Category Archives: Staff

Bringing Out the Play at Chestnut Lake!

An interview with CLC Athletic Director, Kevan Reilly!

May is a very exciting month!  Not only are there a mere 52 days until Opening Campfire, but it’s also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! This is the perfect time to bring out our inner athletes and celebrate the ways we love to play at CLC. What better way to do this than by having a chat with our very own Athletic Director, Kevan Reilly?

Kevan is from Geneva, Illinois and discovered his love of sports at a young age. If a sport or activity was made available to him, he played it! This passion for all things sports motivated him to get a job as a junior high school physical education teacher. In 2011, he joined the CLC family as the Baseball Director, and in 2016 he was made Athletic Director.  Now you can find him on the Chestnut Lake fields and courts, ensuring every camper gets to bring out the athlete in themselves.

Luckily for us, Kevan joined us for a chat about sports at CLC and what “Bring It Out“ means to him.

Hey Kevan! What’s your favorite sports moment from your time at Chestnut Lake ?

The number one moment that stands out to me happened in 2014. We hosted a Wayne County championship game for Varsity 1 girls softball. For any inter-camp game, we walk our team down to the field before the game for warm-up and final preparations. On this particular day, I was not able to walk down with them. I can still remember meeting our opponents at their bus to escort them to the field. The first thing I saw as we approached the field was our girls warming up and practicing. They had completely organized on their own.

I knew in that moment, before I even addressed the team, that they were going to win. I don’t remember many of the details of the actual game once it started, but I’ll always remember how close-knit they were, and how much they cared about and played for each other, and how proud I felt that day. That group of girls epitomized what it means to be part of a team and bring out the best in each other.Softball at Chestnut Lake Camp

That sounds amazing! Any other special sports memories?

Right around the same time as the softball game, we also started a tradition of giving championship winning teams a golf-cart “championship parade,” which I also love, because they get to act like the pros and feel like big stars for a moment.

Over the summer we love to live by our motto, “Bring It Out”. What does “Bring It Out” mean to you?

To me, “Bring It Out” means unlocking someone’s hidden potential. One of the best things about CLC is that we really encourage campers (and even counselors) to try everything. It’s always awesome to see someone discover a new activity that they love to do. At camp, it’s about not being afraid to fail; it’s okay to not succeed at everything, everytime. At CLC, there’s always someone who cares to pick you back up and support you.

Football at Chestnut Lake CampAs Athletic Director, why do you believe sports are an important part of the camp experience? 

Sports at camp are a controlled environment to explore your own limitations, challenge yourself, and overcome obstacles.  

Sports are also great for camp, and kids in general, because it’s physical activity with a purpose. It encourages decision-making, communication, movement, and personal expression. In addition to the fitness benefits, kids gain social and cognitive skills through an outlet where they can also show off their unique personalities.

One of the best parts of camp is that campers with a variety of personalities and interests come together to create one camp family.  Now, what would you say to a new camper who may not consider themselves to be an athlete, or may be nervous about playing sports at camp?

If sports aren’t necessarily your thing, camp offers something for everyone, from the arts to science and nature, or even media. With that said, our sports programs are designed to be all-inclusive. Our area directors and specialty counselors run activities that teach basics for beginners as well as offering electives to challenge and develop more advanced campers or those who want more individualized instruction. If you want to play on a team, all you have to do is sign up. There are no cuts, everyone gets an opportunity to play and represent their division against other camps.  At Chestnut Lake, we believe in Attitude over Aptitude, and everyone gets an opportunity to play.

We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves – at CLC, “everyone gets an opportunity to play”! Whether you hope to spend your summer competing in as many out-of-camp tournaments as possible, or you just can’t wait to have fun with your group while splashing around in the lake, summers at CLC are all about bringing out the play in you!

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.

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!

CHESTNUT TIL I DIE!

Check Out The All New www.ChestnutLakeCamp.com!

Home-Page copyWe are excited to announce the launch of our totally redesigned website www.chestnutlakecamp.com!  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 FAMILIES

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.

 

PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES

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.

 

STAFF

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.

 

ALUMNI

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!

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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!

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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.

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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

 

WINTER REUNIONS – NEW LOCATIONS!!!
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.

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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!

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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 day.movie 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.

Messy Thursday and Halloween

By: Brookie Rosenbauer and Abby Schulman

Here at CLC, we have a special day that campers and counselors love! Varsity 1 gets to set up and run Messy Thursday and Halloween!

The afternoon starts off with Messy Thursday and each camper in Varsity runs a station. Each station is a unique and different game that gets the campers covered in chocolate syrup, whipped cream, ice cream, pudding or even spaghetti! There are seven different stations including some personal favorites like musical chairs, hot potato with a pie and slip ‘n slide. After a couple hours of Messy Thursday, all of camp reports to the Lake to jump in and wash off all of the food. This year Beth, the Lake Director, added a blob contest at the end of Messy Thursday.

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After Messy Thursday, we have HALLOWEEN!!! Of course you shower and get all cleaned up from Messy Thursday first, and then you get to dress up in your Halloween costume! Halloween is one of the most popular evening activities at camp because not only is it fun… but everyone gets candy! You get to trick-or-treat and play different games down at the lake. There are decorations all around camp made by Varsity. They range from cute signs decorating buildings to scary candles lining the path to the lake. Also, as you walk down to the lake, upper campus gets to hear a spooky story and get scared by the counselors who act out the story!

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When you finally get down to the lake there are different stations set up all around! This year, we added a station where you get to decorate your own Rice Krispie Treats. Along with the Rice Krispie treats, you also get to eat something called a dirt cup. Trust me, it is a lot better than it sounds! It is pudding, Oreos and a gummy spider all mixed together! There are also other stations, including palm reading, guessing the amount of gemstones in a jar, tattoos and bozo buckets.

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Finally, to end the day, all of camp goes to the basketball courts where awards and prizes are given out. Some people win scariest costume, cutest costume, best camp homemade costume and overall best costume! Also, the winner for guessing the number of gemstones is announced and they get free canteen! Overall, it is a fun-filled day that has non-stop activity! It is definitely one of the best days at CLC!

Color War: Minsi Wolves vs. Unami Turtles

Tribal is a tradition that showcases the CLC spirit more than any other in camp.  During Tribal, CLC’s Color War, the Minsi Wolves and Unami Turtles deck themselves out in green and white clothing, paint their faces and sing their Tribal songs and cheers all throughout camp.141b5b13-980d-470c-a58f-912108688c93

 

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This summer, Tribal started with the Apache Relay. The Apache Relay is a giant relay race that encompasses every area in camp as well as every camper and counselor. Not only do campers compete in activities familiar to camp like swimming and running races, juggling a soccer ball, climbing the rock wall, popping a balloon at archery and kayaking around the docks; but they also compete in fun activities like singing “Chestnut Til I Die” over the PA system, playing leapfrog around the volleyball courts, performing the Hokey Pokey and wrapping someone in toilet paper!

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During Tribal Color War, the Unami and Minsi also compete against each other in typical camp activities like flag football, hockey, soccer, basketball, golf, tennis and softball. Not only can each team earn more points for winning, but they can also earn bonus spirit points for showing their Minsi and Unami spirit. Campers and counselors can be seen and heard all over camp as they earn extra points for their tribe!

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Tribal Color War is anchored by a few “full tribe” competitions. On the first night, the campers and counselors competed in the annual Tribal Tug-O-War. Each division went head to head, Minsi vs Unami, trying to overpower the other tribe for points.

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The next day, they competed in the Tribal Cheer competition. Both tribes showed their spirit as they stayed in sync and chanted and sang their favorite Tribal Cheers.

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Tribal ended with one of our favorite competitions: Rope Burn! Representatives from each tribe were tasked with building a fire from the ground up that would eventually burn through a rope 10’ in the air. Both tribes built amazing fires, but it was the Minsi rope that broke first.

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The Rope Burn win was enough to catapult the Minsi to the overall win.  And while the Wolves celebrated their victory, the Unami showed their true CLC spirit and character as they cheered along with them.  As always, Tribal Color War came to an end with both tribes coming together arm-in-arm and singing the CLC alma mater.

Chestnut Lake Camp Staff Talent Show

Three words can be used to describe the main purpose of Chestnut Lake Camp, and those words are. . .

BRING IT OUT!

This catchphrase aims to encourage campers to try new things. Participating in activities they’ve never tried before can bring out a whole new side of a camper!

Our staff firmly believes in the “Bring It Out” philosophy. Each year within the first few days of camp, the staff put on a talent show. They put on the show to encourage the campers to not be afraid to get involved.

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Counselors and division leaders perform silly parody skits, lip syncs, dances, and anything else they want to showcase.

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Later in the summer, campers themselves are able to participate in the annual camper talent show!

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Catching Up with Chestnut Lake’s Boys’ Head Counselor: Dan Craig

CLC Head Counselors

Hello Chestnut Lake!

Seeing the staff and meeting new families a few weeks ago at Spring Fling only intensified the desire for camp to start! It was a wonderful weekend that allowed us to get a little taste of what the summer of 2014 at CLC has in store. After 10 summers with Trails’ End and now 4 with Chestnut Lake, the excitement doesn’t lessen as Opening Campfire approaches.

CLC Head Counselors ready for Halloween

CLC Head Counselors ready for Halloween

It has certainly been a busy year. Teaching high school English is always a rewarding experience, and I am so proud of my students this year. They are truly one of the most dedicated and passionate groups of students I’ve had the pleasure to teach. This year, I was also able to coach my son Sean’s soccer team to another winning season. Sean has also had another amazing year in school and we couldn’t be prouder of his progress. Our younger son Matt also started his first experience playing soccer this spring and it has been a wild ride. Laurie and I are preparing for Matt to take the big plunge into kindergarten this fall! In addition to our busy schedule, we managed to squeeze in some great hikes along the Appalachian Trail, swims at the Jersey Shore, and some vacation time with the grandparents in Virginia.

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With Staff Education Week coming to a close we are excited about all the things we have planned for boys’ campus. We can’t wait to see all the boys back on campus welcoming those new to Chestnut Lake. Until Opening Campfire. I look forward to seeing you on Visiting Day!