there’s always lots to do, and you can have so much fun. Another activity I like is basketball. I started playing basketball before I went to camp, and I really liked it. But at Chestnut Lake, it was so different. The counselor who taught me how to play was really nice and he knew how to help make me a better player. I love playing basketball at Chestnut Lake!

 

Outdoor Adventure is a really special thing that I think everyone needs in their life! At OA, these are some of the things you get to do: rock climbing, ziplining, climbing ropes, and working on skills that you’ve never worked on before. And last but not least, Tribal is my favorite activity because there’s so much to do and so much competition. That’s one of the things I like best. It was one of the best experiences to be an Unami Turtle.

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I love Chestnut Lake because the first time I went, it felt like family. I can’t wait to go back next summer!

 

My Best Summer at Chestnut Lake Camp!

At the end of every summer as campers return home, they always have many stories and special moments to share from their summer at Chestnut Lake. We thought it would be fun to connect with some of our first year campers and find out first hand about their summer at camp and what they loved the most about CLC.

First up is Drew Bick who attends camp with his brother, David.

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“My first summer at CLC was awesome. I had great counselors and a great Division Leader named Mike. My favorite part of camp was going to the Lake. There were so many fun inflatables like the blob, the swing and slide. All of our evening activities were awesome: some are shows, some are talent shows and some are sports. My favorite activity was fruit ninja. Your counselor throws you a water balloon and you try to hit it with a baseball bat-whoever hits the most wins. Paul and Debbi are great. There are a lot more activities at CLC than what I told you like all kinds of sports and free play time. And the food is great!  That’s why this was my best summer!”

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Next up is Claire Lenkin who attends camp with her brothers, Ethan and Noah.

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“For my first summer at CLC, I was in lower Yazhi. My favorite activities were Lake and OA (Outdoor Aventure). The Lake is SO much fun. You can go tubing and waterskiing!! They also have paddleboarding, fishing, a blob and a rope swing on the water trampoline. During Visting Day, your Dad can blob you very high!! My Dad blobbed me 10 feet in the air!  At OA, you go on the humongous zip line and the flying squirrel. They also have archery and rock climbing.

Another exciting part of the summer was when I found out which Tribal team I was on. I am a Minsi Wolf. One of my favorite parts of camp was Tribal. There are lots of fun activities like Apache Relay  and Rope Burn!  For one of my night activities, we went on a cookie hunt. Also, if your parents don’t let you stay up late at home you can stay up at camp! You also have a special snack in bed called Midnight snack. During Midnight snack you can read during “Flashlight Time”. Flashlight time is just time when you can read, whisper with your friends or doodle with your flashlight.

If you have siblings at camp sometimes at lunch there is a sibling cookout so you can eat lunch with your sibling. I had 2 older brothers at camp – Noah and Ethan.  One time in Arts and Crafts I made a wooden letter holder. In art and crafts there is sewing, woodworking, cooking and video. Also in sewing you can make pillows.  I can’t wait to go back next summer to see the new friends I made at camp. I loved my  counselors and Chestnut Lake!  That’s why this was my best summer!”

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A Summer Camp Tradition at CLC

Every summer, Lou and Sue Flego visit Chestnut Lake Summer Camp for one of the campers’ favorite traditions: Square Dancing! Younger campers learn simple calls like “Up to the middle with a tap, tap, tap.” while returning campers perfect calls like “Step to an ocean wave.” For two days, the campers practice in their 8-person sets, preparing for the competition on the final night.

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Once the squares are set, the girls take over and coordinate what each set will wear. The build-up to the final competition is pretty intense. The championship bracelets that the winners receive are highly coveted at Chestnut Lake Camp. The campers show up for the final competition decked out in coordinating outfits…there is plenty of plaid and pigtails!

Before the competition begins, Sue lightens the mood with some line dancing. Staff and campers join in as they slide and turn to “Popcorn” and “Montego Bay.” Once the line dancing is finished, the sets form their squares and prepare for the dance-off. Counselors take their spots outside of the squares, cheering on their campers and coaching them through the difficult calls. Lou, Sue, Debbi and Paul judge the squares and ask the sets that miss calls to sit down. After a while, there are only two sets left. Lou pauses to congratulate the final two squares and then moves them to the center.

As the music starts back up, all of the campers and counselors cheer the final sets on as they concentrate on executing each and every call. After the calls become more and more difficult, Lou finally has one of the sets sit down, which means that the only square still standing has won the special Lou & Sue bracelets!

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Square Dancing with Lou and Sue is a favorite Summer Camp Tradition at Chestnut Lake!

Chestnut Lake Summer Camp 4th of July Regatta

The first week of Chestnut Lake Summer Camp 2015 has been amazing! We started preparing for our 4th of July celebration on Saturday.  The lower campus decorated their bunks in patriotic themes while the upper campus turned our golf carts into parade floats.

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On the afternoon of the 4th, our older campers organized a parade for the younger campers. Kaya, Sani and Varsity marched in formation and drove their floats down Chestnut Lake Avenue. As the procession passed the campers, the Kaya, Sani and Varsity threw candy as everyone cheered. Uncle Sam even made a guest appearance at Chestnut Lake Summer Camp!

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Next up for our Independence Day celebration was Regatta. Campers organized into their tribes and started preparing to sail their boats in the pool, but first they watched their division leaders compete in a belly busting competition which was amusing as well. Later that evening the whole camp gathered together on the slope.  We all joined in for the singing of the National Anthem. As the National Anthem ended, our annual fireworks display began high above the stage.

Now the campers are anxiously waiting to see their families on Visiting Day at Chestnut Lake Summer Camp!

Tribal Campfire

Tribal Campfire is one of the most popular traditions at Chestnut Lake Camp. On our first Friday night of the session, after the Community Service Award winners were announced, new campers and staff found out if they would be a Minsi Wolf or an Unami Turtle. The returning campers, who were dressed head to toe in white or green, were bursting with excitement as they prepared to accept new members to their tribes.

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Dressed in red, the new campers and staff were led from the campfire site down to the lake where they stood in a large circle and recited the Tribal Oath with Debbi and Paul. d7290a4e-d25f-4f54-9297-26aab9236e43

As they walked back to the campfire, the Unami Turtles and Minsi Wolves lined either side of the path creating a special and unique atmosphere.

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At the campfire, the two teams sat with their tribes and sang their tribal chants. The new campers and staff in each division were called to stand in front of the campfire while blue team members painted a stripe of their new tribe’s color on each of their cheeks. Excitement grew as they waited for Paul to tell them to face their new tribe. As each group turned around, members of the Unami Turtles and the Minsi Wolves ran to greet their new members. Next up….the first tribal competition.

Staff Talent Show

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The first few days of the CLC Summer of 2015 have been full of energy and                excitement. Campers and staff have been spending time getting to know each other and enjoying all of the fun activities that CLC has to offer.  One of the activities that campers always look forward to is our Staff Talent Show. Our staff never disappoint when it comes to entertainment. This year, there were a variety of performances      ranging from musical numbers to choreographed dances and other crazy acts! Highlights of the evening included the performance of the Beyonce hit “Single Ladies.”     Many of the campers said it was one of their favorites!

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Our campers are now very excited to put on their own Talent Show next week.

CLC Opening Campfire 2015

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The lighting of Opening Campfire officially signals that our summer family is back together. This summer’s Opening Campfire had more spirit and energy than ever before! As we all gathered at the Campfire Site, everyone was singing, laughing and dancing as they waited for the special moment to begin.

 

Every Opening Campfire at Chestnut Lake actually starts when we say goodbye the summer before. The ashes from Closing Campfire are gathered in a container and buried, waiting in the ground until the following summer’s Opening Campfire.

During our first day of camp, each age division was given a special piece of wood that every camper and counselor was asked to sign. They talked about what Chestnut Lake means to them. These planks of wood were then added to the campfire. u472085_p15052934

At Opening Campfire, CLC’s youngest campers dug up the ashes and during Debbi and Paul’s welcome speech, they sprinkled the previous summer’s ashes onto the fire. This represents how each and every camper’s spirit carries forward summer after      summer. As we always say, once you’re a part of Chestnut Lake, Chestnut Lake is a part of you. Since the Ciqala dug the ashes up last summer, the Yazhi received the      privilege this summer. All of camp anxiously awaited as the Yazhi located the spot where the ashes were buried and pulled them from the ground.

After Debbi, Paul, Masey, Kelsie, Dan, Niki and Mike welcomed the campers, Varsity led the entire camp in the CLC alma mater. As alma mater ended, Garin lit the             traditional “Hello 2015” sign and camp broke out into our favorite chant, “Chestnut ‘til I Die!” We are all looking forward to another amazing summer at Chestnut Lake Camp.

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Brotherly Love at Chestnut Lake Summer Camp

What could be better than riding the bus throughIMG_2054 the gates of Chestnut Lake Summer Camp for the start of summer 2015? Sharing that experience with your brother, of course! Xander Arnold is returning to his         summer home and this time his younger brother, Drake, is along for the ride. Drake came to visit Xander on Visiting Day last year and decided that he wanted to join him at camp this summer. They are both very excited to be sharing this experience           together and look forward to making memories that will last a lifetime. We asked the Arnold brothers to tell us a little more about themselves and what they love most about camp.

Xander:

My name is Xander Arnold and I am 9 years old. I am a rising 4th grader at The Bullis School. I live in Rockville, MD. I love to play and watch basketball and football.

Your favorite camp memories:

My favorite camp memories are being at tribal campfire, woodshop, the lake and banquet. As you can see…I have a lot of great memories.

How did you know Chestnut Lake Summer Camp was the right camp for you:

I love how organized everything was when I visited the camp. Paul and Debbi were so nice when I visited.

Favorite camp activity:           IMG_2326

I love anything at the lake!

Favorite Camp Food(s):

French fries and green beans.

Favorite Sports Team:

Seattle Seahawks

Favorite Band/Musician:

Avicii, Pitbull and Ne-Yo

Favorite Book:

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Describe Chestnut Lake in 4 words:

Amazing, Summertime, New Friends, Home

Drake:

My name is Drake Arnold and I am 7 years old. I can’t wait to be with my big brother Xander at camp this summer. I love to play Minecraft, soccer and track. I like to swim, play basketball and be with my friends.

What are you looking forward to most about Camp?

I can’t wait to do the flying squirrel and lake activities.

How do feel about being the youngest Chestnut Lake Summer Camper this summer?

Amazing, awesome and extraordinary! I can’t wait to be everyone’s little buddy!

Favorite Food(s):

Hot dogs, chicken nuggets, tacos, pizza and rice & beans.  IMG_2651

Favorite Sports Team:

Redskins (shhhh)

Favorite Band/Musician:

Bastellie (Pompaii), Maroon 5

Favorite Book:

Big Hero 6

Describe Chestnut Lake in 4 words:

I CAN NOT WAIT!

Brotherly Love at Chestnut Lake Summer Camp!

Chestnut Lake Discovery Camp – A Family Tradition!

Going to summer camp for the first time can be an anxious experience for a child.        Chestnut Lake strives to make the transition to camp life easier by offering campers the opportunity to participate in an introductory experience to Chestnut Lake called Discovery Camp.  Chestnut Lake Discovery Camp introduces campers to life at CLC and all of the exciting things that Chestnut Lake has to offer. Jordyn and Henry Faragalli                participated in Discovery Camp last year after hearing about Chestnut Lake from their cousins, Noah Grossman (6 years at CLC), Abby Grossman (4 years at CLC) and Aaron Grossman (2nd summer at CLC) This summer, Jordyn will be returning as a first year camper in the Yazhi Division and Henry will be returning for Discovery Camp along with his younger brother Zachary. Jordyn, Henry and Zachary shared some information about themselves and their thoughts on the upcoming summer at Chestnut Lake Camp.

 

Jordyn:         IMG_0498                     

My name is Jordyn Faragalli. I live in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania. I’m 9 years old and currently in 3rd grade at the Shipley School. I have an older sister, a twin brother and a younger brother. I also have a dog named Lola. I love doing gymnastics and riding roller coasters and water slides .
My cousins went to Chestnut Lake Camp and said how great it was……best summers!
This will be my first summer at Chestnut Lake and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to do gymnastics, swim in the lake and ride the flying squirrel and the zip line. I went to Discovery Camp last year and knew Chestnut Lake was a great place. The activities were so much fun. All the counselors were so nice and my Big Sisterss were great,too! I loved everything about my experience at Discovery Camp and now I can’t wait to spend my first summer away at CLC.

Favorite Song: Uptown Funk

Favorite Book: Like Bug Juice on a Burger

Favorite Foods: Grilled Cheese, Yogurt, Fruit, S’mores and Cake

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 Jordyn at Discovery Camp with her CLC Big Sisters, Sabrina and Berenice

 

 

Henry:        IMG_0492

My name is Henry Faragalli. I’m 9 years old and I’m currently in 3rd grade. I have two sisters (one of which is my twin), a younger brother and a dog named Lola . I love to play basketball and swim.
This will be my second time at Discovery Camp. I can’t wait to ride mountain bikes and the banana boat, too! Also, my younger brother is going to       Discovery Camp which will be awesome!

Favorite Sports Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Favorite Foods: Grilled cheese, chicken

sandwiches, pizza and waffles

Favorite singer: Nick Jonas

 

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 Henry at Discovery Camp with his CLC Big Brother, Ben

 

 

Zach:          IMG_1431

My name is Zach Faragalli. I’m 7 years old and currently in 1st grade at The Haverford School. I am the youngest of 4 kids. I have 2 older sisters and an older brother. And I can’t forget our dog Lola! I love to play football, basketball and baseball. I’m so excited about Discovery Camp. It’s my first time and I can’t wait to ride the banana boat!!

Favorite Sports Team: New England Patriots (Tom Brady is awesome-I think I throw a spiral just like him)

Favorite Foods: Pizza and ice cream

Favorite band: Imagine Dragons

 

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The Faragalli Foursome-Sydni, Henry, Zach and Jordyn