Randi Reviews Our January Fun Day

Greetings Shibley Nation!  Happy 2020 to all.  We have officially turned our attention to Shibley Fun Days as well as other Winter/Spring events that will bring our Shibley family together.  This past Sunday, we hosted our 1st Shibley Fun Day and each of the two sessions we ran were filled to capacity with campers and parents. We separated the children into 3 age groups and rotated each group from a Tae Kwon Do class (Visit our friends at Tiger Schulmann’s of Manhasset) to an arts and craft project to a free play room.  Campers met and made instant friends with other campers who will be with them in the Summer.  Parents mingled with other parents, some who were first timers also and some veteran parents who shared the great experiences their family has had at Shibley.

These off-season events are so important, especially for our younger campers and their parents.  You and your child have the opportunity to get to know us and our staff on a more personal level. You get to see us in action and we get to see your child in action; how they behave and react to certain situations. Every time you sign your child up for an event and step onto the Shibley grounds, we become more and more familiar to your child and with your child.  When the Summer finally arrives, your child will see familiar faces and places when they step off the bus at camp.  We want your child to have a seamless transition when his/her first day of camp begins and what better way to then to take advantage of all the off season events we offer.  Our goal is to become family even before camp begins.

We have 2 more Fun Days offered, one on Saturday, February 8th and the other on Sunday, March 15th.  We will have a Spring break event in April and a Spring Festival in May.  We will also be taking our annual pre-camp outing to Citi Field on Sunday, May 3. In June, we will invite our nursery and kindergarten campers to a pool party and to take a special bus ride around the neighborhood so children can get comfortable doing both things that will be a big part of their summer experience.  We will also give you the opportunity  to come meet your children’s Group Leader and counselors the weekend before camp begins.

So here is your homework -PLEASE open up and read your emails from us.  Then sign up for as many off-season events as you can.  We are here for you and your child. We want your children to have the Summer of their lives, and feeling at home and comfortable on day one is a key ingredient to that end!  We hope to see many more of you next month and leading up to the Summer.

A to Z List of Things to do in the New Year

Here’s an A to Z list of things Stefanie is thinking about for the New Year:

Arizona – go on vacation when it’s cold here in New York

Be More Active- keep moving!

Cook More

Dream Bigger

Exercise Often

Find More Time to Spend with the People that Matter

Give Back to Those in Need

Health (mental & physical) is a priority

Improve in everything

Joyfulness – find the joy in whatever you are doing

Keep in Touch

Learn a New Skill

Meet New People

Noah’s First Birthday

Organization – keep it all together

Peace for the world

Quit Procrastinating

Read More

Shibley Summer 2020!!!!

Try New Things

Understand where others are coming from

Volunteer for something new and worthwhile

Watch Less TV

eXcel in all that we do

Yoga to relax and keep the body strong

Zealous- be zealous when attempting to accomplish anything

The Magic of Music in Camp 

At Shibley Day Camp we have music playing throughout camp all day long. Music is important and can have an impact on how we act and feel as we move through our day. Starting in the morning, as the staff prepares to welcome our campers and the buses pull in, music can be heard in Junior and Senior Camps. Staff that welcome the campers off the bus and guide them to their bunks are singing, dancing & smiling. Their positive energy flows immediately down to the campers as they step off the bus and dance their way up to see their friends. Our hope is that any negativity that may be a part of their lives outside of camp is wiped away by the positive vibes of camp…and music is a big part of that.

Another great result of playing music all day is the connections that are formed through knowledge of songs, artists and pop culture associated. Children hear songs that they have heard their parents listening to and see their counselors enjoying the same music. Parents play songs in the car and children are reminded of where they were at camp when they heard that song today. Campers realize they enjoy the same artist or watch the same movie or show that a song may come from and they bond over that shared interest. Counselors and leadership staff of all ages bond over their favorite classic hits and what they currently enjoy on the radio.

It’s also fun to include songs that have been performed in camp productions, at Senior Sing, in talent shows, and in our big end of summer Olympics competition. A dance party is likely to break out in the pool, at arts & crafts or in the middle of a kickball game if the right song comes on at the right time.

Of course, Halloween Day has its’ own playlist (Ghostbusters Theme, Monster Mash, This is Halloween) as does the Shibley 500 (lots of songs by the Cars and from the Pixar Cars movies) and our other Shibley special events.

I’ve listed below just a few of my favorite songs to include on our camp playlists. I know I will be adding some new songs from Frozen 2 (who else can’t get those out of their head?) and we are always looking to expand the playlist. What songs would you like your children to listen to throughout the day at camp?

  • We Belong Together – Randy Newman – Toy Story 3
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake – Trolls
  • Little Bit O’Soul – Musical Explosion
  • Beautiful Day – U2
  • This is Me – Keala Settles – The Greatest Showman
  • Good Day Sunshine – The Beatles
  • Kikiwaka – Bunk’d theme song
  • Count on Me – Bruno Mars
  • A Cover is Not the Book – Mary Poppins Returns
  • Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
  • We Rock – Camp Rock
  • Yoda – Weird Al
  • You’re My Best Friend – Queen
  • You’ll Be in My Heart- Phil Collins – Tarzan
  • The Climb – Miley Cyrus
  • Stand By Me – Ben. E. King
  • Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
  • Paradise – Coldplay
  • Best Day of My Life – American Authors
  • Happy Together – The Turtles

Facilities Updates

All year long our amazing facilities team works throughout the day to make our camp safer, more fun and more beautiful. This winter they are working on (and almost done with) a few projects we wanted to share with you.

New roofs are going on a handful of bunks in Junior Camp.

We have expanded last year’s JG1 bunk to accommodate our growing population of campers in Junior Camp.

New stairs leading up to the SG1 and SG2 bunks (The Commons) will allow the campers to get up and down from their bunks faster and easier. That means more time at each activity!

Our Lego and Music Rooms are getting a facelift. We are redoing the bathrooms, putting in new walls and updating the interior of that side of the building to match the beautiful summer office it is attached to.

We have more projects planned this winter and spring and we are excited to update you via blogs and social media, but more excited for you to come see the renovations in person as we get closer to camp.

Stay warm!

Holiday Time with Randi – Great Suggestions for Family Outings

Greetings Shibley Nation!  I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit and making exciting family plans that will be fun and memorable.

I recently had the opportunity to attend The Big Apple Circus in NYC with my family.  I haven’t been to a circus in quite a while and this performance did not disappoint. The circus’s theme “Extraordinary New Yorkers” had all the makings of a traditional circus with a bit of a twist. The big top at Lincoln Center was filled with children of all ages.  We witnessed an ariel act that displayed visual beauty from performers who  were lifted into the air with ribbon ropes who spun and swirled through the crowd.  Jugglers were on hand and a clown in the form of a NYC pigeon played to the crowd.  Acrobatics, high wire performers, and a very different looking trapeze act that didn’t use a trapeze but rather a bouncy balance beam were all on display. The food and beverage offerings at the concession stands were circus inspired sweet treats from old New York.  What’s a circus without cotton candy?  The circus will be in town until February 2nd 2020.  Check it out!

Here are some other family friendly NYC Winter break activities that may be of interest to you and your family.

  • Visit Rockefellar Center’s dazzling Christmas tree decorations, and then take a spin on the most famous ice rink in the world.
  • Macy’s window display in Herald Square just unveiled this year’s theme-“Believe In The Wonder.” This is about how a little girl dreams of becoming Santa Claus.
  • Museum outings are always a great way to combine learning and fun. Many museums allow for children to create art projects or have interactive play spaces. My favorites include the New York Hall of Science, Museum of the Moving Image, Brooklyn’s Children Museum, Children’s Museum of the Arts, and The American Museum of Natural History.
  • Slime Lovers-this one’s for you. Visit Sloomoo Institute- a new Soho pop up experience.  Kids will love squishing vats of different types of ooey gooey slime.
  • Zoos and Aquariums- Every borough boasts its own unique zoo experience and the Coney Island Aquarium is also quite special.
  • Broadway is simply magical, but the cost of Broadway tickets is incredibly high. Here are some ways to buy inexpensive tickets in NYC:
    1. Kids Night on Broadway-An annual event that the Broadway League hosts where children under 18 can accompany an adult for free. It’s a 2 for 1 opportunity.
    2. Enter a daily ticket lottery.
    3. Join or follow discount Ticket Sites and Apps-Playbill, Goldstar, Broadway Box, Stub Hub, Theater Mania, and Groupon may have ticket options.
    4. TKTS Discount Booths in NYC-There are 4 locations in NYC and you must visit them in person.
    5. Be Open to Off Broadway shows

Many of our camper families live in Manhattan and I am sure you have some amazing recommendations as well.  Send us some of your favorite spots and we will happily post them for all to see.

From my family to yours, have a healthy happy holiday season and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities our fair city has to offer at this time of year.

Family Time of Year

As we approach the end of the year holidays, thoughts of family always come to mind. During November and December, it seems that we take an extra break from the day to day and spend quality time with our families. Usually there will be multiple gatherings at various homes where families get together for elaborate meals and lots of conversation of the year that passed. There always seems to be happy things like new babies born and new marriages during the year which increases the size of the family. You also get to find out the achievements of family members that you may not have heard about during the year. So, it’s a good time to catch up on those kinds of things.

As I get older it seems like each year passes faster and faster. Back when you were a child in school, the year used to seem like a very long time. I always looked forward to the time when studying and school tests were over, and summer was upon me. From age 3 to 12 I actually went to Shibley Day Camp so many years ago. I cherished those 8 weeks of summer camp before it was time to start school again. My favorite activities in camp back then were basketball, softball, swimming and lunch. When I was in the older groups, we had tournaments in basketball and leagues in softball. That’s where I learned what it was like to win and to lose and how to handle either properly, definitely a good life lesson since life is a series of ups and downs and those sports activities as a child helped me to deal with adult life situations.

Those sports also taught me how to work together as a team for a common goal, another skill needed when you get out in the world and become part of an organization. While swimming at camp I progressed through the various Red Cross levels and became a great swimmer. These swimming lessons taught me how to challenge myself by learning new skills, many of which were difficult. The life lesson learned here was to persevere even when things were not easy… yet another life skill needed for adulthood. Years later I worked as a lifeguard at Shibley teaching children to swim.

Back when I grew up in the 1960’s from age 4 to 13 it seemed like a much more innocent time than today. I think it’s much harder to go through the growing up process for the kids nowadays. So much has changed from the 1960’s up to the present time. Children today have to be able to deal with so much more stuff than we did back in the day. At least camp has remained similar. To me it is still about making friends, learning how to be part of a group and doing a lot of fun activities. For the last 25 years I have worked at camp year-round. I consider myself very lucky that for me camp never ends whatever the time of the year. The best and most special time though is during the summer when everyone is here. Only 7 months until they all come back. Stay warm in the meantime and have an enjoyable holiday season.