What a week! After the incredible 4th of July fireworks on Monday, we jumped back into program with a bang. Tuesday was a big sports day with intercamps going on both here and away in baseball, softball, basketball, and soccer. We capped the day off with an action-packed Sports Night highlighted by some incredible goals at Sequoia Hockey. Wednesday was an Out-of-Camp S-Day with everyone heading out to see some of Maine’s greatest attractions. Acadia and Apache spent the day at Funtown/Splashtown going on rides and playing games. Baxter and Sequoia splashed around at Aquaboggin Water Park and the weather couldn’t have been any better! Bec and Bago hit the picturesque Maine seaside town of Boothbay Harbor and had a nice, relaxing day.
On Thursday, we brought in world famous Lacrosse star Paul Rabil who put on a clinic and showed off his world record 111 mile per hour shot for our campers and signed autographs.
The night was capped off by our annual Hypnotism show featuring Ronnie Rahm, who put some staff members through a hilarious exhibition. Time sure flies when you’re having this much fun!
Camp is building up steam as we enter our second week of the summer! We’ve had a jam-packed last few days here at Laurel with The Quest on Friday, Western Day on Sunday, and the 4th of July on Monday. Western Day was a rootin-tootin good time with Gold Rush—a camp classic—and brand new in 2011, Laser Tag. We brought in obstacles, a fog machine, and the latest Laser Tag equipment and everyone had a blast!! Monday was July 4th and we had our annual Patriot Games and finished off the night with Maine’s greatest firework display, right over Echo Lake! What a way to celebrate America!!
Something you might not know about summer camp: It breeds passionate athletes in many different sports, even ones that are little known outside of summer camp, such as ga-ga. Although it’s not well known in America (but becoming more so everyday!), hoards of campers dream all winter about getting back into the ga-ga pit. Many camps even have ga-ga tournaments! Camp challenge weeks even have ga-ga challenges. There is no doubt that campers are going gaga for ga-ga!
So what is this ga-ga? It’s a little like dodgeball in a circular enclosed space. Many camps feature ga-ga pits , but the game can be played virtually anywhere there are four walls or barriers. As in dodgeball, when players are hit with the ball, they are out. They may, however, use the walls of the ga-ga court to clear the ball. As players are struck by the ball, they are eliminated, and leave the pit. The last boy (or girl) standing wins. Two primary ways that ga-ga differs from dodgeball is that ga-ga strikes must be at or below the knees and players bounce rather than throw the ball. Also unlike dodgeball, players may either bounce the ball at other players or against the walls of the pit. Some camps have adopted rules of play unique to their campers’ style of ga-ga play, while others prefer to stick to the official rules…What? There are official rules? Yep. In fact, there is even an International Championship Tournament held annually in Europe. More than 30 countries , including the U.S., winner of multiple championship titles, participate.
No one quite knows how ga-ga originated or where it comes from, but rumor has it that the game gets its name from the sound the ball makes during the opening play. It’s bounced twice in the air and the players say “ga” on each bounce. On the third bounce, the ball is in play (some rules call for three bounces with the ball officially in play on the fourth bounce). So warm up your ga-ga hands and start stretching. We’ll see you in the pit!
The first week of camp is wrapping up and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the summer! All programs are up and running. From Lacrosse to Waterskiing to Dance to Fitness to Tennis to Metals and so much more…we’re doing it all. The weather has been fantastic, too! Wednesday night was our first Sports Night highlighted by some incredible touchdown catches and a game-winning interception in Bago Football. Last night was our all-camp Talent Show and we were blown away by how many talented campers and staff we had on stage. Today is the annual Quest, a 50-year-old Laurel tradition! We split the camp up into 16 teams and compete in various sports, relays, and cheer competitions for a chance to win a Chinese feast at Jem and Debbie’s house, Alliquippa. The Super Seniors are pumped for their first opportunity of the summer to show their skills as team leaders. Who will win?