Category Archives: Camper

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.


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!


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!

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.


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.

CLC Opening Campfire 2015



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.




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.


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


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:


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


 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



 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



The Faragalli Foursome-Sydni, Henry, Zach and Jordyn

Catching Up With Chestnut Lake Staff: Niki & Curtis


Niki & Curtis EngagementHowdy Chestnut Lake!

Niki and Curtis here. We hope 2015 has brought you all only great things so far and a lot of snow. Ok only kidding about the snow, I think everyone has gotten his or her fair share of it!

We have been keeping busy down in Missouri. Curtis has been busy working at an elementary school and playing his guitar. I have been splitting time teaching 6th grade health and girls high school PE. When we’re not in a classroom, we are on the field coaching soccer at rival high schools. Curtis and I are both in the process of earning our Masters Degrees! My degree will be Secondary Administration and Curtis’ will be in Special Education. When we are not juggling school and work you can find us planning our WEDDING! Our plates are full but we wouldn’t change anything!

Niki & Curtis Proposal

As most of you know, last summer was very exciting in more ways then one. Since becoming engaged at Chestnut Lake and returning home, we have been planning, planning, and planning. It takes a lot of work! Although it is a long process to say the least, we have made a lot of progress. We are still so happy we got to share this life changing moment with our camp family!

Speaking of our camp family, we could not be more excited for Summer 2015 at Chestnut Lake! This will mark Curtis’s 7th summer (4th year as Mato Division Leader) and my 6th summer (3rd as Varsity Girls Head Counselor) at Chestnut Lake! Camp will be here before we know it, and we are both super excited for what’s to come! The Movie Theater and Canteen are two huge additions that are going to be fantastic for camp. We have many great ideas and activities planned as well! Summer 2014 was amazing but we can’t wait to see what Summer 2015 will bring.

Niki & Curtis

118 Days until opening campfire!


Check Out The All New!

Home-Page copyWe are excited to announce the launch of our totally redesigned website!  The new website has been designed for Current Families, Prospective Families, Staff and Alumni and contains new and improved features including an Interactive Map, CLC Memories page and Alumni section.



Current-FamiliesCurrent campers and parents will enjoy checking out all the new photos, the new Camp Store and CLC Memories page that includes highlights of every amazing CLC summer. The Current Families page will still be home to the MY CLC login which is the gateway to web photos, emailing your child, CLC newsletters, signing up for summer phone calls and more. The new website was designed to provide our current families with up-to-the-minute news year round through our Blog, The Tribal Times, as well as links to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.



All-Abut-CLCWe understand how important it is to find the best match for your child when choosing a summer camp. The All About CLC section conveys the Spirit and Tradition of Chestnut Lake and provides information about our Program, Philosophy and much more. We invite you to explore our premier facilities through our Interactive Map and watch our Video to learn all about the Chestnut Lake Camp experience. Of course, the website can only tell you so much about Chestnut Lake, and we encourage you to meet us in person. Through the new website, you can schedule a summer tour on the Tour CLC page, use the Contact page to schedule a Home Visit and enroll in our two day experience designed specifically for future campers on our Discovery Camp page.



Work-At-CLCOn the Work at CLC section, potential staff can watch a Video about the staff experience at Chestnut Lake, find out what a Typical Day is like and Apply online. Current staff can use the Staff Login to submit forms, update personal information and relive their previous summers through the summer photos.



I’m Chestnut ‘til I die,

I’m Chestnut ‘til I die,

I know I am, I’m sure I am,

I’m Chestnut ‘til I die!


Once you’re a part of Chestnut Lake, Chestnut Lake is a part of you. We invite our former campers and staff to use the Alumni Registration. The Alumni Section allows you to connect with other Alumni, relive your summers through the CLC Memories page and stay current on all the great things happening at CLC through our Blog, The Tribal Times, as well as links to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

A Weekend Full of Friends & Fun!

As each CLC summer comes to an end, campers say their goodbyes to staff and friends and immediately start looking forward to the next time we’ll be together as a camp family: our winter reunions!


December not only marks the beginning of the Holidays, but it also means the Chestnut Lake Camp reunions are just around the corner!  We recently hosted our winter reunions in New Jersey and all of our Division Leaders and Head Counselors flew in from all across the country just to spend the special weekend with their campers!


The weekend started off on Saturday as we spent the afternoon at The Fun Plex with our campers currently in 7th-11th grades. Everybody had a great time hanging out together, riding go-carts and playing games.  As much fun as the games were, the highlight was reliving the summer of 2014 as we watched the 2014 Video Yearbook together.

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On Sunday, the CLC staff spent the morning bowling with our campers currently in 1st – 6th grades.  The reunion started off with warm welcomes from Debbi and Paul followed by some activities and games led by the Division Leaders.  It’s always great seeing how excited our returning campers are to welcome new campers into the CLC Family.  After bowling and pizza, the campers came together for a raffle.  Campers won prizes such as an ice cream party for their bunk, golf cart ride by Paul and a pizza party for the entire bunk in the brand new Canteen!  Being able to spend time with our Chestnut Lake family makes us look forward to Opening Campfire 2015 even more…only 188 more days!








After the Holidays, we will be hosting two more reunions in Maryland and Florida. To get more information on these events, please click on the invitations below.

WinterReunion_Maryland_eblast  WinterReunion_eblast









We will continue sharing highlights of the 2015 summer with you via The Tribal Times, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  We wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year!


LOOKING AHEAD…Chestnut Lake Camp 2015!

Chestnut Lake Camp - Beautiful Fall Picture; Premier Summer Camp Near New York CityAs the leaves change colors and cold weather is right around the corner, we are already looking forward to the sunshine of the summer of 2015. Below are some exciting camp events and changes we have planned for the upcoming year.


HALLOWEEN CONTEST – We are excited to announce our annual Halloween Costume contest for campers and staff alike! Email Debbi a photo of yourself in costume by November 3rd to be entered in a raffle to win a Chestnut Lake Camp prize pack! The lucky staff member and lucky camper will be announced via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter early November. Looking forward to seeing everyone all dressed up!CLC_Halloween_eblast


Please join us for friends, food and fun at the annual CLC winter reunions. The winter reunions are the perfect opportunity to reconnect with camp friends as well as welcome new campers to the CLC family! The Head Counselors and Division Leaders will all be at the New Jersey/New York reunions on December 6th and 7th where we will premier the 2014 Video Yearbook.



Save the date for our Maryland reunion on January 25th and our Florida reunion on February 21st!


BRAND NEW CANTEEN – During the summer, there was a lot of excitement over the plans for the new canteen building. As soon as camp was over, we broke ground and began construction. It’s been very exciting seeing the building going up, and we can’t wait to show you the finished product!






BRAND NEW MOVIE HOUSE – Along with the canteen, the new movie house is also under construction. The movie house will be the headquarters for our videography program where campers will be able to watch and edit the movies they create. It will also be a great location to watch special events or catch a movie on a rainy theater

Don’t forget to send Paul pictures of your own mini CLC reunions and special events throughout the year and they will be posted on Chestnut Lake’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds!

We wish everyone a Happy Halloween and hope to see you at the winter reunions.