The momentum is building and summer here at Leelanau has really started to role. Last Sunday, the boy’s camp, expanded and filled to capacity for the second half of the summer. With 80 boys in camp everything is fast paced and exciting.
This week has set a foundation for the next three weeks of the summer. We have been sending young men into the woods, out on the lake and down rivers all week to train for trips and adventures to come. All of the junior cabins already had the chance to be out on the trail once so far this summer. The early bird cabins of Argosy and Black Swan spent a day and night exploring the back property of the camps, playing in the woods, doing initiatives and cooking trail food. Tortuga canoed down the mighty Platte River, which was the highest it’s been in years. Barbados had a burly hike around the Platte Plains district of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Lastly, Sea Hornet took an overnight to the Marilla Trail system on the far side of Traverse City and biked a full day of hills. All of these trips helped grow an appreciation of the area around the camps and the beauty of our natural world.
All of these trips were not only exciting for the younger boys, but a select group of seniors also were involved. Four men from the cabin of Cherokee took these trips out in hopes of achieving their Advanced Outdoorsman, AO, this summer. This means that they plan and execute the trips with the supervision of a trips counselor, it is known as the instructor’s course. Three other men took the other big step toward their AO, their 36-hour solo. This is a block of time in which young men are given 36 hours of solitude to commune with nature and God. They build themselves a shelter and often come back out of the woods very different individuals. There were also training afternoons for the fifth week Flag Trip and the sixth week Canada hiking/kayaking trip.
Then on Thursday night we headed over to Glen Lake High School for the annual Old Ball Game. The junior games and homerun derby went over with great success and without a hitch with Chris Klusmeyer hitting 12 homeruns. Then the North/South softball game got under way but was weather delayed halfway through the second inning and will be finished a later date.
We also had guys go out charter fishing, travel to Interlochen for an enjoyable performance by the Golden Dragon Acrobat team, play a competitive game on the Leelanau classic Water Polo. The best part is that these are only the special events of the week. We had a full week in camp of activities, inspection, and not to mention meals with lots of singing. This week has gone by in the blink of an eye and the as the levels continue to be earned, trips continue to go out, and songs are sung the summer will only continue to fly by faster.
We truly are living everyday, from the time the cannon goes off in the morning to when Taps sounds on the trumpet, to the fullest. The old Leelanau motto rings true again for this summer; Yesterday Wood, Tomorrow Ashes, Only Today Does the Fire Burn Brightly. We are cherishing each day up here in beautiful Northern Michigan on our little slice of Heaven and are ready for an incredible final three weeks.