Towering Pines Blog

Our camp community . . . becomes a camp family!

There is a major focus at camp on creating a community and building relationships as well as systems within this camp community.  As we work together, play together, eat together and live together, this camp community truly becomes a family.  It seems very fitting that as we begin to feature a cabin each month in the off season, we do so on “National Family Day.”

We have core values that provide the framework for everything we do at camp.  Community is so important to us, and one of these five core values is, in fact, community.  When a community forms the type of close knit bonds that we do over the summer, it truly does become a family.  As a camp family, we support one another as we work toward both common and individual goals.  We also develop routines that enable us to function well as a family unit and help us to respect one other’s privacy and personal space.

One of the smaller family units we have at camp is each cabin.  Campers live together and begin to establish roles within this family just as we do with our families at home.  Cabins share responsibilities in cabin clean-up, meal time, planning campfire skits, and taking part in special event days.  This cabin family plays such a significant role in the boys summer camp experience that each cabin even has a cabin flag and a cabin cheer.  

Our youngest group of campers is Cabin 4, Huron.  They shared their thoughts about their experience living in our camp community for the Summer of ’22.

What is something that you learned about yourself at camp in 2022 where “It’s Cool to be YOU!”?:

  • Lorenzo:  I learned that I like archery.
  • Jack:  That I can learn new things and be confident.
  • Cole:  How I have more maturity and responsibility.
  • Miles:  I can kneeboard.
  • Will:  That every year, it is always fun!
  • Cash:  I’m better at riflery and archery than I thought.
  • Rodrigo:  I learned that I am NOT afraid of snakes and that I like catching them!
  • Jason:  I can be rude sometimes, and there isn’t really a reason to be rude.
  • Warner:  I am really good at archery.
  • Devin:  I am good at archery.
  • James:  I learned that I can manage younger kids decently and that I’m ok at tennis.

In what ways did you GROW this summer (went out of your comfort zone, tried again, celebrated achievements, etc.)?:

  • Lorenzo: I kept trying to improve my drawing skills.
  • Jack:  Exploring a new place.
  • Cole:  I did this in archery, riflery and zoo with learning skills.
  • Miles:  I learned habits like making my bed every morning, sweeping, and others.
  • Will:  I tried again in riflery, and I passed a rank!! (Woot woot!)
  • Cash:  I tried new trails in biking.
  • Rodrigo:  I went out of my comfort zone with soccer because I wanted to learn.
  • Jason:  I was really sad, and I was crying on the bus because I miss my sis a lot, but I was able to keep going and still have so much fun.
  • Warner:  I tried archery.
  • Devin:  I tried riflery.
  • James:  I went outside of my comfort zone by doing the high ropes course and trying tennis.

In what ways did you feel part of your cabin and the camp COMMUNITY (you were included, others built you up, you worked through conflict, etc.)?:

  • Lorenzo:  People celebrated my achievements and made me feel a part of camp.
  • Jack:  Feeling the camp spirit.
  • Cole:  I felt this during Olympics.
  • Miles:  Everyone treated me with respect.
  • Will:  We all worked through difficult things.  
  • Cash:  Everyone was kind toward me.
  • Rodrigo:  Everyone was welcoming, and I made many friends.
  • Jason:  I am really nice, and even they (cabin mates) who are mean sometimes can choose to be nice too.    
  • Warner:  When we got a 36 in cabin clean-up!
  • Devin:  I felt part of the camp community when we did campfires.
  • James:  I felt that I was friends with both the campers and the counselors.  I hung out with both and talked with both.

In what ways did you see RESPECT this summer (kindness, empathy, appreciation for differences, etc.)?:

  • Lorenzo:  When I got mad, Sebas was there for me.
  • Jack:  I felt that Ray respected me the most.
  • Cole:  In riflery I couldn’t shoot good, and Pablo said, “If you have a better mind set,  you can shoot better!”
  • Miles:  People were very nice to me.
  • Will:  I saw it in myself.
  • Cash:  I was struggling with tennis, but people were empathetic and helped me to get better.
  • Emiliano was always kind to me.  We played a lot, and he was there for me. 
  • Jason: Meeting new people that are from different places, and we can still like each other. 
  • Warner:  I saw respect at Chiefs Campfire.
  • Devin:  People helped other people when they felt down.
  • James:  I saw respect all the time during activities and during time all around camp.

What is one thing that could have been better for you this summer?:

  • Lorenzo:  It would have been better if we had even more time to play games.
  • Jack:  It would have been better for me if I wasn’t homesick.
  • Cole:  Sometimes things were challenging with my cabin mates.
  • Miles:  It would have been better if I passed to Level 4 in instructional swim.  (Keep trying!)
  • Will:  I wanted to improve even more in riflery, archery and instructional swim.
  • Cash:  It would be better if we had a water slide.
  • Rodrigo: It would have been better if it had a water slide.
  • Jason:  There are times when people are mean and nice, and I can be mean or nice.  Choosing to be nice is a good thing.
  • Warner:  Biking
  • Devin:  A couple of my cabin mates could be hard to be with at times. 
  • James:  If we did better against Red Arrow, and if I’d beat Tanner in TP Open.

What is something you are THANKFUL for about camp?:

  • I’m thankful that they let me borrow a bed, pillow, blanket, sheets, etc.
  • Jack:  I am thankful for the opportunity to go to camp.
  • Cole:  The food was amazing!!
  • Miles:  That it is SO much fun!
  • Will:  That I met amazing friends : )
  • Cash:  I am thankful that it is fun!
  • Rodrigo:  I’m thankful that my dad came here when he was younger, and I got to experience camp!
  • Jason:  I am thankful for the food and the bunks!
  • Warner:  I am thankful for food and shelter.
  • Devin:  I am thankful for new friends and my counselors.
  • James:  That I had great counselors and also that I had a great time!

As a camp family, we support a community where everybody knows more than your name.  We encourage inviting others, building each other up and working through conflict.  This is an integral part of our mission at Towering Pines.  We hope to see all of your sons back at camp in 2023!!  If you haven’t registered yet or know of a family who would benefit from our unique camp experience, please feel free to share this link:

Angie Ziller

  • Camp Mom at TP
  • Leadership Staff at TP/Office Manager
  • Marketing TP/Woodland
  • Leadership Team TP/Woodland
  • Assistant Waterfront Director at Woodland
  • Counselor at Woodland
  • “Building in our hearts fond memories, Towering Pines for you.”