It's the start of our 17th annual, totally amazing Senior Camper Winter Weekend at our summer camp In NH!
At 11am this morning the journey began, and it always feels to me like a trip on the Hogwarts express (minus the owls and chocolate frogs). About 50 Kenwood and Evergreen campers and counselors and I boarded a private Amtrak train car at New York's Penn Station and headed north. Every year on this trip I love watching how it literally takes seconds for our kids and staff to get back into "camp mode". Campers and counselors were hugging and laughing and kind to each other, and it felt like Kenwood and Evergreen even though we were standing in the middle of an NYC train station.
This event was originally scheduled for the first weekend in January, which we had to postpone because of a major snowstorm that cancelled our train and made the roads from Boston to New Hampshire. We wee beyond excited that this event was able to be rescheduled, and that so many of our campers and counselors were able to move their lives around and join us for this incredible weekend!
Along the way we picked up friends in New Rochelle and Stamford, ultimately stopping at Boston's 128 Train Station. The entire ride was just so much fun, and everyone was so happy to be catching up with their friends that they hadn't seen since August.
When we arrived there were another 40 or so campers and counselors excitedly waiting to join us on our journey. Our camp community really loves being together, and people traveled from all over to be here. This year's Winter Weekend has campers and counselors from all over the United States, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington DC, Georgia, New Hampshire, Florida, and Virginia!
After the initial excitement died down we hopped on two chartered buses and made our way to our summer camp in NH. As we drove down the Camp road, even in the dark, you could see that the campus was covered in a lovely thick blanket of about 2 feet of snow. Even with the leaves off of the trees and the grass completely covered, Camp looks really beautiful. As we stepped off the buses you could hear everyone taking deep, peaceful breaths, so happy to be inhaling the fresh clean air of New Hampshire.
Everyone settled into their heated cabins and then we sat down together for an amazing dinner. There was piping hot chicken parm, pasta with many different sauces, meatballs, garlic bread and a delicious salad. Because of our camp's commitment to providing safe, delicious meals for everyone, we also had gluten free pasta, chicken parm, and salad for our GF eaters as well. Since finding a peanut free/tree nut free bakery is not so easy Deena made dozens and dozens of cookies for everyone.
Afterwards, we all put on our warmest clothing and headed to our soccer field called the Hollow for some late night sledding. The Hollow has outdoor stadium lights on it, and is a massive, incredible place for sledding. Many campers went down on sleds and a few brave souls tried some of the snowboards we brought.You should have heard how happy and excited every one was as they went on dozens of sledding runs. And as many as there were who were sledding just as many others sat together in circles and enjoyed being together in the middle of this place we love so much. They also discovered the massive igloo that the maintenance team built early in the day (and even decorated with lights!).
Deena and Tex chilling out in the igloo he helped make!
Then it was back to Cypress Lodge to warm up with some hot chocolate and snacks. We had some old school fun with puzzles and card games and art projects for everyone. There was also Monopoly, Uno, Connect Four, Heads Up, Ping Pong, Foosball, and more. There was tons of laughter and happiness.
At the end of the evening we all went back to our cabins to get some sleep. Still excited to all be together, we sat on each other's beds and talked, laughed, and talked some more. Though the temperature was below freezing and the lake was frozen solid it felt just like we were back in the middle of the summer at Camp. What a great night in New Hampshire with our camp friends.
Take a look at all of the fun we had today!