JUNIOR BOYS HEAD COUNSELOR – Patrick McNeece
Group Sing is always a great event because each group works together as a team and is a part of the creative process. The counselors work together with the campers to create their own lyrics to popular songs. On our way to an inter-camp against Southwoods, the Frosh and Lower Junior Boys sang their songs on the bus for me. It was awesome to hear a sneak preview and sing along with them on our journey!
The Frosh did their own version of “Shut Up and Dance with Me,” which they titled “The Frosh Boys 20-15!” The East and West Lower Junior groups combined and remade an oldie but a goodie; Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me.” It was absolutely hilarious!
This event strategically happens early in the summer, providing campers with the opportunity to embrace their goofy side, share their creativity and work together as a team. Each group spent a few activity periods practicing, and by the time that they performed, the campers had a real sense of pride for their group.
All Junior Boy groups have now climbed the famous Mt. Hackensack (the Frosh Boys also got to go tubing).
Tribal broke as the whole camp sat on the lower baseball field to “watch” the women’s World Cup finale. The recap and highlights of the World Cup began before being interrupted with static and a faint glimpse of the Echo Lake logo and green and gold letters spelling “TRIBAL!” The crowd erupted as it always does when Tribal finally breaks. The LITs lined up and waited as Tony called each one of their names and split our 2015 leaders into our two famous teams…Iroquois and Mohawk.
The following day, the Junior boys took to the beach for Tribal Tug, the first event of Tribal. The Iroquois Junior Boys ended up earning the point for this best-of-three event.
Tribal is always so exciting when it first breaks, and the first event is usually the most intense. Emotions were high and each camper wanted desperately to win for their team. Our counselors and the LITs do a great job of cheering on the campers, and also helping those campers who have trouble dealing with a loss in such a meaningful battle. We always tell the campers that Tribal never goes back to the bunks, and it’s over when the event ends.
The Frosh and Lower Junior Boys went to Southwoods for inter-camp games in three sports: kickball, basketball, and soccer. I was lucky enough to make this trip with the boys; it was a great time for all. We sang a new camp favorite called “Pop-See-Koo,” and the boys practiced their songs for Group Sing.
On the competition side of things, I am excited to say that we were victorious in kickball and basketball and left with a draw in soccer. The most exciting event was definitely basketball; our boys won by two points. They took an early 6-0 lead, but Southwoods began to make a push. The second half featured a spectacular defensive effort and a great display of teamwork. It is always great to see good passing at this age, and watching the boys play effectively as a team.
THE ECHO LAKE WAY
We truly have classy counselors, and our campers really absorb what we model as Echo Lakers. The entire time that we were at Southwoods, our staff members and campers were saying “hi” to others, picking up after ourselves, and showing great sportsmanship during and after each sport. It means something special to be an Echo Laker, which is something that our new staff members and campers have already embraced.
A “PROMISING” LESSON
Matt LeMoine (Inter Boys HC) and I have been going to each group during the evening to share a human development component that we are doing on Boys Camp. We are sharing the importance of making promises to ourselves and to others. We share stories of times when people in our lives made promises to us, and how great it felt when they fulfilled those promises. Matt and I feel that making promises and sticking to them is a great lesson to teach the boys. We got this idea from an inspiring TED Talk that we listened to in our bunk one night. We then ordered business cards that simply say, “because I said I would” on them. Each boy writes down one promise on each card and when they fulfill this promise to another person, they give that person the card. We look forward to circling back with each group and hearing the campers’ stories.
Next week, we will complete our second evening of sports challenges. On Monday, the boys have their first all-Boys Camp special event day, which we have titled “Moneyball.” Stay tuned for more details and a recap of this special event next week.