The second week of the summer has begun and we had a lot going on today. There were many, many day and overnight trips, including an Evergreen 15-and-Under Lacrosse tournament (which we won!), a Kenwood 1st Year Seniors 3-day expedition up Mt Washington, all of Evergreen's Junior Campers at a water park, and Hut 6's start of their big white water rafting trip. Back at Camp it was a regular day of activities, and in total we offered more than 35 different individual and team sports, visual and performing arts, outdoor adventures and fun activities on the lake.
We slept late this morning, and after a delicious breakfast changed our sheets, had our weekly Unit meetings, and participated in our intramural sports leagues. After lunch we played one of our campers' favorite games: Ultimate Capture the Flag. "Ultimate", as it is known here, is just one of the amazing special events that are run by our Athletic Directors Jacki and Bob Mitchell. Each of their events are fun and exciting for the campers, and a great chance for our Brother-Sister camps to come together as one big community.
Our summer camp in NH takes part in a lot of trips and tournaments. Over the course of our 7-week season we collectively are involved in more than 85 separate out of Camp events. We climb mountains and canoe on white water rapids. We visit beaches, waterfalls and caves. We play in tournaments for basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, dance, gymnastics, archery, street hockey and volleyball. We pack a whole lot of fun into each summer for our happy campers.
This was a pretty incredible week at our overnight camp in NH, and we want to share with you some of our favorite moments. This video was shot and edited by Emily, our resident filmmaker and movie making specialist. We hope you enjoy her video!
Tonight we both created a new tradition and brought one back that had been gone for almost 2 decades. When our campers and counselors arrived at Assembly our Evergreen Head Counselor Courtney was holding up signs for each month of the year. Everyone was curious as she began handing them out to different campers and counselors whose names she had on a very long list. Then she began to ask everyone to form groups based on the month that they were born. Why? Because it was the return of "Birthday Night"!
When I'm visiting a future camper in his or her home one of the questions they almost always ask is "do you guys do anything fun for the 4th of July?" After I finish describing what we do to celebrate the holiday most simply respond with one word: Wow. Today was absolutely a "wow" kind of a day.
We know that entering a new community can be hard for even the most extroverted person. Campfires are one of our favorite ways to help welcome new campers and counselors join our extended camp family, and help make sure they know our community's norms, values and traditions. This short video is a look into what takes place at our brother-sister summer camps' campfires, and why they have such meaning for our campers and staff.
According to my camera I took 287 photos of our campers today. Here are some of my favorites! I feel like together they tell the story of what we did here today at Kenwood and Evergreen.
We woke up this morning to the first reveille of the summer, and Scott's announcement "everybody up...it's going to be a BEAUTIFUL day today. Rise and shine!" And a beautiful day it most certainly was.
Would you like to see some of the fun and excitement we had during the Opening Day of Camp this year?
For over 60 years one of the most beloved buildings on the Kenwood and Evergreen campus has been our gymnasium. We are thrilled to announce that after almost a year of hard work it has been fully renovated and is ready for the summer of 2018!
As a Camp Director there are few greater joys than seeing one of your former campers living their dream. Last night, Scott, Deena and I had the pleasure of witnessing one of those moments.
Twelve long years ago Scott Brody, Owner & Director of our overnight camp in NH, began working on a passion project. The goal was to help create and pass federal legislation that would allow summer camps access to FBI fingerprint background checks when vetting possible volunteers and employees. Criminal background checks are an essential part of a multifaceted screening process that includes personal interviews, reference checks, past employment checks and education verification. Comprehensive criminal background checks can deter those who intend to harm children from even applying for staff and volunteer positions in youth-serving organizations.
Last week the K&E Office made an eventful trip to Washington, DC. On Wednesday morning we were honored to have coffee with New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a friend of the summer camp industry. During our time together Scott discussed with her the importance of her helping to maintain the J-1 Visa program. For more than 50 years the J-1 has enabled students from around the world to work at sleepaway camps like ours, and is something this Presidential Administration intends to eliminate. As Legislative Chair of the American Camp Association Scott has worked extremely hard on lobbying our nation's leaders to maintain this cultural exchange program that has benefited generations of campers and counselors.
Our annual Senior Camper Winter Weekend just ended and it could not have been a better event. About 80 of our teen campers, counselors and leadership team spent the weekend hanging out together at our sleepaway camp in New Hampshire, and from start-to-finish it was all about fun times and good friends. We played in the snow and on the ice, ate delicious meals together, and just loved being with people who mean so much to us all. But we have a sneaking suspicion that the X factor in why this was such an extraordinary time was that we asked all of our teens to turn their iphones off and give themselves the gift of a weekend cell phone holiday.
So what did our campers do on this second day of our Senior Camper Winter Weekend?
- Woke up to a gorgeous NH winter morning!
- Had an delicious gourmet breakfast
- Went skating and walking around our beautiful lake
- Played a game called "Broomball"
- Tried ice fishing for the first time
- Went sledding all over our campus
- Hung out in an igloo big enough to hold 6 people
- Ate a whole lot of bbq chicken pizza
- Had a fabulous game of football with our counselors in the snow
- Worked on all sorts of art projects
- Played heads up, ping pong, cards, foosball, chess, and backgammon
- Paused to enjoy an incredible winter sunset over our lake
- Sat with our camp friends and talked the way only lifelong friends can with each other
- Laughed and giggled a whole lot
- Had a Mexican fiesta for dinner
- Celebrated 5 of our friends' birthdays
- Had a sing-a-long with Scott as he played guitar
- Road around in under the night sky in a horse drawn sleigh
- Watched an incredible fireworks display
And maybe most important of all...
Went more than 24 hours without even touching our cell phones and pretty much had the best time possible!
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.
Our annual Super Bowl Bingo Cards for our camp friends around the world are here and ready for you to download, print and play! This year we've made 18 unique cards to help you enjoy Sunday even more. As you watch the big game mark off each square when you see something happen that corresponds with your card. Get five in a row and you win! If you use them and like them please let us know.
Topics: super bowl bingo
"Our community is about the people and the times we spend together. We could have Camp in a parking lot if we needed to!" I think I first heard our camp's Owner/Director Scott Brody proudly make that claim almost 20 years ago, and it feels as true today as it did then. Just this past weekend almost 200 of our campers and counselors got together for a party in Stamford, CT and within minutes it felt like we were back at Camp...minus the beautiful weather and bucolic campus. I always find it incredible at an event like one of our reunions to stand back and watch how excited and happy everyone is to see each other. There's so much hugging and jumping up and down. And as we've written about in recent blogs, even when our leadership team is in other countries to interview potential new staff members former counselors take time out of their busy lives to see their Camp friends and help our community pick the best new recruits. The friendships formed at our sleepaway camp in NH are deep, meaningful and truly last a lifetime!
This weekend we hosted our biggest camper reunion of the entire year! Almost 200 campers, and a whole lot of counselors and parents gathered at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, CT for an evening of hanging out with camp friends. It's so incredible to watch how excited everyone is to see each other after months apart, and how quickly they jump back into the closeness of their camp friendships.
As #CampCounselorAppreciationWeek draws to an end we want to say a huge thank you to unsung groups in the Kenwood and Evergreen staff family: our Office Staff and our Medical team. During the summer they interact with campers, parents and staff 100's of times per day, and make a huge difference in the quality of our community member's summers.
It's day #5 of our Camp Counselor Appreciation Week and we want to send out a huge thank you to all of our incredible counselors who lived in bunks and lodges with our campers this summer. The members of this group go by many titles -- Bunk Counselor, General Counselor, Junior Counselor and Unit Leader -- and have an enormous impact on the lives of our campers. They dedicate their days to helping our campers have the best summers possible. They make life away from home fun, funny, nurturing, safe, comfortable, exciting, adventuresome and all around incredible. Our Camp Counselors are like a best friend, a mentor, a beloved teacher or coach, and a favorite aunt or uncle all rolled into one!
Last weekend Catherine & I travelled exactly 3618km from Sharon MA to Puebla Mexico on a quest to hire more amazing Kenwood & Evergreen summer employees. During our time in Mexico we met dozens of potential new recruits, and were also joined by our camp friend Salvador Marin. Salvador, or “Chava” as he is known to his campers and fellow counselors, has spent 4 summers at our sleep away camp in New Hampshire. First, he worked as a member of our Kitchen Support Staff team, then became the head of our Cooking activity area, and last summer was a bunk counselor in our youngest age group.
We're three days into Camp Counselor Appreciation Week and we want to send out a huge thank you to a group we call our Specialists. These are our many sports coaches, art teachers, lifeguards, ropes course instructors, performing arts counselors and anyone else who ran an activity area at our sleepaway camp this past summer.
It's Camp Counselor Appreciation Week here at Camps Kenwood and Evergreen, and today we want to celebrate our wonderful support staff. They are part of our Housekeeping, Kitchen and Maintenance teams, and without them our sleepaway camp in NH simply could not function.
Today begins our 1st annual Camp Counselor Appreciation Week!
Our sleepaway camp community wouldn't be as fun, exciting, safe, nurturing or life changing without the 200+ dedicated bunk counselors, sports coaches, arts teachers, lifeguards, kitchen staff, medical team, office associates or maintenance and housekeeping members who dedicate their lives each summer to making this such an amazing experience for our campers. And this week we want to try and thank them all in different blog and Instagram posts!
Finding the right sleepaway camp for your family is no easy feat, especially if you are unsure of whether or not all of the children in your home should attend the same camp!
Different overnight camps create different outcomes. Some focus on specific sports, arts, outdoor or aquatic skills, while others offer more generalized programs that seek to foster long-lasting friendships, independence, and resilience. Some sleepaway camps are a great fit for all of the boys and/or girls in a household, while others are a perfect match for some and leave others wanting something else. As a parent, going into your camp search with a strong sense of what your priorieties are is crucial. Finding a camp leadership team that you can trust to help you sort out and advocate for your family's needs may be the key to many summers of happy campers!
We get so much pleasure seeing how much our campers, counselors, parents and alumni enjoying being with each other throughout the entire year. During the month of the December we were especially pleased to see that Kenwood and Evergreen camp friends took time out of their busy lives to hang out with each other across the United States, and all over Europe, Central America, Asia and Africa!
As you head out on vacation we wanted to remind you about our annual "Where Your Camp Shirt" contest!
We are a sleepaway camp community that loves being together, both during the summer and throughout the school year.
Last weekend we came together for our annual camp reunion in the Boston and Rhode Island area. Campers, counselors, members of our leadership team, and even some of our amazing dining hall staff came together for a snowy night of fun with camp friends.
With school in session our sleep away camp in New Hampshire is still on the minds of many of our campers. They miss their summer home, camp friends, and the great times we have every day of our 7 week experience. Last week I shared a four article piece that one of our campers in NYC wrote for her school. It highlighted many of the things she loves about Kenwood and Evergreen, and some very wise solutions on how to overcome issues like homesickness. Today I am excited to share this description Evan from Marblehead penned describing one of the most beloved areas of our campus, an athletic field called The Hollow.
Our campers are very passionate about our community, and this often leads to them create amazing projects for school about our sleep away camp in New Hampshire. Recently, Caroline, who will be returning to K&E for her 3rd summer in June, wrote this detailed report about why she loves being a part of the Evergreen Sisterhood, and why being away from home for 7 weeks makes her so happy!
Our sleep away camp community had a really fun party for our returning and new campers ages 7-12. This special event was about giving our veteran campers a chance to see their camp friends and counselors, while also providing our new campers with the opportunity to begin meeting and making new camp friends.
Yesterday was our overnight camp's annual Boston Area Fall Camper Party for campers, ages 7-12 years old. It was a jam packed fun afternoon of getting to do some of our favorite summer camp activities. We played gaga, street hockey, indoor soccer, ping pong, and basketball. We also worked on art projects like painting and decorating wooden photo frames and making friendship bracelets.
One of the best things about Camp Friends is how they are so often willing to go the extra mile in helping out. Longtime Kenwood and Evergreen counselors Josh and Sean were interested in becoming serious bakers. Not having much experience in this department they reached out to Kristie Archer, our overnight camp's expert at all things flour and dough. For many years now she has been delighting our summer camp community each day with from-scratch delectable cookies, cakes, muffins, pies, and more (and always peanut and tree nut free).