Fun every minute with our camp friends before the end of the summerAugust 12, 2016
I have to hand it to our campers and counselors: they have been using every single minute available to have the greatest time possible with their camp friends before the end of the summer.
Like these girls in the Sophomore unit. They grabbed me at morning assembly and asked if I would come see something that they had created in their lodge living room. Apparently they had spent much of last night and this morning designing and building their own “mini day camp”. If you look closely you’ll see a ropes course made out of water bottles, rocks painted with the names of other activity areas, a Slinky waterslide into a plastic tub for a pool, and even a bunk with beds made out of cardboard and random arts and crafts supplies. Can you tell that they are going to miss the spirit and creativity of life with their camp friends?!
And it wasn’t just our girls. Yesterday afternoon a group of Freshmen boys dragged me over to their bunk to see the largest blanket fort I’ve ever seen in my life. A couple of them have become avid ropes course enthusiasts, and have been practicing knot tying all summer long. With the help of their counselor Scott they created a support structure of ropes that crisscrossed their entire living area, and then got their buddies to help them erect this amazing hang out space.
They spent the entire afternoon in their blanket fort reading comic books, listening to music, and just goofing around together. Oh, and then they slept in it last night! I’m just not sure if they could possibly have had more fun doing this.
There was camper-created fun happening all around campus last night. Evergreen’s Juniper threw a campfire late last night. They spent the evening laughing a lot, but also hugging just as much. It’s clear that after so many summers together that they love each other like sisters, and are less than excited for their time as campers to come to and end.
The same is true for our oldest boys. Yesterday was Hut 6 day, and they used it to spend as much time together having as much fun as possible. They went tubing, had a BBQ, celebrated their buddy Ben’s birthday in style, and then went out to dinner with Scott at this amazing local lobster and clam shack before catching one last movie together. For some reason every time I tried to snap a picture of them laughing they immediately put on their most serious faces!
The stars were out and looking gorgeous last night, so Deena and I invited the Evergreen Juniors to join us on the Field of Dreams for one last night of stargazing. There’s almost no unnatural light up there, and without a telescope we were able to see 3 planets, 2 shooting stars, track the International Space Station (once we found it with an app on my phone), and identify a bunch of constellations. We are all so going to miss moments like this.
This morning I was walking around campus and saw these three guys walking through one of our Camp gardens. I asked them what they were up to and they said that they were sampling all of the vegetables that had finally ripened. Together we tried the snap peas, some kale, and a few cherry tomatoes. I promised them that before the summer was over I would boil up the sweet corn in this photo and the four of us would enjoy it together!
Speaking of sweet, always looking to find yet another way to make our campers happy, head baked Kristie Archer reprised one of her most favorite creations from last year: Minion Cupcakes!! As you can imagine the campers and counselors went absolutely bananas when they saw them.
It was hotter than the Burma Road today in NH, so Head Counselor Walshy got nothing but In But Ins when he announced at assembly that all of Kenwood Junior Camp would be heading to the Whale’s Tail water park late this morning.
Our boys and their counselors spent a leisurely day keeping super cool on some of the best water slides in New England. One of the kids told me “I went on like 5, 9…something runs on the biggest slide with all of my friends”. I guess it’s hard to keep track of numbers when you are having such a good time!
They also spent a great deal of time together lounging in the hot tubs. One of the things our boys have learned this year from their counselors and older camper brothers is how to hang out and just be. As you can see, they are now experts in this!
Our Ropes Course Director Adam used today to take some of his most avid climbers to this massive local indoor rock gym. These guys had spent so much of their free time this summer improving their climbing technique, and he wanted to give them a special experience. When they returned they were so excited to have done something like this, and so grateful to Adam for taking the initiative to create this excursion just for them.
Today was also the 2nd annual Camp Evergreen Color Run. Created by the brilliant Jacki and Bob Mitchell (with a little help from my wife Deena), they turned the entire campus into a Tough Mudder-style obstacle course…with one major difference…
After the whole girls camp gathered on the field to stretch and warm up they began to sprint with their friends over and through tires, climb over wooden barriers, slide down massive homemade waterslides and more…all the while our counselors were pelting them with silly string, colored cornstarch powder, mud, water and more.
Can you see how much fun our girls were having?
Can you see how this sisterhood allows them to get muddy and filthy and love every single minute of it? They have learned how to do these incredible, amazing, silly, ridiculous things together this summer, and to realize that these are some of the best moments not just of camp, but of life.
But we weren’t done. After lunch I surprised our girls by paging them to the Field of Dreams in their bathing suits. When they arrived Head Counselor Courtney had tunes blasting, and Billy from Maintenance had our antique fire truck running. Its powerful hose was pointing up in the air, and gallons of ice cold water streamed out every minute. Our girls couldn’t believe that this was happening, and ran at full speed to try and get as soaked as possible.
Once they cooled down they noticed the music and began to dance with each other while getting as wet as could be. On the way back most of our girls walked either with their arms around each other, or holding hands.
As I watched our girls shriek and howl during the Color Run, or hung out in the floor in the Freshmen Boys’ blanket fort, I realized that today was proof as to why we choose to be a brother-sister summer camp. It’s amazing when we come together as one community for special events like our music festival or carnival, but it’s just as powerful to see how the culture of our boys’ and girls’ camps come together. Growing up it’s so important to know that you belong to something special, and everywhere our campers were today they knew that they were a part of these life-changing sisterhoods and brotherhoods.
This place never ceases to amaze me, and I know that I speak for all of us when I say that I am starting to miss it terribly.