A Woodsy Siesta

Hi Folks,

ANNOUNCEMENTS: This afternoon we signed up for the 2nd series of activities, and they will begin on Thursday.  We will upload them tomorrow, and you’ll be able to see your son’s 2nd Series schedule on your Keylog Page.  A few notes about activities:

  • This series we are offering a fitness program for our under-13 kids.  It will NOT involve any weight lifting at all.  They will focus on things like calisthenics, plyometric exercises, and strictly body-weight exercises like pushups, pull-ups, wall-sits, etc.  The program is being run by our Weight Training staff, and it is signed up as “Weight Training.”  We just want you to know that this class, for the kids under 13 years old, will not involve any weight lifting.
  • We have decided this series to have our Sailing campers take “alternative” activities as well.  In this fashion, they will take Sailing for 2 periods as a block, but won’t go sailing each day.  On an alternating basis, they will sail one day, and go to another activity, the “alternative” they select, the next day.  So on their schedule, Sailing will appear in 5th period…even though we don’t actually have five periods. I hope that makes sense.

Tonight was the Counselor Hunt.  The kiddies all get corralled into the Rec Hall, and we staff members have about 15 minutes to go and hide somewhere.  I choose the woods, ‘cause it can be cozy in there under the right circumstances.  Because it’s the woods, you have to dress for it with long pants, long sleeves, plenty of bug repellant, and maybe a bandana or something to cover your neck.  So, when it’s really warm outside, that makes the conditions less comfortable.  When it’s damp or wet in there, well…you can just imagine how pleasant it is lying on a wet forest floor hoping to be still and quiet.  But tonight was ideal.  It was cool, but not cold.  We’ve had no “heavy dew” for a while, so it was dry.  It was a little buggy in there, but the bug spray worked decently well.  I found my spot in the woods…well within the boundaries we set up for acceptable hiding spots, I laid down and rested my head on a downed limb of birch, and I waited.  When the kids are released to run out and hunt for us, the bell is rung.  Well….that bell woke me up!  I think I was lying down for less than a minute, and just dozed off.  How crazy is that?  I stayed awake for the rest of the program, and after about 35 minutes I vacated my sacred hiding spot with plans to burst out onto the athletic field in a full and glorious sprint, and have some kids chase me down.  Only part of that ended up happening.  As I was creeping my way through the woods towards the field, I was spotted by 2 sneaky kids, and as one flanked me and flushed me out, the other tagged me before I could hit the after burners.  I was caught.  I probably don’t have after burners anymore, but I suppose that’s irrelevant. 

It was a very pretty day today, which we have earned.  It was sunny and the high was around 72.  If you’re out west, that must sound good as you deal with the crazy heat wave out there.  We had a normal, typical, nothing unusual, fantastic day.  Here’s a fun one….our Kitchen Manager, BILL MILLER, has been cooking for us for 24 years.  He realized yesterday that our purveyor forgot to send ground turkey, so he wouldn’t get it till today, and he wasn’t sure when it would arrive.  So, he improvised a little and just shifted the meals around.  So for dinner we had fettuccini Alfredo with broccoli and fresh dinner rolls.  It’s a little heavier than your average lunch, but no one seemed to mind.  And for dinner, with the ground turkey newly arrived, we had sloppy joes, corn, and tater tots.  If you’re a new camper, you wouldn’t know the difference.  But the “old-timers” who know how our menus work were beside themselves with disbelief.  Fettuccini…for lunch?  What?!  What could be next….sloppy joes for dinner?  Yes???  The world is just changing so fast these days!

Monday was Community Day in camp.  This is an event we propose each year to the Camp Council (like a student council with an elected rep from each cabin) and hope they approve.  Happily, they did.  On this day our kitchen serves a less expensive menu than normal.  For instance, breakfast was oatmeal and cinnamon toast, but no fresh fruit.  Lunch was (my favorite) “beanie-weanie,” and dinner was chicken and noodles with caramelized carrots.  By the way…the noodles were homemade.  We forego canteen that night as well.  By Bill’s estimate, we saved just over $400 on the day.  He will now take those funds and purchase food from our purveyors which will then be donated to the Lakeland Food Pantry, located only a few miles from camp.  In fact, several of the camp council reps will deliver the food to the pantry, and get a glimpse of how it works and who it serves.  The boys still ate plenty well, but they took pride in their sacrifice, minimal though it was, and in helping others who are less fortunate and who sometimes go hungry.  We’re proud of them.

Monday was another cool and wet one around here.  In the morning we realized normal activities wouldn’t be feasible, so we made a big pivot, and we went with our planned evening program as a morning event.  It was The Quest, which is a combined scavenger hunt, trivia, and task oriented program.  It culminates with a number of events taking place in the Rec Hall, there’s music and it’s funny and very active.  The counselors did an excellent job running the program, and the kids had a ball.  That afternoon it remained cool, but it cleared up and we had a nice stretch of activities.  And since we had spent our evening program that morning, after dinner yesterday we had an Organized Free Period which was also really nice.

Sunday morning we had our first Lazy Breakfast of the summer.  I’m not sure it’s a good idea for you to picture this in detail, but just imagine 4 or 5 counselors and a dozen kids preparing and serving breakfast, short-order style, to the entire camp.  It’s not pretty, but the food is delicious, and the kids love it.  It’s actually my favorite breakfast of the week.  One of the choices is the Mystery Omelet, and this week’s was a beauty!  It was chopped up turkey Canadian bacon with diced onions and pineapple.  Ya could have confused us with a fancy restaurant!  No, no that’s not true.  But it was delicious. 

We had spotty weather all day Sunday, but we got our activities in.  Sunday night was Casino night, and because it had been wet during the day, we held most of the casino in the Lodge.  The cabins all split up their piles of camp cash, and then hit the tables!  We had Poker, Black Jack, War (ya don’t see that one in Vegas…so I’ve been told), a Horse Race, a Human Slot Machine, Roulette, Bozo Buckets, Bingo, and of course, the sports book.  The bookies made odds and took bets on various events that took place including staff games of Tushball, Charades, Volleyball, and the most grueling of events…Pudding Eating.  What an excellent night it was.  At the end the kids regrouped with their cabin mates and counselors, pooled their winnings, and then bid on prizes.  We announced the prizes just yesterday, and they included a bed time story from RICK JONES, a ski run during rest period, a movie in the Rec Hall at night, and 2 of my personal favorites, homemade banana bread baked by Leslie and delivered to the breakfast table, and homemade chocolate chip cookies baked by Leslie and delivered with cold milk to the cabin at bedtime.  That’s living.

Tomorrow is our first Cruiser Day of the summer.  This is a day dedicated to the cabin group, and 10 of the cabins will actually head out of camp.  Our Juniors will scatter about with each cabin in their own van.  Most of the groups are heading towards Eagle River and Rhinelander.  Near Rhinelander there is a planetarium that was built and is operated by a private citizen who’s obviously way into astronomy.  It’s actually very impressive, and several of our groups will go to the show there.  The Intermediates are here in camp, and they have the run of the place.  They’ll spend the day doing camp activities with their whole cabin.  And the Seniors will board a bus, and they’ll visit a water park down near Wausau.  The forecast is iffy, so each group has backup plans in case we get wet.

We have some great stuff coming up soon, including games with another camp late in the week, our Legacy Campfire coming up where we celebrate guys spending their 10th, 15th and even 25th summer at camp!  And Karaoke night is also on the horizon.  Fun times ahead!

Thursday’s Trip:
-Apostle Islands, WI: 4 days sea kayaking

The trips program is hitting its stride for the first session with numerous trips in and out.  Many more to come!

Benches up,

Mike & Leslie