Well, this is it. Today marks the last day of activities of the summer. As I’ve started this posting, we’re a good 45 minutes before the wake-up bell, and camp is very quiet. Our “early riser” count of campers has been at zero for a while now. The pace of camp, as you know, is very active most of the time, though we have some good balance with quiet, restful times. Nonetheless, a week of camp is (for the majority of kids) vastly more active than a week at home during the school year or just during vacation time. So four weeks or eight weeks of this pace can add up to some tired kids. That’s a long-winded way of telling you we’ll be sending you some tired children on Friday. Happy, satisfied, accomplished, tired kids.
At our staff meeting last night we talked about today being the last day of activities. It could be tempting to let up a little and make it a little less structured, and for many kids that would be just fine. For some, though, if this is their last ski run or last time climbing the wall or last time riding a mountain bike through the pump track, they want it to be great. So we lean towards those kids and ask our counselors to keep on task and make sure this last day is as fantastic as the very first day of activities was.
On Monday there was a sight to see after breakfast. Our Trips Program mobilized like we have not seen before. After breakfast we sent out 4 different trips with 36 kids and 8 trip leaders heading into the wilderness. Our trips area was filled with an armada of vans and trailers and canoes and backpacks and Duluth packs and excited kids. The vans left camp heading for rivers and lakes and trails in Wisconsin and Michigan. It was awesome. With the Sea Kayak trip out the day before, that’s 5 trips and 41 kids out there. They’ll all be back today. Some will be back by lunch, the rest by late afternoon, and that will conclude our 2018 Trips Program.
We have 10 trip leaders, plus our Trips Director, and they have worked very hard this summer to provide these experiences for our campers. The time, logistics, and gear required to do it right is enormous, but so too is the impact this will have on the way campers see the environment, learn about team work and resilience, and how they see themselves and what they are actually capable of accomplishing, given the opportunity. We’re proud of the program, the staff, and the kids who get out there.
If you like stats, here are some. We had a total of 239 camper/trips this summer. 51 campers went on 2 trips this summer. 9 campers got out for 3 trips this summer. 1 camper got out on 4 trips and 1 camper got out on FIVE trips this summer. One of our four-week camper who went on 3 trips will have spent a total of 7 days in camp….the rest of the time he was out there rock climbing, and canoeing on lakes and a river. Awesome.
Yesterday was Cruiser Day, and it was a “Chamber of Commerce” Northwoods weather day. It was sunny and cool in the morning, ultimately creeping into the high 70s in the afternoon. The Junior Village was in camp, and most of the kids were out on trips, so it was especially mellow around here. Still lots of fun, of course. The Intermediates had the bus, and they went water sliding, bowling, and mini-golfing, and spent some quality time at a nearby lake. The Seniors scattered in vans. A few stayed local and enjoyed the lakes around this area, and 2 got up early and made the trip to Bayfield,WI. and then over on the ferry to Madeline Island. Madeline is one of the Apostle Islands, and it is breathtakingly beautiful. And with the perfect weather, they were able to actually jump in and swim around in Lake Superior.
Today is looking like a very nice day to finish our activities. Tonight we’ll have the final Blue & White event, Capture the Flag. When it’s all over, one team will have more points, but after a session of fun and healthy competition, we’re all winners, and we’ll celebrate with a big ice cream party.
Tomorrow is Packing Day…the least appealing day of the summer. By lunch everyone will be packed up and ready to go. In the afternoon we’ll have the nurses just check over everyone one last time, and then we’ll play a gigantic game of All-Camp Tushball. Our final campfire will be tomorrow night, we’ll finish with some age-old traditions, and get to bed on time. Because Friday morning will come early. By 7 AM we’ll have woken the kids, packed all remaining stuff, had breakfast, and the buses will have rolled out of camp.
- So…your kids come home on Friday. Hope you’re ready for them. They’ll be tired, but we know you’re in for some excited regaling of camp stories. It’s been a fantastic time, and we hope you enjoy hearing about it.
- Your boys should have a manila envelope with them when they arrive that includes:
- An Achievement Chart listing their activities, trips, etc.
- Any certificates they earned in Riflery, Archery, or Swimming
- NEWS ABOUT OUR EARLY ENROLLMENT DISCOUNT OFFERED FOR THE 2019 SUMMER! This is for campers and PAs, and it ends on October 16th. Please check it out and let us know if you have any questions.
- A day or two after camp ends we will email a list of any valuable items we have encountered that were left behind and have no name on them. If it is yours, let us know and we’ll ship it to you.
- If you find something in your son’s stuff that doesn’t belong to him, please let us know. If it has a name in it, we’ll send you the address and ask you to send it directly to the correct owner. If it has no name on it, we’ll figure it out with you.
We probably don’t say it enough. We appreciate the gesture of trust you make when you send your kids to us. On behalf of our counselors and trippers, our kitchen and maintenance crews, our office staff, our nurses, and our assistant directors, we say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have shared your kids with us this summer. Your boys are the center of our world for the short time we have them here, and we have loved every minute of it.
This is our last posting for this summer, but don’t you worry! You’ll hear from us at least once more after your boys return home, and then starting next month we’ll resume our monthly newsletter postings as we ramp up for the Summer of 2019!
Mike & Leslie