Week 1 is already in the books! It went by faster than Donald Keough running to dips. (He is consistently the first one down to the changing cabin, once even beating the CTs to their great chagrin.)
Opening Day dawned warm and humid, and after we got the parents on their way, the beach was a welcome respite for all! Council fire invited 10 new campers and 7 new counselors to learn the specific breed of Siamese Goose they are. (Another inside joke, sorry!)
Monday brought rain and allowed us a little more time in the cabins to get to know each other and create skits to introduce each other to the rest of Camp. In the afternoon the skies cleared and we took Bar Lake by storm for our somewhat newly revamped Bar Exam (or swim test.) The revamping allowed even more time for good wholesome play with footballs, dune jumps, sand castles, and kid launching.
Phat Tuesday brought out all the wacky costumes for both campers and counselors, In the morning we finally settled into our normal morning activity routine, but the afternoon sent the Seniors to the Shallows for Water Polo and the Juniors to the Zipline, rocket launching, and the Frontside of the Dunes. We all gathered at the Shallows Picnic Area for games and a scrumptious dinner of “Super Chicken.” Captains were elected, congrats to William Johnson and Liam Hubbard of the North Team and Alex Reyes and Joe Coolidge of the South Team!
Wednesday is synonymous with Cabin Day! We had folks all over Camp playing sports, building forts, hiking to Pyramid Point, cooking over a fire, and scavenger hunting with joy and enthusiasm.
Thursday we sent our littlest campers off on an overnight to the Platte Plains where they hiked two miles, cooked yummy food, played in Lake Michigan, and slept in a tent. The rest of Camp attended a Christian Science Lecture in Glen Arbor.
If Wednesday means Cabin Day in Leelanau-ese, then Friday means Pizza and Milkshakes for dinner! The campers know that Weldon and HQ like to shake things up in the Camp Schedule and try new things, but even those guys aren’t dumb enough to try and change something as sacrosanct as Friday Night Pizza and Milkshakes! And they were totally worth the yearlong wait since last summer! Yummy!
Saturday dawned a little bit cooler, so the afternoon beach plan shifted wisely to North-South Team Games. Basketball, Bombardment, Hungry-Hungry Hippos brought out the best sort of competitive spirit in the boys on the Leelanau Courts.
We can’t wait to for all the good that is going to unfold next week!
Hard to believe the week seven Cannon Report’s time has come already. The weeks move way too fast around here!
We warned the staff, we warned the kids, we told them that if they blinked they would miss it. Camp just flew by us this summer, and SO MUCH good took place along the way.
On Monday we kicked off seventh week by taking the whole camp to the Shallows for Water Polo. The big kids played one game, the little kids played their own, and everybody tackled hard, made plays, and gave it their all!
On Tuesday we celebrated the CT’s and all their work this summer with a lovely dinner for them with a few of our Board Members. Then we headed down to the beach for an evening beach bonanza with sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards, and the raft!
On Wednesday everybody headed in a different direction for their final off camp cabin day. We had folks at Myles Kimmerle Park, Sugarloaf, Glen Arbor, Devil’s Hole, Sleeping Bear Point, and Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive! We all regrouped at our beloved church hill for a nonstop, testimony poppin’ Wednesday Evening Service. It was beautiful to hear all of the good healings and gratitude the kids had to share from a summer at Camp!
On Thursday the weather tried to push us around a little bit. Morning activities were able to sustain though the wind kept waterskiing on the dock. Speed and agility kept pace, and riflery saw a special guest with special opportunities for the older boys on the range. In the evening we gathered in the Lodge for a very special night of sharing and exchanging Funny Awards. The event was filled with both hilarious and extremely tender moments and ended with a firm reminder from Weldon to take Camp home and live it!
On Friday afternoon we played our final game of the Hunger Games in a steady rain which only made the game that much more awesome! Following the game we took hot soapy showers and got all scrubbed up for Final Banquet and Final Inspection. It was a spirited evening with great singing and brotherly voices raised in unison. Awards were given, achievements recognized, and celebration ensued as the plaques revealed the winner of the year.
Saturday morning brought our final full day together with a memorable encore performance by the Leelanau Band and other acts from the summer. Our Final Council Fire brought us to our sacred hill one final time to stand together and once more “pledge each other that we’ll keep camping friendships strong and deep…till we meet again.”
Thanks to all that contributed to the amazing summer of 2017.
Senior Flag Trip, Backwoodsmen Flag Trip, New Flag Pole, the list goes on and on!
On Monday, as the Juniors and younger Seniors settled into their regular activities, the Big Boys played Pumpkin Ball and had an inspirational meeting with our Practitioner to prepare for the Senior Flag Trip. They also loaded the bus and drove to a Christian Science Lecture (with Kohahna) in Charlevoix, MI. It was a long bus ride, but worth every moment of inspiration to kick off the week.
Tuesday the Big Boys headed into the woods to begin building their structures, cooking their meals, and playing Capture the Flag.
Back at Camp the rest of the crew celebrated Christmas in July for evening activity in a manner that only a group of young boys could. J They “sledded” down the waterslide, they acted out their favorite Christmas movies, and they did the “Santa Relay” where they had to haul a laundry bag full of boxes through an obstacle course!
Wednesday the weather came to play at Camp too! The Backwoodsmen headed out for their overnight Flag Trip. The Early Birds were kings of Camp. And at around one in the afternoon the heavens opened up for the largest rain of the summer. No one was dry! The Seniors kept their fires burning and their game playing in the loud wetness. The Backwoodsmen carried on building their jails after hunkering under a tarp for worst of it. The Early Birds hunkered in their cabins before heading to see the Mud Pits churning with fresh mud!
The sun returned to dry everyone and warm everyone up by evening and the Senior Flag Trippers held an inspired church service on their hill. The Backwoodsmen persisted to play capture the flag and make dinner out their, but then came and slept on the dry floor of the lodge at bedtime.
Thursday dawned warm, dry, and bright! Thank the Father! The Early Birds and Backwoodsmen returned to their normally scheduled activities and the Senior Flag Trip was able to hold a lovely Beach Carnival and tidy up their sites in time for Final Inspection and Final Banquet.
Friday morning brought the whole Camp Family home! Reunited as a group, the Flag Trippers took an extended rest hour and rejoined Camp with enthusiasm in time for Pizza and Milkshakes! But before dinner a few burly backwoodsmen, Weldon, and Steve Bluhm worked together to bring the Brand New Camp Flag Pole! up the hill and upright in front of HQ. After a six weeks of raising and lowering the American Flag only about 16 feet each day, Camp Leelanau can now proudly hoist Ole’ Glory a full 36 feet into the air!
Friday evening the whole camp took a few reflective moments before heading to the beach for evening sailing, paddle boarding, raft play, and swimming as the sun set on Pyramid Point. A glorious end to a glorious week!
The days are long here at Leelanau, but the weeks are short!
Hearkening all the way back to the beginning of the week can be a challenge when SO much Good has gone on even in the past 24 hours!
It is time to rely on the good ole Sammy 5000 (HQ’s Computer that calculates inspection results, star totals, table assignments, and all numbers relevant to Camp Leelanau’s operations.) Let’s see what the Sammy produced this week:
Number of Campers in Argosy – 5
Number of Home Letters turned into HQ without addresses – 5
Number of Address-less Home Letters returned to Campers for Addresses – 5
Number of Address-less Home Letters returned to HQ with Addresses – 0
Number of Home Letter-less families – 5 (presumed, still compiling data)
…So that was Sunday afternoon…we promise it gets better 😉
Number of servings of Super Chicken served to the boys at the Shallows on Tuesday – 280
Number of servings the boys consumed that evening – 276
Percentage of that consumption associated with the Cabin of Shawnee – 43% (there are ten boys in Shawnee, 54 boys total, it’s a scary number.)
Number of boys that took horseback riding this week – 4
Number of daily compliments HQ received from the KOH riding counselors about the boys’ good manners, abilities to ride, and respectful attitudes in their classes – 19
Square footage of the roof of Tortuga – 400
Number of boys that helped CT’s Baxter and Jaxen utilize their newly learned roofing skills to re-roof Tortuga – 8
Number of total man-hours put into the project of reroofing Tortuga as a morning activity – 43
Number of man-hours a professional outfit would have needed – 10
Highest number of trips up and down the ladder in one day exclusively because the chalk line was dropped – 11
Number of trips that went out with their cabins on Wednesday – 6
Number of Cabins left to attend Cabin Day – 2
Number of miles Cherokee paddled across both Glen Lakes and the Crystal River – 8
Average age of Campers in Cherokee – 14
Number of miles Black Swan paddled on the Platte River – 8
Average age of Campers in Black Swan – 9
Number of Lost and Found items left at the Trips Room associated with CT Luke Anderson after the Cabin trips returned on Thursday – 13
Number of cabin trips Luke Anderson participated in – 0
(The Sammy 5000 cannot fathom nor calculate how so many of Luke’s items left his trunk and laundry bag to return to their seeming native home in the lost and found pile by the Trips Room.)
Total Number of Home Runs dinged at the Home Run Derby on Friday evening by all contestants – 66
Number of those Home Runs associated with the Derby Champion – 31
Final Score of the North/South Baseball Game on Friday Evening – 6-5 South
Number of Hotdogs consumed at the Ole Ball Game – 192
Number of Counselors Hidden for the Counselor Hunt on Saturday afternoon – 10
Number of Counselors found by the Campers – 9
Number of times Campers walked directly past Connor Goering without seeing him – 7
The thing that cannot really be quantified is the amount of growth, healing, and good that has gone on all week. The boys were delivered a challenge last Sunday at Council Fire to give more of themselves and take better care of their spaces and each other. On Thursday evening we pulled out the old songbooks and raised voices together in the dining room for thirty minutes after dinner. The spirit of Camp soared as campers connected more deeply to their legacy and expression of Soul.
We are half way through the second session and cannot wait to jump into the next two weeks with the Senior Flag Trip, Backwoodsmen Flag Trip, and many adventures and opportunities for growth looming ahead of us!
Week 4 for some, Week 1 for others; Week forwon-derful activity for everybody at Camp!!
It is hard believe the first week of the session zoomed by so quickly. Opening day began bright and fair, even a little bit of rain during cookout could not dampen the joy of Leelanau while welcoming new campers and old friends to gather in the Lodge for Council Fire.
We were out of the gates on Monday with morning activities, a Bar Exam for the 4 weekers, and Senior Bombardment all on the first day of the session.
Bright and early on Tuesday morning 6 of our oldest and boldest left camp before the cannon and drove to Canada to hike on the Coastal Trail of Lake Superior Provincial Park for 5 days. Their return Saturday at dinner brought a standing ovation from the whole dining room to celebrate their successes and adventures in the North Land.
The rest of Camp hunkered down and dug into their activities, skill building, and memory making here on Pyramid Point. Weldon led a brave crew with strong backs to rescue the raft from the waves that took it away from our beach. On Wednesday morning the heavens opened up and drenched us out of Morning Activities which created an opportunity for an All Camp tackle game of Risk (like the board game but running through the woods.)
Wednesday also found us at Hymn sing with Kohahna celebrating the New Supplement Hymnal and slogging through new hymns that few of us knew. Here at Camp Leelanau we build character in more ways than one. J
Thursday afternoon a brave group of Backwoodsmen headed down the Pine River for an overnight trip lead by CT Landon Schabes as their Instructor. They returned with large smiles on Friday after lunch and all reported that Landon had done an outstanding job!
On Friday morning the campers that weren’t on a trip signed up to either run in or cheer for our 4th Annual 5K Run and Fun Run! Both Camps gathered to cheer and run for this fun event. With CT Isaac Moothart taking the first place medal for the Campers and second place over all!
Saturday morning saw a small group of brave and talented waterskiers sneak out of bed early and go barefooting on Glen Lake, all of will be walking on water soon enough with all of the good Life that was expressed this week.
In a flash…the three-week session comes to an end.
It is hard to believe three weeks can go so fast.
This final week of the session probably felt so fleeting because of all the good, wholesome, and enriching activity that took place.
A few highlights from the week include:
Jr. Bombardment Monday Night, with Sunset Soap Dips! While the Seniors played E.T. Ball on the field, the Juniors worked hard to swing those dodge balls over the net towards each other. It is fun to see the progress from Week One Bombardment to Week Three, with improved sportsmanship, poise, and competency among all of the youngsters.
Fourth of July!! Camp had a BLAST as both Kohahna and Leelanau revolted against the King and Queen of England (Weldon and Pippi) and brought them down with dodge balls and archery tag arrows from the top of the climbing tower. We marched in the Glen Arbor Parade. We played games on the soccer field. We spun sparklers and ate s’mores!
Bringing home the CTs was another highlight of the week. All eight young men returned from Canada on Friday with large grins, a huge sense of accomplishment, a few mosquito bites, a greater sense of brotherhood, and a heightened reliance on God. They also had all five very muddy canoes and incredibly smelly clothes. J
On Thursday evening the whole boys Camp climbed into the Big Blue Bus for an evening of Water Polo and Dunes! The big boys knocked into each other at the Shallows, while the young ones flew up and down the Frontside of the Dunes. At showers that night every nook and cranny was de-sanded and the Junior Shower floors looked like a beach!
Cabin Day was another huge highlight for all of the Campers as we sent Shawnee sailing on Glen Lake, Cherokee biking at the VASA Trails, Iroquois Jumping off the Dock at Empire, Barbados spinning on the merri-go-round at Old Settler’s Park, Argosy and Black Swan swimming in Otter Creek, and Shoshonis sneaking around stealing a dip at every other Cabin’s locations!
On the topic of Wednesday our evening testimony was like a game of “Whack-A-Mole!” The kids were popping up with testimonies so fast the Reader barely had time to say “Thank You.” It’s a good problem to have when a Camp is filled with so many healings and expressions of gratitude from the Campers!
The Week came to a wonderful and meaningful conclusion on Friday evening as the boys gathered and shared their Funny Awards with each other. There were some tender, hilarious, and deeply moving moments shared that filled the Three Weekers up full with a sense of love, brotherhood, and willingness to head back into the world and set the example for others all around them.
We love our Three Week Campers and cannot wait to see them here again next summer. In the mean time we are ready and raring to go for the Four Week Campers to arrive!
A different way to look at the week in review is to dig into HQ’s Sammy 5000 and take a look at the numbers it produced throughout the week.
53 – Flags North Juniors scored on Monday afternoon at the Junior Flag Trip.
47 – Flags South Juniors scored on Monday afternoon.
89 – Smores consumed after the Junior Flag Trip was completed. (there were only 15 Juniors, and 3 counselors out there that night, but 8 CTs including Baxter “Hollow-Leg” Fuhrmann himself.)
-4 – Josh Miller’s score at Frisbee golf when he hosted the Senior section at Myles Kimmerly Park.
+73 – Number of hotdogs, brats and kielbasas the Seniors consumed after Frisbee Golf.
8:13 – The time the Juniors were in bed on Tuesday evening because the Junior Flag Trip took it out of them.
6.2 – Hours in the van for the folks that drove up to Pictured Rocks on Monday to begin their Hiking and Kayaking Trips.
.2 – Hours that William Johnson stayed awake during that van ride.
5.4- Inches of rain we received throughout Wednesday, inspiring us to cancel Cabin Day in favor of playing Human Stratego as a whole Camp.
2 – Number of horses that escaped their corral while we were playing Human Stratego and began eating the grass on the Soccer Field.
23 – Average number of seconds we waited between testimonies during our Wednesday Evening Service. (Weldon found this to be too long and proceeded to teach a lesson on giving gratitude and seeing the service as an opportunity to give of yourself.)
5 – Number of Lake Trout the kids reeled in during Charter Fishing on Thursday.
1 – Number of Lake Trout that got away. L
1 – Number of standing ovations following William Smith’s a cappella rendition of Hallelujah. (Amazing!!)
15 – Number of times Porter Kendall made us all crack up during our North-South competitive comedy and talent show.
1 – Number of weeks left in the session and the pedal is already to the metal. We are looking forward to one final amazing week with these kids!
KaBOOM and Camp is in Session! Holy Cow has the first week flown right by!
Sunday drop-off is like Christmas Morning for the Leelanau Crib Team. All of those full trunks and duffle bags carry a whole lot more than a summer’s worth of underpants. They carry expectation of challenge, adventure, friendship, fun, and growth!
Monday we kicked things off with a spirited trip to Bar Lake for our Annual Bar Exam. The swim test was administered in a more efficient manner and left with most of the Camp achieving their level three. We have a few Early Bird sinkers, but once the water warms up our Swimming Counselor will happily remedy that situation.
Tuesday found us at the Shallows for a Picnic Dinner of Super Chicken and Watermelon. One of the goals we always set for both the Campers and Counselors is that we all know each other’s names by the end of the evening Tuesday. Boy, oh boy did some of the fellows have to really work on those names before they could fill their plate with dinner that night.
Wednesday is Cabin Day! After lunch on Wednesday each cabin gets to head somewhere nearby with just their crew and create memories with their peers. We had cabins tubing on Glen Lake, canoeing the Crystal River, jumping off the dock at Empire Beach, and sledding down Sand Dunes at the Backside. We all returned for an inspired Church Service at our new Meadow Overlook, and a hymn sing with KOH.
Thursday threatened to be the first “normal” day of Camp from a dawn to dusk schedule perspective. However Mother Nature had other plans, and while all of our activities carried forward without a hitch, the rain chased us away from beach period and encouraged us to eat dinner early with our sisters in Kohahna. A lovely family atmosphere filled the Greathouse as we shared our Chicken Nuggets and TaterTots.
Friday actually landed upon a sense of routine to Camp, with Morning Activities wrapping up, Afternoon Activities fully functional, Beach Period in action, and (perhaps most important of all…) Pizza and Milkshakes as our Friday Night Dinner!
Saturday turned “normal” schedule right on it’s head as we rotated in the morning between Camp Service Projects, played Hunger Games in the afternoon, and Saturday Night Soccer in the Evening.
Needless to say, it was a full and wonderful first week of Camp. At Council Fire Sunday Night Weldon asked all of the boys to reflect on the accomplishments of the past week and set a specific goal for the week ahead. Whether it is achieving a higher level in an activity or becoming a better friend, we can always continue to make progress and grow from our amazing summer experiences.
Until next week…
The Men of HQ
Director’s Note: I figure the Leelanau Parent’s must think Camp is the best bargain around considering how much they are likely saving on their grocery bill this summer, because the boys truly pack it away at each meal! J -Weldon
The final week of Camp certainly went out with a Bang! While most folks only remember blurs of whites, banquets, awards, and Council Fire, a whole lot of other things happened along the way.
On Monday half of the Camp was able to participate in a Northern Michigan essential activity…Cherry Picking! Weldon insisted that wandering through an orchard with a ball cap and best friends, collecting cherries, munching as you go, and throwing a stick at hard to reach ruby red treasures is a mandatory activity for a young man that spends his summer in Northern Michigan. So we made it happen!
We also took the whole Camp to the Backside of the Dunes that night to play a hearty game of Dune Football.
On Tuesday the Seniors had their final opportunity for Water Polo at the Shallows, and the Juniors played their final game of Bombardment for the summer. The lessons of Sportsmanship and Great Effort were put into practice at both these events!
Wednesday brought us to our final On Camp Cabin Days and each Cabin found unique opportunities to connect and work together one more time. Some use the Ropes Course, some headed to Pyramid Point, and some found our beach and raft a delightful medium for joyous play and memory making.
On Wednesday evening we gathered in our New Church spot with an inspired view of Lake Michigan and the Port Oneida Farms for our final Testimony meeting. The boys were popping up left and right to share their gratitude for Camp and tell us about healings they experienced this summer.
Thursday truly brought the beginning of the end for Leelanau’s Summer 2016 as we celebrated each other by exchanging Funny Awards around the fire. We all laughed hard at a few awards, and were touched deeply by others. At the end of the evening Weldon stood up and asked the Camp what they had learned this summer and what were they grateful for. The answers to these questions were sincere, inspired, and thoughtful as the young men reflected on their past four or seven weeks spent with their brothers.
Friday brought final banquet with all of the pomp, circumstance, and achievement recognition that goes into that evening. Again, the fellows responded well to the event and held their heads high as they marched across the Great Lawn.
Saturday we welcomed the parents to enjoy our morning activities with us. In the afternoon they got to witness how well Kohahna sings and dances and how well Leelanau makes beds and wrestles with each other. We also had the Leelanau Band bring down the house with their rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” In the final game of the L.I.F.E. Tournament the Blue Team came away victorious. At our Final Council Fire the fellows truly felt the bond and connection of brothers as we gathered in the Friendship Circle for the last time of the summer.
It was an amazing summer of growth, learning, achievement, and healing and we are already chomping at the bit for next summer to arrive!
Weldon is all talk. He promised HQ and the Counselors that this was going to be a “Normal Week of Camp”. He claimed it would be the most normal of all the weeks. No Flag Trip, no Final Events, just straightforward and smooth sailing normal.
Well….if going nonstop, gangbusters, full throttle, chock full of special activities and opportunities, memorable moments a mile a minute is normal…then Weldon is dead on accurate.
Water polo! The whole Camp headed to the Shallows to tackle with love and run through the water making plays and playing hard. Even the Early Birds got in on their own “Half Court Polo” where they learned the spirit of one of Leelanau’s favorite games.
Trips! Tortuga took a Cabin Trip. The Pine River Trip went out. Ten full sized fellows went to the Upper Peninsula for Rock Climbing. Five fellows completed their Advanced Outdoorsman Solos.
Music! John Van Patten joined us this week to share his talent for teaching and love of music. Every afternoon he led afternoon activities called “Make a Joyful Noise”, “Bang on Things!”, “Bring the Funk”, or “Sounds Around Camp.” And every afternoon different folks had the opportunity to build a piano out of dishes, or create a drum circle with trash cans and ladders, or something else totally inspired and musical. He also took a van full of folks down to Interlochen Center for the Arts to hear professional musicians share their craft.
CT Take Over! The Counselor Trainees took the reigns from HQ for a whole day. They blew off the cannon, rang the bells, signed kids up for activities, brought “Order to the Court” at the Head Table, and designed evening activities for the whole Camp. They all did a great job and got a taste for the work that may be ahead of them in future summers.
Healings! Testimonies abounded at Wednesday Testimony Meeting. Eagles Nest has been lifting thought all over Camp this week. Our amazing Christian Science Nurse and Practitioner have been guiding the boys in their spiritual pursuits and allowing thought to stir towards the Divine this week. We sure can’t thank those two enough for the love they share with Leelanau.
Backwards Day! That is correct, we did everything backwards all day on Wednesday. We began the day with Hymn Sing and Church and ended the evening with Dips and the Cannon. It was a confusing, exciting, and very fun way to shake up the Camp Routine.
As stated above, if Camp is about pushing perceived boundaries, giving your all in the name of selflessness and community living, and finding ways to Love nonstop, then Camp Leelanau had its Most Normal of all Weeks because we did those things to the Max this Week!
From the Desk of HQ
When counselors and campers return at the beginning of the summer, it is so apparent that they have returned to a place they consider to be a second home.