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An incredible start to the summer!

Dear Parents, Alumni, and other supporters of K&E,

Our 90th summer is off to an incredible start, and our first three full days of camp have flown by! It feels as if the boundless energy of our campers has been uncorked all at once, and the enthusiasm and excitement has been palpable every day. While the weather has been hot, it has also been kind to us, offering us a quick and intense rain shower to cool things off, just when we seem to need it.

Last night’s Kenwood Opening Campfire ended with a biblical downpour just as we were finishing singing “Taps”. It was so wonderful to watch your children as they listened to their counselors describe what camp has meant to them, and why they come back year after year. You could see the boys getting swept up and enveloped by the history of this incredible community, understanding perhaps for the first time that they now have Kenwood brothers who will be there for them for years to come, with a deep shared connection. The Evergreen Opening Campfire was equally inspiring and poignant. Hearing the girls’ voices rising together in song, watching their faces as each candle of the Evergreen tree was lit…each representing a value or aspiration of our Evergreen community…was truly moving. One of my very favorite moments was listening to Evergreen’s Head Counselor, Courtney Chaloff, echo the words that have been spoken at countless Opening Campfires before, asking the girls to look to their right and look to their left and consider that these girls who surround them will very likely be lifelong friends, maybe even bridesmaids at their wedding someday as Deena shared in her talk.

We are all building and renewing our connections now, and we are all the stronger for it. Over these next weeks, those connections will multiply and grow deeper and stronger. They sustain us and empower us to try new things, overcome life’s challenges (even at camp), and make memories that will last a lifetime. In the meantime, your children are learning how camp works, trying out new activities, learning what it is like to share your space with others when you have spent so much time at home for the last two years, and having fun all along the way.

In Covid-related news, things continue to go incredibly well. All tests to date have been negative and our bubble is strong! Unit age groups are doing all activities together as a cohort, and are unmasked outside and in their bunks. Your kids have been wonderful and now wear their masks only at larger group gatherings and in the Dining Hall. Staff have begun to take time off (which they definitely need!) and are using our “Day Off” house to stay within our bubble. We will be doing our “Day 5” testing this week, and assuming all tests continue to be negative, we will begin to enlarge our cohorts to allow for activities between units, and to allow fully vaccinated staff greater flexibility in their time off while maintaining safe practices. So far, so good, and when in doubt, we have onsite rapid PCR testing available. We are doing our very best to protect our bubble, and in every way, camp just feels like Camp!

I am sure you are busily checking the photos that we are posting, which paint a picture of what is happening here at Camp. We will soon be posting daily updates to our Instagram “stories”, which will give you a taste of each day, which we know so many of you need! Thank you for your patience. We will also be posting blog updates as often as we can, but we are trying to spend as much time with your children every day as we can, helping them along on this exciting new journey. Please take a peek at some of our pictures below, and rest assured there is so much more to come!

With love and excitement from Camp,

Scott