Dear Moosilauke Families,
It is our pleasure to write this first letter from Moosilauke for Second Session 2019 (July 27 through August 3rd). We know you are eager to hear from us so we will be sending you letters chronicling 4-5 days. We will also post photos six days a week (Tuesday through Sunday). You can view pictures from the summer (and even buy prints) by clicking on here. Please also “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, @camp_moosilauke.
The session is off to a great start. The combination of your terrific boys, our special program and facilities, and spectacular weather has allowed us to be up and running with all trips, inter-camp competition, and area activities starting our first full day.
Opening day was sunny and warm as 120 campers arrived from 15 states and 2 countries. The afternoon was spent getting the campers unpacked, checked in with the nursing staff, and playing games on the fields, courts, and beach. Once all the parents departed, 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 on a tour of the Camp and then 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 mail call and camper mailboxes, the locker room, the daily schedule, cabin inspection, the buddy board and waterfront, 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. 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 as a cabin community.
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 baseball scores. Following breakfast, campers were off to their first cabin cleanup and then three morning instructional periods that included swim tests. Lunch was chicken patty sandwiches, waffle fries, salad bar, and “chef’s special” soup. Following lunch, Sabina met with the new campers to discuss the daily schedule, cabin life, the camp community, and answer any questions they might have had in their first half day at Moose. Our first inter-camp competition in the afternoon included a twelves soccer tournament and thirteens basketball tournament at Moose and a fifteens soccer tournament at a neighboring camp. Dinner was “Taco Tuesday”—tortillas, beef, beans, cilantro rice, salsa, and all of the fixings. Evening program included kick ball, bocce, a ping pong tournament, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, street hockey, and fishing.
Wednesday was the first morning of Moose Bears and 70+ campers and staff took part in our pre-breakfast “swim” club. (See the video on Instagram and 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. Our first few trips of the session occurred on Wednesday. The Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) headed to the natural water slides of Baker Cliffs for some swimming fun, followed by an ice cream treat at the infamous Moose Scoops. And, there was an all-ages climbing trip to the Rumney crags. Inter-camp competition included elevens basketball and thirteens baseball at Moose and a tens soccer tournament at a neighboring camp. Breakfast was pancakes and sausages, lunch was sweet-and-sour chicken and lo mein noodles, and dinner was stuffed shells. Evening activities consisted of tubing, stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing, water polo, kickball, flag football, team handball.
On Thursday, another beautiful day (seems to be the theme this summer), there was more inter-camp competition that included an elevens baseball game and a fourteens basketball tournament at a neighboring camp. The Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) had their turn of an afternoon of swimming at Baker Cliffs and an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Our first group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) departed on their overnight hiking adventure to Mt. Lafayette. The boys described the first day as being particularly challenging (a steep climb!). They stopped on the ascent to lunch on “Sun Butter” and honey tortilla wraps. The group then summited Mt. Liberty at sunset and enjoyed a feast of lentil tacos for dinner. On day two, after a breakfast of hearty oatmeal and beef jerky, they did mile-long solo hikes along the ridge of Little Haystack before meeting up again for the final descent. The highlights of the trip, per the campers were summiting Lafayette (one camper from California was in awe of the multitude of trees!), the unbelievable views throughout the hike, and of course the all-you-can eat pizza buffet at Enzo’s on their way back to Moose.
The Inter As (twelve-year-olds) embarked on a canoeing adventure on the Connecticut River to Hanover. The weather and conditions were ideal with a strong tailwind and “zero” headwind, so the group paddled in record time. They stopped for a picnic lunch of turkey and cheese sandwiches, Uncrustables, granola bars, and apples along the way (and a quick swim for those in need) before arriving in Hanover. Their reward was a pizza dinner and viewing of “Toy Story 4” in town in the evening. The campers remarked that it was a challenging paddle that involved a lot of teamwork and communication, but was overall so much fun!
The Counselors-in-Training (CITs) participated in a “True Colors” seminar in the morning, led by a professional leadership consultant, learning more about who they are and how they can have healthy relationships with those similar and different to themselves. After taking the self-assessment and learning about their own “colors,” the boys worked together in a manner in-sync with all their personalities. The boys found the morning informative and fun. The Juniors (eight-nine-and-ten year olds) enjoyed a day at the Cascade water park, followed by some rounds of miniature golf at Hobo Hills. Finally, there was an all-ages mountain biking expedition to the Wentworth Waterhole (10 miles round trip with a very steep hill on the return). Meals on Thursday were: fried eggs and potatoes for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and ribs and potato wedges for dinner with chocolate cake for dessert. In the evening, activities included a stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing expedition, tubing, fishing, open areas on land, and a “tall tale” on the beach with Port.
Friday, the inter-camp competition continued with fifteens Ultimate frisbee at a neighboring camp and tens basketball at Moose. The Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) enjoyed an afternoon of swimming at the natural water slides of Baker Cliffs, followed by ice cream at Moose Scoops. There was an all-ages kayaking trip to the Hartland Rapids. Campers needed to have mastered a “wet-exit” in order to participate. There was another all-ages rock climbing trip to the Rumney crags. And, the CITs began their lifeguarding certification program. Additionally, the oldest campers, the Senior A1s, spent the day trail clearing our mountain biking trail on campus, after which they were treated to a lunch at a local diner, Calamity Jane’s. For many of these boys, it was their first time using landscaping tools such as a lopper and axe. Meals on Friday were bagels for breakfast, Philly cheese steak sandwiches for lunch, and the weekly “Kenny cookout” for dinner, with grilled chicken, sausage, potato salad, cole slaw, and cornbread. In the evening, the highlight was the intramural baseball competition, the Coke League, for campers twelve years of age and younger. The teams were coached by the Senior A1s and all participants received a Coke as a prize–win or lose. Other evening activities included: a crayfish hunt, a stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing adventure, ultimate frisbee, flag football, water polo, tubing, and fishing.
Saturday–another beautiful day–included a fifteens dodgeball tournament at a neighboring camp. This is most often a much anticipated event where the boys dress up in fun costume (think the movie, “Dodgeball”). There was an all-ages fishing expedition to Indian Pond. Many caught a number of small-mouth bass. Our new campers (those not slated to climb another mountain this session) hiked Mt. Cube, part of the Appalachian Trail, with Bill and the Backcountry Leadership Program (BLP) staff. (Look for a fun video of the group at the top on Instagram and Facebook!) Later in the day, the Senior A1s departed for a night in Hanover of pizza and a viewing of the new “Fast and Furious” movie. The main feature of Saturday night was, of course, movie night, and the showings this week were “Incredibles 2” on Junior Hill and “Iron Man” on Senior Hill. As always, freshly popped popcorn was provided by the CITs.
That’s all for now. Please do not hesitate to call Bill or Sabina if you have questions. Happy Summer!
Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Ken, and Ingrid