This was the final day of our Homecoming Weekend at our brother-sister overnight camp. To close out this incredible weekend this afternoon we celebrated with our annual camp carnival. This special event goes back to our founding in 1930, and it is also a great day for fun, creativity, and good times with friends. After all of the excitement of yesterday's Hollowpallooza music festival we slept a little late, and then began to prepare for this afternoon's amazing special event. Every camper and counselor was very excited for this year's theme: Star Wars.
More than once this summer I've written that at its core our overnight camp in NH is about taking part in things that you wouldn't normally do at home. It's why our days are filled with jumping off of zip lines, tubing around our beautiful lake, and learning how to make our own furniture (while also playing lots of sports and making a ton of camp friends). This drive to do the exciting and unusual was on display from morning to night today.
After an incredible parents' Visiting Day we got right back into having loads of fun and excitement. Throughout this 5th week of the summer our campers were playing and winning sports tournaments, going on incredible outdoor adventures up mountains and on canoe trips, and participating in all of the fabulous sports, arts and waterfront activities that we offer every day of our overnight camp's 7 week experience.
One of the goals of our overnight camp is to make sure that our campers have experiences and adventures that they aren't going to find during their school year. It's why we take them mountain climbing and on canoe trips to far away islands. It's why we teach them how to play in a rock band, how to wake board, and how to climb a 60 ft tall tree. It's also why we let them wrestle in 1,000 pounds of Jell-O, have paint balloon fights, and get silly dancing at blacklight parties.
It was yet another great day at camp today. We try our best to jam pack as much excitement, fun and learning into every camp day, and this was a good example. Here are just some of the moments I saw today as I went around campus.
We try to make every day here exciting and fun, and every evening creative and thrilling. As many nights in a week as possible we want them to participate in evening activities that they just couldn't do anywhere else in their lives. Today was a great example of some of the crazy, silly, imaginative, collaborative things we like to do together as the sun is setting over our campus. Take a look!
Topics: evening activities
With an amazing visiting day for parents behind us this morning we woke up and got back to the basics of summer camp. Our counselors went to bed at the same time as our campers so everyone woke up this morning happy and rested, and thrilled to be here for 3 more incredible weeks.
Almost every age group was in camp today, which meant that this was a day of our campers playing sports, making beautiful creations in arts, and having tons of fun at the waterfront and on the ropes course.
Today was our annual event called Rookie Day. Younger siblings, cousins, neighbors and friends of current campers had the chance to visit our overnight camp, try it out, and even sleep over. What a great day for everyone involved!
Topics: camper rookie day
The fourth week of the summer was pretty fantastic here. We won some sports tournaments, went on some amazing outdoor adventures, and just loved being together as one big camp family. Make sure to watch our video highlights!
Part of the experience here at our 7 week overnight camp is trying activities that you probably can't do anywhere else in your life. Like wrestling in 1,000 lbs of Jell-O, leaping off of 40 foot cliffs into natural pools of water, or jamming in a rock band on a stage in front of 500 people. Today we went hunting dinosaurs and zombies.
Just a quick note here: I wrote this on Sunday and thought that I published it. Clearly not!
As I wrote about in yesterday's blog, this weekend our campers and counselors have been happily participating in something we like to call "Big Weekend". Last night we had had one of favorite special events of the entire summer: Rope Burning.
There's something so powerful about having friends who support you unconditionally. It makes you feel like you can weather any storm or accomplish any task life puts in front of you. Ask any camper or counselor here what's the most important thing to know about our brother-sister summer camps and they reply "to be a good friend". It's the Kenwood and Evergreen way.
Friday, , just after Services and the showing of the weekly video wrap up, we brought everyone in the community to the tent. The kids weren't quite sure what was going on, though many of the older campers suspected that something was up. And they were right, for it was time for the Big Weekend Breakout.
This was quite a third week of the summer for our camp community. Jell-O Wrestling, tons of amazing outdoor adventures, sports tournaments, a fabulous theater performance, a new golf driving range, and so many other special moments. Make sure to watch our video highlights!
Exploring the natural world helps make kids more creative, more empathetic, and helps reduce anxiety. It's why outdoor adventure is such an important part of our overnight camp experience. In this age of social media and electronic connectivity we want to help all of our campers become more comfortable spending time outside, especially with so many incredible natural resources in New Hampshire.
Daily summer camp activities are great. They help you become a better artist or athlete or swimmer, and are often lots of fun. But at our overnight camp in NH we also get to do wild, crazy, ridiculously fun things that you just can't do anywhere. Things like this:
This was just another typical day here at our overnight camp in New Hampshire, but that's what I loved about it. A typical Camp day is filled with so many special moments and I thought I'd highlight just a few.
At morning assembly we celebrated the birthday of a camper and also of Music James. James has been our head of the music department for 5 summers, and over that time he's literally taught hundreds of boys and girls how to play the electric guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. Most of his days here are spent helping groups of friends form rock bands and practice successfully until they are ready to perform at Hollowpallooza, our music festival on the 5th Saturday of the summer.
A tradition at our assemblies is that when it's your birthday you get to invite up anyone who has special meaning for you to help lead the singing of our birthday song. The list usually includes bunkmates, former counselors, and maybe a favorite administrator. We turned it a bit on its head today and asked "please come up and celebrate James if he has helped you be ready to perform in Hollowpallooza". This is how many campers and staff came forward.
No matter what age you start here this place becomes your second home.
It was a beautiful, right sunshiny day today (the rain is gone, aw yeah!) and everyone was celebrating. The change from cold and rain to warm and sunny brought out the best mood in campers and counselors. Kids skipped on their way up to breakfast, and I saw lots of hand holding and hugging. What a wonderful way to start the 3rd week of the summer!
Camp Parents ask me all the time what do you do when it rains? The answer is very simple: we play outside and it's the best time ever!
As parents we want our children to be comfortable exploring the world, and yet we also want them to be quality risk assessors. Being an independent and responsible person requires proficiency in both. Like all other important life skills, this can only come with practice...and some failures. At our brother-sister overnight camp in NH we work to make this the perfect laboratory for figuring out the difference between healthy and unhealthy risk taking.
And what a week this was! 4th of July, Nancy Tucker, Fireworks, sports tournaments, Gold Rush and so much more! Check out all of the fun and excitement we had this 2nd week of the Summer of 2016.
Thursday's are special days here at our overnight camp in NH. Most of the chefs have off, but that doesn't mean we are without delicious meals. At lunch time the entire community has a massive picnic on the lawn around our dining hall. The kitchen staff today put out an amazing feast of different deli meats, a few types of salads, grilled meats, veggies and cheeses for make-your-own-nachos, and an array of fresh fruits and homemade cupcakes.
It occurred to me that I didn't write that much about this year's staff training. It being the cornerstone of how we create summers of fun and learning for our campers, I thought that I might want to remedy this.
Starting June 12th each of our coaches, teachers, activity heads and group leaders arrived for two weeks of learning how to be an exceptional child development professional. During their training we offered seminars on every aspect of being a camp counselor, from how to run the most fun and engaging sports and arts activities possible to how to keep each of our campers physically and emotionally safe.
My blog is going to be shorter than usual today because my attention was a bit diverted. Every three years we are visited by accreditors from the American Camp Association, and today was the big day!
Every day here has the potential to be amazing. It's overnight camp. But with it being the 4th of July today we took this regular day and made it even more amazing with all sorts of traditions and special events.
Sunday's are an important day at our brother-sister overnight camp. After recharging our batteries by sleeping a little late, our campers then spend the morning working together in their cabins. A small group of avid fisherman got up very early and joined Adventure Dave on a trip into town to participate in our first ever fishing tournament. They had a blast, and we are actually waiting to hear how one of the 12 year old boys placed. He caught 6 bass and may have won for his age bracket!
Yesterday was the end of an amazing first week at our overnight camp...so today we began the start of our fabulous second week of the summer of 2016! If you missed our video wrap up of last week please click here.
This has been an absolutely incredible first week of Camp. There has been so much fun and skill building and friendship making and laughter and great times outdoors. Throughout each day, as I go from activity to activity, I occasionally bring out my little camera and film bits and moments of our kids and camp counselors interacting with one another. Here are some of my favorite moments from this first week of the summer of 2016.
Today was a glorious day at camp. We woke up to bright sunshine and few clouds, and almost zero humidity. When I left my cabin at 7am there were already kids awake and outside. In both our boys' and girls' camps the cabins have space to hang out and socialize, and this is especially important for our early risers who need to do so without waking their bunkmates up. All of our girls' lodges have living rooms with couches to sit on and gab, and our boys' bunks have front decks for doing the same. Most mornings the kids who wake up early use these communal spaces to play cards, quietly read a book, and just have fun socializing. Because they have no electronics at camp to turn on or play with, they actually have to interact with one another. This leads to countless more opportunities to have fun and discover new friendships.