Thanks for reading our blog, fans of Timber Talk. We’ve loved giving you a window into all things Camp Timber Tops and having you along with us on this journey of Summer 2021. Today we pack and watch the camp video, tonight we do wishing boats, and tomorrow morning we’re off. We can’t believe it’s time to say goodbye.
Of all the gifts you can give your children, we truly believe that camp is the greatest gift of all. You can’t give your kids independence, resilience, grit, lifelong friendships, a sense of belonging, adventure, but you can give them camp. Thank you for entrusting us with *your* most precious gift. We have loved having your daughter down the winding road with us this summer for what we think was our best (certainly most extraordinary!) season yet.
Your camper has heard us say it before, but it’s worth repeating now: camp isn’t just a place on a map, it’s a place in your heart. We hope that memories of Camp Timber Tops give your daughter happiness and confidence in every season, through every stage of her life.
As our alma mater goes:
As time goes by like a river, a people alter their ways, we will always remember the joys of Timber Tops days. The friends we’ve made through the summer will be our lasting delight, and the joys and the tears that we’ve known here are the joys of the red and the white.
Missy, Andy, Anna and 5 Generations of the Black/Morin Family
Dear Camp Parents,
Last night, our 10th graders put together an absolutely beautiful banquet for our CAs (11th graders), Kauri. The theme was “Tangled up in Kauri,” and it was truly among the most incredible banquets we can remember. Our CAs this summer were extraordinary. They led the camp in spirit and fun, and this year more than ever they set the example for how to be flexible, how to keep it campy, and how to embrace childhood for as long as possible. We were amazed by their humility, kindness, leadership, and joyfulness surrounding all things CTT. And we just love them so.
At the banquet, our 10th graders announced their CA name (Salix) and their song (“Where We Belong” by Tyler Brown Williams). To say it was an emotional night is an understatement!
And today, as we pack and head into final camp moments (say it ain’t so!), we want to share some tips with you.
HOME FROM CAMP, A WARNING (& TIPS) from CTT!
We know you want to swallow her whole. Here are some tips to help you help yourself (and in doing so, help your camper re-enter the world).
1. Don’t take it personally.
Yes, she’ll be SO happy to see you. She’s also very, very sad.
She’s sad to leave camp! She’s sad to leave her friends! She’s sad to leave her counselors! She’s sad to leave her routine, her independence and her camp persona! It’s okay (great actually)! It means you gave her the best gift ever!
2. Remember she’s exhausted.
In the past week alone she’s experienced Pioneer Days, the play, a dance show, a gymnastics show, banquet, wishing boats, packing and more. Over the past seven weeks she’s been living with ten other people, hanging out with friends day and night, participating in activities from sun up to sun down. She’s going to be exhausted! To be expected!
3. Be patient.
It might take a few hours or a few days to be entirely “on” and especially to open up. She might even seem a little numb. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you or didn’t miss you. It doesn’t mean that she won’t start gushing in a few days. Nothing is wrong. She just needs time! Things that are normal: wanting to talk to her camp friends immediately, all-day, every day for a few days (yes, she’s just spent seven weeks with them- we know). Wanting to keep on that disgusting arm of camp friendship bracelets (don’t tell her they’re ridiculous unless you want to get hurt). Wanting to spend some time alone before jumping into the deep end of home life. Wanting to sleep sleep sleep. Any combination of the above. Normal. Normal. Normal.
4. Focus on small moments and questions.
Think about your two best friends who live far away.
Friend one: you pick up the phone no matter what, even if you only have a minute. Though it’s been months, you know she’ll cut right to the chase and start where things left off.
Friend two: You love her. Really. You LOVE her as much as friend one. But you only pick up when you have time to sit, totally focused, for an hour-long catch-up. So, no. You don’t always pick up.
The moral? Be friend one. You’ll learn more! She’ll start talking!
What was this morning like?
Which choice activity was the best?
Who was the goofiest counselor in your bunk?
Less good questions/statements:
Tell me EVERYTHING about camp.
Can you explain your weekly schedule?
What were all of your counselors like?
Ask a few, manageable, lighthearted questions every hour on that first day. You’ll open up that can of worms without having to pry, without overwhelming your fresh-off-the-bus camper.
5. Give her wings.
At camp she was the most independent version of herself, and she’s still basking in the glow of those camp freedoms. Advocating for herself, making independent choices— it’s why you sent her to camp! Remember how you felt the first time you came home from college. It was a little weird! Think about small liberties you can introduce to reinforce your camper’s summer growth. If you have an eight-year-old who didn’t make her bed before camp, encourage her to make her bed at home (even if it isn’t as beautiful as you’d like). Though seemingly a “chore,” having your camper do things for herself at home will continue the summer’s momentum and make her feel happy and confident. And isn’t that what this whole camp thing was about from the start?
It was a great day at CTT, our final day of our (mostly) regular schedule. Today, campers went about the day with their bunk and/or participating in choice activities as they ordinarily would, and tomorrow it’s SFA (Supervised Free Activity) all day. What does that mean? It means that tomorrow campers can go to any activity they choose (in the moment) to get it all in and make it all count!
In addition to regular activities, we had a gymnastics show during general swim today. Congratulations to all those who participated! And tonight at lineup we’re reading bus lists and baggage information for the first time — we’ll likely get some boos for that one!
But there’s so much more fun in store, including at tonight’s all-camp social with Lake Owego Camp!
And once the social is over, the 10th graders will begin their preparation for tomorrow’s main event: BANQUET! More on that tomorrow. For now, we’re holding on to each camp moment. Don’t worry, we’re soaking in each and every last one!
Folks, this one will be quick. Today was a day of regular schedule with highlights including TIMBER TOPS TUESDAY spirit, baked ziti for dinner, a horse show, a final canoe trip on the Delaware (today, for 7th and 8th graders), and an evening of Old Timers and New Timers!
OLD TIMERS CLUB IS THE BEST! First, let us assure you that new timers have a fun-filled, active, awesome pool party of their own, complete with a delicious snack and merriment, so fear not, moms and dads. They don’t even know what they’re missing. But, here’s the truth: Timber Tops girls REALLY look forward to being Old Timers (which is what we call campers who’ve been at camp for 3 or more years).
The old timers party starts with a walk to the 10-year tree where 10-year old timers are inducted onto the tree by our head staff members. This year we even have a certain special mother/daughter pair! At the 10 year tree, each person is honored and spoken about. It’s a great and emotional ceremony where Timber Tops’ finest are given a moment in the spotlight.
Next? ICE CREAM PARTY TIME! Old timer campers AND counselors storm the dining hall, sit by year at camp, and basically sing every single camp song and cheer (including past Olympic and Pioneer Day songs) in recent (and not so recent) memory. They’re called up to the sundae bar by year at camp (longest at camp goes first and eats sundaes off of plates, naturally), and they sing into the wee hours of the night. Is there any other Timber Tops way? OH! Old timers get a special gift too (this year, a hat)! And 8-year old timers get a special old timer’s shirt! And plaques! Old Timers get PLAQUES! We love a good tradition.
Life is good in Greeley!
It’s been a while since we’ve had a regular ol’ day here at CTT, and boy were we ready for it. We did have a late sleep (we earned it!), so we started with second period, but we hit the ground running. Not before a healthy serving of pancakes though!
Top Cooks enjoyed a challah making class with THE best challah we’ve ever tasted (truly), and Top Ranch riders went to the ranch in preparation for tomorrow’s big horse show! Other happenings around camp included final preparation for banquet (our 10th graders have been working hard for weeks!), fun on the Lake Selma wibits, outdoor and indoor cooking, tennis lessons, media, beading in A&C, adventure, fitness, field hockey, mountain biking, gymnastics… Well, we experienced it all! There’s so much to do, and we’re making every moment count!
Aside from turkey tacos for lunch and canteen, the major highlight of the day is tonight’s evening program! Juniors, Intermediates and Hi-Seniors are all playing … PANIC! YES! Dreams really do come true! And for low-seniors it’s Food Factor! Not too shabby either!
We hope your Monday was as great as ours. Life is good in Greeley!
Here we have it: the final moments of Pioneer Days 2021! Beginning with flagpole activities this morning and ending with individual activities, campsite and meal, this day is filled with adventure and sportsmanship. And tonight it’s song, banner and tall tale before the final scores are read! Follow along!
Pioneer Days: Day 2!
Highlights include: Adventure Challenge in the morning, Swim Meet, Bike Relay, and Dodge Ball in the afternoon, and cheer, barbershop quartet, totem pole and dance tonight!
Pioneer Days 2021 is finally here! And we think we caught the camp by surprise (woohoo!), because it was a day earlier than rumors would lead you to believe! And though mumblings of “fakout” echoed through the Timber Theater once suspicious music started playing after the Broadway Review, once we saw the tiki torches and golf carts turned into monorails leading us up Lily Lane, we KNEW this had to be the real deal. A huge Cinderella castle right in the middle of the basketball court set the stage for what we think was the best breakout ever! Head staff dressed up in Disney characters, acting out various scenes, videos made and played of each Disney park, Fireworks over the castle to round out the night, Mickey and Minnie ears and glow sticks and “Timber World” bracelet passes…It was pure magic!
Maybe the swim meet is your thing. Maybe it’s jug band or banner or butter churning or campsite or Tall Tale. These three Pioneer Days are more magical than anything Disney. Filled with adventure, teamwork, silliness and heart, they’re the stuff of childhood memories that stand the test of time. Just ask anyone who’s been down the winding road before. And, of course, this moment is bittersweet, since Pioneer Days marks the beginning of the end of summer. These next few days we’ll come to appreciate this place a little more, run a little harder, sing a little louder, and make every moment count.
Hi Friends and Followers!
It’s been a busy few days at camp as Greeley Games continued! Yesterday we played water polo and flag football, and we even had competitions in climbing, dance and canoeing! Nafis took a group of juniors out to hike local waterfalls, and some of our awesome seniors participated in a sign language performance of Romeo and Juliet!
And today was another great day. The morning started with a FAKE BREAKOUT! Pioneer Days is in the air, and it must be coming soon! And the 2021 Hughie and Selma Black Camper Scamper (our version of a 5k) had us running first thing. We had almost 100 girls participate! And this afternoon we played lacrosse and soccer to round out the Greeley Games. We even had a fishing competition at LOC! Oh, and how could we forget! The grand finale was the Greeley Games version of Timber Tops Idol: Greeley Idol!
We have to say that this bubble is just about as happy as can be. And tonight it’s Jukebox for juniors and 6th graders and a social with the Lake Owego boys for 7th graders, seniors and hi-seniors. The theme is “hometown.” So while you may see some high school shirts and sports teams represented in photos, you may also see some CTT shirts on display. The truth is, for many of us, even in 10 days once we’re “home,” our summer home here at Timber Tops will always feel like home. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we’re making every moment count.
Life is good in Greeley.