So Many Incredible Outdoor Adventures, Trips and Tournaments TodayJuly 4, 2017
I’m often asked by prospective parents “so do K&E campers go on any trips?” Do they ever! This summer we have more than 75 day and overnight trips on our calendar, and we’ll likely add a few more before our 7 week camp experience is over.
Many of our campers’ favorite day trips are led by this guy known as Adventure Dave. Each weekday morning and afternoon he fills up his bus with campers and counselors looking for an outdoor adventure. And Adventure Dave never fails to take them somewhere incredible. Dave is constantly scouring NH, VT and ME looking for new and incredible natural wonders to show our community. In years past he helped us develop our mountain biking program, created a now-annual ocean paddle boarding trip, gotten our campers into an outstanding local fishing derby, introduced us to waterfalls and parks we had never heard of, and too many other wonderful outdoor adventures to recount here.
Today he took two different groups to a local river and damn. First he had them all test their bravery by climbing up a wooden ladder, grabbing onto a rope, swinging out about 15 feet, and then leaping into the water. You can see video of this (and hear their shreiks of delight) in this coming Friday’s weekly wrap up video.
Adventure Dave also took both groups to two of his favorite local spots. The first is a large man-made dam. The boys and girls had to work together figuring out how to safely climb over and around it, and then had the fun of standing in the middle of the base of the damn as it crashed around their feet. Experiencing water in this powerful a form is a pretty amazing thing, and both our boys and girls could not stop telling me about it when I saw them after their trips’ return.
Then both groups drove over to Walker Brook, which many around here call “The Mill Stream”. This lengthy chain of water falls and brooks eventually feeds into our Camp lake, and has endless knooks and crannies to explore, climb, or just sit and enjoy with a friend.
While Adventure Dave had his groups out Trips Travis was leading the Evergreen Inters on an expedition up Mt. Major. While it’s a fun climb it isn’t easy, and takes about 2 hours to reach the summit.
Trips like this always bring our campers closer together, and this photo that they sent me proves that today was no different. I’m not entirely sure why outdoor adventures are so important for helping our kids know that they are a part of a Sisterhood or Brotherood. Maybe it’s because they used the time to accomplish a goal together, and maybe it’s because in order to do this successfully they had to emotionally support one another. Maybe it’s because this journey involved being surrounded by so much natural beauty and wonder. My guess is that it’s a combination of all three.
Our Senior girls had their own trip today, and while it wasn’t to a state park or climbing a mountain you can see from the photo below that they were no less excited.
We are fortunate to have Darmouth College so close to our campus. Today was the annual trip for our seniors to walk around and experience what a world-class university is really like. My wife Deena, who has never led this trip before, was so excited to have the opportunity to spend this day with all of our Senior girls!
We also participated in a lot of sports tournaments today. Just after breakfast the Kenwood 11’s Tennis Team departed for a tournament on the other side of the state.
At the same time Kenwood’s 10’s Basketball and 10’s Softball were also playing against other camps. Our Softball team played really well, but, alas, came home having won only one game. We are proud of how hard they played, and according to their coaches, the sportsmanship they showed when the scores weren’t in their favor.
We had so much interest in Basketball that we sent two teams to the U10 tournament. One team had a great time and no wins, while our other fared better, winning their first 3 games handily. They made it all the way to the finals, and sadly lost by just a few baskets. They came with their heads held very high, knowing that they had advanced farther than any Kenwood 10’s Basketball team had in years. Bravo, boys!
With all of these trips and adventures that I have mentioned there was one more important one that took place today. The Evergreen Sophomores climbed Mt. Kearsarge and then set up camp to sleep outside. When I arrived around 8pm they had eaten a delicious meal cooked by their counselors and were having fun just hanging out by the campfire.
One of their counselors had brought a hammock and it was a source of many laughs and good times.
I brought with me what seemed to be an odd collection of items: a bag of large oranges, a box of tinfoil, 2 eggs, a stick of button, some metal spoons, and a box of gluten free brownie mix. The girls were very intrigued.
I asked them if they knew how to bake brownies in a campfire, and none knew how. A few were even adamant that it couldn’t be done. I sat down and gave them a cooking lesson that I hope they won’t soon forget.
First we cut off the tops of the oranges. Then each girl used a spoon to core out the orange guts inside. We paused to eat the meat of our oranges and get some Vitamin C. Then I showed them how to use the spoon to remove any and all remaining pulp or juice. I brought out my mixing bowl and had the girls help put together the ingredients. Once the batter was soft and gooey we added it to all of our oranges and put the tops of the fruit back. Lastly, we sealed them up in two layers of tinfoil and placed them in the burning embers of the fire.
Everyone was EXTREMELY curious to see how this would turn out. 20 minutes later the counselors and I pulled the oranges out of the fire and…voila! We had molten lava brownie cakes that they had made themselves (and were gluten free and peanut free for our friends with food allergies). The desserts were devoured in seconds and the girls gave a huge cheer of thanks.
As I left the sun had fully set, and the girls were gathered on the campfire, arms around each other, singing a song about how much they love living together in Cedar Lodge.
What a day and what a set of accomplishments! And yet I also know that these stories only scratch the surface of what our different age groups did together today. While I was following most of these groups around I know that others were out mountain biking, practicing for an upcoming softball tournament, rehearsing for a musical, making furniture in the wood shop, developing their lacrosse skills, leaping off of the zip line, climbing wooden walls in cross fit, baking for a charity event tomorrow, learning to water ski, crafting silver jewelry, and laughing themselves silly while using all of our massive inflatables in the middle of the lake.
Every day here is so much fun to watch, and so incredible to experience.