A Pocono Perspective ~ Woodloch's Blog

$1,000,000 Closer to a CURE at Woodloch!

Posted on Thu, Oct 01, 2015

~shared by J. Ranner

"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion."

- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

You see it almost every single day. Whether someone is sweeping the streets or painting a masterpiece, you can always tell when someone is truly putting their heart and soul into their work, whatever it may be. 

This is clear as can be when it comes to Bob Kiesendahl and his family's efforts with The HOPE CURES Foundation. Woodloch is very proud to announce that after the 16th Annual BK Invitational to be held at Woodloch Springs on October 4th & 5th, the foundation will cross the $1,000,000 threshold. 

"Sixteen years ago while I was recovering from my personal battle with cancer, I focused on how I could create hope for others faced with the harsh realities of cancer," says Bob. "I quickly realized that I was fortunate to have my family’s business as a vehicle to drive our efforts along with an incredibly supportive family and strong circle of friends.  The combination worked!"

What started off as a few dedicated friends and family members teaming up for a cause has grown exponentially over the past 16 years. "Crossing the $1 million milestone clearly displays the commitment & generosity of others who have supported the “BK”.  It also clearly proves, unfortunately, that we are all impacted by cancer in some way," says Bobby. 


The Hope Cures foundation was started in 1998 as Bob was diagnosed with CML, a form of leukemia. "After my diagnosis and initial treatments at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, my cancer moved into an accelerated phase. I was hospitalized and struggled through some tough days with my family and friends by my side. It was a very uncertain time, but we had hope, prayers & support of friends & family," says Bobby.  

After a bone marrow transfusion and months of a slow but sure recovery, Bob began to focus on what he could to help others, and HOPE CURES was born. "I realized I was lucky. These thoughts- the words HOPE CURES- motivated me in my own personal battle. They empowered me and allowed me to focus on my future. I also realized that I had/have unique opportunities and resources through my family’s business, Woodloch Resort, that could greatly enhance my fundraising efforts & results."

The foundation benefits many other organizations, including:


The temperature is just right, the leaves are crisp and there's no better time for a little bit of golf. The BK Invitational takes place at Woodloch Springs Country Club in Hawley, PA. Family, friends and corporate sponsors join together for the event that includes, golf, Texas Hold em, live entertainment, awards, food & drink. A cocktail party, dinner & awards for all participants & sponsors completes the event Monday evening at the Inn at Woodloch. It is an inspiring weekend that brings us all together to create hope for others affected by cancer.


A Night for the Cure is a grassroots fundraising event that benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Several employees at Woodloch Resort, with some guidance and support from Bob, Joan & Brad Kiesendahl created this event to make a difference in the battle against breast cancer.

The event is held annually in October (the 2015 event will take place October 18th).  The event is structured as a Tricky Tray with countless gift items that are donated by local individuals and businesses.  All are welcome to join or donate!  Individuals purchase tickets that they place in envelopes by the gifts they desire.  After all the tickets have been placed, the drum roll begins as the host of the night calls out the winners!

Throughout the evening hors d’oeuvres are served; wine tasting is available along with a full cash bar.  It is a night filled with a tremendous spirit & enthusiasm as we join together to fight cancer.


One of our most popular events is the Hope Cures 5K RUN/WALK!  The 5K start/finish is located at The Inn at Woodloch.  The course winds through Woodloch Resort’s property and along a private lake.  The local community is invited to join in the event!  All ages and levels can participate with awards for each division and something special for all kids 10 & under!   Many run in memory of, or in support of someone who is/was impacted by cancer.  It is a fun/healthy event that has a deeper meaning for many who join us. The HC5K’s proceeds benefit the LIVESTRONG Organization.


While we're one step closer to finding a cure with every dollar that's raised, the fight is ongoing and always looking for help. "1.4 million people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year. We have a long road ahead of us, but progress is being made! We have been and will continue to create HOPE for others. I sincerely thank you for your continued support and generosity," says Bobby. Get involved and join the fight HERE- we'd be proud to have you aboard!

Even though this is a tremendous achievement, Bobby and HOPE CURES constantly focus sight on the future. "I will definitely pause for a moment to reflect on all that we have accomplished over the years & the reality of actually raising $1 million to fight cancer!  We will then quickly refocus on the challenges that are still in front of us.  There is optimism and progress being made, at the same time many are still suffering.  The ultimate goal is to find the cure!"



BK Golf 2014 from EDGE, Woodloch, BK Hope Cures on Vimeo.



Tags: BK Hope Cures, Hope Cures, Cancer Research

"Brighten" up your holidays at Woodloch!

Posted on Tue, Sep 15, 2015


~Shared by Joseph J. Ranner

Our waterski boats no longer sit in Lake Teedyuskung. We spend a few extra minutes each day to defrost thin layers of ice off of our cars. And we all pine for that extra cup of coffee or hot chocolate. To quote House Stark... "Winter is coming."

Yet we find a way to get through these long nights. In the spirit of the holiday season, strands of lights are strung from eave to eave of our houses, providing a much needed glow when we crave it the most.

Holiday decorating has been a proud tradition for Woodloch Pines since opening in 1958. Our main lobby, dozens of trees, bannisters, shrubs and everything in between are instantly illuminated on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. That is also the debut weekend of our famous "Festival of Lights" rides along our mile-long nature trail.

From a staff standpoint, the most impressive part of all of the decorating is how much of it actually goes on behind the scenes. Weeks beforehand, my fellow co-workers are crafting wreaths, testing bulbs, building structures, and ascending skyward on lift trucks so that the tree lightings go off without a hitch. The prep work for the holidays begins just as soon as we begin our first Haunted Hayrides of the season in early October. It's a lot of work, but there's something to be said about smiles on everyone's faces in the warm glow of the lights.

Our Festival of Lights has steadily become bigger and better. In addition to thousands of lights, we now use pyrotechnics and computers to enhance guest experience. All in all, the experience amounts to about half-an-hour of illuminated joy through a dozen scenes on our nature trail. And if you're good boys and girls, Santa Claus just might show up... speaking of which, St. Nick and his crew are taking their talents to Broadway as we present our first-ever "Holiday Revue!" Come experience this exciting and uplifting performance, only available from December 2nd through 19th!

This is really just the beginning of all the fun times that await you this holiday and winter season at Woodloch. Scavenger Hunts, kid's parties, Yule Log Hunts and our fiercely jolly Gingerbread Wars all await! So bundle up, relax, and hang a shining star upon the highest bow. The holidays at Woodloch will soon be here...



Woodloch is Home for the Holidays! from Woodloch Pines on Vimeo.




Tags: Holidays

"Hallo-Weekends" at Woodloch Bring Some Tricks... and Plenty of Treats!

Posted on Tue, Sep 08, 2015

weekend getaways poconos

~shared by Joseph J. Ranner

It seems like just yesterday, I was an out of control 8 year old, decked out in my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume, attacking my little brother with a pair of plastic nunchucks. Hopped up on Tootsie Rolls and Pixie Stix, Halloween was simply the best day of the year for me.

Over 20 years later... I still feel the same way. 

And it's not just the day itself that excites me. Much like the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's known as "THE HOLIDAYS," the whole season leading up to Halloween is simply a great time. Apple picking. Cider. All of that beautiful Pocono fall foliage. And making that all-important costume decision... it's ironic that a season famous for zombies and vampires makes me feel so incredibly alive. 

And I know I'm not the only one sipping a pumpkin spice latte in my Ugg boots thinking about it. As a matter of fact, I am grateful that my employer shares the same sort of enthusiasm that I have for the holiday... and even bumps it up to 11. 

zombie_runWoodloch's "Hallo-Weekends" all start off with a bang. Right after dinner time (because there's nothing scarier than an empty stomach) we start to board our wagons for our world-famous "Haunted Hayrides"- a spooktacular thrill ride all along our Nature Trail. Summertime guests got a special "sampling" of Halloween hijinx this year with Woodloch's "Fright Night" Scare Walks. "We wanted to let our summer guests know what we do for Halloween," says Joey Ranner, Social Director. "The response was great- and everyone can expect the scares to get bigger and badder for our hayrides." 

Ghouls, goblins, werewolfs and all sorts of terrors await you along your 30 minute-plus ride... will you be bold enough to make it?  Makeup, lighting, pyrotechnics and more will make you feel like you're trapped in your favorite horror movies. Hot chocolate and plenty of laughs await those souls brave enough to make the journey!  

Hopefully you'll get a good night's sleep, because the rest of the weekend is jam-packed with seasonal activities!  

  • Chase down the gold medal with our brand new "Scare-lympics" games- a spirited take on our classic Olympics!
  • Pumpkin Arts & Crafts
  • Trick-or-Treating all across our resort followed by a grand Halloween party in our Nightclub

And an epic battle is on its way to our resort... a HALLOWEEN WAR, that is! Our famous Cupcake Wars are getting "in costume" for the season as pumpkins, corn, straw, gourds and apples all find their way into our "secret ingredient" list! 

And of course, suffice it to say "that's not all." The cooler weather is perfect for some go-carting, paintballing, rock climbing, Segwaying, archery tagging or just warming up by the fire pit. If you haven't had the opportunity to explore Woodloch in this season, it truly is a delight- missing out would be... scary. 

Spooktacular Haunted Hayrides at Woodloch from Woodloch Pines on Vimeo.

Tags: Haunted Hayrides, Fall, halloween

"Music City" moves to Woodloch for "Nashville Songwriters Weekend"

Posted on Fri, Aug 21, 2015


~shared by Joseph J. Ranner

"True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt."

- Garth Brooks 

For as long as I can remember, music has always been very important to my life. Between always hanging around my musician brothers and always having my Sony Walkman and eventually iPod at my hip, there was always a song in my head. 

And my musical tastes went in phases along with my life. I was all about Will Smith during my middle school days (don't pretend that you weren't getting jiggy with it, either), coped with teenage angst with punk rock, and spent my college years with lots of Pearl Jam and alternative music (because that was the "hip" thing to do). But never, and I do mean NEVER, was I a country music fan.

Until one day, it all changed.

I'd found myself just a little bit stressed out from some things at work and happened to hear a Zac Brown song called "Chicken Fried." A simple song, but the music was quite beautiful and actually seemed to put life into perspective for me. Things clicked, and that really was the beginning of it all. Way led on to way, and the next thing I knew country music had become one of my favorite musical genres.

And I realized I wasn't alone. It turns out a very large amount of Americans also enjoy country music- including many of our guests.


Jon D'Agostino is a long-time Woodloch guest that has a huge passion for country music. So much, in fact, that he actually owns a real-life Nashville publishing firm on the world-famous "Music Row," Demolition Music Publishing. "Music has always been a passion of mine," says John. "Of course, I love listening to the final product from performers like Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Rascal Flatts. Many of these acts, however, perform songs written by professional songwriters. For me, there's a definite thrill of knowing the real inspiration and stories to these popular songs that are all over the radio. The writers are somewhat unsung heros."

On one fateful visit, John met with Joey (Woodloch's Activities & Social Director). The conversation naturally drifted towards their shared passion of music, and the duo mused about ways to "bring Nashville to Woodloch." Ideas snowballed into something that will end up being a very special time at Woodloch: our first ever "Nashville Songwriters Weekend."

During the weekend of November 20th - 22nd, Woodloch is honored to be welcoming songwriters for some of the biggest country acts out there today- including Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean. Guests will be entertained with a very special "Storytellers" event where the REAL tales behind your favorite tunes will be told. 

And even better? Music's next great songwriter might be found... right here.


Over the years, we've actually discovered that many of our guests are VERY talented and musically inclined. We've had singers floor audiences during our Woodloch Idol and Woodloch's Got Talent competitions. Many great team songs have been performed for points during our Scavenger Hunt contest. "Putting all of this together, we thought this was the PERFECT time to create our first ever Woodloch Songwriting Competition," says Joey. "We've heard some exceptional voices here, but there's also been a lot of great original music that has been shared. I'm excited to see how this pans out." Not only will the winner(s) receive a free stay at Woodloch, but they'll also be able to have the eyes and attention of our songwriters. Click here for all the details and rules.

And that's NOT all. It simply wouldn't be a real country weekend without other special events! Bonfires, line dancing, Southern BBQ and bourbon sampling will bring the SOUTH... NORTH for the weekend. "Who knows- the next big name in music might just be enjoying our famous crumb cake in the dining room," says Joey. 


robbins_nashville_2Come meet writers like Jimmy Robbins, who helped pen this tune for the great Blake Shelton! 






Tags: Nashville, Country Music

Why getting AWAY to Woodloch is good for you...

Posted on Mon, Jul 27, 2015

poconos resorts, midweek travel

~shared by Joseph J. Ranner

One of the most important lessons I've learned growing up was discerning  between "needs" and "wants." 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 “rationalization”- and guilt- come 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 this country is great 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.

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). 

Being able to afford a vacation is another issue in itself, yet less of 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.

                     (Source: Dr. Glenn Braunstein)

So in other words, we've become stubborn and guilty. This all goes into effecting your overall wellness. If you’re on the fences at all about traveling in the nearby future (yet lack a modified DeLorean), maybe we can convince you to do the right thing. 

For the body…

It all comes down to alleviating stress... "the silent killer." 

Vacation can improve cardiovascular health with lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Men who skip vacations for five consecutive years or more are 30% more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least one week of vacation each year. Similar studies have reached the same conclusion for women. Further, an annual vacation can cut the risk of heart disease by up to 50%. (Source: Alena Tugend)

spa resort, pocono mountains

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.

With a plethora of amenities and activities that are sure to get the blood flowing, there's no better place to get some good ol' fashioned cardio than Woodloch. Biking, hiking, rowing, and even skiing are available on or nearby. Games like our Olympics and Race Against the Clock get you on your feet, running around and smiling all on your quest for the gold medal- what's not to love? 

Even a little bit of time on the golf course will stretch out the legs a little bit and get your joints limbered up.


For the mind…

For those who have visited us (and those who haven’t), Woodloch has the benefit of being more or less a hidden gem. We are secluded in the Poconos, yet only a two hour drive from the hustle and bustle of the world’s greatest city. This is a huge benefit to you.

By deciding to take a vacation, you are given the opportunity to leave all of your problems at home. A simple change of environment gives you the perfect chance to look at things as objectively as possible, without the routine day-to-day distractions.

And what’s more… you can actually take the opportunity to EXPAND your horizons- do the things you always wanted to, but found excuses not to. Want to rediscover your long lost love of the culinary arts? Enjoy an intimate cooking demonstration with one of our chefs. Desiring to break free from the concrete jungle and enjoy the REAL wild? Paddle up and experience an inspiring journey downstream with a kayak excursion. Quench your thirst for adrenaline with couple’s zip lining. All of this is just a small part of the AWAY experience you can treat yourself to at Woodloch.

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 "daily grind." 

getaway hot deals, pennsylvania resorts


For the soul…

If I could tell young people to prepare for anything in life, it would simply be “prepare to be surprised.” Things change, often quickly and with little to no notice, and we simply have to go along with them. That is why every time there is an opportunity to make something good happen, for the love of Pete, TAKE IT.  

Our personal relationships- particularly the ones with the closest people in our lives- greatly benefit from taking that trip. According to a recent study by The US Travel Association: 

  • Women who take more vacations are ultimately more satisfied with their marriages
  • 42% of travelers feel "more romantic" on vacation
  • 53% of vacationers return back home feeling "more connected with family." 

So... arrange that getaway. Watch that sunset with the wife. Try that food you’ve always wanted to. Find inner peace with a little Tai chi. Leave no wine untasted. At the end of our lives, I think we’d all feel a lot better if our “I’m glad that I did’s” outnumbered our “I wish I would have’s.”


romantic getaways, lodging


A Look into the PGA Professionals Tournament Through the Eyes of Woodloch's Director of Golf

Posted on Mon, Jul 13, 2015


~Shared by Chase Borden

I had the pleasure to sit down with the Director of Golf at Woodloch Springs, John Pillar, and discuss his experiences at the PGA Professional National Championship held last week at Philadelphia Cricket Club. 

As the President of the Philadelphia Section for the PGA of America, John had the privilege to represent as the host section and compete in the event. John explained in an interview with Phil Blackmar what an honor it was to reperesent the section in the tournment. John also mentioned to me what an honor it was to represent his home course of Woodloch Springs.

John made the cut to the top 70 and finished 58th in the country and credits some of his success to gearing up his game at Woodloch Springs, which has very similar green conditions to Philiadelphia Cricket Club.  “Many of the green complexes are of similar difficulty, which helped me when I needed to recover for pars.” 


John had a difficult schedule approaching the event. He had to sneak in practice time between our Folds of Honor Golf Tournament and his eldest son’s high school graduation. With all of this on his plate, he still made us very proud at Woodloch Resort by putting on an incredible performance. John said that he credits his success in the tournament to the practice he put in on Woodloch’s difficult course, some one on one sessions with Woodloch’s new Director of Instruction Jason Kuiper, and of course to his NIKEGOLF gear, which you will always see him sporting around the golf club.

If you are familiar with John Pillar, you know he is a huge family man, and it turns out his family played a large role in his successful round. While trying to get back into the mix on the second day on hole 7, John’s family members were watching as he hit a shot to 1‘ and then realized his oldest son had driven 2.5 hours to watch and support his father in hopes he would climb the leaderboard, which he did.  This was an emotional time during the round, and it spurred John on to a couple more birdies and into contention. “ I didn’t realize he was even there until he whistled to me, and it brought tears to my eyes at a critical time of the round.”

Finally John had the opportunity to be on The Golf Channel for the segment The Golf Fix with Michael Breed. On this segment John Pillar gave insight as to how he hones in his short game consistency. This was a very appropriate time for such an interview because Woodloch has just announced the development of its very own  Woodloch Golf Academy. The segment gives a sneak-peak at some of the things you can learn in upcoming events from the academy.




John also wanted to give a huge thank you for all the support from the local community and his golf members at Woodloch Springs

Woodloch Honors Local Fallen Hero in Folds of Honor Golf Classic

Posted on Thu, Jun 25, 2015

Folds of Honor, Golf

~shared by Chase Borden

“Freedom does not come without a price. We may sometimes take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of the members of our armed forces.” –Charlie Dent

For the past two years Woodloch Springs has had the honor to host the Folds of Honor Golf Classic. This tournament brings a holiday feel to the golf course, as players come out to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Humvees were placed on the golf course and local troops came to tend the flags for each group as they entered the 9th and 18th green. The event is a miniature Memorial Day celebrated at our Pocono resort.

Golf courses, Pocono Mountains

Each year Woodloch honors a local hero. This year that hero was Lance CPL Jacob W. Beisel of Lackawaxen. Jacob graduated from Wallenpaupack Area High School and joined the Marines in September of 2003. He was assigned USMC 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. He had just started his second tour in Iraq when he was killed while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq on March 31, 2006. He was just 21 years old, although he did not have any children an Honorary Scholarship will be awarded in his name and will honor his legacy for years to come.

The Folds of Honor provides annual educational scholarships to the military families of those who have been killed or disabled while in active duty. Since its establishment the Folds of Honor has given 7,500 scholarships. Woodloch has since been working to add to that number each year by hosting its Folds of Honor Golf Classic.

I was given the privilege of spending the day on the course with the PGA Honorary President Allen Wronowski. Mr. Wronowski is a member of the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame and was named Director of Golf Development and Relations in 2014 for the Folds of Honor Foundation. We made our way around the course taking pictures with each group of golfers, Mr. Wronowski personally thanked each of the 120 players for being there to support the Folds of Honor organization and our local fallen hero Lance CPL Jacob W. Beisel.  

Golf resort, weekend getaways

Last year the tournament raised just under $10,000 to help fund a scholarship which went to Sean & Ryan Sweeny, son of SSG Paul Sweeny. This year we are proud to announce that we have exceeded our $10,000 mark in fundraising.

If you are looking for an excuse to get out on the golf course in the future, there is no better excuse than signing up for next year’s Folds of Honor Tournament; you will have a great time while supporting the family of a local hero. 


Saluting Jacob W. Beisel from Woodloch Pines on Vimeo.

Tags: Folds of Honor

Taking a Step Back: Woodloch's Key to Enjoying Golf in the Poconos

Posted on Fri, Jun 19, 2015

golf family resorts

~shared by Chase Borden

“A perfectly straight shot with a big club is a fluke” –Jack Nicklaus

Another summer is upon us in the Pocono Mountains. The winter was long and brutal and it is time to break out the clubs again here at Woodloch Springs Country Club. I have spent many years on this golf course and it seems that a lot of players are getting caught up in the hype of the game. Everyone has to have the best of it all, big clubs, nice shoes, and a low handicap. It seems as though everyone has forgotten a key part of the game… relaxation.

On occasion, I’ll have the group of golfers come off the course, scorecards blank, but smiles on their faces. “How did you play?” I always ask. “How do you think?” is usually the response as they work their way to the Grille Room to get another round of beers. It is times like that I really enjoy it here at Woodloch Springs. The people who come on a great family vacation to forget about all that hype. Those are the people who really know how to golf in my opinion; that group of guys who just goes on a weekend getaway, that wedding party who is just getting to know each other but end up being family by the end of the round, or that family reunion group who seems disconnected at the start of the round and are inseparable by the end.

catskills resorts business meetingsToo many times, I have seen someone get too worked up about their golf game and come off the course more stressed than when they went out. This seems odd to me with all the course has to offer, even if I do have a poor round, I know I really got to spend some time out in the freshest of air and normally with some quality friends. Besides there is always a frosty beer waiting for me in the Grille Room, that keeps my spirits high. Any guest who comes in with a frown on their face, I remind them of the things that they need to take into perspective when they play their second round the next day.

  • Take a few breaths of that Pocono Mountain air before you take a swing
  • Take advantage of those hours of complete peace and quiet
  • A sand trap is not actually a trap, it is just a golfers beach
  • The time spent with your family is always time well spent
  • And lastly, would you rather be at work?

The golf course can almost wake up your senses to take a moment each day, when you are not on this weekend getaway, to appreciate everything around you, even when things are not going so well. Don’t get caught up in all that hype, remember why you are out there, to enjoy yourself and the company you are with. The Pocono Mountains is a place of peace and serenity and this can even be found on one of the areas toughest golf courses. 

Golfing at Woodloch is more than just a game... from Woodloch Pines on Vimeo.

Tags: enjoying golf

The Woodloch "EDGE"- Insider Tips on How to Win BIG This Summer!

Posted on Thu, Jun 18, 2015

All Inclusive Family Vacations Summer Poconos

~shared by Joseph J. Ranner

The great American football coach George Allen once said, "Winning is the science of being toally prepared." Though every once in a while we're brushed with a stroke of good luck, more often than not, champions are crowned through hard work, persistance and mental preperation. (I feel inclined to make a joke about the Cleveland Browns... but that city has been through enough.) 

I've had the pleasure of working in activities with guests for the past 16 years and I feel like I've gotten to know many of you on a personal level. And while we all know that the real joy in competing in Woodloch events is simply forgetting life's troubles and enjoying some smiles with your family and best friends, we all know that winning sometimes just feels really GOOD. 

So be glad that you took the time to read this article. Whether you're a "Woodloch veteran" or new to the game, we thought we'd give you guys just a little heads-up on ways to get an "edge" on your competition this summer. While I can't ensure that this will get a medal on your neck, I can promise you that it will be worth your time to heed our advice! 



This one always takes the "newbies" by surprise. Forget any conventional hunts that you may have done in the past- there's nothing quite like Woodloch's Traditional Scavenger Hunt. Every year, we make it a point to make our hunts bigger, more challenging and ultimately better by adding new puzzles and mixing things up.

At its core, though, the same principles will always give teams a competitive advantage. Research our social staff's website, WoodlochEdge.com, thoroughly just before you leave for your stay. There are several puzzles and games that offer list items as a reward, but we also give quite a few FREEBIES. Boom! 

Additionally, it can't hurt to look at our Photo Gallery for additional clues. After all, you might just end up needing to dress up as a certain character! 

family reunions poconos


You know. The stuff that ONLY happens at Woodloch!

Whether you are competing in our new Sci-Fi Games, Jurassic Loch lake games and our famous Summer Olympics, one thing remains constant: you are going to need to hustle. You don't necessarily need the biggest and fastest team, but there needs to be some heart and motivation as your driving force! Those are the factors that make the biggest difference between being THE BEST instead of one of the rest.

Speaking of size, it's actually a strategic advantage to have some smaller teammates in many of our games!  Nimble, agile and more compact friends on your team come in handy during many of the events in Family Double Dare and Pool Games! Small... but mighty!

Before heading out in that hot summer sun, be ready. Eat a good meal for energy before gametime (we feed you guys plenty here) and don't be afraid to stretch out a bit beforehand. 

There's a better than good chance that many of us haven't ran for a while... and you'll know this because you haven't ran for a while. 

best vacations for kids poconos


So... maybe athletics aren't your forte- which I understand completely. I was, and still am, the kid that would get hit in the face with a basketball every week in phys ed. Some of the more scholarly individuals find our greatest joys in flexing our intelligence for the gold. Woodloch offers an abundance of great trivia contests to showcase our smarts. As the old saying goes... "10 heads are better than one."

"Name That Tune" and "Woodloch Goest to the Movies," how I love thee! As much of a pop culture aficionado that I may be, I simply cannot tackle this all alone. To win big in these very competitive events, you have to properly recruit. Can't tell Taylor Swift from Katy Perry? Recruit some young blood to help you out. Know that Grandma is a huge film noir fan? She's going to come in handy. Some of the most successful teams we've seen here were the most eclectic groups of individuals you could think of! 

Our Dessert Wars are brand new for summer of 2015. And there a lot of elements to a successful team. Someone needs to be artsy, neat and clean for a stellar presentation. RECRUIT THEM. You need someone with a vivid imagination (young kids are CLUTCH here). RECRUIT THEM. You need someone who is wise with a budget and can make good decision in a bind. RECRUIT THEM. All of these factors collectively make the best Dessert Wars teams! 



Last but not least, I will say that teams that earn medals always have a good leader. All of these games require a Team Captain. That captain is a coach, cheerleader and judge all at once, and good leadership brings in medals. Your captain must be an adult and somewhat responsible (which should, in theory, limit it to just about one person on your team. Easy decision)



Of course, you can follow all of this advice and simply be beaten. Hey, it happens- we have a lot of guests craving that same Woodloch gold that you are. A long time ago, someone once told me that they never "lose"- either you win big or learn something. Take that knowledge back, grow from the experience and keep trying. 

Because if one thing's for sure, quitters never win and winners NEVER quit!


Good luck to everyone out there this summer- may the odds be ever in your favor. 

Tags: Woodloch Summer EDGE

BIGGER and BETTER: What's New at Woodloch for Summer 2015 PART 2

Posted on Fri, May 29, 2015

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~shared by J. Ranner

I'm a sucker for a good power rock ballad. And I'm a sucker for Journey. So you can bet when the song "Faithfully" hit my eardrums last evening on my ride home, the music was cranked and I suddenly became Steve Perry (in my mind, at least.)

In my favorite line of the song, Perry belts out the line "I get the joy of rediscovering you." Although being apart from what you love isn't easy, it's all that much better when you reunite with that someone (or something). 

Whether it is your first stay with us or you have lost count over years of loyal visits, we find the best way to keep our guests happy- and to raise the bar of our own excellence- is to constantly keep things fresh, new and exciting! After all, we would very much like to maintain our title of #1 Hotel for Families in America in 2016.

The summer of 2015 is no exception.

In addition to several highlighted events already shared in the first part of this blog, here are even MORE reasons why the summer of 2015 could possibly be the best summer in Woodloch's 57 year history!


FRIGHT. NIGHT. Are you feeling brave? In the spirit of our beloved Haunted Hayrides, we've decided to host our first ever "Fright Nights" during Monday evenings in the summer. Except there are no wagons to protect you. Traverse our walk-thru Horror-ble trail, full of all sorts of scares... there's a bonfire, acoustic guitar music and tailgate games at the other end. IF you make it through.

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Don't forget to pack your lightsaber and sonic screwdriver. You're going to need them in order to properly tackle our all-new "Sci-Fi Games" at our athletic field!  You'll find yourself protecting the human race from the cyber threat of SkyNet, journeying through space and time in a big blue box and becoming one in the ways of the Force. Assemble a dream team and Monday mornings in the summertime! 

On with the show. Two of Woodloch's most popular shows have been given an overhaul for 2015. Our Broadway-style theme show (Wednesdays and Satudays) salutes the most popular avenues and roads in the country as "Woodloch Travels Down the Streets of America." Our comedic staff show (offered on Friday evenings starting in July) puts a lovingly revises our nation's important moments as "Woodloch Rewrites History!" 

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And after the show, it's the AFTER PARTY. In the spirit of continuing our theme show fun long after the final curtain, be sure to catch our late-night event in the North Lodge with our "Takin' it to the Streets" party! Games, dancing, music, prizes and more await you!

I'll take "SWORDS" for $400, Alex. Think you're the brainiest bunch of them all? Put your money where your mouth is with our newest trivia game, JEOPARDY, adjusted and modified for big groups to all compete!

The Kan CAN. All of those days playing around on the quad between classes are about to pay off- Woodloch is going to be offering the beloved game of KAN JAM. We've used it before in our Olympics and our guests just can't seem to get enough of it, so we're going to be playing tournaments for the elusive Woodloch gold medal all summer long! Speaking of frisbees, there's a new Woodloch game in town! Combining elements of "Ultimate Frisbee" and our tremendously popular "2-Base Kickball" games comes our brand new "FRISBEE BASEBALL" contest. Practice throwing, catching AND running so you're ready to tackle this one during your summer stay!

"I volunteer as tribute." Katniss Everdeen holds a very special place in our hearts! That's why our brand new ARCHERY TAG contests are so much fun! Square off against the opposition with foam tipped arrows in a game that combines archery and dodgeball- may the odds be ever in your favor! 

A river runs through it. The Upper Delaware, to be precise! We've teamed up with the mountain men at Northeast Wilderness Experience to bring our guests a REAL taste of the great outdoors with kayak excursions down the Delaware River. Break free for a few hours and do some rolling... rolling... rolling on the river. 

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Splish. Splash. Maybe Mother Nature is being a little moody. Or perhaps you have been listening to R.E.M. and want to do a little "nightswimming." Our newly remodeled indoor pool complex addresses all of those needs! After months of repair and remodeling, she's back online and better than ever- come check it out! 

What's old is NEW again. On top of all of the brand new events and games we are offering this year, all of our perennial favorites- Scavenger Hunt, Family Double Dare, Pool Games, Olympics, Amazing Race and more- have all been revamped and redesigned to bring more smiles and laughs to our guests for the summer. 

Our resort is ready. Our team is ready. The question is... are YOU ready for all of the adventure and good times that are to be had this year? We look forward to seeing all of your beautiful smiling faces in the coming weeks!



Tags: Summer 2015