Days of Camp! June 18, 2018

Hi Folks,

In this posting, you will find:

We are reminded of the old French Cajun expression: “Laissez les bon temps rouler!”  It means, “Let the good times roll!”  Pretty sure “good times” in New Orleans means something very different than it does at camp, but the upbeat and happy spirit is what we’re going for here.  And upbeat and happy is what we are all about today!

How did we get here?  Well, of course, you sent us some fantastic campers!  THANK YOU!

And, over the last 3 weeks, we have been working hard to get camp ready and to get our staff ready!  We had our first folks, 11 trip leaders, arrive and begin training by May 29th.  Then we began Climbing Wall Instructor School.  And Ski Boat Driving School.  Then we began Life Guard Training for those who needed the full course and Life Guard Training Re-certification for those who just needed to update their skills.  Eventually, our First-Year Staff began their training on June 8th, followed on the 10th by our CITs, and the 11th by the entire staff.

And what was the content of their training?  Glad you asked!  It included (in no particular order):

  • Active Listening
  • Defining and Diminishing Bullying
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Situational Awareness
  • Group Dynamics
  • Developing Resilient Kids
  • Cabin Upkeep & Repairs
  • Discipline in a Fun & Kind Environment
  • Emergency Management
  • Health & Safety
  • Setting Clear Limits
  • Leisure Time Counseling
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Purposeful Friendship
  • Supporting Anxious Kids
  • Homesickness Prevention & Management
  • Team Counseling
  • Supporting Kids with AD-HD
  • Best Practices for Cabin Times

And honestly, several more sessions beyond those.  AND each activity had time for all the counselors who will be teaching that program to work together, set up their lesson plans and teaching methods, and get on the same page.

So to say our staff was ready, is to really understate the fact.  They were SO ready and SO pumped for the boys to arrive.  It was awesome to see.

The buses and vans with campers rolled into camp yesterday afternoon and when those kiddies ran off the bus and into the waiting swarm of counselors, it was more than just good times.  It was magical!  Inspiring!  The long awaited crescendo arriving right on time!!  We spent some time saying happy hellos, and then we introduced the kids to their cabin group, co-campers and counselors.  They went back to their cabins, had some time to unpack, and then cabins with new campers went on a quick tour of camp.  After a long day of travel, everyone was pretty hungry, so dinner couldn’t have come soon enough.

We had an excellent dinner of spaghetti, green beans, home baked bread, and salad.  Then after dinner we had some games organized, and that gave the boys a chance to run around, stretch their legs, and burn some energy so they can actually get to sleep tonight.

Soon after our evening program finished, camp was quiet on the outside.  In the cabins kids were quickly asleep, after their counselors talked with them, letting everyone share their goals for the summer.  Cabin bonding starts right away, which is something the counselors will guide and join in on.

Today was busy with some of our routine, or “red tape” items.  As you’re well aware, we have a fantastic Wilderness Trips program, and our first trips will depart on Wednesday afternoon.  So to make that happen we have things to do like a quick check in with the nurses, a stop in Lake Towanda so we can assess everyone’s comfort and swimming aptitude, taking some photos, and more.   Fortunately we had a beautiful day, and the lake was inviting.

When we finished with all of that, we signed up for activities (1st Series), and those will begin tomorrow afternoon.   Busy, busy, busy!

Tonight our staff has been working long and hard to put together an amazing Staff Skit Night.  Our sources tell us that some skits have been deep in rehearsal for as much as 10 minutes, so we have high expectations.  We use that time to entertain everyone, to be sure, but also a chance for the campers to learn some names of the counselors, see who is teaching Waterskiing or Mountain Biking or Soccer,  etc.  That way they can put a name and face together and know which counselors they’ll be seeing at their activities.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  1. This posting will happen about twice each week.  Early in the session we tend to post a bit more often.
  2. We have already begun posting photos for you!  You can see them by clicking this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/camptimberlane/sets/.
    1. We would love to promise a minimum number of photos of each camper, but since we’re way more into candids than posed photos, we just can’t.  If you’ve gone several days without seeing a photo of your son, we apologize.  You can let us know and we’ll do our best to get a shot of him.
    2. If your son is gone on a trip, we can’t take his photo here.  Most trips take photos, and when they get back, we will post those.
    3. We do not post on any sort of set schedule.  So if there’s a pause in our posting, please don’t worry.  We’ll catch up for sure.
  3. Speaking of photos, by tomorrow afternoon you will be able to login to your Keylog page, click the “[Camper]’s Cabin” link, select his cabin from the menu, and you’ll see a photo of your son’s cabin group, a list of all the kids and where they are from, and some background information about all of his counselors.  We hope you like that.
  4. As we mentioned, activities begin Wednesday afternoon.  We will post your son’s activity schedule to your Keylog page on Wednesday so you can see what he’s signed up for.  Just click the “[Camper]’s Activities” link.
    1. Please remember, part of the camp experience is the independence of making choices.  You may not agree with all the activity choices your son makes.  If you told us about activities you would like him to try, please believe us that we have shared those preferences with your son.  HOWEVER, we believe it is ultimately his choice to make (as long as he meets our requirements).
  5. As our Trips program cranks up, if/when your son chooses to go on a trip, that will also be posted to your Keylog account.  Just click the “[Camper]’s Trips” link.
  6. If there is every anything really important, we’ll send you an email.  Email is the main way we communicate with you, so please be sure you check yours regularly.

We have some exciting times coming up.  As we lean into the summer, we just want to express our deepest gratitude to all of you for sharing your kids with us.  We understand the trust involved, and we – along with our staff – will work very hard each day to make you happy you have chosen our camp.  Lifelong relationships, valuable skills, and the intangibles of growth and development are the targets we aim for, and we intend to hit each one of them for all of our campers.

Have a great evening, and we’ll write again soon.

Benches up,

Mike & Leslie