Days of Camp! POW WOW DAY! August 4, 2018

Hi Folks,

I really love it when I wake up early in the morning, and can hear the gentle sound of rain falling on the trees and the ground around our open window.  It’s so peaceful, and really awesome.  Unless it’s Pow Wow Day.

Yes, sports fans, today is/was Pow Wow Day, and we awoke to a steady “dew.”  That was NOT in the forecast, so we’ve lodged a formal complaint.  I was up and in the office at 7 this morning pleading with the radar to clear up and leave us alone.  For a little while, it ignored me.  And then things cleared up.  And then they didn’t.

The tribes this summer included Aztec, Erie, Illini, and Ute.

Before breakfast, our camp brain trust got together and hashed out several alternative plans, based on when the wetness would stop, if it would stop, if it re-started, etc.  And here’s how it all went down:

We had a nice breakfast, and during the meal, the sky dried up and a little peak of sunshine teased us.  Things were pretty wet around camp, so we decided to move the Opening Ceremonies indoors to the Rec Hall.  Not ideal, but still just fine.  Each tribe put on a skit telling us about their team and what adventures they went on to arrive at Pow Wow Day and try to win the day.  We learned a bit about a few of the tribes, which is always a positive contribution.  There were some songs and cheers, and even though it was indoors, it was really fun.  And honestly…we were able to hear everyone a lot better than when we are outdoors, so that was a plus.

Then, in an effort to minimize any risk due to the wetness around camp, we shifted a few things around.  We started with 2nd Series, and that included Checkers, Climbing, Indian Ball (a variation on Softball), the Pentathlon, Riflery, Soccer, Tennis, Trampball, Ultimate Frisbee, and the Vision Quest Relay (at the waterfront).  In the time it took us to finish up the Opening Ceremonies, things had dried up pretty nicely, so all programs ran, and the boys played hard.

After 2nd Series, we moved right into 1st Series and we remained dry.  It really looked like we had dodged a big problem with the weather, though as you’ll soon read, it didn’t quite end up that way.  We got to it with Basketball, Checkers, Floor Hockey, Indian Ball, Soccer, Spikeball, Tennis, Trampball, and Tushball.  And once again, things ran smoothly for the full series.

Our re-arrangement of the schedule also moved Leg Wrestling from right after breakfast (when the ground would be wet) to right before lunch, and that paid off.  The ground had dried, so we were able to wrestle away.  That was a ton of fun.  And when that was over, it was 1:30.  Between the activity level of the day, and the early breakfast and later lunch, we were HUNGRY!  We had an excellent, protein-rich lunch, and in native tradition, it was a silent lunch.  Y’know, every year we have the silent lunch on Pow Wow Day, and every year I think what a great idea it would be to do it more often….

This was about the time the radar rebelled, and a pretty large glob of green stuff entered our air space.  And based on it’s shape and direction of travel, we knew it was gonna stick around for a while.  Now remember…green isn’t so bad….not nearly as bad as yellow or red.  And there was no lightning in the area.  So, we thought and thought, and came to the conclusion that these boys can handle being wet (they ski, sail, canoe, and swim after all).  And we just pressed right on.

For 3rd Series, there was a pretty steady dew throughout.  We made some adjustments pertaining to the activities on courts and trampolines, but most things went as planned.  So for Basektball, they played a big game of Knock Out.  We moved Bombardment to the field and they played lawn bombardment (and LOVED it!)  We had Archery, Checkers, Fire Building (quite a challenge today), Floor Hockey, the Pentathlon, Plank Paddling (a canoeing event), Soap Carving, Four-Square instead of Trampball, a Waterfront Triathlon, Tushball, and Volleyball.

When 3rd Series ended, we were all getting pretty tired.  And very, very wet.  There was just one thing left to do.  The Tug o’ War.  It was wet outside, but really just a light drizzle at that point.  The rope was dry, and our far athletic field is all sand under the grass, so it almost never puddles and it was actually pretty dry.  We tugged.  It was slipperier than normal, but equally so on both sides of the rope, and the tugs were AMAZING!  If the footing was not ideal, it didn’t seem to slow anyone down.  It was  a dramatic end to a fantastic day.

The predictable question on these days is….does the Tug matter?  Some would say the Tug is ALL that matters.  Well today it definitely did!  They didn’t know it, but the 2 top finishing teams tugged against each other in the finals, and had it gone the other way, we would have had a tie for 1st place overall.  Incredible!

The final results:

Erie – 191 pts
Illini – 181 pts
Aztec – 173 pts
Ute – 147 pts

We’re really proud of the boys for keeping up their energy and spirit even through some less than ideal weather conditions.  It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t ideal.  Some of the boys were soooo into it!  The wetter, the more rugged, the better.  Clearly some guys were less enthused, but they still played through, and we proved once again that – given the chance – kids can be incredibly strong and resilient.

Tonight we are chillin’!  We’ve got a movie planned for the guys who want to sit and relax, and some other indoor options that are a bit more active for anyone who prefers that.  The forecast is for more heavy dew through the evening, and then we’re expecting a drier day tomorrow.  Not that we will take that for granted.  Whatever comes, we’ll be ready for it.


  • Our last Letter Writing Day of the summer will be on Monday.  Those letters should reach you before your kids return home.
  • A few days after your boys arrive home, a letter from one of their counselors will come to you via US Mail.  This is a summary of the summer for each of your boys from the perspective of the counseling team.  We hope you find it helpful.


  • Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, WI – 4 days sea kayaking
  • Flambeau River, WI – 3 days river canoeing
  • Brule River, WI – 3 days river canoeing
  • Sylvania Nat’l. Recreation Area, MI – 3 days lake canoeing
  • Porcupine Mountains, MI – 3 days backpacking

It is stunning how quickly this session has gone by.  Our weather, as of late, hasn’t been the best, but we’ve not only survived, we’ve thrived!  We will post at least one more time before your kids return home.  Till then…

Benches up,

Mike & Leslie