Man Cave-3

During each session, Susie Ma’am and I will meet with every cabin for one hour. Susie Ma’am’s sessions are called “Friendship Games”, while mine are called “Man Cave”.

We are truly grateful to spend some time with each of your children. When we first started as directors, we soon realized that we rarely got fun “hang out” time with campers. We spent most of our time managing our team or dealing with campers that might be struggling in some way (a death in the family – including a family pet, homesickness, a cabin conflict).

I realized what it must be like to work for the fire department – you only get called when people need help, not when they have a family celebration or a holiday.

So we created Friendship Games and Man Cave as our solution.

The campers ask if they are the same or different. This question has led to a fun inside joke.

I tell the boys that the sessions look similar, but have subtle differences.

  • The girls have “snacks” (Doritos and Oreos), while the boys get “munchies” (Oreos and Doritos). I think you can see the subtle difference.
  • It might appear that both get slushies, but there is a small difference here as well. For the girls, they are “drinks”; the boys get “beverages”.
  • The girls chat, the boys talk.
  • Perhaps the most important difference regards what we sit on. The girls gather on the ground on blankets while the boys sit on animal skins DISGUISED as blankets. I tell the boys that one of the is from the “Tie Dyed Wildebeest of Lower Tanzania” (pictured in the upper right of this photo).


The older boys understand that I am kidding, but the youngest campers seem to really see a difference.

I explain this to you because I will occasionally reference something that is said or done in one of these sessions. After all, these gatherings are a huge part of our first week and they constitute a meaningful portion of our personal experience at camp.

Today, I just want to comment on two things from my Man Caves. First, I had a cabin of 10 year-old boys that was remarkably considerate and polite. They arrived saying thank you and please and they left asking if they could “help clean up the mess”. They listened well and were really funny. This, my friends, is not typical of 10 year-olds. I need to find out what they are eating!

Second, I had a cabin whose campers had 4 different primary languages and (if we include the counselor as well), 6 total languages. We had a camper from China, a camper who studies in Australia, a boy from Lebanon who speaks French, 2 guys from Mexico and a counselor who speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, English and International Sign Language. But worry not, they all spoke slushy.

Steve Sir