Camp Echo Lake Junior Boys

Junior Boys Head Counselor – Patrick McNeece


What an action-packed week we had on Boys Camp in the Junior Division!  After announcing the first “Glamping” winners, we headed down to the campfire site with the boys on Thursday night for an unforgettable evening!  It was a close race in the Junior Division, but in the end, the Lower Junior Boys West emerged as the winners.
“Glamping” has become a big motivating factor for the boys. They earn points for having clean bunks, being respectful to others, participating during activities and going out of their way to be good Camp Echo Lake community members.
The night with the LJBWs began with s’mores, and a few special toasts to the boys for their achievements so far this summer. Tony Stein then joined us to share an amazing story about the history of Echo Lake camping, and how “Glamping” has evolved at the camp. To end the evening, we all watched Monsters University under a beautiful Adirondack night sky.
When the boys woke up the next day, we did a little fishing and enjoyed more s’mores for breakfast before returning to our regular Friday activities.
We always have tons of laughs during “tent talk” and campfire toasts while “Glamping.”  This experience really helped the LJBWs to strengthen their bond.  It’s moments like these that leave campers (and staff) with fond memories of special moments that will last a lifetime!

The Frosh Boys began an exciting project called “Fort Awesome,” which entails going to a “secret” pine tree area with their counselors to work on building a series of forts exclusively for their use.
The boys know that “Fort Awesome” is an incentive that they must work towards each day.  During their trek overnight, the boys collected the perfect sticks and began their forts late this week.

Coastal Lacrosse came to Echo Lake this past week, and provided the boys with quality instruction and game play.  As a lacrosse novice, I was able to learn some of the necessary skills to pick up the game by taking part in the clinic.
During the clinic, we took notice of the number of skilled lacrosse players that we have in the Junior Division.  Consequently, we are planning on seeking more competitive opportunities in this activity area going forward.

The Upper Junior Boys had their first campfire of the summer this past week. We sang some traditional campfire songs, made s’mores, read a great short story and lit wish lanterns until the sun went down and it was time for bed. It’s always exciting to witness first-year campers experiencing their first campfire. The new campers learned about the history of Echo Lake and also were introduced to our silly sing-along songs. Many of them are already asking about their next campfire (they are all ready for more s’mores!).

Prior to our Friday Night Live (FNL) show, which featured a dance and musical performance from selected Junior Boys, we also got to see the Frosh Boys perform scenes from Peter Pan. The Echo Lake community always celebrates the campers who show the courage to be on stage in front of a large crowd (especially our youngest campers).

The Frosh and Lower Junior Boys went roller skating at The Fun Spot, where the music was loud and the snacks were abundant.  Their first big trip of the summer was a huge success!  All of the boys enjoyed spending some time away from camp.
The Upper Junior Boys went bowling in Glens Falls. Overall, the scores were amazing.  The arcade was filled with happy campers!  A number of the boys left with really cool prizes that they won while playing the games. Because they don’t get the chance to indulge in these luxuries at camp, the candy and soda machines were very popular spots at the bowling alley.

This week’s recap is posting a day later than usual because of Visiting Day, since the parents of the Junior Boys were actually spending time with them instead of reading about their summer.
Visiting Day was a great day for the Junior Boys!  They got to spend time with their families and introduce them to their friends and staff members who take care of them over the summer.  My staff and I all enjoyed meeting everyone.  We really appreciate all of the positive feedback that we received from so many people both face-to-face and in e-mails.
As expected, there were some teary eyes when it was time for the boys to say goodbye to their parents, but those tears didn’t last long.  By the time we finished with our candy party and general swim, the boys were all back on track, excited to dress up and go to the Camp Echo Lake Halloween in July festivities.
Overall, it was a fantastic day for the boys, filled with fun, sweets and stories from the first three weeks, and the best is yet to come!