As Marc Honigfeld once stated, “ What’s better than kids helping kids?” For the 11th year in a row, Trail’s End campers took their athletic skills to the fields and the courts to make a difference and to give back to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, as well as Sunrise Day Camp at their annual overnight Sports-A-Thon. During visiting day, the LT’s had a booth where many TEC families made donations to sponsor the members of the Sports –A- Thon.
Each leadership trainee is a captain to a different colored team comprised of campers in 8th grade and above. The campers’ energy and excitement was reflected in their decked out outfits that were colorful and vibrant from head to toe. The teams are on the go, playing different sports against other teams, including soccer, mini tennis tournaments, euro, egg toss and much, much more. Each team has a schedule, and different events happen every half hour to keep the night going and the energy alive and vibrant.
The spirit of every camper was truly shown through out his or her involvement in every hour of the sports-a-thon. Each camper played an important role in this special event and they were able to show how vital their participation was in supporting cancer research as well as Sunrise Day Camp.
Our campers live ten months for two and being part of the Sports-a-thon enables them to give back to their communities and children with cancer by enabling these children to also participate in the wonderful experience of summer camp.
After hours of competition and seeing a smile on all the participants’ faces, it was amazing to experience the sense of accomplishment and teamwork felt throughout the camp. This event has already raised over 100,000 dollars to date, and we will continue to participate in this rewarding event in the coming years, with the hope to find a cure to childhood cancer.
Gordon Ramsey needs to step aside as our own campers are learning the fine art of cooking. Campers are now able to become chefs at Trail’s End Camp, from Cooking with Paula. Paula, a chef during the year at a sorority house, works in cooking at the creativity center, to teach our campers how to cook, in a fun way!
Campers have many options to make something special, whether it is as simple as chocolate chip cookies, or as complex as a triple layer cake. Campers are taught how to prepare their food, cook their food and of course clean up the kitchen.
Our older campers get the privilege of doing something special. 14 times over the summer, our varsity campers get to cook their own dinner. Chef Paula will be teaching the campers about many different options they can prepare at meal time. This week, our First Year Varsity boys cooked omelettes for dinner, which looked delicious! We are certain that campers will be excited to share their culinary skills with their families when they return home.
“Friendships deepen through years with thee, lasting till eternity,” is a quote that every Trail’s End camper and staff member holds true to their heart. Friendship is one of the many gifts a camper is given from their experiences at TEC. Trail’s End gives everyone the opportunity to grow in many ways. Every week, specific campers are rewarded with different color dog tags to reflect their good character that was exhibited the previous week. As the children accumulate a number of them, we love to hear the sounds of success as they run around camp.
A few years ago, we implemented our Community Service Awards which are given to staff and campers who go above and beyond what is expected at camp. This award is extremely special, as it is only given to a select few each week and recognizes a sense of selflessness with putting their camp family before themselves.
Every week, after Friday night services, the Community Service Award winners are called down, after the person that nominates them, reads off why they were nominated. It is truly an honor to see the faces of the surprised honorees as they are called down to stand in front of the entire camp.
This week, the Community Service Award winners were: Jeff Donaldson, Brandon Hoovis, Coleman Perret, Paula Kemp, Maddi Webb, Adin Kurtz, Monica Briceno, Caila Bender and Brooke Selmer. Congrats to this week’s winners!
Trail’s End Camp hosted the largest BBQ in Beach Lake, for the Fourth of July Monday night, continuing the tradition of hot dogs and hamburgers on America’s birthday. The July 4th spirit was in the air last night, while the Buddies and Rangers put on a show for the Trail’s End Camp family. The cook out slope was colored in shades of red, white and blue as everyone was painted from head to toe in our nation’s patriotic colors.
The youngest, but loudest campers participated in our annual Fourth of July show proudly representing our country’s Independence Day. The night began with campers performing traditional songs while the entire camp was singing and dancing along. The cook out slope was filled with smiles and laughs, showing all of the new friendships that were formed over the past week.
After a fun concert, beautiful fireworks exploded over the sky to end the night. The Fourth of July show is an important tradition at TEC that has been in place year after year. This special event also enables the youngest campers to show how important they are to our TEC family. Many campers were able to step out of their comfort zone to either crack a joke, or have a solo in a song on stage. The July 4th show is one of our favorite events in camp that gets the second week off to a great start.
Saturday was a special one for the entire Trail’s End family as we welcomed our campers for the start of our 70th season and then unveiled the new basketball stadium prior to the start of our Opening Campfire. With great pride, Marc announced to the camp that the stadium would be dedicated to Starr and Stan Goldberg.
Since the early 1960s, the names Starr and Stan Goldberg have been synonymous with Trail’s End Camp. In 1960, Stan was hired as a counselor at TEC. Two years later Starr joined him. Little did they know, 54 summers later, they would still be here AND they never, ever could have imagined that they would be celebrating this summer as their 30th year of owning Trail’s End, with their children and grandchildren by their side.
The Goldbergs make everyone truly feel at home. Their spirit and energy is boundless which is why our secret club is blessed to have this amazing couple leading us each and every day. Our camp slogan “better for having been at Trail’s End Camp” can be best felt and seen because of them. All of us are better for having had Starr and Stan Goldberg in our lives.
The amazing new basketball stadium, where campers will be shooting hoops and creating memories, has a press box, sound system, lights and a scoreboard. It will be an ever lasting reminder of these two amazing and loving camp icons.