Bugle Call – Week 7 – 2009

Seventh week of camp began with a gorgeous Sunday afternoon on the waterfront.  Campers went out on boats, played on the water tramp-o-line, and splashed around in the swim area.  That evening at Council Fire, our final “Through the Looking Glass” role model was introduced.  We learned about Shawn Johnson, Olympic gymnast, as an example of sportsmanship.  Her Olympic achievements that resulted from her dedication to gymnastics and respect for other competitors demonstrate the success that comes when upholding the integrity of the sport is priority over personal triumphs.

The rest of the week seemed to accelerate through the final days of activities until campers prepared to welcome their parents for Encore Weekend.  On Thursday afternoon, many Leelanau and Kohahna campers combined efforts to present a lively Talent Show as the summer’s production.  Acts ranged from gymnastics stunts and juggling to dramatic monologues, musical theater pieces, and solo dances.  It was a treat to see the wide spectrum of talent that campers shared!

Friday night’s final Council Fire honored the many campers that have passed their Expert level in activities, as well as turned our thought to gratitude during our pine bough ceremony.  As the campers walked down the hill with candles in hand, the warm feeling of sisterhood united the whole line.  The following evening at Final Banquet, we enjoyed a heart-warming slideshow from the session, listened to several thought-provoking speeches, congratulated many award recipients, and celebrated the success of the Pine Team for the summer.  Of course, we concluded the evening and the summer by passing a squeeze around our friendship circle.

We are very grateful for the harmony and joy of this summer.  Every camper who came to camp contributed to its success, and naturally they benefited from being here.  Below, we’ve taken excerpts from their Camp Evaluations:

Highlights of camp:

Hymn sing/Wednesday church

Backwards Day


County Fair

The general feel of being here

The little things

Breakfast/all of the food

Everything I did with my cabin

The Challenge trip

Sunset sails

Horseback riding overnight

Getting up on water-skis for the first time

Musical theater week

Ropes Course

The climbing trip

Pictured Rocks trip



What did you learn at camp?

How to manage time

How to lash

How to water ski

How to spiritually conquer grief

How to spiritually express womanhood

To always be prepared to compromise

How to sail, kayak, and windsurf

How to continue to grow spiritual during the year

How to interpret teaching of the Bible and Christian Science better

How to be a leader

How to have self-confidence

That instantaneous healings exist


To push myself



How to build a fire

How to apply and use Christian Science at school

How to weave a basket

How to express the K-Qualities

Table manners

How to pack a backpack for trips

How to solder in silversmithing

How to pray

How to mark my books

How to lash structures in the woods

How to use a sewing machine and make a skirt

The importance of praying for the world


To put your napkin on your lap

To put others before yourself

Hard work

All about animals and their skulls

How to rock climb and belay

Sometimes you have to flexible enough for changes

How to push myself more than anyone else could push me

How to do a wet exit in kayaking

How to lead a better lifestyle through Christian Science

Bugle Call – Week 6 – 2009

Our sixth week of camp was kicked off by one of Kohahna’s all-time favorite activities-the County Fair.  Kohahna and Leelanau campers joined each other on the soccer field Sunday afternoon to enjoy fair-inspired stands like funnel cakes, face painting, dunk tank, obstacle courses, and a bucking bronco ride.  It was an afternoon filled with laughter and playfulness as everyone meandered from one stand to the next.  That evening’s Council Fire brought a more thoughtful tone to the week’s beginning.  The theme for the evening was the K-Quality of Orderliness, and we heard about Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, as an example of an orderly, principled thought having the ripple effect to bless the world on a large scale.

Monday successfully launched the week’s morning activities, and for evening activity, cabins came together to play Kohahna’s rendition of The Newlywed Game.  The range of trivia that campers learn about each other is very impressive!  Back by popular demand, Tuesday’s evening was spent playing the second game of Pazdog this session.  During this beachfront, Capture-the-Flag-inspired game, the Pines and Sands were very joyful, driven, and sportsmanlike as they tromped through sand and water to snatch their opponent’s football.

Several campers ventured out on trips throughout the week.  Many older girls journeyed up to Michigan’s upper peninsula for either a hiking trip on Grand Island or a rock-climbing trip. Juniper girls took an overnight to the Sand Lake Quiet Area.  And, three advanced horseback riders earned the privilege to take a riding overnight trip. The riders returned raving about their gorgeous 2-hour long evening trail ride.

For Wednesday’s Cabin Day with the girls still on camp, Kohahna loaded the big blue bus and headed off camp.  Gulls Nest and Driftwood stayed cool while shooting the culverts, Birchview and Clifftop enjoyed time at Empire Beach, Breezeway water-skied on Glen Lake, and the rest of camp explored the shops and sites in Glen Arbor.  That evening’s church service was especially touching, with the readings on the topic of worthiness.  Campers shared many heartfelt testimonies about experiences they’ve had in the past year and at camp this summer.  The atmosphere of support and healing felt very tangible as testifiers expressed their gratitude for the blessings they’ve felt from their camp community.

On Thursday morning, several campers set sail in a tall-ship sailboat for a morning of the Inland Seas program.  They lent a hand with the sails and then learned about Lake Michigan creatures and water quality.  We’re grateful for the opportunity to send campers to this local program, which was partially subsidized by The Principia.  That evening another bunch of campers also went off camp for a musical at Interlochen.  Back at camp, campers spent the evening learning and practicing how to build fires.  When we asked for highlights from the week, some campers listed their newly developed fire-building skills!

Friday evening brought the reintroduction of an old game, Kohahna Superlatives.  The Pines and Sands competed in categories such as longest tongue, furthest distance between home and camp, best joke, and best sound effect. What a way to learn rather obscure facts about each other! The categories of best tennis player and best basketball player also brought the activity into a short tennis match and a game of Knockout.

On Saturday, the Pines devoted their afternoon to preparations for their evening presentation of the Pine Show.  Their creative variety show featured several Disney princesses working together to solve the mystery of who kidnapped Princess Kohahna.

Of course, the show climaxed with a favored tradition, a kick line for the finale.

It’s hard to believe that there is only one week remaining in the session, but knowing how full camp weeks are, we know that much more good is yet to come!

Bugle Call – Week 5 – 2009

Week Five was a very adventurous week for Kohahna campers! Sunday afternoon we played Paz Dog (a mix of Capture the Flag and Flag Football) on our gorgeous beach before our usual evening of Cook-out and Council Fire.

At Council Fire we had a very silly challenge of seeing who could blow a bugle for the longest amount of time, heard about activities, and sang songs. Then, we moved into a more serious tone as judges for our annual competitive camping trip announced Challenge teams. The quality we discussed at the end of Council Fire was joyfulness. We shared with the girls that joyfulness is not a type of person, but a type of attitude. We looked at the example of Ann Frank. She was in a tough life situation but managed to stay internally joyful regardless of the outside circumstances. Moreover, because she felt joyful and hopeful, she was able to spread good cheer to those around her. We stressed that when we look at ourselves in the mirror we should be asking if we are thermometers or thermostats. A thermometer just evaluates the situation and changes because of its surroundings. A thermostat actually evaluates its situation and then works to change it for the better.

Monday morning we started with brand new activities! In Arts and Crafts girls were knitting. In Dance girls were learning dances that were popularized by film. One class learned a dance that is at the end of Slumdog Millionaire. The other class learned one originally done by Hannah Montana. Meanwhile, Challenge teams worked together to prepare for their trip with initiatives and packing galore. At night, camp came together to play Ultimate Frisbee. On Tuesday we had a Luau. Campers got split into three groups-boating, games on the beach, and s’mores. It was probably the only Luau they’ll ever attend that will get rained out! The girls frolicked for a while before running back up to get warm and cozy before bed.

Wednesday morning we said goodbye to all the girls on The Challenge. We wouldn’t see them again until Saturday, but we knew they would be out having fun building structures, cooking, and playing Capture the Flag in the woods! At camp all the high school girls still on camp (Shorewood through Windward) made a movie for Cabin Day. Falling Star baked cakes for dinner. Sandpiper did a photo shoot, and Stardust made some ceramics projects. As usual we enjoyed a testimony meeting and hymn sing after a long day of fun.

Thursday afternoon brought a lot of excitement to camp when a large chunk of girls got the opportunity to play parachute games with our director Sue! We also had Tennis, Riding, and Waterskiing go out. In the evening we had a Counselor Hunt-a game in which counselors hide and teams of girls try to find them all. The harder the counselor is to find-the more points she is worth! To close off the week we had a sunny Friday, which turned into a windy Friday night. It was perfect weather for the Pillowcase Game! Girls went to their cabins and put as much as they could in a pillowcase. Then they met back all together to cozy-up and see if they have items counselors ask for (ex: “Who has a purple toothbrush in their pillowcase?”). Afterwards they cleaned their trunks and then quietly celebrated Christmas in July with a story and bedtime treats.

Saturday inspection started off a little rainy, but the sun came around for the afternoon. Good thing, because we had a big Kohahna County Picnic! While girls who just returned from their hard trip were able to nap, the rest of camp participated in classic southern activities like watermelon spitting and line dancing. Then everyone (Challenge girls included) finally got together for a big fried chicken dinner at a nearby park. There were a lot of pigtails, flannel, and smiles all night. We came back to camp to get into pajamas and watch Peter Pan together. The girls then made their way quietly back to camp to dream of Neverland and fairies.

Bugle Call – Week 4 – 2009

Opening day of second half was so much fun! It is such a treat to see girls returning year after year. As the cars pulled up and counselors and campers gathered, there are always shouts of “It’s so good to see you again”, “You’re so grown up”, and even “You’re driving now?!” Camp got all nestled into their cabins by afternoon in time to hit the beach with friends. At night, it was clear we were now in second half (with generally bigger enrollment) as we sat around our now full Council Fire.

At Council Fire we enjoyed hearing about everyone’s highlights from the past school year. We leg-wrestled as a team challenge and sang some pleasant Kohahna songs. We continued our tradition of discussing a K-Quality with an example from a woman in history in terms of our summer theme (“Through the Looking Glass”). The week’s theme was initiative, and we used the example of Susan B. Anthony. We spoke about initiative not always meaning completing a physical task-it just means positive action you initiate yourself. At camp we often think of initiative during clean-up or helping in activities. But, we stressed to the girls that they can help any situation by having the initiative to bring positivity to a situation or initiative to make friends with someone who is feeling lonely. We sang the girls to sleep for the first time and got ready for our first week of a new session.

Monday we began with our annual swim test! It was a gorgeous day with lots of happy swimmers at Bar Lake. In the afternoon we had cabin time for the girls to create cabin contracts and think about their summer goals. We were visited by Princess Kohahna, so our new campers could be assigned teams before a competitive game of Bombardment.

Tuesday we had our first set of activities. It was a successful week overall. There were many beginners and a few intermediates passed this week. Most exciting, two girls passed their advanced in Arts & Crafts and one passed advanced in Sailing. Sometimes the weather wasn’t so warm or sunny, but the girls kept working towards their levels when they could be in out on the water or up in the ceramics room. Then, Tuesday night we played a fun game of soccer.

Wednesday morning 8 middle school ladies left on a trip to Taquanamon Falls in the Upper Peninsula. The girls spent three days hiking, viewing natural waterfalls, cooking over fire, and participating in ranger presentations. Meanwhile, back at camp, we had very successful cabin days. Birchview, Clifftop, Falling Star, and Juniper all headed to Leland for bonding time. Gulls Nest and Stardust shot the Culverts in Glen Arbor where Sandpiper was having a photo scavenger hunt. Windward got to cruise on the ski boat, and Breezeway, Shorewood, and Driftwood spent the day in Empire. There’s nothing like a nice trip away from camp with friends to get everyone in the mood for an inspiring evening of Wednesday night church.

Thursday afternoon some girls had the opportunity to visit a local print shop and stationary store, while others played some basketball. Thursday night everyone got to enjoy a true camp favorite: Water Polo in the shallows!

Friday our middle-schoolers got the opportunity to hear a Christian Science lecture by Ryder Stevens, and at night we all had fun laughing at silly brown bag skits. Saturday morning the new campers got to experience their first big clean-up. In the afternoon, while the high-schoolers heard a lecture about relationships and partnership, the rest of camp participated in Musical Cabins. Small groups of girls hopped from cabin to cabin trying to figure out random mystery facts about counselors. For evening activity we had a fantastic Lip Sync won by Stardust for their performance of a Taylor Swift song. Overall, it was fast-paced and joyful week. We know we have even more exciting and growing experiences in store for this week!

Bugle Call – Week 3 – 2009

Monday started with a bang! We had fresh morning activities taking place, including our Jr. Sailing program for Waukeenas and a five day hiking trip at Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula for eight young ladies from Clifftop and Windward. Back at camp we had a Sands victory in Capture the Flag. On Tuesday we offered older girls the opportunity to attend a womanhood talk with some of our counselors. The girls discussed ideas pertaining to self-image, relationships, and communication. At night groups of campers from Leelanau and Kohahna took a trip to Interlochen Arts Camp to watch their collage of performing arts campers. Meanwhile, the numbers on camp were a little small with all the trips out, so we enjoyed a co-ed game of three-legged kickball with our Leelanau brothers. The game was followed by the delicious treat of root beer floats. The girls went to sleep with full and happy tummies.

Wednesday was a gorgeous day for an on-camp cabin day! Shorewood took a bike ride. Juniper and Evergreen did photo scavenger hunts. Falling Star and Windward did the high ropes course. Camp was filled with smiling girls running (or swimming) around in the warm weather with their friends. After dinner, of course, we had our traditional church service in the Great House and an inspiring hymn sing. We hope all the three-weekers remember how uplifting Wednesday nights can be throughout the rest of their year.

Thursday was our last regular day of camp for the first half, and it was a good one! Nature class finalized structures they had built in the woods, we had girls pass levels out on the ski boat, and there was enthusiasm for everything–be it a brand new ring or remembering an old skill in Camp Crafts. In the afternoon girls waterskied, played basketball, worked on finalizing levels in kayaking or ceramics, or hiked to Pyramid Point. Half of camp, however, was rehearsing for he evening activity: The Annual Sand Show!

This year’s Sand Show theme was Music Across the Country. We enjoyed acts like the Waukeena Dance to a country song and the Jr. Kickline to fast-paced punk song. Everything was planned and orchestrated by our Sand CTs. They did a phenomenal job. All of Kohahna celebrated by dancing the night away on stage together.

Our last day of first half is always bittersweet. We had a regular morning of activities and the girls spent the afternoon packing. At night we held our usual final banquet. Girls were awarded for passing levels, longevity of coming to camp, and being perfect dippers. After a delicious meal, several awards, and a lovely slideshow we all made our way to the Pine Forest for the touching Pine Bow Gratitude Ceremony. We sat around a fire and each expressed what we were grateful for while symbolically dropping a pine bow into the fire. Girls gave gratitude for friends, counselors, Christian Science, but most of all, girls were just glad they had the opportunity to be at Kohahna.

Our three-weekers have been dear to us. We are sad to see them go, but we know everything they have learned from camp will greet us again next summer!  The healings we have seen and the lessons of growing up and growing closer to God are incredible to witness summer after summer. We sent the girls off with hugs and promises to keep in touch from their cabinmates. It is hard to believe that one half of camp is already over, but that just means we have another whole half to do it all over again!

Bugle Call – Week 2 -2009

There’s nothing like a rainy week at summer camp to further bond everyone here!  Despite the chilly and rainy days that filled the majority of our week, Kohahna continued buzzing with activities indoor and out.  Some of the favorites ranged from cozy indoor fort building to a walking history lesson about our surrounding area along Port Oneida Road. For cabin day, several cabins headed into Glen Arbor or Leland to explore our neighboring towns.  Other cabins opted to maximize this rainy weather by cuddling up in the Great House to watch a movie. 

Some exciting trips also ventured away from camp this week.  The CT’s were gone the longest, hiking the rocky shores of Lake Superior Provincial Park from Monday until Friday. Much of their terrain was composed of boulders and larger rock faces, so moving along the trail became quite a team-effort of offering each other a stabilizing hand or demonstrating how to negotiate difficult steps.  Upon return, the CT’s expressed gratitude for all the lessons they learned about supporting each other, persisting through challenges, and praying for guidance. Although campers and counselors missed the CT’s back at camp, we were all very grateful that they had such a fulfilling experience in Canada.

Meanwhile, Evergreen and Juniper took an overnight to the Sand Lake Quiet Area.  One of the treats on this trip was taking advantage of the clay bottom of the lake in their “wilderness spa” activities.  Later in the week, Windward and Birchview canoed down the Crystal River before camping out at Platte Plains.

Saturday’s Fourth of July celebration was warm, sunny, spirited, and playful.  Kohahna and Leelanau came together for a flag raising in the morning, complete with a horseback delivery of the flag and a bagpipe performance of Amazing Grace, before heading out on the pair of big blue buses to the Glen Arbor parade.  While waiting for the parade to begin, we did our best to eat our picnic lunches while not smearing our fresh facepaint. We then fell into place in the parade and sang camp songs to the crowd as we passed through town.  Back at camp, we spent our afternoon doing activities scattered across the Great Lawn and beachfront.  Cookie decorating, musical footbaths (a patriotic and summer-friendly rendition of musical chairs), slip-n-slide down the big hill on the great lawn, watermelon seed spitting, bobbing for apples, Lake Michigan bombardment, hay ride through the scenic drives near camp, and tug-of-war were many of the lively activities of our afternoon.  Following a cookout dinner, four of the Leelanau counselors provided a live musical concert for everyone.  Their finale song was Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”, a well-known and well-liked song that the campers joined along in singing.  To conclude our Independence Day celebration, the younger half of camp roasted s’mores on the beach while the older section hiked to Pyramid Point and the Sandbowl to watch the sunset and distant fireworks displays.

The weekend’s fun didn’t stop there!  On Sunday afternoon Kohahna collaborated to put on a talent show.  The show was full of dramatic, musical, dance, and even athletic talents. Sunday evening’s Council Fire wrapped up our week with the K-quality of persistence. The weekly Looking Glass historical woman was Amelia Earhart, and we further developed the idea of seeing our goals through to the end without the interference of fear or discouragement. Visiting Alumni shared what Kohahna has meant to their lives, and it was very inspiring to hear the lessons that they still cherish from their camp days of years ago.  There’s no question that the momentum from this week will launch us into a stellar final week of the session!

Bugle Call – Week 1 – 2009

With everything we have packed into the last seven days, it’s hard to believe that it has only been a week since Opening Day! We kicked off the week with a warm and successful swim test followed by an afternoon of quality cabin time. For our first evening activity we played several rounds of Kick the Can and other lawn games. It was so fun to see all the girls, young and old, getting to know each other as members of one warm community.

Tuesday was our first day of regularly scheduled activities. Campers hit the water in skiing, the wheel in ceramics, and our horses certainly met a lot of new faces. Meanwhile, our CTs began work on their weeklong project of building a new Kohahna bowl. The finished product looks wonderful! We are so fortunate to have such a hard-working bunch setting such a fantastic example for our campers all summer.

Tuesday night Princess Kohahna came to tell new campers whether they were Pines or Sands. Once each team welcomed their new members, they were able to vote on captains and play one of our favorite team games: Bombardment! The game ended with a very long standoff between all the counselors and campers. The counselors won, but to celebrate a job well done by all, everyone took a dip in the lake.

Wednesday afternoon was cabin day. The girls’ activities ranged from Gulls Nest making craft bags to Breezeway baking cupcakes for camp. Many girls got to try the ropes course, and the oldest cabin even had a wilderness scavenger hunt. Of course Wednesday night we enjoyed a quiet night of church and hymn sing with our Leelanau brothers.

Thursday afternoon we had beautiful beach weather. In fact, many afternoon activities, like 80’s step aerobics and journaling, ended up changing their locations from land to lake thanks to the hot sun. When it cooled down at night, we all took an inspiring hike up to Pyramid Point. Friday we had our usual day of activities, and at night we played Human Stratego. Of course, there was plenty of time before bed for the girls to get a head start on their trunks before Saturday clean up.

Saturday clean up went very well, and the campers were heavily rewarded for their orderliness throughout the morning. In the afternoon everyone was surprised with an all-camp trip to an ice skating rink in Traverse City! How special to have everyone laughing and skating along together no matter what age or whether it was their 1st or 100th time on ice! After we turned in our skates we went to a park to have a picnic dinner, but the fun didn’t end there! We had our first Lip Sync contest of 2009 once we got back to camp! All of the cabins had funny and choreographed pieces, but Evergreen took the cake with a performance of a song from the musical Hairspray.

We certainly appreciated our Sunday sleep-in after Saturday’s activities! After Sunday School both camps participated in a huge Harry Potter extravaganza! Counselors were dressed up as characters, kids were playing “Quidditch” on the soccer field, and teams tried to answer trivia questions for “house points”! After our weekly cook-out, we headed on up to council fire for awards and another chance to talk about the theme of “Through the Looking Glass”. This week’s presentation was on leadership, with Harriet Beecher Stowe as our example. We also talked about the North Star and how it might not be the brightest star in the night sky-but its consistency makes it the best leader of all the constellations. We’ve packed every minute full of fun this week! Second week will have even more to bear!

Bugle Call – Opening Weekend – 2009

Just like every year, opening day was a joyful opportunity for campers to reunite with their friends, for families to eat together, and for Kohahna cabins to transform into cozy homes for the summer.  Thanks to the much-appreciated warm weather, opening day felt unquestionably like summertime! The bright sun set a very cheerful tone and a gorgeous setting for everyone’s arrival.  We loved opening our arms to welcome everyone back home to Kohahna!

On Sunday night we headed up the hill to our first Council Fire.  Everyone laughed at the counselors’ songs and skits introducing their activity areas. Then, the campers had their own opportunity to make up a cabin cheer or introduction.  Some examples include a telling of how the cabin of Driftwood got its name, a dance by Clifftop, and a cheer from our CTs. After the rousing and entertaining cabin skits and songs, we introduced the summer’s theme: Through the Looking Glass.  This theme has two fundamental parts: looking within to know one’s true identity and then reflecting out to serve others.  In popular youth culture, individuality often comes in the form of iPods and MySpace, which may tend to seclude us from each other. This summer we’re promoting our Council Fire theme as a vehicle for recognizing the importance of taking self-knowledge to the next step of outreach. The theme was inspired by Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount advice to let our light shine. We hope that every Kohahna girl leaves camp this summer knowing how to not only identify her inner light, but how to best display it for the benefit of others.

To illustrate this year’s theme, each week we’ll present one woman throughout history who has been “through the looking glass,” known her true self, and used her gifts to make a significant impact on the world.  Our first woman was Abigail Adams, who was significant because of her expression of graciousness while standing firmly on her values without seeking recognition.  We left Council Fire pondering the questions: When you look in the mirror, what is a unique quality that you see in yourself?  How can you reflect that out this week even if you don’t get recognition?

There is no doubt we are looking ahead at a fresh and exciting season on Pyramid Point. Before we know it, it will be closing day. It is comforting to know that even the very first day of camp continues long on after the girls go home. With cherished memories in their photo albums and lessons about expressing their unique good in their hearts, camp truly never ends.