One more time with feeling…
Week seven comes to Leelanau like a wave across Lake Michigan, steadily building, playfully rolling, and all business when it comes to giving good!
On Monday we rallied the big blue bus and a few vans to get everybody over to the Dunes one last time. The big boys played a bit of Dune Football at the Backside while the younger fellows learned how to fly on the Frontside. Both sections met up at the end of the evening for a “camp cone” at Riverfront when the bus “broke down”.
Tuesday morning dawned with a purple sky and rain agitated water at dips. The night before the boys had watched an amazing lightning display across the lake from the safety of their cabin porches, after dark the heavens had opened and washed clean every single one of our gullies. By morning activities the soccer field was dry, the sun was shining and another glorious day of summer unfolded for Leelanau.
On Wednesday we switched things up once again! We had off camp cabin day in the morning, and all cabins headed out to share those final special moments, as a group, learning about each other and trying new activities. In the afternoon, we attended the normal morning activities, which is always a boon to the sailing class as the winds pick up later in the day. Our evening is when the celebration of summer began with giving gratitude and sharing testimonies of healing at our church service up on the hill.
Thursday the Green and Blue team met on the soccer field for their consolation game of L.I.F.E., the rest of camp enjoyed the beach or created their funny awards. That evening around the Fire Awards Fire the kids were able to celebrate each other and share special moments from the summer. The counselors certainly got in on the recognition as they handed out special awards for each of their campers.
On Friday the countdown began in earnest. The final star totals were due to HQ and needed to be tallied in time for paint to dry on the plaques. We rehearsed for Encore and began packing our cabins. At 5:00 the boys lined up in their whites and marched to the Great House Lawn for their final inspection of the summer. As they belted “Sir, Yes, Sir!” towards the parents even the lake and the sky knew Leelanau to be “Tip top” and “Second to none!” The evening festivities unfolded beautifully as songs were sung, great food was eaten, and awards recognizing the great work and growth were shared. A night to remember.
Saturday was the big “Show Day” after a few Leelanau Alumni led the camp in exercises and we cleaned up for the day, the parents descended upon camp to witness our activities in action. After lunch we shared a few of the great performances from the summer and showcased our athletics with the final game of the L.I.F.E. tournament. Turns out the White Team is our champion for the summer. The truly momentous event of Saturday however had started two years prior when Paul Olsen first began work on the Leelanau Totem Pole. On Saturday evening, before Council Fire, the Totem Pole was raised to its new home at the entrance to Leelanau. We ceremoniously mounted the wings of the Eagle and the whole camp gave a cheer of “Ole” to Paul for his two years of hard work and artistry. This was a night that will be a part of the Leelanau legacy for many generations yet to come.
It cannot be said enough times: this was an amazing summer! The Men of HQ are deeply grateful for the hard work and dedication of the Leelanau Staff, the campers, the parents, and all who make Camp Leelanau for Boys a home each and every summer.
Until Week 1, 2013,
The Men of HQ