Top Ten Tips for New Families

Calling All New Camper Parents! 

April showers will bring May flowers, and do you know what May flowers bring? CAMP, of course! We know that the change in weather has all of us thinking SUMMER, and we hope that these tips will be helpful to you during the excitement of the final countdown. Even if you’ve sent an older child off to camp before, these TOP TEN TIPS for NEW CAMPERS might be worth a refresher!

1. Communicate with the directors about any and all family, social or medication issues or changes during the year and in the summer. Nothing is too small! A meaningful camp/parent partnership benefits your camper. Call or email us anytime! We are here for you!

2. Stay positive about separating from home! Don’t focus on what your camper will be missing (vacation, trips to a favorite ice cream shop), rather discuss what he or she has to look forward to at camp! (The same goes for what you write about in your letters once the time comes!)

3. If your camper asks about homesickness, normalize it! “Of course you’ll miss things about home every now and again, because you have a wonderful home and family! It would be unusual for you not to miss home!” Also, in the same spirit, try to minimize your own feelings of child-sickness! “Of course we’ll miss you, but we’ll be fine! The summer will fly by and we’re so excited for you. You’re going to have an awesome time!”

4. If your camper has specific needs (in the cabin, in the health center, in the dining hall), make sure to call or email us,  and make sure to write about it in your confidential forms (or as an addendum to the form) before camp– those confidential forms are our bible!

5. Discuss different activities your camper might enjoy and also talk about trying new ones, keeping an open mind! Camp is a great, safe place to go outside of one’s comfort zone!

6. Take advantage of New Camper Weekend on June 5th and 6th at camp, either for the day or stay overnight! It’s a great opportunity to meet other first-time campers, see camp, get to know staff, and have positive camp experiences together as a family.

7. Keep all “camp talk” light! In letters, in person, keep it upbeat!

8. Now is when your camper may start asking you about what he or she will bring. Make sure to send your camper’s stuffed animal, a favorite book or two, and any other item that makes them feel at home; if there’s something your camper sleeps with every night, please make sure to send it! Believe us when we say that most campers bring a security object of some sort. You’re never too old!

9. If panic sets in, call us. We’ll talk you through it, but when speaking to your camper NEVER promise to PICK UP YOUR CHILD. He or she might ask in the time between now and camp! It’s normal to get cold feet in the spring! Remind your camper that you’ve made a commitment as a family, that  camp is only for a short amount of time, and that you know he or she is in the right place, that they can do it! They are in a safe place. CAMP IS WHERE CHILDREN LEARN INDEPENDENCE! By giving your camper the gift of camp, you’re giving them independence, resilience, and the ability to adapt to and thrive in new environments! If your children know that they’re definitely going to camp and definitely staying at camp for the summer, they’ll allow themselves to relax and let go. Squash the “what if!”

10. If there’s anything (big or small!) you’re worried about before, during, or after the summer, call or email any time: 267-639-2488, info@timbertops.com.

We’re here for you, always, so keep in touch!
We can’t wait to get started!
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Happy Valentine’s Day

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Happy New Year!

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Vaccines! Dates! Tuition Lottery!

Dear Camp Families,

We hope this email finds you happy, healthy and enjoying the change of seasons. The countdown to camp is on!

Vaccines

We are thrilled that the FDA has now authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include all camp-age children. It is our policy that all counselors, staff and campers must be fully vaccinated before camp. 

Dates

In order to accommodate the ever-changing needs of our campers and staff and in response to requests, Summer 2022 ends on a Friday instead of Saturday. The last day of camp this year is Friday, August 12th, 2022. This allows staff and campers to travel home for critical back-to-school responsibilities. It also gives families the entire weekend together. Thank you for encouraging this change and for your support.

New Camper Events

Here are other dates to put on your calendar for our NEW CAMPER events :

– Philadelphia, April 2nd: Elmwood Park Zoo
– NYC Metro-area, April 3rd: Turtle Back Zoo
– Maryland, April 24th: South Germantown Recreational Park
– Florida, March 13th: Markham Park

Tuition Lottery

Early Bird tuition registrations have been entered to win our lottery prize of camp tuition at its original rate ($800)! We’ll be announcing the winners around Thanksgiving. We are thankful for each and every one of you.

Warmest wishes from the mountains,

The Camp Office

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Happy Halloween from Camp Timber Tops!

 

 

 

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Best Wishes from Camp Timber Tops

 

Best wishes for a year filled with Health and Happiness

 

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The Sun Sets on Summer 2021

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.

With thanks,

Missy, Andy, Anna and 5 Generations of the Black/Morin Family

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HOME FROM CAMP, A WARNING (& TIPS)!

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!

Good questions:
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?

 

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A Wacky Wednesday Indeed!

Howdy, parents!

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!

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Timber Tops Tuesday

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!

 

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