Week Six is where we knuckle down and put all the things we’ve talked about into practice. All that Brotherly Love business. All that Sportsmanship. All that Unselfishness. All that and more has been demanded of us this past week.
The Senior Flag Trip and The Backwoodsman Flag Trip are two of our peak experiences for their respective age groups. Both activities, different in scope but similar in nature, push the boys well outside of their comfort zones and allow opportunities to really dig deeply into the study of Christian Science.
On Monday we felt a great calm before the storm of Flag Trips. We worked to have a most normal of all days with regular activity and table assignments. The goal was for a mellow evening activity. With that in mind we set out to assign lip-syncs for each cabin to perform for each other. Well…so much for mellow! Our belly’s ached from laughing; our throats were raw from cheering. Boys in dresses, dancing to Pop Music is just too much awesome for one evening at Leelanau.
Tuesday brought the departure of the Senior Flag Trip. Eleven guys from the South Team and eleven guys from the North Team loaded their food, gear, tents, and Flags into the trailers and headed out into the forests behind Camp to install for four days. They got right to work building their structures and serving up inventive and delicious meals, all while playing a very competitive game of Capture the Flag.
On Wednesday we afforded a very similar opportunity, albeit on a truncated scale, to our Backwoodsmen campers. The Cabins of Barbados, Sea Hornet, Iroquois, and Cherokee loaded the Bus and headed to a pair of Campsites a little further away from Camp and engaged in much of the same vigorous structure making and Capture the Flag playing for the glory of the North or South Team.
All the while, our Early Bird Campers, from the cabins of Black Swan and Tortuga stayed home and ran Camp for us. They did an excellent job zip-lining, ringing bells, and making sure all 14 of them were on time to meals and church that night. The success of the day can likely be laid exclusively at the feet of a few key boys in Black Swan.
On Thursday everyone, but the Seniors, returned home and back to routine. Up on the hill the Senior Flag Trip was just heating up with a few successful efforts of offense from both teams, and going into the final night a very close scoring flag game…
By Friday the dust had settled, the Seniors returned for a refreshing dip in Lake Michigan and a well deserved afternoon nap.
That evening the Juniors met on the Huey Field for another night of Friday Night Soccer while the Seniors headed over to the Leelanau School for a bonfire of songs and skits at a venue called Beach Bards.
Saturday afforded the whole camp a little event we call “Super Sleep-In.” The cannon didn’t go off until 9 in the morning! And boy did the fellows appreciate a little extra rest.
Now, rested and recharged the whole of Leelanau will jump into Week 7 with both feet. No more trips to pull us away from each other, the entire Boy’s Camp will charge forward to get the most out of the good Camp has to give in the form of Week 7!
We’ve enjoyed yet another great week at Camp Kohahna! We began with Kohahna’s first ever Flag Football Game. The girls put on their Sand and Pine gear, tied flags around their waists, and played a good spirited game of football. The Waukeenas and Wildwoods first played separately, but later joined for an epic game. On Tuesday, the girls were given the opportunity to showcase their abilities in a Talent Show- where we got to enjoy ‘punny’ skits, lip syncs, piano performances and song singing. On July 25th, Christmas cheer spread across Kohahna. We sang carols before meals and celebrated in the evening with various activities. During Christmas activity rotations, they got their faces painted (many of the girls transformed into adorable reindeer), went through a reindeer training obstacle course, learned how to “ice skate,” had a snowball fight with balls, and decorated cookies! On Friday, the girls entered in The Kohahna Hunger Games, competing against each other to be the last woman standing with bandanas.
Throughout the week the Sand and Pine Teams planned, rehearsed, and performed two separate shows. Both shows included numerous comedic skits and impressive kicklines. The Sands crafted a show about Finding Nemo and how he achieved at camp. We saw lots of fun skits, a great kickline, and some very humorous emcees. The Pines took camp on a Phineas and Ferb themed adventure. We saw three kicklines/dances in that performance! All the campers put a lot of time and effort into rehearsing their lines, creating the signs and props, and practicing their kicklines. The effort both teams put in was clearly evident in their awesome performances!
In addition to all the good on camp, we soaked up the water on trips this week! A small, spirited group of campers did well canoeing on the quick moving Betsy River. They greatly improved their canoeing skills, made pizza bagels, and made up songs. One of their nights was spent at Grass Lake State Campground. A different group of paddle sport lovers enjoyed kayaking on Lake Michigan, paddling south towards Glen Arbor from Camp for an afternoon. They returned to Camp, packed up their canoes, and headed to Camp’s back property to cook some more pizza bagels, sleep, and eat some M&M pancakes. The youngest girls got to enjoy an overnight on the Back Property, lead by one of our wonderful CT’s. They were given a helpful introduction to camping, learning skills such as setting up a tent and building a fire. It was such a fun week out on the water and in the wilderness.
Pine Cone Pals (PCP) were an exciting part of everyone’s week. Last Sunday, campers and counselors pulled a name out of a hat to find out who their PCP is. This week, they surprised their PCP’s with crafts, quotes, handmade bracelets, art, and more. These will be revealed at Council Fire!
We are looking forward to an incredible final week of the summer. It will be full of many exciting events. Campers have been preparing for the Dance, Drama, and Art Shows throughout the summer and we will finally be able to see all of their hard work!
Week 5 means it is time to settle in and sort out what it really means to be a part of Camp Leelanau for Boys.
HQ is well aware that parents send their kids to Camp for more than just a safe and enjoyable time on the Shores of Lake Michigan. Parents send their kids to Camp with the expectation that they will grow in grace, in character, and in their understanding of Christian Science.
Well…this week HQ had to explain that to the Campers too. It was a good week. A growing week. Filled with competition, hard play, weather extremes, and in the end a better understanding of our identity as a Child of God, but it’s the journey we are all most interested in.
Sunday afternoon we kicked off a brand new tradition for Camp Leelanau with the LBO: July Madness. A North/South Basketball Tournament. Both teams loaded the bus and headed to the Leelanau School Gym for an afternoon of Early Bird Competitive Drills, Backwoodsmen Half Court, and Pioneer Full Court Basketball. The noise, the fun, and the enthusiasm for good sport all carried the event into the record books as a certain hit that will return for many years in the future.
Monday the rains came. The best kind of rain at Camp. The soft, warm, non-threatening rain that allows us to play hard outside with the whole Camp. We gathered in the Lodge to learn the rules to Human Stratego, just like the old board game but totally different and with a whole lot of running and tagging to find the other team’s flag.
In the afternoon the skies cleared and normal afternoon activities resumed with Camo Dodgeball and Flag Football in the evening.
On Tuesday we finally began our morning activities and instruction and skill building began in earnest. Wednesday we immediately took a break from such things to send almost all of the cabins on Cabin Trips! Black Swan headed to the Cradle, Tortuga the Platte River, Barbados hiked the Platte Plains, Sea Hornet explored the Sand Lakes Quiet Area, Iroquois biked along the Heritage Trail, and Cherokee kayaked from Northport to Leelanau State Park. Six trips for six cabins and six young men working towards their Advanced Outdoorsman Award by executing the role of Instructor on these trips.
On Thursday we all reconvened at Camp and showered everybody off!
Friday evening the hallowed American pastime found Camp loading the bus with team shirts, baseballs and bats, hotdogs and soda pop, and heading to Glen Lake School for the Ole Ball Game. The North Team took the Game 15-10 while the South Team won the Homerun Derby. Excellent spirit was expressed by all through their cheering and good team play.
As one young camper mentioned the other day, “we have long days here at Camp, and short weeks.” We pack a lot into each day and boy, oh boy, those weeks just fly by.
With two weeks left we’ll be digging deeply into growing in grace and improving our character. Conveniently the activities planned lend themselves nicely to such things, (hint, hint flag trip.)
What an exciting week at Kohahna! It was a fairly normal week for some of the Camp, but it was “Chal week” for the other. “The Chal,” or the Challenge consisted of 22 of our oldest campers, leaving the rest of Camp to enjoy all the fun and exciting activities offered on Camp. Some of the girls at Camp even got to go out on some overnight trips! It was a wonderful week for all, resulting in many happy memories made and lots of growth.
The girls that stayed back at Camp were busy with their Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Activities. The Swimming class was able to go to Bass Lake, and enjoyed practicing their strokes and learning new ones. Silversmithing was full of creative sawing projects and ring making, while the Blacksmithers were busy bending metal in various ways. We had girls in Tennis learning how to perfect their serves and running agility drills while some were out on the Archery range honing in their aim to get bullseyes! The afternoons have been filled with opportunities that maximize the beautiful place we are in, such as going to the Dune Climb. Our evenings were filled with a variety of activities, starting with a favorite on Monday – Water Polo. The girls going into 6th grade and up competed in Little Glen Lake Shallows while the youngest girls went to the Dune Climb. We also had some activities that highlighted the creativity of the campers, specifically in a Kohahna Fashion Show and Brown Bag Skits. We enjoyed seeing lots of fabulous outfits and goofy skits. The evening the Challenge girls returned, the camp gathered together to watch Hairspray in the Great House. To conclude this exciting week, we participated in the Women’s World Cup. Leelanau and Kohahna joined together to create eight teams representing eight countries to face each other in various soccer related stations. There was no definite winner, but there was certainly lots of good playing and fun.
The Challenge is a four-day, three-night competitive camping trip where the Sand and Pine teams individually make a home in the woods. 11 of the oldest campers from each team and two counselors build this said home with found, fallen logs that are sawed, lashed with twine, or sunken into the ground to create structures. The structures they build include a fire table for cooking on, a prep table to act as a counter, a baker to store food in, a table, backpack rack, latrine, and a judge’s tower. In addition to building these key features of their woods home, they prepare three gourmet meals daily for the team and two judges over a fire. Both teams made delicious curry dishes, the Sands made incredible corn chowder, and the pines prepared scrumptious vegetable lasagna. Both teams even made fresh bread on the trail! The final element to this exciting trip is Capture the Flag, with both teams strategically raiding each other’s sites to get flags and defend their own. The two games of Capture the Flag were full of energy, good raids, and good defense. Keeping in mind that this is a four-day trip, this seems like so much to accomplish, but both teams did so with grace and success. The trip pushes the girls outside of their comfort zone, resulting in so much growth and empowerment in personal capability. While this trip is named the Challenge for a reason, it is a source of many fun memories. It was so impressive to see all that was accomplished from both teams. As it is a competitive trip, a winner is determined by the judges as they evaluate the structures, meals, and games. This year’s winner was the Sand Team!
In addition to the Challenge, all of the girls in Camp going into 6th grade or older were able to go out on overnights. One of the overnights that went out was a Challenge skill development trip referred to as the Woodswoman Trip. Girls going into 6-8th grade went to Camp’s Back Property to learn how to lash, saw, grub, cook over a fire, and play Capture the Flag. This group of girls were invested in all of the activities, but especially enjoyed Capture the Flag. The girls learned how to do line raids and how to practice their defending. This competitive game ended in a score of 13 against 11. It was so exciting to see the girls completely engage in the game and give it their all. The other overnight trip encompassed the rest of the Wildwood campers. They went on an overnight to the Platte River. They stopped to hike Empire Bluffs on their way to their site, enjoyed some Pita Pizzas and a Wednesday Evening Church Service, followed by a special activity. These girls had a great time getting to know each other more and participating in the special activities together.
Regardless of where any of us were this week, we all grew with grace and had a great time. It was incredible to see all of the progress the campers made both in Camp and in the woods. Overall, it was a fabulous week and we look forward to the rest to come.
If you are just joining us the booms are for the cannon. The number of booms corresponds to the weeks of Camp.
And this was certainly a Four Boomin’ Week!
Welcome, welcome, welcome to all the Four Week Campers, we are SO glad to have you home.
Sunday night Council Fire was a spirited event with a visit from the Great Siam and all of the counselors introducing their activities and celebrating the success of the 3-weekers.
Monday dawned warm and welcoming as we dove feet first into our Mighty Monday routine of playing games with our cabins to get to know each other better, and ending the morning with a little bombardment on the tennis courts. The afternoon took us to Bar Lake for the good ole Bar Exam Swim Test. Many level 3’s were passed by even some of the youngest fellows. One might think that such a full day would encourage us to return to Camp and hunker down, but NO, not Camp Leelanau for Boys. We headed from Bar Lake to the Shallows Picnic Area of Little Glen Lake for a hearty picnic dinner of Super Chicken. More group games and name games followed before finally turning the Big Blue Bus home towards showers and bedtime.
Tuesday offered a uniquely normal day of Camp before we turned things over on Wednesday with an on Camp Cabin Day where we found cabins doing various sports, team building initiatives, the High Ropes Course, and being super cute if your Cabin is called Black Swan.
Thursday we sent the young fellows to the Dune Climb for evening activity because we were worried they would revolt from all of the showering they were doing after evening activities this week if we didn’t absolutely cover them head-to-toe in sand first. Success! After an evening of Dune Flying they all acquiesced enthusiastically to a fourth shower in as many days.
Friday we sent the older fellows back to the Shallows on Little Glen Lake for a rousing game of Water Polo. Many fantastic tackles and plays were made in the glow of the setting sun.
Saturday gave us one more day of morning activities to complete levels. Next we played the very popular “Hunger Games” with the entire Camp running and pulling flags, sneaking and throwing dodge balls, and creating and breaking alliances throughout Camp.
We can’t wait to keep up the fun, the growing, and the true character development that goes on here on Pyramid Point.
The first week of the second session has begun! We are so excited to have everyone here. After beginning the day with dips (much warmer than three weeks ago), campers had the opportunity to share their swimming skills in Bar Lake and set personal and cabin goals for the summer. The girls enjoyed their Morning Activities of Horseback Riding where many worked on two-point position over ground poles and the posting trot. In Ceramics we have seen coil pots and creative projects, and beautiful painted canvases in Arts and Crafts. Lots of precision shooting in Archery and Riflery, and some fearless wet exits in Kayaking on Lake Michigan. On Cabin Day, many got to explore the towns in the area such as Leland and Glen Arbor, and others had an exciting time tubing on Glen Lake. Our evenings have been super active! They’ve consisted of competitive games like Bombardment and The Chicken Game, as well as putting our detective skills to the test during CLUE. It was a great week filled with fun, cabin bonding, achievement, and good old fashioned competition!
We have had some beautiful weather here on the bluffs and are looking forward to more fun and sunny days with these amazing campers!
Week three in the Books! But boy oh boy this one sure was a page-turner!
Sunday afternoon we engaged in an epic battle of Paddle-Board-Dodge-Ball. Out on Lake Michigan, the kids teamed up with each other and scooted around on Paddle Boards and threw dodge balls at each other. Actually, let’s be honest the title is the best descriptor. Needless to say, the feedback from the Campers was extremely positive.
Monday dawned bright and began a positive streak of amazing warm weather for the week. We hit it hard with Morning Activities and a few extra events like a fishing trip to Bass Lake, and our own Paul Olsen lead an advanced Outdoor Cooking afternoon and evening for a few guys.
On Tuesday for evening activity we loaded the Big Blue Bus one more time for a whole Camp game of Dune Football. Full contact, with counselors playing, and everybody rose to the occasion. Great plays were made, and the final point of the game was particularly nail-biting.
Wednesday found us scampering around Pyramid Point for our on Camp Cabin Day, with cabins at the Sand Bowl, on the Ropes Course, on the Zip Line, and Team Building in the Pine Forest. We all came together that evening for one of the most inspired and hopping testimony meetings our little hillside has seen.
Thursday totally blew the wheels off the donkey cart! Happy Fourth of July to all, and in our patriotic fervor we flipped the whole Camp Schedule on it’s head. Our Fourth of July celebration had an Avengers Theme where all of the kids were broken into groups to train and prepare for battle with Kang the Conqueror. The Staff members dressed up like various Avengers, the kids marched in the Glen Arbor parade, there were water balloons, dodge balls, and sidewalk chalk in everyone’s hands at various points throughout the afternoon.
Our evening was a beautiful walk up to Pyramid Point and the Sand Bowl for the older kids and a bonfire on the beach for the younger. Both groups had the opportunity to quiet down after a very loud day and reflect on the accomplishments of the session.
Friday arrived way too quickly. We couldn’t believe the final 24 hours of the three week session were upon us. It felt too soon to say good-bye to these delightful young men that grew with us so much in just three weeks.
Without any sadness, but our consistent boyish vigor, we packed up our trunks and beds in the afternoon before indulging in a delicious Three Week Final Banquet. After the Banquet we gathered in our special Funny Awards Fire Ring to share and commemorate many happy moments and memories with well painted pieces of wood. Weldon stood up and closed it with a rousing reminder that we need to take Camp home with us and share it as we move on to our next experiences. All of the boys seemed moved and motivated to do just that!
We are sad to see our three-weekers depart, but we know they are going off to do great things for their communities outside of Camp. And now we shift gears to welcome home the burly four week campers!
Wow! What an exciting 3rd week of camp!! We wrapped up the 3-week session with some brand new activities, some cherished classics, and the Fourth of July. On Sunday we played Human Stratego and enjoyed a Cook-Out dinner with Leelanau. Later that evening at Council Fire, the girls shared songs about their trips from the previous week, played “the Stick Game,” and learned more about the importance of integrity.
This week some of the campers had the opportunity to take Blacksmithing for the first time in Kohahna history! The girls learned how to heat metal in a forge, properly hammer it, and transform it into hooks. We also offered an afternoon activity of sailing on Glen Lake for the inaugural voyage on the new RS Quest Sailboats, Sundance and Beauregard. Additionally, some campers partook in an outdoor cooking activity, in which they learned how to make gourmet meals over a fire. It was special to be able to participate in these new activities and we are so grateful for the new experiences.
On Monday evening Kohahna ventured down Port Oneida to the Backside of the Sleeping Bear Dunes for Dune Football. It was a great game full of well-planned raids and good defense from both teams, but ended with a win for the Sands. On Tuesday we hosted the first Kohahna Spelling Bee with multiple rounds of words, increasing in difficulty as the Bee progressed. The girls enjoyed dressing up as different characters to participate in the Bee. Wednesday consisted of Off-Camp Cabin Days tubing, flower picking, and shooting the culverts followed by Church and Hymn Sing.
The week increased in excitement as the Fourth of July fell on Thursday. Rather than following the daily schedule, we spent the entire day celebrating. It started off with patriotic face painting, adorning ourselves with red, white, and blue stars, fireworks, and flags before heading to the parade in Glen Arbor. After a briefing that outlined the mission for our Avengers themed afternoon activity, both Kohahna and Leelanau were off to Glen Arbor to walk in the parade. The campers of both camps spent the afternoon moving through a series of stations within teams with a super-hero counselor, fighting to protect American heritage from the supervillains (a.k.a North Star and HQ). The activity culminated in the epic defeat of the villains, the salvation of America, and a swim in Lake Michigan. In the evening, the younger girls went to the beach to swim again, play some more, and enjoy a bonfire with s’mores. The older girls headed up to Pyramid Point and the Sand Bowl to play games and reflect on the amazing day as the sun set.
Friday of Week Three was the culmination of the three week session. There was an Art Show displaying all of the incredible crafts the campers made in Silversmithing, Ceramics, and Arts and Crafts followed by a Drama show with several monologues and group skits. We loved watching the campers shine both on stage and next to their amazing crafts. In the evening, Kohahna gathered for Banquet to dine together and celebrate the achievements of the session and the week. This was followed by the Pine Bow Ceremony, in which campers and counselors individually share gratitude.
We are so sad to see the three weekers leave, but we know they are coming home with many happy memories, funny stories, a closer relationship to God, and so much growth. It has been such a pleasure to spend this time with your girls and to witness all of their achievement. Thank you for sharing them with us!
A wise person once said, “you don’t take the cookies out of the oven until they are fully baked.” We couldn’t agree more! The reason we have long sessions here at Leelanau is so we can spend more time digging deeper into the lessons and qualities we strive to learn and express here at Camp. The longer time we spend in this oven, the better we come out into the world ready to share our warm gooey goodness!
Which is the reason that not one, not two, but all three of our 2-Week Session first year campers have opted to extend their sessions to the full 3 weeks!! Wahoo! We love these kids and their willingness to jump right into Camp and beg for more.
On Sunday afternoon we played a hilariously fun and creative game based on the SpongeBob television program where teams needed to work together and collect ingredients to make the perfect Crabby Patty. Maybe that means something to this audience; it was comically lost on our Camp Director.
After a spirited and inspiring Council Fire, Camp Leelanau headed to bed with sweet dreams for the week to come.
Monday dawned misty with the threat of rain in the forecast. Undeterred the entire Junior Section packed up and headed into the woods for the honored tradition of the Junior Flag Trip. Good sportsmanship, good raids, and tackles took place for the better part of the day. Unfortunately, the heavens did indeed open up on them late in the afternoon and before you know it, there are thirty soaking wet juniors, shirts off, triumphantly singing at the top of their lungs, riding the Blue Bus back to Camp to finish their trip in the Leelanau Lodge.
Monday’s storm brought mighty inspiration from the Camp Director Tuesday morning and before the cannon could even finish her singular sentence of Kaboom! He was chasing the kids down to the beach for exercises and dips. No quarter will be given on the expectation of growth around here!
On Wednesday we eschewed the idea of Cabin Day in favor of taking the whole Camp to Empire Beach, so kids could play in South Bar Lake, Lake Michigan, and the large playground all together. These kids needed a good afternoon of sand and water, and they returned to Camp properly exfoliated in preparation for Wednesday Evening testimonies.
Thursday saw the return of the burly men of Cherokee that hiked Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for the previous four days. As well, five brave folks headed out into Lake Michigan for Charter Fishing and brought home seven whopping trout!
Friday we engaged in the hollowed first session tradition called the North-South Comedic War of Attrition. A competitive comedy and talent show allowing all of Camp to get up on stage and celebrate their various skills. While there are a few campers that thrive in that limelight, for others this is an important step out of their comfort zone, and just one more way we at Leelanau develop the whole Man.
Obviously, after an evening of singing, dancing, and dressing-up on Saturday we donned our Camos once more and played an all Camp tackle game called POW. The boys headed into the woods defended their sites, raided their opponents, and called “Caught, caught, caught!” until lunch time.
One week left to make sure all of our three week cookies are ready for the platter, and as Weldon said at Counselor Meeting Saturday night, the gloves are coming off and we are hitting week 3 with all the energy, love, and enthusiasm we have!
Oh what good days we have, oh what good plays we have
Oh what cool trips we take, oh what cold dips we take
And oh, what wonderful moonlit nights,
For our tripsy hikes!
And for trips in canoes too
Oh what good days we have, oh what good plays we have
This classic Kohahna tune pretty much sums up our second week – full of trips! All campers 6th grade and up went on a trip and it was awesome (stay tuned for next week to learn about the 1-4th grade trip)! The 6th graders went on a two-night canoeing adventure that included a training day on School Lake followed by a day canoeing down the Platte River. The 7th graders embarked on a two night hiking trip alongside the mighty Manistee River. The 8-11th graders had their choice of two Upper Peninsula trips: hiking Pictured Rocks or canoeing The Manistique River. The CT’s stayed in the mitten and traveled east to Au Sable River, spending their days paddling down the scenic river with an occasional portage. It is always incredibly exciting to get out on a trip, step outside of our comfort zone, and adventure into the wilderness. The trips pushed the girls to trust in their strength from God and brought much growth along with it.
For those who remained back at camp, we tried to mix it up and did many different “out of the norm” activities. We explored our creative side by doing some outdoor water coloring, jewelry making, and we even made sock puppets and Fairy Homes. We took a special trip to go flower picking in Omena, which was a huge hit.
In addition to your typical morning activities like Riding, Camp Crafts, Waterskiing, and Archery: we also went tubing, did karaoke on the Great House stage, played extreme spoons, and went minnow catching in the Crystal River. For our last evening before all the trips returned, we spent the afternoon on the ski boats and then had a picnic dinner and bonfire at a local beach. It was an awesome evening filled with dipping, good food, beach games, and of course-S’mores!!
Overall, this week was outside the normal camp routine, but we were witness to so much growth, love, and fun! It was truly a great week and we look forward to the week to come.
"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