Scenic view of trees at camp

Pine Cove Glossary

by Pine Cove


Pine Cove has a distinct lingo that leaves first-time family campers on Sunday nights staring, mouths agape, wondering what strange world they just entered. It’s true, there are some words around camp in need of definitions. Summer staffers learn the difference between a watermelon and a watermelon pretty quick during staff orientation, but for the rest of us, this glossary is here to help! (We will keep adding to it!)

Chaos – (noun) Not only a great word to describe what goes on at camp, but also the name of our incredible “behind-the-scenes” summer staff! These staffers help prepare meals, decorate for theme nights, and serve our campers selflessly—AND they have some serious fun while doing it! 

Opening Day Attire – (noun) The outfit each summer staffer puts on for Sundays at camp. The name tag, khakis, dry-fit shirt (each specific camp has a different color!), belt, and athletic shoes are a reminder that we are a unified group serving the Lord as we jump and greet campers!  

Buffalo Hunt – (noun) A super fun activity played in a giant mud pit at the Towers. Campers get very muddy as they collect as many rubber bands from counselors as they can and are on the lookout for the Prize Buffalo! 

Speaker Session – (noun) The time of the day when parents at family camp sit under the teaching of the weeks’ speaker! Some of the wisest people we know come and teach on parenting, marriage, or Biblical truth each week. 

Host Home – (noun)  A family who not only lets our staff stay with them, but also provides them with food and an amazing atmosphere! When we say we couldn’t do camp without them, well, we SERIOUSLY mean it!

Senior Counselor – (noun) They’re like a regular counselor, but with even more responsibility! They oversee a cluster of cabins (or ages) for the week. They are the go-to person if extra guidance is needed with a camper.

“Bump the Lamp” – (verb) A phrase that describes the mindset of staff to constantly strive to go above and beyond what’s expected. (This is inspired by the story in the creation of Disney’s Academy Award-winning film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in which the filmmakers decided to go to extraordinary lengths to match the lighting in a room on the animated characters as well as real life. See the scene here.) We also talk more about this in this episode of our podcast! 

Free Time – (noun) A little slice of a camper’s day where they can go grab a snack from the camp store, sit and chat with cabin mates, or even have a Hang Time with their counselor! It’s a great time to make new friends or go deeper with current ones.

Theme Night – (noun) Everyone is dressed up in neon, camo, or some other wacky costume… this can mean only one thing: it’s a theme night at camp! Each night of the week, camps pick a creative theme and go ALL OUT for it. Usually after dinner there is a really fun activity for campers to participate in (there might even be a little competition)!

Crew – (noun) At family camp, this is what we call the elementary-aged kids program. They get to do all kinds of fun activities all day while Mom and Dad sit in on speaker sessions, then when the family comes back together, there are stories galore from the day!

Impact – (noun) At family camp, this is the name of the program for junior high and high school campers. Think: awesome activities, rocking dance parties, and of course, seriously fun counselors to spend time with.

Hang Time – (noun) The time when a counselor and their camper get to talk together, usually over a snack or an activity. This time allows the counselor to hear what the camper is learning and more about their life back at home. For many campers, this is one of the most valuable 20 or so minutes of their entire week at camp! 

CQ – (noun) Given to each and every camper, Character Quality Certificates are made up of three impactful words that describe the camper. (Example: Courageous, Authentic, and Steadfast) Counselors spend the week getting to know their campers and watching for the God-given character qualities that they possess. They are read to each camper in front of parents at Closing Celebration (and can be found in the CampLife app!), and are often treasured and saved for years as a reminder of how God has wired them. How cool is that?!

Spirit Stick – (noun) This coveted item is given out daily to the cabin with the most spirit! If your cabin wins it for the day, it’s a BIG deal. It may look like an ordinary piece of wood painted with fun shapes and colors, but when it’s raised up by a senior counselor or program director, the place goes CRAZY! (But really, you might want to cover your ears!) When it’s lowered, the room magically becomes quiet again.

Cove Kids – (noun) At family camp, this the name of the youngest kids’ program. (They’re SO CUTE!) Typically, Cove Kids is for kids ages 0-6 years old, but each week might vary a bit on ages based on numbers. Whether they’re singing songs, taking naps, or playing with shaving cream, you can count on these littlest campers always having some serious fun!

Cabin Competitions –  (noun) You’ve heard of a competition before, but at camp, these are a BIG DEAL. Every day at lunch, a cabin will challenge another cabin for a creative competition, like knock-out, the biggest splash in the pool, a bed head competition at flag, or countless others. The options are endless, and it’s a blast!

Work Crew – (noun) The awesome group of people who staff the kitchen during camp. Most staff rotate through at least a week of Work Crew during the summer, when they get to set tables, serve meals, and clean dishes—often while singing Disney songs at the top of their lungs.

Flush ’n Brush – (noun) The time when campers are dismissed to go to the restroom and “flush,” and/or brush their teeth. It helps to have a clear opportunity for things like this, so kids can remember before they’re in a less convenient spot, like at the top of the ropes tower. Some camps also add an entertaining cheer to follow this dismissal, “But not at the same time!” 

Camper Calls and Panda Calls – (noun) At family camp, there are a lot of optional morning activities for parents (breakfast trail rides, morning ski, crossfit, etc.), so parents can schedule one of these for staff to come wake up their littles, get  them ready for the day, and meet their parents at breakfast. (These are also known as PARENT WINS.) “Panda Calls” are for the teenagers who could definitely get themselves up and ready without help, but our staff might still come to “help them wake up,” often with an airhorn.

Get-to’s –  (noun) At family camp, these are the names for staff free time assignments. But that’s just it: they are not obligations; they are opportunities for staff to serve our families! These might include lifeguarding at the pool, helping out in the camp store, working the coffee shop, etc. This idea impacted one Crier Creek mom so much she wrote a whole blog about it!

Take a Seat – (noun) This is the brilliantly effective yet catchy cheer we respond with when someone on stage says those magic words: “take a seat.” The audience replies with “Take a seat! Take a seat! Take a load off your feet,” and then everyone sits and listens to the person on stage. We all especially appreciate that “take a load off your feet” part.

Porch Cheers – (noun) We like to make every moment of camp intentional, even while waiting for the next meal/activity/game to start. Enter, the porch cheers. They’re classic, silly, and have been passed down for generations. Your kids probably came back from camp singing them non-stop.

Wildlife Wednesday – (noun) We can’t explain it, but every now and then a day of the week will turn into a theme of its own, especially among staff. This one in particular has been made popular by the wild animal t-shirts sold at Walmart. Some call them amazingly brilliant, some call them terrifically tacky, but either way, a lot of our staff wear them on Wednesdays!

“Your Face is a Ministry” – (noun) A phrase we use as a reminder to staff to let the world see our inner joy on our faces. There are always tons of ways to make the most of every opportunity to show Christ to others!

“Eyebrows Up!” – (verb) A phrase we use to inspire staff, especially on opening days, to let that inward joy show outwardly! Try it with a smile, and celebrate that joy of the Lord!

Winterfest – (noun) It’s just like summer camp, only cooler. (No, seriously!) We host this weekend at our overnight youth camps every December, and it’s the perfect weekend to reconnect with other campers and staff back at camp, or to try out overnight camp for the first time! Plus we’re all about wearing that festive Christmas attire down the ziplines.

Watermelon– (noun) While we do serve watermelon (the juicy pink and green fruit) often at camp during the week, this is also Pine Cove’s word used for the gluteus maximus, or “rear end,” because children. 

Teapot – (noun) As in, “I’m a little teapot.” As a staffer, if you call a cheer wrong at any point, you might find yourself singing this childhood song on stage in front of the whole camp. Congratulations! (Bonus points if the crowd nominates a style for your song, like maybe as an opera-singing whale.)

Scraperhead– (noun) Technically, this is what we call the spatula used to clean plates at youth camp. But this word can also be defined as the game played at mealtimes at older youth camps to determine who cleans the dishes. Like most things at Pine Cove, it comes with its own [awesome] cheer! 

Pit ‘N’ Palace- (noun) It’s cabin cleaning time! What will your cabin be – a pit or a palace? The cleanest (and most creative) cabin wins!

F.O.B.- (noun) The time of day (typically after lunch) at youth camp when campers go back to their cabin for some rest. It actually stands for “flat on back” or “feet on bunk.” Some use this time to take a nap, and others spend time writing letters or working on memorizing the memory verses for the week.

The Gauntlet- (noun) The affectionate name for the line of crazy-excited staffers greeting kids and families as they arrive at camp! Also one of the few places in life where there is an official cheer for a Suburban.

Club– (noun) Not just a sandwich or where your dad golfs, it’s a crazy, high-energy worship session! It happens daily at youth camp and at Camp in the City, and at various times throughout the week at Family Camp. We love it!

Cake ‘N’ Steak/Small Group/Halftime/Bible Study– (noun) There have been countless names for this hour break during the week, but they all mean the same thing: a chance to get away and dig into the Word with other staff. Also, there are usually some delicious snacks involved!

Chunkies– (noun) Some food refuses to be eaten. When it ends up on the dining hall floor, it becomes a chunkie. We don’t like chunkies. As we chant often, any chunky must be destroyed!

Birthday Rap– (noun) We take birthdays pretty seriously here. If you’re at camp on your birthday, keep an eye out for skit characters and alternate dimensions.

Posted Nov 16, 2017

Pine Cove

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