Days of Camp! June 21, 2018

Hi Folks,

In this post you will find:

Mornings at camp are simply the best.  Up here in the Northwoods, the sun rises early, especially this time of year.  It starts lighting the sky before 5 AM.  That begins the chorus of birds chirping, and that is a wonderful sound to first reach your ears after a great night’s sleep.  Before the wake up bell rings at 8 AM, there is a group of us early-risers enjoying the cool air and quiet conversations.  Okay, okay…some of the kids don’t know the meaning of quiet, so they’re out on the fields whooping it up – even at that hour.’s camp.  Who can blame them?

That group of early risers is already thinning out.  It’s a natural progression when the pace and physical nature of camp starts to catch up with young bodies.  Yesterday I was hanging out with some kids before the dinner bell rang, and they were talking about their cabin and their beds.  One of the guys said to the other that he slept better last night than he ever does in his own bed at home.  Brought a little smile to my face.  You can trust that our mattresses up here are not fancy.  No Sleep Numbers in sight.  Our secret?  Lots of activity, a well-regulated meal schedule, even more activity, no screens to douse their faces with blue light before bedtime, and of course, a healthy dose of activity.

Two of my VERY favorite parts of morning are being able to say a cheery “Good Morning” to a few hundred of my best buddies, and…just as good….saying “See ya in the morning” to that same crew as they head off to bed.  This falls into that “campy” category as something that seems so mundane, but is actually highly representative of the awesome feeling we get from living, playing, and working with a community of happy, energetic kids, and thoughtful, caring young adults.

Mother Nature has treated us very well lately.  The hot days we had when the boys arrived and when we had our swim assessments was welcome, but so is the break we’re experiencing now.  Last night cooled off nicely into the mid-50s, and today will get up to the mid-70s.  That’s what we like to call Chamber-of-Commerce weather.  You just can’t ask for better.  The forecast for the next few days is sunshine and mid-to-upper 70s by day, dipping to the mid 50s at night.

We are having our first full day of activities today.  Whenever that happens, we like to celebrate with a little dance party at breakfast.  We play music during the meal, and as it winds down, the music becomes more and more dance-able.  Before you know it, the whole Lodge is up shaking their stuff, and it does a great job of energizing everyone!

Your son’s activity schedule is listed on your Keylog Page.  If your son is taking morning or afternoon sailing, he will be out on Big Arbor Vitae Lake for a combined two periods.  So his schedule will show an open block, and you’ll see “Sailing*” as an “Additional” activity.  That’s how we display it for you.

We’ve been really impressed so far with the quality of the instruction in our activities.  We get around a lot to join in, play with the kids, and give some feedback to the counselors about how their program is running.  We’ve had the enviable task of being able to give lots of pats on the back thus far…the staff is working hard to teach great activities, and that will certainly pay off.

Last night was our first Capture the Flag game of the summer.  It was amazing!  We have developed this game into quite a spectacle.  All at the same time, on the same field, there are 3 different games of Cap Flag going on.  It’s a little chaotic, but we use colored pinnies so each team of Blue and White kids in each village know who they are playing.  And here’s one of the fun things….the flag the teams capture could be either a pool noodle (fun to run with!) or a football, which can be passed.  So…as I said, a spectacle.  It went extremely well and had the side benefit of wearing the kids out by bedtime.

Today has been beautiful.  We’ve had 4 great periods of activities, and that has included several first-time waterskiers!!  Tonight we’ll keep the action going with some Blue & White games.

Upcoming Trip Departures:

  • Porcupine Mountains, Michigan – 3 days backpacking
  • Peshtigo River, Wisconsin – 3 days river canoeing
  • Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin – 4 days rock climbing
  • Isle Royale National Park, Minnesota & Michigan – 10 days backpacking
  • Sand River, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Canada – 8 days lake & river canoeing

Clearly our Trips Program has launched!  We’ve got a fantastic troop of trippers, and we’re excited to see them leading the kids on these amazing wilderness trips.

We’ll write again soon.

Benches up,

Mike & Leslie