Dear Moosilauke Families,
It is our pleasure to write this first letter from Moosilauke for the first week of Second Session 2016, July 25 through July 30th. As is our tradition, we will send an electronic letter home each week to make sure you know about all the activities, special events, and trips that make up the Moose Experience. You can view pictures from the summer (and even buy prints) by clicking on http://campmoosilaukephotos.
Our Opening Day was hot and beautiful. Campers excitedly arrived on campus from 15 states and 3 countries. The afternoon was spent getting the campers unpacked and checked in with the nursing staff, and the new parents had orientation meetings with Bill to discuss everything from the Camp’s philosophy to brass tack issues like communications and homesickness. Once all the parents left the fun began. New and returning campers separated into groups by their age and cabins and participated in some pickup games on the fields and basketball courts. It was a nice way to quickly engage the campers in life at Moose. Following the arrival of the bus, the whole Camp came together for our traditional game of “Bill Says” (a Moose version of “Simon Says”). Par for the course, over half the campers (and staff) were “out” within the first thirty seconds. Dinner was our traditional opening night hamburger fest (“Moose burgers”), fries, salad bar, and ice cream sandwiches. At each of the tables at dinner there were “conversation cards” to give the new campers the inside scoop on what and where things are at Moose. Evening activities included age group “ice breaker” games on the fields, followed by wacky counselor introductions by activity area on the beach. The night ended with each cabin holding a meeting where they codified the “rules of the house” for living together.
Tuesday was the first morning of Moose Bears and over 100 campers and counselors took part in our pre-breakfast Moose Bears swim club. (See the photo on Facebook.) Believe it or not, the majority of your kids are voluntarily going for a swim in the lake at 7:45am in the morning. And what a swim it is: along with a quick dip, they dance, chant and sing. Campers who participate in Moose Bears each morning are rewarded with a Moose Bears t-shirt at the end of the session. Tuesday’s breakfast was croissants, yogurt and fruit bar, and hot and cold cereal. After breakfast, Bill gave his annual talk about how to stay safe if there is lightning. The Camp then discussed the morning schedule and then it was time for the news of the world with an emphasis on U.S. sports scores. At breakfast Ken also provided a brief overview of competition versus other camps–and the different “scoreboards.” The boys heard that at Moose, the actual score (the 1st scoreboard) is not all that matters; the 2nd scoreboard which tracks effort and sportsmanship is the real measure of success. And of course there was reference to the all important 3rd scoreboard–best hair! After that campers were off to their first cabin cleanup and then three morning instructional periods that included swim tests.
Before lunch, our Moosilauke Big Brothers were paired up with their Camp Little Brothers so they could sit together for the first week of Camp. Moose Big Brothers provide essential information to their Little Brothers about Camp topics such as: writing home and incoming mail; what to keep in the locker room; the daily schedule; cabin inspection; and dining hall procedures and traditions. Lunch was chicken and rice, salad bar, and soup.
Our first inter-camp competition in the afternoon included a 12s soccer tournament, a 13s baseball game, and a 15s soccer “friendly.” Afternoon snack (between 4th and 5th periods) was a most welcome ice-cold fruit popsicle. Dinner was the perennial favorite “Taco Tuesday” – soft tacos, cilantro rice, salsa, and all of the fixings. Evening activities included fishing, tubing, tennis baseball, knockout, dodgeball, Frisbee golf, canoeing, and rugby, all followed by a camp wide open swim given the heat.
Wednesday’s breakfast was delicious homemade muffins, yogurt and fruit bar, hot and cold cereal, and hot chocolate. Lunch was baked ziti, along with a full salad bar. And, dinner was the traditional weekly sandwich night. Trips on Wednesday included a two day backpacking adventure in the Presidential Range for a group of seven Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds). The first day the boys covered a total of 4.7 miles as they hiked up the Liberty Springs trail, set up camp, and then continued up to the top of Mt. Liberty where they enjoyed a beautiful view of the ridge where they would be hiking the next day. Lunch was salami, ham, and cheese sandwiches and dinner was quinoa and rice with veggies and chicken. The next day the boys summited Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette, before heading down the Green Leaf trail. There was plenty of trail mix and jerky treats for the boys to keep them energized throughout the hike. The group was rewarded for all their hard work with a pizza dinner at Enzo’s in Woodstock. The boys remarked how they really enjoyed the experience of backpacking, camping, and cooking around a campfire. Another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) went on a biking expedition to the Wentworth Waterhole (ten miles round trip with a steep hill on the return) while half of our Inter As (twelve-year-olds) went on a day-long canoeing adventure on the Connecticut River to Hanover and were treated with pizza and a viewing of the movie “The Secret Life of Pets.” After lunch, the oldest two age groups, the Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) and Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) swam at Baker Cliffs and ate ice cream at Moose Scoops. Competition on Wednesday was a 10s soccer game at Moose. Evening activities included hockey, dodgeball, wiffle ball, handball, tubing, and fishing.
Thursday started out warm and sunny but we had a brief bit of rain in the afternoon. Meals on Thursday were pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and chicken stir-fry for dinner. Trips on Thursday included a second group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) venturing on a two-day overnight hike up Mt. Lafayette. For most of the boys, it was their first experience doing an overnight mountain backpacking trip. Food on the trip included oats and hot milk for breakfast, parmesan couscous with sausage for dinner, and jerky and blueberries for snacks. As is tradition, the boys were treated with all-you-can-eat pizza at Enzo’s on their way back to Camp. A highlight of the trip was the view from the top of Little Haystack. The boys described it as “breathtaking” and felt like “they were looking at a 360 degree painting.” The other half of Inter As (twelve-year-olds) headed out on a day-long canoeing adventure on the Connecticut River to Hanover. They also enjoyed a night in Hanover that included pizza and a movie. The Junior As (ten-year-olds) ventured to Hobo Hills for mini-golf and then to the natural water slides at Cascade Park, and the Junior Bs (eight-and nine-year-olds) went to Lost River for a hike through caves and caverns, followed by a stop at Moose Scoops ice cream. Those at Camp in the afternoon spent one class period relaxing in their cabins due to the rain, but then they were down the hill for the rest of the afternoon. Competition on Thursday included an 11s baseball and a 14s basketball tournament at neighboring camps. The Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) spent the late afternoon and evening enjoying dinner and a movie in Hanover.
Friday was another busy day. Competition included a 10s baseball game at Moose and a 15s Ultimate Frisbee tournament at a neighboring camp. The Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) got their afternoon at Baker Cliffs with a stop at Moose Scoops on the way home. Friday also saw another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) taking part in a bike adventure to the Waterhole. Meals on Friday were scrambled eggs and hashbrowns, pulled pork sandwiches, and a cookout for dinner featuring grilled chicken and sausages, pasta salad, and cornbread. Evening activities included tubing, fishing, kickball, nuke’em/volleyball, canoeing, yolo boarding, KanJam (a great new game donated by one of our families), spike ball, and the oldest campers (the Senior A1s) went on a biking expedition to Orford Beach.
Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day at Moose. The big event of the day was the hike up Mt. Cube by all new campers (not on another hiking trip) and a large group of volunteer returning campers. Nearly 75 campers and counselors climbed the 2-mile Cross Rivendell trail up the backside of Cube and the half-mile trail from the South summit to the North summit. Once on the North summit the boys had their lunch of Uncrustables, turkey and cheese sandwiches, granola, candy, and apples. For the return journey more than half the campers opted for the longer route (3.5 miles) that took them down the Appalachian Trail and all the way back to Camp. We also had competition on Saturday: 15s Dodgeball, 12s baseball, and 13s soccer. Late morning another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) biked to the Waterhole. Boys in Camp enjoyed open areas throughout the day on Saturday. The most popular activities were on the waterfront–waterskiing, wakeboarding, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, fishing, and swimming. As is tradition, Saturday night was a homemade pizza fest for dinner. Evening activities included movies in both rec halls (with popcorn freshly made by the CITs), tubing, and fishing.
That’s all for now. Please do not hesitate to call Bill or Sabina if you have questions. We will write again in a week. And details for departure day, August 10th, will be sent in a separate email.
Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Ken, and Ingrid