Dancing the Night Away! Go Hillsider’s!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Sometimes that weather man and weather channel just miss the boat and thank goodness.  It rained before dawn this morning and our forecast called for rain most of the day.  Well.. it did not happen and we had fits and sprinkles on two occasions and that was about it.  I stopped my Mountainsider’s this morning as they were leaving to go out of camp on their last mini day and warned them about impending storms, but it never materialized.  They were going to areas where they could easily take shelter or have a van available.  So it was another cool and sun in sun out kind of day.  The weather certainly did not match the mood of camp.  The cool temps and little rain had all activities going strong.  The climbers, who are probably the most susceptible to weather and rain ran arborist climbing all morning and then both arborist and tree climbing this afternoon.  It gave many children the chance to get off the ground and see life in the trees as the birds and squirrels do.  It’s a whole different world up there and to know that you got there by yourself under your own power is an accomplishment.  I think out of the two types of climbing probably arborist climbing is the most physical. It requires a good bit of arms and legs to get you off the ground and up into the foliage.

I went down to the farm this morning to check to see how big mama pig is doing.  Everyone in C-1 is hoping she’ll have her babies this weekend but Farmer Jacob says it’s going to be a few more days.  We’ll see and keep you in the loop.  Seems like everywhere I go I pass a group of campers who are biking around one of the many trails here at camp.  Our biking program has taken off in the last few years and it’s been great fun for our Main Camp group as well as our Mountainsider’s.  We added another little skills course over the Spring which is fairly level with a few obstacles and the occasional root and rock here and there.  In all there’s probably about three miles of single track fun between Main Camp and our property across the road.  We have a number of children who have never ridden on trails and I feel it makes them more skilled riders at home and hopefully safer in that street and curb environment.  They learn to handle the bike, shift their weight, use their arms and legs as shock absorbers and of course peddle efficiently using the many gears we have on our bikes.  As in any of our programs, safety is numero uno and we teach the campers to perform a safety check on the bike before each ride.  They do this as a group and counselors are watching each one go through the checklist.  Who knows, this kind of skill could really pay off at home.

Mountainside invited Brookside up to their “side” tonight to talk about the MS program and answer questions about their days and activities.  Many of our Brooksider’s will be eligible in the next couple of years and some may choose to stay in Main Camp but others will choose MS.  It’s the perfect program for the age of the children and provides them just the right amount of comradery, challenge and responsibility for that adolescent age.  We were having a discussion at the table tonight about the MS program as well as getting older (6th, 7th & 8th grades).  That’s their kind of older and mine… that’s another story.  Have you parents seen the movie “Inside Out”.  It’s the new Pixar production that gets into the mind and emotions of an 11 year old girl and takes those emotions and brings them to life in her mind.  I’ve only seen the previews but I can tell you that the movie setting is happening every day here at camp…. and it’s happening with boys as well.  This is a good and natural thing and that’s why I feel our MS program is so good for those campers who are in the midst of adolescence.

While all that adolescence was going on tonight, our Hillsider’s were in the Lodge with me and Debbie having a grand ole time Mountain Dancing.  It was pure fun with lots of moving feet, clapping hands, swinging partners and dancing many kinds of dances and play party games.  You’d be surprised how much fun you can fit into about 40 minutes of music and dancing.  As a camper, you’re coming off dinner, which was delicious and then going to after supper programs and then dancing for 40 minutes.  We were burning some calories.  The NFL would be proud of us encouraging children to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.  I think we take the ESPY award home for the amount of exercise we get here at camp.  Camp just does children a world of good in so many ways.  Stay Tuned and Happy 4th of July!!


PS  We’re all pulling for the US Women’s team in the World Cup.  Since it’s a late game on Sunday we’ll tape it and play it back to the crowd during rest hour on Monday.  Go team!