Dear Parents & Friends,
Sun gave way to rain today but only later in the afternoon. If you missed the blog last night, I was on a little time off and had dinner with Anne. Despite the rain today, camp keeps right on chugging along. Our Main Camp Bikers braved the elements and left early afternoon to miss the rain for a little ride in Dupont. Dupont State Forest has over 100 miles of trails that are great for biking. Our crews from Main Camp go there often and love Ridgeline Trail which is a rolling downhill that’s quite long and gives the rider and chance to test their skills at any level. Of course we’ve found that campers like to go fast on bikes (most), and that’s why we keep a staff member in the front and back of these trips. Based on the group’s skills the staff will regulate the speed according to the group and trail. There’s also the point of going so slow that it’s actually harder to maneuver. It’s about finding your right speed and it’s so true about life as well.
The rain certainly brings out the childlike qualities in us. One of our activity groups stopped long enough to play in the water gushing off the roof of the dining room. How often do we get to do those things and just get wet under water pouring off a roof. One young camper pretended he was taking a bath and stated most assuredly that this would compensate for not taking any more showers the rest of camp.
Our Lodge is a great meeting space when there’s weather that prevents activities outside. We did have to spend about half of one activity period there today because of thunder boomers. Otherwise we’re outside and only getting wet skin deep. Hot showers are always in order after an afternoon like today. We had a group of creek hikers that enjoyed that shower even more after their creek hike. All of crafts were full this afternoon with the rain coming down. Folks were tie dying and making all kinds of creative things in pottery, yanderside, and the bong tree. The Mill had a run on fish today. Since it’s near the end of the summer we try and catch as many fish as possible. So today we drained the pond and everyone who wanted to, charged in to catch the remaining trout that were there. Now, don’t go thinking that we’re teaching these campers “hillbilly hand fishing”. We’re quite a bit more civilized and use a net but sometimes we revert to our hands. We’ll have a fish fry in the next few days from all the fish that we caught.
Even though it did rain in the afternoon the climbers were out this morning in full force, climbing in our hemlock trees. This is an activity that I started my first year at camp before we had a true climbing program or artificial wall. We needed something closer than the Rock which is a hike and I found 3 perfect trees right in the center of camp that have hosted literally thousands of campers over the years. We also added arborist climbing which we hope to set up tomorrow. I think it’s even more fun.
There’s one pic in our daily summary that is of the camp mailbox. It looks like a miniature log cabin. This is the place where campers put their mail for letters home. Writing home is something we encourage but don’t require. If you haven’t received a letter yet, it’s OK. It probably means there’s so much to do and so little time to write. And.. soon school will be starting and the campers will have to write in that setting. For most families, school is just on the heels of camp. Along with those camp friends and memories, encourage your camper-student to remember the skills he or she learned this summer. These skills are sure to get the school year started off right and help your child thrive all year long!
Confidence — All through the camp experience, children and youth have tried new activities and been successful; they feel empowered.
Curiosity — Camp has given children and youth the chance to explore, study, and observe in an experiential learning environment.
Character — Camp has challenged children and youth to develop character — through fostering respect for each other, a sense of community, and the ability to solve problems.
Resilience and grit are buzzwords these days relating to child development. Campers develop both of these when making decisions, stretching themselves to try hard things, and living in an environment that is really different from home or school.
Speaking of resilience and grit, our Mountainsiders and Riversiders are all coming in tomorrow. We will welcome them back with hot showers and good camp food. I can’t wait to hear their stories and learn about their adventures. It’s always nice to see them return to our nest. They have gained the confidence, curiosity, and character to fly away and now they are returning. Stay tuned!