Camp Laurel South Blog

Keeping Active After Camp

Unless you live on 100+ acres of grassy fields, on a lake complete with tennis courts, an equestrian center and hundreds of your closest friends, then it may be hard to stay as busy and active at home as you do when you’re at camp. When you spend your summer at camp, you’re surrounded by nature; you have access to almost every sport and activity you could imagine, and; it’s easy to spend your days — literally — running from one adventure to the next.

When it’s time to come home from camp, some campers find it easy to fall back into more laid-back routines, consisting of computer time, TV time and video games. However, it’s easy to take some of the things you learned at camp and apply them to your normal routine at home. You may not live on a lake, but you can still get outside and enjoy the sunshine. You may not have access to a soccer  field, but you can still get outside with friends and kick the ball around. You can still go for a run, start a pick up game of baseball with other kids in the neighborhood, or put together a dance routine to impress your family after dinner. There are many ways to stay active while you’re at home, and you don’t need 100+ acres or counselors to help you do it.

Staying active during the fall and winter months is very important to your overall health. When you feel good physically, other aspects of your life seem to follow. Your confidence improves, which helps you build healthy and strong relationships. Exercise has been scientifically proven to release hormones that help you focus in school, help you sleep well, and help promote strong bones and muscles. It’s great for your heart, and the endorphins released when you exercise gives you an overall sense of happiness.

Many campers are introduced to a sport while at camp, and then choose to continue pursuing that sport throughout the school year. If you loved soccer at camp, why not try out for the school team? If you really loved gymnastics at camp, why not look into joining the competitive after-school team? By staying active during the school year, you give yourself months of practice before returning to the sport at camp over the summer. You will be amazed at the progress you can make from one summer to the next.

Staying active at home can help improve all areas of your life. Being active makes you happier and healthier, and is something all campers can do to boost their confidence in the months when they aren’t at camp.

What I Learned from a Summer at Camp

My mom has this ritual of asking me about what I learned each day. Sometimes I shrug and say “I don’t know,” and other times I spit out interesting facts about blue whales, Egyptian Pyramids or volcanoes that I learned that day at school. So in the car the day I got home from camp, I wasn’t surprised when she asked me what I had learned while being away. However, she was surprised at my response.

I told her that I learned a lot of new skills that I would never have experienced if I had stayed home. I learned how to play lacrosse and sail. I learned to fish and learned a lot of crazy songs that have been stuck in my head all summer. I learned how to get from one side of camp to the other in the shortest amount of time. I learned how to make the perfect S’more, and I even learned how to paint. I felt like I was learning something new every day.

But in the first few days at home, I kept thinking about other things I learned at camp. Things that were more about character than skill. Things that will help me in life more than knowing the perfect ratio of chocolate to marshmallow on a S’more. When my friend and I had that big disagreement, our counselors walked us through a communication plan that left both of us feeling heard, understood and we walked away with our issue resolved. I learned how to recognize when someone was feeling left out or lonely, and how to bring them into the activity I was doing at the time. I learned how to interact with different people and learned to appreciate differences without judgment. I learned the importance of having true friends who are there for you no matter what, who accept you for who you are, and who are honest and real with you.

I learned quickly that I’m a naturally messy and unorganized person, but that keeping my stuff picked up in areas that I share with others is a sign of respect. I learned to live in close proximity with others and how to respect their personal space. I learned to compromise, to be flexible, and how to manage my time.

I learned that I can function without my cell phone and that not everything fun has to have a screen involved. I learned that without a cell phone, I could focus more on the my experiences rather than getting the perfect shot, choosing the best filter, and then waiting impatiently for my friends to “like” and “comment” on the picture through social media.

I learned a lot at camp. Some of the things are basic skills that are fun to know, while others are fundamental qualities that will set me up for better relationships and experiences for the rest of my life.

Settling in to the “Real World”

As we settle into the “real world,” we can’t help but reflect on the incredible memories made this summer. We will keep these memories close to our heart.

While we will cherish the summer of 2017, we look forward to the year ahead. With Labor Day around the corner, we hope you’re all settling in to your routine at home and gearing up for the academic year.

Study hard, stay active and be kinder than necessary… only 294 days ’til First Session and 322 Days ’til Second Session!

Another Amazing Summer

Another amazing summer has come and gone, and all we can do is wonder where the time went. We want to thank our amazing staff, wonderful camp families and, of course, the greatest campers anywhere for making the 2017 summer such a memorable one. We’ll miss you so much and hope to see you again soon. Now, let the countdown to the 2018 summer begin!!!

Oh what a beautiful day in the state of Maine!

All In Until the Very End

Where did the summer go? Can we really be down to just two precious program days before it’s time to pack up and bid farewell to all of our friends who have become more like family? Our summer theme this year was to be “all in”, and our campers and staff have truly done their part!

Tuesday night, we witnessed another Moose Bowl for the ages, as the Rattle Snakes scored a late touchdown to edge out the Black Bears in a game of fantastic plays and even better sportsmanship! On Wednesday night, we were treated to our younger campers incredible performance of “Annie”.  The talent on the stage was just amazing! Thursday we all headed to Canobie Lake Park for a day of rides, games, fun, friendship and food.

Tonight our older campers take to the stage for their rendition of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”. Tomorrow night is our Final Banquet, and we’ll dine on lobster, steak or vegetarian lasagna! After packing on Sunday, we’ll have our Closing Ceremonies, when the Spirit of Fun and Friendship will take the flame and keep it safe until we are all reunited on the shores of Crescent Lake next summer.

And while we’re sad to see another awesome summer come to a close, we’re excited the countdown to the 2018 Laurel South summer will begin.

Down The Stretch We Come

How quickly a camp session can fly by! It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming everybody for the start of the summer, and yet, in what seems like the blink of an eye, we are down to our final week.

We’ve had so many wonderful experiences so far. The campers and staff had an amazing time at the Laurel South Carnival.The weather threatened to interfere with our afternoon Carnival, so we just changed it to the morning, and everyone had a blast!!! From the rides to the games, the food to the dunk tank, we all had a great time. Our 8th graders are on their trip to North Conway, and our 6th Grade girls are camping out for the night! Intercamp games and tournaments are still in full gear and program areas are building toward their culminating activities.

And while a week seems like a short period of time, we have so much to look forward to: Monday night is our Council Fire; Tuesday Night is the 7th Annual Moose Bowl; Wednesday and Friday are our theater shows (Annie and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee); Thursday is our final “S” Day trip to Canobie Lake. Of course, we have our Final Banquet and Closing Ceremonies coming up, as well.

While the session seems to fly by, the friendships we’ve forged and the memories we’ve made will last us the entire year…until we can all return again!

Another Spirited Spirit Days!!!

Tuesday morning started out like any other “A” Day.  We woke up excited for another day of programming, ate a delicious breakfast and headed back to cabins for clean-up. Suddenly the bell rang and rang and rang and rang. Oh, we were having our annual fire drill. Everyone headed to the Downeast Field, lined up by cabins. As Roger made his check that all were accounted for, each cabin had a brief skit to announce their presence. The very last cabin, Cedars, our CIT girls read a poem which ended with the announcement that Spirit Days 2017 was upon us. They were joined by the CIT boys, and everyone was ready for Spirit Days to commence!

For the next 2 days, the Green Army and Blue Navy took to the fields, displaying teamwork, effort and sportsmanship that makes us so proud. What transpired was the friendliest of competitions with everyone cheering for their own team, as well as the other, enjoying the contest, but never taking it too far. The closing ceremony was filled with awesome cheers, incredible plaques designed and made by the campers and unbelievable songs. In the end, when Adam read the final score, the winner was…Laurel South, because after 2 days we were reunited as one big team with memories that will last a lifetime!

Today, our Fly Fishing enthusiasts are enjoying a great clinic from an Orvis Fishing Guide. In the two years we’ve held these clinics, the number of Fly Fishing campers has increased, and their skill set is through the roof!!!  On Sunday, our 6th Grade Girls will depart for their camping trip to Mount Blue, while our 8thGraders will depart for their trip to North Conway!

We may be closing in on our final week, but we still have a ton to look forward to: Two Theater Shows, Moose Bowl, Final Banquet…the list goes on! We’ll fill every moment we have together with friends and memories that just can’t be beat!!!

The Halfway Point

It really does fly by that quickly. It seems like just yesterday we were greeting all of our amazing campers, and just like that, we are at the halfway point of the summer. As always, we take time to reflect back on the awesome memories we’ve made, and look ahead in anticipation of all the great things to come!

Today is our 2nd “S” Day, and our talented Program Director, Brad, put on the 2nd Annual Resort Day! After a late wake up, our campers were delivered a wonderful continental breakfast with muffins, croissants, Danish and so much more! In the morning, our 2nd-5th Graders had the opportunity to take part in a Tough Moose race, participate in a fishing tournament and a wide range of other activities. While this was going on, the 6th-8th Graders had control of Crescent Lake, bumper tubing, taking pontoon boat rides, swimming and paddle boarding. In the Afternoon, the groups flip-flopped.  While this was all going on at camp, our CIT’s departed this morning for a Magical Mystery Tour of Maine, seeing some of the sites the area offers, while doing some activities they have asked about for years. We could tell you more about it, but it’s so secretive that even we don’t know. We’ll ask them when they return!

One Week Down…Plenty Left to Come!!!

We’ve just completed our first week of the 2017 summer, and it’s hard to believe how much we’ve already done. Our 8th Graders had an amazing time on their Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor Trip. The 9th Graders kicked off their CIT summer with an exciting White Water Rafting Trip on the Kennebec River. Saco and Kineo went to Splashtown; Baxter and Allagash had so much fun at Aquaboggan; and our 7th Graders enjoyed their day at Old Orchard Beach. Roger and Dagni had a wonderful dinner, full of great memories and lots of laughs with our 7 Year Club, and Saco and Kineo went berry picking with our fabulous CIT’s who wanted to relive some of their favorite early camp memories. Program Areas are humming along…Intercamps and Tournaments are in full swing…and the weather has been spectacular!!!

And while you may think we’re running out of activities to occupy our days and nights, don’t worry!  We’re still looking forward to: Spirit Days, Moose Bowl, Two Theater Shows, Canobie Lake, Carnival, 8th Grade North Conway Trip… and the list goes on!!!  We pack so many great events into each summer, and the fun never stops!

We’ll continue to update you in future blogs, but right now it’s time to go have some fun. What a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!

In the Groove

We may still be in our first week of camp, but the action is already humming in Casco! After Arrival Day and Moose Stomp Day, our campers jumped right into their regular “A” and “B” Program Days.  From Crescent Lake to the Ball Fields, Equestrian to Culinary, Adventure to the Arts…camp is filled with the sounds of children at play!!! Our 6th Grade Boys just returned from their amazing camping trip, and the 8th and 9th Graders depart in the morning for their own trips to Acadia National Park and White Water Rafting on the Kennebec River!  We know they’ll have an amazing time, but we’ll miss them greatly and can’t wait to have the entire Laurel South family reunited soon. Meanwhile, Wednesday will be our first “S” Day of the session. Saco and Kineo will spend the day at Splashtown. Baxter and Allagash will head to Aquaboggan, and the 7thGraders will depart for Old Orchard Beach! Intercamp games and tournaments are beginning as well. As you can see, we don’t waste a single moment at camp. Our time may be brief, but we pack it full of fun, friendships and memories each day!

We have so much to look forward to: Spirit Days, Moose Bowl, Theater Shows, Carnival…the list goes on! As always, it’s a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!

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