Days of Camp – July 20, 2019

Hi Folks,


You know how it goes….it’s January, maybe it’s freezing cold where you live, and you think to yourself, “Self, I can remember some hot, hot days in July, and I’d gladly take that right now.”  Right?  And then summer arrives, and you get one of those hot, hot days, and you think, “I wouldn’t mind a little chill in the air like we had back in January.”  Okay…if you’re from the Midwest, you probably have very few fond memories of January weather, but you get the picture.  Here at camp, we had both those sentiments back-to-back in 2 days!

Yesterday was predicted to be the hottest day of the summer…low 90’s.  That’s hot up here.  Fortunately, it never materialized.  We did reach the high 80’s, and it was on the humid side.  There was some cloud cover which really helped us avoid the predicted heat.  Regardless, it was a hot one and we were pining a bit for some cooler weather.

Enter today.  We started off sunny and absolutely beautiful, and the radar looked clear around breakfast.  We told the boys to look forward to a perfect Northwoods day with highs in the mid-70s.  By the time we were ready to start 1st Period, the clouds had rolled in, and the radar looked like a tie-dyed t-shirt.  All sorts of colors heading our way.  We started getting a little drizzle part way through 1st Period, but we kept going.  Kids can get wet, after all.  At the start of 2nd Period, it was about the same, though the radar was looking more threatening.  Finally we decided to pull the plug and get everyone into some alternative indoor programming, and just as we did, the thunder rolled to our west.  And….it was chilly!  It stayed above 70, but with the contrast from the day before, out came the sweatshirts and jackets.

We spent the balance of the morning in alternative indoor programming, which was fun.  We had different card and board games going on in the Lodge, some Bingo as well.  Out in the Rec Hall we had ping pong, poly pong (What’s that, you ask?  4-way ping pong!  Not kidding.  Tons of fun!), shuffleboard, and guitar playing.  Arts & Crafts was open to tinker with some projects, so there was plenty to do.

At lunch we had some decisions to make.  The radar was still very colorful, and it looked like we could be wet all afternoon, and maybe into the evening.  Then, a strange thing happened, one that has happened several times this year.  As the colorful radar blob approached our area, it began to break up.  In fact, by 3 PM and the start of 3rd Period, it had just moved past us, and the sun came out.  So what d’ya know…we had a normal afternoon of activities.  It was nice and mild, in the mid 70’s, and truly a perfect afternoon.  Phew!

Tonight is so comfy outside.  A little crisp cool air has descended on us, and we’re really enjoying that.  So that’s the good news.  On the bad news side, there has been a murder in camp, so we have to deal with that.  It’s always something, right?

Tonight we’re playing All Camp Clue.  Someone has been, shall we say, terminated, and the boys are broken up into different groups trying to figure out whodunnit, where they dunnit, what they used to….dunnit, and what motivated the crime.  They’ve been introduced to the suspects, and they are a sketchy bunch.  So at the moment, the boys are running around asking questions of the different suspects and trying to piece together their evidence.  Ultimately it will be revealed and – of course – it will all be featured on the next episode of “Law and Order – Northwoods.”  Be sure to watch for it.

Last night we had our first campfire of 2nd Session.  Due to weather, we had to have it indoors in our Rec Hall.  Honestly, it’s a beautiful building that is big and tall and completely paneled in knotty pine.  It also has a nice field stone fireplace, so no complaints.  Okay…one complaint….it was very warm in there.  But that’s okay.  Given the indoor location, our singing sounded loud and strong and really great.  We taught some songs to our first-year campers and we all sang together.  We had a nice story, some wonderful guitar music and other great entertainment, and then one of our Assistant Directors shared some thoughts about adjusting perspectives to turn a hard situation into a positive challenge.  It’s a great message for kids to hear anytime, especially at the start of a camp session.

Then we had our Keylog Ceremony, and kids were able to throw a keylog into the fire and express thanks, friendship, or anything else like that.  I mention this because one of our 2nd year campers threw one in that stood out.  It was quick and not very dramatic, but exceedingly poignant.  He is 12 years old and he thanked his cabin mates and counselors for being nice, for being supportive and – with a smile on his face – he thanked them for “letting me be myself.”  Anyone who was paying attention (there were plenty of us…we talked about it the rest of the night) could see just how meaningful that was.


  • Porcupine Mountains State Park, MI – 3 days backpacking
  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area, MN – 6 days lake canoeing

We have hit our 2nd Session groove, and with a little cooperation from Mother Nature, we are well on our way to another epic camping experience.  We’ll write again soon.

Benches up,

Mike, Leslie & Dustin