Very Happy Campers | The End Of An Amazing First WeekJuly 6, 2014
We had a whole lot of very happy campers when we woke up this morning. It was the end of an amazing week, and start of another!
The sun was shining bright, and the forecast called for a 0% chance of rain! EVERYONE was in a good mood. There was a lot going on today as we said goodbye to this fabulous first week of the summer. Just as the sun was rising Evergreen had its first Polar Bear Swim of the season, lead by Adventure Dave. Just after the sun rose above Eagle Pond about 20 of our girls and their counselors excitedly lined the docks. As a group they did a round of jumping jacks, and then plunged into the water. They squeeled with utter glee, and then quickly ran to their towels for some warmth. Adventure Dave had a lovely surprise waiting for them at the Evergreen ceremonial campfire area: hot chocolate and warm pastries. Next Friday it will be Kenwood’s chance to take an early and “refreshing” dip into the lake.
Other than our Polar Bear swimmers, the rest of the camp slept a little later than usual. After a leisurely breakfast Evergreen had its first intramural sports league game of the season. Each team is named after a different candy (of course a peanut 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 another great way for campers in the different age groups to get to know each other while building up their sports skills.
Also during the morning each age group in Kenwood and Evergreen had their Unit Meetings (also called Camper Councils). This is a time when the campers and counselors of each age group 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 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/non-cognitiive life skills!
Then, during a delicious lunch, there was a surprise. A group of counselors dressed as 1840’s prospectors and villains ran into the dining hall. They put on a funny skit and the entire dining hall was laughing and cheering. This signified the start of one of our favorite annual events: Gold Rush. After Rest Period the campers dashed around the campus searching for gold-painted rocks, which they were able to redeem for camp dollars at the “Bank” (in honor of Phyllis Dank many referred to it as “The First Dank of NH”). After dinner, they were able to increase their money by playing games at a “casino” set up by our senior campers. Each bunk then pooled their money and used it to bid on special Camp-only experiences that were up for auction. It was great watching our bunks collaborate to determine which special adventure sounded most appealing to them. Some wanted the trip with Adventure Dave to visit the Frog Pond; others wanted the campfire and sleepover at Jacki & Bob’s house; some wanted a tubing party on the waterski boat; some wanted a special evening at my house or Scott’s or Phyllis’; others wanted an afternoon together on the 27-ft inflatable waterslide and rocket see saw. In the end, each bunk won an experience that they will not soon forget!
(yes, I am wearing goggles. They keep the smoke out of my eyes.)
For dinner we had BBQ’s all over campus. Scott fired up his new grill and invited the Kenwood freshmen to his house for dinner. I taught the Evergreen JC’s how to grill and set up a banquet-style meal, and together we served all of Evergreen dinner. The girls and I had a ton of fun, though I must admit that their idea of “grilling” music is far different from mine. I officially feel old.
Throughout Kenwood each age group had their own cookout, and they all looked like mini tailgate parties. Music blasted while people played baggo and can jam, or danced to the latest pop tunes. Some played tennis or catch or “run the bases”, and there were countless games of ping pong. It was yet another great moment of bonding for the community.
Today we ended our amazing first week of the summer, and entered the start of our second week. Thus far it has been an incredible experience for everyone here. Already I see new campers who have made deep connections with peers in and outside their bunks. I also see veteran campers with even stronger camp relationships than they had last summer. I see counselors throughout Camp who adore the kids that they are working with, and who feel fortunate to have 6 more weeks to continue the incredible work that they have been doing here every day. To all of our Camp parents I can only say thank you for lending us your child or children. We love having each and every one of them here!