Days of Camp – June 25, 2019

Hi Folks,


What d’ya say we revisit our Package Policy for a moment.  We permit reading material only to be sent to the kids while they’re here.  Obviously, we do not allow food to be sent, but everyone knows that.  What most (though apparently not all) people have also understood is we do not allow games, toys or gadgets, or anything other than books or magazines to be sent to the kids.  Anything that is not reading material will be sent back at the parent’s expense.

As we explain in your Parent Handbook, little games and gizmos sent from home are truly only beneficial to parents.  It makes parents feel good, and we get that.  However, up here your boys are busy playing with friends, doing cool and active things, and those little toys are ignored at best, and almost immediately end up in the trash.  It’s not that they don’t appreciate it, it’s that they don’t even think about it.

PLEASE honor this policy and notify friends and relatives as well.  We appreciate it.

We have signed up for our 2nd Series of activities.  Those will begin on Thursday and run through Tuesday, July 2nd.  It’s going fast!!  You can see your camper’s activity choices from your Keylog page.


We will have the Travel-to-Camp information, along with baggage tags, in the mail in the next day or so.  You should receive it by the end of the week.  Remember, last minute travel plan changes cannot be guaranteed on our end, so please check with us before making any changes.

Camp is just humming along right now.  We’re past our 1st week anniversary, the groups have settled in for the most part, kids have gotten to know each other, and we’re in a groove.  It’s a good groove.  The steady and nice weather pattern we had at the start has dissolved just a bit over the weekend, and we had some wet weather to contend with, but really not that much, and it had minimal effect on our programming.

Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day.  It was partly cloudy all day long, mild outside, and we had a full day of activities.  After dinner we played Blue & White games, which was so upbeat!  This summer we have selected some of our young and high energy counselors to serve as Blue & White “Generals,” and they pumped the boys up for the games.  We thought that might add some excitement and engagement to the games, and that is precisely what happened.  They kept it fun and light, always remembering that we celebrate effort and sportsmanship above the competitive results, and it was just hugely successful.  The kids are looking forward to the next games.

Sunday was our first Lazy Breakfast of the summer.  Lazy Breakfast is in a league all by itself.  On this day, instead of a wake up bell at 8 and breakfast at 8:30, we don’t ring any bells till 9.  However, we start serving breakfast at 8:30, and keep the kitchen open till 9:30.  Anytime during that hour, kids can wander lazily into the Lodge and order eggs however they want ’em.  We do a wide variety of omelettes, we do sunny sides, over easy’s, you name it.  There’s even a “Mystery Omelette” for the adventurous eaters out there.  Typically it’s filled with some delicious leftovers from the fridge blended and spiced just right.  And the icing on the cake is the fact that the kitchen crew has the morning off, and breakfast is prepared by a bunch of us lay people cooks.  We also have a crew of about a dozen kids helping us serve up the food to the kids waiting in line.  And, of course, for non-egg eaters we have plenty of cereal and milk.

Usually the first Lazy Breakfast of the summer is slammed.  This one was no exception.  By the time we opened the big serving window, the lines were well formed.  Not to worry, though.  It wasn’t our first rodeo…or Lazy Breakfast.  A few minutes before opening we did a “preemptive pour” of eggs on the griddle, and had dozens of piping hot omelettes ready to serve.  We polished off that line before a kid could say “Please may I have an omelette.”  Which is – as you’d expect – exactly how they speak when ordering.  Well, maybe not everyone, but we’re working on it.

Later that day is when the moisture began to arrive.  We had no real downpours, but it was drizzling and light “dew” much of the late morning and afternoon.  We got all of our activities in, which was nice, but it was clear our scheduled outdoor barbecue dinner would transition to an indoor barbecue (still yummy burgers!), and our planned outdoor evening program also had to move indoors.

No problem.  Sunday’s EP was Casino Night – a camp favorite – and that runs rain or shine.  In clear weather we set the casino up outside the Lodge.  In wet weather we set it up just as easily inside the Lodge.  We had the whole Vegas experience for the boys in a G-Rated environment.  Each camper received a wad of camp cash and they got to gamble away on Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, War (a huge game in Vegas), a card-version of a horse race, and our own invention of the Human Slot Machine.  In addition, there were events they could bet on such as a counselor Tushball game, a counselor 2 on 2 volleyball game, a strong man contest, a pudding eating contest (I remain undefeated!), and more.  What a hoot!

Yesterday was Community Day.  This is a proposal we make to the Camp Council each session, and if they approve, we serve a very simple and inexpensive menu for the day.  There’s still plenty to eat, and it’s all good stuff, but it’s more like a menu folks who are struggling may be able to afford.  So breakfast was oatmeal and cinnamon toast.  Lunch was the ever famous “beanie weanie” and cornbread, and dinner was meatloaf.  We didn’t put the fruit bowl out till the afternoon, and that night we sacrificed Canteen.

Our Kitchen Manager, Bill Miller calculated that we saved nearly $450 on the day.  He will use that windfall to purchase a bunch of food from our purveyors to be donated to the Lakeland Area Food Pantry.  We buy lots of canned veggies, fresh potatoes, carrots and apples, oatmeal, and other foods that are so valuable to families in need.  The pantry is close by, so the food will be delivered, we’ll put it on display for the boys to see the fruits of their sacrifice, and then some of our Camp Council reps will deliver it to the pantry.  We’re proud of the kids for being so willing to help others.

Yesterday was also a day of iffy weather.  We stayed dry enough during the day, but in the evening we got wet and had to change our program.  We had scheduled a village EP, and the Senior Village had plans to play mini golf in town.  Fortunately, we saw the weather coming (that’s one for the online weather radar), and we booked ’em at the indoor mini golf.  So they still got to play.  The Juniors and Intermediates ended up having a movie night in the Rec Hall, which no one seemed to mind too much.  Naturally, part way through the movie the sun came out and it ended up being a beautiful night.

Today was SO NICE!  It was sunny, mild, and pure blue skies for much of the day.  And it’s starting to get warmer.  We have a great Yoga class here, and today I had the chance to join in.  We yoga’d up on the basketball courts, and even though it was only 10 AM, it started to get a little warm out there.  Fortunately, a perfect cool breeze kicked up, and it was incredibly comfy.  Towards the end the counselor leading us (extremely well, I might add) had us do our “Savasana” meditation at the end, and when that concluded…we had to wake up one of the guys in the class.  How’s that for relaxation and restoration?

Tonight we hosted the ladies from a friendly nearby girls’ camp for a fun Carnival Night.  Our kids set up some carnival booths including a dunking booth and fortune telling booth, which they took turns running while others in their cabin group went around trying the other booths and hanging out with the girls…or not.  The most critical component is the food, of course, so we had some popcorn, brownies, cake, and other goodies to munch on.

It all almost didn’t happen.  While we were in dinner…the boys all cleaned up and looking sharp…a quick storm blew towards us.  We finished up and sent everyone back to their cabins.  We were right in line and knew some wet weather was coming.  We called the girls’ camp and asked them to delay 15 minutes, but they were already boarding their buses.  So we just asked them to ask the bus drivers to drive slowly on the way here.  And we waited and watched the sky.

At 7:20, it cleared up.  Miraculous!  At 7:35 the girls arrived and we were ready.  The boys were excellent hosts, we all had a great time, and the weather was just perfect.  Phew!

Tomorrow is our first Cruiser Day.  On Cruiser Day the normal schedule is put on hold, and the boys spend the whole day together with their cabins.  The Junior Village cabins each have vans and will be heading to some nice places around the Northwoods.  The Seniors will be on a bus together and are going down towards Wausau and a water park down there.  And the Intermediates will be in camp and have the whole place to themselves.  The forecast looks great!


  • Namekagon River, WI – 3 days river canoeing
  • Northern Highlands Recreation Area, WI – 3 days lake canoeing
  • Interstate Park, MN/WI – 4 days rock climbing
  • Lake Superior/Apostle Islands, WI – 4 days sea kayaking

We will write you again very soon.

Benches up,

Mike, Leslie & Dustin