Some important stuff for you to know:
- Your campers are coming home tomorrow!!! You probably already knew that.
- 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
- 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.
- Soon after your boys get home, you will receive a letter from one of their counselors via US Mail wrapping up their camp experience from the counselors’ perspective. We hope you find their insights and observations helpful, and if you are willing, a nice thank you note goes a long way for these guys. You can address it to camp, and we’ll be sure to forward it along.
- A day or so after the kids leave, we will have gathered up all the clothing and belongings left around that have no names. We will notify you you in posting of our TIMBERLANE LOST ITEMS BUREAU, and if you see something that belongs to your son, you can email us and we’ll send it along. We’ll give everyone a few days, and then any unclaimed items will be donated.
- Believe it or not, we will crank up our enrollment for the 2020 summer in just a few days! It’s our 60th summer of camping fun and friendship!! We have lots of great surprises planned, and we know your boys will want to be a part of it. We’ll email you with all the information soon!
We have arrived at Packing Day. Not the cheeriest day, and yet, as far as the eye can see there are smiles on faces. For most everyone there is an overall feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Your boys have stepped out their comfort zones, experienced group living for a month or two, developed some tangible and intangible skills, and made what are very likely some of the best friends they may ever have. Our staff has done likewise, and they have spent these last many weeks placing others in front of themselves. They have given generously of their time and energy and passion, and it has paid off. Maybe even more than the kids, they too have grown from their experiences. So even though it’s hard to contemplate saying goodbye tomorrow, there is so much goodwill in the air.
We’ve had a great few days. Yesterday we had to deal with some sketchy weather, but we still had so much fun. We had a nice morning and managed to get all of our activities in. Then after lunch the radar did it’s tie-dye impression as little cells popped up from time to time, spelling some wetness for us. We were just plowing along until the thunder arrived, and we had to stop our normal activities around 3:30 and go into alternative programming to stay under shelter. And while we got glimpses of sunshine in there, we also got some heavy heavy dew.
After dinner the moisture ceased, but the ground was very wet making it a bit too risky to play our scheduled games of Capture the Flag. Not to worry…we had some great options available. Our youngest kids got into the sand pit and played some Newcombe and 9 Square in the Air. The Intermediates headed out to the Arena to play some massive games of Ga-Ga. And the Seniors enjoyed some backyard games like Spikeball, Tri-Cross, Baggo, Ping Pong, Poly Pong, Fusball, and Shuffleboard. At this point, the kids are just enjoying each other’s company so much, there’s almost nothing we could ask them to do they wouldn’t have fun at.
When that ended, we all convened in the Lodge to have a big ice cream party to celebrate an amazing session of Blue & White events. And, of course, there was a beautiful sunset over the athletic fields.
Tuesday was a fine day for a Cruiser Day! Our Senior Village scattered around the Northwoods. One cabin had an early breakfast and made tracks for Madeline Island on Lake Superior. 3 other cabins ventured up to the big lake as well, going to Copper Peak and Little Girls Point, two breathtakingly beautiful locations. And one cabin stayed closer to home taking in some attractions and parks around here and Eagle River. The Intermediate Village was on a bus together, and they hit up the waterslide park, did some go karting, and finished the day off with some bowling. And the Juniors were in camp waterskiing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, playing trampball, doing some arts & crafts, and they finished their night off with a village campfire where they made S’mores. Sounds like a nice day, doesn’t it? How does it compare to your Tuesday?
And today they’re packing. All of ’em. We’re so incredibly well organized that it’s really not a difficult process. By lunch today the boys will have all packed, their bags will have been checked into the Rec Hall, and placed in the appropriate group. If they are flying home through Minneapolis or riding the bus to Milwaukee or Chicago, their bags will depart camp right after lunch. Bags for boys being picked up will be strategically stored in the Rec Hall so their parents can have an easy in and out.
After lunch we’ll have a final check in for everyone with the nurses. And then we’ll play our annual game of All-Camp Tushball. We love Tushball anytime, but this game is truly special. Imagine over 200 campers and counselors all lined up waiting their turn to hit the ball on the roof, keep it in bounds, and live another round. It’s one ball, one roof, and a few hundred players. You might think “No way would my son be able to do that and not get bored.” Not a chance! Because when they are working their way through the line getting to their turn to hit the ball, it is incredibly social. There are smiles and hugs and high fives and it is a great time. It is, in fact, proof positive that kids can stay engaged and have fun with not a single device plugged into the wall. Just take one ball, one roof, and add a few hundred friends. It’s a great recipe.
Tomorrow morning we’ll wake everyone up at 5:15. Breakfast will be at 5:45, and by 7 tomorrow morning the buses will be on their way. See you next summer.
One last tidbit of advice…
As you know, the last day of activities was a wet one, so some of the boys’ stuff got wet. We have given them plastic bags to pack that stuff in, but by the time the duffels arrive home, they may not smell like flowers and sunshine. We always recommend unpacking in the garage…not the living room. As you might imagine having packed your one or two campers, packing a cabin full is a major enterprise, and the counselors do work hard at helping the boys pack. We appreciate your understanding when you get to the unenviable chore of unpacking.
We just can’t say it enough. We appreciate the trust you place in us 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 allowed us to spend time with your boys this summer. They 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 again, and starting next month we’ll resume our monthly newsletter postings as we ramp up for the Summer of 2020!
Mike, Leslie & Dustin