Briarwood Bugle 2024 – Week 1

Check out our latest Briarwood Bugle! You can read it below or see it in glorious color and with photos here.

Briarwood Bugle 2024
Week 1

From Mike and Matt
Hellooooo everybody! Briarwood is back and better than ever! And we couldn’t be happier.
Camp is already in full swing. It is wonderful to walk around camp and see so many kids playing and smiling and laughing and enjoying their friends and counselors.
The Busy Bees are swarming all over camp and, if you listen closely, you can hear many of the older bunks beginning to practice their bunk shows. Fun stuff!
We had our first Wednesday Themeday—School Spirit Day—and that was fun. Upper Camp leagues started, Senior Camp enjoyed West Chester Volleyball, Lower Camp stayed cool in the pool (and some campers already passed the deep water test!) and everyone got to see our mascot Boomer on Friday!
Next week we’ve got lots more fun stuff planned. Our Gaga Tournament is back, Clubs begin, Senior Camp goes to Dorney Park, Wednesday Themeday is Red, White and Blue Day (naturally!), we’ve got our usual programming awesomeness and more! We’ll send home bunk schedules, too. And don’t forget we’re closed Thursday, July 4 but open on Friday, July 5. Have a great weekend. Let’s do it all again next week!

• If you want to reach your camper’s counselor during the camp day, call the office at 215-598-7143 and we will gladly relay your message. Please do not TEXT or CALL your child’s counselor directly during the camp day. Our counselors are busy watching children and we have asked them not to check their phones during the day.
• Early and Late Care is available from 7:30 am—6:00 pm sharp. Please call the office if you will need this service.
• While it never rains at Briarwood, in the event of a passing shower, please send your camper with the appropriate rain gear should the forecast call for rain.
• Apply sunscreen daily prior to coming to camp.
• Please label all clothing and personal items. That said — and because we know
kids — our Lost and Found is located by the Sports Center on Upper Field.


Sweet as Honey in the Beehive – Susan Garber, Associate Director and Busy Bee Director: Briarwood has always been my happy place! I’m so excited to be back for the 2024 fun-filled summer at Briarwood. Our Busy Bees have always had a huge presence around camp. The fact that our Bees get to participate in most activities that our older kids do provides our little ones with a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. Of course, each skill is taught on an appropriate developmental level and it sets the foundation to go in an upwards direction. From swimming to tennis to drama and so much more, our camp day is full of positive experiences. With the help of our fabulous sports staff and talented specialists, the Busy Bees have endless opportunities to grow and learn day after day. Let’s not forget all the fun events! Whether a camper is age three or age fifteen, the blue and gold will compete during Color War. Costumes will be worn during Halloween in July, and next week’s Gaga Tournament will be a big deal. And yes, the Gaga court on the Busy Bee playground is the envy of all other Gaga courts. Really, it is spectacular! The Bees are always so adorable, and as they take to the stage, week six, the Briarwood cute meter will be at an all-time high. Bring tissues! I am so proud of our Briarwood Family and I’m so happy that I am once again a part of this incredible community. I am looking forward to eight weeks of laughter, smiles, cheering, singing, and good healthy old-fashioned fun in the outdoors.

Hooray for Lower Camp Girls! By Jeri Newman, Lower Camp Girls Supervisor: I am beyond thrilled to be back at camp this summer! It makes me so happy to see our lower girls bunks playing and laughing together, enjoying the teamwork of sports, and creativity of art, and just being kids! The counselors are smiling and laughing as well while playing right alongside the girls! While in lower camp the girls will be able to explore their different interests during clubs! Halloween in July is always a camper favorite as are the bunk shows! They have already been planning their bunk show dances! I know they can’t wait to make s’mores in nature and bounce on the jumper! This year we will continue with our Lower Girls Relays! Can’t wait to see the girls cheer for each other! I can feel the excitement from the campers and their counselors to be back outdoors and with their friends. This summer will be the seventh summer that my daughters and I have been able to call Briarwood our summer home away from home. As always it will be a summer to remember!

Lower Camp Boys Rule! By Dave Woods, Lower Camp Supervisor: “We Love Briarwood! The Fun, The Sun, The Friends!” Ready, Set, Go! Briarwood Day Camp is the place to be, and the Lower Boys groups are gearing up for another stupendous summer. From ceramics and basketball to the rock wall, jumper, and softball, the activities are endless. With 30 acres of unplugged fun in the sun, the campers will be coming home rarin’ for more!
The summer of 2024 will be like no other as each and every day will certainly elicit endless memories and experiences
with a true sense of camaraderie – not just for lower camp boys, but for everyone! “We Laugh, We Play, We Swim…And Then We Do It All Again!”

The Hill – Spencer Glass: We’re back at Briarwood. It’s great! The Upper Boys, more commonly known as The Hill are the 4th through 7th grade boys. Many of the counselors on The Hill this summer have been Briarwood campers. All of our counselors promise to be great role models and fun-makers for your boys this summer.
4th grade Falcons: Luke Blum (SC) with Benjamin Pearlberg & Stephen Pool (JCs)
4th grade Bulldogs: Evan Bernstein (SC) with A.J. Berkowitz & John McLaughlin (JCs)
5th grade Cobras: Matt Green (SC) with Mitch Bromberg & Jared Gaynor (JCs)
5th grade Lions: Jason Lang (SC) with Eli Frankel & Cole Kleindienst as (JCs)
6th grade Bobcats: Jack Blum (SC) with Jake Green & Ben Klayman as (JCs)
7th grade Jaguars: Jack Sorkin (SC) & Ben (Banana) Goldstein (JC)
There are some new things for our 4th graders new to The Hill: League Sports play, flag football, Bafflega (a combination of popular camp games all in one period) and, of course, our standards including the mighty gaga!
As supervisor of The Hill and before that a former bunk counselor at Briarwood for 16 years and an overnight camper as a kid, I bring my collective experience (and Hill philosophy) to this team. The team will bring all of their experience to the bunks, and we are going to have a summertime of fun and laughter!

Upper Camp Girls Rock! By Melissa Berkowitz, Upper Camp Girls Supervisor: Briarwood Day Camp has been my happy place for myself and my own children for the past 11 summers. I am very much looking forward to meeting all of the girls who may be experiencing the Briarwood magic for the first time, in addition to seeing all of the returning campers. Upper Camp has so much to offer our amazing 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th graders! All upper camp girls will share such an unforgettable experience. From bunk shows and senior leagues, to buddy bunks and Kindness of the Week awards, upper campers are always ready to try something new, like Clubs! Our Club Period is when each camper can try a different activity of their choice each week. They can attempt something new and exciting or continue with a choice that they are passionate about each week! Overall, memories and friendships will be made at Briarwood to last a lifetime! I am ready to make Summer 2024 the best one yet!

SENIOR CAMP RUNS IT BACK!! By Dan Feldgus: This summer we welcome many first-year CITs and cannot wait to show them what makes camp days in Senior Camp special. This year, we are running it back with so many returning campers for their second and third year of the program, but, this summer is special in another way. We are running it back with 5 out of 6 of the Senior Camp staff returning! This summer, we welcome Mia Usatin into the fold and we welcome back Ashley Levy, Shayna Feldgus, Max Artega, Paul “Pail” Richman, and me, Dan Feldgus. This year is going to be incredibly special. There is no way to describe the activities that only Senior Camp campers get to enjoy every summer without making other divisions of Briarwood jealous. This summer, like all summers, our CITs will work with younger bunks and enjoy the full complement of activities that Briarwood provides all campers. However, what makes our summer more special, you ask? We are the only division that gets to venture out of camp almost every week! This summer you will find the CITs at the beach, Hershey Park, Bowling/Laser Tag, tubing, mini-golfing, and we cannot forget the movie nights (Phillies’ game viewing parties) and the annual dance! I’m bursting with excitement just thinking about it. This all adds up to the greatest part of being in Senior Camp, the smiles and laughs we share daily. Briarwood’s Senior Camp is simply the happiest place to be!

Sports and Games with Jeff Stepansky: This is my 27th year at Briarwood Day Camp and my second summer as Athletic Director of our sports program. During the school year I have been a Physical Education teacher in the Philadelphia school district for the last 33 years. Our Briarwood sports staff is a group of enthusiastic self-motivated individuals that give their all each day to make sure your child has fun learning and improving their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive wellbeing while playing sports and games.
Briarwood campers not only participate in traditional sports, but also participate in innovative games, fun fitness activities and unique team sports games. The sports staff works with all our campers from our youngest to our oldest. Our goal is to provide a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone. It’s not about winning or losing, but most importantly about having fun and gaining a greater appreciation for physical activity. We are looking forward to a great summer with all our campers.

Specialists are Special – Rachael Feldgus: It is so great to be back at Briarwood! I am thrilled to be starting my 18th summer here and returning to my role as Supervisor of the Specialists. It is so great to walk around camp each day and see the kids playing, laughing, and having fun with their friends. Briarwood’s specialists love to help our campers explore new activities and expand their skills in areas where they may already excel. Whether you are climbing the rock wall, creating masterpieces in art or ceramics, fishing at nature, practicing your swim strokes, learning new tricks in gymnastics, shining on the drama stage, or playing sports in the fields, you are sure to be having the time of your life. Our specialists help to guide and teach our kids at their activities each and every day. It’s wonderful to see the connections made between the kids and their specialists. Here’s to a great summer ahead!

NURSES’ NOTES by Carmen Blum, R.N. and Laura Graham, R.N.
Hello! What a great first week at Briarwood! Let’s go over a few summer safety tips for our campers:
• DON’T FORGET SUNSCREEN! Apply in the morning and throughout the day.
• If it’s okay with Mom and Dad, apply some insect repellent on the lower legs and exposed arms.
• Let’s stay hydrated! Start drinking water before you get to camp.
• Wear sneakers or closed toe shoes around camp. Flip-flops are for the pool areas only.
• Did we mention, NO RUNNING in flip-flops?
• Parents—we need your camper’s health forms so we can best care for your child.
Any questions or concerns, call camp and ask to speak with us, Nurse Carmen and Nurse Laura at 215-598-7143.

Senior Staff: Rene Atkinson

Junior Staff: Asher Levitt

One of the great things about Briarwood is that our lower, upper and senior campers get to choose an elective (we call them clubs) each week. Clubs meet first period every day and it gives our kids a chance to try new things or to dig deeper into things they like.
We’ll be starting clubs next week.
Some campers try a different club every week. Some stick with the same activity all summer. Both ways are great! While most clubs end each week, a few like Drama (because we’ll be doing a show) or Ceramics (because the projects take more time) last longer.

Camp will be CLOSED on Thursday, July 4th! Enjoy your holiday!

Important Dates *you’ll see more on the pdf version on page four of the printed Bugle*

  • Week of July 1-Gaga Tournament Week
  • July 3rd-Wednesday Themeday: Red, White and Blue Day
  • July 4th-Happy 4th of July! Camp Closed
  • Week of July 8-Tie Dye Week
  • July 10th-Wednesday Themeday: Crazy Hat Day
  • Week of July 15-Tie Dye Week Part 2
  • July 16th-Lower Camp Bunk Show at 10:30 am
  • July 17th-Upper Camp Bunk Show at 10:30 am
  • July 17th-Wednesday Themeday: Disney/Marvel Day
  • July 19th-Halloween in July
  • Week of July 22-Briarwood Fishing Derby
  • July 19th-Wednesday Themeday: Hawaiian Shirt Day
  • July 25th-Make up Picture Day
  • July 26th-Goofy Day
  • Week of July 29-4th Annual Campwide Mini Golf Tournament AND S’mores Week at Nature
  • July 30th-Busy Bee Show
  • July 31st-Wednesday Themeday: Sports Jersey Day
  • July 31st-Gymnastics Show
  • August 1-Carnival
  • August 6th-Mystery Day
  • August 7th-Wednesday Themeday: TBA
  • August 12th-Briarwood Birthday Celebration
  • August 14th-Wednesday Themeday-Briarwood Spirit Day
  • August 16th-Last day of camp – early dismissal at 2:30