The end of an incredible winter weekend with our camp friendsJanuary 13, 2016
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and that includes our annual Winter Weekend event up at our summer camp. As I wrote about in a previous blog, for 16 years we have brought more than 100 campers and counselors up to our overnight camp in NH for a special weekend in the snow. This is always our favorite weekend of the year, and yet for some reason this one felt extra special.
Immediately after breakfast everyone put on their snow boots and warmest clothing and made the trek out to the Senior Ball Field for some sledding. The snow was the perfect texture for sledding, and our campers and counselors got in dozens of runs. Deena, Walshy and I stood at the bottom of the hill and marveled at how happy our kids were to be back together. They were goofy and silly and laughing and just so living in the moment. Even after months apart, scattered all over the globe, their friendships were as strong as the day camp ended in August.
After a couple of hours of sledding it was time for an annual event I like to call The Bob Mitchell Winter Football Classic. Bob has been our athletic director for almost 2 decades, and he is one of the most beloved members of our leadership team. Each Winter Weekend he brings our boys, girls and counselors together for a football game. It’s one of the highlights of the entire weekend, and in true K&E fashion everyone tries their hardest, and yet no one cares at all about the final score. A very good time was had by all.
After lunch we had a surprise for everyone: we boarded buses and headed to a local ski mountain for an afternoon of tubing at their sledding park. The tubes went REALLY fast down the course, which made it both incredibly fun, and gave everyone a chance to get in many, many runs.
And while many were tubing with me and Deena, Jacki and Bob were holding court in the ski lodge. They played all sorts of funny games with the kids, and everyone delighted in having this special time together with their camp friends. Then it was back to Camp to shower, relax, and have an amazing Mexican dinner.
An important thing to know about our brother-sister summer camp is that we require that our campers spend their summers unplugged from their electronics. Research shows how important it is both for brain development, and also for helping young people make more meaningful relationships and stronger friendships.
Always looking for another way to show our campers that not everything fun requires an app or wifi, we rented a horse drawn sleigh for after dinner entertainment. Campers and counselors took turns riding on the back of the cart, bundled under blankets as the horses led them around our beautiful campus in the dark. They told their favorite camp stories, sang camp songs, and just enjoyed the scenic ride. Some campers even sat in the front seat and got a lesson in how to drive a wagon train!
After we said goodbye to the horses the whole community gathered in our camp’s assembly area for a celebratory fireworks display. For about 15 minutes David, Courtney and I launched them into the sky to the sounds of ooh’s and aah’s.
The last event of this jam-packed winter weekend day was celebrating the birthdays of three of our camp friends. Having your birthday at camp is always really special, and for these three guys born in January that can only happen during this special event. We had a huge cake made for them, and for the first time in their lives they got a birthday serenade from all of their camp friends.
The next morning we had a breakfast of bagels, French toast, and omelets to order, and by 11 were sadly on the road home.
But we’ll be back together with our camp friends very soon! On Saturday, January 30th, our brother-sister summer camp will be hosting a reunion at the Chelsea Piers in Stamford, CT from 5:00 – 7:30pm. This is going to be a fantastic and fun event with indoor soccer, a trampoline room, rock climbing, gymnastics, and more! We’ll also be showing a preview of our overnight camp’s Summer 2015 Video Yearbook, and serving dinner. As with all Kenwood and Evergreen events, all of our food will be peanut and tree nut free, and we will have safe gluten free options available as well!
Then, in May, we look forward to bringing all of our new campers together for our new camper parties in the Boston and New York areas. For more details on these events please click here!