If this first week of camp had to be summarized in one word, it would be peaceful. Beginning with a smooth and joyful opening day, the week has been a delight for everyone here this session. On Sunday night, after all the campers made their first set of square corners on their beds and got settled into their cabins, our first Council Fire introduced the summer’s theme of A Gracious Heart. During that Council Fire, the campers anonymously exchanged names for their Pine Cone Pals. Throughout the week, girls have been spreading random acts of kindness towards their PCPs in order to demonstrate an important element of graciousness: thinking outwardly and selflessly. At Council Fire we also spoke about the quality of being available to others as an aspect of graciousness. Campers have been demonstrating graciousness fully throughout the week, as evidenced by the harmony and sisterhood in the cabins and activities.
Morning activities were in full-swing beginning on Tuesday, after Monday’s swim test. The waterfront came alive, the horses looked happy to have kids riding them at last, and all of camp’s equipment was put to good use for classes and games. Afternoon activities were also a success this week. Among the many choices were playing in the clay pits, team building initiatives, making stationary from things found in nature, drama games, a bike ride to Port Oneida’s historic barns, slip-n-slide down the Great Lawn, learning to build a fire in the woods, building gnome homes in the woods, and providing the horses with an afternoon of “spa treatment.” Lots of happy sounds were in the air!
On Wednesday afternoon, every cabin had the chance to enjoy each other’s company while exploring the surrounding area for an off-camp Cabin Day. Little Dipper, Stardust, and Gulls Nest went together to Empire to play at the beach and playground. All of the other cabins headed to the Glen Arbor area for a range of activities—floating through Crystal River’s culverts, doing a photo scavenger hunt around town, tubing behind the ski boats on Glen Lake, and confusing tourists by walking through town in costumes.
In all, our summer has kicked off to a fabulous start, and we’re so grateful for such a harmonious beginning.
KABOOM!! The cannon explodes into a mist filled morning and all of the counselors and campers make there way to the beach on Monday morning, the first full day of camp. As the fellas walk to the beach for dips I can hear them conversing about the energy filled council fire from the night before. The energy is abundant, from the three first year Argonauts to the CT’s. Then after a regular morning schedule of quiet time, cleanup, and campers in activities the clouds parted and we headed to Bar Lake for our annual “Bar Exam” swim test. We practically had the whole place to ourselves as we played Frisbee, football, built sand castles and swam. Our first day was capped off with some junior kickball and senior bombardment.
The next day we continued the annual tradition of “Phat” Tuesday. This is a day full of special activities that the guys do in groups with their age. We opened up the ropes course, climbing tower, Lego collection, the woods for a few games and even the beach for a little while. These activities provided the boys with a chance to bond with their cabin mates. Tuesday evening the juniors headed to the Dune Climb and played on the sand dunes overlooking Little Glen Lake where the seniors were busy playing Water Polo in the shallows. We had a picnic dinner on the shores of Glen Lake, the teams selected their captains for the summer and we got to bed early.
Wednesday was another beautiful day. This benefited us and allowed the counselors to take advantage of the beach for their cabin day. We had cabins all over camp, from the first Leelanau Wrestling Federation, to sail boating, to shooting rifles out on the range. We gathered up in the elevated meadow for Wednesday and listened to some great readings on brotherhood and charity prepared by one of our CT’s.
Thursday and Friday we were able to get the gears moving on the ole’ Leelanau machine and crank out a couple of normal days with activities in the mornings and afternoons. Friday night’s evening activity was a hilarious comedy show put on by the campers known as the Comedic War. Both teams were willing to embarrass themselves for the good of the team and laughs were had by all.
So with one week down and only six left in this incredible summer we prepare to move forward. This coming week is affectionately known as the “Death Star” week. Starting Monday the Trips program will explode camp all over the Northern Michigan region. Every cabin is headed out on the trail this week and camp will be totally empty for a night. We are excited to get out on the trail and will be sure to challenge every individual.