Hello Moosilauke Families!
It is our pleasure to write this first letter from Moosilauke for Second Session 2018 (July 23 through July 26th). We know you are eager to hear from us so this letter covers just the first few days. You can view pictures from the summer (and even buy prints) by clicking on http://campmoosilaukephotos.
The session is off to a great start. The combination of your great boys, our special program and facilities, and less rain than expected, has allowed us to be up and running with all trips and activities starting our first full day.
Although opening day was rainy it did not dampen the spirits of the 159 campers who arrived from 14 states and 4 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 escorted them up the hill for dinner (they sit with them at their tables for the 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 for dessert. 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. The skies remained clear for evening activities which included age group “ice breaker” games on the fields, followed by wacky counselor introductions by activity area at the beach. Bill and Sabina held a meeting with the oldest campers to discuss the expectations for them as role models and leaders for the camp and to check in about the activities they want to do in their final camper year. The night ended with each cabin holding a meeting where they codified the “rules of the house” for living together.
Tuesday’s breakfast was scrambled eggs and potatoes, yogurt and fruit bar, bread and bagels with assorted spreads, hot chocolate, and hot and cold cereal. After breakfast, Bill gave his annual talk about how to stay safe if there is lightning, and Kenny discussed how competition works versus peer camps (with an emphasis on the fact that there are “no cuts” and our hope is that campers will participate in sports they don’t play at home). After announcements, we had our traditional reading of the news of the world with an emphasis on NBA and MLB scores, trades, and standings. After announcements, 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. Following lunch, Sabina met with the new Juniors Bs (eight and nine-year olds) and Bill met with the new Junior As (ten-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. A group of our oldest campers, the Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) then led small groups of the Juniors around Camp for a guided tour. Most of this group has been at Camp for 4 or more years and they did an amazing job! Our first inter-camp competition in the afternoon included a twelves soccer tournament at Moose and a thirteens baseball and fifteens soccer tournament at a neighboring camp. Dinner was “Taco Tuesday”: tortillas, beef, beans, cilantro rice, salsa, and all of the fixings. Evening activities included “Kick the can,” kickball, nuke’em, canoeing, dodgeball, Ultimate frisbee, cricket, tubing, and fishing.
Wednesday was the first morning of Moose Bears and 88 (!) campers took part in our pre-breakfast “swim” club. Believe it or not, the majority of your kids are voluntarily going for a swim in the lake at 7:45am 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. The day was a bit overcast, however the rain held off until late in the day so all activities were a go. Breakfast included pancakes and sausages. Lunch was chicken tenders and seasoned fries, and dinner was pork tenderloin, baked beans, and corn. Trips on Wednesday included a two day backpacking adventure in the Presidential Range for a group of five Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds). The group ventured out at 7am to ensure plenty of time on the trails. On day one, they hiked 3.5 miles to the Liberty Springs Campsite. They were lucky enough to get their tents up and their lunch eaten before an afternoon storm hit. They also caught a window of good weather so they could cook their homemade mac and cheese (with “Seriously Sharp Cheddar”) and summit Mt. Liberty before more rain came. Given more rain the next morning they made the smart and safe call to avoid the Franconia Ridge line and backtrack down the Liberty Springs trail to their waiting Suburban and their much deserved feast in town.
Another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) went on a mountain 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 eight-mile canoe adventure on the Connecticut River to Hanover. In town they were rewarded with pizza and the movie “Ant-man and the Wasp.” When the kids returned to camp the counselors on the trip gave them a big round of applause for being such strong and energetic paddlers. After lunch, our 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 an elevens basketball and a tens soccer tournament at a neighboring camp. In the evening, campers enjoyed the following activities: tubing, fishing, crayfish hunting, handball, rounders, knockout tournament, rugby, and flag football.
Thursday, the Juniors (eight-nine-and-ten-year-olds) enjoyed a day playing at Cascade Park and miniature golfing at Hobo Hills, followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Another group of Inter As (twelve-year-olds) headed out for their eight-mile canoeing adventure on the Connecticut River, followed by a pizza dinner and a movie. Another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) departed at 8:00am for their two-day overnight backpacking trek on Mt. Lafayette. Competition on Thursday included an elevens baseball tournament and fourteens basketball tournament. Meals at Camp included fried eggs and potatoes for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and stuffed shells, garlic bread, and green beans for dinner. The sun came out in the evening and activities included tubing, fishing, ping pong, Spike ball, Can Jam, basketball, dodgeball for seniors, stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing. Additionally, Port shared a tall-tale at the campfire on the beach.
As you can imagine, there are times at Camp where campers are not demonstrating their best behavior. At rest hour on Thursday, Bill and Sabina met with one senior age group who fit the bill. The meeting began by asking the kids to rate their overall behavior so far on a scale from one to ten. The consensus rating was a seven. Next, Bill and Sabina got the boys to discuss in detail comments they had made to each other which were not positive. Finally, a few boys voluntarily apologized to their peers for things they had said or done. All in all, it was a positive and affirming reboot for the age group as a whole. We always find it helpful to be transparent and clear about our expectations that Moosilauke is to be a kind place for everyone in the community.
That’s all for now. Please do not hesitate to call or email Bill or Sabina if you have questions. We will write again in a week.
Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Ken, and Ingrid