Here's a sneak peek at our stories.
The haunted house is what people are always looking forward to on Halloween in July at Danbee.
Campers at Camp Danbee wear a collection of bracelets on their wrist as examples of everyone’s unique creativity.
Rebecca Stavis is the beloved Theater Director here at Danbee.
Lilo & Stitch headline, are a hit as Banquet 2018 theme
by Stella Fox and Avery Dermer, 10th Grade
The secret of banquet remains to be the biggest mystery of Danbee every summer. All Wel-B-Yon gather in Fort Lee, New Jersey for a sleepover in the spring to discuss their role in the upcoming summer. Yet, the main decision made at this sleepover is the theme of banquet.
Our process started when we all threw out various ideas fot the theme that were put into a list, not worrying about whether the idea would be popular among all Wel-B-Yon. After every idea was written down we all voted on our top three. The top were Little Mermaid, Inside Out, and Lilo and Stitch. We all then went back to our hotel rooms to deliberate on which theme we would vote for. An hour later we all assembled one last time to make our final decision. We listed the pros and cons of each movie.
It would be a repeat of the 2004 theme. We decided against the Little Mermaid because it would repeat the 2004 theme. Many agreed that Inside Out would be a perfect banquet, yet people were still rooting for Lilo and Stitch. Lily Gold gave a PowerPoint presentation, including key points of why Lilo and Stitch would be the best choice. The powerpoint changed the minds of all those hoping for Inside Out. Rebecca still wanted to be fair by holding a blind vote and then announcing the winner. It was no surprise that Lilo and Stitch was the name called out following the drumroll.
Throughout April to the start of the summer we suggested ideas and watched the movie to gain inspiration. Flash forward to the second day of camp.We began by splitting into committees. Because we have so many people, each committee turned out to be significantly bigger than in past years, with the exception of the storyline committee. The large committee size reflected the commitment we made to let everyone do what they were best at and would enjoy the most. The storyline committee was Avery Dermer, Stella Fox, and Michele Cohen. Charley noted that she had never seen a group so small for storyline, but we were determined we could do it ourselves. With Charley’s help the role of each committee was explained: Storyline, painting, tracing, 3D, Layout, and menu and rolling. The following night we watched the movie as a group and each person took notes for their committee. Banquet was officially underway.
On the whiteboard we created a chart to track each mural and the various steps. We began by rolling all thirty-six murals giving us the opportunity to start tracing immediately. Thankfully, we were able to use the same amount of murals and same measurements from last year’s murals. Storyline was rewatching the movie and picking out all the scene snapshots we would use for the murals. Hours were spent in the office going through the movie and deciding which murals would look the best.
After all murals were decided, we gave them titles and wrote them on the whiteboard. Michele, Avery, and Stella all came together
and continued to switch off with every mural
writing a story behind it. After all of the murals were rolled, tracing began. Murals were hung up on the wall and a tracing of the
picture would be projected onto it. By July 4th tracing was nearly half way done and it was time for painting to begin. Painting started very smoothly. While the painting committee was large, they still needed the help of other people.
Menu committee also began to draft ideas about the food and how the menu would look, and 3D committee began to bring their ideas to life. As the Wel-B-Yon California trip came closer we had a checklist of all the things we needed to accomplish, including choosing our mistress of ceremony. Every year the Wel-B-Yon vote to choose their MC to lead the banquet. This year there were so many amazing candidates, but only one can be chosen. Michele Cohen was voted MC for banquet 2018.
After California it was time to vote on who would receive the Wel-B-Yon chosen awards. Wel-B-Yon all came together as they read through the past awards given out keeping their ideas in mind. We began with the dedication award, which is given to someone who puts in as much work to make us happy as we put in for banquet. We knew exactly who fit this award correctly, Greg Walbergs. Greg is a role model to us who wakes up early just to get things done for campers. He works so hard to move mountains to make us happy and there is no other way we would like to say thank you to him. We then decided on best friend, mother, sister, brother, playmaker, our world award, and helping hand.
The last few days of camp our time was mostly spent on 3D. Painting finished smoothly and all the help was needed in making decorations for around the mess hall. Everyone was so excited for banquet, be we all knew we still had work to do.
Ultimately, banquet finally came together. We spent all day Thursday transforming the mess hall into a Hawaiian wonderland that was the setting of Lilo and Stitch. All of camp joined to take a magical tour through the plot of Lilo and Stitch. Wel-b-Yon were proud to display the hard work we have done over the past seven weeks. We were so happy that we got to make every camper’s night amazing. But, most of all, it was an amazing way to spend our last night at Danbee.
Parent Visiting Day means joyful reunions and some special snacks
by Marissa Miller, 8th grade
Every summer girls write lists of requests for snacks and other items they want their parents to bring on Parent Visiting day, or PV as it is commonly called. They count down the days anxiously waiting to see their parents after three weeks.
In preparation for this exciting day, girls must clean their bunks at fun and fitness, rest hour and fifth period the day before to be sure they look perfect for their parents. After the “Super Clean-up” the bunks go through a very strict inspection that is much more thorough than everyday inspection, plus the winner gets a better prize.
On the big day the girls have an early wakeup at 7:30 a.m., breakfast in their bunks at 8:00 and parents begin to arrive at 9:00. While the girls are up at their campuses, the parents begin to line up along the road outside of camp at around 7:00; the Peru town police even come for traffic control. By 8:30 when cars are allowed into camp, the line of cars stretches as far as you can see.
The anticipation kills waiting the short half hour for parents to begin arriving. Once the girls reunite with their parents they have bunk time for a half hour and then a short assembly to talk about the day. They are told
to attend their first two periods and fourth period.
At lunch, the kids sit with their parents on the lawn. During lunch, we dance and they
give us the leagues scores for the past week. The rest of the day they can hang out, talk, swim, and take boat rides around the lake.
Campers also can introduce their parents to their favorite counselors and instructors.
The day begins to wind down at 3:00 p.m. and parents have to leave by 3:30. It is a hard goodbye, but Campus and WBY have a shaving cream fight to look forward to right after parents leave. Meanwhile seventh, eighth and ninth grade girls have a social.
Overall, PV is one of the most beloved days of the summer. Whether it’s talking, swimming, eating, or just hanging out, seeing your parents and showing them around camp is always a day to look forward to.
Bunk1 Facial Recognition Software
their faces, using funky glasses and large wide-brimmed hats, which could affect facial recognition.
“Those things are likely to have an impact,” Robert said in a follow-up email, “but in most cases, facial recognition should still be successful.”
Facial recognition is enabled for every camper, but not every parent has to use it. Some parents have privacy concerns but because the software is opt-in, “so it’s not going to automatically work for all parents.” Parents who are concerned don’t have to use it. To make sure people who aren’t parents or family members of Danbee campers aren’t able to use Bunk1, they have several layers of security. Bunk1 sends a code to parents of Danbee campers, which they say to never post online or on social media. Parents need this code to create a Danbee Bunk1 account. The second layer of security is some camps have to see the account and approve it before the parents are granted access.
When parents have privacy concerns, they can contact the support team at Bunk1, and they will be reminded that Bunk1 already is a closed community, that not everyone has access to.
“The purpose of this (facial recognition technology) is to enhance the experience, not for tracking,” Robert says.
Montreal is a fun trip for WBY
by Eliza Lakritz and Lexi Colodne, 10th Grade
After a six-hour bus ride, the Wel-B-Yon arrived in Montreal, Quebec on our annual trip. The ride consisted of a quick stop for lunch, along with a brief passport check while passing over the Canadian-American border. We arrived at the hotel around 5:00 p.m., and headed to laser tag.
Along with Camp Winadu’s seniors, we were split into two teams and played a few rounds of laser tag. It was competitive and fun, and gave us a chance to socialize with our friends from Winadu whom we hadn’t seen all year. Later, a pizza party followed the games. We then went back to the hotel and got a good night’s sleep for the busy day ahead.
We started the day with a late wake-up, ate breakfast in the hotel and travelled to the Super Aqua Club waterpark along with Winadu. We stayed there for the majority of the day enjoying nerve wracking water rides and classic Canadian snacks. Later that night, we went to dinner at Jack Astor’s where we had pub-styled grub.
The next day we had an even later wake up and breakfast. We drove two and a half hours to Mont Tremblant, a very popular ski resort during the winter and an action-packed resort in the summer. Mont Tremblant has many attractions, such as the luge, an alpine slide-like ride, along with many others. It also has many stores, such as Roots, which is the Wel-B-Yon’s favorite. Roots, which is know for its men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, outfitted the U.S. Olympic team in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
We ate both lunch and dinner there, and excitement rose among the Wel-B-Yon when we saw a sushi restaurant. After dinner we
went back to the hotel for our last night of our trip.
We woke up and had to prepare for Jet boating. We drove to Old Montreal and got to explore the true culture of Montreal. Then, we went to Saute Moutons, where Danbee along with Winadu were split into two boats heading straight for the rapids. No one knew what we were in store for, so we all just sat in the boat hoping we wouldn’t get too wet. Little did we know, in just two minutes, we would all be soaked. It was a smooth ride until we reached the rapids, which they called “Hawaii 5.0.” The first wave splashed the whole boat, which rocked back and forth causing fear in everyone. Yet, the fear quickly changed to excitement and joy as the ride kept going. When the ride was over, we had an hour and a half to explore Old Montreal and enjoy lunch in the town. People had crepes, pizza, and a lot of maple candy. We then, got back into the bus for the long ride back to camp.
Overall, the trip to Montreal was an amazing experience. It was a trip where all of Wel-B-Yon grew stronger bonds with each other and gained new knowledge about an old culture.
Lots to do on trip to Six Flags
by Flora Zik, 8th grade
July 11, 2018 was a day full of smiles and thrills as the seventh and eighth graders took an exciting trip to Six Flags New England.
While the Wel-B-Yon were in Montreal and the ninth graders were in Martha’s Vineyard, the seventh and eighth graders were facing some of their biggest fears as they rode rides like the Superman, the Joker, and the Riddler Revenge.
Once we entered the park most bunks divided into a big rides group and a small/no rides group. From there everyone did their own thing. At the park there are so many things to do! You could shop, go on rides, or go to the water park. At the water park there are waterslides, a lazy river, and even just a regular swimming area. Each group could eat lunch whenever they decided using the provided meal voucher. One of the most popular picks for lunch was the Rain-Boat Cafe. This was most likely because of how many different options they offered. We were able to get chicken strips, pizza, salad, and even a cheese burger.
After lunch we were given more time to venture into the park. During this time, many campers decided to shop at candy stores, souvenir shops, and toy stores.
When we got back, we all ate a quick barbeque then rushed back to our bunks to shower and get ready for our socials. At the end of the day, whether we were chilling by the waterpark or screaming on rollercoasters, I can assure you that everyone had an amazing time at Six Flags!
Halloween comes to camp in July
By Molly Coulston, Alex Kabakov and Maya Taub,
Halloween at Danbee is a fun time to dress up with your friends in the summer for a holiday that occurs in October. Besides dressing up, there are so many fun activities that you can do on Halloween including: the haunted house, trick-or-treat, find out if you are an alien, or participate in the pumpkin hunt. You can get your fortune told, but never count on it being real. Halloween at Danbee is a special event and experience like no other that is enjoyed by all.
The haunted house is a fun, but scary experience. The deal with the haunted house is that you can go with the lights on or lights off. Lights off is better because you get more scared and it is so much more fun. Mikey, Danbee’s lake director, is the one who runs the haunted house. This year’s theme was Danbee Asylum, which featured counselors dressed as crazy people.
On Halloween there also is the pumpkin hunt. Unlike the other events this one could take most of the night. Kids have to get their first clue and then take off running to get more clues and find key letters to a mystery word. Once all letters are collected kids hurry to put them together in a Halloween themed word. This year the word to figure out was “cauldron.” The first five houses or bunks to run to the hive with the word get a delivery of candy later.
At camp, Halloween trick-or-treating works differently. To get candy you either have to tell a joke or do a performance. Charlie Reiss would perform a dance routine each time. Because it was a full performance she often received a handful of candy as her reward. Everyone’s candy is kept in their pillowcase which makes the candy easy to carry.
Another fun thing about Halloween at Danbee is the alien detector scans. Mark and Neil have an app on their phones that can
detect if you’re an alien. Neil says that a new thing they did this year was to FaceTime with a consultant named Mr. Z to get correct results for the alien scan.
Mark also is in charge of making sure that Halloween gets put together in the time that we have. Also, he buys the different types of candy the counselors need for trick-or-treating.
Counselors have various jobs to do on Halloween. Mackenzie DeFusco’s job was to hand out candy on her porch.
“I would describe Halloween at Danbee as fun, crazy, original and out of the blue,” Mackenzie said.
Group leader Carly Gordanstein’s job was to work in the haunted house.
“The haunted house is a pretty scary,” Carly said. “I looked forward to seeing all the kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes.”
For the Wel-B-Yon, the experiences were a little different. Jessie Bezborodko said she thinks the most unique thing about Danbee Halloween is that you can be yourself and no one judges you.
Wel-B-Yon Brianna Cornfield’s favorite thing from Halloween is the haunted house. Her favorite memory from previous years on Halloween is dressing up with a theme with her friends.
Dressing up, the haunted house and getting candy are the favorite parts of Halloween at Danbee, which always is a special event.
Haunted House scares campers socks off in "greatest nightmare"
by Jolie Litvak, 5th grade
The haunted house is what people are always looking forward to on Halloween in July at Danbee. Counselors play scary roles and make-up always is done in a way to make everything look real.
As Mikey is dressed in a clown suit greets you at the front to bring you into your greatest nightmare, people inside are getting ready to scare your socks off! No worries needed, though, none of this is real and the counselors are not allowed to lay their hands on you.
As you walk in you see Laine and a wooden block that with “HELP” written on it. She starts shouting help and reaches out toward you. You move on to behind the curtains where you see Shannon dressed as a pink bunny. She lets out a loud shrill clown laugh that quickly moves you to backstage.
As Mikey is dressed in a clown suit greets you at the front to bring you into your greatest nightmare, people inside are getting ready to scare your socks off!
Then you go in to see clowns, dolls, and, surprisingly, Greg looking like Albert Einstein with a bad hair day – SCARY! It’s hard to notice Milton, the tall photography-loving teddy bear. After that you get waved good-bye by Sean the Big-eared troll with his absolutely beautiful, long, scaly fingernails!
Lastly, a runway of clapping kids greets you at the end.
“I went in then ran out because Laine kept screaming ‘Where’s Max!’” says Kendall Romoff, when asked whether she went into the Haunted House.
Charlotte Handel says the scariest part of the Haunted House, “Definitely was when Steph jumped out on me.”
Some campers decided not to go into the Haunted House.
“When people ran into the Mess Hall I got scared and decided not to go in,” says Sadie Levinson about a skit performed in the mess hall to promote Halloween.
Another camper’s friend went in and warned her about how scary it was, so she decided not to go inside.
The 2018 Haunted was a thrill and a scream-creator. Let’s all hope next year isn’t as scary! But maybe it will be.
Carnival has dunk tank, camper booths, super rides and more
by Heloise Marie 7th grade
Carnival, as you all know, is one of the many special events here at Danbee. Many campers look forward to carnival because it is one of their favorite events.
Each bunk has their very own booth they came up with. They make a poster telling people about the booth. They organize into shifts so that there always are two campers at the booth to help customers during carnival. Some of the booths are plinko, lucky duck, bobbing for apples, guess the Skittle color, Coke or Pepsi taste test, temporary hair dye and lots of other cool booths.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for the bunks to be creative and work together,” Alexis Ellman said.
Kristen Gregory, the group leader of 7th grade, thinks the booths are really fun.
A popular booth is the Wel-B-Yon dunk tank where campers throw a softball to hit a target that releases the board a Wel-B-Yon is sitting on and they fall into the tank of water.
There also is lots of food, including frozen fruit bars, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones. Best of all, there are awesome rides like a giant chair swing, a ride called the spider where you spin around in circles, bouncy castles, and more.
At the beginning of carnival there is a parade of campus bunks. Each year there is a different theme and this year it was countries in the world cup. Every bunk has to dress up as a different country and this year the winners were France and Croatia.
Campers find bandits and many precious stones during Gold Rush
by Veronique Mintz, 7th Grade
Gold Rush is an action-packed evening activity played by the entire camp and involves a series of different factors, including wanted people, jails, bandits, candy, angels and so much more.
Before the game starts, an assortment of different sized rocks that are spray-painted gold, ruby and silver get hidden around campus. Campus gets divided up into two counties, Blacktop County and Snodgrass County. Blacktop County stretches from the Blacktop up by the mess hall to the gymnastics center and Snodgrass County stretches from the gymnastics center to the lake where Mikey Snodgrass is. Throughout the game campers and their bunkmates go around Campus trying to find as many rocks as they can, but there’s a catch – each person can only carry three rocks in their hands before they cash in the rocks at the county bank. There is one bank in each county. Over the course of the game the different rocks (Ruby, Gold and Silver) will change in value. The biggest point value rocks you can find are the mother lodes, which are covered in gold glitter and this year there were four of them. Usually the bunk that finds the mother lodes ends up winning.
In addition, there are campers who are chosen randomly to be on “wanted posters.” Wanted campers get their picture posted around Campus. The only way for the camper to be 100% safe is to be holding an angel’s hand. The angels are ninth graders.
“My favorite part of Gold Rush is seeing the ninth graders dressed as angels.” Said Cameron Bell.
If someone is arrested because they weren’t with an angel, the person who takes them to jail will get reward money for their bunk. The way to get out of jail is to tell a joke or do what the wardens tell you to do. But once you get
out of jail people can still put you back in jail, therefore it’s recommended to find an angel.
Another part of Gold Rush that most people look forward to is the Candy Saloon where the Wel-B-Yon hand out candy and each camper picks the candy they’d like. Izzy Welisch said her favorite part of Gold Rush was handing out the candy to other campers.
“It’s fun to see the joy on the young kids faces when they get the candy they want,” Izzy said.
In addition to campers, most of the key staff has a role in Gold Rush too. Milton, of course, video tapes Gold Rush. He says, “Finding the gold” is his favorite part of Gold Rush.
Greg and Jack re-hide rocks throughout the night. Hannah, the cooking instructor, was a bandit who would squirt you with water guns. Charlie, the art teacher, and Allie Spector worked at the Blacktop county jail. Lastly, Stavis, the head of theater and Erica, the head of dance, took western photos of people at the photo booth.
I was a “wanted” camper this year at Gold Rush and unfortunately went to jail five times. I got out of jail pretty easily each time. A couple times I told a joke to get out. There was one very weird time where I did a mooing contest with another girl. Overall, Gold Rush is a very intriguing, fun game.
Campers win big bucks, prizes and "fribbles" at Casino Night
by Sally Brossard and Marissa Miller, 8th grade
and Kendyl Groisser, 7th grade
Chips, games, raffles, and the VIP room all made Casino Night of 2018 a blast. After a barbeque outside, campers file in to the decorated mess hall with lots of “Danbee dollars,” which is fake money designed with key staff’s faces on the front.
Casino games such as blackjack, high card, and roulette are set up around the room. Campers gamble their “money” in hopes getting rich and winning casino night. Counselors are assigned a game to run and they have a stack of Danbee dollars to give out to campers when they win. The counselors dress up in fancy casino-style clothes and campers flock to the gaming tables to try their luck. For most games, there is a minimum $5.00 or $10.00 bet, and a maximum of $100. The payout for winning was mostly double or nothing.
Fribbles are a favorite for campers during casino night. The ingredients for a batch of the vanilla fribbles are five gallons of vanilla ice cream, one and a half gallons of whole milk and a squeeze of vanilla extract. The chocolate fribble is made from five gallons of chocolate ice cream, one and a half gallons of whole milk and a liberal squeeze of chocolate syrup. This year for the first time, there was a black and tan fribble made of five gallons of vanilla ice cream, one and half gallons of whole milk and an enormously liberal squeeze of chocolate syrup.
Sean, Mikey and Mark put all the ingredients into a large commercial mixer. Once the batch is ready, Stavis pours the mix into plastic cups. Separate cups go to Erica who decorates them with all the extra trimmings, including colored sprinkles, cookies, whipped cream, a cherry and other treats and turns them into Super Fribbles. Typically, eight batches of fribble mix are made on casino night.
While every camper gets one fribble, there is a ticket raffle and the camper with the winning ticket number gets another fribble. Raffle tickets that campers buy with their casino winnings also are used for other prizes, such as a free pass into the VIP room, a camp Danbee staff shirt, and even a super fribble, which is a regular fribble topped with chocolate syrup,. Many bunks make bets with Jay, one of the directors at camp, that they will win multiple raffle tickets. One bunk this summer won twelve raffles!
While all of the campers are having tons of fun playing the various games of chance, the ninth graders play Deal or No Deal. They choose various numbered folders containing the name of a prize. They then decide whether they accept the deal or not. There also is a chance they could lose a prize. This year ninth grade had the opportunity to win anything from Starbucks to breakfast in bed.
The VIP lounge is filled with many treats, which campers pay big bucks for. This blocked off area of the mess hall is exclusive for campers who wait in the long line and pay up. This year, Jason, head of soccer, was the bouncer for the VIP lounge.
On casino night, group leaders dress up and carry snacks around. Casino Night is a fun night filled with snacks, gambling, and excitement. It is one of everyone’s favorite nights of camp!
Curtain opens on Rebecca Stavis
by Lila Goldin, 5th grade
Rebecca Stavis is the beloved Theater Director here at Danbee. But much about Stavis isn’t known like an unanswered question waiting to find its destined explanation.
For instance, Stavis (who usually goes by her last name) didn’t find out she wanted to be an actress until fifth grade.
“I remember in fifth grade, when we were doing a what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up project, and I don’t know what sparked it, but I said I wanted to be an actress,” Stavis explained. “I don’t know why I did it. I don’t have any recollection of what influenced me wanting to do theater. I just said it.”
Stavis also spoke about her experience being in the audience of the theater, as well as the influence of her parents’ theatrical connection.
“I saw my first Broadway show when I was five,” Stavis said, “and as unusual as this is, I saw Cabaret. My parents were big theatergoers, most of their social life revolved around theater. This probably had a silent influence on me without me even noticing.”
She also told about a tradition her family had back in her camp years.
“I do distinctly remember my Queen Bee summer (QBS ’93),” she said. “When I got back from camp, my parents had tickets to Guys and Dolls and they decided to take me with them. Ever since then, every year, when I got home from camp, I went to see a Broadway show.”
“I remember in fifth grade, when we were doing a what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up project, and I don’t know what sparked it, but I said I wanted to be an actress. I don’t know why I did it. I don’t have any recollection of what influenced me wanting to do theater. I just said it.”
Stavis said that she couldn’t remember the first show she acted in right after college, but her first big deal show was playing Sister Margareta in the Asian tour of The Sound of Music.
“My theater career was inconsistent,” she said. Stavis explained that she would get a theatrical part, but then work for months at a job outside of theater, and then get a theatrical part again, and so on.
She got into the theater teaching business when she was an actress.
“I went through the NYCTF (New York City Teaching Foundation) program,” she said, “and a lot of it was that I wanted something more consistent. I have directed all the shows at my school, but I never taught theater full time until this coming school year. It makes me excited to think about it.”
Her teaching technique is a combination of things, she said.
“I teach a mix of what I wish I had as a child,” she explained, “and helpful things I did have as a child for theatrical training.”
While Stavis went to Danbee as a child, she didn’t return right away. It took her seven years to realize she should come back.
“It’s hard to put Danbee into words,” she said. “I found that after my Wel-B-Yon summer, I often found myself thinking about camp, and it was a friend from my WBY who worked here who convinced me to return.”
Stavis also said that she takes input from the Acres and WBY campers on what they think should be the next show for the upcoming summer. Her favorite thing to see at camp is when she has girls in her class who get excited about new things, and accomplishing new skills. She also loves to see shy girls come out of their shells in class.
The world of Rebecca Stavis is filled with wonderful things, and her story is proof.
Acres play showcases talent
by Lindsay Cohen and Lulu Rosenthal, 8th grade
On the first night of camp Rebecca Stavis, Danbee’s theater director, announced the acres play this year would be High School Musical. This would be a second run for the play because it was performed in 2006, but this would be an opportunity for new kids and different talent to participate.
Michelle Cohen, Dylan Goodman and Maddy Beldner would be tapped to take on the lead roles. This would be a little bitter sweet because as Wel-B-Yon this would be their last play.
“The Wel-B-Yon helped to decide the play because I wanted them to spend their last year performing what they would have fun performing,” Stavis said.
Though being in the play is an amazing experience, it also is a big commitment. When you audition for the play you are making a commitment to be there during Fun and Fitness, Rest Hour, and possibly even a full day because of the time required for practice and rehearsal and to develop an on-stage chemistry among the cast.
“The Wel-B-Yon helped to decide the play because I wanted them to spend their last year performing what they would have fun performing.”
Performing in the play is an experience worth trading all your relaxation periods for. To make the play successful requires a ton of practice. Besides the cast, there is a need for sets to be designed and made, for dances to be choreographed, for lighting to be set up and music to be prepared.
“All of the choreography was from the original movie or from a High School Musical junior version DVD,” Stavis said.
The play consists of many different actresses that make the play special and unique, which sets it apart from the past play.
Troy was played by Michelle Cohen and she presented the part the best anyone could ever do. Gabriella was played by Dylan Goodman and was outstanding, they made an amazing pair. Sharpay was played by Maddy Beldner and presented the roll just like Sharpay in the movie. Ryan Evan’s was played by seventh grader Ashley Hoberman; but don’t be fooled by her age, she was fantastic. Other campers who performed amazingly are: Zeke played by Lindsay Cohen, Coach Bolton played by Lulu Rosenthal, Mrs. Darbus played by Jessica Rodriguez, Martha played by Ireland Combs, Kelsey played by Simone Glajchen, and many other amazing campers in the ensemble. After the play, everyone involved in making the play a success celebrated with an ice cream party.
“Everyone performed outstandingly,” Stavis said, “and there was a lot of new talent noticed.”
As the actresses took their bows, the cheers were extremely loud as the theater staff oversaw another outstanding play performed by the acres kids a Camp Danbee. For those of you who have never done theater before, you should audition and give this experience a try.
Hornets win big in Camp Sing
by Avery Portugal, 4th grade
Camp sing was just around the corner.
The rehearsals started as we learned our cheer and song. The practices to get the right tempo and to learn the lyrics took fun and fitness and rest hour periods to learn. When the night came campers got dressed up in their costumes, adding the final fixes to the performance, and practiced until they were called to the field house.
We all sat in a circle divided by age groups. Then, all of a sudden, Jay asked for his assistants to come up and he started singing his funny song and prancing around. When that was over, he sang the Honey Bumbles song and they headed up to perform their cheer. After their cheer finished everyone else in camp had their turns. During this whole event the judges, who are the Wel-B-Yon, were keeping track of the songs and cheers and assigning points to each.
While the scores were being added up, to kill time, Jay called on (Rebecca) Stavis, Danbee’s theater director, to do a song loved throughout the camp called “A-root-chi-cha.” It is a repeat-and-do-after-me song that is both fun and funny.
Then Jay announced the results of the Camp Sing competition. There were lots of cheers as the winners in each category were announced. The Hornets took first place in the “Campus Cheer” and ninth grade took first place in the “Acres Cheer”. The Hornets also took first place in “Campus Song” while eighth grade came in first with the “Acres Song”. In the “All Camp Cheer” the Hornets again took first place and also first place in the “All Camp Song”. So, it was no surprise that the Hornets were the overall winner of the Camp Sing competition
The event always is fun and with plenty of cheering.
Nationals finish Marathon with a 12-point lead; Songfest is next
by Beeline Staff Writer
It was one of the warmest days of the year when the starter, Greg Walbergs, yelled, “Go” to kickoff Marathon 2018. It began with the Wel-B-Yon bed-making race on the blacktop in front of the office. It finished when Wel-B-Yon Avery Dermer completed her 10 basketball layups on the courts behind the Theater and then pulled the cord to set off the cannon that sent red confetti high into the air signifying that the Americans had finished first in the Marathon.
Going into Marathon, the Nationals held a strong lead, but it only took some missteps by the Nationals in a couple of events and for the Americans to execute an almost flawlessly for the team in red to take the lead and hold on to it to the end.
Marathon was live streamed throughout by Rebecca Toporoff and race officials viewed the video a few times, along
with video from an overhead drone during the final station, to determine the final order for both teams.
The final order was First – Americans; Second – Nationals; Third – Americans; Fourth – Nationals; Fifth – Nationals; Sixth – Americans.
Going into Songfest, the final event of Leagues competition, the Nationals held a narrow 12-point lead.
Songfest decides Leagues winner
by Lulu Rosenthal, 8th grade
Songfest is the night that decides it all.
The summer-long leagues competition culminates with Songfest on a stressful night that decides the overall winner.
During songfest, campers on the Nationals and Americans sing the songs that are written by the Wel-B-Yon. Campers dress up in a white Danbee polo shirt, dark jeans without rips and the whitest shoes they have. Also, campers have to get gel in their hair, which is pulled back into a ponytail, so people will look very serious. Nationals and Americans meet on the tennis courts where campers line up by height. When songfest officially starts the campers march single file into the theater. They cannot laugh, talk, or even crack a smile. Also, campers can only walk by cutting their corners and keeping their hands behind their backs. Campers wait until the tallest Wel-B-Yon claps before sitting cross legged. A coin toss determines which team goes first.
Nationals and Americans practice all summer learning three songs that the Wel-B-Yon wrote. One is the Pep which is a short song about the specific team you are on. This year the Nationals pep is sung to “The Hard Knock Life.” The Americans pep is sung to “Little Einstein’s.” The second song is the Novelty, which is a song that is about anything the Wel-B-Yon chose to write about. This year the Americans novelty is about Carnival and the Nationals is about camp traditions. The last song that everyone needs to learn is the slow tempo and is about the beginning of camp and
how time flies by so fast toward the end of camp. First the songs are sung in order, then we sing all three songs right after each other.
After each team is done singing all of the songs, the Key Staff members put on a skit to try to make campers laugh, usually without much success. Then one of the Wel-B-Yon shouts “Attention breaker” and that means all the campers can get up from sitting and talk, and laugh. Usually campers find their friends on the opposite team give them a huge hug.
After a few minutes pass, everyone turns toward the stage where Mickey stands on holding a watermelon. He slowly turns the watermelon to reveal either the letter “N” or “A” carved into the red flesh of the watermelon indicating the winner of the Leagues competition. This prompts lots of cheering. After the reveal, all campers run to the mess hall to have the traditional ice cream sundae.
At the end of the most stressful night the big secret is disclosed and the winner is…
Danbee girls make bracelets to tap into unique creative style
by Lula Rosenthal and Sasha Pecter, 8th Grade
Campers at Camp Danbee wear a collection of bracelets on their wrist as examples of everyone’s unique creativity. Campers’ wrists gradually become decorated with layers of bracelets as the summer goes on and the bracelets highlight each camper’s personality and taste.
The latest trend has been making string bracelets, which campers braid using a series of knots. String bracelets come in many styles including v-stripe, candy stripe, braids, fishtails, and even bracelets with your name.
Another trend at Danbee is beaded chockers, which you can make in either jewelry or arts and crafts. A huge variety of beads and strings are offered in the art room.
Campers love making the string bracelets, but one end of the bracelet has to be secured to something while it is being braided. That can be a challenge, sometimes. Usually, campers tape the bracelet onto their leg, so they will never lose it. Also, campers use their water bottles and tie the string onto the handle. Making string bracelets takes a lot of time to create one bracelet, but the end results looks amazing.
Bead bracelets also are very popular at camp. Campers love making these bracelets with their friends. Some campers put their inside jokes on their bracelets to always remember the memory. Others just put their
name, or maybe just their initials to differentiate their bracelets from their friends.
“Bead bracelets are a very fun way to express yourself and to show your jokes and spirit to everybody,” eighth grader Marissa Miller says.
Chokers are very popular at Camp Danbee. Campers love putting blue, white and yellow on their chockers to represent Danbee spirit.
Some chockers even have their name, Danbee, or their initials on it.
Bracelets are a way to express your personality and uniqueness. By filling your wrist with bracelets, it shows off who you are. At the beginning of camp your wrist is just like a blank canvas, but by the end of seven weeks you will have a colorful wrist.
“Saving all the bracelets from past years will keep the memories alive,” says Sally Brouhard, also an eighth grader, “and if you keep adding onto your wrist, it will keep getting filled with memories from your summers here at Camp Danbee.”
Neal Gerhart is a student of literature and of tennis
by Veronique Mintz, 7th Grade
For those who don’t know him, Neal Gerhart is one of the tennis instructors here at Danbee and you’ll see him on the lower tennis courts sometimes teaching private lessons. This is Neal’s 28th summer at Danbee and he arrived the same time Jay and Mark came to Danbee. He used to share a bunk with Mark in his early years, but now Neal shares a bunk with his dog, Sam. A lot has changed at Danbee for Neal because now that it’s his 28th summer there are campers who have parents that Neal used to teach. Neal used to teach Jara Richards tennis when she was a Honey Bumble and now they both work at Danbee.
Neal is from Birmingham, Alabama, is married and he and his wife, Jen, have two boys named Steven and Logan. Steven is 18 years old and Logan is 15 years old. Most of the time Adam Zastenpowski, another tennis coach, is on the court right next to Neal, but recently Adam left Danbee early to go back to his tennis club in Florida. When asked about how it feels not having Adam by his side, Neal says that the work isn’t necessarily harder but, not having Adam at Danbee with him is an adjustment.
“Adam is probably one of the funniest people I know,” Neal says.
When Neal was last interviewed in 2015, he was working as a seventh grade literature teacher, but a lot has changed since then. For instance, now Neal is helping out with his family business, which is a storage and trucking company. Even though his job has changed, Neal’s love and passion for literature still is very evident when he talks about books he’s reading and stories from his teaching days.
Two books that Neal recommends for kids to read this school year are “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton and “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. These are two books that Neal taught when he was a school teacher and, ironically, I read this summer. Danbee is all about women empowerment and if you look at the backstory
of “The Outsiders”, S.E. Hinton started writing that book when she was 15 and got it published when she was only 18 years old.
“The Outsiders is an important piece of teenage literature history,” Neal says.
He also says that you should also read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian because it’s a banned book in some areas.
“The most banned book in the country, which is why you should read it,” Neal says.
This particular book gets banned a lot around the country because of its graphic content. The book is described as a coming of age novel; it is about a boy named Junior growing up on a poor Indian reservation, but he gets sick and tired of it and moves to a new school in an all-white neighborhood 22 miles away from his home.
Currently Neal is reading “North” by, Scott Jurek, which is mostly about this guy’s experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Some fun facts about Neal is that he likes smoothies and coffee, He was born in 1969 and once he tore the roof off a 26 foot moving truck. Long story short Neal drove through a tunnel that was too small. In addition, Neal is an Aries. He also lived in Mexico for three years and moved there because of a book he read called “All the Pretty Horses.” Neal Gerhart’s dream summer job if he did not work at Danbee would be to be a surf lifeguard. His favorite special event at Danbee is Halloween. Neal has only been on one VAGS trip in all his time at Danbee and that was when Rebecca Stavis was a ninth grader and they went to Maine.
As you can see, Neal is one of a kind and we are lucky to have him here at Danbee.
BosTON of fun for eighth grade
by Lulu Rosenthal and Marissa Miller 8th Grade
Our routine days at camp took a three day break for the long awaited trip to Boston. All the girls in the eighth grade anxiously anticipated the excursion to go shopping, tour the city, and stay at a hotel.
The trip began on August first with a 7:00 a.m. wake up to get ready for the trip. Four hours later we arrived at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire for swimming, relaxing, and shopping. At the beach, the weather wasn’t so nice, so we shopped at the gift shops along the beach. From there, we left for Faneuil Hall to shop then the Codzilla ride near the aquarium. The Codzilla is a huge speedboat that was filled with campers from Danbee and Mah-Kee-Nac. Before we went on the Codzilla, everyone was so nervous and a little scared because we didn’t know quite what to expect. After the boat left the dock and reached speeds as fast as 40 miles per hour, everyone was screaming, but then everyone put their hands straight up and had the best time. The boat goes over all of the waves causing a spray getting everyone on the boat soaked! After arriving safely back at the dock, the campers went back to Faneuil Hall for dinner. Then it was off the Springfield Suites hotel outside of Boston.
On the second day, after breakfast we left the hotel for the 80-minute Duck Tour at the Prudential Center. Duck vehicles are World War II military surplus amphibious trucks that have been converted into tourist buses. During the Duck Tour, the guide told us about the history of the buildings around Boston. Also, the tour vehicle starts on the road then goes into the water for a different view of the city.
After the tour, we went to Quincy market for lunch and some shopping before heading to the Museum of Science for an IMAX show about engineering. This was followed by more shopping at Newberry Street where there were stores such as Brandy Melville, LF, Roots, and CVS. Some bunks went to Shake Shack for dinner. After shopping and dinner, we walked
to the Charles Playhouse to see the comedy show Shear Madness, which is a murder mystery set in a hair salon. Danbee girls and Mah-Kee-Nac boys, who also went on the Boston trip, loved the show so much!
On the last day in Boston, we went to the Water Country Water Park in New Hampshire for the super fun slides! After more shopping and eating at the Solomon Pond Mall, we left to go back to camp.
Boston was a super fun trip! It had shopping, learning, and excitement. Overall, everyone thought it was one of the best trips we’ve been on.
Seventh Grade travels the Cape
by Veronique Mintz, 7th Grade
When you’re on campus and you start camp, you dream and look up to the older girls who get to go on overnight trips away from camp that we call VAGS here at Danbee.
This summer the seventh graders got the opportunity to go on their second VAGS trip, which was to Cape Cod. For Hailey Weynand, a seventh grader, she thought that Cape Cod was an experience that expanded her horizons because it really gave her the chance to bond and get closer with her bunk mates.
The first day at Cape Cod we went to Dennis Beach, but unfortunately we didn’t have the best beach weather with high winds. Then we checked into our hotel and had dinner in downtown Hyannis, which is a major tourist destination and referred to as “The Capital of the Cape”.
The second day on the Cape, we started off by going to another part of the Cape called Provincetown. It is a very small town with a population of 3,000 people year
round, but once summer hits it can get as many as 60,000 people with its big tourist industry. Overall, Provincetown is famous for its shopping, beaches and it’s welcoming of the LGBTQ community.
The first thing we did there was go on a dune tour where we split up into small groups in order to fit in the vans. Hannah Ciniglio thought that the dune tour was very educational, but at the same time fun, scenic and creative.
My group’s tour guide named Ross was very interesting and had many jokes. The rest of the day was mostly shopping and we played mini golf at Pirate’s Cove, close to the hotel. We ended off the day with a pizza party by the hotel pool.
Our last day at Cape Cod, we had breakfast across the street from the hotel where we ate buffet style. After that we headed to Seagull Beach, which most campers had a better experience at. Lastly we went back to Downtown Hyannis, ate dinner and shopped some more before hitting the road back to camp.
Colorful fun in Rainbow Game
by Sally Brouhard, Marissa Miller and Lulu Rosenthal, 8th Grade
Storm Clouds, rainbow colored chalk, and Camp Danbee bracelets all hooked campers into this new and exciting version of the rainbow game. Last year the rainbow game was an all-Acres evening activity where campers ran around camp to complete tasks that awarded them a rainbow stripe. This year, the game had an exciting twist – rainbow stripes were replaced with bracelets, campers were required to wear all white, and rainbow chalk filled the air.
The objective of the rainbow game is for each person in each bunk to collect seven different colored bracelets by completing challenges before any other team. Each color has a challenge, and when the challenge is completed, campers receive a bracelet of that color. Challenges, which are located all over camp, include each camper taking their shoes off and putting them back on again, pictionary, or solving a riddle, each person in a bunk rolling doubles on large dice within a specified time limit.
The “storm clouds,” or group leaders dressed in gray and yellow, followed bunks around trying to tag a counselor. If successful, the counselor had to complete a challenge, such as doing ten burpees or running around a tree ten times, or else the entire bunk loses one of their bracelets. If they lose their bracelets, they have to complete the challenge a second
time, therefore they are slowed down. Once the bunks were finished collecting their colors, they had to sprint to the old soccer field, across the parking lot and down a path.
When campers arrived at the soccer field they were handed two cups filled with colorful chalk and they were told not to do anything with it until the count of three. When all the campers arrived, everyone huddled together in a roped off area. The countdown “3…2…1” was heard on the loud speaker everyone threw their cups into the air creating rainbow-colored cloud of chalk dust. As the breeze caught the cloud and pushed it out over the campers everyone’s snowy white clothes became multi-colored, along with their faces. By the end of the night everyone was covered head to toe in all different colored chalk.
Rainbow game was a hit throughout camp and everyone hopes that next year we will do it all again
Campers used their wits when locked in the escape room
by Hailey Wayand, 7th Grade
There was a new off-campus trip at Danbee this year and it was unlike any of the others. You see, seventh and eighth campers were locked in a room and they had to resort to their wits and problem solving skills to escape in a fixed amount of time.
The “Mystery Room,” or escape room as it is commonly called, is located in Holyoke, Massachusetts and is run by “All In Adventures,” a company that started in Georgia and now has 38 locations in 15 states. The number of levels per room are usually three, but it depends on which room you are put in. There are different levels of difficulty in all the rooms. Some of the different themes for the rooms include Hollywood, Superhero, Toy Story, E.T., Ghost Busters, and so much more!
The campers were divided into six groups with six to eight people in each group. The groups then were assigned to a room and each room had a theme.
When we walked into our assigned escape room, my group noticed the awesome superhero theme and we knew we were going to have a great time. There are multiple boxes and other objects with locks you have to unlock by using clues to figure out the combination. There is a little help button on the top of the door of the room that can be pushed to call for assistance, if needed and
someone will come in to guide the group.
You only have an hour to escape, so you are pressured to get out in time!
Many the seventh and eighth graders thought the escape room was a great way to communicate and challenge everyone. It was a very creative idea, as well. It was also a very good mental exercise that bonded the groups and forced them to use teamwork. It really gave everyone a chance to shine with their smarts and use their skills.
While the escape room experience was not for everyone, most people enjoyed it and had a good time.
“It was awesome,” said Sally Brouhard. “It was one of the highlights of my summer because it was something that required interacting with new campers.”
“I think this experience in the escape room was like never before,” said Lulu Rosenthal, “because it was a great way to get off camp and do something we had not done before.”
“I thought it was a really a great way to meet new people in your age group and work with others,” said Marissa Miller.
Behind the Counter: A look into
toast sticks! They figure each person will eat
three French toast sticks and will make a few extra.
Camp activities offer Danbee girls something new to try
by Lulu Rosenthal and Sally Brouhard, 8th Grade
Danbee girls spend their entire days in eventful activities, where they practice fitness and arts. As Honey Bumbles, their schedule is chosen for them, Yellow Jackets and Hornets get to choose one elective, and the rest of the age groups choose their own schedules. There is a lot to choose.
In pottery, campers learn to shape clay into almost anything they desire. The head of pottery, Sean Byrne, teaches campers how to use a pottery wheel and how to execute their creativity through pottery.
At the lake, there are a variety of activities such as waterskiing, wakeboarding and paddle boarding. There is canoeing, kayaking, sailing and even fishing. The head of lake, Mike Snodgrass, leads all of the lake activities. Campers take a test for their swim tags. How fast they swim four laps determines whether they get a blue, white or red tag. They have to float on their back for a minute and tread water for a minute. The tag color determines whether campers need a lifejacket.
Located near the lake, arts and crafts is where campers can express their creativity through their paintings and drawings. Campers can make bracelets, posters, flowers, dream catchers and more. Jewelry is a creative class where campers learn how to make necklaces, earrings, rings and even chokers. The head of arts and crafts is Charley Drover.
Next door to arts and crafts is cooking. This is where campers make delicious treats that taste as if a professional chef made them. They make foods like cookies, mozzarella sticks, lollipops, sushi donuts and spaghetti squash. Hannah Bairner is the “Head Chef” of cooking.
Fitness is an important class where acres campers are allowed to exercise using treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes, along with staff instruction. Also, you are allowed to go jogging around camp during this time.
In horseback riding, campers get a ride
across the main road in front of camp to the stables where they can learn to ride and take care of horses.
Gymnastics and cheer leading are classes where campers learn how to be more flexible and improve skills. During gymnastics, campers learn how to do cartwheels, round offs and even flips. There are even cheering and gymnastics competitions with other camps. Jennifer Rochefort is the head director of gymnastics and cheer.
Theater is a class where campers learn to express themselves through dancing and singing and the theater department produces an Acres and Campus play every summer. This year the acres play is “High School Musical” and the campus play is “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.” The head of the theater department is Rebecca Stavis.
In woodcraft campers learn how to use tools to make nifty items with wood. Caitlyn Purinton is the head of woodcraft and she tries to work with every camper individually to help them build their dream project.
Dance classes for campers include hip-hop, jazz, ballet, spins and turns. Dance is taught by Erica Snodgrass. At the end of camp, there is dance fest, which means all the dances that the classes created are performed for the whole camp to see their amazing moves.
Finally, journalism and media is where campers can write stories about camp. Campers learn how to develop a story idea, how to craft questions, good interview techniques and how to structure their article. Campers also have an opportunity to work on special in-depth projects, such as women empowerment and social media. The articles written by campers are published in the camp newspaper, The Beeline, which is sent to families of campers, and on The Beeline website. The head of journalism and media, Gary Hook, works to make sure campers have a creative experience.
Activities at camp enrich our days here and our lives. The excellent staff teaches us all to be the best we can with anything we are trying at camp.
Danbee sports mold athletes
by Alex Kabakov and Molly Coulston, 6th Grade
At Danbee we have many sports, from volleyball, to soccer, to rock climbing. Some sports are played by only a few campers, such as horseback riding and ice hockey. Greg Walberg directs all land sports.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports at Danbee. The current soccer director is Jason Swann, along with instructors Ambar Torres, and Casey Ward. The program’s emphasis is on drills that help the girls learn and develop skills. There are soccer matches and tournaments with other camps. Soccer academy and private lessons also are offered, which are counted as extras.
At Danbee, the ropes program features rock climbing, the giant rope swing, low ropes, zip line and the rock wall. Each activity is designed to challenge girls to go beyond their comfort zone and develop self-confidence. The low ropes are a series of ropes attached from tree to tree that you test your balance while scrambling through the woods. The zip line is a long cable that stretches from one tree to another. To reach it, you are clipped in and assisted while climbing handholds on a tree, then hold on tight because off you go! Lastly, the rock wall has inclines on either side or you can follow a straight path through the middle. Shannon Mahoney oversees ropes.
At volleyball, campers of different skill levels come together to practice setting, bumping, a bit of newcomb, and possibly a small volleyball match. Counselors Laura Finn and Shannon Stone work together to improve volleyball skills and knowledge of the game.
At tennis, many counselors work to give kids the experience of how to play, whether simply feeding a ball or playing a match. Danbee has twelve tennis courts, six located on campus and six on acres. Tennis also has the most counselors specializing in its practice. The program heads whom also teach private lessons and tennis academy are Neil Gerhart and Adam Zastampowski. Tennis is a popular activity at Danbee.
During basketball campers work on skills, shooting and mini games. One person who works at basketball is Maria Constantinou. She will always teach you how to play if you don’t know how or to help you get better. Shelby Dugan is another person who works at basketball. Shelby always teaches us new tricks and makes sure we work hard. Basketball is always fun at Danbee.
Danbee has many sports other than the ones previously mentioned such as lacrosse, field hockey and archery. You can choose nearly anything and Danbee would have a time for you to go do your thing. Danbee sports are an integral part of camp.
Memory Hall highlights
The memory hall is used not only to highlight Danbee’s history, but recently it has been used for bunk meetings because it is a quiet place that “screams Danbee.” Photos of mothers and daughters who both went to Danbee are pictured together on a wall in the memory hall.
Jay wants girls to understand that they are a part of something bigger than just this summer because all the Danbee traditions have kept it going as it will continue to do. He believes girls enjoy learning about the history of camp and that Danbee has always empowered girls.
Overall, the memory hall encapsulates the Danbee spirit. Whether it is for a bunk meeting, or just a reminder of what makes Danbee so special, the memory hall is a very important place on camp. It shows Danbee is different as expressed by the artifacts and traditions highlighted in the hall.
Support Staff crucial to keeping
Eva Fammeltova also is from the Czech Republic. She, too, is on the maintenance staff. She attends Czech Technical University in Prague studying cartography. She said she found Danbee through an agency. Her day off is Thursday. Eva also enjoys staff swim, and her time off after she finishes work each day. Eva is the only girl on the maintenance staff, and will always be seen in one of the camp’s trucks with all the guys.
Vojtech Kamenik, too, is from the Czech Republic. At home, he has a part time job, which he does a couple hours a week. Vojtech also attends the Technical University of Liberec, studying to teach physical education and geography. He heard about Danbee through Lucie, a member of the cleaning staff, and might come back in two years. His day of is Tuesdays every week. His job entails taking the trash out three times a day, picking up trash around camp two times a week, moving beds, and painting, which he enjoys. Vojtech’s favorite time of the day is breakfast.
“I love the breakfast here,” he says.
Lucie Frankova is from Prague, Czech Republic, and has two jobs at home, which include bartending and being a social worker at an elderly center. She chose to work on the cleaning staff, where she cleans bunk bathrooms, as well as bathrooms in places like the theater, dance studio, and fitness center. Other days there can be other tasks such as mopping the floor in the theater, or vacuuming carpeted areas. She goes to the University of Jana Evangelista Purkyně and is studying social work. She found Danbee through an agency three years ago and plans to return next summer. Lucie gets one day off a week and gets to choose which day she takes. She starts work after breakfast and works until she and the other cleaning staff are done. After that she can take the night off. Her favorite parts of the day are breakfast and the nights.
There is a lot we take for granted here at Danbee, such as clean bathrooms, garbage pickup, trimmed lawns and most of it takes place out of sight of campers. These are some of the people who work behind the scenes to help make Danbee the special place we enjoy so much.
Infirmary helps Danbee Girls
installed in the infirmary.
Danbee’s nurses are busy people and they work hard to keep campers healthy, or to get them back to normal if they do get sick.
Meet Camp Danbee's nurses
by Marissa Miller and Lulu Rosenthal, 8th Grade
At Danbee there are five of the most hardworking nurses you will meet. This summer they have been dealing with many issues ranging from bug bites to sprained ankles to stomach bugs.
Alexis McCarter is a nursing student from Sevierville, Tennessee. She has wanted to become a nurse ever since her mother took care of her grandfather. She saw how much someone could help people by being a nurse. She got her nursing education at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City and this is her first year at Danbee. She says her favorite part of working as a nurse at Danbee is “meeting cool people.”
Nicole Dotson is from Aiken, South Carolina and she has two kids who both attend camp. She says she didn’t originally want to be a nurse. She was married after high school and her counselor suggested she consider being a nurse. After beginning to study nursing, she realized it was the perfect job for her. She got her nursing education from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.This is her second year at Danbee. Her favorite part of working at Danbee is everything, she says, “is there a part not to love?”
Laina Smith is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has four kids and two grandkids. She was always interested in nursing because as a Girl Scout she was always “all over” first aid. In college she started a writing path, but decided to change into nursing. She got her nursing education from Prince George’s Community College in
Largo, Maryland. This is her fifth year at
Danbee. Her favorite part of being a nurse at Danbee is “the campers because it’s fun to watch them grow-up and change into young women.”
Valerie Bedford is from Wooster, Massachusetts. She wanted to become a nurse because there would be lots of opportunities to help care for people. Also, Valerie says she is a person who gets bored a lot and being a nurse would let her do many different jobs while helping people. She went to University of New England in Portland, Maine. This is Valerie’s first year at Danbee. She loves being a nurse at Danbee because she loves getting to know all of the children that come through the infirmary every day.
Lisa Center lives in Schenectady, New York. She has four kids, two girls and two boys. She wanted to be a nurse because she has always wanted to take care of people. Lisa attended Maria College in Albany, New York. Lisa loves being a nurse at Danbee because she loves meeting all the different people.
Danbee’s nurses have come from all over to help the campers here. They all have things in common, including a love of camp, meeting new people and bonding with the campers. But most of all they share a love of what they are doing – being nurses and helping people.
Counselors share heartfelt tributes in special service
by Lulu Rosenthal and Lindsay Cohen, 8th Grade
Traditions at Camp Danbee are what make this a special place for campers and counselors. At the beginning of camp, the opening campfire sets the expectations for the summer. The opening campfire is the time when campers get to talk about their past summers at camp. This tradition reminds us of why Danbee is special.
Making new friends, meeting new people, taking risks and trying something new is the goal for Danbee campers every summer. The summer begins with laughter and smiles, but when the summer starts to wind down, sadness seeps into camper’s thoughts. Even though camp is the best experience anyone could go through, when the sun starts to set on the summer, it makes people sad because they will have to wait ten months till this special place.
That is why another Danbee tradition exists and it is called Counselor Service and it marks the start of bringing camp to a close.
“Counselor service begins the process of closure,” explains Jay Toporoff, who, along with his brother Mark, has guided that process for 28 summers. “It is normal to feel sadness when something wonderful comes to an end, but it doesn’t need to be an abrupt end. We want it to be gradual so people- counselors and campers – can begin to release their emotions in a meaningful way. People will cry and shed tears, but that is normal, too.”
Counselor service is the night when all the counselors sing songs, hold candles and tell everyone at camp about the kids in their bunk. The Wel-B-Yon counselors present a video of all the memories the Wel-B-Yon have cherished through their summer.
“Counselor service starts the closure process for counselors,” Jay notes. “For the campers it is the closing campfire and wish boats.”
Counselor service begins with all of the campers sitting in their seats in the theater. Soon counselors begin entering holding candles and singing the first song of the night.
As they are walking they climb the steps of the stage and take their seats on the benches. Counselors talk about the experiences they have made throughout the summer. Then the counselors from each bunk sing a song about their campers.
“This tradition was here when I arrived,” Jay said, “and I continued it because I felt it was important to remember all of the camp experiences that happened throughout the summer.”
While people look forward to this tradition, they don’t want it to come so soon because it means that this camp summer is slowly starting to fade away.
As the counselors walk off the stage holding their candles, it shows that the night is coming to an end. As they walk off the stage they sing the last song of the night, once the song is over they blow out their candles. Once the night ends each bunk gets into their friendship circles and sings Danbee’s anthem.
Though counselor service is a very memorable night it also is a night with some sadness. Counselor service also is an example of what makes Danbee a special place.