What a glorious third week of camp it was! We had so many highlights it’s hard to just name a few! With the CTs back in camp from their CT trip during the second week of camp, it was fun to have their leadership during activities and in the cabins. The campers loved having the CTs move into cabins, and we had CTs in Stardust, Driftwood, Falling Star, and Juniper!
We had one big trip out this week, Pictured Rocks. Several Wildwood campers had the opportunity to hike through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on the coast of Lake Superior. The trip left on Monday and returned home Thursday in time to celebrate 3/4ths July (more details on that celebration to follow). Back home, here at Kohahna, we made sure to have a week full of fun, growth, and a sense of completion to aspects of activity life, cabin life, and summer theme topics! On Monday evening we had a Pine vs. Sand soccer game that was competitive, supportive, and lighthearted. The Pine team was the first to score, with the Sand team capably following up, and ultimately winning the match 4-3.
On Tuesday we had our famed game of Superlatives where both teams had the opportunity to compete for things such as: which team has the girl with the longest hair, which team has the camper who can tell the funniest joke, make the funniest face, came from the farthest distance, has the best impersonation of a counselor, and so forth! It’s always a highlight for the girls, and a great way to show off the many talents of the Sand and Pine teams!
Wednesday brought rain and cool temperatures in the morning, but the sun broke through for an extra special off camp cabin day! We had campers travel to Leland, Glen Arbor, and even one that stayed at camp for an on camp adventure! The evening brought another lovely church service, testimony meeting and hymn sing! Many campers and counselors shared healings and remarks on Christian Science that served as inspiration for all.
All week long we did regular morning activities, and with so many girls trying to wrap up level passing, it seemed only right to continue that! So Thursday morning, we opened our flag raising ceremony with the passing out of Red, White, and Blue necklaces in honor of 3/4ths July (the name we gave to the celebration of the 4th of July on the 3rd of July!). We then had a “normal morning” which included regular morning activities. At noon everything turned celebratory with the start of a picnic lunch. Following lunch and rest hour, both Leelanau and Kohahna joined together on the soccer field for an afternoon of holiday fun! We had face painting, pony rides, fire building competitions (who could build a fire fastest and burn through a twine tied together on two sticks above the fire), hula hooping and patriotic song singing, water balloon tossing, and an obstacle course! After these events, we all went down to the beach for a patriotic sand castle building competition and a paddle board relay race – so much fun! We had another cook out dinner with both camps together followed by an extra long game of elbow tag! The Seniors and the Wildwoods went off to Pyramid Point and the Sand Bowl for a hike, a sunset viewing, and some gratitude sharing! The Waukeenas and Juniors went down to the camp beach to play tag, have a bonfire, roast marshmallows, do sparklers, and just generally enjoy the beautiful beach and warm weather. All in all the day was hugely successful and lots of fun! We loved the novelty of 3/4th July!
Friday was final day of the three week session, so we made it the best! Morning activities were a success once again, and everyone was able to wrap up projects and level passing! We also had our three week Dance/Drama/Art show where the visual arts were beautifully displayed. Three dances from dance class were performed, one drama scene, and all the ceramics, silversmithing, and arts & crafts projects were all laid out down in the Art Room. Following the show, we had a packing party in the cabins, which led into preparation for our three week Final Banquet. At the banquet, we had a delicious dinner, which was topped off with the ever favorite dessert – mamma spatch (Brownie base, vanilla ice cream layer, Oreos or M&Ms, or some variety of candy topping). At the banquet we gave out a series of awards – honor cabin, longevity awards, K-Girl, Sportsmanship balls, and so forth! We also played our slideshow and remarks were made to close up thoughts on the summer theme. Lastly, we went to the Pine Forest to have our Pine Bough ceremony where each camper is given the opportunity to share gratitude! It’s a beautiful way to wrap up the summer and the evening in general! So much good is always expressed and it is evident that there is an abundance of love and gratitude for family, for camp, for the sisterhood here at Kohahna, and for God!
To wrap up the ideas of the summer theme, we shared in the three week session that “Bringing the Fun” is the recognition of spiritual joy; living it and safeguarding it! We covered two specific elements of the theme which were patience and forgiveness. In the coming weeks we will talk about gratefulness, obedience, and selflessness as three other elements to living with spiritual joy! It was truly a three week session of immense beauty and blessings, and Kohahna girls have grown that much more, become more confident and aware, and are ready to bring the fun when they head back home too!
A little rain and gloomy weather never stopped a Kohahna girl from having fun, but we certainly were grateful to have our second week here at camp filled with sunshine and warmth! It was a big week at Kohahna and a big week out on the trial with two trips out, including the week long CT (Counselor Training trip) and the Nordhouse dunes trip. More details on the trip later on, but first let’s review our successes and fun at camp! We kicked off the week with an evening activity of a Counselor Hunt, headed by the secret society of ninjas! In this evening activity, every counselor was a ninja, lost from the great ninja tribe. The goal for the campers was to find counselors hidden in various locations around camp by decrypting a map that had been drawn in riddles. Some counselors were hidden in trees, some were hidden in the pine forest, some could be seen rolling down the great lawn, and fun was had by all of our Kohahna ninjas! The campers successfully found all of the counselors and succeeded in their mission to decript the secret key, and complete the “connect the dot” Kohahna logo!
Tuesday, Kohahna campers enjoyed polishing up their knowledge of their cabinmates and proving their the depth of it in the Newlywed Game! The Newlywed Game is set up for our purposes by having one member of each cabin answer a series of questions separate from the rest of the campers, while their cabinmates try to figure out how they would answer. Questions include, color of hairbrush, number of siblings, type of pets, favorite dessert at camp, and so forth. Each camper gets a turn to answer questions, and at the end, four cabins tied with the hightest score of 25 correct in total!
Wednesday brought about a lovely on camp cabin day with plenty of cabin bonding. We had zip linging, we had cookie baking, we had play time at the playground, we had a game of paint Twister (don’t worry mom, its washable!), and so much more! Wednesday evening was another lovely church service replete with several camper and counselor testimonies. Seeing that the CTs were on their trip this week, they weren’t there to read, so we had a counselor stand in!
On Thursday, Kohahna enjoyed a game of Poz Dog on the beach. After each camper got decked out in her team colors and headed down the beach steps, the beach area was divided into a Sand and Pine side. Each team was given a football that they must protect. Campers crossed to the other team’s side in order to attempt to get the football, but ran the risk of being tagged and sent to jail by the other team. The Pine team scored the only point that night, but leadership and joyfulness were seen expressed by older and younger campers alike. The competition was pure and filled with examples of loving sportsmanship, and each sandy child left the beach with a smile on her face!
Friday evening brought us a wonderful game of Capture the Flag in our back meadow and woods here at camp! No flags were captured, but all the campers loved the adventure, the teamwork, and the beautiful surroundings! Saturday morning, we introduced the coming week’s quality for the summer theme which is forgiveness. In brief, we acknowledged that forgiveness is freedom! It is freedom for you, for the other person or the situation, and it helps us “bring the fun” as we become more aware of spiritual joy in every situation, no matter how difficult!
Afternoon activities this week included extreme hula hooping, where campers speed hooped in various places around camp such as cookout, the beach, and pine forest. Traveling dance party was also offered; an activity where campers put on their wildest costumes and performed dance mobs for passersby. During another afternoon activity, campers were able to take a hike to the meadow and make crowns out of wildflowers as gifts for their pinecone pals and friends, or simply for a fashion statement! This brings us to pinecone pals, one of our favorite traditions at camp. Campers selected a name of another camper out of a hat at counsel fire and from then on were designated a pinecone pal, for whom each young woman would make gifts out of nature, or arts and crafts supplies, or out of our favorite material…or non-material material if you know what I mean…spiritual inspiration! This past Sunday at counsel fire, we did the traditional revealing of the PCP’s or pine-cone pals. As always, it was a wonderful way to remember to selflessly give and is a fun tradition that brightens the spirits of campers and reminds us that we are all cherished and loved!
This week has also been a week of wonderful trips! What would camp be without the camping after all? Our trips counselors led a trip to a new and exciting location, the Nordhouse dunes, a trip which two campers had the opportunity to quartermaster (lead the trip and work on earning levels). It was a great opportunity for younger campers to express their leadership and develop a deeper appreciation and love for the woods. Also, our CT’s took out a five day trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where they canoed the Manistique river, shared many laughs, cooked good trail food, fought off the bugs, and returned feeling successful, and more united as a CT group! We are so grateful to have them back in camp!
In the coming week, we have much to look forward to in wrapping up our three week session. It has gone by so quickly, but we certainly have learned a lot, and truly brought the fun!!
The phrase “Bring the Fun” echoed throughout Kohahna this week as we introduced it as our summer theme and kicked off the start of our 7 weeks of camping in true camp form- with love, joy, and enthusiasm. It was a week of firsts for everyone (first activities, first cabin day, first church service etc.) With over a dozen new campers and plenty of familiar faces returning, we’ve really made sure to get the routine of Kohahna camp life down and develop a comfortable sense of all that it means to be a Kohahna woman of substance!
Monday began with the old familiar swim test, which took place at beautiful Bar Lake! The trip to Bar Lake means everyone’s first opportunity to ride on the Big Blue bus which means singing camp songs galore!! Our afternoon on Monday included specific cabin bonding time so that all campers could establish both personal goals and cabin goals as well as determine a cabin contract (agreed upon guidelines for cabin conduct to promote cabin harmony!). Upon completing these things, the campers played “get to know you” games and had fun adventuring around the camp property. Monday evening brought us to a picture perfect evening up at Pyramid Point and the Sand Bowl with sunny skies, warmth, and a serene view of Lake Michigan! It was a wonderful first full day of camp!
Tuesday was the start of our regular routine of morning activities, which were announced at breakfast as always. Counselors were primed and ready to begin teaching activities after a pre-camp week of preparation, set up, and curriculum planning. So, activities went off without a hitch….except for the rain! Good thing the counselors come equipped with rain plans! Despite the rain, this week’s Morning Activities were replete with all of our favorite land, water, and art activities. Highlights included care and riding in the horse barn; silver, ceramic, and crafty art projects galore; Riflrey and archery students hitting the targets, and again, plenty of indoor instruction in activities that may have been affected by the rain. Our first Sand vs. Pine “team game” occurred on Tuesday evening as we played Bombardment! The Sands were victorious during the camper games, but fortunately the Sky Team was able to pull out the win during the camper vs. counselor game! Captains were also elected for the Sand team and for the Pine team.
Wednesday was our first Cabin Day and all but one cabin ventured into Glen Arbor! Many cabins partook in delicious Cherry Republic ice cream cones, additionally; several younger cabins played at the playground in Glen Arbor, the cabin of Birchview went to the “jumping spot” at the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and ran up and down the dunes and hills! Breezeway did some “minute to win it challenges” which ended in lots of laughter and some rather hilarious videos, Juniper and Evergreen dressed up in costumes and completed a scavenger hunt, and the cabin of Clifftop went adventuring in the town of Leland.
On Wednesday evening, we had our camp church service, testimony meeting, and then hymn sing. Kohahna CTs (counselors in training) have the opportunity to prepare readings throughout the summer, and we certainly enjoyed our first set of readings about spiritual beauty and identity. Our testimony meeting offered several campers and counselors the opportunity to share testimonies which were all greatly appreciated.
Thursday was another beautiful day complete with morning and afternoon activities, and delicious meals. Now, you might ask, what did we do for afternoon activities? Well, campers had the opportunity to venture to the clay pits, bike ride down Port Oneida, beautify the barn and play with the horses, test their balance with stand-up paddle boarding, partake in fort building, create miniature fairy houses in the woods, make post cards to send home with water color painting, and learn to draw and write graphic cartoons! Campers each get to sign up for one afternoon activity per day, which always keeps activities fun and fresh and specialized for each camper’s individual interests. On Thursday evening, two of our cabins, Windward and Clifftop (the 7th and 8th graders) went out for an overnight trip of learning woodswoman skills and doing “Challenge” prep. The Challenge is a competitive camping trip for Wildwood campers that happen in the 4 week session, so this 7th and 8th graders trip served as a special opportunity for these campers to hone some of their skills in preparation for future Challenge trips. In addition to this camping trip, our other remaining Wildwood cabins attended a Christian Science Lecture in Glen Arbor given by Kari Mashos, CSB. The Waukeena campers helped save the lost queen fairy of Kohahna and each received their very own fairy name! Friday was a rainy day, made better by hot cocoa in the Great House as well as cabin skits (brown bag style). Each cabin was assigned a list of things to include in their skits, and then they each creatively put together a scene with the included items.
On Saturday morning, we had our first summer theme metaphysical meeting where we again discussed the topic of spiritual joy as the overarching concept to “Bring the Fun”. Our particular quality focus this coming week is patience, and in our metaphysical the campers learned about the virtue of patience as it relates to their personal life, healing, and in their thoughts towards others. After the metaphysical, we had our all camp cleanup! This lengthy cleanup process allowed time for the campers to get all their personal things in order as well as cleaning the cabin. It also allowed the counselors the opportunity to meet one-on-one with each camper in their cabin. In the afternoon, we did a wrap up of Week 1 morning activities to give the campers a full five days of participation in their selected activity. At this point, it’s relevant to share that all week long the Pine team had been secretly preparing for their Pine show which took place on Saturday evening. The theme was, “The Pine Circus” where the team captain lead the Pine team circus acts (the bearded lady, animals, magicians, acrobats, tight rope walker, and various other acts all played by pine campers) to perform a show for camp Kohahna for girls! It was a very well done and creative show and the girls have a lot to be proud of!
Sunday was replete with all of our favorite Sunday activities- donuts for breakfast, Sunday school, All camp photo day, our very own cultural celebration with the World Cup activity for both Leelanau and Kohahna, a cook-out dinner on the bluff, and then of course Council Fire! We had a lot of fun up at Council Fire learning about the activities of the week, the K-qualities (specifically Leadership), singing songs, playing Pine vs. Sand games, passing out awards, and just bringing the fun in general. It was a joy to ring in the summer with so many wonderful camp Kohahna campers and staff and we are already underway with the fun of week two!
Fifth week of camp brought unusually high temperatures, allowing us to take advantage of our greatest resource – Lake Michigan! We had a Beach Bonanza Sunday afternoon that had campers swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, sand castle building, and just enjoying every possible aspect of the water!
Our Sunday evening Council Fire focused on confidence in accord with our “There is Enough” theme. We also introduced campers chosen for The Challenge, an annual competitive camping trip between the senior Pines and Sands.
Our afternoon activities throughout the week featured many water activities, including synchronized swimming, beach volleyball, kayaking, and beach hikes.
Monday evening we played Poz Dog, a camp favorite similar to dune football that allows us to play on the sand and in the water. Tuesday evening featured a fairy party for the Waukeena campers and a beach bonfire for our Wildwood campers.
On Wednesday morning we bid goodbye to our Challenge girls and enjoyed an on-camp cabin day. The girls got to participate in the high ropes course, tie-dying clothes, cooking in the kitchen, playing on the water trampoline, and enjoying the beach. We ended the day with Wednesday night church and hymn sing as usual.
Our time at the beach continued on Thursday as we experienced more hot weather, with paddle boarding, windsurfing, and dipping among the afternoon activities. Thursday evening we enjoyed a counselor fashion show where campers dressed their counselors in outrageous outfits. Friday while the Challenge girls were away, we enjoyed a modified game of Capture the Flag with the smaller group of campers that remained on camp.
Our campers enjoyed several unique trip experiences this week – two treasure hunt trips and an art explosion trip. These overnight experiences give campers the opportunity to experience some different activities near camp. Our treasure hunters followed clues and a map to find their eventual camping location and dinner, and art explosion campers enjoyed sketching, painting, and writing in a beautiful area near camp with a camp-out afterwards.
Saturday morning we worked to tidy up our cabins and welcomed our Challenge campers home. We’re grateful that everyone is back in camp again, and looking forward to an amazing last two weeks of camp!
What an exciting opening day of camp! After a long school year dreaming of dips in the lake and climbs on the dunes, excited campers leapt out of cars and into a wonderful summer at Kohahna.
After getting settled into cabins and eating at Cookout, we had our first Council Fire. Campers learned about this summer’s theme, Living Love, which is based on Henry Drummond’s The Greatest Thing in the World. We also had a special visit from Princess Kohahna, who assigned each new camper to either the Pine or Sand team.
On Monday morning, we held our swimming proficiency test at Bar Lake. After lunch, campers had time to bond as a cabin, to set goals for the summer, and to establish a cabin contract. In the evening, we played Lawn Games, including a new favorite, Shipwreck!
The next day, campers jumped into their first week of Morning Activities, which included Ceramics, Sailing, Horseback Riding, Nature, Archery, Silversmithing, Drama, and more. Throughout the week, campers enjoyed a variety of Afternoon Activities – from Charades and Headband-Making to Initiatives and Ultimate Frisbee. One group took a hike to Pyramid Point and even saw an otter playing in Lake Michigan!
For Cabin Day on Wednesday afternoon, each cabin partook in a fun activity. Imaginative endeavors included making happiness journals, decorating cakes, playing with horses, and having a Fairy Tea Party!
During the evenings, campers got creative with their Lip Sync dances and Brown Bag skits. The Pines and Sands showed their team spirit during Three-legged Kickball, Bombardment, and Capture the Flag. One evening, our older campers attended an inspiring Christian Science lecture by John Q. Adams, CSB. A few campers got to enjoy another special treat: a Three Men and a Tenor concert at a nearby farm.
Overall, we had a wonderful first week! Despite a few rainy days, camp activities were as energetic and fun-filled as ever. This week we are looking forward to an off-camp Cabin Day, trips to the Porcupine Mountains (CTs only) and North Manitou, and some sunnier days!
The camping season has begun, and the staff could not be more excited. After 9 days of training, orientation, and set-up during pre-camp, the Kohahna team is primed for an amazing summer full of fun, love, leadership, and growth.
After a delicious meal on Friday night, the Kohahna Sky team made their way over to our brand new zip line to try out our newest addition to camp! Everyone went down with success, and it was a great exercise to kick off the summer with. Following the zip line adventures, we headed over to the camp fire ring to roast marshmallows and to talk about our summer theme- Living Love! The theme is derived in part from Henry Drummond’s text, The Greatest Thing in the World, which takes readers on a “walk with love”!
Pre-camp week continued with a slew of preparatory meetings focused on activities, cabin life, metaphysics, teaching Quiet Time and Sunday School, and all of our special events for the kids! We also enjoyed hiking the dunes, singing songs, performing skits, playing Bombardment, going to church (twice) in Glen Arbor, hosting the local community for an ice cream social in the Leelanau Lodge, having a staff cook-out on the bluffs, playing in the ropes course and on the climbing wall, and playing some Dune Football with both staffs!
Our week rounded out nicely with a final metaphysical meeting put together by our practitioners Carla Stillman, CS, and Mark McCurties, CS. Touching on many stories from the Bible and how they apply to situations at camp, the staff really enjoyed absorbing information that will help then share their love of Christian Science with the campers over the summer. We also read excerpts from the We Knew Mary Baker Eddy series, which helped us learn more about our leader, Mary Baker Eddy, and all the leadership qualities she mastered and expressed. The impressive list was helpful for all who attended!
After much staff bonding (with both with the girls exclusively and with our brother-camp Leelanau), the staff was ready for the campers to arrive come Sunday morning. Opening day is always a whirlwind of excitement, and this day was no different! We welcomed 15 new campers to Kohahna with open arms, and greeted all of our treasured returning campers as well. With bright smiling faces on campers and counselors alike, we have already had a successful Council Fire, swim test, and first day of morning, afternoon, and evening activities! Be sure to check out our pictures online, and you will be hearing from the staff soon!
What a great first week! The sound of the Monday morning bell sent suited campers young and old down to the lake for the first dip of the summer! From day one Kohahna ladies began to fall into the usual routine of camp. After Dips, we had a delicious pancake breakfast, followed by our daily half hour of Quiet Time to study the Bible Lesson. Then, all the campers and counselors participated in another first of the summer: Cabin Clean-Up! After bed-making, sweeping, and straightening, everyone was finally ready for the morning’s big Swim Test. We packed up the big blue bus and headed out to Bar Lake for some fun in the sun.
During the Swim Test, campers attempt to pass requirements that allow them to participate in various water sports. Campers float, tread, and swim for endurance with their cabinmates. When the test was over, the girls headed back to camp for beach orientation and lunch. After our daily rest hour, everyone had Cabin Time to make Cabin Contracts and personal goals. It was a fruitful afternoon filled with giggles and serious talks about personal growth. Then, more water fun! Everyone went down to our beautiful beach to enjoy the surf and sand. After dinner camp had its first Evening Activity. Each cabin performed a “Brown Bag Skit,” meaning each cabin performed a little skit that incorporated a list of items like “a nalgene water bottle” and “a stuffed animal.” We definitely saw how creative Kohahna ladies are as we watched and laughed along with each skit. It was a long and fulfilling day, so the kids were asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow.
By Tuesday camp was going full swing. Campers set out for their morning activities ranging from making rings in Silversmithing to pond study in Nature class to Canoeing on Lake Michigan. In the afternoon campers signed up for various activities including hiking, waterskiing, biking, kite-flying, and horseback riding.
Tuesday night was very exciting! First-year campers found out their new team during a ceremony on the tennis courts followed by a rousing game of Bombardment (Kohahna’s version of dodgeball)! We welcomed our new Sands and Pines eagerly, and each team played well and had a blast! In the last game of the night the Counselor “Sky” Team took on the whole camp! After the activity teams got together to vote for new Waukeena and Wildwood team captains. The girls went to bed with team spirit on their minds.
Wednesday was our first Cabin Day! Cabins split up all over the Maple City area enjoying fun activities. Most of the Waukeena section spent the day seeing the sites in Glen Arbor, while Shorewood had a relaxing day in Leland, and Windward went Empire-ward. The CTs enjoyed a huge “dip-a-thon” trying to jump in as many lakes as possible in one afternoon!
Wednesday night was our first church service. One of our CTs prepared delightful readings on the Christly bonds of friendship. It is so beautiful to hear campers’ and counselors’ testimonies from the past year. There has obviously been much growth over the school year! Some girls even gave testimonies about healings that had already happened at camp! Leelanau came down from their service and joined us for a hymn sing. The Great Room was absolutely filled with the beautiful harmony of young Christian Scientists. At the end of the night, we circled up, sang “Shepherd Show Me” to the tune of “Edelweiss,” the Doxology, and Taps as is tradition.
Thursday was another great day of activities, and at night we had a special treat! The whole camp played lawn games and Kick the Can in the Pine Forest, and the high school girls had the opportunity to hear the camp practitioner give a Christian Science lecture in Glen Arbor. Friday all the cabins cozied up to play The Newlywed Game to test how well girls have gotten to know their cabinmates within the first week of camp!
Saturday began as usual, but instead of morning activities, all of camp was abuzz with Saturday Clean-Up. Our big winner of Saturday inspection was Windward! However, Honor Cabin for the first week of camp went to Gull’s Nest in the Waukeena section and Birchview in the Wildwood section! Saturday afternoon all of camp went ice skating in Traverse City! It was so much fun for every age, and a great opportunity for the different sections to blend in one activity. The Wildwoods helped Waukeenas get comfortable on skates, and the Waukeenas inspired many of the Wildwood girls to express unconditional youthful joy.
We were all pretty tuckered out from our busy day, so we had a rest hour and a relaxing beach period before dinner. At night a group of campers went to local a capella concert near camp while the rest of the campers split into Pines and Sands to participate in a counselor hunt. What a busy week! Our Sunday sleep-in was much appreciated.
Campers had Sunday School, book-marking time, and lunch before finding out that their afternoon would be spent participating in a camp-style version of the World Cup with Leelanau! Groups of boys and girls representing various countries of the world spent all afternoon playing silly versions of soccer and participating in other challenges. We all dipped and headed to Cook-Out ready for Council Fire.
This week’s quality feeding into the summer theme of The Real Me was Creativity. At Council Fire, a few counselors told stories involving creativity. One noted that creativity is found in nature using the raccoon and its craftiness as an example. Another counselor noted that creativity involves remembering that we always have the choice to see new perspectives. To flex our creative muscles, the team challenge was an impromptu dance competition between Pines and Sands. In the end, we wanted the campers to remember that while creativity is sometimes only thought of as zany and spunky, the greatest creative achievements come from having many perspectives and the mindset to make improvements on something old. We challenged the girls to consider these questions: “Am I listening to others? Am I learning all I can? Am I viewing my situations from many perspectives?” Only when the answers are all yes are we truly giving ourselves the most opportunity to be creative. We look forward to seeing creativity in camp this week!
The counseling staff has been very busy in the past weeks planning, meeting, cleaning, and setting up. But, finally, Pre-Camp has come to an end—the campers are here!
We couldn’t have asked for a better Opening Day. The sun came up into a brilliant blue sky as the families came rolling in. Campers old and new leapt from backseats to greet their counselors and cabinmates, while alumni reconnected and joyfully recalled their camp days. Girls set up their corners and enjoyed the delicious annual buffet lunch provided by our kitchen. Since the weather was so grand, almost every cabin spent the afternoon at our beach catching up on the sand or playing games in the lake.
For dinner we had Cook-Out with our Leelanau brothers for the first time ever at the brand new Leelanau Lodge. The change of scenery was a fresh way to start the summer for our veteran campers. We all enjoyed our barbeque dinner on picnic tables adjacent to the soccer field, so when dinner was over, there was plenty of space for Elbow Tag and Frisbee.
The first evening of camp is always spent at Council Fire. As usual, we asked the girls to silently reflect on the past year while making their first Sunday walk up the forest trails. At Council Fire we asked everyone to introduce herself to the circle, and we had every cabin make up a cabin cheer. The cheers were hilarious, ranging from Driftwood’s rap to Breezeway’s interpretative dance. Counselors introduced themselves with skits about their activities, and all of camp sang the classic Council Fire songs “All the Greenwooded Trees” and “I Know a Place.” At the end of the evening we announced this year’s summer theme: “The Real Me”. In addition to campers striving to express the seven K-Qualities, this summer we will be sharing lessons about qualities that make up the Kohahna woman’s inner self. This week’s quality was forgiveness. We heard a CT presentation and learned about the importance of self-forgiveness as well as how stifling it is for an individual to hold a grudge. Our director, Sue Pierce, shared remarks on forgiveness, and all of camp participated in an exercise thinking about who we need to forgive and who we need to ask forgiveness from in our lives.
We closed the night by singing the Kohahna Hymn and heading back down to camp. After tuck-ins the counselors sang the campers to sleep as a gorgeous pink sunset lit up the sky above Lake Michigan and the Manitous—a sign of the excellent summer to come.
For over ten years I have enjoyed the beauty of Kohahna, Leelanau and the surrounding areas in the summer months exclusively. I am happy to report that now that I live at camp year round, I have had the opportunity to enjoy all of the seasons! The fall was a flurry of activity including several weeks working on the LOC staff and serving as Director of a fruitful Harvest Weekend. Winter also included a LOC season and was beautiful with frequent fresh snow. Now spring has definitely sprung, and that means that summer camp is just around the corner! Up here at Pyramid Point we are all preparing for our campers and families to arrive! We love to welcome faces new and old as cars round the corner on Port Oneida and we share again the familiar sights and sounds of our dearest home; Camp Kohahna.
Speaking of welcoming, I have had the pleasure of traveling across the country for camp shows this past winter, and being welcomed into the homes of numerous camp families! Starting in January in the Chicagoland area, the Eichar family put on a lovely and well attended show for us. The following weekend I stopped in St. Louis, Missouri to do a show at the Principia Upper School and to visit with many of the Kohahna and Leelanau campers and counselors in the area. To wrap up the month of January, Steve Creighton and I made stops in Dallas Texas where we stayed with the Busch family, followed by a stop in Austin (where we saw Leelanau Alum Mitchell Wyly), and Houston (where we saw Kohahna Staff member Caitlin Cooke Nassar) the following days.
To start February off with a bang, the Bruno family welcomed Glenn Johnson and me to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where we had a wonderful visit and a lovely show/reunion! Shortly thereafter I spent an evening with the Carlson clan in Michigan City, Indiana, where we had a delicious dinner, and a mini show attended by members of all the three Carlson/Littell families. After that visit, I ventured back to St. Louis where the Vandiver family welcomed the great Leelanau and Kohahna contingency over to their home for our largest of the camp shows! Kohahna campers Jess and Victoria Vandiver were excellent helpers when it came to helping their parents set up for the show, and all the kids that came had a blast playing in their basement and chatting after the presentation. Perhaps the biggest hit of the STL show was a visit from a group of Leelanau and Kohahna staff members. Students from Principia College and Washington University in St. Louis made the trip over to welcome and visit with campers and families.
Marcia Hufstader, the Alumni Coordinator, and I did a tour of Michigan and Ohio over back to back weekends, and we had quite the road trip! The final weekend in February was devoted to touring around Michigan, and I had some fun in Grand Rapids, East Lansing, and Detroit (my home town). We look forward to welcoming new faces from the Grand Rapids area to camp this summer, and I enjoyed visiting with Lillian Marshall and the Schaberg twins in East Lansing. What impressed me most about the Detroit show was the group effort in planning and hosting by Lisa Johnson and the McNaughton family, as well as the families that drove nearly an hour just so they could enjoy the camaraderie of the attendees at the show! We had a blast! Traveling through Ohio, our first stop was Dayton to have pizza and watch the camp DVD with the Pollard and Macintosh family. The stop was a wonderful interlude before we made our way to Betty Rhoades (Kohahna Counselor) house in Cincinnati, Ohio for the evening. Our Cincinnati area show at the Holmes family’s house the next day was well attended, and we enjoyed a “dessert only” feast (including sour cherries from Cherry Republic).
In mid-March I spent one rainy day (I thought it was supposed to be April showers not March showers) in Boston, Massachusetts, where I saw Alex Lamie (Leelanau camper), who was home for spring break from Principia Upper School. After Boston, I traveled to Raleigh and Charlotte North Carolina, for some southern style camp shows! The Bishops, the Hansers, and the Demers were all in attendance in Raleigh, and it was fun to see the Bishop house bustling with camper energy. In addition to relishing in the joys of Leelanau and Kohahna, we got to see the trailer for the upcoming TV show that stars Roxanna and Jon Coleman Demers. The following weekend I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia where I attended the The Mother Church Youth Activist Summit in addition to meeting up with campers (Perrin Kendall) and camp families (The Wallingfords) and alums (Brock Green) in the area.
Visiting with current camp families, recruiting new campers, and sharing our collective love of camp is a huge blessing and it was truly a pleasure seeing hundreds of camp connections all over the country. No matter where we are, Kohahna is always in our heart, and it was a treat for me to bring a little bit of camp to families during the school year. My take away was a full quotient of love and joy. Pretty soon it will be my favorite season once again, and Kohahna will be bustling with a full contingency of campers and counselors ready to excel to new heights! All of our staff is eagerly anticipating the day we welcome you to Camp Kohahna 2010.
One of the many blessings that Kohahna bestows on young women is that it offers an ideal setting for young women to learn about themselves and their peers from a spiritual perspective. At camp, campers and staff think from the standpoint of what is means to be an individual expression of God. Holding thought to what is true about themselves as God’s ideas, they learn to recognize influences that try to oppose this true sense of being. The result is that campers and staff leave Kohahna with an increased sense of their self worth and a desire to uphold it. Having expanded their knowledge of Christian Science and demonstrated of it in every day camp life, they are eager to bring this inspired thought into their communities. What they have learned in a supportive and uplifted atmosphere goes with them to protect and strengthen their home life.
Their growing understanding that spiritual reality and identity are secure and intact helps keep them from falling prey to mortal mind’s suggestions of confusion, insecurity, or selfishness. As a result of the truths they practice and apply at camp, they go home with a honed ability to recognize their inherent worth and appreciate the good that is unfolding in their experience constantly. At camp they have made a conscious effort to be continually grateful for the purity and graciousness that God is bringing into their experience and respond with acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, and outreach to others. Naturally, then, the special joy that comes from focusing on ever-present good goes with them in their everyday life.
"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."
-Leelanau & Kohahna Counselor