The start of week #2 at our brother-sister summer camp in NHJuly 3, 2016
Yesterday was the end of an amazing first week at our overnight camp…so today we began the start of our fabulous second week of the summer of 2016! If you missed our video wrap up of last week please click here.
Saturday’s are really nice days here at Camp. We all slept late and had a nice relaxing morning. After a big bunk cleanup and a litter pickup around campus Evergreen had its first Candy Bar League event of the summer. This is our all-female intramural sports league. Each team is named after a different candy (of course a peanut free and tree nut free candy!), and is comprised of campers of all ages and counselors of different units. Over the course of the summer the Candy Bar League teams will get to play each other in soccer, softball, street hockey, kickball, and volleyball. It’s one of the many, many ways that we make sure that everyone in our girls’ camp feels a part of the Evergreen Sisterhood, and gets to know everyone quickly.
While most of our girls’ camp was playing sports the Evergreen Freshmen were having a different sort of bonding experience. Over the winter, while looking for cool new ideas, we stumbled upon this thing we’re calling a water couch (it has another name but this what everyone is calling it here). It looks like a couch and comfortably seats four people, but it’s inflatable and meant for tubing behind a speedboat. All morning our youngest campers and their counselors were laughing and screeching with delight as they spun around the lake with their best camp buddies. This was our first time using the water couch, and word is already out all around the camp community that this thing is “way cool”. Here is a group of our Evergreen girls describing what it was like to ride on it this morning.
Our boys’ camp used the first half of the morning for its weekly unit meetings (also called Camper Councils). This is a time when the members of the unit gather together to discuss the events of the past week, their achievements, their goals, and what lies ahead on the schedule. It’s also an important time for campers to give their counselors feedback on whatever is on their mind. Besides helping to make our overnight camp a better place to live, Unit Meetings give our campers the opportunity to grow comfortable sharing their opinions, learn how to give (or hear!) constructive feedback, and even take a leadership role in their age group. In everything we do we are trying to help our campers develop those crucial 21st Century skills! Evergreen will have its own Camper Councils tomorrow morning while Kenwood takes part in its own intramural league.
After Unit Meetings the Kenwood campers had free time to hang out with friends and pursue all sorts of hobbies. Some played chess, while others had Magic Card tournaments. A group of budding geologists went hunting for certain types of rocks, while others went to the Junior Ball Field to practice their soccer penalty shots. I had the pleasure of having some of our biggest comic book enthusiasts to my house to discuss some of the latest trends in the DC and Marvel universes.
Up on the Senior Basketball Courts our head coach Chris Straker had interested Junior Campers participating in a 5-on-5 friendly tournament. While I enjoyed watching it, our senior campers seemed to be utterly amazed by the skills and tenacity of our younger ball players. A whole lot of respect was earned on those courts today!
This afternoon we played one of our campers’ favorite games: Ultimate Capture the Flag. “Ultimate”, as it is known here, is just one of the amazing special events that are run by our Athletic Directors Jacki and Bob Mitchell. Each of their events is fun and exciting for the campers, and yet also helps them further develop their 21st century skills (such as creativity, collaboration, critical problem solving, adaptability, and leadership). This particular event requires our campers to together work in small groups, trying to outwit the flag guards on the other team. They have to navigate throughout camp, trying to find clever ways to sneak around the campus and steal the flags. Everyone — from the youngest freshmen to the oldest senior camper — has a role to play in this game.
During Rest Period our Junior Counselors drew a white line down the middle of camp, and flags were placed in strategic locations throughout the campus. The entire community was split into two teams and for about two hours this afternoon the Blue and White teams battled it out. Our campers love this game for many reasons: it’s fun, it’s exciting, but it’s also a chance for our boys and girls to spend time with each other. We have so many siblings between the two camps, and we also love how easy it is to make friends with the campers in the other camp. That’s part of the fun of living in a brother-sister camp community!
So all afternoon campers were running and dodging and chasing up and down the property, unaware that they were also working on important life skills. Some were leaping over the white line in an attempt to score points for their team, while others were giving every ounce of energy that they had to tag someone before they were able to cross into safety. It seemed like campers of every age were having a blast at this game. I lost track of the total points scored, but I do recall that at the end both teams had thousands of points, and every camper I saw looked like they were having a really good time!
After the game both camps had a quick swim, and then we had an amazing dinner cooked by Chef Arnaldo. Then our Junior campers hung out in the gym to watch the first movie of the summer. Not everyone wanted to watch the movie so we opened up arts and crafts for our friends as well.
After that I had the pleasure of spending some time playing guitar in some of the Evergreen bunks. Different groups of girls had invited me to come sing with them, so I grabbed my guitar and hung out in every Freshmen and Sophomore bunk. I played “Blackbird” by the Beatles, along with some Neil Young, Ben Harper, and solo John Lennon. I must say that I am extremely impressed with the music knowledge of our young ladies and cannot wait to go back for some more singing!
We pack a whole lot into every day of the summer, and while we relax a bit more on the weekends they are still incredibly fun and interesting. Make sure to check tomorrow’s blog because we have a really beloved special event planned!