09 Jul Meet the Staff: Craig Williams

We’re starting another new feature this summer entitled “Meet the Staff.”  Campers were selected to interview new Counselors or Junior Counselors, asking them a number of questions so you, faithful reader, are more familiar with the newest members of the incredible staff at Susquehannock.

Craig Williams, interviewed by Noah Goldstein

Q:  Where are you from; what college/high school do you attend/where do you work?
A:  Flemington, NJ and I attend Rutgers Prep.  I work as a Crossfit Trainer and also compete in the Crossfit Games.

Q:  How did you find out about Camp?
A:  My sister went for three years.

Q:  What is your favorite sport to play or coach? Why?
A:  I like Street Hockey the best because hard work pays off.

Q:  Describe a role model in your life that inspired you to work with children.
A:  My former counselor Luke Babcock because he made everything fun.

Q:  What’s your favorite meal in the Dining Hall?
A:  Salad with meat in it.

Q:  What’s your favorite part of Camp so far?
A:  Definitely the people!

Q:  Why do you like pushing yourself so hard in workouts?
A:  Because I like finding out how far I can push myself.  If I can push myself to the limit in a workout then other parts of life become easier.

Q:  Who is Hugo?
A:  The fastest man alive who lives past the soccer fields.  (Correct! -Ed.)

07 Jul Trish Pearson’s Fourth of July Address

When Cannie asked me to make the speech commemorating the Fourth of July celebration, I began thinking about all the things I know, or think I know about the USA. I thought about the history of the people who lived on this land before the Europeans arrived, the influence of those Europeans on all the events that followed, all the ways our history is connected to the broader world and its complexity. Certainly I knew that you would not want to listen to a long history lesson in the middle of your camp summer. (I’m going to give you one anyway, but it will be brief!) So I started thinking about what my country means to me, what makes me proud to be a citizen and a representative of the United States.

As a history and geography teacher during the rest of the year, I teach the importance of culture. If you have studied world cultures, you know that they are not static, they spread and change and merge together. One aspect of culture that I want to spend a few minutes talking about today is music, specifically jazz music. That may seem unusual on the Fourth of July when you might expect to hear or sing the National Anthem or “America the Beautiful” or even “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. Jazz may not seem like patriotic music to you at first glance.

Jazz grew out of a uniquely American experience. Its roots lie in both Africa and Europe, but it was born in America. Traditional African music, brought primarily by the slaves who came to the United States with nothing except their culture, Jazz got the pentatonic scale, rhythm and beat, call and response, the use of different kinds of voices. In traditional African music, there was no “perfect” sound. European music influenced Jazz with its concepts of the use of instruments and harmony.

Where did all these things come together? The birthplace of Jazz is New Orleans, a uniquely American city. Immigrants from many cultures had come to live in this important trading city that was shaped by its geography. New Orleans belonged to France and to Spain before becoming part of the United States and it provided the perfect place for a new form of music that was the essence of America to be developed.

So, what does all this have to do with the Fourth of July and why does Jazz make me proud to be an American? Jazz exemplifies what I treasure about America. It represents freedom, ingenuity and innovation by individual musicians. However, exceptional and brilliant individual solos can happen only out of a foundation of cooperation and practice — the hard work that is done toward a common purpose. Jazz by its very nature represents diversity and tolerance. It could have only been created in a society composed of people who shared and appreciated the differences among them.

As we celebrate today, and as you leave camp and go back to your life as it is the “other 10 months of the year”, I encourage you to think about what you treasure about your country. Continue to learn and explore the history of our country and our connections to the global community. Ask questions and question the answers you are given. Find a way to connect to your country in a meaningful way. Find out what it means to be a good citizen and dedicate yourself to promoting the ideals of America.

06 Jul Fourth of July Field Days

Both Camps gathered up the hill on a gorgeous Monday to celebrate American Independence Day in true Camp style.  After being welcomed by Director Win Shafer, Head of S4G Trish Pearson offered an address that incorporated a reflection on how music relates to the spirit of the United States.

The co-ed teams were then announced with a new wrinkle for this year’s events: each team was given a state to represent, which led to a lot of creative cheers and spirited celebrations.  The teams participated in some new events, as well:  the Sponge-to-Bucket Relay, Scavenger Hunt and the Balloon Shave.  These new additions joined the returning popular favorites:  Tug-O-War and Sack Race.

After completing all the events, campers went down the Lake for a refreshing dip and then enjoyed a cook-out at fireside.  Team California, consisting of campers from Seldom Inn (S4B) and one-half of Razz Inn (S4G) emerged victorious when all the tabulations had been completed.  Congratulations, everyone!

05 Jul Two New Photo Galleries

We have added two new photo galleries highlighting our exciting first week HERE.  Enjoy!

04 Jul First Week Highlights

The first week of First Session featured the beginning of our Orange and Blue competition, clinics, trips to the Craft Shop and of course, lots of fun!  Both camps had a special meeting where the Orange and Blue teams were announced and our brand new Camp reversible jerseys were distributed to campers.

We’ll have another post soon featuring our Fourth of July Field Days, check back soon!

04 Jul First Week S4B Reflections

As we mentioned in the last post, we turning over the TLT once a week to the Heads of both Camps to offer a reflection on the previous week.  Here is Andrew Hano’s reflection on behalf of S4B:

Ask your son and he will tell you Susquehannock has the best looking, most intelligent, and most athletic campers. But, what about the staff? I can tell you they are the most empathetic, enthusiastic and cooperative staff. Notice experience is not mentioned; that’s because even our “new”staff members are returnees with plenty of Susquehannock experience.

A Camp Susquehannock counselor’s days are jam packed. Most rise to the sound of first bell in the morning and a cabin full of sleepy young faces. A select few are already awake for an early morning run or swim. Following breakfast they oversee the beautification of their cabins. Then it’s a morning packed with instructing everything from soccer and tennis to swimming and archery. Supervising Rest Hour after lunch is far from the nap that many counselors long for.

When the call for all coaches, players and officials to report to afternoon activities is announced, some counselors are energetically pacing the sidelines encouraging the kids, while others are racing up and down the field officiating. Afternoon free swim requires the full focus of some, while others are on the hill top playing impromptu games. Then again after the evening meal coaches and officials are called upon to join campers in another round of Orange vs Blue competition. Bells ring to let counselors know it is time to get the campers ready for bed. When young heads finally come to rest on pillows, counselors are found on doorsteps or lying on beds enjoying a few moments of relaxation before drifting off to sleep themselves.

The energy that surges through these young men is endless. They are not professional educators; however, they possess an ability to engage campers mentally, physically, and emotionally. Counselors are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, tending not only to the athletic development of campers, but teaching life skills that will benefitcampers long after their summers at camp end. I look forward to an exciting summer and consider myself lucky to work with great kids and a great staff.

03 Jul First Week Reflections

We’re starting a new feature this summer, turning over the TLT once a week to the Heads of both Camps to offer a reflection on the previous week.  First up, Head of S4G Trish Pearson:

We began our 25th summer at S4G with many fond remembrances of summers past and anticipation of the summers to come. Old camp friendships picked up where they left off and we welcomed new campers to our family. The stellar S4G staff not only worked to prepare the facilities for the season, these young women devoted themselves to creating exciting activities focused on providing our campers with a wide experience of teamwork, creativity and appreciation of the natural world.

We have enjoyed beautiful, sunny days and cool nights these first few days and activities began with World Games on Monday with campers playing on all fields in mixed age groups. After the spirited competition of the day, the teams presented cheers. For those of you who have not experienced these cheers, they provide some of the highlights of each camp session. To celebrate the the founding of S4G in 1986, the Pink Team presented their conception of cheers from 1986, 1996, 2006 and the future.

After World Games, the Orange and Blue teams were announced and the competition for the session began with highly competitive games. This year, the head coaches of the Orange and Blue teams, Clare Mahoney and Holly Bailey, presented each of their team member with a reversible, orange and blue, pinnie to wear during the games. We have already seen close competition and the winner of the competition will be announced at the always memorable Orange and Blue Banquet during the last week of camp.

I am deeply grateful to be a part of the Camp Susquehannock family. In our conversations among the S4G Staff, we continually reflect on how fortunate we are to have a part in the growth and development of the campers. Every season, we see these young women face challenges and opportunities. We recognize and celebrate their determination and successes and look forward to sharing it with you as the camp season continues.

-Trish Pearson

29 Jun S4B World Games Team Cheer Competition

Before we can create our Orange and Blue teams, campers are placed on either Team A or Team B for a group of evaluation contests called World Games. The campers are also given the task of producing a team cheer to be judged before a spirited game of Run Rabbit, Run.

28 Jun 2011 First Session Opening Days

Whether this is your first time visiting this site or you’re a Grizzled Veteran of these posts, welcome back to the Tripp Lake Times!  We are planning to bring even more photos, videos, songs and special event recaps in the coming weeks, so please check back often.

The best way to keep up with all the goings on around Tripp Lake this summer is to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.  We will also be adding comprehensive galleries to our webpage periodically, so keep an eye out for that as well.

Our 2011 First Session opened with beautiful sunshine, happy reunions, new arrivals and of course, lots of fun!  After moving into cabins, campers jumped right into the games and visited Tripp Lake for the first of many times this summer.

With a delicious dinner consumed, Directors Win and Cannie Shafer, along with the Senior Staff and counseling staff welcomed the campers on the porch of the boys’ Lodge and passed along valuable information about life at Susquehannock.

The Boys camp then rounded out the day with a game of Dodgeball, as recent tradition dictates.  The girls, after going back down the Hill, were treated to skits by their counselors.  The first full day of First Session began with World Games in both Camps, as we try to create balanced Orange and Blue teams.

Once again, welcome back to the TLT and please check back often for updates, in addition to following the action at Susquehannock on our other social media outlets!

13 Feb Susquehannock Shout-out!

Former camper Carlos Pena, currently starring on “Big Time Rush,” mentions his time at Susquehannock in a recent interview with Popstar! Magazine: