Week 3 Begins
As I reflect on the last few days, I think it’s important to share the actions of our incredible counselors. From the moment we informed them about the events unfolding in Highland Park on Tuesday, they switched into another gear.
Over the past few days, they have listened to the boy’s fears. They have done their best to answer their questions, though some remain unanswerable. They provided empathy, support and love for the campers that allowed them to feel safe. They made camp fun anyways. They cheered and they danced and the campers followed suit. They led team building activities, slip and slides, beach outings and as part of a phenomenal Cruiser Day. They brought energy back to the 1st day of the 3rd week of projects that began this morning. They made Challenge Games tonight and North Star Ball this afternoon as loud and boisterous as ever.
And at night they put their arms around each other. They checked in on each other. They called their parents and checked on their friends at home and at other camps. One of our first year counselors said last night at the staff meeting that he’s never experienced so many hugs in his entire life, and promised that he’s here for anyone who needs one over the coming days.
I know that if you could have watched these guys take care of your boys over the last several days, you would be absolutely thrilled to have them as role models in your childrens’ lives. It’s hard to envision a more pure form of empathy and selflessness than we have seen out of our staff.
At our staff meeting last night, the counselors also worked on their weekly SEL evaluations of their campers. In addition to all of the fun they are creating, the counselors are working to teach and develop further skills in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making. You’ll hear more about this when you receive your Parent Letter from your child’s counselors at the end of the session.
Cabins I2, I4 and I5 all returned from their trips this evening and I3 left today. Can J4, I1 and I6 will all head out on their river trips on Friday. Even though the staffing shortages have limited the size of our trip staff, our campers are coming back from their excursions thrilled with their experiences.
Our Junior Village had a big outing up to Ashland yesterday for their village Cruiser Day, where many of them were able to swim in Lake Superior for the first time. The boys came back to camp when the weather changed and had a great picnic here, with a special dinner delivered from Coop’s Pizza in Hayward. The Intermediate and Senior Cabins made walking tacos over the campfire, and we finished off the night with my personal favorite campfire dessert – Banana Boats. To make a Banana Boat, you cut a banana down the middle the long way in order to make it like a hot dog bun. Then you shove chocolate chips and marshmallows into the middle, wrap it up in tin foil, and throw it on the fire for a few minutes. The result is warm, gooey, chocolatey banana deliciousness that you can scoop right out of the peel. Do try this at home!
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
– Thomas Edison