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Category Archives: Summer 2014

In The Jungle

Group Photo

Sometimes it all just works

Today was another special day in The Realm- Final Four Day.  Four teams – the Tigers, the Parrots, the Zebras and the Goldfish – spent the day battling for supremacy in a day filled with spirited competition from breakfast to dinner.

The Saxons and Scribes arranged the Dining Hall so that each team could sit together starting at breakfast.  All four teams came to the Flag Pole dressed in their team colors. The energy was amazing and I loved how the new campers seemed to relish the moment.  The Saxon and Scribe captains led their teams at pump ups and at team meetings, teaching them cheers and rallying their squads.  In a way, the day provided a little glimpse of what Color War is all about.

The teams played hard all day and enjoyed everything from 4 Way Tug O War to relays at the waterfront to Soccer to 4-Square.  We ended the day in the Barn as junior campers presented the murals they created and senior girls competed in a  dance-off.  The grand finale was a dance performed by the Saxons and Scribes, where they danced as separate teams and then all united together as a group at the end.  When the scores were tallied,the Parrots took the day. 

It was truly a rush walking around camp and seeing campers and staff alike completely engaged in the activities at hand.  And that’s the beauty of camp.  We bring a unique energy to everything that we do.  It was even more special to watch our oldest campers, the Saxons and Scribes, emerge as true leaders after we have seen them grow up here in The Realm.  I marvel at what energetic and responsible people these young adults have become and know that Robin Hood’s future is strong as we look forward to having these individuals on staff.

DC and I are so lucky to be here every day. It is amazing to watch both our campers and camp program evolve each year.

Woody

Welcome Home

Welcome Home!

As I drove into The Realm today, the sun was cutting just perfectly through the trees.  I quieted my radio so I could sing the Robin Hood alma mater, and could hear the sound of children playing as I made my way down the dirt road.  I was home.

Soon after I arrived, buses began to appear at the gas pumps.  Groups holding signs to denote their spot sprinkled the air, and campers navigated their way through the sea of green and white Robin Hood shirts to greet their summer families.

In no time, groups made their way down to the waterfront for a general swim, others were on the homerun diamond trying to “hit the trees” (a RH rite of passage), and a pack of girls – ranging in age from Scribes to Tumblers – were playing pony on the quad.

Dick formally welcomed everyone at dinner with two cherished traditions:  the oldest and youngest campers of both the girls and boys camps tore down sheets of paper illustrating the number of hours it has been since we were all last together; and, he toasted “to our returning campers, welcome home!  To our new campers, welcome to the greatest place on earth.”

After spending 11 summers at Robin Hood as one of the directors, I am now considered a Robin Hood veteran.  When I dated DC in the 90’s and came to camp as a visitor for Family Camp (formerly called “9th Week”), who would have ever thought that I would sit here now as an authentic Robin Hooder?  This past January I retired as a director, but as any alum will attest, you may come for a summer, but undeniably stay for a lifetime.

Now I have the privilege of spending a few weekends of the summer in this magical place.  Today, I hugged the returning children (many of whom are now taller than me), and I welcomed our new campers to Robin Hood.  Tomorrow I play, swim and probably lead an afternoon abs class 🙂

New parents – I imagine you may be missing your children and wondering if they are okay?  Did you do the right thing by sending them to camp?  It was a significant choice you made in sending your child to Robin Hood.  Let me assure you, you didn’t just choose any camp; you chose a place that sees children return year after year.  Our children come from as close as Maine and as far as Switzerland.  They grow up with each other; they are one another’s life forces throughout the year.  Yes, the air smells like pine, the sunsets take away your breath, but the friendships formed are like none other.  And it is those relationships that are the secret sauce of this place we call “The Realm.”

With that said, sleep well as we wish you all …

Sweet dreams from The Realm.

Rolling into Summer 2014!

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As opening day quickly approaches we wanted to fill you in on what has been going on in the Realm!

All of our staff have officially arrived and we are so impressed with their work ethic and dedication to Robin Hood. Returning Robin Hood staff have been teaching our new staff the history and philosophy of the Robin Hood way and getting them ready to experience the Realm in full swing.

For the past week staff have been working endlessly to get camp ready for the kids to arrive. The fields have all been lined, the baseball field has been raked, and the volleyball courts improved. Today was spent down at the waterfront. All the docks have been put in the water, another ski dock was added so our campers can ski all day long, and the staff swam their 16 laps!

Last week, camp got together to celebrate Chuck Illig’s 70th birthday and 49th summer at Robin Hood. Chuck is the epitome of camp, we couldn’t ask for a better leader. He continues to inspire our staff including both David and I who are proud to say that we worked for him in the 1980’s and now work beside him. He walks around camp with the same enthusiasm as he did then and we are so grateful for everything he does for Robin Hood. Dick Roberts will be joining us for his 32nd year at the Realm. Dick is the head of Boys Camp and spends the summer supporting and encouraging campers and staff alike.

We also wanted to reintroduce some of our newest members of the administration team. Molli Warsh is returning to Robin Hood for her fourth summer. She will oversee our kitchen as well as communicate with parents over the summer as well as in the off-season. Molli has three cousins at camp and her brother worked at camp for many years. Whitney Kreiter is joining us for her first summer at Robin Hood and we are so proud of everything she has done. Whitney recently graduated with a degree in Social Work and has an extensive camp background – she worked at a wonderful camp in the Midwest as an assistant director. Whitney works closely with Jody Podl on programming and all camp activities. Our third addition to the administration team is Katie Solomon. Katie just graduated from Cornell and this will be her third summer at camp. Katie is helping to oversee all group leaders.

We are looking forward to keeping in touch with you over the summer and sharing our fun. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and login to your CampInTouch account daily to read our WoodChuck Newsletter and view the day’s photos. We are so excited and ready for the campers to arrive. As we enter our eleventh summer we couldn’t be more proud of our facility, record number of campers, and the amazing staff that keep Robin Hood running.

See you all soon,

DC and Woody

Welcome Back to Camp Robin Hood

welcome-back

Remember the sight of the early morning mist setting on Lake Ossipee right beneath the rising sun, the smell of the pine trees wafting through the air, the feeling of the cool water on your skin as you swam your 16 laps, the singing of the goodnight song just at the day’s end?

In the beautiful wilderness of Freedom, New Hampshire just minutes from the White Mountain National Forest, Robin Hood sits, a location treasured with decades of memories. Spirit and energy traveling through camp at each flagpole rising and green and white break. And as the sun sets down on the lake like fire, you head back to your cabin for one last night with friends, for one last laugh, for one last memory. Welcome back to camp.

Eighty-seven years ago Andy Friedman committed to the mission of overnight camp, which was created to fill the need of moving kids away from the city, away from disease, and away from the heat and provide them a safe summer home. Although this was the initial purpose of summer camp, Robin Hood now strives to fill a need of getting children away from screens, getting them outdoors and away from pressures and tensions that exist in everyday life. As each summer passes, our campers grow into responsible, independent, hard-working young individuals.

We feel so lucky to be the caretakers of this magical place, but it’s YOUR home. We want to stay in contact with you! Please inform us of any big news in your life such as marriages, babies, or even new jobs. Our hope is to keep you up-to-date about what’s currently happening at camp, but also to bring the Robin Hood community closer together.

Woody, Dc, and Sol

Let us fill you in on what has been going on at the Realm!

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GIRLS!
In 1987, Robin Hood expanded its camping grounds to include both boys and girls. That’s right, GIRLS! What started out as a few female campers has turned into eight groups of fantastic girls. While the daily activities are split between boys and girls, all campers enjoy eating meals in the dining hall together and occasionally sharing the playhouse for all camp evening activities.

Diversity
The makeup of our campers is truly diverse. A majority of the campers come from all over the United States. However, we have an increasing number of campers that fly all the way from Kuwait, Canada, China, Europe, Nigeria and Japan! It is exciting to see campers form such strong relationships with people from all over the world.

Dining Hall
In March 2008, the Dining Hall collapsed due to heavy snow. As the police were closing off the condemned building, Chuck Illig, who will now be entering his 49th summer at camp, sprinted past them and saved the green and white flags. Due to this unfortunate event, a new Dining Hall that seats up to 500 people was opened in the summer of 2009. Thanks to Chuck, the historical green and white flags are now hanging proudly in the new facility.

Indoor Playhouse
In 2008, the Indoor Playhouse was built. This 600-person stand-alone playhouse is positioned next to the tennis courts and is a central location for many camp activities. You will find campers in the playhouse for special evening programs such as So You Think You Can Dance and the Camper Talent Show. The playhouse also houses our drama and dance program during the day and is turned into a basketball arena on rainy days.