Dear Moosilauke Families,
It is our pleasure to write this second letter from Moosilauke for the last week and a half of the Second Session 2016, July 31 through August 10. The time has flown by! What a pleasure it has been to have your boys here at Moosilauke.
On Sunday, we had our first “Lazy Sunday” of the session. Campers could sleep in and breakfast was a buffet that included made-to-order omelets, sausage, homemade donuts, and a yogurt and fruit bar. Yum. After breakfast, the campers ventured down the hill (some still in their pajamas) for some quiet time at the beach, reading, playing cards, ping-pong games, and more. Lunch on Sunday was turkey, rice, steamed veggies and a full salad bar. After lunch, the campers participated in an all-camp Capture the Flag game. It was the Vince Lombardis versus the Benton Mackayes (ask your sons!). The CITs did a fantastic job organizing the event and much fun was had by all. Dinner was the first Cabin Cookout of the session. Campers enjoyed burgers and hot dogs and all of the fixings at their cabins and cooked S’mores around a campfire for dessert. In the evening, Port shared his first “tall-tale” of the session with the group. The Senior Hill winners of the week’s cabin clean-up ventured out to the Fairlee Drive-In movie to view the new Jason Bourne movie. The Junior Hill winners enjoyed a movie of their choosing in the Rec Hall. Both were treated with candy and soda as well.
Monday morning was slightly overcast but it did not keep us from sending one of the great Moose trips. A group of Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) set out for a three-day hiking adventure up Mt. Washington. On the first day, although it was lightly drizzling and foggy at the summit of Mt. Adams, the group said the view was surreal. Upon their return to their campsite, they enjoyed a dinner of chicken, rice, and cheese sauce (everyone had thirds!) and, after a beautiful sunset, settled down for the night. The second day, the group awoke early and then summited Mt. Jefferson. When they reached the summit of Mt. Washington, they enjoyed another amazing view. The weather on the second day was on and off cloudy and windy and the hiking was rigorous, but group morale remained positive. Dinner that night was mac-and-cheese with sausage. The third day, after a quick breakfast of Pop-tarts, the group hiked to and swam a bit at a waterfall and then met their ride home to Camp. Of course, there was all-you-can-eat pizza at Enzo’s on the way back. Overall, the campers were extremely satisfied with the journey as it yielded amazing views and wonderful trails.
For those who remained at Camp, it ended up being our first full day of rain, so some of our trips and all of our competition were postponed. There were pockets of the day when the group was out and about on land and in water at the different activity areas. However, most of the day was spent indoors. Activities included games, movies, arts and crafts, putt-putt golf, bowling, and reading. Meals included French Toast for breakfast, chicken patties and smiley fries for lunch, and pasta and meatballs for dinner. The CITs took part in a True Colors seminar with Tori Macmillan. True Colors is a personality identification model that uses color identified personality traits to help teenagers better understand who they are and how they can have healthy relationships with those similar and different to themselves. After taking the assessment and learning about their own “colors” the boys worked together in a manner in-synch with all their personalities. The boys found the morning informative and fun.
On Tuesday, the weather cleared giving us another beautiful day at Camp. After a breakfast of waffles, yogurt and fruit bar, hot cereal, and plenty of hot chocolate to spare, the boys enjoyed a morning of scheduled activity areas. The Inter As (twelve-year-olds) departed after breakfast for a hike up Mt. Moosilauke – all 4,802 feet of it – before having dinner and a cozy night’s sleep in the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge that sits at the mountain’s base. Food at the Lodge is served restaurant style and is gourmet – dinner was pasta with grilled tofu and veggies and chocolate zucchini brownies for dessert. Breakfast included homemade muffins, eggs, bacon, hot cereal, and hot chocolate. The boys were also treated to the tall-tale of “Doc Benton” in the evening. A group of Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) departed for a canoeing adventure to Cliff Island on Newfound Lake. The boys canoed out to an island we rent, set up camp, then enjoyed a fun afternoon of swimming, fishing, jumping off rocks, and capsizing their canoes. They cooked dinner around a campfire and played Capture the Flag type games and fished in the evening until finally they fell asleep under the stars. In the morning, after a quick breakfast, they returned to the mainland. Lunch at Camp was Sloppy Joe’s and a full salad bar. After lunch, the Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) departed for an afternoon of swimming in the natural pools and slides at Baker Cliffs and an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Competition picked up again on Tuesday with a 15s lacrosse tournament and 10s soccer tournament at Moose. Another trip on Tuesday included an Open Bike trip to the Waterhole. Dinner was the traditional “Taco Tuesday” meal with pulled pork, soft tacos, salsa, rice, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.
Wednesday, meals included muffins for breakfast, mac-and-cheese for lunch, and the traditional weekly Sandwich Night for dinner. Another group of Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) headed to Cliff Island for their canoeing adventure overnight. The Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) went on a trail clearing expedition with Port, cleaning up the Pioneer Camp (a riverside campground Moosilauke owns) and then treated to lunch at the diner, Calamity Jane’s. Competition on Wednesday included a 13s Ultimate Frisbee tournament and 11s baseball tournament at Moose. There was another Open (all-ages) Bike Trip. A group of our Junior As (ten-year-olds) headed to the Pioneer Camp for an afternoon and overnight of fun. They swam and fished in the afternoon and played games around the site. They slept in tents on a newly constructed platform and cooked their meals around a campfire. And, a group of our Junior Bs (nine-year-olds) hiked out to a wilderness campsite at the Point for an overnight. The boys loved cooking over an open fire, exploring the nearby woods and trails, fishing, and sleeping in our handmade log cabin. A highlight of the day was Todd’s amazing “Trick of the Day” to the camp. It involved guessing a word in a selected book and the word turning up in his missing phone that was baked in his birthday cake. We are still trying to figure out how he did it!
Thursday was another beautiful, sunny day at Moose. There was an open-ages Climbing Trip to an indoor climbing center. The Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) headed out on an all-day biking adventure to the Waterhole. Another group (the third one!) of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) departed early for a two day hiking adventure to Mt. Lafayette. There was an all-ages kayaking trip to the Class II Hartland Rapids on the Connecticut River for campers with a “bomb proof wet exit.” Another group of Junior As (ten-year-olds) headed to the Pioneer Camp for a camping afternoon and overnight adventure. Additionally, a new group of Junior Bs (nine-year-olds) hiked out to the Point for an overnight camping trip. And Port shared one of his tall-tales again with the campers in the evening. This time it was Doc Benton. Meals in camp included pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup for lunch, and pulled pork sandwiches for dinner (a camp favorite!).
We celebrated our last camper birthday of the session on Friday. To note, three of our camp birthdays this session have been for Jacobs. Funny! As is tradition, the birthday camper (or staff member) selects a group of people to come up and serenade them in the center of the dining hall while a cake is brought out in their honor. Friday’s meals included scrambled eggs and potatoes for breakfast, meatball subs for lunch, and the popular “Kenny Cookout” on the field for dinner. Competition on Friday included two basketball tournaments – the 10s played at a neighboring camp and the 13s played at Moose. The Inter As (twelve-year-olds) enjoyed an afternoon at Baker Cliffs, followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. The Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) left after breakfast, along with the CITs and Junior Counselors, to Manchester for a “fluff” trip that included a day at the waterpark and evening at the minor league ballpark. The Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) departed on an overnight white water rafting adventure. The boys spent their first day setting up camp by the Androscoggin River and swimming in the rapids. The next day they were taken by van and pontoon boat to the top of the Rapid River in Maine, right below the Richardson Dam. The boys had the ride of their life as professional guides rafted them down the 3.5 miles of crashing whitewater that included some Class IV rapids. Another group of Junior As (ten-year-olds) spent an afternoon and overnight at the Pioneer Camp. And, finally, there was an open bike trip. Friday evening was Movie Night at Moose (traditionally on Saturday but rescheduled due to a special evening event on Saturday). Movies shown were “Spaceballs” in the Junior Hill Rec Hall and a double-header of “Miracle” and “Skyfall” in the Senior Hill Rec Hall.
On Saturday, it seemed like rain was heading our way but it turned out to be a nice, dry day. There was a choice of open activity areas for those in Camp. There were also intramural tournaments in the morning – 10s baseball, 12s lacrosse, and 13s and 15s basketball. The morning was busy and fun! The CITs departed after breakfast for their own adventure – a hike up Mt. Cube and an overnight at the Pioneer Camp. Meals on Saturday included bagels for breakfast, corn dogs and riblet sandwiches for lunch, and pizza for dinner. In the evening, there was a full-camp “social” with the neighboring girls camp. Prior to dinner, Bill taught the boys his one-and-only dance move (the “Moosilauke Shuffle”) and spoke about being gentlemen in the company of the girls. It was a fun evening for all involved.
Sunday was Carnival Day! The boys did a tremendous job creating, setting up, and staffing their own booths down on the field. Booths included balloon darts, a soda and candy taste-testing challenge, a Prez card-game tournament, dizzy bat, ping pong ball toss, frisbee toss, and the oldest campers (the Senior A1s) provided the music and ice cream sundaes. Prizes were soda and candy. A Moose Sensations talent show took place in the evening and acts included magic tricks, poetry slam reading, joke telling, skit performances, dancing, and singing.
Monday was our traditional one day Olympics competition . It was the “Second Score Boards” versus the “Class Acts.” The boys competed in various team sports plus a track meet and canoe regatta. The day culminated in individual age group rope pulls and a team fire building competition. The boys demonstrated great sportsmanship throughout.
And on our last day, following a morning of packing, the boys were able to participate in some of their favorite activity areas one last time. Banquet dinner was flank steak, mashed potatoes with bacon, steamed broccoli, rolls, and Caesar salad, with our famous Whoopie Pies for dessert. Following dinner we showed a video and slideshow from the summer. Later on the beach campers were recognized with t-shirts for success and hard work in achievement areas, longevity at Camp, and participation in Moose Bears. The evening ended with a beautiful torchlight ceremony led by our oldest campers (the Senior A1s) and a massive bonfire.
That’s all for now. Happy Summer!
Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Ken, and Ingrid