Camp Laurel Blog

Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Whirlwind of Activity

PDubs-29 From Basketball Intercamps to Rehearsals for Annie, Tennis Tournaments to Camping Trips all over Maine and New Hampshire, Fitness to Equestrian, S Day Bumpertubing to Extended Trips in Montreal, Boston and Sunday River…it was a busy week!

PDubs-21We built-in some sleep-ins because after five weeks, everyone’s getting a little bit tired. But we still have two weeks of fun, surprises and excitement to go, and we cant wait!!

It will be great to have our whole camp family back together on Sunday when the Super Seniors return from their seven-day trip. We have a busy week ahead: Annie, Home Run Derby, Movie-Under-the-Stars, Arena Dodgeball, All Day Boys Basketball Tournament at Camp All Star, Bec Flashback Friday, Cabin Campfires…and so much more. We’re also so psyched for Lake Swim, Sports Night Championships, U-12 Boys Lax Tournament, and trips to Swan Island and Belgrade Lakes. Lets not forget “Feel Like A Pot” Day at Ceramics and, of course, the annual Ping Pong / Pop A Shot Derby.

We’re gonna have an amazing weekend…and we wish you the same!

Making The Turn At Their Own Pace

Tennis-9 After a busy visiting weekend, we made the turn to the back nine and there’s still plenty to do. Our Bec and Bago campers are having a blast traveling all over Boston, Montreal, Ogunquit, North Conway and Sunday River. Intercamps, Overnight Camping Trips, Tournaments, Radio Shows and “Annie” Rehearsals are all in full swing. And, of course, our younger campers love having “camp to themselves” this week while the Extended Trips are out.

We wish you had the opportunity to fly over camp and see what was happening in Readfield. The activities, sports and program are in high gear as you likely witnessed on Visiting Day. But what’s best are the relationships — both camper-to-camper and camper-to-counselor — that have developed over the past five weeks. Relationships and friendships that will last a lifetime. Some are subtle and will sprout over time. Others are in high gear. Either way, in their own way, each child feels safe, connected and comfortable. Each camper has adapted to camp life and is engaged in his or her own way.  Tripping-8

The next two-and-a-half weeks will be filled with 1000 things to do. Tennis players, waterskiers, basketball players, dancers, lax players, ceramacists and equestrians will all get better at their skill.  But regardless of anyone’s interest and proficiency level in a program, the most important thing is that everyone will grow from the relationships they have nurtured during their time on Echo Lake.

Mid-Way and Lots to Do!

Waterskiing-4We are just mid-way through the summer, but there’s much to do. We still have mountains to climb, rivers to cross, lines and lyrics to learn, wakes to jump and goals to score. We’re going full force in our routine and look forward to continuing to master our skills, learning how to live with each other and most importantly, we look forward to having more fun.

Living in a cabin with a group of friends and counselors for seven weeks — with hardly any privacy — is not always easy. We learn to share and to compromise. We learn to give a lot and to take a little.  We learn how to cope. These are all great skills we will put to use in all our relationships: at home, with our family, at school, in college, at work and beyond.

Our days are filled with fun and frivolity. Our nights, with memories that will last a lifetime.

We look forward to seeing our families this weekend…and to spending the next three-and-a-half weeks together. There’s still lots to do!

Structure with Flexibility

Patricia-28Today marks the end of Week #3 at camp. We’ve been in a great rhythm at camp and cabin groups, program areas, campers and counselors are running on all cylinders.

Every morning, before anyone is up (except the breakfast chefs), Jem and Debbie meet with the Head Counselors, Campus Leaders and Program Directors to review the day ahead. We have an incredibly structured and complex program at Camp Laurel, and this 40 minute meeting gives us the opportunity to refine the day based on many different factors. Even though the daily program is set, there’s always a degree of spontaneity based on how the camp “feels.” Are campers and counselors rarin’ to go full speed… or, because we’ve had almost three full weeks without any weather delay…. do we need a late wake-up? Do the U-12 boys need an extra baseball intercamp, or do the Baxter girls need another round of bumper tubing? Do Super seniors want their next trip to Boothbay… or, should we try Old Orchard Beach? All of these questions (and so many more) are pondered as we put the very best, most exciting and most interesting program together for every camper.

Patricia-6After the program section of the meeting concludes, we break up into Boys Campuses and Girls Campuses and each Head Counlselor (Jon, Claire and Joie) meets with either Jem, Debbie and Peter to review each cabin group. We talk about cabin dynamics, camper interactions, staff interactions and make adjustments to ensure every child is getting the maximum experience possible.

There is a lot of structure at Camp Laurel, but we are not so set in our ways as to not open our eyes to adjustment, change and flexibility. Great traits to make an incredible summer and great traits for our campers to emulate in the outside world.

Taking Advantage…

Facebook-21At the all-camp Staff Meeting last night after Carnival, Jem and Debbie spoke with the counselors about camp being a marathon and not a sprint. They talked about pacing themselves, making sure they take good care of themselves and making the very most out of their experience at Camp Laurel. In the blink of an eye, it will be College Days and the end of the summer. So, we want everyone to “Take Advantage.”

The week gone by was awesome: we had Trips, Intercamps, Tournaments, Golf Plus, Carnival and so much more. We had 6th Period Specials, Matball Tourneys, Home Run Derbies and an amazing Camp Sister and Brother campfire. We created incredible delectables in Chefcamp…made masterful projects in Ceramics and Metals…and the Acadians and Apaches made hilarious paper penguins in Crafts. We worked on our pitching in baseball, hitting in softball, free throws in basketball and penalty kicks in Soccer. We tried to improve our form in tennis, better our balance in Gymnastics and control our breathing and strokes at Swimming. We loved Bumpertubing, Skiing, Wakeboarding and Wakesurfing behind our fleet of 5 Mastercrafts.Patricia-10

Senior Bec and Bago campers leave this afternoon for their whitewater rafting trip down the Kennebec River and the Ospreys and Eagles are at Alliquippa for Cabin Campfires. Baxter girls are going to Lake St. George and Sequoia boys are off to Rangeley Lakes.

While we want the staff to take advantage, we of course want the campers to take advantage too. Take advantage of this great thing we call CAMP!!

80 mph

Scott-88While our program continues to run at 80 mph, we wish you could see all that’s going on at camp.  Sure, parents and friends at home have the opportunity to see some pictures of their children with friends or participating in activities, but you can’t get a real taste of camp that way. A snapshot doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact – it barely tells anything at all.

What’s going on and is most important at camp is children learning independence and campers growing each and every day. Growing at activity areas, growing on the ballfields, growing at the lake, and most importantly, growing into solid and productive citizens.

Scott-139July 4th was great. Quest was amazing. The Hypnotism Show was out-of-sight. All-Camp Council Fire was awesome. Sports Night rolls on. But mostly, just being with each other in an unplugged community is the best.

Two weeks have already flown by, but stay tuned…the best is yet to come!

Week Two Starts Strong…

detail 2 Its been quite a week…and the action hasn’t stopped at all! Yesterday we hosted the Girls U-15 Soccer Tournament (finishing a strong second)…Forty eight campers left on four different overnight trips to Camden, Bradbury, Three Rocks and Mt. Blue…Eighty five campers participated in Baseball, Basketball, Soccer and Softball Intercamps at Vega, Manitou and Matoaka…and the program on the Fields and Basketball Courts, at the Lake, Tennis Courts, Climbing Towers and Inter-Arts areas has never been stronger. The new Aerial Park is out of sight and camp is rolling along as if campers and counselors have been together for 10 years.

detailWe’ve gotten used to the routine…settled into camp life and, as importantly, are thrilled when the routine is broken up by an S-Day (Special Day to those new to Camp Laurel lingo) or Special Event. And of course, cabin life is still such a highlight of the day for everyone – coming “home” after a full day playing, creating and participating at 90mph.

We have so much to look forward to this week, including our first Trip Day tomorrow.

The fun never stops in Readfield, Maine!

A Week Gone By

detailIt’s very hard to believe tomorrow will be one week of camp. One week! It feels like 20 minutes ago. Friendships are growing every day. Counselors are getting used to their campers every hour. And everyone is getting more comfortable in their cabins and at their program  areas. It’s amazing to see new campers fully immersed in Camp Laurel culture. If you were hovering above Readfield, you’d see all kinds of action and fun.

Tonight is our first All Camp Council Fire of the summer. It’s a great time to sit back, reflect on the week gone by, peer into the lake and think about the week ahead.detail 2

Council Fire is about the only time all week we can collect our thoughts and slow down. It’s a great time to hit the refresh button and just be together without the hubbub of the outside world or the 100 things going on in camp every hour.

We have a great weekend in front of us: July 4th…Quest…and our first S Day of the summer. We cant wait!

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