A fun, gorgeous day of activities and adventures at our overnight campJuly 8, 2015
It was a really fun, gorgeous day at our overnight camp in New Hampshire today. Or, at least, it was gorgeous for most of the day. Wherever I walked around campers were having a fantastic time at our activities. In the wood shop our Freshman boys had decided that they wanted to create wooden boats. Counselor Mike showed them a template and how to use it to measure the necessary pieces of wood. Then they spent the period cutting and sanding each piece. This is a long-term project that they are all really excited about. Once completed they plan to have a race down at the water front!
It’s fashion week in our arts and crafts studio. Some campers were learning how to tie-dye. Others were designing silk screens for printing on t-shirts, while others were making dresses and jackets out of brightly colored duct tape. It looks like it’s going to be an amazingly creative week in our art departments!
I hung out in the dance studio for awhile, too. A group of Senior girls were hard at work with Logan, our dance instructor, on a new routine for the upcoming girls’ regionial dance tournament.
Down in the music building two different rock bands were practicing. The group in this picture had a really tight sound, with two guitars, a bass player, drummer and lead singer. While I was there one of the counselors was helping them make sure that they were always in time and in tune. I can’t wait to hear what they do at the music festival in August!
It was such a gorgeous day at Camp, and there were campers out playing on every one of our sports fields. Head Soccer coach Tom was running a small clinic for our 11-year old girls, helping on some important passing drills and plays.
Steve was on the Evergreen ballfield coaching a group of Junior girls as they prepared for an upcoming softball tournament next week. Even in less than a week you can see how much each of our players has improved!
The same was true with our Sophomore girls on the tennis courts. After many lessons with Kass, Heidi, Emma and Joel our youngest girls are now returning balls with quality forehands and backhands. Some are even able to place the ball where they want it to land in the opposite court. The progression in such a short time is so great to see!
Up on Senior Hill the 2nd and 3rd year boys were playing a heated game of Ultimate Frisbee. In recent years Ultimate has become one of the favorite sports of our senior boys and girls. In just over two weeks we will host the 4th annual 15 and Under Ultimate Frisbee tournament on our campus. Overnight camps from up to 100 miles away will spend the day completing in this great sport, and we cannot wait to see how our kids do. They sure have been practicing!
I also saw a lot of campers having fun at the batting cage. All morning long counselors were helping beginners work on the fundamentals of hitting, and fining tuning the stance, swing and follow through of our more experienced batters. Our campers love having the chance to have one-on-one coaching from a kind, knowledgeable teacher.
It was hot and humid this morning, and the campers were really excited to get in the water. Even at swim instruction they were happy to be wet and working on their swim strokes. I hung out with the Freshmen and Sophomore boys as they practiced their flutter kicks and rhythmic breathing, and then put them together as they swam laps of the front crawl.
Just after lunch the weather took a bit of a turn and for a while we had some rain. Thankfully, it didn’t stop our kids one bit! Whether they were building sand castles at the waterfront, on a bike ride around our campus, or in the midst of softball practice they just kept on playing.
I’m always so proud of our kids when I see them making the most of a rainy day. Invariably I end up hearing them laughing loudly and possibly even having more fun than if they had only had sunny weather. Part of what you learn at our summer camp is how to make the most of every situation you are given. What a great life lesson to learn in the midst of having such a great time!
While all of this fun was happening at Camp we also had numerous groups out on their own adventures. The Kenwood 10 and Under Basketball team played all day in a local tournament, and our Evergreen 13 and Under Lacrosse team hosted their first-ever touranment. Yesterday, Kenwood’s 12 and Under Softball team played against a number of area camps.
On Monday Evergreen’s Inters embarked on their first overnight outdoor adventure of the summer, successfully climbing Mt. Major. After reaching the top the girls returned to the mid-way point, set up camp, cooked a delicious dinner over an open fire, and then slept under a beautiful canopy of stars.
That same day Kenwood’s 1st Year Seniors began their ambitious 3-day climb up Mt. Washington. Though there was fog covering most of the mountain range they made it to the top, and ultimately ended up having a view that spanned much of the State of New Hampshire! Just after sunrise tomorrow they will close up their campsite and begin the journey back down to the bottom.
After dinner tonight Evergreen had one of its best evening activities of the summer: Minute To Win It. Modeled after the TV game show of the same name, this event is organized and run by our entire Evergreen leadership team.
Each bunk arrived wearing silly coordinated costumes that they had created. One bunk wore super hero capes and leg warmers. Another pretended to be a lacrosse team while others painted their faces and wore unicorn costumes that they had brought from home. All were funny. The bunks worked as individual teams and were given all sorts of tasks to complete in under a minute.
Some initially appeared easy while others seemed impossible. Spoon 5 pingpong balls out of one bowl and into another…using a spoon held between your teeth. Stack three granny smith apples on top of each other without them falling. Keep 8 balloons in the air simultaneously, and periodically rotate each balloon to a different team member. With each task the campers had to test out theories and develop strategies, experiment with new ideas, and become comfortable with taking healthy (and often silly) risks. For them it was a fun time being silly with their friends, but it was also a great chance to work on their 21st century skills like creativity, critical thinking, and adaptability. The theater was filled with laughter, team spirit and cheering all night long. The girls saw it as pure fun, while we were able to see just how much they were learning at the same time.
In Kenwood our boys were also flexing their mental muscles this evening. Composed of teams of different ages, they went head-to-head all night in a trivia contest put together by their counselors. The topics included sports, science, popular culture, literature, history, and current events. Some of the questions involved a single answer, and others required the teams to work together to put the answers in specific order. Just as with the girls and their evening activity this one required them to collaborate, communicate effectively, and use their leadership skills when they thought that they knew the correct answer.
Throughout the event the boys were deeply engaged and clearly having lots of fun. And that’s exactly how they should have experienced it. But like so many activities at our overnight camp it was wonderful to also see moments like when a team worked together to reason out a logic puzzle, or when a typically quiet camper took a risk and worked to persuade others that he knew the correct answer. Those are some of my favorite experiences at our overnight camp, as they are examples of how we find moments every day to help our campers further develop their crucial 21st century skills.