2014 Season – Week 1 & Week 2 recap

Can you believe we have already finished 2 weeks of the Camp Riverbend 2014 season? We know that you get the newsletters each week, but wanted to give a little recap of the past two weeks here, as well.

Our 2014 season started off with great summer weather. There was a definite sigh of relief from those who were there for the unusual weather we had during Opening Day last year. The rain threatened a few days during week 1, but we managed to make it through the whole first week without resorting to rainy day locations and activities.

As we do every Monday, we greeted our new campers with the Camp Riverbend song. A change this year is that we also have our Spirit Leader, Brian, joining the Camp directors on stage at the benches both in the morning and the afternoon to help rev up that camp spirit.

Brian led the cheers for USA soccer!

Brian led the cheers for USA soccer!

Week 1 Wacky Wednesday was Stars & Stripes Day.  It was great to see all the campers and staff members in their most patriotic gear. It definitely helped that the USA was playing in the World Cup later that afternoon and that our week was ending with Independence Day!  Our week ended on Thursday with shouts of, “Robin, Robin” for which she gave us one cartwheel!

Week 2 was a hot one!  Or maybe it was the humidity?  Either way, we all made sure the campers stay hydrated and cool, with extra pool time some days and chances to cool off in the spray park.  Tracking and Super Choice began for the older campers, as well as after lunch clubs.  Wacky Wednesday during week 2 was a fun one…Mustache Day!  We saw some great ones, as well as some funny ones.  The puns about mustaches being bantered about were great, too.  Overheard: I mustache you a question.  Oh, shave it for later.  It was also Give-A-Get-A week at Camp Riverbend.  When Group Heads caught counselors, groups, and campers doing kind deeds, they gave them tokens.  The tokens were handed in at the end of the week for prizes. The B Division ended up having the most tokens because they pooled them all together. Good team work B Division!

We can’t forget that the Fuzzy Fanugies made a showing this week.  Did your camper get to show our camp mascots around this past week? If you missed it, we re-posted the Legend of the Fuzzy Fanugie.

Robin did 2 cartwheels at the end of Week 2!

Robin did 2 cartwheels at the end of Week 2!

Week 2 ended with 2 cartwheels from Robin.  It was a great week, indeed!

 

 

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The Legend of the Fuzzy Fanugie

Camp Riverbend:

We first told you about our special mascots, the Fuzzy Fanugies, about a year ago. They have come out again and are visiting with different groups every day. Here is the Legend of the Fuzzy Fanugie in case you missed it the first time around!

Originally posted on Camp Riverbend:

The Fuzzy Fanugie is a special creature that you might be able to spot at Camp Riverbend. A Fanugie is shy at first, but very cuddly once it gets to know you. This summer, each camp group will host a Fuzzy Fanugie for a few days. Children will share their camp adventures with one of our three Fuzzy Fanugies!
But how did the Fuzzy Fanugie first come to Camp Riverbend? Here’s the story…
Many years ago, before Camp Riverbend started, Harold Breene came here to look over the land. He was hoping to start a camp of his own and wanted to explore. He brought a tent and sleeping bag because he wanted to walk over every inch of the land and he didn’t know how long it would take him.
During the long day, Mr. Breene saw the Passaic River and how gently it flows. “What a great place…

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Chef’s Corner Recipes – week 1

Camp Riverbend:

Need some quick dips for your holiday weekend? Here are some that the kids can help you with! Salsa, white bean dip, and a sweet fruit dip are easy and perfect for this time of year.

Originally posted on Camp Riverbend:

This first week in Chef’s Corner we made simple dips.  They were a huge hit and are super easy to make.

Fresh Tomato SalsaIMG_2845

Ingredients:

·3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
·2 small cloves garlic, minced
·3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
·2 hot chile peppers, Serrano or Jalapeno, finely chopped
·2 to 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
·1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
·salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.  Makes about 2 cups of salsa.  Serve with tortilla chips.

White Bean DipIMG_2847

Ingredients:
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Place the beans…

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Introducing the NEW mini golf course!

Camp Riverbend is excited to announce that we have a new mini golf course!  Please check out the video of the new course on YouTube.  We cannot wait for you to try it out this summer!

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What will your camper need this summer?

The Sunday newspaper was full of advertisements for sunscreen and other summer time necessities which got us to thinking.  Do you like to be prepared well ahead of time?  Or maybe you like to shop the deals and steals?  If one or both of those descriptions fits you, it might be a good time to find out what your camper will need at Camp Riverbend.

We will start with the basics.  PLEASE remember to label everything with your child’s name.  Mabel’s labels has a camp pack, as well as many other options.  There is also a permanent laundry stamp or a fabric marker.

  • A good backpack or duffle bag of some sort is necessary for your camper to carry everything to and from camp each day.  Make sure it can fit everything in it!  A hint for our youngest campers, they should be able to carry it independently, so it should not be too big.  We do sell some in our camp store, which will be open during Camp Orientation Day.
  • 2 towels and 2 bathing suits PER day.  You might be asking yourself why your camper needs 2 of each per day.  Campers have swimming twice per day.  In the morning they have swim lessons.  The campers change into their 2nd (dry) bathing suit at the end of lessons.  After afternoon free swim they change into their regular clothes that they will wear for the remainder of the day, and home on the bus.
  • Change of clothes, including undergarments and socks.   For the aforementioned final clothing change of the day.
  • Water shoes, or other shoes to wear to/from the pool and other water activities.  Some campers wear water shoes, some sneakers all day, while others wear crocs, or similar shoes.  Make sure that your child can take them on and off easily, like slip-on or velcro closure shoes.  On rainy days we even see rain boots because camp gets quite muddy.  Rest assured whatever shoes are worn will get dirty!
  • Lunch and a water bottle  Camp Riverbend has water available freely for the campers, however, you may want to send a water bottle in.  Lunch should be packed and labeled.  It will be stored in a refrigerator, so no need to worry about that.  We have lots of fun lunch ideas over on our Pinterest page.  If you don’t want to pack lunch, we teamed up with Simply Gourmet Lunches to create a catered lunch program.
  • Sunscreen, bug spray, lip balm, etc. We ask that you apply sunscreen to your child before they get on the bus in the morning.  We will help them or remind them to reapply when they change into their 2nd bathing suit.  We do have sunscreen and bug spray at camp, but some families prefer to send their own.  If you do, please send it marked with your child’s name.

We hope that this list is enough to get you started.  If you have not registered for Camp Riverbend yet, please join us for our final Camp Riverbend Open House of the season: Saturday May 3 (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) Parents and children can try their hands at lots of fun Riverbend activities, including games, crafts, cooking and more, run by Camp Riverbend counselors. Take a tour of the camp site with our directors. Drop in anytime between 11 and 2.  This is also the last day you can take advantage of our early bird discount.  RSVP is required to miriam@campriverbend.com or 908-580-CAMP.

 

 

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Camp Riverbend and the environment

Camp Riverbend:

This was last year’s Earth Day post, but it is still relevant today!!

Originally posted on Camp Riverbend:

Yesterday was Earth Day.  I hope everyone was able to get outside and enjoy our earth in some way or another.  I was doing some research on what Earth Day is, exactly.  It turns out that it is pretty much what I thought it was, a day to think about and take action on saving our environment.  It got me thinking about what a great job Camp Riverbend does at addressing environmental awareness with our campers.

It starts with our camp grounds.  If you have not been to our camp before, it is located on 30+ beautiful acres in Warren Township, NJ in Somerset County.  We have woods, fields, nature trails, and a wetlands sanctuary.  We are located right along the Passaic River where campers of all ages enjoy canoeing while exploring the river habitat.  One of the favorite activities of our campers is the Nature program.  They explore insects, birds…

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Spring is here!

Spring is here!  Which means that summer is not too far behind it.  Have you decided on your children’s summer plans?  If not, consider attending one of our Spring Events.

  • Open Houses for children of all ages, Sunday April 13, 10 am -12 noon and Saturday May 3, 11 am – 2 pm that day.  Participate in lots of fun Riverbend activities, meet our counselors, and get a tour of our camp site.  RSVP required.  A parent must accompany children.
  • “The Saturday Club” just for young children ages 3-6 (currently in nursery school or kindergarten).  A structured program of games, songs, crafts, cooking, nature, music and more, led by our amazing Riverbend counselors.  9:30 -11:00 am, Saturday April 12.  Limited spaces available so RSVP required.  A parent must accompany child/children during the Club sessions.
  • None of these dates work for you?  We’ll be happy to schedule a private tour for your family most weekends or after school.  Contact us to schedule your visit.  Most tours last about 30 minutes.

Let’s face it.  The beginning of spring has not been very welcoming, and we all know the old adage that April showers bring May flowers.*  We thought it would be fun to give a few fun activities over the next few weeks that you can do inside, but will still remind you that warmer weather is right around the corner.

The first fun craft is to make Grass Heads!  They are simple to assemble and once they sprout, will provide loads of fun for kids of all ages.  And for the little ones, trimming the “hair” with safety scissors is a great way to practice those fine motor skills.

What you need:

  • knee highs or lengths of stockings, cut and tied on one end
  • clear cups or other container
  • grass seed
  • soil
  • decorations for the cup to make faces
  • glue

What you do:

Fill the bottom of the stocking with about 1 Tablespoon of grass seed.  Add soil until you get a good sized ball (or head).  Tie a knot at the open end so that it is all pretty firmly packed.  Decorate the cup to look like a face, or whatever your want!  Add the “head” to the cup so the seeds are on the top.  Add water.  You want it to be very damp, but not soaked or the seeds will drown.  Place it in a sunny window and water every other day or so.  The soil should remain damp.  The grass will start to sprout in about a week.  Trim the “hair” as needed.  Post your pictures to Instagram and tag or hastag #campriverbend so we can see your fun creatures.  

*If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?  Pilgrims!  

 

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Upcoming Events

announcement

UPCOMING EVENTS

“Hop on in” to Camp Riverbend’s Saturday Club, where we’ll explore the wonderful world of frogs with games, crafts and cooking. It will be this Saturday, March 22, 9:30-11:00 am.

Meet our counselors and take a tour of our camp site. Free! Limited spaces available, so RSVP is required to miriam@campriverbend.com or 908-580-CAMP. A parent must accompany each child.  This is for children currently in preschool and kindergarten.

Can’t make it this weekend? Final Club date on April 12!  Our last Open House of the season will be held on Sunday April 13, 10:00-12 noon.

Share the news!  If you refer a friend to camp who enrolls, you can earn up to $100 credit for your 2014 tuition!  See our website for details.

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Irish Soda Bread Muffins/Biscuits

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

This past weekend at Saturday Club, campers made Irish Soda Bread muffins.  They were a huge hit!  An added bonus is that they bake a lot faster than traditional soda brea.  Without further adieu, here is the recipe for your baking pleasure!

Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes.

Soda Bread Biscuits Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12 biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet you want them)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds*
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of raisins*
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk**

*These add-ins are optional. 

**You can substitute the 1 1/4 cups buttermilk with 1 cup 3 Tbsp of regular whole milk mixed with 1 Tbsp of white vinegar.

Method

Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a standard muffin pan or prepare tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces into the bowl of flour. Using your (clean) fingers, work the butter into the flour, schmooshing (is that a technical term?) the butter between your fingers and mixing with the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. If you are using raisins, caraway seeds, or any other add-ins, mix them into the mixture now.

Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the buttermilk into the center of the well. Use

Using teamwork to get it all mixed together.

Using teamwork to get it all mixed together.

a wooden spoon to gently mix the flour into the buttermilk until the flour is moistened with the buttermilk. Then use your hands to form the mixture into a loose, shaggy, slightly sticky ball of dough. The dough should be a little sticky, if it’s too dry, add a tablespoon more of buttermilk. If it’s just too wet to handle, add a sprinkling more of flour. Do not over-mix!

And at this point work quickly. As soon as the acidic buttermilk interacts with the alkaline baking soda, bubbles will form and leavening will start.

Break off 12-equal portions of the dough and place them in the wells of the muffin tin. Put in the oven and bake for 12-13 minutes, until the tops are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for a couple minutes in the pan. Remove the biscuits from the muffin tin to a rack to cool for a few minutes more.

Serve with butter and jam.

Enjoy!  We have also been pinning some fun St. Patrick’s Day crafts and other recipes on our Pinterest page.

 

****UPDATE****

I made these as individual biscuits on silpat baking sheets.  You can use parchment paper if you do not own silpats.  They came out great!  They were tasty and pretty, too. I might reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees next time because I felt they got a little dried out inside.  I’ll experiment and report back!  Click Irish Soda Biscuits to see the photo.

 

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Camp Clover

Camp Clover

Camp Clover

IMG_4260

Mr. Breene bringing some counselors to an activity.

There is something very special that happens at Camp Riverbend after all of our campers and counselors are gone for the season.  Camp Riverbend becomes Camp Clover for 1 week called Camp Clover.  It is a bereavement day camp, sponsored by Atlantic Home Care and Hospice, to help children and teens deal with the loss of someone close to them.

IMG_4375

We did it!

Children ages seven to 15 are invited to participate. Camp Clover offers traditional summer camp programs like swimming, sports, and arts and crafts, as well as educational and therapeutic activities designed to assist children in their grieving process. Activities are planned to foster coping skills that children can use throughout their lives.

IMG_4292

Some time to reflect.

Camp Clover is run by trained staff and volunteers and is funded strictly by donations. The camp provides free bus transportation and lunch.

IMG_4385

A therapy dog visits Camp Clover

We think that it is a wonderful camp and we are proud that we have been a part of it for the past 2 summers.  The Breene Family is being honored at the Atlantic Hospice Spring Gala 2014 with the Community Award and we humbly thank them for the recognition.  For more information on Camp Clover, read the  Hospice Newsletter Fall 2013 v2 or visit their website.  To refer a child, volunteer, or donate, call 973-379-8444.

IMG_4281

arts&crafts

DSC_0957

Time to cool off

 

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