Camp Laurel South Blog

Teachers Love Having Campers as Students

IMG_2455 When we asked a teacher in Florida what his ideal student looks like, he said: “Someone who is respectful, creative and focused.” When we asked a teacher in New Jersey, she said  “Someone who isn’t afraid to ask questions, who wants to learn and who tries their hardest,” And when we asked a teacher from Pennsylvania, she said: “Someone who has great time management skills, is a leader and is responsible.” What we learned from talking to these teachers is that all across the country, teachers enjoy having responsible, respectful and creative students in their classrooms. And what do you know… Camps help students develop all of these skills and so much more. It’s our theory that when teachers ask students what they did over the summer, they’re not just asking because it’s the standard “welcome back to school question,” but because they are secretly trying to decipher which students spent their summer growing, learning and improving. The bottom line: Teachers love students who spend their summers at camp.

Spending the summer at camp turns followers into leaders, shyness into confidence and laziness into responsibility. Camp teaches children how to work well with others, how to think critically and how to solve problems. It allows students to try new things, ask questions and be vulnerable in order to improve themselves. It teaches time management, organization and respect for peers and authority. The list goes on and on. Every day, campers are learning valuable life skills that easily transfer over to their daily lives. They think they’re just playing football with friends, but at the same time they are learning how to communicate with others, how to be a good sport and the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. When they make real connections with people they’d usually never talk to, they are learning to ignore stereotypes and appreciate diversity. Spending the summer at camp is day-after-day of life lessons, disguised as swimming, playing, singing, dancing, biking, hiking and exploring.

IMG_2851Teachers look for leaders in the classroom, someone who can follow instructions and encourage their peers to do the same. It is with these students that teacher form trusting relationships, which can work in the students benefit all year long. These leaders are built at camp, and their skills aren’t just confined to camp or the school campus, they become leaders in every aspect of their life.

Parents can be confident that their child will leave camp a better version of themselves. These students, who enter the new school year with a strong sense of identity, work ethic and high self-esteem, will be an important contributor to their classrooms.

If you were to ask a teacher what they REALLY wanted in an ideal student, most of them would say “Anyone who spent their summer at camp!”

The Blink of An Eye

OU2C0043As kids grow into teens, as teens grow into adults and as adults grow older, a funny thing happens: time goes by faster and faster. In the blink of an eye, you can think about your 10th birthday party, your first day at school, high school, college, graduation, your wedding, having children, even the birth of your grandkids. The circle of life. Camp, perhaps, is one place that mirrors the circle of life with even greater speed. But while the days and nights fly by, the memories linger and last forever.

Who can’t remember stepping off the plane or bus into your camp director’s waiting arms? Meeting your counselor for the first time? Feeling the warmth of security and the familiarity of a hug, high five or a fist-bump. Then you meet your cabinmates, Campus Leaders and more friends in your age group. Your camp circle grows, your friends increase, you branch out and try new things, meet new people, eat new foods. You experiment.

_MG_5687Then there’s the routine we settle into. The A and B Days. The special events and S Day Trips. Overnight Camping Trips, Intercamps and Theatre Shows. Camp Brother and Sister activities. Quest and Spirit Days.

Before you know it, we’re at the Final Ceremony. And just like that, in the blink of an eye — it’s over.  But there’s one thing that never leaves us: our memories.

While camp comes and goes by so fast — we always have the stories, shared experiences and dreams of camp forever. Our memories. They’ll always be with us and we will cherish them forever.

The End of Another Amazing Summer

IMG_5645Another incredible summer has come and gone. We’re so thankful for our dedicated staff and the world’s most amazing campers. We can’t wait to see you back in Casco next summer. Thank you to our two amazing CIT groups. Each set a wonderful example for the younger campers and personified the Laurel South Spirit. You will all be missed and we can’t wait to see many of you back on Crescent Lake as staff members in the near future. Finally, thank you to all of our amazing families who have chosen to entrust us with their children for four weeks. We understand the tremendous leap of faith you have taken, and we promise you that is a responsibility we don’t take lightly.

While we miss our campers and staff, at Laurel South we always choose our attitudes. Rather than being sad that the summer is over, we are excited to begin the countdown to the 2016 summer! See you in June!!

Down the Stretch They Come!!

LS Blog Photo 1 How quickly a summer can fly. It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming the Laurel South Family back to our summer home. In the blink of an eye, we’re beginning to celebrate the summer with amazing culminating activities.

Our camper production of The Wizard of Oz was truly epic! The younger campers worked so hard, and the entire audience was amazed at the incredible display of talent. Thursday was the final “S” Day as the camp took to Funtown USA for a wild day of rides, games, music, food and, of course, FUN!

LS Bog Photo 2Last night was our Final Banquet. We dined on Steak, Lobster and Vegetarian Lasagna while reflecting on the experiences we just shared. After the banquet, we made our way to the Theater for the production of The Sound of Music. It was outstanding!! The campers in both shows dedicated themselves to their craft and the final product was simply incredible.

Tonight the Rattle Snakes and Black Bears take to the gridiron in our annual Moose Bowl! Everyone is looking forward to it!

There may be a precious few days left, but the action never stops in Casco!!!

One More Week of Fun!!!

UnknownOur overnight trips concluded this week as the 6th Grade Girls returned from their Maine Camping Trip and the 8th Graders returned from their awesome trip to North Conway!

We’re down to the last week, but there’s plenty of action to be had:

We’re looking forward to the 5th Annual Moose Bowl, as the Black Bears and Rattle Snakes take to the gridiron to show their talent, athleticism, hard work and (most importantly) great sportsmanship.  The teams have been practicing all session for the big game.  The festivities include so much more, including a Tailgate Cookout Dinner, campers leading us in the National Anthem, rockets will be launched by campers at the end of the song and all our dance class members have worked hard to put on an intricate Half Time Show. S’mores will be eaten, t-shirts will be launched, dance parties will form and everyone will have a blast!!Unknown-1

Also on the horizon are our two Theater Shows: The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music. We cant wait for the curtain to go up!

We’re also looking forward to  our final “S” Day trip to Funtown USA. And of course, all of our program areas are gearing up for their culminating activities.

One more week of fun in beautiful Casco, Maine!!!

Spirit Days 2015!

LS BlogPhoto1 It started out as any ordinary morning. Campers and counselors strolled to the Dining Hall for breakfast and left ready for another exciting day of activities. Clean-Up went as scheduled, and the campers and staff began to make their way to Morning Cove…never suspecting what was about to happen. Suddenly, the horns blared and the cheers rang out from all over camp. Our CITs had broken Spirit Days!!! For the next 2 days, the Blue Cavemen and Green Dinosaurs poured their hearts out on the fields, cheered loudly for each other, showed tremendous sportsmanship and exhibited Laurel South Spirit to the fullest! We’re so proud of our awesome CITs who take over the days and serve as wonderful role models to our younger campers. At the end of the night, the scores were tallied and the winner was — all of us, because at the end of it all, the score doesn’t matter. The real winner of any Spirit Days is Laurel South!

LS BlogPhoto2Today we’re back into our “B” Day schedule. Our sailors have already left to compete in the Maine Lakes Cup. Our girls are set to compete against our neighbor camps in Volleyball and Soccer, while our boys will play Lacrosse. We even have an Archery Intercamp today! At Rest Hour, our Three-Year Club Celebration will commence in the Downeast Lodge.

Tomorrow is Carnival Day! After our “S” Day breakfast and Elective Morning, we will all meet on the Downeast Field for an unbelievable Carnival with games, food, prizes and fun! We still have plenty to look forward to as well: Moose Bowl, Theater Shows, 8th Grade North Conway Trip, Funtown and much more. The action never stops on the shores of Crescent Lake!!!

Midway Point: Looking Back at the Fun We Had and Looking Forward to So Much More!!!

LS Blog Photo1It’s hard to believe we’re at the halfway point of Second Session! We’ve made so many wonderful memories and look forward to even more over the next 13 days. Yesterday, most of camp traveled to Canobie Lake Park for a day of fun, games, rides and food! Everyone had an amazing time. The CIT’s spent the day on a Magical Mystery Tour seeing parts of Maine they had yet to visit, like the Old Port section of Portland, Hacker’s Hill, Get-Air Trampoline Park and, of course, the Dugout for Ice Cream. When they returned, Roger surprised them with an evening Pontoon Boat Ride. They had a blast! This morning, all 83 members of our 5-Year Club spent the morning at the movies, reflecting on five or more wonderful years of memories.

As we reflect on the first half of the summer, we truly can’t think of a better start.  At the same time, we have so much to look forward to: Spirit Days, Carnival, Funtown, 3-Year Club Party, both Theater Shows, the Laurel South 5K Color Run, Moose Bowl, Final Banquet…the list goes on and on!

What an Awesome First Week!!

UnknownIt may only be a week since arrival, but we’ve packed so much excitement into such a short period of time! Our 8th Graders returned yesterday from their unbelievable trip to Acadia National Park. What a great time they had bonding and enjoying one of the most beautiful destinations on the east coast! Shortly after, our CIT’s returned from their amazing White Water Rafting trip on the Kennebec River.  They all told us about how incredible their trips were and how glad they were to be back at their summer home.

Back at camp, activities are moving full steam ahead. Each day is filled with lots of Intercamp Games and Tournaments. Yesterday, our Girls’ Tennis Team had the opportunity to compete with our friends from Camp Laurel. They loved seeing our partner camp! Today is filled with even more opportunities for our campers to compete, including a Climbing Wall Challenge. Also today, a group of campers are taking part in our new Fly Fishing Excursion, and our Saco/Kineo Campers will head out to go berry picking.

There is so much going on and so much to look forward to. Monday, the entire camp will depart for our first Out-of-Camp “S” Day to Canobie Lake, and you never can tell when Spirit Days will break.  The CIT’s who run Spirit Days are very tight lipped at the moment!  Stay tuned for more!!

Off to an Awesome Start!

WLS Blog1 e may still be in the first week, but there’s been plenty of action on the shores of Crescent Lake!  Our “A” and “B” program days are off and running. From the ballfields to the waterfront, the theater to the stables, our campers and counselors have been enjoying themselves immensely…not to mention the amazing smells coming from the Culinary Center. Today, our 5th Graders are off for a day trip to Aquaboggan. Our 8th Graders departed for their amazing three-day trip to Acadia National Park, and our wonderful group of CIT’s are rafting the Kennebec River!

LS Blog2We are all excited for our first “S” Day tomorrow! After a late wake up, we will have our awesome “S” Day Breakfast of Chocolate Chip, M&M or Blueberry Pancakes, Scones, Cheese Omelets and more. After breakfast, Saco and Kineo will head off to Splashtown USA, the 7th Grader will depart to Sea Coast and our 5th and 6th Graders will stay at camp for their fantastic Beach Party Blow Out!!!

Thursday we will be right back into our “A” schedule, and, by dinner, the 8th and 9th Graders will be back. They will share with us all the memories they made and we will be glad to have the entire Laurel South family reunited!

An Awesome Start!

LS Blog The 2015 Second Session has finally begun!! We were filled with joy yesterday as we welcomed our campers to their summer home. All over camp, old friendships were rekindled and new ones were formed. We had an amazing Cook-Out Dinner followed by active evening programs designed to help build cabin and group chemistry.

Today is our Annual Moose Stomp: a day filled with Bumper Tubing on Crescent Lake, S’mores at the Outpost, Adventure Team Building Games, The Moose Bowl Combine, Theater Auditions, Camper Photos and Health Checks! Tomorrow, regular programs will begin. Our campers anxiously await receiving their schedule and seeing what fun activities they will have on “A” and “B” Days.  Intercamp Games and Tournaments are set to begin as well.LS Blog2

Future blogs will update you on all the excitement going on at camp. For now, we’re so thrilled to have the entire Laurel South family back in Casco. What a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!

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