Dear Moosilauke families,
Our weekly letters home–of which this is the third for summer 2018 covering Sunday, July 1 through Saturday, July 7th–are one avenue for you to stay in touch with what is happening at Camp. Liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram (@camp_moosilauke) are two other great ways to have pictures, videos, and essays pushed out to you. And of course you can view the daily pictures that we post on Shutterfly.
The boys awoke on Sunday to a very warm and sunny day. After a hearty buffet breakfast of made-to-order omelets, scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, and cinnamon buns, they had a relaxing morning of reading and card games at the beach, ping pong, chess, checkers, pick-up basketball, and tennis. There was also an all-camp swim at 11am – a refreshing break from the morning heat. After relaxing and writing letters home during rest hour, it was time for the much-anticipated game of Capture the Flag. It was the “Soups” versus the “Cereals.” (Ask your sons about the ongoing debate at Camp as to whether or not cereal is a soup.) The CITs did an excellent job organizing the event. After the game, there was another all-Camp swim for a much-needed cool down. It was then timen for our weekly Moose community gathering. Bill spoke about learning from failure and asked former campers about experiences they might have had at Camp when they had tried something new and did not succeed. The message to the boys was that it is okay at Moose to take risks, try new things, even if at first you do not succeed! Also at the meeting, a few campers and counselors shared recaps of the recent hike on the Mahoosuc Range and the canoe on Lake Umbagog/Androscoggin River. Post the meeting, the campers and counselors split up into their cabin groups to reflect and share some of the positives and challenges of living together as a community. Question prompts included: what has gone well this week, what could we do better, what do you still want to try at camp, what are our community/cabin goals for this coming week. Then it was time for cabin cookout, followed by S’mores around our fire pits for dessert. Evening activities included open areas and tubing. Each evening at Moose, we plan a schedule for the boys, typically by age group. Every cabin has the opportunity to go tubing at least once. Additionally, we offer organized activities such as fishing, dodgeball, ping pong tournaments, flag football, and Ultimate Frisbee, and open play in basketball, tennis, and swimming, to name a few. Finally, one of our senior cabins was rewarded with a viewing of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” at the Fairlee Drive-In for having the best clean-up scores for the past week.
Monday, another group of Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) headed out before breakfast for their capstone three-day, two-night hike in the Mahoosuc Range. Day one, they hiked four miles over two mountains and had lunch with a beautiful view on Goose Eye Mountain. They arrived at their campsite around 4:30pm for a delicious dinner of curry beans and rice. The next day, the group awoke to a hot, sunny day in the mountains. They took down their tents, enjoyed a breakfast of hot oatmeal with peanut butter, and began the hike to the famed Mahoosuc Notch. They threw snowballs (!) and climbed over boulders. Later, they scaled the arm, a one-mile section of unrelenting uphill. Finally, around 4:30pm, they arrived at their gorgeous camp site and cooked “super” cheesy mac-n-cheese. On the final day, they woke up early (5:30am) and “scarfed” down the rest of their bagels for breakfast before climbing to the top of Speck Mountain in record time. The descent was about three miles, after which they were picked up for the return trip to Camp. On their way home, they were treated with all-you-can-eat pizza at Enzo’s. The Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) enjoyed an afternoon swimming in the natural water slides of Baker Cliffs, followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. A group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) went on a mountain biking adventure to Indian Pond for a picnic lunch and swim. And, our youngest campers, the Junior Bs (eight-and-nine-year-olds) enjoyed an overnight at our rustic log cabin at the Point. The group walked out on the trail to the site, built and cooked their dinner (burgers and hot dogs) over a campfire, fished off the dock, swam, and enjoyed S’mores for dessert. After S’mores, they participated in a candy treasure hunt and the counselors shared with them some “tall-tale” stories before heading to bed. Competition on Monday included an all-ages track meet and a fifteens tennis tournament at neighboring camps. Meals on Monday included: French toast and bacon for breakfast, chicken patties and seasoned fries for lunch, and pasta and sauce (meat and meatless) for dinner. After lunch Todd did our first Moose “brother, not a brother” challenge which involves the Camp deciding whether or not actual brothers look more alike than two campers who are not brothers (but look like they might be!) Evening activities included: dodgeball, canoeing, flag football, rugby, tennis, and swimming.
Tuesday was a perfect sunny day for our group of Inter As (twelve-year-olds) to continue a 100+ year tradition of canoeing down the Connecticut River to Hanover. The boys completed the journey in a little under four hours, stopping along the way for some quick dips in the water to cool off and for a picnic lunch. Their hard work on the water was rewarded with a pizza dinner and a viewing of the new “Incredibles” movie. Another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) headed on a mountain biking adventure to the Waterhole for a picnic lunch and refreshing afternoon swim. Competition on Tuesday included a tens baseball tournament at Moose and an elevens tennis tournament at a neighboring camp. Tuesday meals were waffles with all of the fixings for breakfast, pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches with sides of seasoned fries and potato wedges for lunch, and the traditional Taco Tuesday for dinner which included beef, corn and black bean salad, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and soft taco wraps. After dinner, Port told the tale of the “White Ape” to a large group around our beach firepit.
Wednesday, our Fourth of July festivities started before breakfast and continued right up until bedtime. At 8:30am, there was a brief fireworks extravaganza to make sure everyone was awake. At breakfast, many of the campers and staff donned their patriotic red-white-and-blue clothes in the spirit of the holiday (see photos on Facebook and the website). Some of our foreign counselors and campers also proudly wore their countries’ colors and flags. During the meal Preston (one of our head counselors) recited the Declaration of Independence. The whole dining hall then sang a rousing rendition of the National Anthem. After a breakfast of scrambled eggs and potatoes, the campers had a choice of two activity areas in the morning. Lunch was chicken tenders and french fries and and the usual full salad bar. At lunch, Todd shared one of his amazing “tricks of the day,” involving a few of our Moose parents via videotape. Four campers chosen at random decided on one campers name and a number between 1-10000 to be written on a paper and signed by a counselor witness. The paper was then shredded and blended only to then show up in video from Opening Day with that camper’s parent holding the paper. In the afternoon the campers were divided into two teams (the East Coasts versus the West Coasts) and competed in wacky activities which included the Boston Tea Party, Molly Pitcher, a pudding eating contest, among others. Fun and laughs were had by all. As is tradition, the CITs provided the groups with red, white and blue sno-cones. In the evening, Moosilauke was host to the neighboring girls’ camp for a cookout of hot dogs, pasta salad, carrot sticks, chips, soda and ice cream for dessert. Following the cookout, there was a dance on the basketball courts, and amazing fireworks at the beach.
Thursday was a busy day on all fronts. It started at 7:00 am with another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) venturing out on a two-day backpacking adventure to Mt. Lafayette. After a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts the intrepid group hiked up to the Liberty Springs campsite and ate bagels and nutella for lunch. They opted not to climb up Mt. Liberty as it was a very hot day and the boys wanted to rest and relax in preparation for the next day’s hike. Dinner was mac-n-cheese cooked over a campfire. The next day, they were woken up by some rain and started to hike around 9 am. They hiked into the clouds until they arrived at the Greenleaf Hut. They descended off the mountain by late afternoon and on their way back to Camp enjoyed a stop at Enzo’s for a pizza extravaganza. Also on Thursday, a group of Junior As (ten-year-olds) had a cookout and overnight at our Pioneer Camp where we have a tent platform on a beautiful site on the Baker River. They boys had a terrific time swimming in the natural water slides, jumping off the rocks at Baker Cliffs, cooking hot dogs, burgers and S’mores over a campfire, and sleeping in a big 8-man tent. They returned to Camp the next morning in time for breakfast. Another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) ventured on a mountain biking trek to the Waterhole. Competition on Thursday included an all-ages archery tournament and an all-ages swim meet at neighboring camps. Meals on Thursday were pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and mac-n-cheese for dinner. In the evening, there was a stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing expedition on the lake, a ping pong tournament, volleyball, rounders, dodgeball, tubing, and fishing.
Friday included an all-ages mountain biking adventure to Moose Scoops for an ice cream treat and a second group of Junior As (ten-year-olds) venturing to the Pioneer Camp for an overnight. The campers swam in the river waterslides, jumped off the rocks of Baker Cliffs, cooked a dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs over a campfire, and in the evening had S’mores for dessert and participated in a candy hunt around the campsite. 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. Competition on Friday was a twelves hockey tournament at a neighboring camp. Meals on Friday included bagels, potatoes, and sausage for breakfast, Philadelphia cheese steak sandwiches for lunch, and the always favorite Kenny cookout for dinner. This week’s cookout included bratwurst, along with the usual grilled chicken, cornbread, pasta salad, soda, and ice cream for dessert. Evening activities were open areas, including basketball, tennis, stand-up paddle boarding, tubing, swimming, and fishing. Additionally, on Friday, our third “wall fish” of the summer was caught. A “wall fish” at Moose has to be over 3 pounds and is usually a large mouth bass. Once caught, a wooden plaque in the shape of the fish is mounted in the dining hall with the camper’s or counselor’s name, date caught, and the size of the fish. So far, this summer, a CIT (also former camper), counselor, and current camper have all caught “wall fish.” Pretty amazing! The fish are certainly biting this summer in Upper Baker Pond.
Saturday’s focus was a day of competition for multiple age groups in basketball, tennis, soccer, and baseball against a neighboring camp. Over half of our campers took part. Those not involved in competition had their choice of sign-ups at the waterfront, learning how to build a campfire with the Backcountry Leadership Program, and select areas on land not involved in the day’s competition. Saturday also saw another kayaking trip to the Hartland Rapids. This trip was specifically for our more novice kayakers who recently learned how to do a proper “wet exit.” The campers first started in calmer waters testing out their ferrying and exit skills, then progressed to kayaking down more intermediate rapids, and finally they ran the Class II rapids. Meals on Saturday included fried egg, cheese, and sausage sandwiches on English muffins for breakfast, assorted sandwich meats, cheese, and salads for lunch, and pizza for dinner with brownies for dessert. In the evening, there was the traditional Senior A1 versus Senior A2 basketball game. It was a game of halves – the first half going to the Senior A2s, and the second to the Senior A1s, who just edged out the A2s for the victory. It was also movie night at Camp, with a viewing of the original “Ghostbusters” on Junior Hill and “Miracle” on Senior Hill. As per usual, there was popcorn served to all, compliments of the CITs.
That’s all for now. Please be in touch if you have questions.
Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Ken, and Ingrid