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A Great Theme Night Costume for Under $20!

A Great Theme Night Costume for Under $20!

Packing for camp doesn’t have to be stressful! Our packing list includes the day-to-day minimum amount of gear, recommended by veteran camp families.

There are also a lot of fun things we do at camp, and costumes add to that fun! Each week, campers will have a themed event. Sometimes it will be a night full of carnival-style games and sometimes it will be a themed dance packed with their favorite songs. Below, we’ve listed different wallet-friendly options for each of this summer’s themes! Remember, costumes are not mandatory, just part of the Lonehollow fun. The best ones are usually built around what your camper already has at home!

2017 A Term Themes

Term 1A and Term 2A

Beach Ball – Get ready to hit the coast with your favorite beach inspired look and dance the night away!

  • Pair this fun accessory with a gray t-shirt and shorts to be a shark out of water!
  • Use a hot glue gun and tropical faux flowers for a luau inspired headband like this!
  • You can never go wrong with a tropical print shirt and a couple of leis!

Jungle Safari – Grab your adventure gear and set out into the jungle. Lions, tigers, and fun…oh my!

2017 B Term Themes

Term 1B, Term 2B and Short Terms

Glo-Ball – Bright lights and brighter outfits make this night a highlight of the summer!
**Short Terms 1 & 3 will go to Glo-Ball!

Medieval Knight – Travel to a land of kings, queens and brave knights of the past.  Beware of dragons!
**Short Terms 2 & 4 will go to Medieval Knight!

Dare To Dream Big

Dare To Dream Big

What did you want to be when you were five years old?

Did you play pretend with your friends and argue over who got to be the main character?

Are you now gainfully employed as your favorite childhood role? Maybe, maybe not. To those parents who dreamed of being a firefighter or a chef or beyond, you’re literally living your dreams!  To everyone who didn’t become The Hulk or a fairy princess, it’s ok. Your dream just changed and you’ve accomplished a new one!

The important thing is that you dared to dream.

In one of our favorite new books, Dream Big by Kat Kronenberg, Baboon watches Caterpillar, Tadpole, and Flamingo gaze up at the night sky and wish upon a star for their wildest dreams. He insists these dreams could never come true. But when he sees Caterpillar turn into a winged butterfly, Tadpole into a dancing frog, and Flamingo into a beautiful pink bird, Baboon realizes that a transformative power exists between these stars and the animals once they truly believe in themselves and their dreams. When Baboon tries out this secret, CATCH-M, his Magical, Mystical, Wished-Upon Star, whooshes down from the heavens to ignite the courage in his chest too, and, we don’t want to spoil it for you, but what happens next is fantastic!


Just like Dream Big, our goal is to help campers ignite the spark within themselves to discover, empower, and inspire their best selves. Here are some ways you can encourage your child to dare to dream big:


  • Engage in creative play. But your camper wants to be a “unicorn trainer on the moon”? That’s awesome! What do the unicorns like to eat? Do they have special talents? Do the unicorns have names? This is the opportunity to roll with play time and see just how far your child’s imagination stretches.
  • Ask what they want to be when they grow up. Your camper may go to a birthday party at a roller rink one day and become determined they can pay rent on teaching roller skating lessons. It’s a start!
  • Show them around where you work. Cubicle, corner office, co-working space, it doesn’t matter! Help them visualize where Mom or Dad actually head off to in the mornings.


  • Encourage different clubs and hobbies. At this stage in development, your camper is trying on different personas and trying to figure out who they are. One day, you’re a track and basketball family, and next, they’re asking about ceramics and theater. It’s all about discovery!
  • Ask what they want to be when they grow up and why. Did they see it on TV or in a book? Did something spark an interest in school? Do they enjoy working solo or as part of a team? This is the time to learn why they are motivated towards certain tasks or projects.


  • Discuss what success means to them. How do they define success? What does success look like? There are many different ways to consider yourself successful and you can start the conversation now.
  • Begin to research the how. At this stage, they’re beginning to think of their plans for the future. What does your child envision as their next step down the path of life?
  • Share stories from your teen years. Teens can feel a lot of pressure to figure it all out right now and, as parents, we know the plans we make at 18 don’t always stick. Let them know it is ok to change their mind!

Our kids should know that we support their dreams 100%; we’re always in their corner and on their team. By encouraging high expectations (asset #16) and with a solid base of support, campers shape a positive view over their personal future (asset # 40).



Kat Kronenberg is the author of Dream Big, a book that shows how, together,  we can all be inspired to identify and pursue our dreams, no matter how big or impossible they may seem. Kat is the mother of a former camper and has been part of the Lonehollow family for years.

Full-Circle, Full Fun

Full-Circle, Full Fun

Every now and then, it’s good to remind yourself why summer is for camp.

At Lonehollow, our mission is to provide a remarkable experience for everyone to discover, empower, and inspire their greatest self and we do this through our full-circle philosophy.

We believe in teaching skills from beginning to end, so campers learn more than just how to execute a skill. They learn how to plan ahead, overcome challenges, and what to do in case things don’t go the way they expect.

For example, in Canoeing, campers learn how to appropriately size their PFD (personal flotation device) and paddle. They learn the proper way to hold a paddle, launch their canoe, and what roles the bow and stern positions have. They practice and master a variety of canoe strokes to keep them straight while leisurely canoeing or racing. They practice what to do should they lose a paddle, take on water, or face other challenges. Then, how to properly dock their canoe, pull it out of the water, and store it to prevent any damage. Through this learning process, campers practice skills like responsibility, problem solving, and communication.


Our full-circle philosophy also extends beyond activities. Our campers today are tomorrow’s leaders. They grow from camper, to Work Crew, to Counselor-In-Training, to Guide, and maybe one day, Full-Time Staff.

As campers move through their Lonehollow experience, more leadership opportunities become available to them. As a returning camper, they can run for Maverick, a leadership position in their Crew. They can assist in teaching different skills as a part of completing higher Qualification levels. Then, in their Work Crew (11th grade) year, they can apply for different roles around camp to begin understanding all that goes into being a counselor.

These opportunities for growth and leadership are all built into our programming, but campers just know they’re having fun. It’s very common to hear from former campers while applying to work for Lonehollow how their camp experience has helped them grow and how they want to bring this same experience to campers as a counselor. It’s full circle.

We can’t wait for this summer; full-circle and full fun!

Share The Love

Share The Love

The Beatles said “All you need is love”. However, there are so many different types of love. Sanskrit has 96 different words for love, Persian has 80, Greek has three, but, in English, there is only one. With just one word, there are so many ways to show our love.
Here are some ways you can spread the love this month when love reigns supreme!
  • Random Acts of Kindness: Have your camper create Valentine’s and hand them out during the day as you run errands. Pass one to your waiter at dinner or to the cashier at the grocery store.
  • Volunteer: Share the love by spending time volunteering at a nursing home or shelter. Call places in your area and ask if they could use help during upcoming events on Valentine’s Day.
  • Smile!: We’re all busy and can get wrapped up in the day to day chores. Try to smile or say hello to others as you go through the day. Love doesn’t have to cost a thing!


  • Take a deep breath. Even 10 short minutes of focused breathing can help. Find a quiet place to clear your head and focus on your breathing. It’s been shown to lower blood pressure, ease stress, and increase focus.
  • Stop the negative talk. We can be our toughest critics. When you start to feel down, ask yourself “Would I say this out loud to someone else?” If it isn’t something you would tell someone else, you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself!
  • Care for your body, mind, and spirit. As parents, we’re used to putting our kids first. It’s ok to be a little selfish and take time for yourself. Have a meal on your own, go for a walk with a friend, or just take an hour to do what you want to do. You need a break too!
Does your family love Lonehollow? Post a picture of your camper in a Lonehollow t-shirt on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and they’ll be entered in a raffle for a prize! Be sure to tag @lonehollow and #ilovelonehollow!
Create, Build, Discover

Create, Build, Discover

by: Cade Bradshaw, guest blogger

At camp, people spontaneously burst into song, your name tag is your most valuable commodity, and dreams are shared around the campfire. Always creative and always fun, camp magic (what psychologists sometimes call “free play”) is real. Camp magic is about novel activities where new ideas, games, or products are created rather than consumed. This type of play might not have an end goal, like practicing an instrument or reading a book, but it is infinitely valuable for improving social awareness, communication, and persistence. Universities and K-12 educators are a-buzz to foster this type of learning, as they believe it useful training for the next generation of entrepreneurs.


Kids play this way all the time at camp, but we want you to keep the magic flowing year round. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Start a Quest. Instead of the traditional scavenger hunt, make a list of open ended projects surrounding a theme. You can take ideas from a story your child already loves. A fan of Harry Potter might set out to find (or create) her first wand. A budding scientist might venture into a local greenbelt to construct her secret operations base. The next step in the quest magically “appears” after the first task is complete. Get inspired by this former naval officer’s ingenious approach for his 12 kids.
  • Googling “4×8 corrugated cardboard sheets” will yield local hits for places to buy HUGE pieces of cardboard. Buy some, and pick up some tape and string while you’re out. Now, let your children build! You can (and should) help with cutting, folding, and tying, but whatever you do don’t tell them what to make. Forts, ships, castles, and battle armor will arise from this empowering project (asset #17: Creative Activities and asset #37: Personal Power).


  • Start your own curated collection, and hold exhibitions. Pick a topic broad enough to allow for a variety of interpretations. For example, the topic “sky” would allow someone to include a model airplane or kite, but also wind dispersed seeds, or the color blue. Your family will next find (or make) 3-5 objects to show. On exhibition night, prepare a special dinner, and have show and tell to develop critical thinking and communication skills. Hold these twice a year, or more frequently! (asset #2: Positive Family Communication, asset #11: Family Boundaries, asset #16: High Expectations, and asset #20: Time At Home)
  • Still need some ideas? Visit a Maker Faire in your city. Maker faires are basically advanced Show and Tells. There are activities for the whole family, ranging from 3D printing to virtual reality to contemporary art. The sponsors will have ideas on how to engage your son or daughter with the local “maker” community. There are upcoming events all over the world! Check one out!

Let us know how else you spread magic with your family by using the hashtag #createbuilddiscover. Let’s have some fun!


As a former (but forever) Lonehollow guide, our guest writer Cade Bradshaw is a partner in Bridge Projects. His new company leads creative workshops in kite making, installation art, and more. Visit to learn more, and see Cade’s personal portfolio at

Take A Look, It’s In A Book

Take A Look, It’s In A Book

Nothing is better than curling up with a good book, especially when the weather is chilly (or really at any time)! During the summer, many of our campers use the Lonehollow library to curl up with a good book during rest period or travel to new adventures without leaving their chair during Summer Reading.

We know there are many academic benefits to reading, it can also develop assets like Reading For Pleasure (asset #25), Time At Home (asset #20), and Achievement Motivation (asset #21).


Here are some ways to bring the written word into your household:

  • Ask your child what his/her favorite book is. For younger children, switch up bedtime and ask them to read it to you. For older campers, read their favorite book and discuss it. What was the overall theme? Who was your favorite character? If you were the author, how would you change the story?
  • Share! Talk about books you’ve read lately or peruse your neighborhood library or book store. Discuss books that sound interesting. Ask librarians or employees for recommendations based on your current favorites. (Yes, library cards still exist!)
  • Look up movies that are adapted from books. Try reading the book first and then going to see the movie. Discuss the differences between the two and which one was your favorite.
  • Does your child always talk about what he/she is doing in science class? Did you take a vacation that left your child asking questions? Research biographies or books on subjects they have read about in school or on the area you visited. You never know when a trip to Estes Park in Colorado will spark an interest in the history of famous women hikers.
  • Get involved in school reading incentive programs. There’s a reason why they work. Encouraging students to reach milestones develops Achievement Motivation as well as getting them to read.


With so many campers coming through Lonehollow each summer, our library could use some TLC. This spring, if your camper brings a book to donate at one of our camper parties, they’ll receive a crew point to bring with them to camp this summer!

If you live outside of a city on our 2017 tour or are unable to make it to a camp party, check out these book series. Your camper can still earn a crew point by bringing a book to donate with them to camp!

New Week, New Year

New Week, New Year

The end of the year brings a huge wave of nostalgia. We scroll through old photos and reflect on the highlights and happenings of the past twelve months. We might even think back to the resolutions we set at the beginning of the year. Were we successful? Or did we write our resolutions off before the ball even dropped?


Research from the University of Scranton found that over half of New Year’s resolutions last less than six months, the majority failing within the first month. A simple Google search will produce a ton of advice on how to make your goals stick, but why even make New Year’s resolutions in the first place?


Research shows when children have adult role models (asset #14) who demonstrate the importance of achievement motivation (asset #21), they are more likely to develop these same skills and carry them into adulthood. At camp, every camper completes a goal card on the first night of their term. They list three to five goals they would like to achieve during their time at camp and refer back to these goals throughout the term.


This New Year’s Eve, set resolutions as a family. Have each person fill out a goal card with three to five things he/she would like to achieve over the next year. Good goals should be specific, within a certain time frame, and be measurable. For example, instead of “exercise more”, try “I would like to walk two miles 3 times a week to help me complete a 5K on Thanksgiving Day”. Post your family’s goal cards on the refrigerator and help each other stay accountable. Maybe your family can join the 8% of people who successfully follow through with their resolutions!

Gimme vs. Giving

Gimme vs. Giving

How many years in a row have we built our holiday shopping list based on who will be giving us something in return? Parents, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, friends…the list can go on and on. Cue the days of endless shopping and searching for something, anything, to get them.

Is this really the purpose of our holidays?

Are we making the best use of our time and resources?

We don’t think so.

Practice selfless giving with your family this holiday season. Try a selfless gift swap. Have each family member make a list of causes they care about, then make a donation or volunteer in their name in place of a tangible gift.

Not only does your giving make a difference in the life of someone in true need, it can change the lives of your family. Selfless giving teaches children compassion and empathy, as well as, to be thankful for what they already have. Selfless giving builds assets like the importance of service to others (asset #9), instills a sense of purpose that what they do really matters (asset #39), and teaches about equality and social justice (asset #27).

Want to get started? Check out how to get started and how to give locally or globally below.


Have a cause your family is passionate about?

Check out CharityNavigator for more information on your favorite charities or CreateTheGood to search for volunteer opportunities by cause in your zip code!


Give Locally…

David’s Legacy Foundation — This is a cause very close to our hearts. Donate to their efforts to raise awareness of cyberbullying, protect youth from its effects, and support anti-cyberbullying legislation.

SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education) — SCOPE provides children from underserved communities with life changing opportunities through the experience of summer camp at nonprofit, resident camps which will empower them to develop to their full potential.

Make-A-Wish — Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-A-Wish® vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 35 minutes. You can donate to the national organization or to a local chapter.

Big Brothers Big Sisters — Since 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been changing children’s lives by matching them with caring adults to guide them on a path to success.


…or Give Globally

United States Fund for UNICEF

Red Cross

Institute of International Education

Rotary Foundation

Direct Relief

Giving Thanks and Building Assets

Giving Thanks and Building Assets

Holidays and family go hand-in-hand.

Grandparents come to visit, cousins start backyard football games, and everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen.

Besides the obvious benefits, spending time together as a family can actually help build assets in your camper!

A little background info:

After 20 years of research, the Search Institute assembled a list of 40 internal and external developmental assets. Researchers found that the more assets a child possesses, the more successful and well-adjusted they will be as an adult.

Here are some hidden ways your family time builds assets and a better future for your camper:

  • Spending time and making casual conversation with aunts, uncles, and grandparents helps to build Assets #2 and #3: Positive Family Communication and Other Adult Relationships
  • Listening to cousins in college describe their achievements this past semester can give your camper an adult role model (Asset #14) and help him set high expectations for himself (Asset #16).
  • Time At Home (Asset #20) is almost a given during the holiday season. Gathering everyone under one roof means a brighter future for your kids AND some quality family time.
  • With a clear schedule comes boredom! Encouraging kids to read for pleasure fills free time and builds up Asset #25: Reading for Pleasure!

Building assets should come naturally, especially during the holidays. Cherish your time spent as a family for both the memories and the positive impact it will have on your camper’s future.

P.S Looking to bring a little Lonehollow to the table? Try our mini apple turnover recipe. It’s sure to become a family favorite!

We’re Thankful for Family & Fun!

We’re Thankful for Family & Fun!

Some things just make sense together: peanut butter and jelly, hot chocolate and marshmallows, cookies and ice cream. For many families, this list also includes Thanksgiving and football. There are some great family traditions rooted in watching parades and sporting events together, it definitely can be quality time!

Just in case your family is looking for something to do during halftime or so your family’s eyes don’t glaze over, here are some family fun alternatives:


  • Stuff The Turkey. Make a paper bag turkey out of brown lunch sacks and team up to see who can “stuff” the turkey!
via Pinterest


  • Take a gratitude scavenger hunt. First one to find all of the items on their list gets the first slice of dessert!
via Pinterest
  • Create a family keepsake. Turn handprints into art and track how your little turkeys have grown over the years!
via Pinterest


For more family fun ideas, check out our Pinterest board!