What a Summer!

session8a92The past eight weeks have positively flown by, but there is no denying it- this is the last week of summer 2016. Although we are nearly done, there is still fun to be had this week at Camp Friendship.

Last Friday, everyone participated in our second Color Wars of the summer. The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows theme meant that the teams were the Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone and Invisibility Cloak. The Elder Wand, captained by SV1’s Claude Kirton and JG’s Antonia Lanaras, wore green all day. Meanwhile, the Resurrection Stone team was led by JB’s David Ross and JG’s Amy Pedlow and favored white. The day included a surprise for me, as I was one of the captains of the Invisibility Cloak team along with JB’s Daniel Hajdar. Our team sported purple throughout the day.

session8a97The day was full of fun competition, even with on-and-off rain throughout the morning and early afternoon. In the morning, campers played dodgeball and volleyball, competed in lake events and worked on the songs, dances and floats for their teams. They earned more points for their teams during silent lunch, with groups of campers and counselors performing silent dances and skits to entertain the supervisors. In the afternoon, it was time for the House Cup relay race. The race ended at the edge of lower fields when the team captains built a fire to snap a rope suspended off the ground. Following the relay race, the teams met at their headquarters so that everyone could learn the songs and dances. After a break for dinner, it was time to head to the drama theater to show off the songs, dances and floats.

session8a98After performances in the theater, everyone headed to Campfire. After acts from various activities and campers, it was time for the big reveal. The captains were called down onstage and the supervisors revealed a Sorting Hat. The Sorting Hat announced that, after a day of fierce competition, the Invisibility Cloak team had won!

There is a lot more to look forward to this week. In addition to the production Beauty and the Beast being staged on Thursday, we have an Olympics-themed dance and the final closing Campfire of the summer coming up.

A Little Competition This Week at Summer Camp

Competition is in the air here at Camp Friendship this week! Last night, Friendship FC squared up against Triple C in a good-natured soccer friendly at lower fields. Tomorrow, we will have our second Color Wars of the summer.

The soccer game was an enjoyable night for everyone! The counselors who played for the team ran out to the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” earning cheers from campers and other staff members. session8a95While the game raged on, campers enjoyed burgers and dogs and rooted for their counselors to defeat Triple C. Although in the end Friendship FC was unsuccessful, it was a competitive matchup. Sports supervisor and team captain Antony Shinks scored a goal for Friendship FC, heading it into the net off of a corner kick. At halftime, a music mashup was played and campers danced around, keeping the energy up for the team.

session8a98We may be done with the soccer game, but we certainly aren’t done with exciting events this week! Many of the counselors and campers have been very excited about last weekend’s release of the script of J.K. Rowling’s play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This excitement exploded earlier today, when the theme for tomorrow’s Color Wars was revealed. As everyone filed into the dining hall for breakfast this morning, they were surprised with Harry Potter themed decorations. Meanwhile, supervisors were dressed as witches and wizards, complete with their own wands.

Tonight’s 90s-themed dance is sure to hold more surprises about tomorrow. Stay tuned for more information about Color Wars and closing campfire in the next blog!

How to Pack for Summer Camp


Can you believe that our first session at Camp Friendship is less than two weeks away?! Hopefully, you’ve begun or maybe even finished packing by now. But if not, don’t freak out! We completely understand that packing for summer camp can be a super stressful and frustrating experience, but don’t worry, we’ve all been there! And to help, we have come up with a few tips to help when it comes to packing for our coed summer camp in Virginia!

  1. Get a trunk. Look for a trunk that is guaranteed to last for a couple of future summers at camp. Many of our camper’s live out of the trunk all summer. There are also trunk organizers that you can purchase that make packing a lot easier. Try and personalize the trunk too with some stickers, paint, or vinyl to make it feel a little more “homey”.
  2. The worst part. Start packing. See if the camp has a summer camp packing list or parent packet that you can follow. Follow this list because it is everything that the camp believes your son or daughter will need to have the best summer camp experience.
  3. Labels are a MUST! Every single item no matter how small should be labeled. Many of our families recommend using a laundry marker or waterproof labels. By labeling everything, it helps reduce the risk of an unwanted trip to the lost and found on pick up day.
  4. What summer camp activities will your child be participating in? Find out if he or she needs to pack any kind of equipment or specific clothing.
  5. Medications. If your son or daughter will be required to medications at camp, speak with our Health Center. Our Health Center is one of our summer camp facilities that has certified and experienced health personnel who are there 24/7.
  6. Invest in a shower caddy or waterproof basket. This will ensure that your child will not forget anything when they go to the showers. We encourage good personal hygiene at camp and a shower caddy often helps with that.
  7. All liquids should be packed carefully in some kind of plastic or Ziploc bag. No one wants to have their socks soaked in shampoo.
  8. Feeling homesick at summer camp is completely natural. To help your son or daughter to fight these feelings, pack some reminders of home. A stuffed animal, blanket, or photographs are common items that children will associate with home.
  9. NO ELECTRONICS. Personal electronics that can connect to WiFi are restricted at camp. It takes away from the experience and children will likely be too busy having fun to look at their cell phone! We do however allow older iPods and MP3 players that don’t connect to WiFi to listen to music. But to protect your child’s possessions, we encourage you to keep valuable items at home.

If you’re looking for the best coed summer camp in Virginia, contact Camp Friendship at 434-589-8950 to schedule a tour or for more information today!

Wild West and Charlie Make an Appearance at Summer Camp

session6a-295Another week has come to an end, and we are still having a great time at Camp Friendship! After the excitement of Camplified earlier this week, the past few days have been nice and relaxing. On Wednesday, the seniors enjoyed a movie night for evening activity, while the juniors had a pool party. The activities offered the perfect way to unwind after a busy time at camp.

session6a-296It has certainly been busy! Campers in activities like drama workshop, dance and school of music have been preparing all week to perform at closing Campfire tonight. In drama workshop, campers learn some of the fundamentals of drama and acting, play improvisation games and rehearse a skit to perform for everyone else. In dance, campers learn a choreographed dance routine throughout the week. Set to popular current songs, the dances are always a hit at Campfire. Finally, in school of music, campers get to choose a song or selection of songs to sing at Campfire. With all of the preparation going into the acts, they are sure to be showstoppers tonight!

Meanwhile, some of the counselors have been hard at work practicing for the soccer game against our rival camp later in the summer. Sports supervisor Antony Shinks, acting as team captain, has been coordinating the practices and preparing for the game. The contest is only a few short weeks away.

session6a-294Last night we enjoyed the Wild West-themed dance. Riding Camp decorated the gym to perfection, including saloon doors at the entrance and hay bales scattered around. Although almost everyone dressed in cowboy or Western outfits, there were a few outliers- such as a wild Kanye West and a wild Adam West! The dance was a hit, as everyone enjoyed songs like the Cotton Eyed Joe.

Though it’s already Friday, we still have a lot of activity left in the week! After dinner, everyone will head down to the theater to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Following the play, we will see more performances at Campfire. After the performances are over, everyone will join in a couple rousing renditions of the Friendship song. At the end of Campfire, supervisors will sing everyone off to their villages with “This Little Light of Mine,” the perfect way to end another perfect week at camp!


Games, Music, and Friends at Summer Camp

session6a93The past few days have flown by, so it’s hard to believe that we are already halfway done with Week 6 at Camp Friendship! Our campers have been very busy with all sorts of activities as well as yesterday’s big event, Camplified.

Throughout the summer, various musicians join Camplified and tour at camps across the country. Yesterday was Camp Friendship’s turn to welcome the talented musicians. The event proved to be a big hit with campers, who enjoyed the music, freebies and meet-and-greet. In the afternoon, campers were able to participate in Camplified activities. The juniors loved the record-painting station, where they were able to choose an old record and decorate it as they wished. Other activities included Frisbee, sound-mixing, dancing and a photo-booth. When campers got tired, they could relax in blow-up chairs with a free bottle of Hint water.

session6a96After dinner, the entire camp headed up to the gym for a concert. With music from Jagged Row, Pom Oak, Tyson and DJ Kiss, everyone enjoyed the night. In addition to original music, the bands played current hits like Shake it Off and Stitches. Campers and counselors demonstrated their own talent to the Camplified visitors by showing them the classic Everytime We Touch dance.

Following the concert, there was a short meet-and-greet opportunity. The musicians signed posters and papers and even posed for photos with the campers. It was a great way to end a fun day full of music and activities!

session6a99The week is not over quite yet, though. With the Wild Wild West themed dance and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory coming up, there is more to enjoy coming up at camp.

Anabelle – former camper, former cit, current counselor

Choosing the Right Residential Camp

While this summer is relatively half-way over, the search for the perfect residential camp near Pennsylvania for sons and/or daughters is still not over for some families! The earlier that you start looking for a residential camp, the less stressful (and cheap) your experience will be. Here at Camp Friendship we have come up with a few tips to make the search a little bit easier, so keep on reading ahead! However, keep in mind that we still have some sessions open for your child to attend! Don’t take too long though, you might miss out on what could’ve been an amazing summer experience for them!

  1. What does the camp offer? The best way to guarantee that your son or daughter enjoys their experience is by sending them to a camp that offers what they are interested in. Look through the residential camp activities to see all of the options. At Camp Friendship, we offer sports, water activities, low and high ropes, creative arts, and different evening activities to end the day. There is something for everyone to do at Camp Friendship!
  2. How far away is the camp? The distance away from home shouldn’t affect your decision way too much. If you think a residential camp is the right fit, don’t cancel it out because it’s farther away than you wanted. Just make sure to visit the residential camp first before you make any final decisions.
  3. Who will be taking care of your children? One of the most important things to find out about is the residential camp staff. Ask about the hiring process, any licenses and training they take, and what the ratio of counselors to campers is. These are the people who will be with your children all summer, so feel free to ask as many questions as you want.
  4. What are on the campgrounds? Whether you’re taking an online tour or actually visiting the camp in person, find out about the residential camp facilities. Look at the cabins, all of the different fields and courts, the pool, the lake, etc. At Camp Friendship, we are constantly updating and checking the facilities to guarantee a safe and fun experience for our campers!

Now, are you ready to sign your son or daughter up for the best residential camp near Pennsylvania? Then contact Camp Friendship today at (434)-589-8950 for more information or to schedule a tour!


Best Horseback Riding Camp near Washington DC

Does your child love horses? Do they know how to ride them? Or maybe they just want to learn! Camp Friendship is the best horseback riding summer camp for children ages 7-16 nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  What makes Camp Friendship the best horseback riding camp near Washington DC, is that we teach the fundamentals of horse and rider, as well as provide the most fun with our gentle horses. Your child can enjoy playing in the river or taking them out on our country trails. Whether a beginner or an advanced rider, Camp Friendship has the perfect program for any horse enthusiast! Our programs are designed to bring the best experience to children during their stay at summer camp.

The Horses: Camp Friendship’s ninety horses can be described as wonderful, versatile, and safe.  They are owned and maintained by the camp year round.  The herd is composed of all different sizes, colors, and breeds so that Camp Friendship is well equipped to best match each rider with a horse that is well suited for them, from the most basic beginner to the advanced rider.

We look forward to hearing from you and providing a unique summer experience for your child. We’re open all year round for tours and questions. Contact Camp Friendship today at 1-800-873-3223.


Weekly Summary

What’s Been Going on This Week?

This week, the campers have had an exciting time here at Camp Friendship! The most popular activities being kayaking, fishing, and mountain boarding. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves as they continue through the rest of their activities.


Kayaking, a favorite here this week, was full every day! Sean, the kayaking instructor, created games to play with the campers as they learn to kayak. Racing to collect tennis balls in the lake was a fun game this week! It was entertaining to watch everyone race to collect the balls thrown in different areas throughout the lake!

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Camper seen here enjoying a game during kayaking


Another favorite activity this week was fishing! Campers were ecstatic as they caught fish in Friendship Lake. Campers encouraged each other whilst fishing around the lake, and often got just as excited as the ones that caught fish! Fishing instructor, Monica, helped the campers unhook the fish after they were caught, as well as taught campers better ways to fish. The campers also had the option to dig for worms and use those as bait as well! The camper featured below in the photograph used a worm that he dug up as bait and caught a 13 inch Largemouth Bass!

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Camper seen here with a Largemouth Bass caught moments before

Mountain Boarding

Antony Shinks, featured in a previous blog post, also teaches mountain boarding! The campers love Shinks and his upbeat, fun attitude he brings to every activity. Mountain boarding is one of the campers’ favorite activities here at Camp Friendship, and they definitely enjoyed it this week! Using a board similar to a skateboard, but with bigger, off-road wheels and foot-holders, campers’ skate downhill either sitting down or standing. Shinks also teaches them the best ways to lean to control their steering, and before long the campers got the hang of it!

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Mountain board seen above

Zombie Apocalypse Dance!

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Camper seen above with a decoration for the dance!

Last night was the Zombie Apocalypse dance! Campers and counselors have been working on their costumes for days, as well as decorations for the dance. Campers and counselors alike were excited for the dance to take place. Everyone danced together in the gym and had a fantastic evening!

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Sports Variety & Antony Shinks


Sports Variety

One of the favorite activities among campers here at Camp Friendship is Sports Variety; a collection of different sports such as basketball, noodle-hockey (fan-favorite for rainy days, myself included!), soccer, as well as many others. Supervisor Antony Shinks has been with Camp Friendship for several years and specializes in Sports Variety classes at Camp Friendship.

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Junior Girls camper seen playing Noodle Hockey, a Camp Friendship treat!

Luckily, I have also had the chance to take a few classes with Shinks and I’ve always had a wonderful experience with the campers. The campers’ (as well as staff’s) inclusive attitude towards new people made the experiences wonderful and fun, especially because we were all actively playing a game together, towards a common goal.


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Camper Jose, seen here enjoying Ultimate Frisbee

Personally, I enjoy Ultimate Frisbee the most here at camp. It is also on of Shinks’ favorite sports to teach to campers! Everyone gets excited as they pass the frisbee back and forth between their teammates. Whether or not campers know each other makes no difference, as they make new friends easily! Shinks makes ‘Hydration Station’ time for all the campers and staff to go to the water cooler and cool down a little bit from the summer Virginia heat. Sometimes, when it’s hot enough, it turns into a playful water-fight! Laughter is heard all throughout the Lower Fields, including myself and Shinks. It truly is a good time for everyone involved with the sport, as well as our breaks in between.

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Jose, Emily, and Shinks having a laugh during Ultimate Frisbee

Upcoming Event: Zombie Apocalypse 

This Thursday, Camp Friendship will hold its weekly dance! Zombie Apocalypse is the theme for this week’s dance, and Camp Friendship already has some zombies lurking about! Zombie warnings are posted around camp, and nobody knows when the undead are going to awaken and stir around Camp! Campers are thrilled to get involved, and it’s a favorite theme around camp. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us!

Stay tuned for more updates!!

Favorite Camp Activities!

Camper’s Choice!


It’s been rainy this week here at Camp Friendship, but the campers and I have still been having fun. While making

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friendship bracelets with them, I asked a few what their favorite activity was this week. Their top choices were tennis, sports variety, and drama production; drama production standing tall with the most popularity.



Lena seen playing tennis

Lena, Junior Girls camper this week, enjoys tennis lessons from Alina Ackenbom, but also mentioned that playing one versus one with counselor and instructor David Ross has made the experience fun and enjoyable. Lena said that David challenges her on the court and has helped her greatly this week. One of the great things about Camp Friendship is the level of kindness and thoughtfulness in our staff, especially in regards to campers. To the campers, it makes the world of a difference to know that everyone is accepted and supported here at camp.

Sports Variety, Spotlight: Tom Gosling


Tom Gosling seen here at the sports shed in Lower Fields

Sports variety is another popular choice at camp. Campers have a chance to get involved and gain experience in sports they may not have otherwise had a chance to play. Campers and counselors alike enjoy getting involved and being active. The campers are always excited to play with other campers, even if they don’t already know them. Tom Gosling, sports variety instructor, said in a discussion with me earlier today that, “Even though they (campers) don’t know each other they’re all happy to get along with each other. It’s a good thing to happen!”

Drama Production, Spotlight: Cody Payne


Cody Payne teaching a drama class

Top choice this week, Drama Production, has been mentioned by many campers as their favorite activity, as we move into the rehearsals of the upcoming production of Cinderella. Most campers also mention Performing Arts Supervisor, Cody Payne, who has been at Camp Friendship for 6 years (3 of those being a camper!). Cody’s outgoing and creative personality makes the experience extremely fun for campers! Junior Girls camper Piper even told me that, “Cody’s really funny! I think he’s one of my favorite counselors.” This week marks half of theater production as they move towards the performance

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of Cinderella towards the end of next week. Parts have been cast, and rehearsals have been started. “It’s fun to be in plays and its a nice, small group,” said Junior Boys camper Aubrey. Drama Production is hard at work this week and will continue next week in preparation.

Update: 80’s Rock Dance


This evening, the 80’s Rock dance took place in the Flag Room due to the rain, but we all had a blast! Everyone was singing and dancing to classic 1980’s hits! Campers got creative with their costumes, as did staff! We all rocked into the night, and had a great time.