Creativity at America’s Finest Summer Camps

Arts activities and studios at America’s Finest Summer Camps help campers unleash their creativity in many different ways!

In Sports Broadcasting, campers have the opportunity to gain experience with real studio microphones and go on the air, discussing camp sporting events. Those participating learn the fundamentals of speaking clearly and audibly on-air, as well as how to properly phrase sentences in the most convenient way for the listener. Campers can also experiment in an on-camp science lab. Some activities include exploding watermelons with rubber bands, making ice cream, and even shooting rockets into the air!

There’s also Digital Photography, where campers can use professional cameras to document their adventures around camp and capture moments that can be held on to for a lifetime. Right next door is Video Production, which is another area where campers are able to utilize professional equipment. There’s also a green screen, so videos made can have any setting, with no limits.

Campers can also find their voices in singing! Campers learn songs and perform them for each other, with the coaching of incredibly talented voice specialists. For more hands-on fun, campers can try sewing. They are given sewing projects for them to complete and take home with them. This includes scrunchies, tote bags, and even headbands. Sewing campers also help out with making costumes for the plays currently being produced at camp.

At America’s Finest Summer Camps, creativity and imagination are key. At the end of the period, every camper walks out with new knowledge or a new project. The possibilities are truly endless!

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Visiting Day at America’s Finest Summer Camps

Visiting Day

It’s safe to say that on the eve of Visiting Day, the bunks at America’s Finest Summer Camps were filled with pure excitement and energy. Visiting Day is one of the most anticipated days of the summer, and with good reason; it’s the day where campers and their families are finally reunited, in a party of laughing, crying, and eating.

With the day finally here and the excitement levels high, campers began the day with the annual visiting day singalong. After, it was time to head back to the bunks and prepare for the moment that campers and their parents have been waiting so long for.

As cars filled with gifts, candy and excited parents began to pull into the camp road, the parking lot quickly filled up with parents and their families eager to secure a spot along the blue rope. 11 o’clock couldn’t come soon enough, as the lineup of moms, dads, grandparents and siblings continued to grow. They’re carefully counting down the seconds until they are able to run and greet their kids for the first time in weeks. As soon as the tape is cut, America’s Finest Summer Camps are instantly flooded with hundreds of people: The sight is like no other.

Once the hugs were hugged and the tears shed, it was time to enjoy the day, with many families opting to set up along the grass facing their camp’s beautiful lake. Chef and the entire kitchen staff spoiled everyone with a delicious barbecue lunch, packed with hot dogs, delicious burgers and the most amazing grilled chicken. Although many campers were already too full from the mouth-watering treats that their parents brought from home.

Most activities are available to partake in, including tennis, Gaga, volleyball, and free swim in the lake, allowing campers and their families to cool off and relax in the lake together and catch a break from the heat.

Fortunately, this is not only an opportunity for families to reunite, but for parents to finally meet the counselors who have been watching over their kids this summer.

Sadly, all things that are happy and exciting must come to an end. In the afternoon, the families must say goodbye as they wish campers a great second half of the summer, All campers are incredibly glad that they were able to invite their loved ones to camp for the day, and can’t wait to tell everyone at home about the incredible summer that they experienced this year.

The Courage to Connect at Camp

Connecting at Camp

When you strip everything away, it’s connection that we crave, isn’t it? I know that is what our new campers want to start right now. They just want to find a friend. And our returners come back for one reason: to rekindle the connections they love so much.

At camp, we remove all the barriers and do our best to connect. We drop our masks. We let our true and best selves shine through. We remember who we are and those around us join in on the party of that knowledge.

We talk about the summer burning brightly at America’s Finest Summer Camps. The light of camp, though, does not come from the nightly campfire by the lake. It comes from the light of connection created between the campers who run through our forests, sleep in our bunks, and play… together.

Friendship without borders: a day of international summer camp life


Summer camp life is centered around the three core values ​​of friendship, family and tradition – and of course the experience of international camps is no exception!

Whether it is a foreign camper who wants to experience American culture or a local camper who wants to experience the culture of the international summer camp, America’s Finest Summer Camps offer campers a chance to get in touch with new cultures. (Plus, you’ll enjoy the fun of sports, singing around the campfire, and playing by the lake!)

Common values

Campers in the international camp may come from different countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, China, South Korea, etc. But the common reason for everyone to participate in the international camp is: a traditional American cultural experience that is still fresh in memory.

After arriving at the camp, the counselors will emphasize that the campers learn to appreciate the differences in various cultures and also emphasize the commonalities of people.

Every one of us loves the family, and everyone loves to laugh. Regardless of whether you have seen bonfires, marshmallows or fireflies in the past, the first time you sing around the campfire with the international campers will be an unforgettable memory for every camper.

Fun: Common Language

Although English is the official language of the international camp, campers from different countries can share and experience different languages ​​and cultures. Perhaps you will accidentally find other campers who speak the same language to joke with you. “Wow, you speak Spanish too!”

Experience the United States

The main reason for attracting international campers to come to North America is to hope to experience the traditional American culture… Of course, the experience of culture after the international camp is two-way!

When it comes to American tradition, it is hard to have a more typical example than the summer camp. From the flag-raising ceremony in the morning to the ridiculous songs around the table at dinner, the seemingly normal routines for the old campers returning to the summer camp are fascinating for the youngest partners from Europe and Asia. Plus, who doesn’t love an evening spent making s’mores around the campfire?

Thanks to the excellent counselors of the camp and the traditions of the past decades, every international camper can come home with good memories and countless stories.

Camper Friendships

Friendship has no borders. In the era of rapid modernization of the world, most of the partners are still unable to effectively contact and communicate with their peers in other countries.

The international camp offers children the ability to make face-to-face friendships with other campers from around the world.

Happy Times at Camp

Whether camper’

Whether it’s making good friends overseas or learning about a country’s language and traditions, the experience of the international camp will be a wonderful and profound memory for every camper.

Even if you have never gone abroad, a summer at America’s Finest Summer Camps will definitely bring you an international experience!



‘Twas the Night before Camp

‘Twas the night before camp and all through the land,
The day many had awaited for months was at hand.
The bags were all packed and sent off to camp,
The envelopes and stationary pre-addressed and stamped.
Of their new campers the counselors wondered,
Of how awesome it will be to meet them, they pondered.
The cabins were ready, the beds assigned.
Welcome signs for the morning, carefully aligned.
The Directors and Senior staff feverishly prepared,
For all of the campers who soon would be there.
The campers, they slept hardly a wink,
That they would soon be with their camp friends was all they could think.

Moms and dads sat together working through lists,
Careful to make sure there was nothing they’d missed
Sing-alongs, special activities, and the opening night show,
The countdown was almost over, it was nearly ready-set-go.

In the morning, there would be lots of cheerful well wishes,
Before the campers boarded buses and planes for a summer sure to be auspicious.
The parents would wave as the campers  rolled out of sight,
And assure each other, “They’ll be alright.”
Soon summer camp would come alive,
As buses full of campers began to arrive.
Some hugs, laughter, and maybe a cheer,
The summer of 2011 would finally be here.

And as the first day of camp turns into the first night,
A happy to summer to all, and may every day excite!

Three Reasons Why Campers Love Camp Laurel

Children are gearing up for the final push in the school year. College students are finishing up projects and studying for finals. If you couldn’t hear the buzz in the air signaling summer right around the corner, here are some extra reasons camp people are getting excited for this summer.


During the school year, children might be lucky to have classes with friends, but their primary focus is learning. Peer interactions are limited to hallway conversations, lunchtime, passing friends between classes and recess for younger children. At Camp Laurel they spend all morning, afternoon and evening interacting with their peers. Whether they’re huddling up in flag football, finishing a project in ceramics, rehearsing their lines for the upcoming play or hanging out in the cabin, campers are always encouraged to interact with their friends.

Time is Different

Campers learn that time at camp works differently. Throughout the school year there are several countdowns usually measured in months. Two months until winter break, six months until spring break and nine months until summer. At Camp Laurel, we’re counting time both ways. We know there is always something fun and exciting on the horizon, but we also measure time in weeks that have passed. Everyone realizes their time at camp is limited and they’re looking to make the most of it. Camp has so many “you had to be there” memories because campers are living so vividly in the moment and those moments stick with them.

Built for Children

Thinking about the “real world” from a child’s perspective reminds us that children are often told to prepare and wait until they are grownups. Camp, on the other hand, is an environment dedicated to youth. Campers create incredible memories because camp focuses on who and where they are now. Camp is a place all about children living in the moment and being themselves.

A One-of-a-Kind Basketball Camp Experience

Camp Horseshoe Basketball Camp is a unique experience like no other! Campers spend five days at Camp Horseshoe’s gorgeous 140 acre Northwoods facility; a state-of-the-art campus featuring every athletic, adventure and waterfront activity under the sun, along with high-level basketball instruction from some of the top high school basketball coaches in the country.  We have a long tradition of success, with alumni that includes multiple NBA players and a long list of NCAA student athletes.

High-Level Instruction

Our cabin and activities staff are highly trained and committed to making sure that every camper is safe and enjoying every moment of camp!   Our basketball program is run by a team of some of the finest, most well-respected coaches in the midwest, featuring former IBCA Coaches of the Year award winners and Illinois state champions.  Our program is performanced planned, featuring plenty of invaluable, one-on-one instruction in technique and skills as well as two regulation full court games for every camper each day.  There will also be plenty of time for off-court leisure activities.

Authentic Summer Camp Experience

Camp Horseshoe Basketball Camp creates the ideal atmosphere for campers to get the absolute maximum out of his week long experience.  Campers will have the opportunity to enjoy everything we have to offer including our lifeguard-supervised waterfront which features brand new inflatables; tubing, fishing, climbing wall, high ropes course, 300-foot zip-line, trampball, archery, tennis, pickleball and so much more!  All of our facilities from the courts to the cabins and bathrooms are new, clean, and up to date.  Our health center is staffed by registered nurses who live on the premises.

Camp Values

At Camp Horseshoe, each Horseshoe boy is cheered, included, and accepted.  Our goal is to help you become the best basketball player you’re capable of being, nothing less. Our basketball coaches provide the campers with daily motivational messages relating to life both on and off the basketball court, such as developing confidence, integrity, teamwork, passion and determination. We’re confident that your son will leave Horseshoe Basketball Camp with improved skills both on and off the court, meaningful relationships, and amazing memories that will last a lifetime!

Life Skills You Learn at Camp

Camp Laurel: 

Going to camp was never about learning “life-skills” when I was a camper. I loved camp and returned every summer to have fun and hang with my friends. I didn’t realize until much later in life how beneficial spending every summer at Camp Laurel would be. So, with the ability to look back now, I’m going to talk about the most meaningful skills I gained because of my time as a camper.

First Impressions

My college roommate once asked me how I was able to introduce myself to anyone and everyone so easily. This was the first time I realized how big an impact camp had on me. Camp Laurel helped me learn this early on because no matter how tight-knit our friends were, we were always excited to meet new campers and counselors.

Camp also taught me to get to know people beyond first impressions. Sometimes it’s easy to make snap-judgments of people, but at camp I learned to never judge a book by its cover.


My second night at camp I participated in one of my favorite camp traditions: Egg Drop. It seems so simple: our cabin is given supplies to safely drop an egg from the top of our climbing wall without breaking it. Looking at it now, I can see how intentional that evening program was because it allowed everyone in our cabin to creatively find a solution to our dilemma. But this is one of a countless number of opportunities to campers are given to communicate.

Clean up, cabin dance-offs, Group Sing, College Days…All things that helped me learn how to communicate effectively with a wide range of other campers and counselors.

Trying New Things

There’s no place like camp to try new things. For seven weeks, I had the opportunity to learn how to waterski, climb, become a Laurel Gladiator, shoot a bow and arrow, try out for the play, learn an instrument, go camping, make something (anything!) in ceramics. And those are only the things that pop into mind on top of enjoying the things I loved before camp like basketball, tennis and painting. Camp Laurel let me get out of my comfort zone in the most comfortable way. I was able to try so much because the counselors were willing to instruct and coach me with a positive attitude. I never felt like I wasn’t good enough at something. Now, when new opportunities come about, I’m excited to try them and learn how to get better.

Spring and New Beginnings

Brant Lake Dance Camp:

Given that Spring and New Beginnings are the themes of the month and we all LOVE to Dance, let’s try something new together! At Brant Lake Dance Camp we encourage everyone to try as many different dance forms as they can while at camp.

Diversity in your training will not only make you a stronger dancer it will exercise your brain and stimulate your creativity as well. So, if you love your Contemporary at home try a Jazz class and a Modern class at camp. There is sure to be new ways to move and your body that you’ve never thought of before and you’ll love the way you feel when you master a new combination. Even better you’ll love the addition of this new found technique in creating your own Enchoreo piece. 

“Our Guest Artist, Lynn, inspired me to try some things I never had done before and I liked them so much I used them in my Enchoreo piece.”

With three levels of Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop and Modern professionally taught at BLDC you’re sure to find a new Love of Dance to add to your current Love of Dance.