Where does the time go? End of Week Six? How can this be?
Well, its probably because on Sunday we held our annual Day at the County Fair, with popcorn, waterslide, ponies, and carnival games for both Kohahna and Leelanau on the Soccer Field. Following that we had the formal announcement of the North Team winning the Flag Trip up at Council Fire.
Monday saw the departure of most of the Backwoodsman section for the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness area, and a comically lopsided but still incredibly enjoyable game of Leelanau Hunger Games for evening activity. The little guys held up very well against the Pioneer Section in a Game that sends strategy, athleticism, and stealth into the arena.
Tuesday brought the heat! The hottest day of the summer so far, and a strong south wind made the Small Craft Advisory and Rip Current warnings particularly unwelcome at Leelanau. So…We popped the clutch, canceled afternoon activities and took the whole Camp to the Shallows to cool off and play in Little Glen. Brilliant! (especially the move HQ pulled by having that extra bus driver handy!)
Wednesday found the boys having Church before Breakfast, Breakfast for Dinner, Cabin Day in the Morning, and Activities in the Afternoon. What? That’s correct, it was Backwards Day! Nothing beats French Toast for Dinner, except getting to have Dips before Bedtime.
Thursday brought Normalcy back to Camp, with regular Afternoon Activities, including something called “Hardwork” where Weldon lead seven young men in laborious tasks including dragging out a tree, digging holes, and hauling sand off the Beach. Well, mostly normal…the Early Birds headed out for South Manitou Island for an overnight trip which left the Junior Section with exactly enough kids to justify Tubing as an Evening Activity. Otherwise, it was business as usual!
Friday started early with both Camps meeting on the soccer field to cheer on their peers in running a 5K race through Camp, and onto our Back Property! It was a beautiful morning for a race and the runners performed excellently. On the opposite end of the day, we found ourselves cuddled up by the fire in the Lodge singing Christmas Carols and listening to Christmas stories because of the Date July 25! It was a special night for all of the boys, and really had a Spirit of Christmas.
Saturday the creative juices got to really flow, as Leelanau combined their intimate knowledge of the Old Testament with their consistent desire to play games that involve tackling each in the woods. Thus the return of Moses and the Idols! The boys spent the morning building “Idols” in the woods that represented various modern temptations, then afternoon found them searching for the other teams idols and trying to knock them over until all “Idols” were destroyed and the “Four Tribes” could work together to seek Moses and received the Ten Commandments. The creativity, sportsmanship, athleticism, industry, artistry, and leadership displayed reminded us all of the good work we are doing here at Camp Leelanau!
Gee wiz, looking up at the list of things we’ve accomplished this past week really helps us see why exactly the week would have zipped by SO fast in the first place. Well, one week left, we are going to really, really, really kick it in!!
It is entirely possible that no one in Leelanau can remember as far back as last Sunday. SO MUCH has happened here in one week, that it would stretch the human mind to its capacity to retain all of the good wholesome fun.
Conveniently, the Men and Boys of Camp Leelanau are guided by the Divine Mind and it’s infinite capacity, so it is pretty darn easy to share all of the good that has been accomplished here on Pyramid Point this past week.
Sunday saw the entire boys camp engaged in an imaginative game modeled off of Star Wars Battlefront. The boys played versions of Capture the Flag, Bombardment, and Tag, all while running around Camp protecting their “younglings” and being chased by Stormtroopers. Council Fire that night was particularly Spirited as we celebrated each other’s successes.
Monday worked hard to provide a routine, but restful day as we stood on the precipice of the Senior Flag Trip, Meatball Trip, and Backwoodsmen Flag Trip. Everybody took an extra long look at the lesson on Life in preparation for the big week ahead.
In the evening we played a brand new game for the boys, called the Superlative Game, where we celebrated the best, most, and funniest parts of our teams and Camp.
Tuesday waved away both the Senior Flag Trip, as they loaded the bus and headed for the “Leland Library”, and the Meatballs as they launched down the Mighty Platte River. Both trips had a solemn air about them because of the cool grey weather wrapping around Pyramid Point.
Of course, in the evening the Sun returned and all of the Juniors and Backwoodsmen headed to the Backside of the Dunes for a Camp favorite of Dune Football. And…the bus just happened to have a little bit of engine trouble right in front of the ice cream shop. Go figure.
Wednesday Camp really cleared out! With the Senior Flag Trip away, the Meatballs away, it was time to send the Backwoodsmen out for their very own Flag Trip experience. This left only the Early Birds to run Camp! Of course those cuties got right to work weed whacking, silversmithing, and paddle boarding on one of our most beautiful Northern Michigan days of the summer.
Thursday brought a little more normalcy back to the Leelanau Schedule with the return of the Meatballs and the Backwoodsman, the Early Birds weren’t the big shots any longer. A good game of Junior Soccer however seemed to keep everybody’s attention that evening.
Friday welcomed back the Senior Flag Trippers with stories of daring doo and narrowly caught flags. We went ahead and let the fellows have a well deserved nap that afternoon, and then found our way down to the beach for an evening beach period including sailboats and paddleboards outlined against the setting sun. It was an evening for the photo album for sure!
It’s hard to believe that another week has flown by and there are only two weeks left in the summer. We’ll just have to be sure to conquer our fears, express more Love, and be more unselfish with greater alacrity for these next two weeks.
Writing these notes allows for an important moment of reflection on the sheer tonnage of activity Leelanau packs into only one week of Camp. The Camper’s arrival last Sunday seems like a lifetime ago.
On Monday the cannon boomed loud and proud as all 87 members of Camp Leelanau took their first dip together in Lake Michigan. The afternoon brought swimming and frolicking in Bar Lake for the second Bar Exam of the summer. What a wonderful way to start off the second half of summer!
Tuesday dawned with a little more menace in the weather. However a few rainy clouds could not put down the Spirit of Leelanau. Our Super Tuesday of afternoon and evening activities carried forward despite the cool rain. We played water polo at the shallows, gaga and zipline at Camp, and all came together for a big picnic of Super Chicken. Later the Spirit of the Manitou came to us and assigned teams to the brand new campers.
Wednesday found the sunshine once again, and just in time for the whole Junior Section to head out on various Cabin Trips. Black Swan hiked all over Pyramid Point and camped on the back property. Tortuga hiked on the Platte Plains, while Barbados and Sea Hornet paddled the mighty Platte River. We even sent Iroquois down the Pine River. Back at Camp the seniors competed in a series of athletic tournaments and explored parts of the county for Cabin Day.
Thursday brought us our only “normal day” schedule for the whole week. And…normalcy is good too.
Friday found us at the umpteenth annual Ole Ball Game. North and South faced off for an excellent game of slow pitch over at Glen Lake School. The youngsters represented themselves well with their running of the bases and games of pickle, and the oldsters literally knocked it out of the park during the Home Run Derby. It was a close game until the final inning when South scored five runs to come form behind and pull out a win.
Saturday the whole camp piled onto the Big Blue Bus, one more time and headed over to the Frontside of the Dunes in order to fully encase ourselves in sand. In the afternoon we had the privilege of hosting C.S. Lecturer Joshua Niles from Boise, ID for his lecture on Living in Harmony. Many inspirational thoughts were shared, it was wonderful listening to the good questions the campers had for Josh both after the lecture and into the evening as he joined us for Saturday Night Soccer.
Weldon’s theme at Council Fire this Sunday is “Don’t Wait”. He is asking Camp to take the initiative more, look for opportunities to give and grow, and not to wait for something to happen to us. We are looking forward to another excellent week and know that every single person at Camp is pouring their heart into everything they do at every moment.
And like the wind, the three weekers slide past us…
Holy-moly this week flew by and before anyone could even begin to Stand Up and Cheer the three week campers were packing their bags and getting picked up by Mom and Dad.
Not without a good bit of amazing Camp activity through the week though…
Sunday afternoon the heaven’s smiled upon us with a warm sun, southwest breeze, and, by golly, we hit the beach. Hard. Sandcastles, body surfing, paddleboards, kayaks, even a kite boarder drifted by, all down on our beach for the first time all summer. There is not a more glorious way to celebrate summer in Northern Michigan than to hang out with forty of your closest friends on a beautiful beach!
Monday saw all ten of our Early Birds off to paddle the Mighty Betsie River with their Quartermaster and our intrepid Trips Counselors. This left the Backwoodsmen in Camp to play a high-energy tackle game in the evening called Prisoner of War. For those in the know, it’s a whole lot like Foxes and Hounds, but with more strategy.
Tuesday’s highlight had to be evening activity, we played Water Polo with the big boys and played on the Frontside of the Dunes with the little boys, and low and behold the bus broke down right in front of Riverfront. It turns out that once everybody on the bus has consumed a small twist cone, the bus usually turns right back on. Go figure.
Wednesday offered some cooler weather in the morning, but the sun knew its role in the afternoon as we sent the boys off for their final cabin day of the session. We had scavenger hunts, activity blitzes, and a little bit of pie baking to round out the events. Wednesday Evening Church found the kids popping up with testimonies so fast some of them nearly contributed to further erosion concerns in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Thursday both Leelanau and Kohahna joined to celebrate America’s Independence in an event we called 3/4ths of July! The morning began with a hearty revolution in the Boys Camp, where the “High Court” was overthrown and the “People’s Court” took over HQ. Water balloons, dodge balls, and a few well-aimed squirt guns made for a many highlights among the campers. The balance of the day included the usual shenanigans with relay races and patriotic sand castles.
Friday arrived far too quickly and we had to start packing up our Three Weekers. The evening of banquet, performance, slide show and Funny Awards will be remembered for years to come. All of the campers shared funny and tender moments as they recognized each other at our Funny Awards Fire.
All though it is sad to see our Three Weekers depart, it is with a lighter heart knowing they are going forward to bless the world and reflect the inspired light they have been infused with this summer.
Sunday gave us bright warm sun and a hilarious co-ed event celebrating the World Cup on our Soccer Field. The kids were placed in teams with their Kohahna Sisters and competed against each other in events representing the different nations that participate in the World Cup. The Australian Outback Obstacle Course (complete with accents) was a highlight for many!
Monday found the entire Junior section and CTs packing up for their long journey to “Canada” where they played the Junior Flag Trip and demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and team spirit. Seven burly young men also packed their packs Monday morning and headed up to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for four days of hiking along Lake Superior’s coast. The final seven campers in Camp went tubing, played Frisbee Golf, and had a picnic in order to avoid having to eat dinner with Kohahna.
Tuesday brought the return of the Juniors and normal activity were able to resume. The youngsters were pretty tired after a night of sleeping in tents, so the Early Bird evening activity became story-time in the Lodge with Weldon. (Which is code for fall asleep on the gym mats in the Lodge immediately after dinner.)
Wednesday the boys were able to enjoy their first Off Camp Cabin Day! We had groups on the Crystal River, at Empire Bluffs, Old Mission Peninsula, and just about every place in Leelanau County in-between. Although it was a cooler day and evening, our Church Service on the Hill was one of inspired sharing, the kids were popping up to testify faster than a good game of “Whack-a-Mole”.
Thursday the Sun found Camp Leelanau for Boys, and the morning activities, afternoon activities, and evening activities had a welcome glow of joy as the much missed sunshine reinvigorated our souls.
Friday the Spirit of the Manitou called HQ and informed them that there had not been nearly enough North/South Competition thus far in the summer. The Comedic War of Attrition was promptly planned for and performed that very day. For those that aren’t familiar with the CWofA, it is a battle of comedy acts; both scripted and improve, as well as expressions of musical ability and true talent. Best of all it is an opportunity for every single camper to get on stage and perform in front of an incredibly supportive and loving audience.
Saturday HQ was still feeling the scolding from that old Spirit of the Manitou so team games, of soccer and kickball, North v. South were played in the morning as we also said good by to our two week campers, with a tear in our eye. That afternoon the boys rolled up their sleeves and participated in a little Camp Service where we got the corral mucked, the vans washed, and trash picked up. Everybody really appreciated the dip in the Lake after that one!
It is hard to believe that two weeks have already flown by, and we look forward to really sucking the marrow out of each and every moment in this upcoming final week with our three-week campers!
The summer blew open with a bang! Opening Day brought bright and blustery skies as we welcomed 20 brand new campers, and a whole bunch of old ones. The sun shone upon us as we climbed to Council Fire that night to open Camp and share with everybody Oh Wha Ta Goo Siam!
Monday found the boys busily attending their morning activities and then taking Bar Lake by storm for our annual swim test. The Bar Exam!
Tuesday dawned with rain in the sky, but a little rain can’t slow down Camp Leelanau for Boys. The sky’s parted in the afternoon for a beautiful Phat Tuesday, which always ends with a picnic at the Shallows and Captain elections.
The Spirit of the Manitou descended while the boys slept, and Wednesday morning found all of our new campers soundly assigned to the North and South Teams. Wednesday also brought our first Cabin Day of the summer and the boys explored all corners of Camp on various bike rides, scavenger hunts, and fort building missions.
Thursday we finally settled into the good old routine of morning activities, bowl meeting, Senior Store day, rest hour, afternoon activity, beach period, flag, dinner, and evening activities. Four days deep, and finally our new campers have a glimpse of a normal schedule.
This whole normal schedule thing flew right out the window, as the heavens opened upon us once again, and Friday found the campers searching Camp with well placed clues for our morning Counselor Hunt. The afternoon brought more sheets of rain and an enjoyable, though high volume, indoor beach period in the lodge. Rest assured, the rain cleared out by dinner and ET Ball and Bombardment were not missed out on for evening activity.
Saturday brought cooler temps, but no rain, so normal morning activities were made up, and a trip with the whole Camp to the Backside of the Dunes for a little Dune Football was in order before Saturday Night Soccer, Performance, and Movie.
One week down. Six to go.
One other note: The CT boys gave a wonderful, though unseen, gift to Camp this week. They worked hard, learned to use carpentry tools, and learned a thing or two about precision and having to redo substandard work, as they created copious shelving in the basement of the new farmhouse. Thank you CTs!
And thank you, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, Sunday School Teachers, and friends that sent their young men to Leelanau this summer, for committing to an amazing spiritual journey and a significant step towards being a Man of Character. A Man of Leelanau.
The Final Countdown…What a week of Celebration and Growth!!
Monday found us counting down our final few regular afternoon activities and playing the now famous and much requested “Leelanau Hunger Games” for evening activity with the whole Camp.
Tuesday we headed to the Frontside of the Dunes one last time with the Juniors, and the Shallows for Wapo for the Seniors. It probably wasn’t much of a surprise when the bus broke down that evening in front of Riverfront and everybody needed a Camp Cone to get it running again.
Wednesday everybody headed hither and yon for our final Cabin Day adventures. The bonds built over four or seven weeks were strengthened even further as memories were made all over Leelanau County.
Thursday the Green and White team met on the Frisbutt Pitch to determine the first-place-non-winner of the LIFE tournament. That evening we gathered around the Ottawa Fire Ring for an excellent gathering focused on giving and sharing our funniest, and sometimes serious, moments of the summer. The Funny Awards are a highlight every summer, and especially the sharing and debrief afterwards.
Friday found the campers busily packing and cleaning their cabins, shining their shoes, pressing their whites, and polishing their “Sir, Yes, Sir”s in preparation for the final inspection and Final Banquet. It was an awesome evening of camaraderie, brotherly love, recognition of achievement, and good dessert! The Spirit of Leelanau was alive and singing loudly through the great room that night.
Saturday we opened the doors to parents and showed off our skills as we showcased, sailing, tennis, riflery, and all of our activities in the morning. We made a strong showing at the Encore Show as well. While Kohahna danced all over the Lodge, we sang, danced, cleaned, and rocked out all over the Lodge for many very impressed parents. The Blue team faced the Red team in the final game of the LIFE Tournament, and Blue came out victorious. Our Final Council Fire was as riotous as it was serene. Moment by moment, we laughed, reflected, and listened on our final night all together as Camp Leelanau for Boys.
Thanks for reading these past seven weeks. It has been a journey of growth, Love, and a whole lot of FUN for everybody at Camp, but especially for the Men of HQ!
Just about every single kid went on an adventure of some sort this week. The Senior Flag Trip, one of the peak experiences for our older campers, headed into the Eastern Deciduous Forests of Northern Michigan on Tuesday for four days of intense cooking, lashing, capture the flag playing growth. They all came out of the experience stronger Christian Scientists and better men for it, and blended right back into Camp without the smell of smoke on them!
While the Senior Flag Trippers were away, the rest of the older boys went canoeing on the Au Sable River and pioneered that beautiful and swift waterway for Camp Leelanau. The Backwoodsmen headed out on their own Flag Trip adventure on Wednesday where the 5th through 8th graders played capture the flag and camped out while expressing excellent brotherly love and sportsmanship.
If you are tracking along, dear Reader, you will notice that on Wednesday every single person was out of Camp on a trip of some sort. Everyone, but the Cabin of Argosy, that is. The brave Argonauts stayed in Camp and had the run of the whole place! They went fishing, did riflery, ate meals with the girls, wrote testimonies in Eagles Nest, and fell asleep before hymn sing. An excellent day for the little tykes!
While the Trips Program may think they won this week by getting nearly everybody out of Camp, some would say HQ still pulled off some smashingly good activities on the side. On Monday we celebrated Halloween with the whole Camp, including a costume contest and a “haunted” trail presented by the Cabin of Algonquin. And Friday evening the creative juices really got to flow as each cabin worked on an expression of gratitude for our support staff. These fine parents and staff that help make Camp run behind the scenes received, cookies, t-shirts, plaqques, banners, and in the case of the Cleaning Mom a tiny toilet seat to hang from the mirror of the cleaning van! What a loving and creative bunch of rascals we have at camp this summer!
Sunday we opened our doors once again to the hoards of four-weekers, thirsty for the good that Camp Leelanau has to offer. Council Fire reminded us why we come home to Leelanau and to make the most of all of the moments that Camp has to offer.
On Monday we jumped right into activities, the Bar Exam, and an evening of Biscuit Mayhem for the Juniors and Pozdawg for the big boys. Tuesday found the whole camp working together in the evening to determine the victor of the camp districts as we played Leelanau’s version of the Hunger Games. Socks were pulled, dodge-balls thrown, and a few very sneaky folks finished in the winner’s circle.
Wednesday had us waving good-bye to the 8 brave backwoodsmen headed for the Mighty Pine River Trip for three days. We also celebrated our individual cabin identities with some amazingly creative on-camp Cabin Days. Some played wrestle-mania, some the Ropes Course, some buried treasure, and some explored the mud-pits. Needless to say the testimonies were copious as we sat on our very special Church Hill that evening.
Friday morning we unleashed a brand new Camp Tradition on both Leelanau and Kohahna by hosting our first ever 5K and Fun Run on the camp property. Over 50 campers, counselors, and staff signed up to inaugurate our very hilly 5K course, while the rest of the camp cheered them on. The Cannon started the race promptly at 8 AM and everybody expressed grace, stamina, and athleticism for all 3.1 miles of the race. It was amazing to see the whole camp family come together for this event!
On Saturday Camp took a very different tone, when two of our most creative counselors put their heads together and created an All-Camp game based on popular video games and brought us the “Zombie Apocalypse”! The kids began as villagers being chased by the counselor zombies, but slowly became zombies themselves until there were only five boys left in the final rush for the safety of Lake Michigan. An amazingly fun game, and an opportunity for memories that will last long into the winter months.
We cannot wait for another week full of growth and governance!
Can it really be the end of Week 3? Time flies as we fill our days with amazing moments.
One young man in Black Swan swung by the head table this week and informed HQ that they ran a fantastic camp. We would have to agree! Camp IS fantastic!
The bright sunny skies of week three found the whole camp on the Big Blue Bus on Tuesday evening soaring over dunes at the Frontside, and tackling with abandon at Water Polo, – we even let two Junior Cabins in on the game, while we sent the oldest boys to play with the youngest boys in the big all sand pile we call Sleeping Bear Dunes. Not surprisingly the bus seemed to have a “liggiter valve” come loose right in front of Riverfront. Don’t worry Mom and Dad, a small twist of soft serve fixed it nicely.
Wednesday found all of the boys hither and yon for the last Off Camp Cabin Day. The Blue Bus made deliveries all over the greater M-22/ M-109 metropolitan area for the kids and counselors to make lasting memories together once more.
On Thursday the cannon reported America’s Independence, not once, not twice, but six times as we ran down to the beach for dips. In the morning fog the American Citizens (campers) fought once more for their independence from Britain (counselors) in a spirited re-enactment of the War of 1812. A nautical battle ensued, involving paddle boards, bombardment balls, water balloons, and the King’s Flagship (the rescue boat) eventually being overrun by the American Citizens, and The Crown (Weldon and Kathleen) standing in the stockade (lifeguard tower).
With that much excitement before 10 AM, the parade and group games in the afternoon were a sunny breezy joy!
On Friday we packed up our three week campers, celebrated them with a Final Banquet, and exchanged both hilarious and tender funny awards, sending each one home with an assignment to use the good lessons learned at camp among their friends and classmates at home.
Thank you three weekers for a wonderful first session! We have loved every moment and cannot wait to see you back here on the shores of Pyramid Point!
The Men 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."
-Leelanau & Kohahna Counselor