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Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: Day 29

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poconos, family vacation

~shared by J. Ranner

I'm a dedicated child of the 90's- in many ways, it was a decade of good times, great movies, classic sitcoms and simply fanstastic music. I'll never forget my first summer of work here and the accompanying soundtrack was something that I'm going to remember for the rest of my life.

One of my favorite tunes STILL to this day was "Closing Time" by Semisonic- it's the source of one of my favorite lyrics and life mottos: 

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."  

Although lyricist Dan Wilson had intended those words to be for his daughter, I think all of us can apply this mentality to something in our own lives. If certain things never ended, we would never get the opportunity to start other endeavors. 

It's been just about a month since the record-breaking rainfall led to a damaging flash flood of part of our property.  In just a few minutes, swift moving waters rushed the bottom level of our Springbrook and Mountain Laurel accommodations, as well as the indoor pool and sports complex. Nobody was hurt and everyone was safely evacuated, but we had our work cut out for us.


The cleanup itself was an extensive procedure. Yards and yards of carpet, blocks of wall, and all sorts of equipment needed to be scrapped due to water damage. Concrete needed to be scrubbed and sterilized, and large industrial fans needed to be running 24/7. It was definitely an involved ordeal, to say the least.

On this lovely fall morning though, there was a trumpteting grinding screech of hope: a buzz saw. We are now to the point where cleanup is completed, and we are on the road to REBUILDING. The enchanting aroma of sawdust is wafting through the air, while the booming sound of classic rock is echoing throughout our ground level, helping the construction crew whistle while they work.  

family reunions, girlfriend getaways

It's been a long month for the resort, and this is a more than welcome beacon of hope for all of us.  The symphony of power tools and reconstruction is much like the return of sunlight to the Antarctic- good things are on the horizon for both the march of the penguins AND us.


Not only are we pushing to get things re-opened, but we're going to be doing it in style. In the meantime, check out a few photos of our work in progress! 


Stay tuned for more details!


golf resort, spa resort

Locker Room Framework

describe the imageSpringbrook Hallway 

corporate retreatsCeiling Replacement Underway

weddingsKiddie Splash Pool - squeaky clean!


Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: Day 10

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girlfriend getaways, poconos golf

~shared by J. Ranner

"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love."

-Hubert H. Humphrey


I was listening to one of my favorite Grateful Dead tunes the other day, and one of the lyrics just keeps resonating in my mind:


"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places, if you look at it right..."

It's been over a week since Woodloch was bombarded with record-breaking rainfall that led to severe flash flooding and, consequently, damage to our indoor pool facilities and 20 guests accommodations.  Yet as the old adage goes... "when the going gets tough, the tough get going." 


In immediate response to the flooding, firefighters arrived on the scene to help pump thousands of gallons of water out of the building.  And from that point on, considering the circumstances, things were cleared out at blurring speed. 


Day in and day out, relief workers worked hand in hand with Woodloch staff to start the long road to rebuilding.  Piece by piece, remnants of what was our ground level of the Springbrook complex were scrapped. Industrial fans have been drying out the ground 24 hours a day while giant pieces of wall are removed.


While many of us are pained to see this happening, I can't help but notice the new blank canvas that has presented itself.  When all is said and done, things will not only be back to "The Woodloch Standard" that we've all become accustomed with over the years but will exceed them.  


But perhaps most heartwarming of all throughout the darkness was the response from our guests.  We honestly lost count of all the phone calls received- a good portion of them from guests that were concerned not with the availability of the pool, but with the genuine well-being of everyone involved in the disaster.  Even if vacation time was far off on the horizon, we genuinely felt the love pour in from all directions. 

poconos spa               DSC 0130

We will continue to clean and rebuild at full-throttle speed, and hope to have our sports complex and adjoining rooms back in operation as soon as possible.

family reunions


Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: Day 3

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DSC 0029

~shared by J. Ranner

"While natural disasters capture headlines and national attention short-term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long-term."

-Sylvia Mathews Burwell


In the early evening of August 21st, what had started off as a typical hot and sunny summer day in the Pocono Mountains transitioned into one of the worst natural disasters in Woodloch history.

Isolated, yet incredibly powerful torrential downpours soaked our property with over 10 inches of rain in less than an hour. Flood waters breached our lower Springbrook and Mountain Laurel areas, causing severe damage to 28 guest accommodations, as well as the Indoor Pool and Kiddie Splash area. describe the image

Nobody was hurt. Emergency personnel and staff were able to relocate all guests as well as themselves into safe zones as the waters broke through.  

Almost immediately, we began our clean-up efforts.  Thousands of gallons of flood water were pumped out of the buildings.  Soiled furniture was promptly removed from rooms.  Dry wall and carpets were ripped out.  Supplies, equipment and even gift shop merchandise were simply thrown out. Needless to say, the entire complex was essentially gutted. 

describe the image           


  DSC 0033

Disaster workers, as well as our own staff, worked around the clock to get our resort on the path to recovery.  Perhaps the most promising event of the day was the outdoor pool opening that morning- less than 96 hours after the flash flooding.  Guests used makeshift changing facilities (converted tractor trailers), but other than that... it was business as usual at our outdoor pool.  

From the outside looking in, I have to share my own thoughts on this unfortunate situation. While I truly am saddened by seeing the great pool facility and Springbrook / Mountain Laurel accommodations in the shape they are in, I'm concurrently beaming with Woodloch pride.  

The spirit of our guests, company and so many of the employees that I have the pleasure to work with clearly shines in this situation.  Almost immediately, we had guests kindly offering their accommodations to those displaced. The big Woodloch games that you all know and love went on as scheduled the next day with the same vigor and smiles that always accompany them. As the saying goes:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." 

This clean-up will not be easy. We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us.  But as long as we keep that Woodloch competitive spirit alive, I have no doubts that we will emerge from the other side of this bigger and better than ever. 

Check back with us as we keep you updated! 

DSC 0045


Flash Flood in the Pocono Mountains, Back to Business as Usual

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Flash Flood Causes Substantial Damage to Woodloch Pines Resort

Resort is Business as Usual, Guests Still Having Fun Despite Setback

As you’ve probably heard already, on Thursday August 21, 2014, Woodloch experienced an intense flash flood causing substantial damage to the indoor pool, kiddie splash zone, gift shop, bar, locker rooms, hallways and 28 guest accommodations. 

While the damage was extensive to the areas affected, those areas are just a small piece of the Woodloch experience.  While the cleanup and reconstruction project is already underway and moving at a breakneck speed the rest of Woodloch’s facilities are all running business as usual.  The outdoor pool, kiddie pool, hot tub and bar are open and being enjoyed without interruption and will remain so as long as the season will last, in addition to the dozens of activities, amenities and entertainment offered daily.  The immaculate waveless indoor pool, outdoor pool and kiddie pool at Woodloch Springs are open and available to all Woodloch guests.

“We’ve never experienced anything like this in our 56 year history.  Thankfully no one was hurt and our staff did a great job getting everyone to safety quickly” said John Kiesendahl, owner and CEO. 

The flood waters from the storm raged within minutes and thankfully everyone was evacuated safely and expeditiously. Guests displaced by the flooding have been relocated to our Woodloch Springs guest homes and other facilities on property. It’s business as usual across the resort.  Repair work to the damaged area has already begun, and Woodloch plans to reopen the building as soon as possible, bigger and better than before. 

Woodloch extends a tremendous thank you to the team for their extraordinary efforts and all Woodloch guests, family and friends for their concern, understanding and assistance through this unprecedented event.

Here’s some of the press clippings from the coverage of the storm in our area: 


Aid Woodloch in its "Operation Christmas Child" Efforts

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~Shared by T. Compton

Nothing beats a favorite pair of slippers, that "ahhhhh" feeling of weary feet sliding into memory foam following a hard day's work. Paints a satisfying picture, right?

Now picture a rough, rock-strewn road and a weary child walking miles to attend school or fetch clean water for his or her family, tired feet encased in worn sandals with holes in the soles that offer little or no protection. Or worse yet, no shoes at all.

That's the true story I heard of a child in an impoverished country, asking his mom once again for a new pair of sandals. The old were worn out, you see, and stones were poking through the soles as he walked. Why couldn't they get new shoes? His mom, aching for a need that she had no money to meet, assured him she was praying every day for an answer.

That answer came in the form of a gift-filled shoebox from Operation Christmas Child (OCC). Run by Samaritan's Purse, OCC spreads joy to kids around the world, those living in third-world countries, war-torn areas and towns wracked by disease or natural disaster. They send gift-filled shoeboxes to young chldren -- from babies to teenagers -- filled with things we might take for granted, like pens or pencils, crayons allowing them to paint thier imaginations on paper, a simple bar of soap and a washcloth to clean off the dust of the day, or a small toy or stuffed animals to cuddle with in the dark. It doesn't cost a lot -- just your heart.

photo 1

Your gift filled shoebox may be just what that child needs. That's what happened in the above true story. That little boy's box held a simple pair of flip-flops --something that costs mere dollars -- but was priceless to a child in need.

This is Woodloch's second year in helping out the worthy cause. Last year, more than 30 boxes and monetary donations were collected. What if that could triple this year? What if everyone brought something: a few dollars here, a pack of pencils there, a pack of markers or washcloths, toothbrushes and toothpaste, or like new stuffed animals from childhood that could use a new home. It doesn't have to cost a lot, but what a difference it could make. It's a chance to change a life. Will you take it?

Please drop off all donations in the Reservations Department at Woodloch Pines Resort. To learn more, please visit Checks may be made Payable to Samaritans Purse with Operation Christmas Child in the memo section.

P.S. OCC is unable to accept any form of liquids such as shampoo, lotion, bubble stuff, etc. They also ask that no war-related toys such as tanks or toy soldiers be placed in the boxes.



Where Nine-Inning's Meet 18-Holes: The 6th Annual Pinstripe Golf Classic at Woodloch Springs

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I’ve often heard the game of baseball described as a, “nine- inning vacation complete with a ball park hotdog.”

What if I told you that Woodloch, with the help of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, have up their sleeves the ability to turn that “nine- inning vacation,” complete with the professionals themselves, and team them up with YOU on a spectacular 18-hole golf course to play a round for a great cause!?  Now, that there sounds like a vacation!

Yes.. let that sink in, YOU, can play with a future New York Yankee’s player!RailRiders

On August 6, 2014, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of major league baseball's New York Yankees, will be at The Country Club at Woodloch Springs for the 6th Annual Pinstripe Golf Classic, the ultimate pro-am golf tournament. There will be a shot gun start at noon! All proceeds will go to benefit the Cody Miley Memorial Art Scholarship Fund that has been established for Cody Miley, the 17-year-old son of Railriders manager, David Miley, who died in a car accident in 2008.  Each foursome will pair up with a player or manager from the RailRiders.

There will be snack stations along the course featuring peanuts, cracker jacks, and jumbo franks, all the baseball go-to food provided to you on the golf course. A “beer tasting” tee and “Moon Shot” hole will be just some of the unique perks to your day of golf. There will be gift bags, raffles, silent auctions, and presentations from the RailRiders organization and Woodloch. Upon completion of the tournament there will be a cocktail hour featuring an open- bar, hors d’oeuvres, and crudité. A four-course dinner will be served featuring delicious foods such as  chicken, beef and fish entrees, as well as pasta, salads, and tournamenent 2013

Now, I know what you might be thinking…you’re either “team golf” or “team baseball,” and can’t quite see the lines that connect both sports. Well, with the help of an extensive google search, here is a list of the top three similarities between baseball and golf that I came up with…

1.) Most people don’t realize that baseball and golf swings are basically the same, they’re just on different planes. A baseball bat is swung on a very “flat” plane because the ball is in the air, and a golf club is swung on a more tilted plane because the ball is on the ground. Regardless of where the ball is, both swings demand a similar sequence of events to ensure solid contact.

2.) In baseball, before you swing the bat forward and hit the ball, you have to get all your momentum on your back leg, you shift your weight onto your back leg before the pitcher throws. Once the ball is on its way, you move that weight and momentum forward into the ball. In the golf swing, this same process is accomplished with the backswing then you are now ready to come forward with your club and hit the ball.

And last, but not least…

golf 3.) Most golfers have serious problems with proper athletic sequencing, the ability to start the forward motion of the golf swing from the ground. Most people start the forward motion of the golf swing from the “top”, their hands. In a baseball swing, at the top of the backswing your upper body is still moving backwards for a short period as the lower body is moving forward. This sets the bat in a “lagging” position where the bat trails the forward motion and power is stored in the hands and wrists waiting to where it is needed most, at impact. In the golf swing this ability is the single greatest separation of the “haves” and “have-nots” when it comes to striking the golf ball well.



golf tournament

So, everything’s set up... the vacation that lasts longer than nine-innings, the cocktails, the 18-holes of golf with a professional baseball player, AND the tips to help, the only thing that’s waiting is you!

For more information about the 6th Annual Pinstripes Classic click the link! 

~shared by Sara Coons

On the Path to an Exceptional Poconos Dining Experience: Meet Stevan Sundberg

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all-inclusive resort


Did you know that Woodloch is home to 9 dining facilities?  With the opening of The Market at Woodloch, let’s make that 10.  From our family-style, country-comfort cuisine in the main dining room at Woodloch Pines, to the epicurean inspired “farm to fork” spa gastronomy at The Lodge at Woodloch, we have to up our game to ensure a quality dining experience is had by all.  Enter corporate executive chef, Stevan Sundberg.

R  Marketing sara.coons food 1 When Stevan started here in the beginning of the year   he came with lofty goals in mind for the all-inclusive Woodloch Resort nestled in the Pocono Mountains.  One of these goals is love, a little TLC, “I think the food at Woodloch needs inspiration.  I want every plate that runs out of any Woodloch kitchen to exude passion and heart.”

 Just beyond the entrance to The Lodge at Woodloch is a dirt road that leads to a lush garden where the concept of “farm to fork” comes from. Growing freshly there is everything from baby kale to fresh peas nestled in their pods. In the midst of getting to know what Steven brings to the table, I was able to step into his element where he is most inspired to do what he does best. Steven thrives off the ability to give guests quality, inspired, fresh cuisine. He wants to leave each plate with something scratch prepared, not necessarily out of a can. One of the many unique elements of Woodloch culinary arts is the new ability to be able to give our guests healthy, well-balanced options that could easily have been picked fresh from the garden the day their plate hits the table; which will continue to grow, figuratively and literally.

Stevan comes to Woodloch with 29 years of service and experience as the former executive chef at Skytop Lodge. He brought with him an exuberant ambition to keep dining options here at Woodloch trendy, unique, and to create consistency within each menu. There will always be room for improvement, but when it comes to our food options here we must always aim high and raise the bar.

R  Marketing sara.coons food 2Another great asset the Stevan brings to the table is an externship development program. Giving externs an environment in which they can grow to become a key player and eventually a long-term teammate in the kitchens here at Woodloch.  The short-term benefit to this program is giving Woodloch extremely talented chefs during the most peak season when demand is high.  The externs always seem to bring in passion, positive attitudes, and professional pride to our culinary and pastry teams.

 “At the end of their visit, I want guests to leave Woodloch saying, ‘Wow! This place was great. It had great activities, and fantastic entertainment, BUT the food was out of this world!’”

Cheers to the future of Woodloch dining, welcome aboard Chef Sundberg!

-shared by Sara Coons

A Woodloch Employee's Fatherly Inspiration

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describe the image

 ~shared by Colleen Mitchell

A very Happy Father's Day to all!

 What's that old saying: "Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad."

 Colleen Mitchell and brother Kevin know all about special parents, the kind that make the world a better place, who brighten dark days, who listen, encourage and love you -- no matter what.

 Each Father's day is special. Yet, Father's Day 2014 is gearing up to be so much better for Glenn Mitchell of Forks Township. You see, last year, he was struggling to survive with a heart that was nearly worn out. On a much needed transplant list, he was anxiously awaiting a perfect match.

 There were two false alarms for a new heart. The first was turned down by the heart transplant team and second was turned down by Glenn for various medical reasons; and finally, a third and much awaited call. On October 29, 2013, Glenn underwent intensive surgery, receiving a priceless, beating gift.

 Eight months later, a healthier Glenn has the following words of advice: "Don't give up hope" and "Keep your faith." Asked if God's strength upheld him throughout his tough ordeal, Glenn instantly answered "absolutely."

 Once gravely ill, he's been given a new lease on life, one of independence, travel and trips to the gym. Having just returned from Florida, Glenn says air travel is limited to a couple of hours. But that doesn't mean he's given up hope of a return trip to Ireland sometime in the future. It'll have to wait at least a year out from the transplant date - doctor's orders.

 Medications have dramatically dropped from 35 to 40 pills post-transplant to about 25 pills taken daily nowadays. And yes, diet and exercise are strict, with triple trips to the gym weekly and diet restricted in fat, sugar and salt intake. But he's not complaining. It's just so good to be alive, to spend time with family and friends.

 His life's motto…  "Make the most of each day. Have a list of things to do each day and try to accomplish them."

 There's an important item on Glenn's bucket list that he'll definitely fulfill in the near future. "One year after transplant, we can write a letter (to the donor's family," he explained. That's when he'll pen the biggest "thank you" ever. There aren't enough words in the English language to describe the ultimate gift that he's been given.

 Glenn and his entire family are strong supporters of organ donation.

 "All of us, the whole family, are so proud of him," Colleen said.

 To learn more about organ donation, please visit

 Colleen Mitchell is enrolled in the management training program at Woodloch Pines Resort.


Exploring Woodloch: There's No Way Like "The Segway!"

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family reunions, golf resorts

-shared by Sara Coons

Let’s just say it folks, summer is so close we can almost see it! We’ve reached the end of May where the days are longer and the temperature is hotter! FINALLY! With that said, walking from one spot to another can become more of a walking sauna experience, turning a good hair day into a humid frizzy mess, for all who know what I’m talking about, you know exactly what I mean! On a hot day, even the littlest walk can feel like an all-out workout which is sure what it felt like when I was walking over to try out my skills on a Segway.

To sum up the emotion of a Segway “newb” like myself in a blockbuster hit, it would have felt just like the scene from the Titanic when Jack steps onto the very front of the ship and yells, “I’m the king of the world!!”  I’m sure if Jack rode a Segway on our trails here at Woodloch Resort chances are he probably would have said the same thing. The freedom that it provides you with is just totally awesome! Like everything here at Woodloch, after my Segway experience, I was officially convinced that what this resort has to offer is truly a unique experience!

With the patience of the always helpful staff here at Woodloch, after a very brief instructional video about ways to avoid a Segway ride gone totally wrong it was time to test it out. Just like riding a bike for the first time, I had hesitation on trusting a machine to get me from one point to another without falling off, but after time it came just as natural as walking.. Instantly two of my summer “beefs” were resolved, 1. I had to wear a helmet, which totally tamed the frizz I’d like to refer to as my hair, and 2. Left me with a b-e-a-utiful (good ole’ Jim Carry reference there) breeze made by yours truly and a Segway. 

After just a few short minutes of riding, I began to feel like the Segway was a part of me.  I felt free, independent and ultimately relaxed as I traversed the curves and hills of Woodloch's lush Nature Trail. Like all good things though, the tour eventually came to an end (only after my tour guide wrestled the machine from my hands). On a personal level, I will say that it was an experience I will never forget and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Woodloch offers Segway Tours now through the fall, conditions permitting.




New at Woodloch for 2014: PART 2!

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weddings, class trips

~shared by J. Ranner

I'm a HUGE fan of classic rock. I don't consider myself really to a music snob, but in my humble opinion music these days just can't hold a candle to the "old time rock n' roll" (the kind of music that soothes my soul.)

Anyways, as I was rocking out on my morning commute the other day to Thin Lizzy, I was reminded by the song:

"That jukebox in the corner blasting out my favorite song- the nights are getting warmer it won't be long, it won't be long til' the SUMMER COMES..."

And it hit me. With less than one week to go until Memorial Day, summer is practically here! Kids all over America are counting down the school days left until they are free from the educational system for a few months. Flip flops, sundresses and long days in the hammock are on the horizon!

And in addition to all of the great things we mentioned earlier, there's even MORE excitement on the way to Woodloch this summer! 


Get ready for:  

golf resorts, spa resort

Little Pocono Raceway’s Grand Opening – I feel the

need… the NEED FOR SPEED!  To keep up with demand and to diminish lines, Woodloch will be opening a second go-kart track next to our Nature Trail! 


Rice Krispie Wars – You’ve made it through our “Cupcake Battles” and “Take the Cake” competitions… it’s time to up the ante! For the summer of 2014, “kitchens” will be squaring off using those delicious marshmallow treats to sculpt delicious works of art!  Time and limited resources are your adversaries, but teamwork and creativity are your strongest allies! No idea is too crazy- bring your “A-Game” to the North Lodge bakery all summer long!  


Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.  Do you have what it takes to SURVIVE our games at the lake this summer?  No tribe does it alone- in your quest for the gold medal, teams will have to work together in six trials of speed, strength, endurance and wits! Catch it all summer long on the shores of Lake Teedyuskung!

family reunions, poconos resort

Big Bad Board Games- We've all experienced the fun of "game night" at home... but what if you could "supersize" them?  Check out our "Big Bad Board Games" on the Front Lawn to relive all the fun with that trademark Woodloch twist! 


80’s Blacklight Dance Party – Oh yeah, we’re going there!  Be sure to bring plenty of neon clothing with you for this special event!  Join our staff as we blast the best 80’s music around in our North Lodge and compete for prizes with great games in between! 


We're primed for some serious fun in the sun... are you? Hope to see you this season!
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