First-Time Campers at Camp Horseshoe

11138158_10152713075781697_3324010578936370598_nWe are very excited to welcome a large group of first-time campers to Camp Horseshoe this summer! As parents ourselves, we know that sending your son off to camp for the first time can be a little bit scary. There are a few ways that you can best prepare your son and yourself for this upcoming summer at Horseshoe.

1. Get in the ‘Shoe Spirit- Let your son know that you have full confidence that he will have an amazing summer at Camp Horseshoe. The confidence of parents can be a huge boost to first-time campers. Remind them of all the activities they will get to try and all of the friends they will meet. Stay extremely positive about his upcoming summer.

2. Read Homesick and Happy- We recommend that every parent take a few hours out of their summer to read Homesick and Happy, a fantastic book by Dr. Michael Thompson. The book explains how time away from parents can actually help our sons develop independence and self-confidence. If you are worried about your son being homesick, this book has a lot of great tips for how to discuss this topic.

3. Follow the Packing List- Our packing list is designed so that your son has absolutely everything he needs during the summer. Make sure that everything is labeled with his name and that you pre-address a few envelopes for him. Involve your son in packing so that he know where everything is inside of his duffels.

If your son is considering Camp for Summer 2016, you can always come see us during our Rookie Weekend! This is a great way for future campers to get comfortable with Camp Horseshoe.

If you have any other questions about being a first-time camper at Horseshoe, you can always email or call us anytime. We can’t wait to welcome you to The Shoe!


There’s only one place you can go where everybody knows your name!


Attention Camp Horseshoe Alumni!

Each and every camper who has ever attended Camp Horseshoe is a part of our Camp Horseshoe family. We want to hear from all of our Horseshoe alumni, both past and present! We are in the process of collecting priceless Camp Horseshoe moments and memories from our alumni.

You can help us by sharing your favorite Camp Horseshoe moment below! One lucky person who submits their favorite moment will win a special Camp Horseshoe gift. We can’t wait to read about all of your favorite Shoe moments.

What’s Happening with the Men of The Shoe!

Jacob L. has been very busy playing travel soccer for Chicago Fire Juniors City. He also is playing basketball for his school. He will be celebrating his Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem in February.

Coby F. became a bar mitzvah on Oct. 12th.

Charlie G. is playing basketball for the Deerfield Junior Warriors and the Rising Stars. He is going to Israel on an 8th grade trip in February.

Max G. is playing basketball for the Rising Stars. He also is playing in the Hi-Five Flag Football league and his team is currently undefeated with only one more week until the playoffs begin. He’s hoping his team will continue on and play in the Super Bowl!

Daniel A. celebrated his bar mitzvah on November 7, 2013 in Montreal Canada where most of his family lives. He will be heading to Israel for a 2 week trip with his family over the holidays and will celebrate another bar mitzvah there as well!

Matthew F. moved from Atlanta to Highland Park and is attending Kipling. He has become an avid lacrosse player, and loves to see all of his Horseshoe friends around town and can’t wait for summer.

Brit R. is a busy 3rd grader at Anshe Emet in Chicago. He plays on 2 travel sports teams: a U9 soccer team for the Chicago Fire Jrs City club and he is on a Squirts hockey team for The Jets at Johnny’s Ice House. He also takes guitar and his favorite subjects in school are math and recess. He is very excited to start his first summer away at Horseshoe!  He can’t wait to make some new camp friends!

Ben E. tackle football team, North Shore Youth Football Griffins, won their division with a 7-2 record. Ben was the starting quarterback and cornerback.

Spencer C. will become a Bar Mitzvah January 25th, he has just finished a great season of Football with the Young Warriors of Deerfield, will be trying out for volleyball at his Junior High, and practices boxing…

Josh B. became a Bar Mitzvah on September 7th. He is also playing on his 8th grade team basketball team at Edgewood in HP.

Max G. had his Bar Mitzvah on August 24th 2013. He did great. Max has found that bar mitzvahs are a great place for him to reunite with many of his camp friends.

Grant S. had his Bar Mitzvah in August and he is playing for the Falcons Hockey Bantam Silver team.

Jonah S. & Ryan B. Squirt A travel hockey team the USA Patriots were the champions at The Cold Fusion Ice Hockey Tournament in Grand Rapids MI featuring teams from the greater Detroit and Chicago area. Jonah was voted Championship team MVP by the officiating staff. Their team is also playing in Joe Louis Arena just prior to the Red Wings vs. Capitols game.

This fall, Richie S. and Zak O. club soccer team, Chicago Fire Juniors North, won their division.  The team played in the second highest U-14 division in northern Illinois (of 12 divisions). Richie is the team’s goalie and Zak is a starter on defense.

Relive the Summer of 2012 on Facebook

Instead of reciting articles about how wonderful of an experience camp truly is, instead of writing to all of you about my upcoming wedding, and instead of talking about all the new things we have planned for 2013, we’ve decided to dedicate this blog to the summer of 2012. We have started posting pictures once a week from the summer of 2012.


Quite simple… We had an incredible summer!

That does not mean we won’t keep you up to date with the latest in camping news around the country, or even give you some insight in to the year 2013 at a later date, but for now, let us take a walk down memory lane…
No, I am not talking about my upcoming wedding and bride to be, I am talking about the summer of 2012 still!
Start from the very beginning, WEEK 1. Just last week we posted 10 pictures from the first week of camp. This week multiple photos from week 2 and the incredible trips our boys go on.

Please join us on facebook to relive this past summer.  Not only will there be photos uploaded weekly, but videos to come shortly as well.

We hope you take a ride in this time machine with us and enjoy as much as we will. HANG ON!!!

Everlasting Camp Memories

How do you and your child hold on to camp memories? I have recently been reading numerous blogs, tweets, and articles from camp experts, and current and former campers nationwide.

The one constant I have noticed with all of them are their “keepsake boxes”.  The most common collected treasure from a camping season seems to be letters written home and letters received.

How many of you still have letters from when you were a pioneer? And…How many of you that have them have ever looked back to see what you wrote home.  My guess is, you were singing a totally different tune back then than you are today.  You had the stationary with multiple choice boxes to check off, pre-written address return envelopes and lots of stickers.  Now, for many of you the letters home have a whole lot more depth to them.  For instance, “Hi Mom and Dad, I had to write today in order to get in the mess hall and eat. Love ya, Bye”.  Now as a parent, I am sure you would like a lot more, but as a camp professional we love that means your son is so engrossed at camp that he can’t find the time to write.

Point being, camp is such a phenomenal experience in the present, but equally rewarding in the future.  Don’t let those memories slip away.  Hold on to them.  If it is not a letter maybe it is an art project, a t shirt from a camping trip that floated half way down a river, or article of clothing from Casino Night.  Whatever it is, keep it.  You will be thankful in the future.

I was recently at a Bar Mitzvah where a parent read a few previous letters home from his son and they were absolutely priceless!

I still have a pink hat with Rhinestones on it from the first summer, Quenotah, (yeah, I know, what am I doing with a pink hat with rhinestones in general for?) However, every time I go in to my closet and see it, I think of camp. What a great way to put a smile on my face everyday!

We hope all of you continue to hold on to these memories.  You never know, you might just need them one day when you least expect it!

New Year’s Resolution

Every year, thousands of people go in to the new year with one giant resolution. These resolutions range from watching what you eat (I personally have given up Diet Coke) to making sure you call your loved ones once a week just to say hi.

In many ways camp is very similar. Kids get on the bus to start a camping season with various different goals as well. Unfortunately, for you parents, writing letters twice a week is usually not one of them!

For some campers getting up on two skis and skiing around the lake is their main goal, for others, creating one or two new friends is the ultimate “New Year’s Resolution”.  There is no one “Resolution” that trumps the rest.

As a staff member I can firmly say that our number 1 goal is to create an incredible life changing experience for each and every one of your boys in a healthy, safe, and fun environment.

Along with giving up Diet Coke, which has not been easy, my second new years resolution is to continue to go out and find the best most well rounded staff we can for the summer of 2012.  I will be travelling to various college campuses in the near future, and Fran and Jordan will personally be attending fairs in London to add to our phenomenal returning staff members.  We anticipate the highest return of staff we have ever had!

There will be loads of familiar faces, ie; Lougee, Danica, Gordo, Bob D, D’Aghion, Joey Smith, Z Kalter, Z Warren, Blake, Spitzy, and Webby just to name a few along with our entire kitchen staff!

We wish all of you the best in this new year and with all of your own resolutions!

Stay connected on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest in returning staff as well.