July 21, 2013
Welcome to Camp!
On behalf of the staff and counselors at Camp Champions, let me welcome everyone that is joining us for our 47th summer of continuous camping fun!
We wait each year for this day: the smiles, the hugs, the laughter and the opportunities for growth!
Your children are now down in their beds and resting for tomorrow so I would like to share some thoughts with you.
Today was particularly exciting as we got some serious rain after the parents left. We feel very fortunate that we got everyone delivered to their cabins before the skies opened. I am guessing we got over 2 inches in about 2 hours!
Camp is about nature and flexibility, and we got plenty of both today. I was delighted to see girls playing in the rain and boys sloshing through puddles. One group of 3rd grade boys got “stuck” at lice check as the rain really fell.. I joined their counselors and Division Leader in a series of commando-like moves that took us from one covered area to another until we arrived safely at the Fillin’ Station (our dining hall). All of us - me included - had fun on our ‘mission’.
This session is the extension of a great summer. Earlier this summer, we had a great orientation. We talked about our traditions and taught classes on physical and emotional safety. We discussed cabin dynamics and age-specific development. We did over 1000 hours of service to our local community, doing lawn work, painting and collecting canned goods for the Food Bank. We focused on our mission: “Our passion is to help every camper grow into the Champion God intends them to be”. We do all of this so that we can make the most of the opportunity that we have with your camper.
While this is not our first term of the summer, we approach each with a renewed passion and enthusiasm. We remind the counselors that even if they have done an activity already, your child perhaps has not. Each day is an opportunity to impact a child, and such an opportunity should be embraced!
Susie Ma’am and I have had the joyous pleasure to do this for 20 years. I was also a camper and counselor for 11 years as a child and young man. I mention this so that I can tell you that this is the most cohesive and enthusiastic counselors I have ever worked with. This group was exceptional for the first two sessions. We made a few alterations to the way we hired this year. First, we hired over 12 international counselors (we even went to London and interviewed several hundred there). We also altered our requirements to assure that every counselor is completely committed to the summer (for example, we now require that counselors work at least two sessions to make sure that no one is coming back just to see friends). Ultimately, we are role models to our campers, so our camp is only as good (or great) as our counselors. Knowing this, my enthusiasm for the summer is particularly high.
OK, even though camp is not about “stuff” we are also excited that we have made over 20 various improvements to camp, including three massive ones: the “Spin Cycle” (our new absolutely unique pool), the Pirate Ship (an unequalled ropes/challenge course) and the addition of several ski boats and waverunners to increase our ability to offer some of our favorite activities. I will tell you more about these improvement in future articles, but I want you to know that we have spent the last 9 months being extra busy.
I hope you enjoy this website. Enjoy the photos and take time to read the articles. We will provide you a nice one-way mirror into the life of camp. Some of these articles are new, but many are tried and true favorites. If you are a returning parent, please do not think we are getting lazy. Instead, we want to give our new families a chance to see what we value and what we are striving to accomplish at camp.
Until we see you at closing day – have a wonderful time!
P.S. With kids at camp, this is a great time to do things you often do not have time for, like a date night or a visit with friends. Please take advantage of the opportunity.
PPS Susie Ma’am asked to praise you all. We had roughly 80 campers who were checked out for lice before they arrived. As a result, we had only 25% as many cases at camp as 3 weeks ago, so campers had more time with cabinmates and less time getting checked. Thank you for that!