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A Pocono Perspective ~ Woodloch's Blog

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Woodloch's Famous Hayrides Share some Scares in the Poconos!!!

  
  
  
  
  
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class trips, reunions

~Shared by J. Ranner

It's dark and chilly. As you enter the barren October woods, you think you hear rustling about in the leaves... probably just nothing, right? Your heart starts to beat as your mind begins to race- what kind of nightmares could possibly await... BOO! A werewolf menacingly grabs your shoulder as you let out a childish scream. Your friends and family applaud with laughter. All in good fun.golf resorts, spa resort

You are seated on one of Woodloch's famous "Haunted Hayrides." What began 20 years ago as a simple ride through the woods with a few dedicated staff members in costume has expanded into a Halloween tradition that simply should not be missed. While the charisma and spirit of ambitious "goblins" in the woods remains the cornerstone of the fun, the rides now include extensive "sets," live animals, loud music and pyrotechnics. 

And we're constantly researching new ways to spook you out. It's a labor of love.

We're also pleased to announce that, for the first time, that these rides will be included entertainment when you make a dining reservation at our resort. Enjoy family style course meals at the Pines with abundant food and delicious deserts. Appetites satisfied, get ready to hop aboard our wagon for the ride of your life! (Due to their scary nature, these rides are generally not recommended for "little ghouls)

Once you board your wagon, your journey of terror will begin. You will traverse through approximately a dozen different "scenes" based on classic horror movies and more. The wagon will periodically stop moving... and that's when the fun begins. Of course, these are done in good spirit to embrace the season, so as terrifying as we attempt to be, remember- it's all make believe (or... is it?).

So between pumpkin picking, jack o' lantern carving and candy stockpiling, remember that a fun escape- the treat of an award-winning resort close by and the tricks of our "monsters" in the forest- wait for you at Woodloch. 

Reservations will be "disappearing" quickly- call 800.WOODLOCH today for a night to remember!

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Help Woodloch in its "Operation Christmas Child" Donation Efforts

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by T. Compton

Wading chest-deep through a river in Ecuador, a little girl in pigtails holds a shoebox high above her head. Happiness crinkles the corners of her eyes.

Behind her, a young boy smilingly holds his red and green shoebox out of the water, careful not to get its contents wet. Inside are toys, school supplies, a toothbrush, a bar of soap, and other hygiene items.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, delivers love and hope in the form of shoeboxes to children around the world, kids haunted by poverty, hunger, disease, war and more.

Operation Christmas Child

"The whole purpose is sending a filled shoebox to children ages two through 14 around the world. This gift doesn't just give them the joy of receiving the box, but the love of Christ comes with it," said Marianne Korman, Dropoff Center Relay Coordinator for New Covenant Fellowship Church in Hawley, PA .

"The goal for our church in Hawley is 500 boxes, but I would like to reach that 1,000 box marker when all of the (contributing) churches are in," Korman said.

Korman reached out to Woodloch Pines Resort in Lackawaxen Township, knowing that the Poconos Resort has a heart for children and supporting the community.

Each shoebox is filled with donations such as:

* Hygiene items: toothbrushes, toothpaste with expiration date visible, mild bars of soap, combs, washcloths.

* School supplies: pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, or loose leaf paper.

* Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.

**To help cover the shipping and other costs related to delivering your gift box to a child overseas, please donate $7.00 for each shoebox you prepare.**

Please note: You may also enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family (if you include your name and address the child may write back).

Katherine Harrison, a friendly volunteer who assists Korman at the collection site, calls herself "a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord."

Harrison encourages participants to pray over each box. "If you pray over it, that box goes to the child who needs what's in that shoe box at the time," she said, words strong with belief. She went on to share the story of a little boy whose family had suffered a fire in their village. His feet had been burned and he sorely needed something to cover them. When he opened his box, it was filled with socks. Seeing what was in the box, the Samaritan's Purse volunteer offered to exhange it for one filled with toys and other items, but the child said, no, this box - with its gloves and socks - was exactly what his family needed.

There's no such thing as coincidence; I belive it's God working behind the scenes.

Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan's Purse and son of popular evangelist Billy Graham, said, "Multitudes of children around the world are rejoicing with Operation Christmas Child as we celebrate over 100 million shoe box gifts since 1993. These gifts have enabled us to share the Gospel in some of the darkest corners of the world, reaching more than 150 countries and territories," said Franklin Graham.

Filled shoeboxes, donations of items to be placed in the boxes, or monetary donations are being accepted by Sarina Betz at Woodloch Pines Resort (ext. 8041) or Tammy Compton in the Reservations Department at Woodloch Pines Resort.

Donations must be received at Woodloch by Monday, November 18.

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A Plethora of Local Historical Treasures Surround Woodloch

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by T. Compton

I am soooo bored.

Ever said that? Heard your kids, siblings, friends say that? I'd hazard a guess that we've all said it at one time or another.

But, you don't have to be. How's this for a solution: Exploring what's in your own backyard.

Thursday was an awesome day - marking the second annual Wayne-Pike Ambassadors Tour sponsored by the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau (PMVB) and PPL. Offering an all-day educational and historic tour of Wayne and Pike Counties, the program was most informative and also a lot of fun.

Lake Wallenpaupack Visitor Center BearThe bear that greets you at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center

Guided by local historian and retired school principal, Tom Kennedy, and Wallenpaupack Visitors Center Manager, Keith Williams, the action-packed trip started with a stop at the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dorflinger Glass Museum in White Mills, PA. Museum Curator Hank Loftus coaxed history to life with his talk of Christian Dorflinger, whose glass factory was famous for producing some of the finest lead crystal in the country - even pieces used by President Abraham Lincoln. Who knew that sand, pot ash and lead oxide could combine to create such beautiful glass: sparkling stemware, kerosene lamp chimneys and punchbowls that seemed to all but dance in the lighting?

It was at the Columns Museum in Milford that President Lincoln's name was once again mentioned - this time on a sad note - regarding the night of his death. Operated by the Pike County Historical Society, the museum claims to have the very flag used to cushion the President's head following the fatal shot at the Ford's Theater in 1865. A small derringer fills a nearby display case, similar to the one used to assasinate the 16th President.

President%27s Flag

A wealth of knowledge awaits at your local historical society.

Take the Wayne County Historical Society in Honesdale, for instance, which currently features the artwork of the late Howard Becker, detailed information on the Delaware & Hudson (D & H) Canal, not to mention the privilege of walking through an authentic passenger coach used by the gravity railroad, and the impressive, full-size replica of the Stourbridge Lion.

The maiden run of the Stourbridge Lion, the first steam locomotive to operate in the United States, was over three miles, from downtown Honesdale to downtown Seelyville and back again. Weighing in at more than five tons, it's interesting to note it was found to be too heavy for its four-ton track. Sadly, the Lion never roared again. That was August 8, 1829.

"Sometimes we forget to look in the mirror and appreciate what we had, what we have, and what we could be," Kennedy said.

Perhaps a Native-American, 18-foot, dugout canoe is right up your alley. Viewable at the PPL Environmental Learning Center, the well-preserved, man made canoe surfaced on Lake Wallenpaupack in 1955, following Hurricane Diane. Lake Wallenpaupack, by the way, is 13 miles long, boasts 52-miles of shoreline and is the 3rd largest lake in the state, after Pymatuning and Raystown lakes. Amazing that the canoe was found.

Do you love beautiful gardens? Then you absolutely must visit the Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford. As described by the U.S. Forest Service, "Grey Towers is the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the US Forest Service and twice Governor of Pennsylvania. Today, Grey Towers serves as a conservation education and leadership center, with programs that interpret the lives of the Pinchot family." If you've not been there before, you're in for a real treat. Be sure not to miss the Finger Bowl - an outdoor dining area built around a raised pool. Floating appetizers, anyone

collage

Then there's the Zane Grey Museum in Lackawaxen. To stand in the home of a man considered the father of the western novel, to envision him seated in his chair, feverishly writing about heros and heroines, is beyond words.

When you get a chance, perhaps during your next visit to Woodloch, take a look around Wayne and Pike counties and all of the museums, historical societies, and points of interest. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

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From the Ears of A Woodloch Reservationist ...

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by T. Compton

Talking is my favorite.

You know how people always ask: What are your hobbies? I generally flounder for an answer.

I like to sing, shop, read books, watch movies … make my family crazy :), make others happy, stuff like that. But then it dawned on me. I also like to talk, which I guess comes in handy since I work in the reservations department at Woodloch Pines Resort.

But then again, what’s even better than talking? Yeah, you guessed it: listening.

I’ve learned that when you listen, when you pause that extra moment, that people sometimes let you in. That they share. Their lives, memories, happy moments, trying times, and triumphs.

Like the middle-aged man struggling to survive an aggressive cancer, who promised to fight with every last breath, wanting nothing more than to get away with his family.

Or the military man, soon to be deployed, whose thoughts were of his young family and wanting to give them a fun-filled weekend at Woodloch before he has to leave.

And the hard-working husband trying to book a last-minute anniversary reservation to celebrate 10 amazing years with his wife and two youngsters.

Or the daughter wanting her dad to experience the wonder of Woodloch firsthand. And how he wouldn’t come if he couldn’t bring his paralyzed pup, a little dog that had one day gone limp and was outfitted with a cart so that it could remain mobile. Learning that Woodloch has pet-friendly homes relieved their fears about travelling.

And that’s just some of the stories. Trust me, there are many. Each one is special.

So, I definitely subscribe to the saying, “Listen twice as much as you speak.” As the Bible shares, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” - James 1:19 King James Version.

It kind of makes sense: two ears, one mouth.

listening

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The Sweet Sounds of Summer at Woodloch!

  
  
  
  
  
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family reunions, kids vacation

~ shared by Tammy Compton

Listen.

Do you hear that?

A child’s engaging giggle.

Water gently lapping at the shoreline.

Birds tweeting their sing-song message overhead.

A chorus of friendly shouts and laughter down at the lake.

If memory-making moments have a sound, then that’s it. And trust me, you never get tired of hearing it.

The boss pointed it out to me the other day. Our shift had ended, and we were walking towards the staff parking lot when she turned to me with a question:  “Do you hear that?”

“That” was the joyous sound of children playing in the lake. Their shouts brought an instant smile to our faces.  How could they not?

“That just sends a shiver because to me it’s just the greatest joy to hear a child interacting with another child where they might normally be playing (alone) with electronic devices instead of  enjoying the type of games that we have here,” said Lynn. “They’re actually communicating and interacting between themselves and others."

Lynn VanBlarcom, my boss, is the Reservations Department Manager. She’ll mark 30 successful years at Woodloch at the end of August.   

 “It does your heart good to be able to hear the sounds of summer at Woodloch. It never wears out,” Lynn said.  

And she’s right. There’s something about the sight, the sound and the summer smells at Woodloch.

Take the weekly cookout for example, chock full of summer favorites complete with corn on the cob, grilled burgers and hotdogs, sauerkraut and chili, pulled pork sliders, bags of steamers, and then some.  

There’s just no beating that barbeque smell, and as Lynn calls it, “family togethering” on the front lawn.

The other day, I was savoring my BBQ Woodloch lunch on the lakeview deck, just enjoying those sights and sounds we’ve been discussing. The sun was shining off the crystal blue waters  of Lake Teedyuskung as Woodloch speedboats cut circular paths with water skiers in tow.  Paddleboats, sailboats, kayaks and canoes gently bobbed on the waves with their captains at the stern. And a little girl with a bright green bucket carried pailfuls of sand to her beachfront creation.  

“You’ve got the best view in the house,” I told the elderly gentleman to my left.  “I know,” he agreed, enjoying our shared view.

He and his family started coming to Woodloch 30 years ago, but he’s enjoying it anew through the eyes of his grandchildren.

“Woodloch certainly is beautiful,” I said.

Looking up from leisurely reading the newspaper, he considered for a moment before summing up Woodloch in one word.

“Wholesome,” he said.

I agree.

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Health Benefits of Vacation - Part 2

  
  
  
  
  
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girlfriend getaway, spa resort

~shared by J. Ranner

Hopefully, you've had a chance to read up on some of the healthy benefits of deciding to take a vacation.  We sincerely hope that this alone was enough to encourage you that vacations are a good thing, and you should embrace the opportunity to go away and take one.

Yet, I know for a fact that despite all of the scary things that go along with neglecting time off, I still will not get through to some people. So, with that in mind, I will try to appeal to another state of well-being: your career.

I know, I know- I can hear you already. "My job is just way too important. Can't take any time off. Too bad, so sad- end of story." Personally, unless your career involves single-handedly saving the world from incoming asteroids or extraterrestrial invasions, I respectfully disagree (And even Superman has the whole Justice League to back him up... no excuses).  

Although, 100% of the blame cannot be pinned on the individual.  Although I am a proud American and know that we became great largely due to hard work, let it be known that the United States is the only industrialized nation in the entire world in which employees are NOT guaranteed any time off by law.  Attempts have been made to mandate at last 2 weeks of paid time off (PTO) but to no avail.  Canadians are given a guaranteed 10 vacation days per year, while Europeans enjoy 20. 

Being able to afford a vacation is another issue in itself, yet less of a an issue than one may think. To break down the financial abilities to travel:

  • Two-thirds of Americans really do have the means to travel. 
  • 50% of Americans have the money to travel and simply choose not to.
  • Only about 27% of Americans routinely take vacations.
So in other words, we've become stubborn and guilty. And again, this all goes into affecting your overall health.


HOPE ON THE HORIZON


So if it's your career that you are concerned about, I have good news for you. Taking that annual vacation that you deserve might actually in the long-run benefit your career. 
"How?" Glad you asked!
  • Traveling (and even better, scrapping the cell phones, laptops and concerns of the outside world) will provide a "respite effect" that will ultimately help a weary brain relax... and allow you to catch up on some much needed sleep!
  • With that clear mind, you can obtain fresh perspectives on things... and along with that, new and creative ideas for when you eventually (but not too quickly) return to the work world.
  • Harnessing new and revitalized energy. John Kiesendahl, president and general manager of Woodloch Pines Resort says  “It amazes me every time, I watch families arrive at Woodloch tired and stressed but when I greet them at breakfast before they check out they have a renewed spirit, are reenergized and ready to get back to work.” 
couples retreat, golf vacationsAnd the benefits aren't necessarily limited to employees.  Employers who are willing to let their employees take some time off are rewarded with sharper and happier workers- studies by the U.S. Travel Association have found that travelers tend to perform at least 25% higher in vigilance tests after returning from break. Tired and stressed employees will ultimately cost employers in mistakes- plus studies have found that workers achieve almost as much in a 40 hour week than they would in a 50 hour week- the "burnout burden" hurts everyone.


So the next time you're considering getting away, you now have even more reasons to say "yes." No more sorry excuses. Have that talk with your bosses, level with them, and make the rational decision.  And I hope this article provided a few more compelling arguments for you to strengthen your case!
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Health Benefits of Vacation - Part 1

  
  
  
  
  
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 family reunions, golf resort

~shared by J. Ranner

One of the most important lessons I've learned growing up was learning the distance between a "need" and a "want." When you're younger, it takes a few experiences to learn why purchasing a car is more worthwhile than a jet pack (in most cases, anyways). After years and my share of ridiculous purchases, I like to think that I can fairly assess the difference between things I need and things I would just like to have, as most adults would.

I'm here to tell you that adults can still be wrong . . . especially when it comes to vacationing.

While some of us make vacationing a routine habit, others are not as easily persuaded. There's always "better" ways to spend the time and resources, right? And that's where the guilt comes in. 

Which, if the medical research serves us correctly, is the complete wrong way to look at things. Don't get me wrong; I'm a proud American, and I know that we have things good in this country because of a lot of HARD WORK.  Yet at some point, the "workaholism" turns toxic. Shying away from taking a break will slowly but surely poison your body, mind, and relationships.

And with that, your life may start to suffer.

So let's start with the basic foundations of happiness: feeling alright.  If you were to survey a large group of people, I think you would find that the number one reason people take a vacation or break of any sort is to relive stress, the silent killer.

Effect of stress on health

 

By deciding to take a vacation, you are given the opportunity to leave your problems at home, look at things objectively in a comforting yet different environment

Vacation can improve cardiovascular health with lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Men who skipped vacations for five consecutive years or more were 30% more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least one week of vacation each year, according to Dr. Glenn Braunstein of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Similar studies have reached the same conclusion for women. Further, an annual vacation can cut the risk of heart disease by up to 50%.

Lower stress levels may be linked to slower “aging.” Your chromosomes are much like a length of rope; the more turmoil in your life, the strands start to fray and shorten, leading to accelerated outward signs of aging. When you see someone who looks haggard and old, especially at a young age, it’s a telltale sign of a stressful life. Thus making that effort to vacation at least once a year can keep you looking and feeling good.

And of course, vacationing has been linked to better sleep habits, and we ALL can benefit with more sleep!

These are just a few examples of how vacations can benefit your physical well-being. And guess what- there are even more advantages yet! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out all of the great specials that Woodloch as to offer! 

 

 

 

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A Leaf Peeper’s Paradise in the Pocono Mountains

  
  
  
  
  
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Woodloch's All Inclusive Family Resort in the Poconos: An Autumn Getaway Ideal for Leaf Peeping

Leaf Peeper. noun. Refers to a person, esp. a tourist, who takes pleasure in viewing fall foliage.

It’s a thing, we swear. In the likely chance you haven’t heard of it check out this blog on Squidoo offering a list of top peeping destinations. (We’re not just saying that because we made top 10 either.)

So now that we’ve established Leaf Peeping is a thing you’re probably asking yourself "When is the best time to see fall colors in the Pocono Mountains?"

The Answer: Early October. Depending on summer weather, the leaves in the Pocono Mountains begin changing mid to late September and are in full color as early as the first week in October! VisitPA.com does a great job of monitoring and reporting the fall foliage throughout the season.


Travel just 95 miles from NYC through scenic mountain tops, winding river side views, and tree-shaded flames of orange to our richly colored outdoor activities and stunning lakeside amenities, Woodloch offers an array of ways to experience autumn.

So if you’re anxiously awaiting this year’s display of reds, oranges, and yellows look no further than Woodloch Resort in the Pocono Mountains… after all a true peeper couldn’t resist soaring through the trees on our 600ft zipline, just saying.

 Autumn in the Pocono Mountains

 

Check out The Pocono Mountain’s Leaf Peeping Board on Pintrest!

There's No "Cooler" Place to Spend Your Summer Than at Woodloch!

  
  
  
  
  
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~ Shared by J. Ranner

For the past week, it seems no matter where you've traveled to for Independence Day, a crazy heat wave has taken the nation by storm. And there's a perfectly rational scientific explanation for all of this: it's JULY. 

While folks at home are cranking up their A/C units seeking solace in the shade, vacationers at Woodloch should be willing and ready to embrace the heat. With so many ways to stay cool on a hot summer day, your biggest concern will be whether or not to order another pina colada (an easy YES for me). Indeed, Woodloch has three key locations that are always chill, no matter what the thermometer reads.

First and foremost, behold the power of the great Lake Teedyuskung! Our spring-fed lake is filled to the brim with clean water. It's ready for you to perfect your cannon-ball form! Thrill seekers can rejoice over the options for both waterskiing and our waterslide. Or if you prefer to stay dry, sailboats, paddleboats, kayaks and scenic boatrides are viable options. It's not a stretch to say that you can easily stay situated at our lake from sunrise to sunset on any given summer day.

Next, nestled against a picturesque wooded Pennsylvania backdrop, lies our bumper boat facility. This heat-conquering amenity marries good old-fashioned bumper cars with the element of water, and the results couldn't be better! Not only will cool water splash onto your friends and family as your boats collide, but each machine includes a mounted water gun for soaking from a distance! No matter your age, you are bound to leave with a smile!

Perhaps the most exciting outdoor cooling amenity for 2013 is our pool facility. Along with our outdoor kiddie splash park (which adults have also been spotted enjoying), this year brings a complete facelift to our outdoor pool! The pool deck has recently been resurfaced and the pool has been re-tiled. On top of that, there is a brand new pool bar featuring fantastic new sandwiches, salads and snacks as well as your favorite summertime cocktails. Relieve the stress of a tough day of Pool Games in the brand new outdoor hot tub! And just in case we happen to get a little bit of moisture that falls from the sky (we don't use the "R" word here), remember that our indoor pool stays open!

The sun is shining, and with good fortune it will throughout the whole summer. You owe it to yourself to take that refreshing dip into the lake . . . so what are you waiting for? 

:)

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Woodloch Takes You "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" this Summer!

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by J. Ranner

As I start my 15th year of employment at Woodloch Pines Resort (how time flies), time after time I’ve heard guests simply refer to the resort as “HOME.”

And as a sweet Midwestern girl with ruby red slippers once said, “There’s no place like home.”

How fitting, then, that during Wednesday mornings throughout the summer of 2013, you will be whisked away by a whirlwind of fun with our all-new “Oz” games by the lake. “It’s timeless, really. The movie and the book offer a great story to all ages and tastes,” says Social Director (and “Man Behind the Curtain”) Joey Ranner. “So why not incorporate the love that we share into some great games?”

In case you are a Woodloch rookie, Wednesdays in the summer host a new type of theme game on the shores of Lake Teedyuskung every year.  In the past, we’ve pushed the adrenaline with “Fear Factor,” saluted Hollywood’s biggest movies with our “Blockbuster Games” and even paid tribute to real-life heroes with our “Firefighter Games” and “Police Games.”

Planning for this year’s festivities started months ago. Since then, the Woodloch team has been had at work trying to get things just right. “We either go big or don’t go at all,” says Ranner. “With every game that we do, things have to be new, they have to look good, and most importantly, they have to be FUN.” After months of brainstorming, drafting, and ultimately crafting  the new games, “Oz” is ready for its summer run.

So to shake things up, this year’s games will follow the Yellow Brick Road to great times with family and friends.  The Social Staff have crafted 6 unique relay events that take elements from the beloved movies and add the thrill of competition. This year, guests can expect:

  • Working together to pave a Yellow Brick Road of your own
  • Helping the Scarecrow put himself back together again
  • Using the natural resources of the lake to bring justice to that Wicked Witch…
  • Tracking down ruby red shoes…
  • Flying high with bellman monkeys
  • Enjoying delicious Oz treats with “munchkins!”

And it simply wouldn’t be our Theme Games without a little bit of flair. The Social Staff will be running these games in the full costumes of your favorite Oz characters- but that’s all we will say about that.

So when you do click your heels three times this summer, you’ll be magically transported somewhere over the rainbow to the Emerald City of Woodloch

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