Living Ten for Two: I Just Want To Be At Shibley Day Camp!

Shibley is not just a place that you go to for two months over the summer and forget about for the next ten months of the year. One of my favorite things about Shibley is that the fun does not end just because the summer does. Sure, we are not at camp every day, but like an evergreen tree, Shibley is here all year long. We have events in the Fall to bring us all together to enjoy the facilities and the beautiful Fall foliage.  In the Fall and the Spring there are birthday parties and family events occurring on our grounds virtually every weekend.  We might pop up at a Fall Festival at your elementary school or spend some time in a city park making beaded bracelets with campers and catching up. We also host zooms (story time, show and tell, scavenger hunt, zumba, etc.) over the winter so we can see familiar faces on our screens when it’s too cold to gather at camp.

I’m sure that you have all heard the saying “living ten for two”. It’s a phrase that you might hear a camper or former camper saying. When you are a true camper, you think about summer every single day. You are pushing through the school year so that you can get to the prize at the end…a summer at Shibley!! All that you think about is being at camp, seeing your old friends, making new friends, and participating in every fun activity. The minute that camp ends you are immediately talking about the next summer. Every summer, my kids cry on the last day of camp. They miss their counselors, their friends, the green giant, etc!! For the next month all I hear from my three little campers is “why do we have to go to school? I just want to be at camp!!”
This is why I love Shibley so much.

Your Shibley Family is always thinking of you. We love to see you at our off-season events, and we love bumping into campers around town and hearing what your family is up to. I hope that everyone is off to a great school year, and I would love to hear from you!! I can be reached all year long at

Read my previous blog about using children’s books to promote our GREEN values all year long…turn your children into everGREENs!

Looking Back on a Successful Summer 2021 at Shibley Day Camp

In the blink of an eye, one of the most challenging summers I have experienced during my tenure at camp has come to an end.  That being said, it was also most certainly one of the most rewarding!

During this most unique and challenging summer, there were various trials and tribulations that we faced head-on with grit, resilience and tenacity.  We knew that in order to have a successful, healthy summer, we had to tackle new ways to program groups, hire & train staff, create efficient & safe bus routes, prepare food, and most importantly, keep your children safe through vigorous health and safety protocols.

We had an AMAZING STAFF this summer, but filling every possible position was difficult.  So many “would be” counselors decided that after 15 months of isolation, they preferred to relax this summer with friends rather than taking on a job. Totally understandable! Some “would be” counselors who felt that they had missed out on career internships the summer before felt that they had no choice but to find one this summer to bolster their resumes, so we lost that pool of applicants as well. Little do they know that working at camp is the best internship of all!

In addition to working around COVID, this summer, we faced 3 separate brutal heatwaves without the convenience of being able to retreat to the friendly confines of our indoor air conditioned facilities.  I recently attended a professional development day with my Long Island colleagues from other camps and one director described his staff as “warriors battling intense heat, rain, mental health and exhaustion.”

The stars of our show, as always, were the campers! This summer we had a higher percentage of new campers at camp than ever before. We were also thrilled to welcome our returning campers, many of whom we did not see for two years! Wow, did they get big! You could tell from the start that many campers (new and old) were extremely anxious being thrust into this nurturing but highly stimulating environment.  After all, many were home all year in remote learning education models with limited social interactions. So, as you might expect, socialization skills were rusty, group dynamics were overwhelming for many, and separation from parents/caretakers, especially for our younger campers, was difficult to say the least. But as each day passed, you began to feel and see those meaningful friendships forming, campers exhaling with ease, and the genuine sounds of children happily at play.

So what are my takeaways from summer 2021:

  • We all survived (and thrived!) and we are all stronger for it!
  • Many protocols and changes we implemented will remain in place because they made camp safer, more efficient or more fun!
  • Camp continues to be a safe space for campers to be nurtured, loved and accepted.
  • Unlikely heroes stepped up big time and filled the staff gaps.
  • We continue to face the unknown, but one thing we do know is that we have a team here that will go the distance to find the solutions that will keep our camp community healthy, safe and joyful.

Shibley Nation…..WE DID IT !!! We made a positive impact on the lives of our children and gave them a summer they will never forget. We thank you all (staff, parents, colleagues, friends, etc.) from the bottom of our hearts for your support and appreciation of all we did in 2021!

Exciting News re: Full-Time Shibley Team

Dear Friends,

This week we made two exciting changes to strengthen our full-time team at Shibley Day Camp. Randi Chase has been promoted to Associate Director. Randi has been at Shibley since 1994. Her three children attended Shibley and now her grandson is a nursery camper. She started as a sports specialist (she’s a former Cornell University basketball player) and grew from that position to group leader and Senior Camp Director until ultimately joining the full-time team in 2016. Randi will continue to direct Senior Camp, hire/train our outstanding staff and meet with families at off-season camp and community events.


Hayley Burrows, our Junior Camp Director, has joined our full-time team. Hayley started at Shibley as a group leader (and parent) in 2019 and was promoted to Junior Camp Director for summer 2021. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and previous camp (camper, specialist, leadership, office) and teaching experience. Hayley will continue to direct Junior Camp and will now support the full-time team in all facets of camp operations and administration throughout the off-season.

Please congratulate them both: &