Author Archives: admin

Meet Gregg at the Chicagoland Camp and Summer Adventure Fair on Saturday November 11

Dear Prospective Parents,
You can meet with our representative, Gregg Ferstman, at the: Chicagoland Camp and Summer Adventure Fair Sunday, November 11 2007, 11am – 3pm

Marriott Lincolnshire Resort
Grand Marquee Tent
Milwaukee Ave. South of Half Day Road (Rt. 22)
Lincolnshire, Illinois 60069

Please call us at 800-634-1703 to let us know if you would like an appointment with him. You will have an opportunity to discuss the camp with him and he will answer any questions that you might have about French Woods. He will gladly set up a meeting at
your home, if possible. We look forward to meeting you.

If you have any questions please call us at 800-634-1703.

Meet Darryn at the Davis Academy in Atlanta, GA on November 11

October, 2007
Dear Prospective Parents,
On Sunday, November 11th, from 11 AM to 4 PM at the DAVIS ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMPUS. Darryn Lawson, one of our camp reps, will represent French Woods at the Davis Academy 4th Annual PTO Camp Fair, held annually in Atlanta, Ga.

Mark your calendars!

Davis Academy Middle School Campus
7901 Roberts Drive
Atlanta, Ga 30350
On Sunday, November 11, 2007 • 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

You can meet with Darryn at the fair. Please call us at 800-634-1703 to let us know if you would like an appointment with him. You will have an opportunity to discuss the camp with him and he will answer any questions that you might have about French Woods.

We look forward to meeting you. If you have any questions please call us at 800-634-1703

Open House for Florida Families!

Sunday, December 9th, 2007
From 12 noon until 4 PM

At The Schaefers:
9081 NW 68th Court (Quarter Horse Lane)
Parkland, Fl 33067

Kindly RSVP by December 1st
Call 954-346-7455 or email:

We invite you, your family, and your neighbors to enjoy a relaxing and friendly day of discovery. French Woods is a place where children can perform in a Broadway show with full orchestra, play another camp in soccer, basketball or baseball, fly on the high trapeze, produce their own movie, record original music, make a stained glass window, ride a horse, dance in a ballet, play in the symphony orchestra, water ski, play tennis, jam with a rock band and lots more.

If you are unable to attend our Open House, call us for an appointment. The first of our 4, 3-week sessions begin on June 7th, 2008.

A note from a parent at the end of first Session:

we just returned home lastnight from picking our daughter, katie, up from camp. words alone can not convey what fantastic time she had. i’m SURE you hear this all the time but…..she made lifelong friendships, learned soooooooooooooooo much and was treated to something she just doesn’t get in our small pennsylvania town. we have a couple of small community theaters in our area that pack ’em in every time they do a production but, NOTHING as professional and with the caliber of talent you managed to coordinate in just a few short weeks. we were so impressed. when your kid emails you that “you’re the greatest parents in the world….thanks for letting come to frenchwoods….I’M HAVING THE BEST TIME I EVER HAD IN MY WHOLE LIFE….well, that just says it all. from the day we arrived everything was so amazingly organized and the people…..WERE SO FRIENDLY AND ENTHUSIASTIC. she will be returning next year.. our only regret….that we didn’t find out about you sooner. a special thank you to Carolyn and all the counselors in her bunk. the gentleman who directed the sound of music…stuart….was really hands on in directing her like she had never been directed before (that’s a good thing). in 3 years she will be attending college…theater major and business minor. theater is her life. thank you for making her so comfortable and us “the greatest parents in the world”. i will spread the word about your camp. enjoy! you have a great thing going!!! many thanks, the laputka family hazleton, pennsylvania

Check out this interview with former campers Steve Rosen and Dave Rossmer

The Broadway Bullet has a great interview with former campers Steve Rosen and Dave Rossmer about their project: “Don’t Quit Your Night Job” which is currently playing off Broadway. Check em out and get your tickets here.

From the Podcast

SR: …Actually, David and I, we met actually doing an improvisation at theater summer camp. We were at a camp called French Woods, upstate when were… we must have been like, twelve or thirteen. And we were actually in an improv class, and we hadn’t really met each other at all, and we did something that cracked each other up.

DR: They were like, telling a story, and we had to act out the story. And they were like, “Bill and Bob go into a bar,” and so we walk into a… Bill and Bob do this, and finally, it was, “Bill spills his drink on Bob.” And since neither of us knew who Bill or Bob was, both of us at the same time just sort of spilled our drinks on each other, and that was sort of instant friendship. And we made each other laugh from then until twelve years later.

Check out the whole Podcast

And if you get the chance, check out the show!

News from Bruce Bider

Hi Ron, Beth and Isaac and the whole French Woods crew.

I can’t believe the school year is almost over (where did it go?) and summer begins next month, but I am really looking forward to it! Hope all is well and that you have a great opening and session 1.

I wanted to say a great big “Thanks” to Ron for enabling me to get to know Thoroughly Modern Millie from the “inside” … as you know, I ended up choosing it for my high school musical this year, with former campers Melissa Smith as Muzzy and Brittany Jakubowitz as Miss Flannery.

We were honored to have in our audience, at my invitation, the esteemed theatre journalist Peter Filichia, of and the Newark Star-Ledger; Tony voter and author of my favorite “trade” book Let’s Put on a Musical: How to Choose the Right Show For Your School, Community or Professional Theater. I hope you will permit me to share with you Peter’s incredibly gratifying words, which appeared in his April column

So thanks again, Ron, for providing the inspiration to make it happen!

See you soon —

Best regards,

Why choose an Individually programmed sessional specialty camp as opposed to a traditional summer camp

Camp is an experience that cannot be duplicated in any other environment, offering the opportunity for your child to achieve the poise and confidence that comes with the mastery of skills and the sociability developed as a vital participant in a structured and democratic society of his/her peers. Camps invest countless hours throughout the year to prepare and evaluate their upcoming season.

An individually programmed sessional camp allows children to chose the activities that they would like to participate in. It allows the parents to be able to afford a portion of the camp experience at a reasonably priced tuition. It gives the family more flexibility for their own time together. Parents have asked me about the importance of the bunk in terms of the “total camp experience.” Some believe that the traditional camp offers a more valuable camp experience.

In my almost 30 years of camping, I have always viewed the individually programmed creative arts camp as a camp that offers all the activities and experiences that any camp in the world could provide and then much, much more. I tried various camps for my children, traditional and sports camps where what everybody recommended. It will make a man out of your son, I was often told. My own children were very much sports oriented kids. My son became a three letter man in high school and college. A captain of two teams. My daughter was the captain of her high school softball team. I wanted my children exposed to the boys and girls that attended a camp with an abundance of creative and artistic activities. My kids loved sports, the out doors, and the like. I realized that at the individualized creative arts camp they could partake in swimming and sailing, and tennis, and baseball and basketball, and fencing, and wrestling, and biking, and hockey, and skating and football and soccer, yes and even horseback riding. but they could also learn to play an instrument, be in a Broadway show with a full pit, be in a band or orchestra, learn to dance, build a set, learn about video, sound, and lighting, throw a pot, make a puppet, screen a shirt, create an animation, produce a movie, record their own music, fly on the trapeze, jam with a rock band, the list is endless. To run an individualized program, a camp must have a copious array of activities to direct the children toward. Without this vast assortment of activity the children would have little to choose from and it would defeat the whole individually programmed concept.

Through all of these activities, one thing that stands out in my mind is the tremendous support that the campers give to one another. The creative arts camper is more precocious and more introspective that the average child; they are brighter, more inquisitive, creative, motivated and supportive. This is just the environment in which I would want my children to be exposed.

At my son’s wedding, there were four tables of former campers. One table was full with boys from his very first bunk (age 6), the young men he started camp with, and almost twenty years later still counted them as his most important friends. All camps build this kind of camaraderie. Parents just seem to be surprised by the strong bonds created at the individualized creative arts camp. Remember, it is still CAMP.

My little ones, who are still at camp, were on the computer last night speaking to their camp friends from around the country and making plans to visit with them whenever the chance presented itself. It is these precisely these relationships which will last a lifetime. The sharing and the camaraderie are incomparable.

I see the bonds at camp being very strong ones. I see the bonds at the individualized creative arts camp going a step beyond. Parents ask about the importance of the bunk. The kids are not always together. Do they develop a relationship with the other children in their cabin? I point out that the bunk is very important. Remember, the campers leave the bunk every morning and go out and work hard to learn and achieve at various activities. They must learn their songs, lines, and dances for a show. They must learn and rehearse the music for their concert. They must practice and rehearse their circus acts. They have baseball and basketball practice. Many times, they are with various members of their bunk and sometimes their interests separate them from some of their bunkmates. But at the end of the day, and at every meal they reunite with their “bunk”; it’s their safe haven, it’s their support, it’s their best friends, it’s like coming home after a tough day and knowing that your “family” is there to comfort you and share in your successes and, yes, your hardships as well.

Individualized creative arts CAMPS are more sophisticated in many ways. Children attend for various lengths of time. Some children stay longer, while others leave and new kids arrive. Parents worry that their child will not get the support from their peers that a traditional camp might offer. Just ask the children. The boys and girls await the new campers with open arms. They cannot wait to help them, orient them, and take them under their wings. At one time, they were the new campers too, and they were welcomed with open arms and made to feel that CAMP was their home away from home.

My wife and I can honestly say that camp changed our children’s lives for the better. It opened them up to a magnificent learning experience in the company of the most amazing and extraordinary people one could ever meet.

Again, the importance of the bunk at an individualized creative arts camp cannot be denied. The team building and the camaraderie far exceed any one’s expectations. Although the camper meets and develops relationships with peers outside of the bunk, the bunk remains one of the most important aspects of camp life. Counselors are trained, with the knowledge that the bunk is the most important aspect of camping. The individualized creative arts camp is so successful because it starts with this premise and move on from there to create one of the most incredible environments in all of camping.

Submitted by,

Isaac Baumfeld
A French Woods Parent First
And a Camp Director at
French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts
Hancock, NY 13783