We woke up to another warm summer morning here at Camp. As we stood at morning assembly we marveled at the dozens and dozens of beautiful butterflies that fluttered around the flagpole and landed on our pink and purple flowers. Just like yesterday's visit from the geese, it was a lovely way to start a summer day here in New Hampshire.
All morning and afternoon our campers were busy practicing and playing their favorite sports, including soccer, softball, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, hockey and volleyball.
There was a mellowness to this day that campers and counselors all seemed to enjoy. I saw a lot of people walking around campus with their arms around each other, soaking up every opportunity to hang with their camp friends.
Speaking of friends, mid-morning we had an unexpected visitor. A woman named Didi who had been a camper during Evergreen's first summer was in the area and missing her old camp, so she decided to stop by. Her last summer at Evergreen was 1961, and then her daughters had gone here in the early 80's. She was beyond thrilled to see that her friend Phyllis was still here, and as it often does with Camp friends, it took them about 8 seconds to begin discussing all of the funny and wonderful things that they remembered about each other.
This message goes out to all K&E Alumni who might be reading this: We love when you visit, and the kids are always so excited to meet someone from a different era who loves their camp community!!
This is a place that people feel deeply passionate about, and we are always looking to find a way to help our campers and counselors make their mark. One way that we do this is with bunk plaques. Rather than having buildings covered in graffiti, our bunkmates collaborate each summer on designing and creating a piece of artwork that will hopefully hang on our cabin walls forever. Throughout the day both the Kenwood and Evergreen bunks were at Arts & Crafts putting the final touches on their beautiful and funny plaques.
Walking through both the Kenwood and Evergreen bunks it's quite wonderful to look at the many decades of names that hang on our walls. The plaques often capture the look or trends of their era, and are almost like a time capsule. Like this plaque below, which will someday cause kids to ask their counselors "what's a fidget spinner?"
When she arrived today the first thing our alumni visitor Didi asked me was "do you think my plaques are still hanging in Hemlock and Spruce?" You can imagine her delight when she saw that they were! As the Camp Leaders we look forward to today's campers and counselors coming back in future years and have the opportunity to see their names still on the walls of the bunks.
Just after Rest Period I was sitting at my desk when I got a call from Mark, our boys' waterfront director. In most circumstances that would be a cause for concern but you could hear through the radio how giddy he sounded. So I got over there and saw this:
One of our counselors had realized that the sandy slope leading to the waterfront was the perfect place for a makeshift waterslide. He and his friends borrowed some tarps, got some biodegradable soap, and suddenly all of Kenwood Junior Camp was taking tube rides down the slide. It was yet another example of the wonderful vibe of this day: camp friends working together to be creative and silly, and do things together that they would never forget.
Here's a slow motion video I shot of one little guy having the time of his life!
Because it was Wednesday it meant that most of our chefs had the day off. For dinner our Evergreen Junior Counselors grilled burgers, dogs, and veggie burgers for all of the girls' camp...while listening to amazing tunes and singing at the top of their lungs for about 2 hours. Just hearing them having such a good time together made me smile.
Over in Kenwood Freshmen & Sophomore Compound they were having a party as well. The counselors had a great Europe '72 Grateful Dead show playing while a group of boys were in the midst a very long round of Frisbee.
As I said, the mood all day today was fun and relaxed. At one point when I walked by the Camp Office Head Counselor Walshy and these Evergreen girls were engaged in a hysterically funny, random conversation about sweeping up all of the dirty around camp, and the tiniest baby toad any of us had ever seen jumped by and we all chased after it. It was a day of lots of silliness and good laughs.
And then it was time for evening activities. In Evergreen it was a much-loved annual event called Counselor Hunt. As soon as Head Counselor Courtney said "go!" the staff ran and hid all over the campus, but not before Phyllis had assigned each of them a silly animal nickname (for no reason other than to be fun and silly). Five minutes later pairs of girls where scouring the campus with flashlights, doing anything they could to bring back a caught counselor.
In Kenwood tonight was Plaque and Lip Sync night. Each bunk brought their finished sign to the tent and then put on a choreographed dance routine based on a song that the cabin has grown to love over the summer.
I want to make mention of this plaque pictured below. If you look closely it has lots of names in quotes, along with many different years. It is actually an homage to a plaque made when I was a camper, and then remade more than a decade later when I was a counselor. If you look closely at the names in quotes one of them is now a current Evergreen parent, another is my attorney, and in the coolest coincidence of them all, on the original plaque there was someone named Theo Green...and this year that same bunk has someone named...THEO GREENE! I love that our counselors care this much about the bunk plaques, and are just this creative.
I also just love the fact that this bunk made theirs three dimensional by affixing an actual dustpan to theirs.
And then there were the lip sync skits. It's so fun to watch our boys let loose and be as silly as possible. These guys raided the theater costume closest so that one could wear a dress and three others could wear suit jackets 8 sizes too big for them.
These guys were just adorable doing their rendition of The Beatles' "Twist and Shout".
These guys decided to do a routine based not on a song, but on a motivational exercise tape that they think is really funny. And they were right: the whole audience was in stitches watching them.
All night long each bunk and hut of boys tried to outdo each other by being as ridiculous as possible. The boy in the balcony pretended to be Miley Cyrus singing "Wrecking Ball".
I'm not even sure what song these guys were singing to but they were having the best time and thus so were we while watching them.
These guys took a song from NBC's "The Office" and put on a skit so funny I had tears in my eyes.
And these guys just went absolutely bananas, using every dance move they had ever learned or seen on "So You Think You Can Dance?" Watching boys of every age be this silly and this uninhibited together made me, Scott and Walshy so happy. It's an indicator of how close they have all become this summer.
All in all, it was another spectacular day here at our brother-sister summer camp in NH. I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!