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A Fabulous First Week

There was a lot going on today as we said goodbye to this fabulous first week of the summer. Just as the sun was rising Kenwood had its first Polar Bear Swim of the summer, lead by Adventure Dave. Next Friday it will be Evergreen’s chance to take an early and “refreshing” dip into the lake.

 

A Fabulous First WeekWe had two tournament teams out today and both played really well. Our Evergreen 11’s, 13’s and 15’s Tennis teams spent the day on the courts, and came back with both individual and all-team accomplishments. No 1st place trophies, but still some excellent playing. The Kenwood 11’s Baseball Team had a fabulous day, facing some incredibly tough teams from around New England. In their final outing, after an undefeated day, the score went back and forth and was tied at the end of the 6th inning (when the game was supposed to end). Using all three of their pitchers, our boys never gave up, and with the help of their coaches Caleb and Joe our boys played some fantastic ball…and eventually won pulled out two runs to win the entire tournament after two extra innings! As soon as their bus pulled into Camp the entire team ran back to their bunks screaming “We won! We won!” All of Kenwood was leaping around them cheering. It was a pretty amazing moment.

 

 

After a great dinner we had our traditional Friday Night evening activities. But before the start of Services we had the much-anticipated first Service Call Dance of the year. For those not familiar with this unique K &E tradition, it is a quirky little event that was started back in the summer of ’97. The US Military bugle call for religious services is this lilting, lingering melody.  As soon as we begin to play it the campers extend their arms out as if they were birds and begin to run and skip in a circle, pretending to be in slow motion. We play the melody three times, so that everyone has a chance to participate. I can only imagine what it looks like to someone unfamiliar with this ritual, but it’s a beloved part of how we end each week here. Please check our Official Facebook page tomorrow to see the first-ever video of this quirky, funny K&E tradition!

 

At our two different Services tonight Scott and I each read a sermon with a message about both the importance of sharing your good fortune with others, and looking for solutions (as opposed to solely focusing on the obstacles in life). As is our tradition, we both facilitated a discussion with the kids about why these were important messages for our community, and challenged them to be mindful about these lessons during the coming week.

 

A Fabulous First WeekWith the sun setting both camps headed to their respective ceremonial campfire areas. In Kenwood Scott invited all of the campers from our youngest unit to help dig up the original Shield of Honor, which we bury at the end of each summer and leave in the ground all winter long. Afterwards, Scott explained the meaning behind the Shield.  Originally created as a memorial to one of Kenwood’s former campers who perished in WWII, the Shield of Honor is awarded each summer to the campers in each age group who most consistently exhibit our collective values: kindness, commitment to our community, honesty, and being an all-around good friend. This original tin shield, created in 1946, will hang in our dining hall throughout the summer and serve as a reminder of what Kenwood is all about. In just 42 days we will return it to the ground for yet another long winter.

 

A Fabulous First WeekAt the same time as the Kenwood campfire, all of Evergreen was gathered together for its annual Opening Campfire. This event is very different from Kenwood’s, and quite beautiful. The campfire is led by our Juniper campers who spend the evening inviting new members of our community to take part in all of their rituals, including candle lighting, poetry reading and more. It’s very powerful to watch campers who have only been here for a few days be so integral to one of Evergreen’s most important events. That level of inclusion is so very Evergreen!

 

Towards the end of the campfire Scott and I each had the opportunity to play our guitars and sing for the girls. They were a wonderful audience, and we were both so happy to be a part of this wonderful evening in Evergreen.

 

The final parent of Evergreen’s campfire is always the singing of the Alma Mater. After a hot, humid day, just after they began to sing the first words of the song, a sudden rainstorm washed over them. Being Evergreen girls, they did not scream, run or hide. Instead, they put their arms around each other and sang as loudly as they could. With enormous grins and wet hair our Evergreen Sisterhood had a hysterical moment that pretty much sums up how this community is all about!

 

Goodbye to a fabulous first week of the summer, and hello to the start of week #2 tomorrow!