Reminders from Camp!

It’s that time of the year! You forget what your living room floor looks like under all of that camp gear, you’re constantly hearing the most up-to-date countdown to camp (15 days!), and you miss them already. Take a deep breath. We are here for you as always! Below are some last minute tips as you make your final preparations for LOC 2017!

What to pack:
Plenty of underwear
A raincoat
A good flashlight
Lots of socks
Bug spray
Sunscreen
Stationary and stamps
White shirt or pillowcase to tie-dye
Hopes and dreams

What not to pack:
Electronic devices (Kindle, iPod Touch, screens that play games or shows, cell phones)

Important dates:
Full season: Saturday, June 24-Saturday, August 12
First session: Saturday, June 24-Tuesday, July 18
First extended session: Saturday, June 24-Tuesday, August 1
Second session: Wednesday, July 19-Saturday, August 12
Second extended session: Wednesday, July 5-Saturday, August 12
Visiting Day: Sunday, July 23 @ 11:30AM

Important contact information:
LOC Summer Office: (570) 226-3636
Mountain Baggage: (570) 775-0556
R&B Baggage (for Florida families): (603) 536-2197
PersonalRx: (877) 302-3881

LOC mailing address:
1687 Route 6
Greeley, PA 18425

Policy reminders:
-Phone calls are not necessary, but one can be scheduled before Visiting Day and one after Visiting Day. You can schedule your first call once your camper arrives at camp.
-NO packages, please! If a necessity is inadvertently left behind, please call the camp office for a pre-approval code so that your package will be accepted and delivered to your camper. We do allow birthday packages, so please clearly label these as birthday packages with your child’s birth date. Remember: NO food is allowed!

Photos:
Photos from the day will be uploaded to CampInTouch almost every night. You can access them using the same login you use to fill out forms.
http://www.lakeowego.com/lake-owego-families/login.php

Expert tip: Mail a letter to your camper a few days before camp starts so that there’s one waiting for him on the first day of camp.

Follow us! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram using @LakeOwego and Twitter and Snapchat using @LakeOwegoCamp.

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New Camper Weekend Re-Cap: Best.Day.Ever!

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day this past Saturday. Blue skies, the greenest trees and a shimmering lake were the backdrop to an incredibly fun time. We gathered the best of the best staff to welcome our New Campers and their families to Lake Owego, and start them on a journey that will become one of the most important phases of their lives.
We started off with a yummy lunch and a welcome gathering with Kyle, Freedo and Johnny. Bill, Mike S, Micah, Harry, LJ, Jed, Dylan, Jordan, Adam and Simon got the campers together for a round of ice-breaker introductions, then everyone took off to enjoy adventure, sports, lake activities and more throughout the afternoon. After dinner we went right into Wacky Races followed by a traditional LOC campfire and s’mores. A chilly, star-filled Pocono night lulled everyone to sleep in the completely full cabins.
Now the REAL fun begins! Bring on Summer 2017!

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New Camper Weekend 2017!

It’s finally here! New Camper Weekend 2017! Did you know that each June we invite all new campers and their families to spend the whole weekend at camp a few short weeks before opening day? It’s a unique opportunity for campers and their families to connect with staff, meet future bunk mates and really start to feel at home in Greeley, PA. We don’t know any other camp that opens its doors the way we do, and we’re proud of it!

Attending New Camper Weekend? Here’s what you need to know!
Please arrive at camp between 11:30 AM and 12:45 PM on Saturday, June 3rd to experience your first camp lunch!  Introductions begin around 1:00 PM.  As a reminder, nights in the mountains can be quite chilly, so bring warm and comfortable clothing for the campfire and warm PJs, too! Don’t forget warm bedding or sleeping bags, and remember toiletries and towels as well. There will be free time to explore, so if you’d like to play, boat or swim as a family, bring tennis racquets, softball gloves, and bathing suits.

Stay tuned for live updates and photos from what will surely be a weekend of lifelong memories in the making! WELCOME NEW CAMPERS!

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6 Benefits (of MANY!) of Overnight Camp

Westchester Family Magazine’s summer guide just published an article entitled “6 Reasons to Try Camp This Summer.” Passed along to us by a camp parent, the article reminded her, and it reminds us, of the lasting impact of Lake Owego Camp. Enjoy our summary, and get ready for the best summer ever where your child will learn so much more than the backstroke (though he’ll learn that too)!

Independence
Campers connect with counselors in a different way than they connect with school teachers and other adult role models. Under the guidance and support of counselors, camp becomes a safe place to try new things and become more self-assured. Developing new skills of all kinds increases independence.

Social Skills
Our campers come from all over the world, so children learn how to live and play with people with very different backgrounds and perspectives, helping them to develop social skills that they will use throughout life. They also learn resilience as it’s ok to fail at camp – it’s all about trying new things.

A Break from Screens
Unplugging is everything at camp! Children need a break from feeling like their online followers are defining their worth. Campers develop face-to-face, peer-to-peer and cross-age relationships.

New Skills
At camp, you are encouraged to participate in things you love while also trying new things, probably things you’d never try at home! There’s no safer space to develop new skills and interests!

Individuality & Peer Acceptance
At camp you find out who you really are and, over time, become who you want to be. Each individual is integral to our camp community. At camp, we focus on valuing, accepting and celebrating one another.

Building Self-Confidence
Trying new things, developing new friendships, learning to be yourself breeds confidence, confidence that spills out into the real world long after summer.

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Nurse Appreciation Week

To all the camp nurses out there, Lake Owego Camp would like to wish you a Happy Nurse Appreciation Week!

LOC would like to thank all of the camp nurses from the past, present and future.

To the past camp nurses: Thank you for paving the way of camp nursing!

To the present camp nurses:  Thank you for keeping camp safe and healthy!

To the future camp nurses:  We can’t wait to welcome you to Greeley this summer!

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Packing Tips for LOC Parents!

Hi Lake Owego Families,

It’s that time of year again! Time to think PACKING! We know the packing list may seem overwhelming at first, especially for our newest LOC families. Here are a few outside-of-the-box tips we thought we’d share.

Packing Tip 1:
Our camp colors are BLUE AND WHITE, and our boys LOVE to wear them proudly. Unlike our sister camp, Timber Tops, you do not need to pack shirts of different colors.   During the 1st half of the summer, we provide them with a shirt for the three days of Olympics that depicts their team color. During the 2nd half of the summer, we don’t have a traditional “Color War”, but our own exciting Frontier Week. The teams are not depicted by color, but by tribe name that is chosen once the teams are formed. We do celebrate the 4th of July in a big way, so make sure to pack something to wear and fun hats or glasses or whatever wacky items your camper likes. During the 2nd session we have OWEGOWEEN for grades 2nd through 6th. Many like to make their costumes at camp but, some like to bring one.

Packing Tip 2:
Speaking of clothing, remember to pack a few WHITE articles of clothing. Can you say Tie–Dye?!

Packing Tip 3:
Your campers are never too old for pre-addressed envelopes or postcards. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and best family friends are definitely not getting that letter you promised unless it’s over-the-top easy for your camper to send. (Pre-address envelopes home too. It’s one less step for your camper to take while he’s running to the mailbox on his way to the basketball court, or the lake, or to adventure!)

Packing Tip 4:
We keep the boys very busy but there is some down time during each day. We have gathering decks with fun activities like knock-hockey, hoop shots and ping pong but Magic Cards and games like that are great to pack. Supervised Free Activity (pronounced S’Fa) is everyone’s favorite time to hang out on the gathering decks, write letters and relax. Most seniors, 7th-11th grade, pack a folding Camp Chair, like what you would bring to a sporting event. They use these at campfires. Some of the juniors do as well but, it is not necessary.

 Packing Tip 5:
Don’t buy expensive clothes, jeans or bathing suits. Don’t pack too many things to throw on the bed. Don’t pack anything you don’t want going in the laundry. Your son will be wearing the same t-shirts on rotation and getting dressed and ready faster than you thought humanly possible. They hate missing a single moment. Just LABEL EVERYTHING clearly. Every boy has a blue raincoat, a blue duffle, a blue sweatshirt, a blue…you get the picture. They are so busy running from one activity to another that it is inevitable that they will leave something somewhere.

Packing Tip 6:
If you’re worried that your son may need more storage space for his athletic equipment, we recommend gear bags that fit under the bed. Once again, label every cleat, shin guard, glove, stick and racquet.

Packing Tip 7:
You’ve probably heard the term “shoe bag” or bunk junk bag thrown around. At camp, shoe bags are often used to hang up on the wall or at the end of the bed and store extra “stuff” in (think flashlight, hair brush, etc). Small shoe box bins are great to keep socks and underwear organized within the cubbies and on top to hold extra stuff like magic cards, etc. You can pack right in them and they place them right into the cubbies from their trunks and duffle bags. You can find them at Target and Walmart for about $2/bin.

Packing Tip 8:
Leave the electronics at home! No matter what you hear from friends about other camps, LOC parents don’t sneak them into their campers’ bags! Our parents are rule-followers, and our kids follow their parents’ lead. At camp it isn’t “cool” to have electronics or phones. In fact, it’s “cool” to leave all that behind. Believe us when we tell you that Lake Owego boys appreciate unplugging. It’s just part of our camp culture.

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Earth Day, Every Day at Camp

Camp is many things, like making new friends, having fun at activities and learning new skills. But at its core, going to camp is a return to nature. It is a simpler life, unplugged but connected to the wonders all around us. Smell the pines! Breathe in fresh mountain air! Listen to the sound of crickets at night! Feel the warmth of the sun on your shoulders. Happy Earth Day from Greeley, PA!

Here’s a short Earth Day quiz, Greeley edition!

What is the Pennsylvania state flower that can be found throughout our beautiful camp, just beginning to bud during this time of year?
Answer: The Mountain Laurel

What environmentally important site is located in Milford, Pennsylvania, one of the closest towns to camp?
Answer: Grey Towers in Milford is the original 1900 site of the Yale School of Forestry Summer Camp!

Who lived at Grey Towers, Milford and is known as the “Father of American Conservation”?
Answer: Gifford Pinchot

Every summer, campers canoe the Delaware and Lackawaxen rivers. The two rivers converge in Lackawaxen Pennsylvania, a beautiful spot very close to camp. What famous American bird do campers frequently see there, soaring high above them?
Answer: The American Bald Eagle. Lackawaxen is home to 200 bald eagles!

Camp is located in Pike County, named after Zebulon Motgomery Pike. What famous mountain did he discover and where is it located?
Answer: Pike’s Peak, Colorado

Bonus Question!
Our camp was one of the first camps in American to win the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star Award. Which of these things didn’t we do to earn it?
1) Change all light bulbs to LED
2) Cover the pools with special pool covers to preserve heat and lower use of energy
3) Recycle waste
4) Change from disposable dishes to reusable dishware
5) Hang underwear from the flagpole

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Unofficial Counselor Packing List

Welcome, new LOC counselors! We’re so excited to have you on board and hope you’re getting excited for the best summer of your lives. Camp will be here before we know it (79 days until the campers arrive!), so it’s not too early to start thinking about packing! To supplement your regular packing list, we asked our returning counselors what they wish they had during their first summers as camp staff. It may seem like a lot, but many of these optional items can be purchased during our organized trip to Wal-Mart after you arrive in Greeley.

Egg crate/mattress pad
Crazy Creek chair or something similar to sit on
Patriotic clothes for July 4th – prepare to represent your country with pride!
Inexpensive waterproof watch
Extra bug spray and sunscreen
Flip flops for the shower
Raincoat
Extra socks
Books
Long sleeve shirts and long pants for nighttime – it can get very cold!
Wellies or rain boots
Small clock
Jokes, songs and cheers to teach your campers
A fun playlist of songs for the bunk
And most importantly, a good sense of humor and a positive attitude!

If you’re a returning counselor and have anything to add, please comment below or post in our official staff Facebook group!

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Fun Facts for New Families!

We can’t believe it’s spring and the 2017 camping season will be here before we know it!  We want you and your child to be as comfortable and as prepared as possible in the days leading up to camp.  We thought it would be fun and helpful to share some fun facts about us so everyone is “in the know.”  Lake Owego Camp is full of tradition, rituals and special names and each one is so meaningful to both the campers and staff.

Camp Colors: Blue and White

Camp Motto: “Leave your Image at the Gate.”
When entering through the gates of Owego, we want every camper to know that camp is a special place where you can be your true self.

SFA
We call it “SFA” (you can say it as a word- put the “SF” together and then add an “AH”)

Every night after dinner and on Thursday mornings, this special time is for campers to play freely. With counselors supervising, children get to choose from various activities such as basketball, followed by some tennis, and then head to the lake to go fishing.  Whatever they’re in the mood for that day!

Olympics and Frontier Week
Two big all-camp events. Olympics is in the first session and Frontier Week is in the second session. The camp is split into six teams, different countries for Olympics and different Native American Indian tribes for Frontier week. The two events start with an exciting, surprise “breakout.”

The Village
The location of the Junior and Intermediate bunks, grades 2nd-6th. All bunks are named after pioneers.

The Ridge
The location of the Senior and Hi-Senior bunks and tents, grades 7th-11th. All bunks are named after Native American Indian Tribes. Many of camp’s fields, courts and venues are named after camp’s founding family as well as many old-timers.

“Hughie Black Center”
The indoor basketball court, weight room and fencing room. Named after Hughie and Selma Black, the founders of the camp.

“Robinson’s Pool”
Named after our long-time head of pool and the original Papa Polar Bear.

“Shelly’s Cookout”
Location of our Thursday BBQ lunches and our end of Olympics Steak dinner. Named after Shelly Silver, long-time director of camp.

“Kyle’s Gathering”
A special area in camp for campers and counselors to relax, reflect and hang out. Named after current co-director Kyle Silver.

“Jacoby Field”
This is our upper field at camp where we play soccer, football, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, and many other special events at camp. Named after long-time director, Tom Jacoby. Tom’s daughter, Melissa, currently works at Owego.

“South Courts”
One of our two sets of basketball courts. Named after Bill South, current Junior Head Counselor.

“Scotty’s Stage”
Camp’s covered stage where we gather to watch camp’s incredible shows.  Also used for rainy day activities and various other indoor camp activities.  Named after Scotty Myers, current head of Creative Arts.

Hopefully this list will help you and your child feel even more a part of our camp family as we count down to welcome you this summer.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have and we can’t wait to see you this summer up at camp!

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What Your Child Will Get Out of Camp

In addition to practicing a swing and perfecting the butterfly, the intangible lessons of camp know no bounds. In fact, it’s these more abstract takeaways that make the biggest impact on our campers. When we talk to families about camp in their living rooms, when we walk touring families around our grounds, we tend to focus on schedules and special programs; the most important thing about camp, though, is its people, the community, and the gifts we take from it.

We often say that camp teaches you to be the best version of yourself, but that doesn’t always come easily. Nothing great does! It takes work to practice living away from your parents! It takes work to live with people from different neighborhoods or even countries who might have different views! It’s not easy to have face-to-face conversations instead of sending a text or email in camp’s tech-free zone!

So, what will your child get out of camp? We hope team-sport skills are perfected and outdoor cooking is given a real chance, but it’s so much bigger that. Your child will come home more confident for having stood up for a friend, happier for having spontaneously burst into song and cheer during dinner, more comfortable in his skin for having navigated both big and small tasks independently. Oh, and he’ll have a group of friends and community for life that are sacred, that are all his own, that he can always come back to and rely upon.

Camp takes a sense of adventure and grit and stick-to-it-ness and empathy and goofiness and a zest for life that we all wish for our kids! Those are the true gifts of camp, and what gifts could be more important?

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