July 4th Fireworks Light up Echo Lake

It was an amazing week at Camp Laurel. Everything is in full force and campers are developing new skills, refining old skills and trying new activities all over camp. Our Intercamp and tournament calendar is as active as ever and we are competing in lacrosse, hoops, baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, climbing and more. Lake Swim prep is underway. Each campus has already ventured out on an S Day trip. We’ve been to Boothbay, the Old Port, Funtown, Aquaboggin and even Kahuna Laguna.
We had Ronnie Rahm the hypnotist, a fantastic camp brother and sister campfire, and today we hosted Maine’s largest intercamp rock climbing competition. To top it off, Boston Cannons Major League Lacrosse player Paul Rabil is with us today for a morning and afternoon of skills clinics and chalk-talks. This is Paul’s third year at Laurel and he continues to delight and surprise our campers and staff alike. Of course, last night was the spectacular Fireworks display over Echo Lake….central Maine’s largest fireworks extravaganza. It was incredible!!

We have so much to look forward to this week. We’re sending out 4 camping trips this morning and then Sunday is Traditions Day at Laurel. We’ll partake in the Bec Swim, Bago Run, Sequoia Olympics and more. Not to mention our 8th graders depart for Adventure Bound for their overnight. We’re enjoying the fantastic weather in Maine and spending countless hours in Echo Lake…where we swim, sail, paddle-board, kayak, ski, wake-board, canoe, fish and more. It’s been a great week at camp!

Quest, Tournaments, Instruction and More

From the Tennis Courts to the Dance Studio and everything in between, the last week of camp has been incredible.  Every program area has been humming in high gear. Take a look at Laurel Today

We played in more than 20 intercamps this past week.  Not to mention camping trips, Golf Plus, the 12-way 8th grade Wildwood Dance Extravaganza and S-Day trips to Boothbay, Funtown, Splashtown, Aquabaggon and the Old Port. This past Sunday we had a phenomenal Quest Day with the Cool Collegiate’s bringing home the coveted Chinese food at Alliquippa prize.  Ronnie Rahm the Hypnotist once again captivated us in the Fieldhouse.
Rehearsals for Guys and Dolls are in full swing. The music coming out of Rockport is awesome!  Campers are getting up on waterskiis all over Echo Lake. And Fitness is all-the-rage once again under Trumbull’s watchful eye.  What about Chefcamp?  Never been better with Chef Sarah! As the sun goes down, groups can be seen at the Alliquippa and Lean To for campfires and s’mores….and  wait, tonight its Skillz Night and Baxter /Sequoia Counselor Match.  We can’t wait!!

Anatomy of A Summer Camp

Summer camp is often thought of as a whole, a single place where campers convene for several weeks each summer.  Few think of summer camp in the context of its smaller parts.  Yet, for campers, the special memories that make up “summer camp” in their minds are not merely the product of a whole, but a collection of memories related to its various parts.  The overall experience of summer camp not only comprises a special place in the heart of campers, but the memories connected to favorite spots on campus.  What are these parts, and why would do campers find them so dear?  They’re places that, without, summer camp just wouldn’t be summer camp.

Cabins/Bunks: Some camps call them cabins.  Other camps call them bunks.  What they have in common is that they are private spaces that a handful of campers at each camp have in common.  They live in their bunks, sleep in their bunks, and attend activities with their bunks.  Every bunk has its own playlist, inside jokes, special nicknames for each other, and unique games that it enjoys.

Dining Hall/Dining Room: At home, the dining room is just a place for campers to eat. But at camp, it’s such an important place that it’s spelled with capital letters.  The camp dining facility is not only a place where the camp convenes for meals, but a place full of song and cheer.

Lake: The lake is the hub of a summer camp waterfront.  It’s the place where campers go to swim, boat,waterski, tube, and socialize.  It’s so special that, at most camps, every camper goes there at least once a day. Lots of friendships are formed and memories are made on the docks and beaches of the camp lake.

Flagpole/Campfire: Every camp has a special place where the entire camp convenes in the morning and/or evening to officially kick off or end the day.  This is where sports and competition wins are celebrated and special occasions are marked, and each camp does something just a little bit different to inflict personality into its assembly location to make it a memorable place for campers.

Fieldhouse/Rec Hall/Playhouse: This is another facility that goes by a different name from camp to camp, but is home to memories of camp shows, sing-alongs, athletic events, evening activities, and just about a million other activities.  For all intents and purposes, it’s a campus all-purpose building, the place where the entire camp gathers to celebrate activities that are as indispensable to the camp experience as to the camp itself.

Of course, as merely buildings, these locations make up just a fraction of summer camp campuses.  But they’re so full of literally decades of memories that the spirit of the camp emanates from them, and every camper has a nearly endless list of memories that involve them.  Not just summer camp, but the anatomy of it is essential to the summer camp in the making of camp memories.