Camp Echo Lake Junior Boys

Junior Boys Head Counselor – Patrick McNeece


This past week, Sam (Boys Camp Program Director) and I took to the gymnastics pavilion for a special evening program with the Upper Junior Boys.  We ran three variations of dodgeball…”3,2,1…DODGEBALL!”  The boys had a great time learning new ways to play an old camp classic.  This was a great activity to simply let loose and have fun! The variations included an every-man-for-himself game and two team games. The boys rallied together to beat the counselors in the final dodgeball battle, but we’ll get ’em next time!

TRIBAL!!! Tribal finally broke during Group Sing.  It was truly amazing to see the reaction of the new campers, and of course, the returning campers couldn’t be more thrilled!  It just goes to show that traditions never get old at camp.  It was very exciting to watch the campers rush the floor of the beautiful new Field House to celebrate the breaking of Tribal 2014 as Tony announced the LIT Cheiftans and Tribal leaders.  The excitement as Tribal broke is always electrifying and this summer was no different.

Camp is a place like nowhere else in the world, but differences occur when you spend so much time together.  I’m proud to say that the boys are really learning to solve their differences now that everyone is comfortable and settled after two successful weeks. Our counselors have worked hard to help campers through any difficult situations, and the communication that they have with Head Counselors is excellent.

This Saturday is Junior Special Day.  Each group will be following an individual schedule that their counselors have designed with the help of camp head specialists. This is a day designed to fit what each group really enjoys. Special Day is also a great way to strengthen the group bond and unify the boys.

Group sing this past week was amazing! Both Lower Junior Boys groups joined forces and performed their songs to perfection. The performance was humorous and heartfelt, and went over well with the judges as the LJBs took second place.  Not every kid lives for the spotlight of the stage, but even those who are somewhat shy feel comfortable getting up in front of their peers to perform during Group Sing.  It’s a great way to work together for the boys, and feel like they have accomplished something.

We continue to push the message of group unity to the boys as we teach them that working together creates a positive environment.  Working together on events like Group Sing and Tribal Tug naturally create bonding moments, but bonding moments also happen in day-to-day life with simple things like bunk clean-up.

It’s always amazing to me how quickly even the most hesitant kid gets acclimated to camp.  We’ve really hit our stride as a group at this point, and it will only continue to get better as the summer progresses!