July 25, 2017
Some days, the blog writes itself.
Today is such a day.
At breakfast today, four separate counselors came up to me to share something unusual and special. It absolutely made my morning. Please let me share them with me.
The Maxi Division Leader (girls in cabins 1+-5) reported that she had the “best overnight of the summer – perhaps the best I have ever attended”. Since Zoe Ma’am is in her 15th summer, she has attended a LOT of overnights, so this got my attention.
It was not a “true” overnight. They did not sleep in the woods because of the rains. Instead, they slept under Olympia (the covered gym on the girls side) and ate “hobo packs” (think meat, veggies and tortillas in aluminum foil). But it was the other activities made it special.
The campers did skits where they imitated their counselors (always a hit) to many giggles. They had a Maxi-only Torchlight ceremony that Zoe Ma’am “swears was louder than the whole girls side on some days”. Sound at torchlight is good – it means happy, positive energy.
She also did an exercise called “affirmation mirrors”. Each camper got a piece of construction paper with a mirror in the middle of it. She then had friends write positive and affirming words around the mirror – “loving”, “awesome”, “great listener”, “loyal”, “funny”. The Maxis all now have one of these mirrors where they can look at their reflection and see the words of their friends.
A Special Spartan Initiation
One of our boys was sick the day of the Trojan-Spartan Initiation. Typically, when this happens, we will let the camper know his or her team the next day. One group of counselors, however, decided to do something special.
His cabin gave him a personal Spartan Initiation.
His cabinmates took over the roles of the Senior Campers – holding tiki torches while staring forward seriously. The counselors painted up and took the roles of Robbie Sir (the Painter) and me (the Reader of the Legend). The Spartan leader came to teach him the cheers and chants.
They even had the Spartan music playing majestically through the ceremony.
I am not sure who enjoyed it the most – our new Spartan, his cabinmates or the counselors who arranged it.
The Hovering Heron
During Elite Ski this morning, a group of girls were on the boat with Kenzie Ma’am while pulling a girl on skis.
As they were riding on the glassy water, a heron glided beside them, equalized speeds and flew in parallel for over a minute. The skier and the campers were all transfixed as this majestic bird decided to share the lake for a while. Eventually, the bird lowered his (?) legs and landed 15 feet from the skier.
Kenzie Ma’am was still excited an hour later when I saw her at breakfast.
Fun with Free Play
The rain cooled camp down, but it also messed up our plans for the evening – especially on the boys’ side. While we were working on alternatives, we gave the boy campers some time for Free Play where they could choose what type of activity that wanted to do. These are not formal activities like Pirate Ship or Archery, but informal ones like gaga, pickleball, four-square, disk golf or basketball.
Usually, Free Play works well for 20-30 minutes, but the guys then seem ready for something new. But yesterday was different. We are not sure whether it was the weather or something else, but everyone was having a lovely time. I know that this phrase sounds British and not very applicable to boys’ play, but it is the phrase that comes to mind. The boys seemed unanimously engaged and happy. There was enough variety to give everyone choice and every activity had a dozen or so boys enjoying themselves. The energy was fun and positive. We kept going for an hour.
Yes, lovely it was.