Just came from "Educator Night" at Word Up, a Community Bookshop in Washington Heights, NYC - my hood! Had a lot of fun meeting teachers, teaching artists, volunteers, and storytellers. Appreciate having the opportunity to present Camp Rolling Hills and information about my author visits/workshops to schools and camps in the community and around the country! Thanks to Veronica and Daniella for hosting!
I spent the last week in July at the amazing Camp Louise in Maryland and below is the camp director's blog about my visit!
DIRECTOR’S BLOG – AUGUST 10, 2017
POSTED BY ALICIA BERLIN ON AUGUST 11, 2017
We are so proud of the many different activities that we offer here at Camp Louise. Today’s focus is on two real life authors who came two different weeks to work with our campers. I asked each of them to write a little something about their time spent at camp. Hey, they are authors after all!!! -Alicia
AUTHOR STACY DAVIDOWITZ
My week at Camp Louise was magical. I had the pleasure of working with campers ages six through fifteen, and I was blown away by their enthusiasm, camp spirit, and eagerness to learn. In each of the Creative Writing workshops, I introduced myself and my sleep away camp book series titled Camp Rolling Hills, cast the campers as the characters, and led them through acting exercises. The campers had so much fun making bold acting choices and thinking about setting, point of view, and storytelling. Next, the campers developed their own characters, set them at Camp Louise, and explored voice through “bunk letters.” The creativity was overwhelming!
Everyone at Camp Louise is so warm and welcoming. I can truly say that I feel a part of the family, and I hope to embrace my inner-awesomeness year-round. It’s so refreshing and inspiring to work with girls who appreciate life, appreciate each other, and will one day take on the world with all the amazing skills and values they’ve learned each summer.
The book series Camp Rolling Hills is based on a musical I co-wrote, and all the info for both can be found on this website.
Hope to see everyone back at Camp Louise for another magical summer!
Thank you so much to Sarah, Elementary School librarian and host of the Happy Reading podcast, for featuring Camp Rolling Hills in her episode all about camp!
MAKE SUMMER READING FUN
6.27.17 by Lauren
Summer reading… your camper will actually enjoy?! And the crow goes wild! Check out camp veteran and beloved author Stacy Davidowitz’s newest installment in the Camp Rolling Hills book series, and get your child in the reading (and camp) spirit! Camp Rolling Hills is a middle-school age book series, which follows twelve campers over the course of three summers (ages 12 to 14) as they bond, grow, fall in love, participate in hilarious high jinx, and eat s’mores. These books about camp are perfect for rest hour and flashlight time in camp. The third book in the series just hit the shelves and is craving a spot next to your camper’s bedside!!
We had a chance to have a “bunk meeting” with Stacy and get the inside scoop on her campspiration behind the newest book, Breakout!
WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE CAMP ROLLING HILLS SERIES?
I’m totally camp-obsessed, and writing this series has given me the gift of living in the incredible world of camp all 365 days. What’s better than that?
WHERE DOES THIS THIRD BOOK TAKE READERS IN THE CAMP JOURNEY?
So the third book takes readers through the final week at camp, from Fakeout to Breakout to the end of Color War! In this story, we get to see how friendships hold up against competition, and how they ultimately grow stronger because of it. The book also celebrates diverse leadership styles, and highlights the idea that you can be a true winner regardless of the outcome of the war. There’s plenty of drama in the plot, but ultimately, these thirteen-year-olds are an unbreakable force of love.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF COLOR WAR?
Wow—that’s a hard one! There was a funny meme I saw recently. It was side-by-side photos of kids playing sports before Color War and during Color War. In the first picture, the kids were lounging in the grass, and in the second, they looked like professional athletes! As a camper, I really loved the intensity of the sports activities during Color War—how scoring a soccer goal could turn you into a legend. But of all the parts of Color War—Hatchet Hunt, Rope Burn, Apache—I’d say SING is my favorite. I love that you get competing teams to sing a love letter to their home away from home, and how those songs, regardless of your team, stays with you well beyond the war. Spoiler alert: In the third book, SING is what mends a best friendship :)
WERE YOU EVER COLOR WAR GENERAL? WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
I was! I was General for White Land of Oz, and I still break out my Dorothy costume for Halloween every few years! Being General was one of the greatest experiences of my life. As a camper, I looked up to all of my Generals and dreamed of being one someday, so when I achieved that momentous dream, it was simply amazing. When the war broke, I remember crying and laughing and feeling absolutely crazy, and then spending the week exerting 110% of my energy to cheer on my teammates, encourage success and sportsmanship, write SING songs, and well, stay awake! Adrenaline and responsibilities left me pretty sleepless!
YOUR BOOKS REALLY DIVE INTO THE FRIENDSHIPS AND CONNECTIONS MADE AT CAMP. FOR YOU WHAT IS SO SPECIAL AND DIFFERENT ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS/RELATIONSHIPS AT CAMP?
Two days at camp and you feel like you’ve known your bunkmates for a year. The friendships you make in a summer last forever because you have so many wild, hilarious, intimate memories that bond you together. Camp gives kids the chance to open up, figure out who they are, and learn to embrace what makes them unique. It’s absolute magic.
BLUE OR WHITE?
FAVORITE COLOR THEME?
Blue Far Far Away vs White Land of Oz.
FAVORITE COLOR WAR MARCH?
White Safari’s March to “Walk Like An Egyptian.”
A fake Tom Cruise arriving in a van. But then, hilariously, ANOTHER fake Tom Cruise arrived by helicopter. He was the breakout.
I got to be a part of this one after I’d left Tyler Hill Camp, and I’ve got to say, I think it’s the strangest and funniest breakout I’ve ever experienced. So! My brother Michael and his wife Deanna met at camp and now work there as Assistant Director and Head of Girl’s Side. But about five years back, they were planning their wedding to be at camp in the final days of summer. Everyone was pumped.
Picture this: A cocktail hour of grape juice in champagne floats. A horse-drawn carriage for the bride. The upper staff as the bridesmaids and groomsmen. A beautiful ceremony with live music.
Then, right before the officiant could announce them husband and wife, the once Head of Girl’s side Robin stormed the scene, proclaiming her love for my brother. She and Deanna had a fake choreographed fight, smashing into the enormous wedding cake! The brawl climaxed with BREAKOUT!
FAVORITE RANDOM COLOR WAR ACTIVITY?
Apache. Oh the stakes!
FAVORITE HATCHET HUNT SPOT?
Inside the kitchen chimney.
FAVORITE COLOR WAR CHEER?
THE SKY IS BLUE,
THE LAKE IS BLUE,
WE’RE GONNA TURN THE WHITE TEAM BLUE!
GO BLUE GO! GO BLUE GO!
FAVORITE COLOR WAR MEMORY?
When I was General, after SING but before the winner of the war was announced, I had the chance to publicly thank my team and the judges, etc. I got so emotional and long-winded during my speech that I was cut off by Academy Award music.
// SUMMARY //
Camp Rolling Hills: Breakout!
Summer’s almost over, which means one thing and one thing only: It’s Color War time! Color War is the event of the summer, a massive camp-wide competition that divides the campers into two teams: Blue and White. All of the upper campers are hoping they’ll be selected as Lieutenant, a team leader position and a huge honor. Jenny’s convinced she’s got Lieutenant in the bag, being a “Popular Girl” and all. And Play Dough sure hopes he does, too—members of his family have been White team Lieutenants for generations, and he doesn’t want to disappoint them. But when assignments are announced, both Jenny and Play Dough are in for a big surprise. With the entire camp now amping up for an all-out war, can they overcome crushing expectations and lead their team . . . to victory?
Available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or through indie sellers!
Thanks to Bank Street Bookstore and Book Culture in Morningside Heights, NYC for stocking Camp Rolling Hills! Grab your signed copies:)
I mean, is that a title or what?
Check out the most recent episode (16) of the Happy Campers Podcast where I chat about Camp Rolling Hills, the musical and the series, and also read super embarrassing camp letters from 1995. I had an absolute blast with Sammy and Julia:)
Be sure to RATE, REVIEW, and SUBSCRIBE on iTunes!
Okay, okay, so it hasn't aired yet, but over the weekend I guest appeared (voiced?) on the Happy Campers podcast!
Co-hosts Sammy and Julia and producer, Allison, are all awesome. We chatted about the Camp Rolling Hills book series, the musical, and even played a rapid fire game at the end! Oh! And I read aloud some pretty ridiculous letters I wrote home from camp at the age of ten. One of which, was literally written to myself. So cool I was.
I'll let you know when to listen and then be sure to RATE, REVIEW, and SUBSCRIBE on iTunes! In the meantime, enjoy these stills!
Thank you to Cynthia and Ed of Talk Story Bookstore, the western most book store in the US and the #1 book store in Hawaii on Yelp and Trip Advisor for hosting me! Kids from Kauai to New Zealand will be reading Camp Rolling Hills:)
Author of the 4-book Camp Rolling Hills Book Series! Order here!