Hello! Your friendly North Starians here with another report on Camp Kohahna for Girls! Week 5 has been a BLASTOFF. We have had growth, fun, and achievement for everyone.
Monday started off as per usual with Dipping and new Morning Activities. Two trips also left early that morning to explore what the Upper Peninsula had to offer, and then returned on Wednesday. We had some fun activities on camp, like a hike to Pyramid Point, arts and crafts, watercoloring, games in the Great House, mucking, and some Speed and Agility workouts. We had a Counselor Hunt for our Evening Activity, and don’t worry, all counselors were found, safe and sound.
With the two trips out on Tuesday, Camp was small, but we still had a blast. Planning ahead, the girls got to prepare for the Evening Activity, a Talent Show, in the afternoon. For those who didn’t sign up for the Talent Show, we led a car wash of the Camp vehicles, a hammock hangout, and a game of golf while speaking in various accents. The evening was a treat with the Talent Show, complete with a 20-minute short play from the cabin of Juniper, a personal anecdote acted out in monologue form, songs, and scenes from the Drama class. It was a show to remember!
Wednesday woke with anticipation for the large portion of the Wildwood section to return that afternoon from Big Island Lake Wilderness and the Manistique River. The rest of Camp had a fun Cabin Day where some cabins made cookies, some climbed the High Ropes Course, some played on the playground, and some went tubing. We also saw the return of Kohahna’s Next Top Model. We ended the evening with a lovely Wednesday Night Church on the deck, and a heavenly hymn-sing afterward to send us off to sleep.
We had a full Camp again come Thursday morning! Woo! Morning Activities, Quiet Time, Breakfast, and Lunch were full again. Come the afternoon, campers participated in activities like practicing Camp Crafts skills for the Challenge and making gifts of appreciation for the Support Staff. In addition, a Kayaking overnight went out in the afternoon; the group kayaked from our beach to the Bay Road takeout in Glen Arbor, followed by camping on the Back Property for the evening. Back at Camp, we played Dune Football at the Sandbowl past Pyramid Point. The campers were ecstatic! While the steep inclines on both teams’ sides made it challenging to run to the ball and jail, the girls still had a grand time playing one of their favorite Camp games.
The starting gun went off on Friday morning to signal the beginning of our 7th annual 5K and Fun Run! Many Kohahna campers ran in the race and some even got onto the podium. We finished our last day of Morning Activities for the week shortly after and rounded out the afternoon with some packing, cleaning, and beach time. The evening proved to be a wonderful night to celebrate Christmas Eve in July, where we made murals, created gratitude garlands, played Christmas themed musical chairs and charades, took silly cabin photos, and ran Santa’s obstacle course.
Saturday dawned bright and clear with a Final Banquet Breakfast, complete with a slideshow, perfect dipping and longevity awards, and recognition of activity levels. We said goodbye to those campers who left us and continued our afternoon with a day of Camp Service. Some cabins helpedt in the horse barn, some washed and swept the buses, and one helped out in the Trips Room. The older cabins helped beautify Kohahna by clearing gravel and re-mulching on the hill. We rejoiced in our afternoon of hard work by watching the critically-acclaimed movie High School Musical 2 and then headed off to get a good night’s sleep.
What a week! We are so excited to see what the final two weeks of Camp have in store for us. Next week, we look forward to either the Challenge or another fun week of activities. Tune in next time to hear all about it!
Two Weeks of Day Camp and now Two Weeks of Residential Camp under our belts! It is hard to believe summer if flying by so fast!
It all started last Sunday with one more Opening Day to bring the entire Family together. What a joy to meet new campers and see returning campers come out of hibernation. The sun was bright and the parents were timely when it came to dropping those kiddos off at the barn. While the parents may miss the long lingering goodbyes at the porch of the cabin, the Leelanau Staff sort of enjoyed the opportunity to embrace these young men with hugs and scoop them directly into Camp.
To have such an abundant group of Campers up at Council Fire was an inspiration! As the sun set between the islands from a top our sacred spot, Weldon reminded us that Camp is built on Brotherly Love. As we gathered in our Friendship Circle, with our additional six feet between cohorts, we all had to step behind the benches and sing taps a little louder to be heard. It’s a good challenge to overcome. J
On Monday jumped right into our morning activities. We did swim tests in the afternoon during beach period, and played football and bombardment for evening activity. Conveniently Bombardment naturally segregates to accommodate social distancing, but we definitely had to get creative for Football.
On Tuesday the evening activities included a Dizzy Bat Sports Battle and a hardy game of Camo Dodgeball. By Wednesday the heavens were prepared to deluge upon us, so we canceled Cabin Day and played a whole camp game of Human Stratego. At the end of the game everybody was soaked and smiling from running around in the rain tagging each other with pool noodles and determining who the Flag was for each team.
On Thursday the sunshine returned to dry out all of our sneakers and towels and allow us to resume normally scheduled morning and afternoon activities. Shawnee loves their bike rides, so they rode to Narada Lake in the morning for fishing and Glen Lake in the afternoon for waterskiing.
Friday found us in the evening at the Glen Lake Schools Softball Diamond once again for North Team and South Team to face off for the Ole Ball Game! What a game it was too! North ended up winning with 11 runs after 5 innings. But South took the Homerun Derby. Most important of all perhaps is the spirit of competition that was demonstrated. Sure, we had to wear masks, sure we had to wear latex gloves under our baseball mits, but by golley that didn’t slow the game or the quality of sportsmanship displayed by both teams!
On Saturday we spent the morning finishing activity levels that might have been left undone from either this past week or the previous. And for the afternoon we picked up rakes and shovels and did a bit of Camp Service. There was wood to be split, mulch to be raked, litter to be picked up, vans to be washed, and a Tennis Shed to be reroofed. They boys tackled all of it with great gusto and willingness.
We are already looking forward to and excited for all that Week 5 has to offer.
It’s the SECOND SESSION! Woohoo! What a good week we have had–so full of growth, fun, activity, and joy!
Monday morning we started with the Swim Test which many campers passed! In the afternoon we began our Morning Activities to ensure we got a full week of opportunity to work on activity skills and levels. Each cabin also created group goals and contracts to focus on for the summer, a Kohahna day-one staple. Finally, for Evening Activity we did a Kohahna favorite game: Bombardment! The Sands took the win for the Waukeenas, and the Pines won the single extensive game the Wildwoods played. Overall, it was a successful first day of Camp full of Kohahna classics!
Tuesday followed Monday, as it usually does, with more fun activities and some super stellar Afternoon Activities. These included a rousing game of Balderdash, some jazzercising, a bit of golf, a bike ride or two to the 360 lookout down Port Oneida Road, and other games. Our Evening Activity was Water Polo, played in cabins by Pines and Sands or by our other two favorite teams, Peanut Butter and Jelly, depending on cabin numbers.
Wednesday proved to be a rainy Cabin Day for all! Morning Activities found creative ways to combat the rain, or just charged on through the drizzle. Cabin Day activities included a spa day with nail painting, some fort building, fuse bead making, music video making (looking at you Breezeway and Windward), making vegan chocolate chip cookies (can I have some @Trail’sEnd?), making brownies for a counselor’s birthday, and writing and performing a play for the rest of Camp!
By Thursday everyone was into the groove of Camp: Morning Activities were in full swing, our first Cabin Day was under our belts, and the campers were feeling settled in their cabins. The counselors were especially creative with their Afternoon Activities this week, some of which included frolicking in the meadow, hiking to Pyramid Point, making postcards, playing obstacle course games, and doing a speed and agility workout. We enjoyed Pizza and Milkshakes for a surprise dinner on Thursday, and ended up playing a popular Pines vs. Sands game, Superlatives. There were some funny counselor impressions, weird talents, and intriguing facts the campers shared, ending with the Pines taking the win 24-14!
Finally, Friday rolled around with a Leelanau, no wait, Kohahna classic: Friday Night Soccer! The Wildwoods took on a zoned version of a soccer game and had an absolute blast with it! There were some goals, so much support for everyone, and lots of fun to be had. Ultimately, the Sands cinched the win 6-4. The Waukeenas enthusiastically participated in a socially distanced game of Big Base, where no one scored, but everyone ran their hearts out around those bases.
But wait, who can forget the first Saturday of Camp?! Kohahna had its first Saturday Clean Up OF THE SUMMER (wow, can you even believe?!) where the majority of the cabins passed, receiving a score below a six. In the afternoon, the campers separated into their teams to prepare shows to perform for the rest of Camp on Sunday afternoon. The Sands portrayed a story about the characters from the show H2O, a show about mermaids, working to earn their Waterfront Awards; and the Pines portrayed a story about Disney characters helping current Kohahna campers demonstrate the seven K-Qualities. After show prep on Saturday afternoon, the girls prepared for an all-time favorite evening activity: LIP SYNC! Everyone crushed it with their lip sync routines, and so much fun was had preparing and performing them!
Finally, we had THREE whole trips go out this week, all overnights, and enjoyed by all ages. The Little Dipper, Stardust, and Gull’s Nest cabins (grades 1-4) went on an Overnight to Council Fire hill on Monday night. The Windward girls (7th graders) went on an overnight at the camp’s back property after hiking through the Sand Bowl on Thursday. The Falling Star girls (5th graders) got to participate in a Nature overnight led by a Breezeway camper who is working on her Nature levels on Friday! All kids found joy in the making of s’mores, sleeping in tents, and the wonder of the outdoors.
Week one (or week four for those who have been here all summer thus far) has certainly been full. We are grateful that we were able to ease into second session with Day Camp and a small first week of Residential Camp before welcoming 70+ campers to Kohahna, because we were eager and equipped for the session to begin. With week four (week one of session two) under our belts, we are excited to see what next week will bring!
Man, it felt great to wake up campers (and not just the Crib team) with the cannon for the first time this summer! Week One of Residential Camp has been a resounding success!
Monday morning was full of cars pulling in at the Farmhouse and dropping off camps, but these residential campers had a lot more stuff with them than just a knapsack for the day. We were grateful to have our CTs on hand all morning to carry trunks up to the cabins before they left on their trip to the Upper Peninsula Monday afternoon.
Monday afternoon, after a quick orientation in the Lodge, we split up into our first afternoon activity rotation and did our swim test in Lake Michigan, just like during Day Camp. Those day campers who’ve done it three times now are getting really good at swimming to the raft and back! For evening activities, the juniors played a classic game of Bombardment and the seniors played a new game called Frisball (picture kickball but with a frisbee and mini dodgeballs for socially distant tagging).
Tuesday was our first full “normal” day of residential camp. Dips, Quiet Time, Flag Raising, Cleanup, Morning Activities – the whole shebang. Afternoon activities look a little different this year. You’re doing them with all of the campers Since we don’t quite have the space to get everyone down on the beach at once, we are doing a rotation where half of camp is doing their afternoon activity while the other half is down at the beach. If you’re starting on land (doing your afternoon activity first), you’re a Badger, while you’re an Otter if you’re starting in the water with your beach period. We’ve been looking for years for a way to get more woodland creatures into the schedule, and we found a great way to do it! We wrapped up the day with another new game called Tower Defense.
Wednesday was Cabin Day! Highlights included exploring the mud pits, tubing on Glen Lake, biking around and exploring the old barns around Port Oneida, and a travelling Wrestlemania show. We had our weekly Wednesday night service with one of our Algonquin campers giving the readings for us followed by a hymn sing with Kohahna for the oldest cabins.
Thursday night, we drove the whole camp over to the shallows of Glen Lake to play WaPo. This year, we played within our cohorts to allow for proper social distancing, but this just meant there was even more tackling and scoring happening. All in all, it was a fantastic evening.
Friday night was our North vs. South July Madness basketball showdown! We played some knockout, 3-on-3, and finally a full 5-on-5 game with the seniors. It was an evening full of team spirit, hard competition, and great sportsmanship.
Saturday morning we did our morning activities one more time to get the full week’s worth of star-earning, and the rest of the day was filled with classic camp activities. We went out in the afternoon for some tackle practice in the woods, and played soccer after dinner. Talk about a full day!
It has been an awesome, full, first week of residential camp! We can’t wait to welcome even more campers next week!
It has been a blast starting Residential Camp! We are grateful for the campers who arrived on Monday morning, whether they’re here for one week, three weeks, or the rest of the summer. After the new campers settled into their cabins in the morning, we launched into Camp with the Waukeenas and new Wildwoods taking the Swim Test in the afternoon. It was a sunny, toasty day so everyone was eager to get in the water! After the Swim Test, all of the cabins spent time creating cabin goals and contracts and getting to know each other through some good old cabin time. Some groups went down to the beach to swim or sunbathe, and others played icebreaker games to learn more about each other.
In the evening, the counselors led a LOC-style Bonfire for Evening Activity. In summary, LOC-style Bonfires include goofy skits, songs, and ridiculous buffoonery that makes everyone laugh. For example, the counselors performed two skits, one about camping among killer mosquitoes and the other about the Prince of South Manitou asking for the Princess of Sleeping Bear’s hand in marriage. In addition, we sang songs about a laundry-eating goat and Princess Pat sailing the seven seas. We also added some elements of a Kohahna Council Fire to this bonfire, like cabin cheers, individual introductions, and the fire building challenge (a classic Council Fire event). Overall, the campers had fun and laughed a lot during the LOC-style Bonfire!
Tuesday morning campers found out which Morning Activities they were in for the week. Kayaking, Waterskiing, Arts and Crafts, and Silversmithing were particularly popular. We also started our new Afternoon Activity format where counselors sign up to lead an activity for a cabin of their choice. These activities ranged from fairy house building with Gulls Nest to tubing with Windward. In the evening, the Wildwoods went to Pyramid Point and the Sandbowl to play games while the Waukeenas played an array of lawn games on the Great House Lawn. Both activities were opportunities for the older girls and the younger girls to bond within their respective Wildwood and Waukeena sections.
Wednesday was Cabin Day! Counselors planned special activities for their cabins to do together like tubing, cookie baking, and ziplining. Evening Activity was Wednesday Night Church led by one of the CTs who prepared thoughtful readings. We also had a socially distant hymn sing with Leelanau after the testimony meeting, which was a success! This is a favorite of many campers so we are thankful that we were able to make it work while abiding by social distancing guidelines.
During the final days of the week, we fit in some classic Kohahna Evening Activities. We played a Pines vs. Sands game on Thursday called 8 Sticks, an adaptation of Capture the Flag on the soccer field where the goal is to get the other team’s four flags in your team’s flag circle. And on Friday night, after packing and cleaning time, we did Lip Sync, a hilarious Kohahna favorite.
Saturday we said goodbye to the one-weekers in the morning and moved into new cabins for the Second Session. In the afternoon the campers participated in a Beach Bonanza to unwind after moving all morning. The Beach Bonanza included a rotation of activities the girls did in their cabins, such as a relay race, an obstacle course, and a sandcastle building contest.
For Evening Activity we cozied up with our cabins in the Great House to watch the movie Onward, a classic and relaxing Changeover activity.
It was a full and exciting week of Residential Camp! Moreover, First Session was packed with a successful two weeks of Day Camp and our first trial at Residential Camp. We are profoundly grateful to be up and running this summer, and cannot wait for Second Session to begin!
Another amazing week, with unreal warm weather and clear skies. Holy Smokes, but the Lake is feeling unfairly delightful this summer.
On Monday we re-welcomed our Day Camp kids with an Orientation and a Swim Test. By Monday evening we were out playing Eight Sticks with Pool Noodles all over the Soccer Field.
Tuesday brought an opportunity for growth and challenge to Cohort 4 as we took them up into the Pairs Ropes Course. That evening also saw an impressive showdown at our North/South Swim Meet. There was a photo finish race that proved too close to call. But by the end of the evening it was clear that the Crib Team are still the dominate crew.
Wednesday and Thursday blended into each other as the kids rolled through their activities in their Cohorts. With the CT project completed a bit late in the evening on Tuesday, the Leelanau CTs started up on their training program for their Trip to the Upper Peninsula next week. They found themselves in the woods behind camp practicing their camping skills like fire building, orienteering, canoeing, cooking, and working together as a team. It’s a great group of young men to have here learning and growing together.
Friday was the last day of “normal Day Camp” with activities and Camo Dodgeball in the evening, because Saturday was the 4th of July!! What a celebration we had here at Camp! In the morning we built floats out of our canoe trailers and paraded them for each other past the Lodge. In the afternoon we did games on the field at various stations all in the effort to rescue George Washington (Weldon) from the wicked King George (Hunter). Rest assured, the cohorts were successful and democracy was able to reign!
Sunday was our day of Transition. Our last day with the Day Camp only kids, and our first day to be able to have folks stay overnight. There was something magically meaningful about wrapping up Council Fire right on time, but for most of the fellows not having to rush back to the Big Tree, but instead just get a drink from the Box of Rocks, brush your teeth and head to bed. A wonderful sense of peace laid across the whole Camp. Our Practitioner put it best when she said we have a “Gentle breeze of Heavenly Affection” blowing across Camp.
With week two of Day Camp came so much fun, creativity, and good weather! Our campers thrived no matter their Morning Activity, whether they Ziplined or Blacksmithed, served it up in Tennis, or let out their creative side in Dance. In the afternoons, each cohort enjoyed custom-designed Afternoon Activities created by their counselors, including a water-balloon fight, taking on the Pairs Ropes Course, peaceful paddleboard yoga, and more. Evening Activities did not disappoint either with a Shrek-themed game of Clue, a get-to-know-you Newlyweds Game, and a tower protection Clash of the Cohorts game. When Saturday rolled around we celebrated the Fourth of July in style! We threw our own parade with floats made by each cohort; traveled through a time-machine adventure of American history which involved an obstacle course, cookie decorating, and creating a group dance; and made s’mores at two separate bonfires for the younger and older campers. We’ve had such a fun time with Day Camp and are grateful that it went so smoothly. Thank you for a jam-packed, high-energy, and happy two weeks; let residential camp begin!
Instead of the Cannon kicking off a Camp morning this year, we begin with a Car or Minivan tearing down Port Oneida Road toward the Big Tree.
The Day Camp days are upon us, and what a wonderful opportunity it is! The phrase we are using around here is that we are “emerging gently” into Summer Camp, and what a fun way to kick things off.
After a shuffling herd of knapsack wearing and stuffed animal (for rest hour) clutching Day Campers made their way through a Monday morning Flag Raising, Breakfast, and Quiet Time we kicked into an enthusiastic Orientation with the Ground Rules laid and Introductions made.
Then swim-test for all! With Bar Lake not being accessible to us these days, we did the ole Lake Michigan Raft swim, and boy did these kids earn their Level 3 this time around. Wow. Brisk June water means these boys must really want to go waterskiing this summer! Our evening activity was a Co-Ed Indoor Bonfire with joyous Camp Songs, Skits, and Stories shared before our daily evening dip, and happy and dripping back to the Big Tree for Pick-Up.
A moment of hilarious confusion on nomenclature occurred among the Crib Team on Tuesday morning. The counselors kept referring to morning Pick-Up and evening Drop-Off. Now a parent would probably have switched those around. It’s a testament to how excited these counselors are each day to “Pick-Up” their Campers from the parents for the day. And the end of the day is the reluctant “Drop-Off” back at the Big Tree when we have to give the kids back.
Our Tuesday evening activity was a Socially Distant game of Bombardment, where we paired cohorts, but also assigned zones of the court that cohort would be allowed to play in. It was fun watching the oldest kids try and toss out intercepting fire to protect their littlest teammates because they couldn’t actually stand in front of them like in other years.
On Wednesday, you might ask “what did we do for Cabin Day?” Well during Day Camp, and perhaps the whole summer, every day is Cabin Day as we follow our Cohorts from one activity to the next and sample all of the best Activities that Camp has to offer. Including of course an inspired Wednesday evening service provided by the Leelanau CTs.
Thursday evening brought out a little Team Spirit as the North and South teams competed in a Socially Distant game of Kickball, played with a Frisbee and Dodgeballs to keep folks more spread out on the field. Friday evening we joined Kohahna for a Counselor Fashion Show. And Saturday night we still played Soccer. It was Socially Distant Soccer, but it was awesome. It was awesome because it meant that more people touched the ball and supported their team.
It has been an amazing first week of this experiment we are calling Day Camp and we are already looking forward to doing it again next week!
We were so excited to have campers arrive and bring Day Camp to life! This week, campers got
to participate in a range of classic camp activities, including Silversmithing, Horse-back Riding,
Waterskiing, and Climbing. Campers got to experience all of the fun of this week within co-ed
cohorts, in which they were able to form stronger and stronger bonds as the week went on.
We’ve loved hearing about campers’ enthusiasm for Day Camp, including how they’re able to
spend more time with their brothers at Leelanau and complete a wide range of activities all in
one week. In the evenings, we had a blast having a bonfire, watching the new campers join their
teams, playing the Chicken Game, and dressing up the counselors for a Counselor Fashion
Show. We are feeling so blessed to have had such a fun-filled, action-packed harmonious first
week of Day Camp!
Seven Booms for Seven Weeks of booming growth and progress as young men of Leelanau!!
Sunday launched the LIFE Tournament. Red and White faced off on the ole Frisbutt Pitch. Then Blue and Green lined up to send Blue and White into the Finals at the end of the week.
Monday and Tuesday marked to last two most normal Camp days that we could muster. With Jr. Soccer and Sr. Bombardment as the evening activity for Monday, and on Tuesday Evening the Big Blue Bus took everyone to the Shallows for Water Polo. Having two games of WaPo going at once, Juniors in one spot and Seniors in another make for a head spinning evening for the Camp Photographer. Amazing moments of sportsmanship and good hard play occurred faster than a camera shutter could capture it all.
On Wednesday the fellows loaded the vans and Blue Bus and distributed themselves all over the county for the final Cabin Day of the summer. We had folks picking raspberries, playing Disc Golf, swimming in Lake Michigan, and everything in between. The evening ended with an inspired Church Service summarizing gratitude and healings of the past four or seven weeks.
On Thursday the CT boys rose early for a quick dash around the ole Basch Loop, before chasing all of Camp down to dips for some inspired exercises. It is difficult to know how those exercises inspired the Campers, but by the time we gathered that evening for our Funny Awards Ceremony the sharing was heartfelt and meaningful.
Friday was the day to really spit shine and polish ourselves up. Donning our whitest whites on Friday afternoon the Campers gathered at the Flag Pole for a final inspection of themselves before heading into the Great House for their Banquet. From HQ’s perspective, we can tell if it has been a successful and effective summer when the Banquet Hall on Friday Night has both spirit and decorum. The spirit of Camp was loud and large as the boys feasted and sang. The decorum side came as they ate and chatted without going bonkers. Success!! The boys behaved perfectly. The celebration of achievement continued into the evening as we awarded the Seven Medals, Advanced Outdoorsman, Core Awards, and finally revealed the winning team of the year. Congratulations North Team!
On Saturday with the revelry of Final Banquet still in our heads we pulled ourselves together to pack up our cabins and prepare Camp for the parents to enjoy a showcase of Camp activities. At 2pm we met the parents and friends in the Lodge for a review of a few favorite acts from the summer, then headed out for parents to watch us in our activities, then gathered one more time on the Soccer Field for a final round the The Hunger Games. Albeit the parents were befuddled by the rules of the game, the kids loved playing. After dinner we lined up for one final trip up the hill for our Final Council Fire of 2019. It was a meaningful final evening together, and with a big proverbial hug Weldon reminded us how much we’d grown and made sure we all knew we belong right back here at Pyramid Point next summer.
Signing off from the Desk of HQ.
"When counselors and campers return at the beginning of the summer, it is so apparent that they have returned to a place they consider to be a second home."
-Leelanau & Kohahna Counselor