You’ve Got Friends at Shibley

When the road looks rough ahead

And you can’t get that shibley shibley out of your head

Just remember what your old pals said

You’ve got friends at Shibley


You’ve got troubles, and we’ve got’em too

There isn’t anything that we wouldn’t do for you

We’re here all year so come and visit soon

You’ve got friends at Shibley


There’s lots of other places that you could possibly be

Faraway vacations and cruises out to sea

But none of them compares to a day at Shibley


And as the schoolyear goes by

Our friendship will never end

Any season and no matter what time

You’ve got friends at Shibley

The Goose Cup

by Brandon Etan Reed

It’s the last week of camp, which for the past 45 years has meant one very special thing – it’s time for the Goose Cup!!  Preparation for the Goose Cup, Shibley’s legendary street hockey tournament, begins early in the summer.  In July, Mark Becker, the SSB1 Group Leader, took all of the counselors in SB3 and SSB1 (the two groups that play in the tournament) out to dinner to draft teams. Once the counselors chose their teams (there were 4 of them this year), our 6 games got underway.  Each game is intense from the first one all the way to the Semi-Finals which ended with a thrilling come from behind victory for the Black Knights.  That earned the Black Knights a spot in the 2018 Goose Cup where they’ll play the Mighty Pucks on Tuesday, August 14th.

What does it feel like to be in the Goose Cup? Amazing! You get to have an intense battle in front of tons of people. My friend, Craig, has dreamed of winning the Goose Cup and having his name engraved on the cup (which would make him a Shibley legend!) since he was 3-years-old.

The big game takes place at Fenway Park in Senior Camp, which is designed with big banners and lines on the field.  The excitement begins as soon as the benches become loaded with campers and family members.  It builds when Mark Becker (who has been part of the Goose Cup for 20 years) begins announcing some previous winners as well as each current player who comes out wearing a customized t-shirt (this year, we got to design our own shirts and both starting goalies got to design helmets).

Once the players are ready to begin, Mark starts his play-by-play, which he continues throughout the entire game.  In addition to the play-by-play, we also have referees, penalties, and time outs if we attempt any high sticks, slashing, or heckling.  There’s an intermission too.  This makes everything feel like a replica of a real hockey game.  The Goose Cup is always very exciting and competitive!  Shibley Day Camp is also concerned with every camper’s safety. The goalies have helmets and the rest of the players in the field wear goggles.

When the final whistle is blown, the winning team’s coach carries out the tradition of choosing 4 MVP’s to pour fruit punch into the famous Shibley hole into the ravine.  The winning team also marches around the field with the famous Goose Cup trophy chanting “goose, goose, goose.”

At the end of the day, you get to bring two things home (well, three if you’re the goalie and have a helmet) – your jersey and some wonderful memories!

Thanks for reading and have an amazing rest of your summer!

Welcome to the Shibley Swim Program! – Part 2

By Jamie Haberstumpf

I hope you read Part 1 and now I’m happy to share Part 2 of my ShiBlog!

Let’s jump right in and discuss some important skills that we teach every day at the Shibley pools:

Breathe! An often overlooked basic skill in swimming is the ability to time your breaths. If you’re not comfortable breathing while swimming, you’ll struggle to make streamlined, coordinated movements. The basic idea involves breathing out through both nose and mouth when your head is underwater, then lift your head to the side, taking a full breath before plunging your face back down under the surface. We practice this motion holding onto the side of the pool with outstretched arms.

Streamlining/Gliding through the water is a basic skill to master before kicking and paddling, it helps you to get used to the sensation of moving through the water headfirst. Try gently pushing off the side wall of the pool with your arms stretched out in front of your head. Keep your head face-down in the water and glide until you slow down.

Beginner swimmers often find themselves chopping through the water with their limbs. That’s fine. It takes a while to get a feel for moving your limbs in time. You must also get used to moving muscles in your lower back, abdomen and hips to power you forward. Similarly, try to let your legs come up behind your body, and keep a slim, streamlined position. Over time, this reduces drag from the water and makes you a more efficient swimmer.

The Freestyle Stroke or front crawl is often the preferred stroke of seasoned swimmers. It uses alternating arm movements with an above water recovery. The legs execute a flutter kick.  Freestyle is fast and efficient.

Breaststroke is the most popular swim stroke of all. In breaststroke, both arms execute half-circular arm movements at the same time under water in front of the swimmer. The arm recovery also occurs under water. The legs simultaneously execute a whip kick.

Breaststroke is often the first swimming stroke taught to beginners.  Breaststroke is the slowest of the competitive strokes.

The Butterfly Stroke stands out among the competitive strokes because of its unique and spectacular technique. It uses a symmetrical arm stroke with an above water recovery. It also uses a wave-like body undulation and a dolphin kick. Butterfly is the second fastest swim stroke after freestyle.

As its name suggests, Backstroke is swum on the back. It uses alternating circular arm movements and an above water recovery. The legs execute a flutter kick similar to the one used in freestyle. Backstroke is faster than breaststroke but slower than butterfly.

The Sidestroke is an old swim stroke swum on the side that uses a scissor kick and asymmetrical under water arm movements.  It is easy to learn and can be an interesting alternative to the popular swim strokes. It is also used by lifeguards to rescue victims.

Elementary Backstroke is a swim stroke that is swum on the back, using a reversed breaststroke kick and a simple synchronous under water arm stroke. Elementary backstroke can be used as one of the first swim strokes taught because its technique is very simple.

Diving into the pool is a basic swimming skill — even if it starts out of the water. Always practice diving in a deep pool with a lifeguard on duty. When you begin, diving may only involve putting your hands together above your head and gently curling your body forward toward the water until you fall in, headfirst. As you progress, try jumping slightly and straightening your legs behind you as you dive to enter the water smoothly.

According the National Institute of Health, any regular exercise improves focus and ability to retain memories!

Swimming is good for the body and mind. It can instantly lift your mood. Water’s buoyancy reduces stress by giving weightless feeling only felt in the water. Studies show that many swimmers report an instant mood improvement and over time they can even benefit from new relationships that are possible when joining a pool, swim class, or swim team. Research from Australia found that children who begin swimming at an early age develop physical milestones, language skills, and confidence earlier than those who do not. As a final benefit, swimming also increases blood flow to the brain!


Fun SwimFacts:

  • Ancient drawings and paintings found in Egypt depicting people swimming date back to 2500 BCE.
  • The first recorded swimming races were held in Japan in 36 B.C.
  • Swimming first became an Olympic event in 1896.
  • The oldest form of stroke used is the breaststroke.
  • An hour of vigorous swimming can burn up to 650 calories – more than walking or biking.
  • The resistance of water is over ten times that of air, making swimming an efficient way to improve muscle strength.

Welcome to the Shibley Swim Program! – Part 1

By Jamie Haberstumpf

When I think about Shibley many, many things come to mind.  Whether it is acres of the great outdoors, sprawling fields, bungee, tennis, rock climbing, gaga or the hundreds of other activities offered, one particular activity still jumps out at me…..SWIM.

Swimming is an amazing activity. Whether you are learning to float or paddle or working on your backstroke, it’s great exercise. It builds strength and develops muscles. It also develops the overall body’s tone and balance. Many great athletes, across many sports, started with simple swimming instruction that developed into year-round swimming. Swimmers often are able to train longer than most other athletes while performing their sports since training in water eases stress on the joints.

Shibley is home to four heated pools staffed with Water Safety Instructors (WSI), American Red Cross and Nassau certified Lifeguards.  My own four children learned to swim at Shibley and that is why I am dedicated to teaching all of the campers the FUNdamentals and skills of swimming!


My next post will describe the skills we teach every day in our pools at Shibley Day Camp.

Why I Spend My Summers at Shibley

By Elisabeth Frankel-Reed – Office Staff

If you’ve called the camp office anytime during the summer, then you’ve most likely spoken with me.  I’m Elisabeth Frankel-Reed and I’ve been working in the office since June 2014 – when my son was six and my daughter had just turned four – both of them were junior campers. My responsibilities include handling phone calls about everything from parking, to requests for dismissal changes, to helping address any concerns a parent may have.  I genuinely love being on the phones – it allows me to get to know our camp families and it is always a great feeling to be able to help someone out and reassure them that I am on top of whatever request they may have.

I also enjoy my many other office tasks, which vary from day to day.  My favorite is collaborating with group leaders as we work on the awards which are given out to every camper who is with us for at least four weeks.  Our office is a real team.  We all get along very well – we like to talk and laugh together, enjoy each other’s company, and help each other with anything that needs to get done.  Our common goal is to make sure that each camper stays safe, healthy and happy.

One of the perks of my job is that I get to see my kids smiling and having fun every day.  Summer camp is such a benefit to their lives as well as to the many other children who attend Shibley or similar camps.  As I’m sure many of you can relate, it keeps them outdoors and moving, interacting with other children and off their screens!  They learn new sports, are exposed to a wide range of activities that they otherwise may not have tried, and make new friends, not just from Long Island, but from Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn too.  In fact, my son loved playing baseball with his camp friends so much that he joined a league in their town last fall, just so he could continue playing with them.

Many activities, such as our amazing swim, tennis, and bungee programs have been around year after year, but one of the things I love most about Shibley is that Rachel and her team are always looking for ways to enhance the camp.  They really try to offer each camper the best possible program for their given age group and cater to all of their different needs.  This summer, we’ve added a new zip line, a cooking program and an Adventure Park in Junior Camp.  Another recent change that really stands out in my mind was the addition of the Jeannie Cup – a newcomb tournament for the senior girls to match the legendary Shibley Goose Cup – a hockey tournament which has long been a tradition for the senior boys.

In addition to the activities that the staff puts so much effort into, it’s the atmosphere that keeps me coming back year after year.  The sunshine, all the trees, and the mini Yankee Stadium are certainly part of it, but really it’s the people who work here that make Shibley what it is.  Many of our staff have spent decades at the camp and we have many 2nd and 3rd generation campers with us every day to keep the traditions going strong.

Making New Friends at Camp

By Eric Simonson – SB3

My group of fourth-grade boys swim twice a day. When I get my group ready to go to the pool, I yell out, “Everybody find a buddy!” At Shibley Day Camp, we use the Buddy System to ensure safety at the pool. Finding a buddy, though, is not exclusive to going to the pool. One of the best aspects of going to camp is the opportunity to make new friends. Oftentimes, the friends you make at camp go on to be some of your best friends in life—your best buddies, if you will.


When we meet new people, we tend to feel nervous and overwhelmed. We worry about fitting in and getting along with others. Despite these emotions, I have seen so many campers develop new friendships during my time at Shibley, even in the first week of camp. I have seen both sides of the coin—campers who have similar personalities and interests becoming friends, and campers who are seemingly polar opposites hitting it off and becoming incredibly close by the end of the summer. One of the greatest joys of working at camp is seeing these campers come back the following year and pick their friendships right back up where they left off, and many times even hearing about the play dates they had with their camp friends during the school year.

Making new friends might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually very easy. I present to you, “Eric’s Steps to Making a Ton of New Friends at Camp!”

Step 1: Go to camp with a positive mindset. Confucius said one of my favorite quotes, and that is, “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.” If you tell yourself that you won’t make any new friends, then you definitely will not. If you tell yourself that you’re excited to make new friends, however, you are setting yourself up for success.

Step 2:  Talk to someone new as often as possible. There are so many different ways to do this. You can sit next to someone new at lunch every day, you can choose a different swim buddy every day, or you can go to activities with different campers for each option period. The more campers you open yourself up to, the more campers you will find something—or many things—in common with.

Step 3: Be a good friend to everyone. There are certain characteristics that people who are considered good friends possess. Good friends are supportive and kind. They cheer you on when you’re competing, and they help lift you up in times of disappointment. By being a good friend to everyone, you will become a magnet for new friends.

Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” My hope for each and every camper at Shibley is that they leave this summer with more footprints in their hearts than they came with.