Very Happy Campers | Amazing Special EventsJuly 7, 2014
Our very happy campers spent today participating in some great special events
We slept late again today and had a nice relaxing morning. Following breakfast the entire campus changed their bed sheets and cleaned their bunks. Then Kenwood had its weekly Watermelon softball league games. Watermelon League is a tradition that dates back to the founding of our camp. Throughout the summer teams with campers of all different ages, led by counselors, play in an intramural league. There’s a little bit of competition and a whole lot of fun, and it’s a great way to help make sure that all of the boys in our community get to know each other well. While our boys were playing softball all of Evergreen was down at the waterfront. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and our girls were thrilled to have a morning to swim, canoe, kayak, fish, and go off of the inflatables in the lake.
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 so that we could play one of our favorite weekend games called “Ultimate Capture the Flag”.
“Ultimate”, is it is known here, is just one of the amazing special events that are run by our Special Events Coordinator Mia Bauman-Walsh. Each of her 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 particualr 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.
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 well over 5,000 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 Leonard (tonight we had roasted chicken with wild rice and deliciously steamed vegetables). Then the everyone hung out in the tent to watch the first movie of the summer.
Once it got dark we brought the entire Camp community together down to the beach for one more amazing special event this weekend. We had been unable to launch our fireworks on the 4th because of the rain, and then again on the 5th because of wind. Tonight, it was picture perfect.
As we all waited breathlessly on the beach our Maintenance team launched a gorgeous 30-minute fireworks display. With each pop and boom the crowd “oohd” and “ah’d”. When ordering the fireworks this year I had told the manufacturer that I wanted the finale “to be awe inspiring”. And that, I must say, it was. The last 5 minutes were a non-stop barrage of lights and sounds, and the whole beach cheered at the top of their lungs for Peter Hilpl, our facility manager and the rest of his crew, who put on the display.
This is only 4 minutes of the 25 minute fireworks extravaganza we had tonight
With the night coming to a close we stood together in the darkness, held hands, and sang our traditional end of day song called “Taps”. “Day is done, gone the sun, from the lakes, from the hills, from the sky. All is well, safely rest. God is nigh…” As I stood there with my boys and Deena, and my extended Camp family, I thought about how much I love that we get to share these moments together. I love that my sons look up to every single camper and counselor on this campus. I’m proud to say that after 30 years there is still no other place on earth I’d rather celebrate this holiday or spend my summers.