Camp Laurel Blog

Monthly Archives: August 2019

Final Ceremony

We had an incredible summer, amazing College Days, and we look forward with great anticipation to tonight’s Lakeside Final Ceremony.

This Final Ceremony has been the closing hallmark of Camp Laurel since 1947.

In addition to the traditional march, group songs and group fires, each group will feature a fire starter and speaker representing their campuses. 

 

As your campers return home, we hope you will allow them the time and space to recount and process their experiences. They may appear hoarse from cheering, exhausted from College Days, and slow to readapt to the norms of family life. Given the opportunity over the coming days and weeks, however, even normally tight-lipped kids may let you in on the summers many triumphs and adventures. 

Have a wonderful, safe and happy year. We miss your kids already!

College Days 2019

College Days is a classic Laurel tradition, and probably the most all-consuming one. For four days, pretty much every camper, every counselor, every venue, every program area plays a role. The event has changed over the decades, evolving to become even more exciting and engaging.

For the last few years, campers have been divided into two teams, which makes more sense logistically than the three we used to have, and is much easier than the four we tried at one point. The Super Seniors seek to pick two colleges or universities that have some connection, say geography or history. Fans of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament probably recognized that this year’s two teams, Davidson and Gonzaga, both gained national prominence through their unexpected success in March Madness.

Part of the fun of College Days for the campers is to guess when it will start. The break from normal activities involves the appearance of something unexpected at Camp, whether a hot air balloon and a motorcycle club, like this year, or announcements dropped from a plane. Because the break has become such an anticipated event, we sometimes stage a dramatic event around the time when campers expect the break, just to kid around. This summer,  a professional team of fire-twirlers on the upper fields at dusk was just a cool evening program (and “fake break”), not the start of College Days!

Almost every full-season camp has a color war or other departure from the norm near the end of the season. The Laurel version diverges from the ones seen at many other camps in two key ways. For one, our team competitions extend to every activity, so campers can show their stuff not just in basketball and soccer, but in checkers, and not only in water-sports but in the arts, through competitive lip-syncing, cooking, and painting. In addition, Camp friendships are paramount at Laurel, and remain so during College Days.

Right now, Laurel campers are enjoying College Days as Laurel campers have for many decades, throwing themselves into team competitions while upholding Laurel values. While they play to win, we always come together as one big Laurel family at the end.

Something’s In The Air…

Everyone knows it’s coming, we just don’t know when. The chants of “Ketchup…Mustard…Mayonnaise, We Want College Days” can be heard everywhere. First, Saturday night’s dinner, “Pizza in the Pavilion” threw everyone for a loop. Then the Super Seniors not attending the Bec and Bago movie trip was another mis-clue. And now, tonight after the Dance Show, everyone is sure it’s happening. Only time will tell!

 

As regular program comes to a close, we slip into Sports Night Championships tomorrow morning and, sometime after that, the beginning of our five-day culminating event: College Days 2019. We’ll have regular updates on social media and daily on “Laurel Today.” For now, stay tuned and enjoy!!

Culminating Program Week

It’s very, very hard to believe there are only four days left of Program (actually, somewhere between 3 and 5 days, but we won’t say exactly lest you figure out when College Days will “break.”  It’s incredibly rewarding to see campers taking incredible advantage of their last regular program days of the summer. Mastering skills; finishing arts projects; dropping a ski for the first time; challenging a group-mate on the Tennis Ladder; challenging themselves in Dance or Fitness; scaling the Climbing Tower; running the Fit Trail; learning a new recipe in ChefCamp. The list goes on and on.

It was an action-packed week highlighted by the Triathlon and Lake Swim.

This weekend will feature great weather, and we’ll continue to play through until our Super Seniors tell us otherwise; after all, it’s they who help mastermind the start of our summer culminating activity. We’ll keep you up-to-date on all the goings-on in Readfield, and hope your weekend at home is going to be as special as ours, here on the eastern shore of our favorite lake!

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