Ring in the New Year and Try Something New

Ring in the New Year and Try Something New at Brant Lake Sports Academy!

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Many of our campers come to BLSA focusing on specific sports. They’re soccer players who can’t get enough of the field or are looking to improve on the basketball court. Many campers leave BLSA with the goal of being a 3-sport Varsity athlete.

 

At the same time, we encourage our campers to play all sports and try new activities. It’s good for you physically, but it’s good for your mental health as well. Have you ever tried to wakeboard? Make it your New Year’s resolution to try something new in 2018!

Say I Do At America’s Finest Summer Camps

The question has been asked (and answered) and now you’ve hopped aboard the wedding planning train. There are cakes to taste and invitations to write and tablecloth colors to pick from. One of the most important things to decide on when planning a wedding, however, is the venue. Where is the most magical day of your life going to take place? Where can you host this special event that will give you the wedding you’ve always dreamed of? Whether you’re holding an intimate ceremony with your close family and friends, or you’ve invited everyone you’ve ever met, America’s Finest Summer Camps can help you have an unforgettable time.

Hosting your wedding at America’s Finest Summer Camps means having the option to pick from a variety of different feels and atmosphere. When you choose your setting, our fully trained staff can take care of the rest. From the mouth-watering food that your guests will rave about, to the post-ceremony activities and gorgeous natural backdrop for those precious photos, leave the details up to us and just focus on enjoying your day. Get away to your own private retreat, surrounded only by your friends and family. When you have your wedding here, the entire campground is yours, adding to the intimacy of the event.

The Venues

Choose from four very different themes for your extraordinary day.

Lakeside

This venue offers the camp’s gorgeous lake as the backdrop for your ceremony. After the “I Do’s,” have everyone change into something more comfortable and hang out poolside with specialty cocktails and music. As the sun goes down, dry off and party around the campfire, and end the night with a fireworks show to remember.

Farmhouse

The vintage, antique, farmhouse theme is a popular choice for brides and grooms, and America’s Finest Summer Camps does it right. The stunning 2000 square foot farmhouse space serves as a romantic and traditional backdrop for your ceremony, and an outside patio and good ol’ fashioned BBQ will bring everyone together like only a weekend down at the farm can.

Rec Hall

For an indoor venue, The Rec Hall provides a 6,000 square foot indoor space for the happy couple and all of their friends to dance the night away. For the party-all-nighters, this option combines an elegant banquet feast and dance floor that will make this wedding a party like no other!

Canteen

This option blends the indoors with the outdoors beautifully, and feature a large stage with sound system, high tech lights and sounds, and an outdoor deck and bar. This venue is ideal for a couple who is inviting an eclectic mix of guests, as it offers quiet alcoves for conversations and intimate fireside seating, as well as a pumping night-club inspired dance floor and a bar that keeps the drinks flowing.

America’s Finest Summer Camps are so much more than places for kids to run around and explore. This beautiful campground can transform into one of the most romantic venues for a memorable day. With plenty of options to customize your day, you’ll love the unique vibe the camp has to offer. Your wedding is a day to have fun, eat good food, and celebrate your love. When your wedding is at America’s Finest Summer Camps, you focus on your special day, and our experienced staff takes care of the details. There’s no better place to celebrate your love.

Once Upon a Time at Camp

Camp Laurel

 

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“It’s a camp thing, you wouldn’t understand.” For anyone that’s ever been to a sleepaway camp, this is a phrase that we are all too accustomed to saying. Sleepaway camp is more than a place where you play different sports and swim in the lake. Camp is a life-changing experience. It’s a place where you can show your spirit and be yourself. Camp is where you make lasting friendships, create memories, and most importantly, it’s a place you will forever call your second home.

Whether you have gone to summer camp for one year, five years, ten years, or more, the stories from camp are bound to put an instant smile on your face. From the small moments of playing jacks in your bunk to scoring the winning goal in your soccer game, every person that’s been to camp has a story that they want to share with everyone they pass.

At summer camp, every moment is one that’s worth sharing. The energy and excitement around camp is truly indescribable. This atmosphere makes each moment authentic and a chance to celebrate. During the day, campers cheer as they master their serve at tennis and are filled with smiles as they show off their moves in the dance studio. At night, the memories continue to be made at starry-night campfires, divisional activities, out-of-camp trips, and spirited camp wide events. The possibilities to experience moments that will be remembered forever are never ending at sleepaway camp as each day brings on new opportunities for adventure and fun.

When the summer comes to a close and it becomes time to pack up and return home, campers and counselors alike are brought to tears as they have to say goodbye. Although it is hard, the memories shared are ones to look back on with joy.

Once home, we can close our eyes and still picture our decorated bunks, the green grass, and the beautiful lake. We can still hear the sounds of birds chirping in the morning, the cheers in the dining hall, and the laughter of our bunkmates throughout the day. Throughout the ten months of the year when we are away from camp, these stories remind us of why summer camp is our home away from home.

Dance Your Way into the School Year…It’s Good for You!

Brant Lake Dance Camp

As the fall foliage begins to appear and the temperature becomes increasingly brisk, we reflect on what an incredible summer we had in 2017 at Brant Lake Dance Camp. We laughed, told stories, made memories, and most importantly, danced. While most of our campers find dancing enjoyable, there are more advantages to dancing than just having a good time. Dancing is proven to be great for your health! Here are a few articles outlining the various health benefits of “busting a move”:

 

  1. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/why-is-dancing-so-good-your-brain%3famp

 

  1. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/fitness/active-lifestyle/article/many-health-benefits-dancing

 

  1. https://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm

 

So don’t forget to break out into some dance moves this fall…you’ll be healthier because of it.

Using Camp Spirit to Get in the Holiday Spirit

Laurel South

 

Using Camp Spirit to Get in the Holiday Spirit

 

With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is fast approaching. With that, comes cold weather, festive decorations, and of course, presents. While camp may be 6+ months away, it’s never too early to start getting ready. Here are the top 5 Camp Items on our Holiday Wish List this year:

 

  1. Fathead Stickers/Decorations (DISNEY; NFL ) – One of the best aspects of sleeping in a cabin is decorating your personal space. Individual expression at camp is incredibly important, and what better way to express yourself than with a fun poster or decoration?!
  1. Ping-Pong Paddle (AMAZON; DICKS) – Ping-pong is a very popular activity at camp. While we do provide paddles for all campers, many like to bring their own. Spin, power, finesse…there’s a paddle for every type of player.

 

  1. Bracelet Making Kit (STRING; RAINBOW LOOMS) – Many rest hours at camp are spent scattered around the lawn with friends, making bracelets. Whether you’re looking to learn a new weave, or just want some assistance, a bracelet making kit will come in handy!

 

  1. Mini Basketball Hoop (SKLZ; NERF) – A cabin at camp isn’t complete without a miniature basketball hoop hanging from one of the rafters. HORSE, three-point shootout, 21 – the games you can play are endless!

 

  1. Autograph Pillow (AMAZON) – Want a lifelong memento of your fun-filled times with cabinmates? Get an autograph pillow!

 

We Are What We Eat!

Brant Lake Sports Academy

 

 

We Are What We Eat!

It’s hard to believe the holidays are right around the corner. Besides opening presents and hanging with family, some of the most prevalent holiday staples are delicious cookies and tasty treats. As athletes, we focus in practice and work hard in the weight room, but we also need to properly fuel our bodies.

 

At BLSA, campers learn the foods that will help them perform at their peak. What are the best foods to eat pre-and-post practice? Should I eat right before a game or do I give my body time to process what I just ate? Brant Lake Sports Academy has professionals on campus that help campers reach their fitness and nutrition goals.

 

So, don’t worry about eating a few cookies and enjoying holiday meals with your family. Enjoy the holidays and have a Happy New Year! Healthy eating starts back up in 2018!

‘Tis the season!

 

Brant Lake Dance Camp

‘Tis the season!

Sugar Plum Fairies dancing in your head, living room or studio?  Whether the performance you’re excited about this Holiday season is one you are dancing in, or one you have tickets to; it’s hard to forget the Soldier Variation Master Class from last summer in our beautiful Studio with Ralph from the New York City Ballet.

I was scoping out #welovedancing while in an airport waiting room this week…it’s wonderful! People are dancing all over the world! From Professional companies in Istanbul, to two guys on a rooftop in India, to a dozen little girls in pink leos and tutus in Columbia, to Fitness dancers in Salvador, to Ballroom Dancers in France…and of course the ubiquitous Nutcracker recitals here in the USA. Dance is a universal language. Every country, every culture, every group has dance. Just like the language of that country, the style of dance may change from place to place but, the joy, freedom and pure human expression is universal.

However you are enjoying your holidays and your dancing this winter, I hope that you also get a smile thinking about how at that very moment, someone elsewhere in the world is dancing too.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy, Healthy and Joyous Holiday season…and lots of dancing.

With a smile,

Mieks

We’ve Got a Lot to be Thankful For!

Camp Laurel

 

We’ve Got a Lot to be Thankful For!

 

And just like that, November is gone. In a flash, the days full of colorful leaves, pumpkin spice and turkey are over; soon to be replaced by days of snow, colorful lights and holiday shopping. But before we can officially turn our attention to the merry month of December, we must first honor Thanksgiving and mention all the wonderful things we are thankful for this year.

 

Our Camp Parents

 

While they may only be at camp for one day each summer, our Camp Parents are an integral and important reason we are successful all year long. It is our collaboration and partnership with parents that allow our campers to have the best summer possible. Without their trust and support, Camp Laurel would not exist.

 

Our Staff

 

It’s not easy to take care of 500 kids, day in and day out for an entire summer; lucky for us, we have an incredible team of counselors at Laurel. Not only does our staff work very hard for multiple hours each day, they do it all with a smile! They go above and beyond to make sure our campers are safe and having a great time, and their “buy-in” to camp life is infectious.

 

Our Campers

 

And last, but of course not least, we have our campers – the “heart and soul” of camp. Their energy is contagious and their enthusiasm is what makes Laurel such a magical place. Just by letting their guard down and being themselves, campers instill a sense of comfort and love into the environment. Without our campers, Laurel would not be the same accepting place that allows kids to break out of their comfort zone.

 

We can’t say it enough, but thank you to all of our Camp Parents, Staff and Campers. We’re so fortunate to have you!

 

Camp: The Ultimate Self-Esteem Booster

Camp Laurel South

Self-Esteem is a very unique concept.  No matter how strong someone is, a little and seemingly insignificant interaction can seriously sway their sense of self in a positive or negative direction. This is especially true in children, who are very impressionable and aware of all that happens around them. Having supportive and encouraging interactions is vital toward developing strong self-confidence, thus making camp the ultimate self-esteem booster.

At Laurel South, the support and encouragement needed to help boost campers’ self-esteem is prevalent and comes from both staff and campers. Starting during Staff Orientation, a family environment is created; the community feel and comradery are unbeatable.  Staff are there for one another and are genuinely invested in each other’s endeavors. Whether in times of trial or times of success, encouragement is unwavering. This helps instill positivity and confidence into campers’ minds. The more they hear “you can do it” or “you’re doing great”, the more the children believe it.

Receiving support isn’t the only way to boost a campers’ self-esteem. Campers also gain self-confidence by giving support. The more support a camper gives his or her peers, the better the camper feels about himself or herself, and the more likely they are to continue to give support. It’s a constant cycle that further reinforces the positive and comforting atmosphere at camp, and is a big reason why campers at camp are able to break out of their comfort zone.

So if you want to see your kids self-esteem go through the roof…send them to camp!

The American Camp Experience

There are very few things our children can so enjoy and that teaches them as much as the American camp experience.

So Much Fun

At America’s Finest Summer Camps, we strive to introduce our campers to fun activities they’ve never tried. Not many of our campers get to enjoy waterskiing or fishing or hiking or zip-lining or gaga or taps when not at camp. They are simply not available at home.

Very few would choose to join the Theater at school because they fear what their classmates would say. But, at summer camp, they know they are in a safe, fun, adventurous environment and therefore, take the plunge. And, for those who like to compete, they can do so in all of our sports.

In addition to our day activities, we schedule Evening Activities each night. These include such options as Night at the Races, Shaving Cream Whiffle Ball, Campfire each night so that the fun doesn’t stop after the last activity period.  And, we also head off camp to enjoy a hike, a baseball game, or time at an amusement park.

Deep Traditions and Values

Singing and Dancing at lunch and dinner. Friday night Campfires by the lake with laughter and stories and awards (and s’mores). Evening hero huddles and nominations. Session ending Tribal War or Olympics. Songs and cheers.

We are fortunate to be a part of a community that was started 66 summers ago and is still going strong. There are three reasons, we feel, that America’s Finest Summer Camps has continued to thrive:

  1. Our deep traditions combined with modern program choices facilities.
  2. Our amazing campers from all over the US and larger world.
  3. Our values of Gratitude, Attitude, and Courage

Each of our campers and staff members choose each day to be kind to one another and enjoy the activities they get to pick. And, they do so in an environment, created by our staff, that makes our campers want to come back for more each summer.

Summer Home

The reason our campers return each summer is because they have become a part of a community in which they feel more like themselves than anywhere else. Regardless of where they are from, what they are good at, or what they look like, they are accepted and celebrated. We give them opportunities to try new things, build their independence and understand of different cultures, and laugh while learning.

What could be a better summer home?

We hope you’ll choose to enjoy an American camp experience for the coming summer. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more.

Can’t wait for camp!