Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kinnelon's Camp Rickabear

Kinnelon Camper ready for Kinnelon's Camp RickabearSummer Camp at Kinnelon's Lake Rickabear - a Girls Scouts of Northern New Jersey day camp - begins today and camper Emma has been chomping at the bit. [You see her here on her first day of camp last year.] This is her third year attending camp at Lake Rickabear, a 40 acre spring-fed lake, and enjoying 332 acres of Kinnelon natural beauty. Life truly doesn't get much better for a kid!

[FYI - Lake Rickabear was the site of Lake Rickabear Club, a private recreational facility for professional men and their families per a 1955 and 56 entry in Google Timeline. I'm told it was also a corporate retreat facility, possibly for Curtiss-Wright? Readers, if you can help me fill in the gaps, please let me know in the comments. Thank you!]

In anticipation, Emma writes the following:


Every summer I go to a fantastic Summer camp. This camp is called Rickabear. During the camp season there are three sleepovers. I go to each and every one. I like the counselors, lifeguards and specialists. My favorite counselor is Dani. We have a lot of fun together.

In the beginning of each week, we have a swim test. Last year, I started out as a bullfrog, then got retested and became an angelfish. After I passed angelfish, I became an iguana. This is the order of categories for swimming: bat, beaver, bullfrog, alligator, angelfish, iguana and sea serpent.
  • A bat needs a lot of training.
  • A beaver needs some help.
  • A bullfrog swims with a noodle and works on strokes.
  • An alligator swims sometimes with a noodle, but mostly swims without.
  • An angelfish starts going to the farther docks and does laps.
  • An iguana swims to the red dock and learns the butterfly stroke.
  • A sea serpent has mastered all of the strokes.
Depending on your swimming category, you get a different color swim cap. Bats, beavers and bullfrogs wear green. Alligators and angelfish wear a yellow swim cap.  Iguanas and sea serpents wear white. When you reach a yellow or white swim cap, you can go on a kayak.

There are other things that you might do during the day like Sports, Arts & Crafts and Boating. If you are ten and up you get to do archery. I am 9 and 3/4 to be exact. Miss Amanda helps out at Arts and Crafts. Melissa does Sports. Oh and then I forgot Miss Jess who does Nature Fun. Miss Lisa also does Nature. Then we have our nurse; I forget her name.

There are units you get assigned to. There is unit 1 through unit 12, then you go to the teen unit. The highest unit I've been in is Unit 6. My friend Kathleen also goes to Rickabear.

There are 8 or 9 different buses. I am on bus 6 - Minnie Mouse.

The head lifeguard's name is Meg; her partner is Trish. Sometimes we have drills. The drill is when we can't find any campers.

I have so much fun at camp all Summer long!

If you'd like a visual taste of Kinnelon's Camp Rickabear, you might enjoy Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey's YouTube video.

I wish I were a kid again...

What were your favorite memories of Summers in Kinnelon? Let us know in the comments.


Mary Beth said...

Yes, that is correct it was once corporately owned by Curtiss-Wright (this was what we were told by the Northern NJ director when I attended an Eco-Trek 2 years ago). Wasn't it previously owned by the Ricker family (hence the name)?

I loved going to Girl Scout Camp. I attended for 5 nights after 5th grade (Camp Golden Knot) and 2 weeks after 6th grade (Camp Glen Spey).

At Camp Glen Spey, the swimming level determined which boat we were able to take out. Since I was already in the highest swimming group, I was able to take out the sailboat on the lake, very cool.

I even got in trouble at camp and had to do latrine duty for a week. I took a fellow camper on a 'short cut' through the woods. We didn't get lost because I have good inner navigation skills. But our counsellors figured out that we did not take the road. So we got in trouble for breaking one of the rules. I got in trouble for walking through the woods of Van Saun Park as a kid (my parents' house is a block away).

The inner hiker prevailed as an adult. You know what they say about Girl Scouts, right? Once a Girl Scout always a Girl Scout!

Have fun at Girl Scout Camp Emma. Thanks for sharing.

CB Whittemore said...

Mary Beth, thanks for confirming the camp's ownership. I love the idea that the Rickers owned it at some point...

BTW, your bouts of 'trouble' sure make for great stories. No wonder you are such a wonderful writer... and hiker!

Thanks for sharing. Emma is having a blast.


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