It's the start of our 18th 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, of course). About 40 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.
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Along the way we picked up a few dozen more friends in New Rochelle, Stamford and Bridgeport, 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 many 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 California, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, and New Hampshire!
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 blanket of white, which is sort of miraculous since the rest of the Northeast is totally without snow right now. Even with the leaves off of the trees and the grass completely covered, Camp looks really beautiful. As we stepped off the buses everyone began screaming with excitement to be back in a place we all love so much.
We settled into our heated cabins and then sat down together for an amazing dinner. There was piping hot chicken parm, pasta with many different sauces, 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 with dairy free cheese, and salad for our GF/DF eaters as well. Later in the night we had cake and ice cream while celebrating the birthdays of two of our friends, and Deena baked gluten free and dairy free brownies and cupcakes for our GF/DF friends.
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 everyone 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.
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 on our Instagram page at all of the fun we had today!