Tuesday, August 2, 2016

One two three four we want Color War

War is about to break out at Timber Ridge, Color War that is.  Not yet but close!  The children are waiting in anticipation.  The themes are still a mystery.   Last night was an amazing Talent Show.  The little girls danced for the camp with Sydney Thune, all of 8years old, being the choreographer and directing a crew of 8 across the stage with flips, turns and twists.  Daniel Zuhen took over the Baby Grand with a concert your mouth would drop open to hear.  How long have you played the piano Daniel? ,  11years ( he is 15) just amazing!  Siena Dibene played the piano and sang she is ready for the Voice.  Sophia Blake got up and sang, where has she been hiding the talent she showed?   Marissa Kubin and Maggie Milligan danced solos and were great.  I can not forget our talented staff:  Rachel McNear, who is way too talented, Lee Neemer Shay Kleinman, and Chris Shoff who sang their own song of "Camp children don't cry" about past homesickness and of course the solo by Shay Kleinman of "Halleuijah"  This has been a heartfelt amazing summer.  We have grown as a family and a team so seeing these young adult and children go back to their lives leaves a sadness for those we may not see again.  However, they have grown and their lives will be forever changed as a result of their time here.  One, two three four we are ready for Color War! 

Friday, July 29, 2016

First blog with more to come, summer of 2016

I guess I have been lax in blogging about this summer.  However that does not mean we have not been busy.  This summer has been amazing for both staff, children and myself.  I guess I can quote the children.  "Why do we have to go to bed when this is the only place where we can walk around and watch the stars whenever we want and not be scared".  Well they have to go to bed but it was an interesting comment.  The safety and fun zone here is 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Such a needed break from life in the city.  This year not only do children not have cell phones but neither do staff.  This was a hard rule to pass.  I can not tell you the maneuvering and manipulating to not make that happen.  However, after a very short time our young staff realized they did not even want their cell phones.  You may ask why?  Communication skills lack in todays society.  The internet answers all of the question and none of the questions.  It is so easy to zone out and text a friend or hang at the office during off time.  Without cell phones the staff and children are forced to play, forced to laugh, and forced to figure it all out.  The growth of the staff this summer from day one has been in leaps and bounds.  Very few staff did not make it, and most have excelled.  The other big thing has been full camp events.  Without cell phones everyone knows everyone and really enjoys being together to laugh and encourage the young and old.  During meals not only do we eat together as a large family we talk together and laugh together.   We discuss the days events what were are going to do and what we have done.  At camp "Color War" is more important then the presidential elections.  Because the reality is all of the good and bad news will be there when this fantasy world ends.  We are on a need to know basis and so far no one needs to know.  We raised the flag half mass when the rest of the country does but we do not explain why and no one asks?  Camp is what is used to be back in the old days.  The only news you got or wanted was from your neighbor.  The news here is who learned to swim, who caught the biggest fish and what an amazing Circus show we had last night.  I love camp!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Europe, Camp Fairs, Reunions and a busy office!

Hello to all my Timber Ridge Family and Friends,

Long time  no talk!  Sorry we have been behind on our blogs, but it has been a very busy couple of months for the TR Family.  Jill, Fred and I spent two weeks in Europe recruiting new and exciting friends to bring to camp this summer!  We met some wonderful young people who will be joining us.  We have also been traveling around the United States to Camp Fairs and events to find new friends to join our camp program, just two weeks ago we were in Richmond and Charlottesville, Dulles Town Center Yesterday, and we will be in Florida in two weeks!

Next Weekend---February 28th is our reunion make up day!  We hope to see everyone there!

Fred, Brian, and Allison have been visiting university's to bring the best counselors to camp.  Allison is actually at West Virginia University today to meet and interview potential candidates-- Logan is going to help her out!

The miniature Golf Course and New Gaga-Courts are underway they will be such a welcomed addition to camp!  Canteen on me for any campers who can beat me in Mini Golf!!! Don't worry I will have time in may to practice before you get there!

Murray is putting together the summer calendar now, but we always need your great ideas so please email us with anything you would like us to add onto our summer program!  We love new ideas for evening activities, Saturday events or just any fun thoughts that you may have.

Everyone make sure to wish Uncle Fred a Happy Birthday on Friday (Feb 26) he will love to hear from you!

If your not yet enrolled in camp what are you waiting for???? Call us today and lets get you on the books!  Also if you have any friends, neighbors, family, or acquaintances you think might want to come to please let us know!  We love referrals from our current family's and alumni!  We will do something special for you in return if they enroll!

Alright everyone!! Back to work I go.  Counting the days until summer(for me that begins may 1st--When Jill, Allison, JM and myself all move on up to camp).  DO WELL IN SCHOOL and we will see you Sunday!


More soon!

Alex

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I am not surprised that a gaming system was used in the recent attacks in Paris. This is how the new generation communicates. Everyone who knows me knows for years that I dislike the over use and abuse of technology. Though it is a wonderful thing to be connected to the world, I am a believer that it brings depression, poor communication skills as well a false reality of what life is all about. That is why I love camp where the air is clean, the people are real, and the ...friendships are true friendships, not face book friends. Yes, I am venting as parents need to pull those cell phones from the dinner table, shut down the games after school, and talk to your children. Look at their eyes, ask the right questions, and listen. We parents, are the teachers, not their friends, we are their lifeline to the future. We will continue to take those cell phones at camp, pull off the earphones, and put away gaming systems as our mission is to help everyone who joins us look around and see how beautiful the world can be with real friends who you can call anytime anywhere and who care! Camp is no longer a luxury I truly believe it is a necessity in todays world!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dog Days of Fall into Winter

I was talking to Uncle Fred and he was saying how hot it is in Florida today.  Here is Baltimore it is raining and in the 60's.  Thanksgiving is coming soon and I was thinking about all I am grateful for.  First of course my husband of 35 years, college love and my great kids and grand kids.  It was hard work but I am really proud of all of them.  My boys are gorgeous and I get a warm feeling all over when they call and I hear , "Nana".  Even the two year who does not say much but "Nana" he does say with love.  Zack works very hard in the midwest and though I miss him terribly I am proud of him for the life he has carved out for himself.  Jobi is special, beautiful, bright and really my closest girlfriend and the best.  If I ever need anything she is there.  Second is still having my father in my life.  He is an amazing man and I talk to him many times a day.  Still sharp, playing tennis and golf, and the King of his domain.    Always has my back!  Third to be able to create magic each summer in an amazing place like camp.  Sometimes we forget with the rat race of life how amazing it is to be able to escape for several months and play with adults and children in a safe, fun, place where no one grows old.  It is like Never Never Land.  I awake to Roosters screaming, children playing, laughter and music everyday.  I know how amazing it is as when I talk to alumni about  their best memories and best friends  from camp.  Some have not been to camp in over 50 years and yet they talk about it like it was yesterday.  Facebook is full of cabin pictures and people I have not seen in many many years.  Yet, I remember them like it was yesterday.  It is pure, wholesome, and amazing and I am thankful to be able to be part of this dream.  Next are my dogs.  Now many people don't love animals.  However,  I have the 3 most amazing dogs.  They are quiet, loving, and beautiful.  There is Vinney who is 13 years old, OCD, quirky and has his own corner of the house. Why OCD?  Well, he drinks in 3's, follows the same path in and out of the house all of the time, will not go any other way!  Sleeps and eats in the same corner.  Definitely fits into our family.  Then there is Millie.  She had a brain tumor at the age of 8 months and it was removed.  She is the miracle dog.   University of Pennsylvania said she was going to die but they were wrong and my wonderful vet found a surgeon who removed it and it was benign, that was two years ago.  Then there is the puppy Daisy all of  6 pounds but rules the house, and Millie.  Finally,  I get to work with amazing people.  Everyday I love being with them.  We spend an incredible amount of time together and our love is like family.  They are there for me no matter what.  Who can say that about people they work with!  They  help create the magic and love doing it.  So no matter what happens in life I have been blessed and if I don't say it enough, I am thankful!!!  What are you thankful for?  Look around, life may be difficult at times but there is always something that is amazing that makes the hard work and hard times just a bump in the road!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Back To Baltimore Up and Running!

    When I tell my friends and family I work for a summer camp they always say to me, "Wow that sounds great!  What do you do the rest of the year?"  I stand there like a deer in headlights with no idea what to say, those who have never done it, never lived, just wouldn't understand anyways... So I just give the generic answer, "Well, we start planning for next summer, you know... Staffing, recruiting, business operations." I then hear them mumble under there breath, "Yeah... Ok, nothing... sounds like a dream"  If only they knew how HARD we really work.  Jill, Fred, Allison and of course myself put in a lot of hours and a lot of work to put together the production of Your summer experience.  Trust me is not nothing, but it is a dream, a dream world we strive to create for children and teens.  A world where you can be free to express your self, you can succeed in everything, a dream world where you meet the best friends and build the strongest relationships you will ever make.  Already Jill has visited 3 new prospective family's, we have started to put out strong feelers for staff,  begun putting together a shell calendar of programming, and started the last steps of finishing the journals, look for those soon!  WOW, we have only been back to work for 3 days! So many things are in the works for 2016, such a great core group of returning staff, and the best early bird enrollment in my 9 years of working at Timber Ridge.  The buzz in the office is electric for this time of year as leads roll in.  Allison is working with Google to complete the virtual tour, Jill is contacting family's and potential hires for key staff, and I am busting out Journals and keeping the business aspects of camp rolling.  Jill and I drove up to camp yesterday to check out the closing process, camp is all buttoned down, locked up and put away.  Bill and Bill are just working on the last few steps to make sure nothing gets damaged in the West Virginia winter.  We enjoyed walking around reminiscing so much that we didn't get back to Baltimore until 7pm.
    We always look forward to hearing what your are doing, where you are, how your sports teams are performing, any awards you have received, plays you have acted in, or really anything else you want to tell us! We will publish them in our blog and newsletters for all of your Timber Ridge Family to see.
   We also love to talk to your friends about camp, so if you have any friends or family who would like to talk camp please send them our way or give them our email or phone number.

Keep in Touch and keeping checking our blog, your mailbox and our website for updates, information and news!

Later,
Alex

Friday, June 26, 2015

Camp - My Story



                Camp is the only place to get away. Adults acting like children. Children trying to act like adults, but still holding on that youth that most of have lost along the way. Camp is the one and the only place that I know of where people come together and change. The memories stay for a life time just like the lessons we all learn.

                We might get caught up in the activities, the camp gossip, the evening activities, but you will never forget the feelings that we have. I ask myself at the beginning of another summer, why did I come back this summer? I remind myself of the color wars, the tears shed when we leave, the laughter (coming from the most unemotional Scuba out there), and the memories that stay with me forever.

                I remember starting camp at the same time as Logan and Paige Adams. How over six summers we come to claim that we I am part of the Adams family. How I remember sitting on my porch playing Pok√©mon with Merek. How I can tell you all of my camper’s names by heart, but I can barely remember half of my co-counselor’s names. These are the memories I have. I remember the tears I shed when Teddy New left camp my first summer, because he looked at me and we both started to cry.

                Summers are the memories and feelings that we have. Camp is the place that we can have those feelings and memories. And I am glad that I have been fortunate enough to spend six summers with the blessed individuals that come in and out of Timber Ridge. I wouldn’t change a moment of it.

                I <3 Camp,
Scuba Steve