Camp Echo Lake Junior Boys
As promised in our initial post of the summer (Camp Echo Lake – Summer Blog 2014), we will be featuring recaps of each area of camp to give parents a greater insight into the goings on at Echo Lake, and tell the stories behind the numerous photos shared on the summer site.  The recaps will be featured in age order from youngest to oldest, beginning with the Junior Boys…

Junior Boys Head CounselorPatrick McNeece


Our first Challenge Night of the summer took place this past Wednesday.  Challenge Night is an evening activity where each camper gets to choose between three competitive options.  The rain cleared just in time to allow the boys to display their athletic talents, teamwork and sportsmanship.
We ran two full-court basketball games, both of which had tight scores going into the last minute of play. The soccer field was filled with energetic staff members (coaches) and campers cheering loudly during the game; the final score was 6-2. On the lower baseball diamond, several Junior Boys enjoyed a spirited game of kickball, tearing around the bases and making spectacular plays in the outfield (cue the ESPN da da da..da da da theme music).
Challenge Night wrapped up with snack beneath the pines on Boys Camp where we all sang and danced the night away!
Complementing the inter-camp competitions that each division participates in during the course of the summer, Challenge Night offers the boys an additional taste of competitive sports. To keep things balanced, all staff members provide input into dividing the boys up into teams, which really helps to make each Challenge Night a success.  The boys all love the opportunity to compete.  All in all, the first Challenge Night was awesome!


The Lower Junior Boys welcomed Camp Walden to Echo Lake as we hosted our first inter-camp games of the summer.  Our boys won two out of the three sports that they participated in, but most importantly, they gave it their all on the courts and the fields.
The soccer game was a tight one but we pulled it out, and on the basketball court, Echo Lake won by double digits! Baseball was a tough loss; however, many of the boys made some great defensive plays and our baseball specialists are making some real progress with these Junior Boys, who will continue to improve as the summer progresses.


The vibe on Boys Camp is really vibrant already! Our staff is really putting in a lot of hard work, and the boys have great men leading them through each day.
The boys are learning how to work as a team during bunk cleanup, and our point system really seems to be a great motivator for them. We use a website called ClassDojo to award points to them for performing morning bunk jobs. We also award the boys for working as a team, being on time to activities, being a good friend and simply working hard. These are all values we hold high at Echo Lake and they are important virtues for our boys to practice. Each group gets a weekly graph on how they are doing in each category so that they can track their progress.


The boys have been diligently working on their Group Sing, which happens next week and is always a great camp event. The counselors have created some really entertaining lyrics and dance moves, so it should be a huge success!


Our first ever “Inside the Echo Lake Studio” event took place in the amphitheater this past week. The kids were given a movie title, a brief synopsis and 30 minutes to prepare a skit using their movie title. As an added twist, they had to incorporate Echo Lake references into their skit. The Upper Junior Boys did their own rendition of Snow White which had the crowd in stitches!
“Inside the Echo Lake Studio” was excellent because it provided an opportunity for each group to work as a team and support each other as they performed on stage.


Week 1 Goals:  To practice treating others kindly and try new things that camp has to offer.
The Frosh and LJBE and LJBW all did a fantastic job on both of these goals as they trekked up Hackensack this week. For many of the Lower Junior Boys, this was their first time hiking.  They got up the mountain in record time and down even quicker! They helped each other with the tougher parts of the hike and celebrated at the top with Oreos!


We’ve had some rainy bunk time, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It gave the boys time to hang out and get to know each other a little more, and the “Inside the Echo Lake Studio” event allowed campers to show off their talents and be a little goofy while working together as a team.


The lineup theme for Boys Camp was revealed in true Boys Camp fashion! The Pines Police Precinct includes two bicycle cops named Tim Prangle and Jim Drangle (Patrick McNeece and Corey Begly) who entertain the campers with ridiculous skits. Lineups also feature a Canadian Mountie and a Royal Guard (Matt Lemoine and Sam Wilkinson) who provide humor and entertainment to Boys Camp each morning.