Dear Moosilauke Families:
It is our pleasure to write this first letter from Moosilauke for Second Session 2017 (July 24 through July 29th). 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.shutterfly.com/. We will do our best to post pictures every day. Please like us on Facebook by clicking on https://www.facebook.com/CampMoosilauke. Please also follow us on Instagram at camp_moosilauke. And for for those who did not come to drop off day click here for a new short video that shows our our fields, lake, and cabins from a bird’s eye view.
Although opening day was rainy it did not dampen the spirits of the 153 campers who arrived from 15 states and 3 countries. The afternoon was spent getting the campers unpacked and checked in with the nursing staff. Once all the parents departed, the weather cleared and the fun began. We started the official activities with 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. Next, new campers were paired with their Moose big brothers who gave them a tour of the camp and then sat with them at dinner (for the whole first week). Moose Big Brothers help reinforce how things work at Camp, including letter home day and how to get mail; what to keep in the locker room; the daily schedule; cabin inspection; and dining hall procedures and traditions. Dinner was our traditional opening night hamburger (“Moose burger”) fest, with 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 at 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 75 campers and counselors took part in our pre-breakfast “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 7:45 am 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 pancakes and sausages, 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. After that campers were off to their first cabin cleanup and then three morning instructional periods that included swim tests. Lunch was Sloppy Joe sandwiches, salad bar, and “chef’s special” soup. Also at lunch, a counselor performed the first “trick of the day.” Following lunch, Sabina met with the new juniors (eight, nine-and-ten-year olds) and Bill met with the new Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) to discuss the daily schedule, cabin life, the camp community, and answer any questions they might have had in their first half day of Moose. Our first inter-camp competition in the afternoon included a twelves soccer tournament, a thirteens baseball game, and a fifteens soccer tournament. Dinner was the Camp favorite “Taco Tuesday” – tortillas, carnitas, beans, cilantro rice, salsa, and all of the fixings.
Wednesday was a beautiful, sunny day. Breakfast included homemade chocolate chip and blueberry muffins, and home fries. Lunch was chicken tenders and smiley fries, and dinner was stuffed shells. Trips on Wednesday included a two day backpacking adventure in the Presidential Range for a group of eight Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds). The group ventured out at 7am, stopped at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, then headed off to the trail head. On day one, they hiked 3.5 miles to the Liberty Springs Campsite, ate a lunch of pita pizzas and relaxed a bit. After setting up their campsite and eating a dinner of mac-n-cheese, the group summited Mt. Liberty and were rewarded with a spectacular view of the sunset. Day two, the boys hiked Mt. Lincoln, after which they each did a 1.5 mile solo hike to Little Haystack. The group then reformed and summited Mt. Lafayette together. Later they stopped at the Greenleaf Hut for a quick lunch, and then journeyed down the Greenleaf trail. And of course they were treated to an all-you-can-eat pizza lunch at Enzo’s on their way back to Camp. 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 “Despicable Me 3.” 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 tens soccer tournament at a neighboring camp. Also on Wednesday, Bill took a group of campers out wakesurfing at rest hour.
Thursday was a bit of an overcast morning, with rain in the forecast for the afternoon. Meals on Thursday were pancakes and hashbrowns for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and beef brisket for dinner. Trips on Thursday included the Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) taking a mountain biking expedition to Moose Scoops (twenty miles round trip!). Another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) left on a two-day overnight hike that culminated on the top of Mt. Lafayette. The Junior As (ten-year-olds) ventured to Hobo Hills for mini-golf, then to the natural water slides at Cascade Park, and finally, a treat at Moose Scoops.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. At lunch, some of our campers and counselors demonstrated how to say “hello” and “thank you” in several different languages including Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Korean, Hungarian, and Dutch. One of our campers also shared a card “trick of the day.” Those at Camp in the afternoon spent an extended rest hour relaxing in their cabins due to a passing rain shower, but then they were down the hill for the rest of the afternoon. Competition on Thursday included elevens baseball at Moose and a fourteens basketball tournament at a neighboring camp. The Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) spent the late afternoon and evening enjoying dinner and a movie in Hanover.
Friday was another beautiful, sunny day and also another busy day at Moose. Competition included a tens baseball game at Moose and a fifteens 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. There was also an open kayaking trip to the Class II rapids at the Hartland section of the Connecticut River for the campers who have mastered their “wet exits.” Another group left for top-rope rock climbing at the crags in Rumney. Meals on Friday were egg sandwiches and potatoes for breakfast and meatball subs, salad bar, and soup for lunch. Dinner was our weekly “Kenny cookout” on the field featuring grilled chicken and sausages, black bean and corn salad, cole slaw, and cornbread.
Saturday was yet another beautiful, sunny day at Moose. The big event of the day was the hike up Mt. Cube by all new campers (not going on another hiking trip) and a few volunteer returning campers. Over 70 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, about two dozen campers and counselors opted for the longer route (3.5 miles) that took them down the Appalachian Trail and all the way back to Camp. The other half of Inter As (twelve-year-olds) spent Saturday on a day-long canoeing adventure on the Connecticut River to Hanover. As a reward for their efforts they enjoyed a pizza dinner and a viewing of the “Emoji” movie. We also had competition on Saturday: fifteens Dodgeball and twelves baseball at a neighboring camp. Late morning, the final group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) biked to the Waterhole. Boys in Camp enjoyed choice activity areas throughout the day on Saturday. Breakfast was bagels and lunch was make your own sandwiches. And, 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 9th, will be sent in a separate email.
Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Ken, and Ingrid