What’s Cooking?


Something you might not know about me is that I love to bake – chocolate chip cookies, brownies, cupcakes and the list goes on and on. For years at Shibley we have brought in two wonderful women for a program called Bakers and Shakers. Campers get to bake all different sorts of fun items (and then, of course, they get to eat them!). Since the program was so popular for so many years, we’ve decided to introduce Shibley Cooking this year!

As you probably already know, Shibley is built on three estates. The original house, Attara, where Jeanne Shibley Bell started camp, has a beautiful (and large) kitchen. Our amazing maintenance staff have converted the original kitchen into a camper cooking kitchen. Campers of all ages will get to take part in the program and we couldn’t be more excited.

Check out their hard work:

Please let us know what YOUR campers will be interested in cooking at Shibley this summer and we will add it to our cooking curriculum. Email me at rachel@shibleydaycamp.com

I always look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Cooking!!

What Can We Learn from the Eagles?

Super Bowl Sunday did not disappoint! It was a high-scoring game that saw the underdog Philadelphia Eagles take down the dominant dynasty that is the New England Patriots. While watching, I couldn’t help but think about the lessons Shibley campers can take away from the game.

  • ‘Any Given Sunday’ is a real thing. No matter what the odds are or what a matchup might look like, you play the game with the mindset that the game can be won. Whether our campers are playing competitive team sports, an individual sport, or trying out for a role in a theatre production, they should look past the odds, prepare well and perform with 100% effort. These are the only ways to set yourself up for the best chance to achieve your ultimate goals. Even if you don’t win or meet your goals the first try you are better prepared for success the next time due to the hard work you put in this time.
  • Continue to put one foot in front of the other, especially after an obstacle arises. Carson Wentz, the Eagles’ starting quarterback went down with a season-ending injury in week 14, after leading the Eagles to a record of 10-2 in the team’s first twelve games. Most analysts predicted this would be the end of a promising season for the Eagles. Nick Foles, the new starting quarterback along with his teammates continued to put one foot in front of the other. The whole team continued to work hard and execute, and ultimately proved the analysts wrong by continuing their streak of success right through the Super Bowl.
  • Don’t forget to have fun! It was clear watching this Eagles team throughout the playoffs that they were enjoying the ride. It is always more fun when you are winning, but regardless whether things are going your way, you cannot forget to smile and have fun!

Here at Shibley Day Camp, our year round leadership team is preparing for Summer 2018 with the same determination, focus and excitement as any championship team would. Opening day is just 4 months away and I would love to hear from you! What will make this a championship summer for your child?


Jokes for the Whole Family

Q: What race is never run?
A: A swimming race.

Q: What is the coolest letter of the alphabet?
A: Iced T

Q: What do you call a snowman in July?
A: A puddle of water

Q: What does a bee do when it’s hot?
A:Take off its yellow jacket

Q: I am tall when I am young and short when I am old. What am I?
A: A Candle

Q: Why was the light bulb cold?
A: Because it was in the shade.

Q: Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building?
A: Of course! The Empire State Building can’t jump!

Q:Why can’t you trust atoms?
A: They make up everything!

Q: Why are fish so smart?
A: Because they live in schools!

Q: What is the king of the classroom?
A: The ruler

If your children have any good ones to share, send them to Bob- robert@shibleydaycamp.com.


Fair with Ferris wheel and roller coaster

As I stated in my previous post, this movie is amazing and I am thankful for the people in my life who convinced me to see it when I probably would have chosen to do something much less serious with my Saturday night! If you missed it- CLICK HERE FOR PART 1. Besides a heartwarming story about Auggie and how he overcomes adversity due to a facial deformity, there is also a very important side story about Auggie’s sister Via, and how his deformity and the attention it requires affects her.

Via is older and went from being an only child to an afterthought, because she didn’t need the attention and medical care that her little brother did. While putting on a good show, she is truly struggling to make and keep friends and is in dire need of her parents’ attention but doesn’t want to take them away from Auggie’s needs. She has a wonderful grandmother who sees that Via has needs that aren’t being addressed by her parents, but unfortunately grandmothers aren’t around forever and at some point their love needs to be replaced. We see how Via handles her very difficult adolescent years without prying away her parents from Auggie’s needs. She has a lot going on and it clearly affects her daily interactions with people as she navigates through these difficult and awkward years of life. She hides her true feelings from mostly everyone and yurns for an outlet for these emotions.

The lesson here for those who work with children (and ANYONE who works with people- that’s EVERYONE!) is that we don’t know what anyone’s life is like when they are not in our presence. We are more likely to be informed and confided in by children, colleagues, clients, etc. when we take the time to make personal connections with them. In turn, we gain trust and encourage more honest and meaningful conversations. We can more easily understand why someone is acting a certain way and more effectively respond and provide support when we have this information. We teach our staff during orientation- you must CONNECT to earn RESPECT. We create intentional programs for campers and staff to encourage diversity and kindness and to intervene appropriately in situations where children are not treating each other respectfully.

As you can see I believe it is important for everyone to see this movie and talk about it with their friends and family. Thank you again to R.J. Palacio, who wrote the book that this movie was based on for giving me inspiration for my first posts. I would love to discuss the movie and these ideas with anyone who wants to talk!


What’s Happening at Shibley?

Health Office sign

Shibley Day Camp is a magical place…20 acres of wooded property that is located in the middle of Roslyn. When you drive into camp, you are surrounded by beautiful trees and a playground of fun for children. Over the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with an amazing facility team to update existing areas and create new experiences for our campers to enjoy in the summer. Each month, I will share photos and provide specific details about the work our team is doing at Shibley.

The first big project for Summer 2018 was the complete makeover of our Health Center. As you can see from the pictures, our team pine paneled the walls, laid new floor and is in the process of completing the new restroom. Even though we hope that most campers and staff don’t need to visit the health center, it was important to create a warm, comfortable place… just in case.

Please join me in thanking our incredible team – Billy, Mario and Carlos. Their hard work and dedication is evident. Stay tuned to hear about our Cooking Program and brand new cooking kitchen, Zip Line, Junior Camp Adventure Park and so much more…

I always love to hear from families and staff. You can always reach me at rachel@shibleydaycamp.com.

Happy Winter!

Cheese Please!

Randi with family at graduation

My family and I recently visited a Farmer’s Market and upon arrival noticed a cheese stand with a large crowd around it. Why was this stand so popular…free samples of course! We began to compare and choose our favorites and noticed that everyone had their own opinion! My son had a favorite different than my daughter’s, whose favorite was different than my husband’s, whose favorite was different than mine. My other son, who isn’t a fan of cheese had to be coaxed to take part in the fun. While he disliked 4 of the 5 cheeses he tasted, he ended up liking one he had never tried before and bought a piece to take home.

By this point, you might be asking, ‘what in the world does a cheese tasting have to do with day camp?’ Let me try to explain…my family’s cheese tasting reminded me that everyone’s likes, dislikes, interests, and perspectives are uniquely their own. We all might be eating that same exact piece of cheese, but what I might love, another might like, and another might dislike.

Shibley’s campers have these unique likes, dislikes, interests, and perspectives. They come from different backgrounds, have had different levels of exposure to our various activities, and have different interests. Some campers are interested in team sports, others in theatre…and many enjoy crafts…you get the idea. To make things more complicated, two campers might want to spend time at the same activity, but have completely different levels of interest based on previous experiences. Two campers might like team sports, but one might want to dedicate a half hour a day to them, while another never wants to put down the basketball.

Our staff at Shibley Day Camp is made up of mostly educators and parents who understand that every child is unique. We celebrate and encourage this by providing a wide range of activities for them to participate in. At the beginning of each Summer, our group leaders make phone calls to each family. Aside from getting general family info and asking what they want their children to get out of the Shibley experience, a main priority during these calls is to understand the campers’ interest levels in the various activities we offer at camp. Throughout the summer, we encourage them to take part in those activities they expressed interest in…that’s the easy part! We also intentionally encourage them to try new activities with new friends so that they have the opportunity to discover new interests…in the same way that my son discovered a new cheese he likes with just a little encouragement.

We are still 6 months away from another magical Shibley summer but we are already hard at work creating intentional programs that develop life-long skills, create strong friendships, and build self-confidence. We can’t wait to see these programs in action and watch your children develop interests they didn’t know they had. It’s just around the corner, and it cannot come soon enough!