Happy 4th of July!
Happy 4th of July! We’ll start this message with what we know you all like to hear: there are no suspected cases of Covid-19 at camp. Breakfast today was waffles with strawberries and whipped cream to fuel up the boys for a day of fun. We played music through our big speakers during the meal to pump up the campers and staff.
As we began the day, we addressed the conflicting emotions that one can feel on the 4th of July in a country experiencing so much trouble. We spoke of the importance in addressing systemic racism and other issues that we as a nation are capable of handling much better. In reading the Preamble of the Constitution, we were reminded that we never will be a perfect country, but that we should always strive to be “a more perfect union.” In reading through the Declaration of Independence, we can acknowledge that we haven’t always gotten it right, but we must strive for equality and protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am incredibly proud of our boys and this entire generation of young people who have already committed themselves to standing up for these values that we hold so dear. So on the 4th of July we both celebrated the good and promised to work to correct injustices.
Every year for the 4th of July, there is a boat parade around Spider Lake that we’ve never had our campers participate in…until this year! Yesterday, cabin groups signed up for the boats they wanted to take out and had the chance to make signs and decorations to display today. Some cabins chose to stay back on land to do other fun activities, but we had quite a few cabins out on the lake, whether that be on ski boats, pontoons, or Hobie Cats. It was a fun change of pace to what happens on an average camp morning!
Following the boat parade, the campers enjoyed mini hot dogs and mac n’ cheese for lunch, accompanied by more upbeat music over the speakers. This was the fuel the boys needed to prepare for a very exciting afternoon: Green versus White. This tradition is an all-camp relay competition that every single camper participates in to contribute to their team’s success.
At the end of rest period, every new camper and staff member was initiated into one of the two teams. One by one, new members of our community were called up within cabin groups, and were sprayed with green or white paint to find out what team they’re on. Once you are assigned to a color team, you are on that team for life, so all returning campers and staff represented the same team they were on last summer. And no, don’t worry, the paint does not stain clothing! Once everyone was assigned a team, the captains were announced for each village. Of course, there were two captains per village – one green captain, and one white captain. The village captains of each teams were the ones to assign stations to their teammates.
There were a total of 53 events in the Green versus White relay competition, and every camper got to participate at one station. Some tasks involved running from one destination to another, some involved paddle boarding to a buoy and back, some involved field games like baggo and frisbee, some involved carrying an egg on a spoon, some involved wrapping campers in toilet paper, and some even involved loading up on sunscreen and hand sanitizer. The final activity in the competition is always “Boil Water Boil.” Two Pine/Manor boys (oldest campers) from each color team need to build a fire and put a can of water on the fire, and whichever can of water boils first is the winning team of the entire competition. In a very close race, Team White took the crown for today. But, as North Star’s motto goes, it just doesn’t matter. The boys understand that no matter what they’re doing or playing at camp, they’re friends before the activity, friends during the activity, and friends after the activity is over.
For the evening program, counselors and campers played a game called Space Invaders. One counselor from every cabin was asked to act as an alien and go hide around camp’s property. The other counselor stayed with their cabin group to find the hiding aliens. As an alien, they could only make sounds, but did not speak or understand English. When the boys found and chased down each alien, they had to find a way to communicate with them and do a silly task in order to be released to find the other aliens. The counselors had just as great of a time as the campers, and this game got the campers running around camp once more before the final exciting event of the evening.
Of course, the 4th of July isn’t complete without fireworks. Campers and counselors laid on the tennis courts after the evening program to enjoy our very own firework show, set off on the ball field. This meant the boys went to bed a little later than usual, but for one night, it was well worth it! Tomorrow, everyone will get to sleep in for an extra 30 minutes. We played classic American songs to match the speed of the fireworks, which the campers really enjoyed.
What an incredible day. Smiles were beaming through the masks. This is camp. More fun headed our way tomorrow!