Polar bear swims, paint balloons, sports and arts at overnight campJuly 4, 2015
At morning assembly for our brother-sister summer camp we had another one of our annual first week summer traditions. Two days ago we celebrated Oliver winning the “Where Your Camp Shirt” contest, and today we were cheering for the campers who introduced and brought friends or relatives to our summer camp community this summer. For helping bring such nice new people into our overnight camp family we presented each camper with a much-desired Kenwood and Evergreen sweatshirt-style blanket. The entire boys’ and girls’ camp cheered for their efforts!
And then we were off to activities. The Freshmen boys had a period in the Cooking Laboratory, and spent their hour learning how to dip strawberries into different sauces and flavors.
A couple of yard away at the Kenwood Waterfront, our lifeguards were running a water aerobics period. The club music was pumping, and the boys were totally into it. In fact, they asked Kieran, our head of the waterfront, if this could be a weekly event. He, of course, happily said yes.
Our Senior girls spent much of the morning on the Evergreen ball field working on their softball skills. Today the clinic focused on making more accurate throws, and the differences between infield and outfield grounders.
I was thrilled to hang out in the music building while our Hut 6 boys were there. With the help of Music James they were working on making a dub-step song into a purely a cappella tune. While I was there they were working on making the harmonies gel, and getting it ready for Hollowpallooza in August.
At the Ropes Course today was all about Low Ropes/Team Building games. These are a fantastic way for our campers to work on improving their 21st century skills like effective communication, team work/collaboration, and leadership. I got to see our Junior girls work on a series of activities, including trust falls, all designed to help them being an even more cohesive and supportive group of friends. As you can see, they experienced this as nothing but pure fun and adventure!
Speaking of adventure, the Kenwood Sophomores were out of camp this morning climbing and swimming around one of our local dams in a nearby pond. Then they went to an area of the water that had a rope swing and all took turns plunging into the water. The weather was warm and so was the water, and they were just so happy to be on this exploration with Adventure Dave.
Back at camp, I also got to watch Athletic Director Bob Mitchell run a fantastic baseball period with our Freshmen boys. As our youngest boys their level of experience with this sport is pretty mixed, and Bob wants to make sure that each of them gains the proper fundamentals in throwing, catching, and hitting. The boys were so happy to spend this time with one of Bob, our resident coaching expert, and it was great to see by the end of the period how much each of them had improved!
For much of the afternoon I sat in the back of the water ski boat watching all of the fun that our campers were having on the waterfront. There were campers going down our enormous waterslide, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, and swimming laps. Our girls also had their own water aerobics period. It was hysterical to watch, and you could see how great a time the kids and staff were having together. I also had the opportunity to watch almost a dozen girls waterski and wakeboard. It was such a great day on the lake.
After dinner we had the first brother-sister visiting of the summer. While our siblings have multiple chances to see each other every day (including at every meal), on Friday nights we dedicate a space on the campus for brothers and sisters to hang out and have some quality time. When that concluded we had Friday Night Services. I wrote a new sermon today that used an allegory to talk about the importance of taking risks…especially if you know that you won’t be good at the outset. I asked the kids to share their thoughts on the sermon, and if it held any meaning for them. For about 10 minutes the community debated its meaning, and then we talked about how it might cause us to behave differently in the coming week. I love that our community pauses every Friday to talk about our shared values, and what it means to be a person of character.
After Services Kenwood had an hour of Free Play. Evergreen had a couple of special events planned. Our Seniors and Inters had a campfire by my house, where they broke up into small groups to participate in fun icebreaker games, and then sit around the fire and sing camp songs. We know that in a girls’ camp it is crucial that everyone have a chance to get to know each other and break down any potential divisions or cliques. Activities like this help maintain our culture of sisterhood, which is vital to the Evergreen spirit!
So while that group was having a campfire, our Sophomore and Junior campers were at the Evergreen beach for a ridiculously fun event that Head Counselor Courtney created. After breaking up into small groups and doing their own icebreaker games, the girls lined up and were given water balloons filled with paint.
We pack about as much fun as we possibly can into our time at our 7-week overnight camp. It’s an incredible mix of sports and arts, friendship making, outdoor adventure, water sports and fun. Every day I hear the sounds of cheering, laughter, singing, and playing. What I never, ever hear is “I’m bored”.