Saturday, August 15, 2009

Week 8 - Summer Olympics

Olympic Week started off in Great Cali-Camp fashion with groups picking countries to represent all week in the “Summer Olympics”. In Division A – Cubs of Greece, Bunnies of Jamaica and Raccoons of Italy, Division B – Butterflies of Russia, Chipmunks of Poland, Wolves of Spain and the Palominos of Finland, Division C – Swans of Brazil, Ravens of South Korea, Doves of Mexico, Coyotes of Dominican Republic, Roadrunners of Chad and Division D – Fawns of New Zealand, Cardinals of Australia, Grizzlies of Djibouti, Eagles of Ireland and Israel and the Mustangs of England.

Groups made Flags of their Countries and we had our Opening Ceremonies with the procession of the Flags and the Olympic Torch Relay. Lots of pictures were taken and posted on Flickr and Facebook.

Tuesday was Olympic Track Events with the 50 yard dash and Team Baton Relays. Wednesday was Field Events – Shot Put (Softball) and Discus (Frisbee) events. Thursday was Swimming Relays and Races and Friday was the Olympic Trampoline Meet. Each day 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons were presented at snack time and Participation Ribbons for each camper who participated. We awarded points: 1st place – 3 points, 2nd place – 2 points and 3rd place – 1 point. Throughout the week we added up the scores. Division A – Cubs of Greece were 1st place, Division B – Palominos of Finland were 1st place, Division C – Doves of Mexico were 1st place and Division D – Eagles of Ireland were 1st place. We cheered each other and celebrated the Friendly, Fun Competition. We all wished that the world, as we know it, could do the same!

The staff spent a couple of days nominating and voting on Campers of the Year and the Specialists picked their Specialists of the Year. All names have gone off to the Trophy Shop for engraving and parents will be called early this week to come and see their children win prestigious awards. Each child who wins gets an engraved placque to take home and their name goes on a perpetual placque that stays at camp forever.

The Week ended with our last Co-ed Overnight. Once again campers enjoyed themselves at Freetime for 2 hours on Friday. For dinner we had Lasagne, plain pasta, salad, garlic bread and churros for desert. The swim party cleaned everyone from the long day at camp and then they were off to the campfire where the skits were Funny and everyone participated. Hot chocolate and homemade cookies ended the night and everyone got plenty of sleep, except the staff of course.

We are all looking forward to Farewell Week with Camper Directors for a Day, Backwards Day, Camper Free-Choice and Camper Farewell with Awards on Friday. We have room if you would like to add a few days next week. Just call our office at (310) 455-0404 or send an email to

Week 7 - Return to Hogwarts

It’s Week 7 and the energy is still high because Harry Potter is coming to town. Since the first book of Harry Potter we have enjoyed Cali-Camp Returns to Hogwarts. The enthusiasm for everything Hogwarts continues to this day. The week began with Professor McGonagall placing each counselor under the sorting hat to see which House of Hogwarts their group will be in all week. Would it be Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. The children were good sports and represented their House with vim and vigor.

Friendly, Fun Competition for the House Cup took place all week with Houses challenging Houses for House Points. Whether it was a group House camper challenging another group House camper to a game of foosball to a whole group challenging another group to a game of Capture the Flag the points kept coming. Houses colored flags, cheered, sang and competed for the House Cup on Friday. On Tuesday each House came up with a cheer for their House and performed for points and honor. The cheers will be seen on utube soon. They were just a bit long and have to be condensed.

Quidditch matches began on Tuesday which were set up by divisions, 4 to be exact. Backyard Games and Sports also taught Quiddtich all week so if their group was eliminated from the Tournament they still had a chance to play. The field was set up all week for groups to challenge other groups in Quidditch.

There was lots of dress up all week with different characters from Hogwarts showing up like Luna Lovegood, lots of Harry’s, Ron’s and Hermoine’s, Prefects, Golden Snitches, Hagrids, Bellatrix LeStranges and Dumbledores. Houses got points for the most dressed up campers.

Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean Scavenger Hunt was a huge success with golden beans counting for more points. The winning group was the Swans with over 8,000 bean points. Everywhere you looked you would see Team Leaders putting beans all over camp all day.

On Thursday the Finals of the Quidditch Matches came down to the Eagles winning for Slytherin and the Eagles challenging the staff to a match on Friday morning. The whole camp showed up and cheered the Eagles, but they were no match for the staff team with Jack as Keeper! It was brothers against brothers. Charles K. did a great job as Keeper for the campers and blocked many shots with his broom. Raleigh the Eagle and Dan the counselor were seekers and almost caught the golden snitch many times.

Friday, Leonardo the Amazing dazzled the campers with his Magic Show and the day ended with the House that was in first place all week – Hufflepuff winning. Everyone cheered, Hufflepuff did their cheer once more and another wonderful season at Hogwarts came to an end. What a successful week it was.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Week 6 - Come to the Carnival

One of the longest running traditions at Cali-Camp has been “Carnival Week” In the 80’s Carnival Week was the most amazing event where every camper’s parents would come up to the Carnival and parking was the biggest part of the day with parents parking everywhere – in the horse arenas, on the playfield, the go-cart tracks, the parking lot, the playground and all over the street outside camp. Many Junior counselors used to dread that day as they had to move all of the tires from the go-cart tracks. Over the years, many things have changed about Carnival Day. We still have our alumni who come to visit, but now they bring their kids and reminisce about their days as camp counselors and how those days in their lives were the absolute best days of their lives. Many of our alumni were also campers forever and will be in our hearts and the history of Cali-Camp. We love you all!

Carnival Week started out with everyone beginning their booth choices and booth banners. There were groups which had to plan together, groups which had to build together, groups which created their special outfits together, groups which brought their specialty into their booth, such as Wrangler Camp with their lasso a horse and Sports Camp with their Basketball toss!

It was interesting to see the counselors and their groups working together this week for a common goal. The campers took pride in their booths and even worked the booth, on a schedule, to make sure that all of the campers had a fun time at their booth.

Carnival Face Painting was a big hit with many groups, such as the Cubs and Swans, whose counselors +go out of their way to get involved in camp with their campers. Check out their faces on Facebook and Flickr. Check out links to the right of this blog!

This Week at Backyard Games and Sports, our specialist Lauren taught “Capture the Flag”, which helps groups work together, plan strategies and accept their fate when they are caught by the opposing teams. The Carnival with all of its aspects, taught many of the same concepts through different means. Life skills are so much fun to teach and in a camp setting campers really get it. So many things relate back to life that we do in camp. We never miss a chance to point this out to both our campers and or staff.

So the week builds….. Campers get excited… Staff members make sure all of the little details of their booths are taken care of, our program team leader KC coordinates supplies and equipment… And in spite of everything… Carnival happens and is it’s never-ending success. We will have a Carnival Video on next week. Pictures on Flickr and Cali-Camp Summer Day Camp Facebook Group page.

The Carnival ends and the Overnight begins! This overnight was Co-ed, both boys and girls. We had one of our alumni whose children go to camp come to the overnight and stay all night. It brought back many memories for her and new memories were made for all of them. The campers had a great time, especially at the campfire with everyone in skits. We are sending the videos to our specialist to post on utube next week.

Next week is one of Cali-Camp’s favorites – Cali-Camp Returns to Hogwarts. The sorting hat will be here on Monday morning to place all of the groups into the Hogwarts Houses. Campers are encouraged to dress up as Hogwarts students all week for points for their houses. Check out next weeks schedule on our website at