In our last meeting with staff before the campers arrived, we tried to impart one last piece of motivation or inspiration that can be a theme for the entire summer. This year, that piece of motivation was to make an impact on a camper through their experience at Camp. There are many ways to leave an impact, whether it is creating a fun and safe environment in the cabin, lending a listening ear to someone in need, or being the bridge between two new friends. Camp offers us many opportunities to make a difference and in the first week, there have already been countless moments like this for the Junior Boys groups.
While the weather has been a little up and down (wet and dry) in our first few days, we have still had a number of memorable events that stood out for the Junior Boys!
To start, I always find longevity awards on the first night of Camp to be a special and interesting event. This is a time when we celebrate the campers and staff that have been with us for three, five, seven, and ten years. For our juniors that are new to camp, it often seems like so long until they will be walking up to collect their commemorative clothing, but I always hear the same comments, such as: “I’ll be there one day” or, “only nine more years until I get my jacket.” It is a really special evening for the entire camp.
The week continued with our first day of activities on Sunday when the boys had a chance to try out a number of different activities from Basketball and Baseball to Archery and Cooking. After having the opportunity to walk around and see the new and returning boys interact, I was reminded what makes camp so special from day-to-day; campers having a chance to play, joke, laugh and have a good time together!
The evening activities this week also offered an opportunity for staff and campers to engage with each other in an open and easy environment. On Sunday evening, every group participated in an activity called “The Mostest.” This is a classic Camp Echo Lake game where the campers were divided into teams and given various categories such as “longest hair,” “brightest shirt,” or “best group cheer.” Each group sends a representative that best demonstrated that category and the judges give out points. This is a great opportunity for campers to get to know each other in a fun group setting. So much fun!!
On Monday night, the Main Village had the first ever Echo Lake Main Camp Pep Rally. In a short amount of time, each group created and performed a song, dance, cheer, or skit that introduced their group to Main Camp. We had an incredible response from our Junior Boy groups, and the performances were sweet, funny and entirely original! This was a great new tradition that I hope will be carried forward for many years to come!
It is amazing that in just a few short days at camp, many seeds have already been planted for the weeks to come. All of the boys have had an opportunity to experience their swim orientation and swim test, the Lower and Upper Junior Boys auditioned for the upcoming performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the Frosh Boys had their first Lego Night with LeMoine! It has been a fun filled first week and there is still a lot to come!