Summertime and the living is easy at our overnight camp in NHJuly 18, 2015
I woke up with lyrics to the Gershwin song in my head: Summertime…and the living is easy…And it was pretty fitting, since today was just a lovely, relaxing, beautiful day of summer camp.
Our very happy campers and counselors woke up to bright sunshine and clear blue skies. People seemed rest and refreshed after a good night’s sleep. Friends walked and skipped together to breakfast, ready for another incredible day here at our overnight camp in NH.
During the summertime weekends many of our alumni come up for a visit. Camp, and their camp friendships, mean a great deal to so many, and even after years or decades away they want to soak up some of the love and warmth of our community.
While we were having breakfast on the back porch of the dining hall our long-time bus driver Carol noticed one of the visitors and screamed “Phil!!!” Phil Neff was a camper (including in my bunk), counselor and unit leader for many years, and while Carol hadn’t seen him in about a decade her love for him hasn’t diminished one bit. It’s always so nice to see Camp friends reconnecting.
As our campers were making their way to breakfast they started noticing that the #2 had suddenly appeared all over campus. It was on trees, on buildings, and even on sticks in the ground. There is great speculation throughout the camp community as to what this could be about. Maybe we’ll find out soon….
Our Evergreen Mt. Washington explorers returned from their 3-day outdoor adventure. They had great stories to share about the hikes, the view, the food that they cooked, and the great bonding experience that they all had together. Here are some of my favorite photos from their adventure. Thank you to counselor Sophie Hofheinz for taking these beautiful pictures!
We are really proud of these girls!
There’s still snow and ice on top of Mt. Washington in July
What a view to share with a Camp friend!
While our girls were recovering from their trip other senior girls were on a mountain biking trip along the old railroad tracks that run alongside our campus and head into town.
Back at Camp these guys spent a delicious afternoon learning how to make chocolate fondue and make decorative fruit displays. A VERY good time was had by all at this activity period.
Down at the waterfront many of our campers were learning how to fish today. A number of campers caught fish for the first time. Well done, boys!
Many of our Kenwood Seniors spent the bulk of today practicing for the upcoming 15 and Under Softball Tournament on Tuesday. Tri-State, as it is routinely referred to, is the oldest summer camp sports tournament in the nation, and it is hosted by K&E. Camps from far and wide will be traveling to play our oldest boys in a fast-pitch, round-robin softball event. Our boys have been practicing extremely hard for this event, and we can’t wait to see what they do. Everyone is getting very excited for next week.
Tonight, after dinner, we had our weekly event called Brother-Sister Visiting. It’s a nice, relaxing time each week for the campers with relatives in the other camp to spend quality time together. Siblings sit and talk, play pickup games of soccer and frisbee, and just enjoy being with family.
Then it was time for Friday Night Services. As always, I gave a sermon in the historically Jewish service, and Scott spoke at the Humanistic gathering. At both we read an allegory that I wrote about a spring and a flower, with a message about the importance of being resilent in tough situations — and learning to ask for help when you need it.
Afterwards, our units went in many different directions. Evergreen’s Sophomores and Juniper had a karaoke party in the theater tent, while our Freshmen girls and 2nd Year Seniors had a campfire. The Inter and 1st Year Girls went to the waterfront to throw darts at balloons filled with paint. As you can imagine, the paint made a glorious mess, and everyone had a spectacular time.
In Kenwood the Junior boys went up to Senior Hill for a campfire with their older Kenwood brothers. The Sophomores and Inters had a campfire and roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. The Freshmen boy counselors put on short, funny skits that they wrote and designed to help our youngest boys sort through when sarcasm is and is not appropriate at Camp. A part of this exercise was to help them understand if someone was laughing with them or at them. As you can imagine, this isn’t always and easy skill to learn at 8 or 9. It takes social awareness and practice. In this age where trash talking and put downs are so ubiquitous in the outside world, our counselors this year thought it was important to help their campers understand what language helps them make friends, and what has the opposite impact. They also wanted to help our campers understand that sometimes a comment with a sting attached to it was actually meant to be funny (even if it wasn’t heard or felt that way).
Through their skits the counselors were able to help clarify this topic for their kids, and make them laugh in the process. It was just another example of how our counselors try so hard each day to model kindness and friendship, and how important it is that we teach our campers skills that they will use for the rest of their lives!
It was a really nice, relaxing, kind day here at Kenwood and Evergreen.
Camp Kenwood and Camp Evergreen are values driven brother-sister overnight camps in Wilmot, New Hampshire. Each week we offer more than 35 exciting activities, including baseball, cooking, outdoor adventure, woodworking, lacrosse, rock band, basketball, mountain biking and animation.