Dear Moosilauke Families:
The following are highlights from the third week of the Moosilauke First Session 2018, July 8 through July 14.
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, bacon, 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 teriyaki chicken with rice and steamed broccoli. After lunch, it was choice time in the various activity areas. Following the afternoon activities, most of the campers went for a swim before everyone regrouped at the picnic tables for our weekly community gathering. These gatherings have become a wonderful way to end the week since they provide the community as a whole time to reflect on what makes Camp so special, give folks a venue to show off their talents, and to share some of their camp adventures from the past week. The day ended with the most popular meal at Camp: our annual Pig Roast down on the beach. The feast included pulled pork, maple-glazed bread, corn-on-the-cob (cooked on the grill and dipped in butter), and a tossed salad. Additionally, our camp chef prepared specially made vegetable burritos for those who prefer not to eat meat. In the evening, activity areas set up some “wacky” activities and three groups headed to the Fairlee Drive-In Movie to watch “Incredibles 2” 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 water skiing, lifting weights, fishing, going for a run, and attending Moose Bears. (This has been a common occurrence most every morning this session!). Several groups headed out on trips on Monday morning. The Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) left for their three-day, two-night “fluff” trip 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: all the boys 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.
A group of Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) departed for a three-day, two-night backpacking adventure that culminates on the summit of Mt. Washington. The group departed Camp at 7am, stopped for breakfast, and were ready to hit the trail around 9:30am. They hiked up Lowe’s Path for 3 miles to the ridge of the Presidentials. They set up camp at the Randolph Mountain Club’s Perch Shelter and then set out on another short hike to the summit of Mt. Adams where the view was spectacular. For dinner they ate a hefty portions of mac-n-cheese before drifting off to a deep slumber in their tents on tent platforms. On the second day, in order to avoid some pending inclement weather, they awoke early (5am!) and hiked on empty stomachs to eventually eat breakfast on the open ridge. They watched the sunrise while munching on bagels and cream cheese. They then hiked onto the Appalachian Trail and continued their southbound journey over the Presidential Range. By mid-morning, they had summitted the tallest mountain in New England, Mt. Washington. In the afternoon they climbed over the Lion’s Head and down into Tuckerman’s Ravine to sleep at Hermit Lake Shelter. For dinner they dined on rice and beans and ate candy bars for dessert. On the last day, they took the Boot Spur Link Trail up to the ridge and then down to Pinkham Notch, where they were picked up. On the drive back to Camp, they stopped at an all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffet.
The Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) departed for 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.
Finally, the Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) ventured out for a canoe and camping overnight trip at Cliff Island on Newfound Lake. The trip began with a mile-long canoe from Wellington State Park out to the island we rent. Once there they set up their tents and ate sandwiches for lunch. The campers then divided up into groups to enjoy swimming, fishing, and canoeing before playing hide-and-seek and other games. Dinner was hot dogs and hamburgers. In the evening, they played more games, including a long game of Manhunt, and made S’mores before bed. The next morning they packed up camp, ate breakfast, and canoed back to Wellington State Park for their ride back to Camp. For most, it was the first experience setting up tents for a camping overnight.
For those here on Monday, we had a full schedule of regular morning and afternoon classes and some competition. There was a fourteens soccer tournament at Moose and a twelves tennis tournament at a neighboring camp. Half of the Juniors (eight-and-nine-year-olds) participated in a morning mountain biking adventure around the lake to Orford Beach. They had a blast swimming and exploring. In the evening, it was an all-Camp open waterfront including stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing, and swimming, and an all-ages “hot shot” contest on the basketball courts. Meals on Monday were waffles and bacon for breakfast, chicken patties, tater tots, and chicken noodle soup for lunch, and pasta with sauce and sweet or hot sausage for dinner. Another “wall fish” was caught on Monday as well, by one of our 6-year campers. The count so far is 4 wall-fish and the summer is still young!
Tuesday morning, with so many kids out on trips, we held a tubing extravaganza for those campers at Moose. The Counselors-in-Training left for a two-day camping and canoeing overnight at Cliff Island on Newfound Lake. This adventure, which is a key part of the CIT experience, entails them planning all elements of the trip, including the location, itinerary, and the menu. After their canoe out to the island, they ate lunch and then spent the afternoon fishing, swimming, and relaxing. Dinner was hamburgers and steaks cooked over a campfire. At night they made a fire on a waterside cliff and enjoyed S’mores and homemade popcorn. In the morning, after sleeping in, they enjoyed breakfast before canoeing back to the mainland. On the ride home they made a quick stop at the Hebron Country Store for a treat. Meals on Tuesday in camp were scrambled eggs and blueberry muffins for breakfast, Sloppy Joe’s with potato wedges for lunch, and the traditional “Taco Tuesday” dinner. A special add on opportunity in the afternoon was watching the semi-final World Cup soccer match between France and Belgium.
On Wednesday, the Inter As (twelve-year-olds) departed for a hiking overnight to Mt. Moosilauke (4,802 feet!). The group hiked up on the Gorge Brook Trail. The trail crosses the Baker River which flows all the way to Upper Baker Pond. At approximately the halfway point, the hikers passed a memorial plaque for the Ross McKenney Forest. Ross was a great woodsman and spent much of his life at Dartmouth. From this point the grade increased to the summit, but there were several nice look-out points along the way. At the summit, the group could see the remains of the foundation of the “Tip Top House” which offered food and lodgings for 30 people, beginning in 1881 but was destroyed in a fire. They lunched on sandwiches, fruit, and candy at the summit and enjoyed a nice long break. From the summit, they descended down the Carriage Road and then the Snapper Trail to the Ravine Lodge. One of the highlights of the trip is the gourmet food served at the Lodge. Meals included orange-glazed chicken, steamed veggies, carrot soup, tossed salad, homemade rolls, and lemon bars for dessert. In the evening, they enjoyed the tall-tale of “Doc Benton.” In the morning they feasted on sticky buns, scrambled eggs, and oatmeal, before heading back to Camp.
Wednesday afternoon saw an all-ages group venture to Baker River for a fishing extravaganza. The group used mainly spinning rods and caught several brook trout. They also had a lesson in fly fishing. Afterwards, they ventured to Baker Cliffs for a refreshing swim. Competition on Wednesday included an elevens lacrosse tournament at Moose. Campers not involved in trips or competition on Wednesday were sailing, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, row boating, and playing baseball, tennis, archery, and soccer. Many campers were working towards earning an area achievement award. Each camper receives a certificate at the end of the session that lists any area achievements they have earned and trips they took part in. Campers also had an opportunity to watch the second World Cup semi-final event, England vs. Croatia for part of the afternoon. Meals on Wednesday were pancakes and sausages for breakfast, chicken tenders and french fries for lunch, and barbecue ribs, rolls, and pasta salad for dinner. A highlight of the evening was Port’s telling “The Orford Butcher” at our beach campfire.
On Thursday, another group of Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) departed before breakfast for their three-day, two-night hike up Mt. Washington. Similar to the other group, the campers started on the Lowe’s Path but later switched to the Randolph Trail. They continued on Randolph until they reached their destination for the evening: the Perch tent platforms. There, they made rice and beans for dinner, watched the sun set, and went to bed. The next morning they awoke at 6am, ate bagels for breakfast, and headed off on the Israel Ridge Path to the Gulfside Trail. They hiked around Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Clay, and then arrived at the Mt. Washington summit around 1pm. At the summit, they ate lunch and then continued hiking down Tuckerman’s Ravine, switching to the Lion’s Head trail, which lead them to the Hermit Lake Shelter. For dinner they made mac-n-cheese. The next morning they took a detour around Tuckerman’s Ravine to Pinkham Notch. And of course they stopped for an all you can eat feast before heading back to Camp.
Also on Thursday, the final group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) departed for their Mt. Lafayette overnight hiking adventure. A poetic recap from one of the counselors is as follows: “Boots plodded over rocks and roots, through mud and bugs and over whispering streams. The trail stretched ever onward ahead of us breaking free from below the dappled deciduous canopy and giving rise to stunted firs clinging to granite slabs. Disgruntled toads fled the stomping soles of our determined march. The group stopped just short of treeline to pitch tents at the Liberty Springs campsite before their push to the summit of Mt. Liberty where they were treated to a much needed break and 360 degree views. After the campers made Moose history by hiking out and back along a steep saddle to conquer Mt. Flume, they basked in the afternoon sun on a rocky outcrop. The next day, they traversed the Franconia Ridge, an undulating knife’s edge with views of Mt. Moosilauke to the west and a Mt. Washington summit lost in the clouds to the east. They took frequent stops to soak in the Granite State’s glory and snack on sausages and Pop-tarts. After their descent, they feasted on pizza and belted out songs on the radio all the way back to Camp.”
Also on Thursday, another group of Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) went on a trail clearing expedition with Port. This week, they worked at our own Pioneer Camp which sits on the Baker River. The boys cleared brush and sawed logs for firewood. After a hard morning’s work, they were treated to a lunch at Calamity Jane’s Diner. Another all-ages group spent the day climbing at the Rumney crags. The CITs had their first day of Lifeguard certification training. Competition on Thursday included a fifteens lacrosse tournament at Moose. Meals on Thursday included fried eggs and potatoes for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and flank steak with baked beans for dinner.
Competition on Friday included a thirteens lacrosse tournament and a fifteens soccer tournament. Friday also saw a group venture to the Hartland Rapids to practice their kayak skills in the class II whitewater. Another group spent the day golfing at the Bradford Country Club, followed by a lunch in town. Still another group went on a 30 miles (!) mountain bike adventure that included stops at Indian Pond and Moose Scoops. Meals on Friday were bagels and bacon for breakfast, meatball sub sandwiches and potato chips for lunch, and Kenny cookout for dinner. In the evening, our counselors competed in their annual baseball game against a neighboring camp on Moose Miller field. Many campers were in attendance to cheer on the team and eat the homemade popcorn courtesy of the CITs.
A focus for Saturday was multi-sport competition versus a peer camp. The tens played soccer, the twelves played baseball, the thirteens played hockey, and the fourteens and fifteens played basketball. There was also an all ages open hike up Mt. Moosilauke. It was a cloudy day, but it cleared just in time for a beautiful view from the top. Campers not playing in the competition or hiking had their choice of open areas–and a nature expedition on the navy seal boat with Port and Jake. The highlight of the evening was our weekly movie night, with popcorn compliments of the CITs. Meals on Saturday were egg sandwiches for breakfast, assorted cold cuts, cheeses, salads, and chips for lunch, and pizza for dinner. Additionally, the cabin clean up winners for the week headed to the Fairlee Drive-In for a viewing of “Incredibles 2.”
Finally, here is some background information on our Backcountry Leadership Program (BLP) staff who have been leading your son(s) on their hiking adventures throughout the summer:
Bradley Haley, the BLP Director and 2nd-year counselor, has been camping and hiking for 8 years and climbing for 5 years in multiple countries. He has certifications in Wilderness First Response, CPR, lifeguarding, and has taken college courses in climbing. Bradley recently graduated from NC State University and will be teaching at an elementary school in Denver this fall.
Second year counselor Teddy Culman, who was a camper for 5 years and then a CIT and Junior Counselor, has spent significant time backpacking and backcountry skiing in the White Mountains, as well as Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder and lifeguard. Teddy attends Middlebury College.
Greg Page has 4 years of study in Outdoor Leadership at Central Michigan University. He is certified in Wilderness First Response, climbing, and belaying, as well as canoeing. He is a certified “Leave No Trace” trainer. He recently spent 2 months camping in the deep wilderness of Montana and 2 weeks camping and canoeing in the Boundary Waters area in Quetico.
Connor Reardon has been hiking in the White Mountains for 4 years. Rock climbing and backpacking are two of his favorite things to do in his free time. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid and a lifeguard. He hopes to finish the 4,000 footers in New Hampshire by the time he graduates from college.
Chris Tobin, 6 year camper and former CIT and Junior Counselor, spent 6 months last year completing the Appalachian Trail. He also spent 74 days in the rugged backcountry of New Zealand with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), where he learned the basics of technical mountaineering and sea-kayaking as well as backpacking. He has certifications in Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder. Chris will be attending Colorado College this fall.
We cannot believe we are heading into our final week of the First Session. The time has flown by too quickly! We look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday, July 21st. In the meantime, please feel free to call us if you have any questions.
Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Kenny, and Ingrid