Dear Parents & Friends,
We started off with a wee shower this morning as they say in the ole country. Soon the clouds parted and though slippery in places all activities went right into motion. Sometimes when it’s spitting rain the fish bite and this morning they were taking any bait at the Mill. We had good results and soon we’ll have enough fish to feed the whole camp. There is something special about catching a fish on a cane pole. It’s a cross between Huck Finn and the simple joys of not having to rely on a lot of high tech equipment or fishing apparatus. It’s pure joy when they pull out a trout.
Today we began our activities and children started their Discovery activities in the AM. Each camper has 4 activities they take in the morning. In the afternoons you have a free choice of 2 one hour activities or 1 two hour activity and that changes each day. Progressive skills in the morning and skills and variety in the afternoon. Then of course there’s the after supper activity time when all kinds of activities are available for about 45 minutes. Pick-up ball games to basic crafts and the like. We went to the Lodge for campfire and finished off our cabin skits and then sent folks off to bed.
As we started program today it was interesting to go around to many programs and see them get off the ground with the foundations of the program. I think most people who sign up for biking think that they’re just going to hop on the bike and ride off. We go through a battery of fitting the bike and helmet and making sure that you practice shifting and understand cadence. There are so many games that can challenge the child just on short grass to give you an idea of their riding ability. You quickly learn what sort of terrain they can handle and whether or not they can ride single track. Single track trails are rarely more than 3 ft. wide and take some skill to navigate when there are small roots, inclines and the occasional rock to ride over or dodge. Sometimes children aren’t used to shifting gears on the bikes and one has to multi-task to stay balanced, monitor your brakes and shift when needed. Guidelines and foundational teaching is so important throughout camp and even the waterfront provides info for the campers as to where they can dive in the lake and when and where they need to wear a PFD. Progression of teaching and building on foundations of safety, skills and fun make for good programs. Kayaking, Weaving, GV rescue, Fishing at the Mill, and many others started their day with the importance of foundational learning.
Today Riversider’s were on the lake preparing for their canoeing component which starts next week. Many had experience but we needed to go back to those basics to start anew and not get into bad paddling habits. Paddling at the ripe age of 13 and 14 should be a dance on the water and finesse instead of power. One can never really be stronger than moving water but only figure out best how to harness its strength to your advantage. They made great progress today and it was a joy to see them out there. They’re off to Foster Falls tomorrow for their climbing component.
Campers were climbing at the Wall today both from Main Camp and those Mountainsider’s staring their mini adventures. Several cabins were tie-dying today as a group. Jess and staff get some vibrant colors from the dyes and washes we use. There is a secret to keep the color fast. It was interesting to see them choose their patterns and go about the dying their shirts. They were after the most colorful and wild shirts and several chose the fireworks pattern – getting ready for the upcoming holiday. Despite the cool weather this morning one group started the day off with a creek hike and returned happy, very wet and ready to get into some dry clothes. We are so lucky to have so much water on our land. It feeds our lake, runs our Mill, and puts us to sleep. After a long day in activities, I’m sure that many of the children are settling into a deep slumber. Stay tuned to see what tomorrow brings!