Enroll for 2020 Log In

Cul Fun: Black Bean Dip with Tortilla Chips

by Chris

Friday, June 26th 2020 at 3:29am

Cul Fun: Black Bean Dip with Tortilla Chips

This is a healthy and delicious meal, and it’s a super easy “One-Pan-Meal” too!


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Can opener
  • Pan that can go on stovetop and in the oven (or a baking dish to go in the oven)
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cheese, cheddar or Monterey Jack
  • Chives AKA Green Onion
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Your favorite Salsa
  • 1-2 cans of black beans
  • Salt, pepper, chili powder
  • Kale (optional)
  • Yellow or Sweet Onion (optional)

1. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1 Teaspoon of salt, 1 Teaspoon of pepper, chopped yellow or sweet onion, and chopped garlic to your pan and put on med-high heat
2. After about 2 minutes, lower heat to low so onions carmelize. Leave for about 7 minutes.
3. If you are adding kale, move your onions to the side of the pan off the heat and cook kale with a dash of olive oil and salt on high heat. Move the leaves around frequently, they will turn dark green and be done after about 3 minutes.

4. Open bean cans, drain extra water into sink, and add beans to your pan. Add your favorite salsa. Mix in and taste, if you want more spicy tomato flavor add more salsa. Stir.

5. Add cheese and stir so it melts. If pan cannot go in oven, transfer bean dip to a baking dish. Add more cheese on top and broil in the oven for 2 minutes or less. DO NOT leave the broiler on unattended. Turn broiler off before you get the pan or dish out of the oven using pot holders.

6. Add chopped chives on top and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips.


by Chris

Friday, June 26th 2020 at 3:00am



Inside out Forehand – 1 point
Forehand Slice – 1 point
Consistent Forehand Technique – 2 points
Backhand Slice – 1 point
Consistent Backhand Technique – 2 points
Consistent Cross-court Forehand – 2 points
Consistent Cross-court Backhand – 2 points
Approach Shot – 1 point

Volleys and Lobs
Consistent Forehand Volley (7/10) – 1 point
Consistent Backhand Volley (7/10) – 1 point
Swinging Forehand Volley – 1 point
Swinging Backhand Volley – 1 point
Lob Consistency – 1 point

First Serve Consistency – 1 point
Second Serve Consistency – 1 point
Return of Serve – 1 point
Serve and Volley – 1 point

Overhead – 1 point
Ready Position, Grips and Split Step – 1 point
Ball Collecting/ Good Attitude & Participation – 1 point

Stretching/ Cardio Warm Up
Equipment: None

Have the class do a light cardio warm up (running around the courts, skipping, jumping jacks etc..) followed by a group stretching circle. All members can take turns counting off the length of the stretches.

Hills and Valleys
Equipment: Cones

Randomly place around 25 cones inside the boundaries of the game. Place half of them upside down, and the other half face up. Split the campers up into 2 groups and designate one team as the ‘hills’ team and the other as the ‘crater’ team. Each team is trying, at the same time to flip the cones over to their side (hills are upright, valleys are upside down). Give them a set amount of time to do this (usually 1-2 minutes). When the time is up count how many cones look like hills and valleys with the team with most winning

Simon Says
Equipment: Tennis racquets

Simon stands at net while the players are standing on other side evenly spaced out with rackets in hand. Simon will say an instruction e.g. “Simon says swing a forehand” and the players must do it. If the coach says “Swing a forehand” without saying “Simon says” first then the players who do it lose and are eliminated from the game. You can also decide that the player who is the last to do a certain task is eliminated.

Drills / Games

Around the World
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Campers start split up on opposite ends of the tennis court, coach feeds one camper who hits it over the net and in the court. They then run to the end of the queue at the other end of the court. If they hit it out, are unable to return the previous persons shot, or don’t arrive in time, that person is out. This continues until the last two players. These last two do not switch ends, after they hit the ball they must put their racquet on the floor, spin around and be ready for the next shot.

King of the Court
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Each court has a King (singles or doubles), and the ball is fed to the challenger(s). The challenger has to win two points to become the new King, however the King only needs one point to remain. Players should count the number of challengers they fend off, leading to a winner at the end of the game. During doubles version of the game, if the partner misses their first shot then the partner can stay.

Jail Break
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Campers line up at one end of the court. They are fed a ground shot and if they get it in, they’re safe and go to the back of the line. if not, they must put their racquet down and go to other side of net to try to catch balls to escape jail. Last person must hit three shots in a row without getting caught to win, if not, jailbreak!

Spanish 8-Ball Drill
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls, cones

Two players are spaced either side of the baseline with the coach on the other side of the net. The coach will then feed to their left, with the player on their left having to get out of the way so the player to the coaches right can hit it, and vice versa. Play continues until one player either misses a shot or does not reach it in time.

Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Players in either singles or doubles rally with each other in an attempt to reach 21 groundstrokes. Can have players on the multiple courts, so the first group to reach 21 wins.

Up the River, Down the River
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Can be played in a doubles or singles format. Players play first to 10 points, if they win they move up one court aiming to get to the top of the river. If they lose they move down the river. Two good shots are required to start the rally.

Burning House
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Each section on one side of the court (2 service boxes, alleys etc..) represent a room of a house. The class is split into two teams. One team is being fed balls and their objective is to burn down the house by hitting balls into each room of the house. The other team us trying to catch those balls to defend the house. Time how long it takes each team to burn the house down, with the faster team winning.

Pick Up 10
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls in ball hopper, cones,

Teams consisting of at three players each line up on the baseline of each side of the court. The coach decides which team is going first, also known as having the the strike team. 10 balls are placed in the hopper at the centre net strap on both sides of the net. When the coach gives the signal, the first player from each side must run to the net.

The player with the strike must pick up a ball from the net and run back to the cone midway between the service line and baseline. Thus player must then turn around, drop the ball and hit it into the opposing team’s court. Meanwhile the player from the opposite team, who had also run forward to the net, touches the basket and sprints back to the centre hash mark of their team’s baseline. Immediately he or she must turn around to hit back the ball. The rally is played out until one teams wins the point, the winner of the point is now the strike team. The winning team is the first team to empty their hopper.


Approach Shot Volley
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Players start at the baseline. They get fed an approach shot which they need to try and hit down the line or crosscourt. They then come into the net for a volley. Working on a good split step and punching the ball with the racquet.

Bus Driver
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Players start in a row in front of the net at volley distance, with the one at the front being the bus driver. Coach will feed volleys, if they miss their volley they go to the back of the bus, bus driver at the end of game wins.

Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Players tart in a row at the net in a volley position The coach will feed the balls to the players and the players have volley the ball back over. For every volley missed or goes out, the camper loses a limb. First it’s their arm, then one of their legs, then the other leg, then the thighs (so they’re on their knees), torso (now they’re on their back), and eventually their head. Last person to lose all of their body parts wins.

50 Game
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Players have to rally with each other until they reach 50 hits. Can make it a competition so first pair to reach it wins.

3 Volley Drill
Equipment: Tennis racquets, tennis balls

Players are lined up behind the baseline evenly spread across all three courts. The coaches are feeding at each net. When it’s someone’s turn, they will come to the baseline before running to the net for a volley. They will then run back to the baseline before returning to the net for a backhand volley. After this they will then move to the next court.

Tennis Court Lines

Tennis Fun Facts

  1. The word “tennis” originated from an Anglo-Norman term “tenez” which means “to take heed.”
  2. Tennis was used to be played using the palm. Thus, it was called “jeu de paume” or “game of the palm.” The racquet was first used in the 16th century.
  3. Players used to be only allowed to wear white tennis wear, but in the 1960s to 1970s, colours and styles were introduced.
  4. Tennis courts were initially in an hourglass shape before the standard rectangular court was adapted.
  5. Wimbledon, which is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, is the only major tournament played on grass and it is cut at precisely 8 mm in height.
  6. The term “love” in tennis’s scoring system originated from the word “l’oeuf,” a French term that means “egg.” Its shape resembles zero on the scoreboard.
  7. The longest tennis match, which John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played, took 11 hours and 5 minutes; Isner won the game.
  8. The shortest Wimbledon match was played for 34 minutes. It was between Steffi Graf and Natasha Zvereva in 1988 where Graf triumphed 6-0, 6-0.
    #Tennis was reintroduced into the Olympics in 1988. The sport was first introduced in 1896 but was removed in 1924.
  9. Sam Groth, an Australian, is the fastest server in men’s tennis at 263.44 km/h while Sabine Lisicki, a German, holds the record for the fastest women serve with 211 km/h.
  10. Roger Federer holds the highest career prize money at $93.4 million as of June 2019.
  11. Tennis grunt is a thing, and Maria Sharapova holds the record for the loudest grunt at 105 decibels.
  12. A Harris hawk was stationed at every Wimbledon match to help in keeping the sky clear from any local pigeons. His name is Rufus. Rufus has a Twitter account with more than 5,000 followers.

Friendship Bracelets Adventure Period

by Chris

Friday, June 26th 2020 at 2:55am

Friendship Bracelets Adventure Period

Many of you love making Friendship Bracelets for your camp friends and counselors. This website is a great resource for free patterns. At the top of the Patterns page, use the drop-down menus to select how many strings you want to use, how many colors you want to have, and what level of difficulty you are ready for. I recommend sorting by rating so the best patterns come up first. This website also offers instructions on how to tie the different knots.

Make one for a camp friend and send it to them in a letter!

Plan a Day Hike

by Chris

Thursday, June 25th 2020 at 9:37pm

Plan a Day Hike

We are sad we aren’t all in the Adirondacks together this summer, but you can still experience the tranquility and wonder of the Great Outdoors from right outside your front door! It takes about a day to plan a hike and gather all of your materials, so look at the weather forecast for your area and pick a nice day. Then decide how difficult and how long of a hike you would like to go for.

A day hike can be anywhere in the range of 3-8 miles. How difficult do you want your hike to be? Keep in mind that you will probably walk at a pace of about 1-2 miles per hour, and only .5 miles per hour if the trail is steep.

An Urban Hike through your city or town is a great option if you don’t have many parks or trails around you. Walking at a slower pace, you will be able to look past the everyday things you see out your car window and find some cool discoveries, like a type of plant you’ve never seen before, or some artwork that you’ve always walked past, or patterns that take a few extra seconds to notice.

To research local hikes, use a free App called Alltrails. You can do further research and calculate distances using Google Maps. Write an itinerary to determine the time you will need to depart from your home, the time you expect to start hiking, and the time you want to be home by. Use the distances from your maps and a hiking rate of 1-2 miles per hour to calculate these times.

The Itinerary should include the following and each hiker should carry a copy:

  • hikers’ cell phone numbers
  • map and directions to where you plan to walk
    time you expect to start hiking and time you plan to return
  • Adults’ cell phone numbers and list of who to call in case of emergency

Packing list:

  • Bug spray and sunscreen
  • Comfortable walking shoes with socks (hiking boots or sneakers)
  • Wear non-cotton clothing (not jeans) to wick away sweat and keep you dry
  • Sunglasses and a hat with a brim for shade, consider covering your neck with a bandana
  • Copy of itinerary with trail map
  • At least two waterbottles
  • Rain coat and warm layer
  • Backpack with a whistle
  • Cell phone in a waterproof plastic bag
  • Toilet paper or tissues
  • Snacks and lunch- trail mix,(chocolate will melt, m&ms won’t!), powerbars, sandwiches, fruit
  • First aid kit with blister tape, bandaids, antibacterial wipes
  • Money for ice cream :)

From the words of the reverential Lara Matthys, the Head of our Trips Pillar, “Leave No Trace Principles are more than just a list of things that we do when we’re in the woods. It is a way of connecting with our personal environment in a way that is in harmony with the whole ecosystem. You don’t have to be on a Trip or at camp to practice being a positive participant in the care and keeping of our world. It starts at home. It starts with each of us. “

Do not eat any food that you did not pack yourself, be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut feelings, stay with your group, and don’t go anywhere with a stranger. Gather some responsible friends to go with you on your adventure, and make sure to give an itinerary of your trip to your adults.

Enroll for 2020 Request Information

or Chat NowCall 518-547-8261