How is it possible that we’re already into our final week of the session? So much has been going on since the last blog:
Moose Bowl was incredible! The Black Bears rolled out to a 20-0 halftime lead, and many thought it was over. But someone forgot to tell the Rattle Snake CIT captains. Fired up coming out of the half, the Rattlers staged a furious comeback, ending regulation tied at 26…that’s right, OUR FIRST MOOSE BOWL OVERTIME! Actually, it was three overtimes before the Rattle Snakes came out on top, 32-26!
Not to be outdone, last night was our younger thespians time to shine in everyone’s favorite: The Lion King. The time and effort of our campers and staff in the production really paid off as this was one of the finest shows we’ve seen in a long, long time!
Today, the entire camp is off to Funtown USA, where we’ll delight in the rides, the food, the games and (of course) the food! We know we said food twice, but have you ever tried fried dough?
You might think we’re slowing down, but the action will continue as long as we’re here. We still have: Aladdin, Final Banquet, Final Social, Closing Ceremonies…the list goes on. Our campers may be leaving us in less than a week, but we still have time to make new friends and create new memories! Camp…the way life should be!
It wasn’t very long ago that a group of Rangeley men asked for the opportunity to compete in an event where hard work and practice would pay off in the form of a game. Of course that kernel of an idea has transformed into the Moose Bowl…one of our best camp traditions!
This past year, we received a similar request from the ladies of Katahdin. They too wanted to show their skills, to allow their hard work to pay off and to try their best (within the framework of the rules) to win. From this simple request, the Katahdin Cup was born. Yesterday, the Laurel South Loons took to the field for a spirited soccer matchagainst a squad from Tripp Lake. Watching our young ladies practice throughout the summer, scrimmage against other camps and finally show off their skills filled each of us with an incredible sense of pride. Our ladies played hard, played fair, made friends with their competitors and created memories that will last a lifetime and a tradition sure to thrive for many years to come! We have so much to share in future blogs, but we wanted to dedicate this one to our inaugural Katahdin Cup team. You ladies certainly made the entire camp proud!
Now that we’ve hit the midway point of the summer, we can stop to reflect on all of the amazing memories we’ve created and look forward to all the incredible times still to come! Since our last post, our phenomenal group of CITs broke another Spirit Days for the ages! From the way they came together for the break to the leadership they displayed throughout, we couldn’t be more proud of them. They truly set the tone for the entire camp. We competed hard for two days on the fields, in the lake, making plaques and cheering. The Laurel South spirit was felt all over camp. And while one team won the event, we truly are all winners, having shared this experience before coming back together as one camp family!
Our 7th Graders are on their way to Ogunquit Beach for an incredible day trip, while our CITs (a little tired from Spirit Days) departed on their Super-Secret Magical Mystery trip. We could tell you where they’re going but…. Tomorrow is not only our fantastic Carnival Day, but it will also be our 1st Annual Katahdin Cup! The girls have been practicing so hard, and they can’t wait to show off their skills! We have so much to look forward to as we enter the second half of the season, and we’ll keep you updated.
Camp…the way life should be!
Every summer seems to fly by, and this one is no exception! Seems like we just arrived, and OMG, we only have 2 weeks left! The fun hasn’t slowed at all, and camp is in full swing. Seeing children playing sports, building rockets, creating art, enjoying nature, challenging themselves at adventure, splashing in Crescent Lake, riding horses, practicing for upcoming theater shows…all unmistakable signs the 2019 summer will be another one for the ages!
One early highlight was our Katahdin Cup team scrimmaging another camp, under the lights, in front of 100 cheering fans. What a night it was! Our ladies made the entire Laurel South family proud. We are sure this special night will become an incredible tradition. Yesterday was the 4th of July, and our traditional BBQ dinner was followed by the most epic fireworks show around! Today the entire camp traveled to Canobie Lake for a day of rides, games, food, and (most importantly) spending times with our camp family, creating memories and forging friendships that will last a lifetime.
With only 2 weeks to go, we will continue full-steam-ahead, making the most of every moment we are together in Maine. Still to come: Spirit Days, Theater Shows, Carnival, Moose Bowl, Katahdin Cup and so much more! Stay tuned for future blogs, and – as always – it’s a beautiful day in the state of Maine!
How fast camp flies by! It seems like yesterday we all arrived in Maine, and yet here we are with our first full week in the books. And what a week it was! We’re all so excited to welcome back our amazing 8th Graders and incredible CITs today. The 8th Graders had such a great time camping at Acadia National Park and visiting Bar Harbor, while the CITs had a blast whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River! We love that these groups have a chance to see some of the most beautiful spots in Maine, but we do miss them terribly while they’re gone. Our first “S Day” was so much fun, as each campus had a unique trip planned throughout this wonderful state. Saco and Kineo conquered Splashtown USA, Baxter and Allagash spent the day at Aquaboggan, and our 7th Graders toured Old Orchard Beach. Everyone had an amazing time!
Today we’re back to our “A Day” schedules. Roger and Dagni are so excited to have dinner tonight with our 7-Year Club! While the dinner is awesome, the best part of the evening is laughing and sharing stories with so many campers who have literally grown up before our very eyes! Tonight also marks the start of what we’re certain will become a new and exciting Laurel South tradition. After evening program, we will have our first Katahdin Cup practice. Many of our 7th, 8th and 9th Grade girls asked for a competitive event similar to the boys’ Moose Bowl. Their requests were heard. The girls who wish to compete will practice soccer all session and will compete against another camp on our Carnival Day. The girls are pumped!
There is so much to look forward to: 4th of July; 7th Graders Camden State Park excursion; Spirit Days; Moose Bowl; Theater Shows; Rocket Launches…and so much more to come.
Our campers have a saying: “Camp life means living 11 months for 1.” Throughout the year, the countdown shrinks and shrinks until we are finally reunited on the shores of Crescent Lake waiting with great anticipation for Roger’s famous words: “What a beautiful day in the state of Maine today!” And, as Roger explains to our first time camp families, this statement has nothing to do with the weather, but rather the appreciation for where we are, who we’re with and how much fun we’re going to share!
We’ve already hit the ground running. After Monday’s Arrival and Tuesday’s Moose Stomp Day, Wednesday was our first “A” Day of the summer, and everyone was thrilled. From the Fields to the Theater, Crescent Lake to the Culinary Center, Equestrian Center to the Arts Studio…the sounds of campers laughing, singing and cheering reminds us each day of how lucky we are to be here. Our 6th Grade boys were the first to head out on an overnight camping trip, having left on Thursday. This morning, our awesome CITs will head to the Kennebec River for their White Water Rafting trip, while our 8th Graders are off to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor! We’ll miss them while they’re gone, but seeing their smiles when they return and hearing their fantastic stories make it all worthwhile!
As you can probably tell, the action is in full swing at Laurel South! We’ll keep you updated on the goings-on in Casco in future blogs. Until then, rest assured that it’s always a beautiful day in the state of Maine!
As each summer ends, we tell ourselves not to be sad the current summer ended, but rather to be excited because the countdown to next summer has officially begun. And while it may seem like yesterday we bade farewell to our summer home, it’s with incredible excitement we say: “Welcome to Laurel South Summer 2019!”
From the back-to-school days of the fall, through Thanksgiving and the Winter holidays…from the turning of the calendar to the flowers blooming in Spring…from arriving at Pre-Camp to Staff Orientation…the excitement and enthusiasm builds to a crescendo that culminates today with the arrival of 400 of the greatest campers in the world!
Our staff had an amazingly fun and productive Orientation week, and they’re thrilled to welcome our campers from 27 states and 17 countries! For the next 3 ½ weeks, we’ll have a ball. From the ballfields to the waterfront, equestrian center to the theater, adventure to arts, out camp family will have the opportunity to form friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime. We’ll unplug in one of the most beautiful settings.
We’ll blog all summer to keep you current on all the fun in Maine. As Roger frequently says: “It’s a beautiful day in the state of Maine today!”
We’re sailing, climbing and hiking our way to summer: one training at a time. We’ve welcomed our Campus Leaders, Area Directors, Adventure, Waterski, Equestrian and Sailing staff to camp… as well as our international staff members. Our full staff arrived yesterday, and the excitement for Staff Orientation is off the charts! For returners it’s a great week to re-connect with colleagues, and introduce our new staff members to all of the traditions that help make Laurel South our summer home!
For the next week, staff members will learn about both aspects of their job: living with and taking care of campers, and also planning and working in a program area. Both roles are equally important to help accomplish our mission each summer: to help campers build friendships while creating lifelong memories. Of course, the crescendo of excitement culminates on the 24th, when we welcome the best campers anywhere!
Looking back at my first summer at Laurel South I fondly and vividly remember getting off the bus to loads and loads of cheering campers and counselors. I met my counselors and my new friends and made my way to my cabin where my bed was neatly made. Arriving at camp for the first time felt like a whirlwind, and then it was calm as I read the letter from my parents that was waiting on my pillow.
Heading into my C.I.T. summer, I remember cheering for the same friends – and all the younger campers – as they got off the bus. Some had butterflies – I’m sure – like I hadn’t since my first summer. I watched with excitement as the youngest campers eagerly awaited meeting their counselors and cabinmates. I also felt a twinge of sadness because I knew that even though the summer I’d been looking forward to every year at camp was here, it meant I was that much closer to my final days as a camper.
Experiences at camp summer after summer brought remarkable transformations to my life. Over the years I learned to trust others, build relationships, accept guidance and develop decision-making skills. More than that, the friendships I made and the memories we created will last a lifetime. Spending my summers growing up at Laurel South has shaped me in the most positive ways.
Laurel South is the ultimate place to let loose, be comfortable and be yourself. All summer long, campers are rocking face paint, transforming into super heroes, improving at their favorite sports and activities, and letting their imaginations run wild. Counselors let their inner child emerge, too. Everyone at camp feels safe: safe to use their imaginations and safe to be themselves.
Laurel South encourages campers to be themselves in a variety of ways. Planned down time allows campers the opportunity to explore and socialize with friends in a way that is supervised, but not overly structured. Campers have a catch, shoot hoops, play ping pong, and explore their interests. During structured activities, children are supported when they speak their minds, share opinions and talk things through. They learn to listen and respect one another. This allows campers to see different sides of a situation. Every summer, campers grow socially and emotionally in a unique way.
Counselors capitalize on their strengths of being fun, relatable, silly and responsible. They take pride in being role models. They help set the tone all summer by calming themselves down when it’s time to be more serious, and campers learn to differentiate times to be silly and times to be focused.
Children are often expected to be focused and serious throughout the school year; at camp, they foster their childlike wonder more often. At camp, children feel safe to show off their relaxed and sometimes silly side.