We are so happy to write you from an office with the sounds of kids and counselors having fun together coming through the open windows. It’s about time!
This blog will be posted about twice each week, and as you can see from the links above, if we have an important notices, we’ll write them first, and then we’ll also keep you tuned in to our amazing Trips Calendar. So what d’ya say we get started?
We have signed up for our 1st Series of activities. Those will begin tomorrow afternoon, and we’ll stay with those activities until the middle of next week. Each time we sign up, we will post your son’s individual activity schedule online and you can see it through your Keylog page. All you do is login, and click the [Your Camper’s Name]’s Activities link.
If your camper signs up for Sailing, it goes over a 2 period block. Our lake, Lake Towanda, is beautiful, quiet, and calm. Ideal for waterskiing, but a little too calm for much sailing. So while we will still periodically on our lake, most days we go to a much larger lake named Big Arbor Vitae. It’s about a 5 minute drive from camp. And since we drive there, rig the boats, and then go sailing, we like to have more time for the sailors on the water. So we use 2 periods.
There may be times when your son is out of camp on a trip, and misses an activity sign-up. But that’s okay. No…that’s GREAT! Trips are such an incredible opportunity, and where else can he do that? When the trip gets back, we’ll get him signed up for the series, and we’ll post his schedule then. You’ll know he’s on a trip because you can see it on the [Your Camper’s Name]’s Trips link on your Keylog page. And we save room in the activities for kids who are out on trips so they will have plenty of opportunities when they get back to camp.
Remember, you can also see the photos we post on our Waldo gallery. We try to post pictures every day, and we hope you like ’em!
HOW DO WE TEACH PATIENCE?
We know that many kids are instinctively impatient, and some people never outgrow that. We also know that patience is a virtuous quality that we’d like to see in our kids, but how do you teach it? Simple answer? Camp.
On a more macro scale, many kids really, really love going to camp. We think most kids do. And if you think about it, camp is such a short period of time in the course of a year, so these brave souls have to be patient FOR MOST OF THE YEAR as they wait for summer and camp to arrive. Right?
And then once they’re here, there are so many lessons learned via group living, with patience being at the top of the list. 10 kids, 3 or 4 counselors, 1 bathroom. Need we say more? Or, after a morning of activities, burning calories like crazy, we arrive at the lunch table HUNGRY! And while it’s tempting to just dig into the food in the serving bowls and not consider everyone else, that’s not how we roll at camp. We take enough to get started and make sure the food goes all the way around to the others at the table, and then if we’re still hungry, we can take more. That may take a few minutes, and that requires patience!
These first few days of camp are also exercises in patience. Before we can crank up the activities and trips, we have some processes we need to go through. We have to make sure everyone is healthy. We have to assess everyone’s swimming abilities to make sure we’re all safe in the lake. And we have a lot to teach the new campers and refresh for the returning campers about how camp stuff functions. We get it done in quick fashion, but it takes all of the 1st day of camp. Everyone is raring to go, but we have to take care of business first. That requires patience.
Tomorrow morning we’ll take some photos of everyone, and then in the afternoon we’ll get to crank up the activities. On Thursday, our first trips will depart. That means the wait is over, and we get to enjoy the fun stuff. And along the way, we’re learning how to be patient people.
Of course, even these days of taking care of business are fun days. It’s been great to see the new friendships starting up, the old friendships rekindling, and watch the counselors engaging their kids in fun conversations and group activities when they are in a rare down time. We got a late start last night as our last kids arrived around 7 PM. We went right into the Lodge for a delicious dinner of spaghetti, garlic bread, and green beans, followed by a yummy dessert of homemade brownies. There was still daylight left, and even though there was a very light dew in the air, we still went out side and played in a bunch of games. It was awesome.
Today we’ve had a mix of clouds and sunshine. The air was a bit cool for the swimming assessment, but the boys jumped in and got that taken care of. Tonight our staff will put on a skit show for the boys. This is our way of placing counselor and trip leader names to faces for the kids, make sure they know who teaches the different activities, and have some fun along the way.
Tomorrow we take off!
FUTURE TRIP DEPARTURES:
- Porcupine Mountains, MI – 3 days backpacking
- Brule River, WI – 3 days river canoeing
- Devil’s Lake, WI – 4 days rock climbing
- Isle Royale Nat’l Park, MN/WI – 9 days backpacking
A little info about the trips program. We are very proud of the people who lead our trips and the kids who go on them. We think the opportunity is rare and important, so we promote it a lot. We never push to the point of making anyone feel guilted or shamed into going, or in any other way coerced. It is a voluntary program. We balance that with the knowledge that kids are often reluctant to try something so unfamiliar and with a perceived discomfort involved. This, of course, makes the point for us. And that’s why we encourage everyone to try at least one trip. Most boys do, some go on many, and some won’t go at all. And that’s the way things go.
Finally, all of us here want to say thank you to all of you at home for trusting us with your camper. We don’t take that for granted. We all work hard to make the summer special, fun, and full of growth. We’re off to an excellent start!
We’ll write again soon.
Mike, Leslie & Dustin