Camp Laurel Blog

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Unbelievable First Week of Excitement and Fun!

At Laurel we pack in a serious amount a fun into each day! From Instructional Tennis, Waterskiing, Riding, Lacrosse and Fitness to the more whacky Dodge Ball Tournaments, Crazy Creative Egg Drop Competitions 60 feet above the ground on our Climbing Towers (and yes some eggs survived!), to the Dance Off and Counselor Cabaret…we do it all! Last night the Apache boys were drafted onto teams for their Sports Night and Sequoia, Bec and Bago competed Football, Soccer and Hockey under-the-lights. Acadia had Trivia Night and Baxter went all out for a Hunger Games- themed Gaga tournament! Tonight we’re looking forward to the annual camper Talent Show featuring acts from all campuses — songs, dances, skits and even amazing human tricks! Intercamps started today….Quest is just around the corner…The Eagles caught 16 fish this morning….and it’s a Magnificent Day in the state of Maine!!!

Program Begins in Readfield…

As the buses rolled in on Saturday, excitement and friendship could be seen in the crashing hugs and screams of laughter as friends were reunited and new bonds were formed. Whether Super Senior veterans or first year campers, our excited staff couldn’t wait to welcome our campers to their summer home!
After dinner, we all gathered in the Fieldhouse and were start!treated to the awesome talents of our staff. Seven, eight, and ten year returners were awarded Laurel-logo Northface Fleeces and Watches gifts, and Jem quoted a camper who said: “the only sad thing about the start of camp is knowing that the end will be near.” On Sunday we jumped into activities, got into the swing of camp, and Baxter, Sequoia, Bec, and Bago auditioned for the Big Show, “FAME”. Summer 2012 is off to a fabulous

Staff Orientation Week

Some campers and parents may wonder what happens up at camp before they arrive. When do the counselors get there and what do they do to prepare? All of America’s Finest Summer Camp staff members attend a week long orientation session. This is a week when counselors learn a lot about themselves, each other, the camp itself and, most importantly, our campers! Quite literally, the goal of camp is to make sure campers have the most fun they possibly can have while still being safe. During Orientation week, every camp staff member learns how to make that happen. They also have a little bit of fun while doing this. They live as campers in cabins during Orientation, they learn all of the camp’s favorite songs (motions too!), they play games, participate in evening activities, and learn dining and trip procedures. Orientation is a fun and intense week, but it’s made even more so by the excitement for the campers’ arrival. By the end of Orientation week, everyone knows that camp is getting close. But even the activity generated by having all our staff members around for Orientation doessn’t compare to the atmosphere instantly created by a camp full of campers! We’ll see you soon!

First Time Camper…

So you’re a first-time camper.

Congratulations! You’re in for an amazing summer.

Here’s something interesting to think about: Everyone at Laurel was once a first-time camper. Everyone!

You’re in great company!

You may already know some things about camp. You’ll be met at your bus orplane departure area by Laurel Counselors and Camper Greeters (older veteran campers) who will quickly make you feel comfortable. They’ll help you out during the trip to camp. And on the way you’ll get to know the other Laurel campers your age. Some of them will be first-time campers too.

When you get off the bus at camp, you’ll be met by Jem, Debbie, Peter, Claire and many counselors from your cabin and group. The counselors will take you right to your cabin.
Then, you’ll meet more counselors and campers in your group and get a tour of camp.

Your bags will be unpacked, your bed made. You’ll be ready to start camp right away.

You’ll adjust so quickly to the Camp Laurel routine. We’ve got a lot of traditions, from morning Cove to S-Day and the Quest.

As the summer goes on, you’ll try new things. There’s new food (did you know we buy lots of stuff from local farmers?). New activities, like archery, lacrosse, wakeboarding, fitness, metalsmithing and radio. Even comedy improv.

You’ll meet campers and counselors from all over the country.

At the end of the summer, your parents will be amazed at all the new things you’ve tried. They’ll love hearing about all the new things you’ve done and friendships formed.

And the summer after next, you’ll be one of the veteran campers showing new campers the ropes.

We cant wait to see you soon!!

Mail Call

If your children have ever attended camp, chances are you’ve walked out to your mailbox at some point in the summer to find a letter that goes something like this:

Hi Mom and Dad,

I passed my swim test.  Yay!  I almost made it all the way to the top of the climbing wall yesterday.  More yay!  I WILL zipline before the end of the summer!  I bounced the ball off the post and actually scored a goal in soccer earlier today.  FIRST GOAL EVER!  The most yay!  Went on a nature hike a few days ago.  We saw a squirrel and named him Sam.  At least we think it was a squirrel.  It could have been a bunny.  Emma said that maybe it was a chupacabra.  Duh!  Chupacabras aren’t real.  But we just said, “Maybe.”  Then we thought it would be funny if we actually told people we saw a chupacabra just to see how many people we could get to believe us.  So now like a lot more people than I ever thought would believe there is a chupacabra running around in the woods, which is kind of bad because now it’s IMPOSSIBLE to sign up for nature because everyone wants to go on hikes in the woods to see the chupacabra.  Long story short, if Max writes home about seeing a chupacabra, it was a squirrel (or a bunny).  And if he finds out it was a squirrel and writes home that I told him it was a chupacabra, it wasn’t a trick I was playing on him specifically—and it wasn’t just me.

So my friend Katie and I made up this new game to see who can make up the goofiest knock knock joke.  Wanna hear the (kinda) funny joke she made up while we were walking?  Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Katie.  Katie who?  Katiepillar.  I made up one at dinner but it’s not as funny.  Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Butter.  Butter who?  Butterfly.  I also learned a new card trick in magic the other day that I can’t wait to show you when I get home.  My favorite thing so far is cooking.  Yesterday, we made chocolate chip cookies.  Don’t be mad.  I ate two.  But they were small.  Speaking of food, can we have pancakes more often when I get home?  I never realized I like pancakes so much before.  Gotta go.  Time for guitar.  Love ya!

p.s. Can you add this list to the other list of things I asked you to bring on visiting day?  Doritos, M&M’s (not the peanut kind), gummi bears, and Sweet Tarts (the chewy kind).

Many summer camps make letter writing a regular part of campers’schedule and deliver

letters from parents and relatives to campers each day.  For campers, there is something special about sprawling across their bed at camp and reading what Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, and maybe even pets have been up to.

For parents, seeing a letter in their children’s handwriting makes the communication more personable.  It’s endearing to think one’s son or daughter took the time out of his or day to write home. Some parents even joke about how refreshing it is to receive a message that isn’t so full of abbreviated words that it requires an interpreter, like many text messages. It also lends added significance to those things about which children choose to write.  Parents have reported that it helps them more closely identify their children’s interests.  If a child dedicates two thirds of each letter home to how much fun she is having playing tennis, it’s a good indication that tennis is playing a particularly important role in the success of the camper’s summer.  Some parents  are so highly entertained by their children’s letters from camp that they make scrapbooks of their children’s letters from camp throughout the years as a memoir.  Author Diane Falanga was so inspired by children’s letters from camp that she published a compilation of them.

Sadly, email and text messaging have almost made the art of letter writing—taking pen to paper—extinct. But summer camp is a place where the tradition still survives.  Summer is a time when the joy of receiving an envelope with one’s name on it is rediscovered every summer by thousands of children and parents alike.

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