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‪#TBT to Past Life Regression, Trash Can Pillow Fights, That Old Canoe, and A Goat

‪#TBT to Past Life Regression, Trash Can Pillow Fights, That Old Canoe, and A Goat


Do most camps offer Past Life Regression workshops? Or is it only Appel Farm?

Sarvananda, Head Counselor, resonated with the past from the time he was little. Music, for example, could transport him to other times and other places. As he grew older this resonance developed into a study of history and, ultimately, a PhD. in American history. Then came Appel Farm, where Sarv became our Head Counselor back in 1997 and brought all of this together to offer Past Life Regression workshops!

Check out the campers and staff participating a 2009 Past Life Regression workshop, above.

“Whether we call it ‘past life’ or resonance, we all can tune into other times and places. We might even call it imagination, historical creative license. With the Past Life Regressions workshops, I take people into a relaxed place where they can enter whatever life they choose and discover, in one hour, what they did, how they lived and even what they wore. My job is to be as neutral as possible and not influence the person taking the trip. I have been amazed to discover things about, for example, American history, that I had never heard or read before — things that seemed to come out of people’s experiences.” — Sarvananda Bluestone, Head Counselor


Do most camps have Trash Can Pillow Fights? Just us? OK, let us explain:

Carnivals at Appel Farm are pretty typical with lively music, face painting, and fun carnival treats like cotton candy. But you will also see the Trash Can Pillow Fight booth! First, you will need a bunch of mattresses, two pillows, and two large (people-sized) trash cans. You will also need a referee to keep things fair and safe. Then you let your campers have a pillow fight while standing in a trash can, which is harder than you are thinking. You can never tell who will win until someone topples over!

Look at these smiles as two camp friends battle in a Trash Can Pillow Fight in 2012.

SLawson92Bunk_0Other camps probably have canoes, but do they use them like we do at Appel Farm? Probably not!

This old canoe has been knocking around Appel Farm for years, maybe decades, without a navigable body of water in sight. We kept this canoe long after Lake Inferior got too inferior, and used it as a prop in our bunk photos, a percussion instrument in our drum circles, and a place to sit at camp dances. It was huge, too heavy for an entire bunk to carry, and still we kept it around just in case we needed it for a play, or video shoot, or art project, or…

Ahoy, ladies! Check out this bunk photo featuring our old canoe in 1992:


We know other camps have goats. It’s not unique to have goats in Elmer, NJ either. But just one goat visiting on his own? That’s all Appel Farm!

This cute goat arrived unannounced and all on his own one day in 2009. By chance, he visited on the same day that we were shooting a video for New Jersey Arts News, and while we recording our awesome musicians, Tannah and Coley Morris, and featuring rehearsals of Flight of the Lawn Chair Man, the camera person caught up with this goat. They probably thought the goat was one of us, and when we finally saw the completed video, it closed with this cute visiting goat! Even though the goat found his way back where he belonged that same day, we will never forget him!

You can see the whole video here: