On episode 16 of the GAC Pog-Cast, Sunshine talks with long-time camper and Junior Counselor Henry Yeary. Henry has some great insights into what makes the Junior Counselor (JC) program good for teens, as well as thoughts about taking a gap year before college and why he lives the flip phone life. Soy drops in with a joke of the cast that vampires will enjoy as well as a GACspiration from John Muir.
On this episode, Soy is joined by veteran camper Joss McGrath, who shares her thoughts on food at camp, what to pack, her favorite activities and favorite counselor. She also has advice about being homesick and making friends at camp. Soy plays guitar and has the Joke of the Cast and Sunshine delivers a GACspiration.
Every year on February 1st, we celebrate one of our favorite holidays, I Heart Camp Day. Campers and staff join us in this online celebration of camp by taking pictures and tagging us and #IHeartCampDay. These are some of our favorite submissions from 2017. For a full gallery, you can check out the photo gallery in the news section of our website.
Camper Poetry For I Heart Camp Day
Former camper Erin P. sent us this poem that she composed at school when she was asked to compose a poem about something she missed and loved.
Gold Arrow Camp;
The Home where everyone’s a champ.
The place I miss dearly,
because I used to go yearly.
Smiles, friendship, and memories,
are all objects of treasury.
My cabin mates lead me towards that way,
so I could experience more everyday.
On my last night,
I felt as if I was a knight.
But instead of going to battle,
I received my paddle.
Tears rolled down my face,
but I knew this wasn’t any type of place.
I’d be back,
and I know it’s a definite fact.
I’ll become a JC in 2018,
and make everyone feel like kings and queens,
I’ll then become a counselor in 2020,
and share my love of camp with many.
Long Distance Shout Out
Long time staff member Orange is currently in Bolivia, and sent us this picture, which features local transportation and a homemade sign!
An amazing picture of an amazing place
JC “Sneezy” sent this shot from the JC backpacking trip.
A heartfelt caption on I Heart Camp Day
Longtime camper and staff member Caroline “Gaga” Zigrang had these amazing things to say about why she loves camp.
A Picture That Says More Than a 1000 words about camp
Camper Remi F. sent us this shot, which shows what so many people love about camp, the friendships!
We feel the same way! Thanks again for your many contributions to I Heart Camp Day. We can’t wait to make new memories this summer for you to share next February 1st.
Every year we ask our five year campers to answer questions about their time at GAC. Here is a glimpse of what some of our campers had to say this year in answer to questions on our Five-Year Camper Survey:
How has your time at Gold Arrow Camp Influenced you?
“I am no longer afraid to be without my parents. I have also been more grateful and thoughtful towards my peers at school.” – Lucy Mahlmeister
“Gold Arrow has really helped me become more confident with who I am and has helped me try new things. Without camp, I would be too shy to go up to someone and introduce myself or start dancing to Footloose whenever the song came on. Camp has had a giant impact on my personality, and without it I would be a completely different person.” – Stephanie Musso
“Camp has taught me to be more social and leave all your worries and troubles back home because at GAC, you can be crazy and wild and no one will care. In fact, everyone will join in with you.” – Matthew Ferreira
“It has taught me so many great things. I’ve met amazing people, counselors and cabin mates, and I’m still in contact with them. Campers at GAC learn to do some activities other kids dream of doing. If you have the opportunity to go, it is amazing, because GAC is a one time chance.” – Brooke Levy
“I have made the friends that I will love forever.” – Grace DeMartini
What is your favorite thing about GAC?
“My favorite thing about camp is waking up every day surrounded by my favorite people in my favorite place.” – Annabella Hillyer
“My favorite thing about Gold Arrow is not having access to electronics. Too many times on a day to day basis I use my phone to avoid socializing with others. At camp not having electronics helps me come out of my shell allowing me to come close with my cabin mates and make life long friends.” – Jesse Zolinsky
“My favorite thing is the relationships that I form at GAC; I have met some of the best people at GAC. The community is so welcoming, and I feel comfortable to be myself and discover myself in that environment.” – Beth Scott
“I love the encouragement that I got, both from counselors and campers, to try new things all the time. I love that the camp encourages you to do that. The camp atmosphere made me stand out and be unique, in ways that I would have been too embarrassed to try at home.” – Claire Pare
“My favorite thing about GAC is the people. All the activities are great, but if it weren’t for all the amazing people camp would’t be the same.” – Anthony Lizdas
“Gold Arrow campers and counselors don’t care how smart or athletic you are, they still want to be your best friend and make you smile.” – Margaret Jelsma
How do you describe GAC to your friends?
“I am constantly telling my friends how fun GAC is. Whenever I start a sentence “So at camp…” they always know I’m talking about Gold Arrow Camp.” – Jesse Zolinsky
“It is my family!” – Melanie Zimmerman
“GAC isn’t just a camp, it is a way to grow as a person and have fun.” – Stephen Wilmott
“I tell my friends that there’s no place on Earth as amazing as Gold Arrow. Everyone there is so sweet and friendly. People always ask me if it’s scary going to camp not knowing anyone, but I know that I’m going to meet amazing people and have a great time making memories with them and getting to know them.” – Stephanie Musso
What is your fondest camp memory?
“My fondest camp memory is probably getting my blanket this year and realizing how many friends I had made throughout the years. It was just really cool to look back on.” – Maia Mindlin
“I loved the time where I was trying out a wakeboard for the first time, and I kept falling over. Both the counselor and campers on the boat encouraged me and told me what to do. I finally got up on the wakeboard and now it is my favorite out of knee/ski/wake.” – Claire Pare
“My fondest camp memory was probably my first day ever, when I was so nervous. I had no reason to be! When I walked to the shouting lines of cabins and happy faces, it was the perfect start to the session. My first year I fell completely in LOVE with GAC. I could never spend a summer without it!!!” – Brooke Levy
“When it was my first year, and I was very scared and once I stepped out of the bus I could feel all of this excitement, and for me to meet my new friends, even today I am still best friends with them.” – Kylie Kim
If you are a five-year camper and would like to complete the survey, please go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GAC5years.