Dear Moosilauke Families:
The following are highlights from the third week of the Moosilauke First Session 2017, July 9 through July 15, 2017:
Sunday morning’s lazy day schedule was appreciated by all, especially after what was a busy and warm week. After a brunch of made-to-order omelets, cinnamon buns, sausage, and scrambled eggs, the campers enjoyed a morning of free play that included pickup basketball games, working out, ping pong, playing cards, and lounging at the beach with a book. Lunch was breaded chicken cutlets with rice and corn. After lunch, it was time for Capture the Flag. This year, it was the “Uncrustables” versus the “Turkey and Cheeses” (the traditional sandwiches we take on our wilderness trips). The afternoon was organized by the CITs and they did a terrific job. It was a close match and fun was had by all.
Following the event, most of the campers went for a swim before everyone regrouped at the picnic tables for our weekly community gathering. Highlights from the event included a reflection time when campers and counselors thanked those who went beyond the call of duty (“B.T.C.O.D.”), a solo song from a counselor, and then a Moose themed group sing-a-along based on the old hit “YMCA.” These gatherings have become a wonderful way to end the week, take a moment to reflect on what makes Camp so special, and give folks a venue to show off their talents. Sunday dinner was cabin cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs, potato wedges,baby carrots, and S’mores for dessert around our campfires. After dinner, four cabins headed to the Fairlee Drive-In Movie to watch Cars 3 as a reward for winning cabin-clean up for the week.
Monday morning the camp was buzzing with activity before breakfast. Campers and counselors could be found lifting weights, playing basketball, going for a run, fishing, and attending Moose Bears. A group of Seniors (thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-olds) met at 7:30 am with Port for a rowing session on our glassy lake.
Monday we were back to a full schedule of regular morning and afternoon classes, competition, and trips. The Senior A1s (15-year-olds) departed in the morning for their three-day adventure to Montreal. The highlight was most definitely the rafting trip down the Rouge River. The class IV run at the end which includes “The Washing Machine” and “Dryer” sections lived up to their names: many a boy ended up going for a swim! (See the daily photo gallery for a selection of some great action shots.) The boys also loved their time shopping and dining in Montreal. All in all, a memorable capstone experience for our oldest campers.
Wilderness adventures Monday included the Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) heading off to Cliff Island on Newfound Lake for a canoe and camping overnight. The trip began with a mile-long canoe out to the island we rent. For most, it was the first experience setting up tents for a camping overnight. The boys spent the day swimming, fishing, and playing with the canoes. In the evening, they enjoyed a campfire dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers, S’mores for dessert, and playing cards and a long game of Manhunt. The morning also saw another group of Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) leave for a three day/two night backpacking adventure that culminates on the summit of Mt. Washington. The group departed Camp at 7am, stopped at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, and were ready to hit the trail around 9:30am. The first destination was the Perch Campsite, where they set up camp, ate lunch, and got ready for a quick hike up Mt. Adams. For dinner, they ate pasta with sauce and sausage. They then played cards and enjoyed an incredible sunset before going to bed. On day two, the boys were up at 6:30am for a quick breakfast before their trek to Washington, summiting Mt. Clay on their way up. Their chant up the mountain became “Beat the Train!” (as there is a train that transports people to the summit). On their descent down Tuckerman’s Ravine, the group spotted snow that had not yet melted from winter. They camped that evening at Hermit Lake, enjoying a delicious and much-deserved mac-n-cheese dinner. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, the boys hiked down the last 2-½ miles in record speed excited about their all-you-can-eat pizza lunch at Enzo’s.
Another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) departed Monday for their Mt. Lafayette overnight hiking adventure. Highlights were the incredible views from the summit of Mt. Liberty, the jambalaya dinner around a campfire, getting a lesson in composting from the campsite caretaker, more fantastic views on top of Little Haystack, and summiting Mt. Lincoln despite the cloudy peak. A group of Juniors (nine- and ten-year-olds) went for a four mile round-trip mountain biking adventure to Orford Beach on the other side of our lake. They had a blast swimming and exploring.
Competition on Monday included a twelves tennis tournament at a neighboring camp. Meals on Monday included French toast for breakfast, chicken patties and smiley fries for lunch, and spaghetti and meat sauce (and grilled sausages) for dinner.
Tuesday meals included croissants for breakfast, Sloppy Joe’s for lunch, and tacos for dinner. In the morning a group of Inter As (twelve-year-olds) ventured to Cliff Island trip for their wilderness lake overnight. When the group recounted their trip at announcement time the next day they raved about their adventure, especially the big game of Manhunt they played and their time canoeing and swimming around the islands. Tuesday also saw another group of Juniors (nine- and ten-year-olds) venture out on a morning mountain biking adventure to Orford Beach. Competition on Tuesday included a fourteens tennis tournament at a neighboring camp.
A highlight of Tuesday afternoon was another wake surfing session with Bill. The new Mastercraft that the Camp uses for surfing combines three built in ballast bags and special wave forming trim tabs to create an amazing wake for both regular and goofy footed campers. Wake surfing has become incredibly popular at Moose and campers as young as 10 are learning to get up, drop the rope, carve turns, and stall on the crest of the wave. A few have even attempted a 360 but no one has landed one — yet.
Wednesday, a group of Inter As (twelve-year-olds) left for a two-day backpacking trip on Mt. Kinsman. The campers awoke at 6:15 am and headed down the hill to the Backcountry Leadership shack for their final preparations. They departed Camp at 7am and were at the trail by 9:00. They hiked to Lonesome Lake and stopped for a swim and a scenic overlook of the Franconia Ridge. After the swim, they continued on for two more uphill miles to Kinsman Pond Campsite. They ate steak and cheese sandwiches for lunch and then set up their tents. They relaxed and played cards until dinner. After a dinner of pasta and sausage, they hiked to the north peak of Mt. Kinsman, enjoying a beautiful view of Lonesome Lake and the Franconia Ridge. The next morning, after a breakfast of oatmeal, they descended 3-½ miles to the parking lot, ready for their celebratory pizza meal.
A third group of Juniors (nine- and ten-year-olds) had a chance Wednesday to go on a mountain biking adventure around the lake to Orford Beach. Wednesday afternoon saw an all-ages group of campers venture to Indian Pond for a canoeing and fishing extravaganza and cookout with Kenny and Preston. The group caught 54 fish (!), mostly Bass and Perch. They dined on bacon cheeseburgers and S’mores and returned to Camp at sunset.
Competition on Wednesday included an elevens lacrosse tournament at Moose and a tens tennis tournament at a neighboring camp. Campers not involved in trips or competition on Wednesday were sailing, kayaking, wakeboarding and waterskiing, row boating, and playing baseball, tennis, archery, and soccer. Many campers were working towards earning an area achievement award. Each camper will receive a certificate at the end of the session that lists any area achievements they have earned and trips they took part in. The Juniors are loving their row-boating classes with Port (who is teaching them how to capsize their boats and go underneath in the air pocket and scream really loud) and their crayfish hunts. Meals on Wednesday were muffins for breakfast, chicken tenders and potato wedges for lunch, and stuffed shells and garlic bread for dinner, followed by ice cream for dessert.
Thursday started out as a rainy morning, so the boys enjoyed some quiet time on the hills — either in their cabins or in the rec halls viewing the movies Miracle and Glory Road. The Counselors-in-Training spent Thursday morning taking part in a “True Colors” seminar run by the former Moose parent and current professional leadership trainer, Tori Macmillan. As their web site outlines, 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. The boys found the morning informative and fun. At lunch, the boys shared what they learned about themselves. One identified as the color “green,” inquisitive and curious, another was “orange,” an extrovert and risk taker, and a third was “blue,” which means more feeling and personable. The rain cleared during lunch so the boys were able to come to down to the fields and waterfront for their regularly scheduled afternoon activities. The afternoon also saw a fourteens soccer tournament at Moose. A highlight of the evening was another tall-tale from Port told around the campfire on the beach. Meals on Thursday included pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and steak sandwiches for dinner.
On Friday, the Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) headed off to Burlington, Vermont, for a two day experience, which included a campout on Lake Champlain, a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, and a night watching the Vermont Lake Monsters. In case you are not in the know, the Lake Monsters are a Single A minor league baseball team affiliated with the Oakland Athletics. Friday also saw the SA2s (fourteen-year-olds) leave for their “fluff” trip to Manchester, NH, for an afternoon at a waterpark and an evening at a minor league baseball game. The CITs and Junior Counselors were fortunate to join the group as well.
A full range of activities were offered for those not involved in trips, as the campers continued to work on their achievements. Meals on Friday were egg sandwiches (on English Muffins or croissants) for breakfast, meatball sub sandwiches for lunch, and Kenny cookout for dinner. In the evening, our counselors competed in their annual baseball game against a neighboring camp. Many campers were in attendance to cheer on the Moosilauke team.
Beyond open biking, kayaking, and hiking trips, Saturday afternoon’s focus was some sports competitions against a neighboring camp. The twelves played in baseball game, and the fifteens played in a basketball tournament. The open bike was to Moose Scoops. Saturday also saw another group venture to the Hartland Rapids to practice their kayak skills in the class II whitewater. The all ages hike Saturday was up Mt. Moosilauke (all 4,802 feet of it). The CITs headed out on Saturday for a canoe trip to Cliff Island on Newfound Lake. In Camp, the highlight of the evening was the popcorn the junior counselors made for everyone attending movie night. Meals on Saturday were bagels for breakfast, meatball subs for lunch, and pizza for dinner.
We cannot believe we are now in our final week of the First Session. The time has flown by too quickly! We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, July 22nd. In the meantime, please feel free to call us if you have any questions.
Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Kenny, and Ingrid