Our overnight camp has some pretty amazing traditions -- our Big and Little Siblings program, solemn ceremonial campfires, Jell-O Wrestling, our incredible Color War breakouts. They're all pretty special and important. At the top of the list of the most beloved, and most fun, has to be Hollowpallooza, our annual music festival.
Today was an absolutely gorgeous August day at our summer camp in NH. As we left our cabins to head to breakfast we were treated to a family of Canada Geese frolicking on the lake, putting on quite a show. As they honked and flapped their wings they sent the water flying, and seemed to be having a spectacular time doing it. I stood with a group of campers and marveled at how wonderful it was to share a moment like this together at the start of yet another day at Camp.
As a summer camp community we have many beloved traditions and rituals. Few are more adored than our annual music festival called Hollowpallooza. For the last 5 weeks campers and counselors have been forming bands and practicing every free minute for this special event. Tonight all of their hard work paid off in a 4-hour rock concert that none of us will ever forget.
Today was a great day in our overnight camp for trips, outdoor adventures, tournaments and music. Just after reveille woke us up Kenwood's 15 and Under Tri-State Softball team began its march through our campus. Stopping at each bunk area they did warm ups, sang their psych-up song, and put on a short demonstration for the younger campers.
What an incredible 6th week of the summer! It started with a drive-in movie, and then included Hollowpallooza, Carnival, the Inter/Junior Play, Plaque and Skit Night, a fire breathing dragon eating a car, and, of course, the start of Color War! Take a look at all of the fun we had this week!
Each week of the summer I create a video highlight reel of some of my favorite moments from the past 7 days. This coming Friday I was going to use the footage that I shot at our annual music festival called Hollowpallooza, but frankly there was just too much to include the rest of what we are going to do this week. With that said I hope you enjoy this 4 minute video of Saturday's amazing special event.
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.
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.
The friendships formed at our brother-sister summer camp really do seem to last a lifetime, and as our campers, counselors and alumni keep pointing out to me, camp friends really do seem to be wherever you go!
As a camp director I visit every child who will be going to our brother-sister summer camp (either in person or virtually over Skype). It's a chance to build a more complete understanding of who this child is, and how we can help him or her be as successful as possible as they enter our summer camp community. In advance of my visit I always ask that the camper and family write down as many questions for me as possible, and towards the end of my time with them we look at it together to make sure that I addressed everything that they were curious about.
Our campers do so many amazing things each summer. They practice for weeks in teams and play in sports tournaments against camps from around New Hampshire. They climb mountains and camp under the stars.They learn how to waterski, rock climb, and how to successfully live away from home, and they begin friendships that will last a lifetime.
I've written more than once this summer that at its core our overnight camp in NH is about helping our campers be their best selves. That was evident in just about every moment of today. This was our 5th Saturday of the summer, which is when we host our annual music festival called Hollowpallooza. It's one of our camp's most popular special events. For many reasons this is one night that I will remember for years to come.
There are so many reasons why we are a 7 week summer camp, and so many reasons why our campers love the final 3 weeks of each season. Here are our top 12 reasons why staying for 7 weeks at our summer camp in NH is the best thing ever!
12. Do you know what's most fun than 4 weeks of summer camp? SEVEN weeks of summer camp!
Songs and Sounds From Our Amazing Music Festival
On #tunetuesdays we like to share music, and today we've got a ton of amazing music to share! On the 5th saturday of each summer our community puts on its annual music festival called Hollowpallooza. We place a 30-ft stage in the center of Camp, have a massive BBQ, and dance along while our campers and counselors play almost five hours of music. It's an event you have to see to believe.
As I have discussed in previous blogs, our summer camp in NH focuses on teaching 21st century skills to children and young adults. These skills include collaboration and creativity, along with learning how to take healthy risks. Our music festival is one of many events during our camp season where our campers get to showcase what they have been working on all summer.
This Hollowpallooza was an amazing special event for everyone at our summer camp in NH
What a day to remember at Camp! This afternoon and evening our community came together for our 13th annual music festival called Hollowpallooza. Over the course of 5 hours our campers demonstrated every skill that we work on during the summer. In performing in front of their friends they took healthy risks, showed off the skills that they had spent the summer honing, and received overwhelming support in response. They were in charge of selecting their songs and arrangements, putting together their own bands, and flexing creative muscles that many didn’t even know they had. In their band practices and on stage tonight we saw many of them take on meaningful leadership roles. We also saw them learning how to collaborate in groups, and how to take in the opinions of others without compromising their artistic visions. We also had 55 different acts where campers worked on a project over the course of five weeks, and saw it through with a glorious finish. What an incredible event!
Amazing activities at our brother-sister summer camp in NH
As is the case almost every day, our campers were involved in a lot of trips and tournaments today. The Kenwood juniors climbed Mt. Cardigan while Kenwood's freshmen headed out on their Belle Island canoe trip. The Evergreen 9's, 11's, 13's and 15's headed to another camp for a swim tournament. The Kenwood 2nd year seniors returned triumphant from their 3-day white water canoe trip on the Androscogin river. Here are two short clips from their amazing adventure.
What a night to remember at Camp! Tonight our campers demonstrated every skill that we work on during the summer. In performing in front of their friends they took healthy risks, and received positive feedback and overwhelming support in response. They were in charge of selecting their songs and arrangements, and put together their own bands, flexing creative muscles that many didn’t even know they had. In their band practices and on stage tonight we saw many of them take on meaningful leadership roles. We also saw them learning how to collaborate as a group, and how to take in the opinions of others without compromising their artistic visions. We also had 49 different acts where campers worked on a project over the course of five weeks, and saw it through with a glorious finish. What an incredible night!