Dear Moosilauke Families,
It is our pleasure to send this second letter home during summer 2021 covering Monday, June 28th through Sunday, July 4th. Camp is off to an awesome start. The week’s weather started out sunny, dry, and quite warm, so the boys were able to be outdoors and engaged in all camp activities and trips this first week, many opting to participate in activities involving the water. Rain arrived late in the week, but that did not deter our campers from being outside and busy on both land and water. Overall, our activity classes have been humming, our initial canoe and hiking trips have been fun for all, our intramurals program is off and running, and the overall level of fun and camaraderie is exactly what you would expect. Fun with a purpose!
Monday started early for many campers as our first wilderness adventure trips departed Moose at 7:00am. A group of Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) left for a two-day whitewater canoe adventure on Lake Umbagog and the Androscoggin River. This trip, which we have been running for decades, has been featured in Outside Magazine in the section titled “Best Trails: Best Canoe Trail.” Due to high winds, the group wisely decided to forego the 8 mile canoe up the lake and instead put in at the Erroll dam and then headed North into the Androscoggin River to their campsite—passing through a bald eagle reserve on the way. The afternoon was full of swimming, fishing, and fire building. Although there was a light drizzle it did not keep the intrepid group from cooking a campfire dinner consisting of burgers and hot dogs. After S’mores, there was an evening swim and some canoe flipping fun. The next morning, they cooked an eggs and sausage breakfast on the fire, packed the canoes, and headed back onto the Androscoggin to complete the adventure. Although a low water flow kept them from running some of the best rapids, the group had a great time.
Monday’s trips also included a group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) heading out for a two-day Presidential Range backpacking adventure on and near Mt. Lafayette. The first day the group did an admirable job hiking up the very steep Liberty Springs Trail. Once the group reached their tent platforms they set up camp and had a lunch of peanut butter and Nutella wraps. After lunch, they continued on a steep uphill climb to the summits of both Mt. Liberty and Mt. Flume. The group then descended back to their campsite and enjoyed a delicious dinner of Velveeta mac-n-cheese with sausage. After dinner, the group hiked up another half mile to the peak of Liberty Springs where they viewed an incredible sunset and were treated with candy for dessert. The next morning the group traversed the Franconia Ridge which has some of the best views in New Hampshire. The traverse had them summiting Little Haystack, Mt. Lincoln, and Mt. Lafayette. During the second day the campers experienced a solo hike, spacing out every 2 minutes with one counselor leading the way and one bringing up the rear. Lunch at the top of Lafayette was make-your-own wraps of salami, turkey, and swiss cheese. At the end of the ridgeline the group stopped by the Green Leaf Hunt for some refreshing lemonade then continued down the mountain to the car. On the drive home to Moose the group stopped for a much deserved outdoor pizza dinner.
Monday also saw a group of Inter As (twelve-year-olds) venture out for a picnic and afternoon of swimming fun at the Wentworth Waterhole and the Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) take part in their first intramural competition of 2021—a dodgeball tournament. (You may have noticed in our picture galleries the wacky and spirited outfits that were worn by the campers for the tournament.)
With regard to competition this summer, we are offering a slew of intramurals across different land sport areas and age groups—including basketball, baseball, lax, Ultimate Frisbee, archery, soccer, and tennis. As with our inter-camp competition in past years, we continue to emphasize three scoreboards at Moosilauke. The first is the actual score of the game. The second measures effort and sportsmanship, and being a “class act.” The third is all about having the best hair! There are also no “cuts” at Moose so any boy can play on any age appropriate team regardless of their prior experience or skill-level in that sport and each camper gets ample playing time.
A final highlight from Monday was a wake surfing session with Bill and a boatload of Junior Counselors and Senior A1s during the afternoon. The “stoke” was strong during the session since everyone was able to get up and move into the wake, and a few boys were able to drop the rope, find the “sweet spot,” and do some carving. For those in camp on Monday, meals included scrambled eggs and potatoes for breakfast, Sloppy Joe’s and tater tots for lunch, and macaroni-and-cheese with green beans and rolls for dinner. Evening activities included dodgeball, rugby, weightlifting, water polo, tubing, and fishing.
Tuesday, the rest of the Inter As (twelve-year-olds) had their turn picnicking and swimming at the Wentworth Waterhole. Another group of campers participated in an open bike trip on roads surrounding the camp and lake and then enjoyed a swim and picnic at Orford Beach. Finally, half of our Juniors (eight, nine, and ten-year olds) enjoyed an afternoon on the pontoon boat that involved touring around the lake, swimming, fishing, and exploring.
Tuesday’s meals included: pancakes and bacon for breakfast, chicken patties and tater tots for lunch, and “Taco Tuesday” for dinner with churros for dessert. Evening activities included street hockey, kickball, Ultimate Frisbee, football, Knock out, water polo, a stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing extravaganza, tubing, and fishing.
Wednesday, campers were greeted in the morning with fried eggs and potatoes. Lunch was sweet and sour chicken with rice, and dinner was spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread. Trips on Wednesday included another group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) departing for their hiking adventure on Mt. Lafayette. Upon their return the group shared the following highlights: the food they cooked over a campfire, the amazing views on the top of Mt. Lincoln, the feeling when they summited Mt. Lafayette, and of course the all-you-can-eat pizza outdoor dinner at Enzo’s on their way back to Moose. Another highlight from Wednesday was the tennis clinic run by Pete Fagan. Pete, who recently retired from the Thacher School in CA, has won the high school tennis coach of the year in Southern California and he has also coached teams that have won 5 state titles. Evening activities included Kick the Can, street hockey, wiffleball, Knock Out, a canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding extravaganza, tubing, and fishing.
Thursday, the Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) enjoyed an afternoon at Baker Cliffs, followed by ice cream at Moose Scoops. Thursday afternoon, Bill took a group of Senior A1s and A2s wake surfing–but the session had to be cut short due to rain. Meals on Thursday were French toast and sausage for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and roasted turkey, “smashed” potatoes and gravy for dinner.
We had intermittent rain on Friday, but since there was no lightning we were able to hold both morning and afternoon activity periods. Throughout the day campers were busily and happily engaged in archery, soccer, wiffleball, Frisbee golf, and a range of waterfront activities including canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, sailing, and waterskiing/wakeboarding. A group of Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) were able to get a short round of golf in during the morning, followed by a takeout lunch at a local deli. Meals on Friday included scrambled eggs and potatoes for breakfast, chicken tenders and fries for lunch, and the always anticipated “Kenny cookout” for dinner, which included marinated chicken, sausage, coleslaw, cornbread, sodas, and ice cream for dessert. At lunch, it was time for another “Trick of the Day,” where one of our counselors presented the cup-blowing trick—blowing a spinning cup from one cup to another. In the evening, campers fished, canoed and paddle boarded, played Knockout, rugby, and wiffleball, and relaxed on the beach around a campfire.
Rain on Saturday had us running both indoor and outdoor activities throughout the day. There were games set up in both the dining hall and rec hall, including bowling, board games, ping pong, foosball, arts and crafts, chess, and a slew of card games. The evening program included “movie night” that entailed the showing of two classics: “Star Wars” on Junior Hill and “Back to the Future” on Senior Hill. Todd and the counselors made homemade popcorn for all to enjoy.
Sunday we held our traditional Fourth of July extravaganza. It started with pre-breakfast fireworks and then a brunch that included made-to-order omelets, cinnamon buns, sausage, and the usual yogurt, granola and fruit bar. After breakfast, the boys spent time playing cards, ping pong, pick-up basketball, lawn chess, and frisbee. Arts and crafts was also very popular. As evidenced by our photo galleries and social media postings, many of the campers and staff donned their patriotic red-white-and-blue clothes in the spirit of the holiday.
In the afternoon the campers were divided into two teams (the Michael Jordans versus the Lebron James) and competed in wacky activities which included “the Boston Tea Party,” “The Water Gauntlet,” and an obstacle course. Fun and laughs were had by all. In the evening, there was a cookout on the field with hamburgers, hotdogs, and an assortment of sides. Finally, once it got dark we had an amazing display of fireworks that the boys watched from the beach.
In closing, we wanted to provide this link to a new blog from Bill about boys losing motivation at school and enthusiasm for the real world and its activities. The good news is that all the remedies highlighted are exactly what a great overnight camp provides, so feel good about sending your kids to Moose!
That’s all for now. We will continue to share Camp news with you every week. As always, please do not hesitate to contact Bill or Sabina should you have any questions.
Happy Fourth of July!
Bill, Sabina, Ken, Ingrid, Preston, Jake, Quinn, and Charlotte