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AUTUMN in MAINE

You might think that when camp shuts down in August, the rest of Maine does too.

Our cabins and courts may be quiet now. But throughout the state, things are really heating up.

Of course, fall in Maine means foliage. Maples and oaks blaze in a spectacular display of red, orange and yellow leaves. From Acadia National Park and rocky coastal villages to forested mountain passes, you have to look hard to find a spot that’s not breathtakingly beautiful.

Orchards buzz with activity. Anything apple related – like apple picking and cider pressing — is fun for entire families (and very healthful!).

Farmers’ markets and roadside stands are not just for summer either.
There’s plenty of great-tasting produce to be found, all through fall.

Many Maine towns sponsor agricultural fairs, food and wine celebrations – even corn mazes – every autumn.

Fall in Maine is prime antiquing and fly fishing time. Bird watching too: Migrating hawks, warblers and shore birds fill the skies.

Even lobsters get into the act. Autumn is peak season for Maine lobster – the largest harvest production takes place now. (This is also the time for molting, so soft shell aficionados: You’re in luck!)

The weather sparkles. The colors are incredible.
Sure, camp is quiet. But – as is so often the case – there’s far more to Maine than meets the eye.

Camp is…Friends, Skills and Fun

The clothes have been washed (and washed again). The sleeping bag has been aired out. The stories have been told – many of them, anyway.

Right now, camp takes a back seat to the new school year. It’s a little early to think about next year. But now – with a little distance – is the perfect time to figure out how successful your son or daughter’s summer camp experience was and ask a lot of questions.

Does your child talk about friends and counselors? That’s a sure sign of a great summer. Peers and young adults have an enormous influence on a camp environment – and on each other.

What skills did your child gain, develop or improve? Is he hitting a tennis ball with a little more power than just a few months ago? Did she ask you to go swimming every day until school began? Has your son shown a new interest in drama?Does your daughter now want to write for the school newspaper?

Can you see new confidence in your child? Does she walk taller? Did he tackle tasks he once shied away from? One mother said, “I almost didn’t recognize my son after camp. It wasn’t that he grew – although he did. It was just the way he carried himself. The change in just a few weeks was incredible.”

Can you sense a spirit of independence? Whether spending a summer away from home for the first time, or having to figure things out without Mom and Dad’s help, youngsters enjoy a level of independence at camp that’s tough to attain at home. Kids still need their parents, of course – but the feel good knowing they can handle certain situations on their own.

Do they make better choices? The camp day is filled with decisions. If you detect a new (and improved) level of decision-making, camp may be part of the reason.

Does your child put things away on his own now? Nah. He did at camp – but old habits die hard.

MOOSEBOWL

Tuesday night was one of the most exciting of all time at Laurel South – it was our First Moosebowl!!! This exciting football game between the Rattlesnakes and the Black Bears of Rangeley became far more than just a game…it was an event to match the Super Bowl! While the two teams battled it out on the field, we had tailgating, tee shirt slingshots, dancing, singing, half time contests and more. In the end, the Black Bears prevailed, but all of the men of Rangeley felt victorious in knowing they were the pioneers of a game which will only grow in stature for years to come!!! We also hosted the first ever Laurel South Invitational 5-K, as friends from many camps arrived to race the quickest Laurel South has to offer. We all enjoyed ourselves and raced admirably. Thursday we headed to Funtown for our final incredible “S” Day of the Session. We are down to our final “A” Day and “B” Day of the season and busy preparing for the Dance and Gymnastic Show. Where did the time go?

The Fun Never Stops!

What an unbelievable “S” Day we had. We started off with an incredible breakfast followed by an awesome movie morning. After Rest Hour, we were amazed by the level of talent of our campers in the Camper Variety Show and we topped off the day the incredible Laurel South Carnival!!! Tomorrow night is our First Annual Moosebowl Game, pitting the Rattlesnakes against the Black Bears in Rangeley Flag Football Game. The entire camp will be on hand to witness the game, enjoy the entertainment of the Laurel South Dancers, have a great Tailgate Party and spend time with friends. We may only have one week left, but there is plenty of excitement to be had!!!

What I Learned at Camp

Summer is winding down. Wait – we just got here!

That’s how fast camp goes. One day a kid boards the bus with nervous anticipation. The next, he heads home on the same bus with a smile and a lifetime of memories.

They don’t even realize that – in addition to having tons of fun – they’ve grown a lot.

The other day, we asked a few of our campers what they learned this summer. Here’s what they shouted – er, said:

  • Counselors are cool. We talked about everything.
  • Before I went to camp, people said the food stinks. It didn’t.
  • I learned I could swim a lot farther than I thought. But the waterfront guys told me I could do it all along.
  • It’s impossible for my counselor to pack everything back up the way my mom did before camp.
  • It’s okay to wake up early if you don’t know what time it is.
  • I’m not sure, but I may ask my parents if I can do yoga when I get home.
  • Sometimes when people say “hurry up, you’ll be late,” they really mean it. Sometimes they don’t.
  • I always thought I liked lacrosse better than soccer. Now I’m not sure.
  • I saw my sister less this summer than I do at home. But it was still nice having her here.
  • No one will clean up your cabin for you, except you.
  • It’s really nice if your parents write a lot, even if they don’t say much in their letters.
  • It’s hard to canoe when your paddle falls in the water.
  • I have eight new best friends.
  • When they tell you to bring a sweatshirt and a blanket, they know what they are talking about.
  • I was positive I couldn’t live without my cell phone. Now I forget where I put it in my room before I left.
  • How come no one ever told me that waterskiing was so much fun?
  • It’s good to go on trips away from camp. And it’s good to come back.
  • I like my new nickname a lot.
  • When I came to camp I missed my dog. When I go home I’m going to miss my horse.
  • Maine is an awesome state!
  • It feels like I grew five inches, but the nurse says only one.
  • I still can’t sing, but our play was amazing anyway.
  • My goal in life is to come back as a counselor.

Our Program Rolls On…

The action never stops at Camp Laurel South! This morning our 8th Graders departed for their all new, exciting trip to North Conway, NH. They will ride a train to the top of the mountain for lunch and hiking, spend the afternoon at Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park, eat a delicious dinner at a local restaurant featuring farm-raised, organic ingredients, and spend tomorrow sightseeing in beautiful North Conway. Our 6th Grade girls left for their overnight camping trip as well. Both trips will return on Friday, just in time for our Saturday “S” Day with Carnival Afternoon. Intercamp games and tournaments are in full swing, and there is never a dull moment on the shores of Crescent Lake!!!

Spirit Days!!

It appeared to be any other casual lunch on Friday afternoon. As we were eating, little by little strange things started happening. All of a sudden, the water turned Green and Blue. Out of nowhere a Pirate and a Ninja began dueling in the Dining Hall and out on the lawn. Suddenly, a roar was heard from all over camp: It was our CIT’s breaking 2011 Spirit Days!!! For the next day and a half, the Green Ninjas and Blue Pirates battled it out in friendly competition. From CIT CHAOS, to the Moosehead Relay, the Tug of Ohana to the Closing Ceremonies with Songs and Cheers, an amazing time was had by all. In the end, as the campers’ put so well in their cheers, “Blue and Green were one big team!” Today, the entire camp is off to Canobie Lake for a great S-Day. We are psyched!!

Our First Week Was Awesome!

The first week of the 2011 season has been packed full of action and fun. Our 8th and 9th Graders will be pulling into camp soon, after awesome adventures at Acadia National Park and Whitewater Rafting on the Kennebec River. Our first “S” Day was a rousing success as Saco/Kineo had a blast at Splashtown, the Allagash/Baxter Beach In-Camp “S” Day and Beach Party was one for the ages and the 7th graders had a ball at Sea Coast Fun Park. Of course everyone enjoyed Bumper Tubing all day long with Roger driving one of the Mastercrafts. We’re on for a great “A” Day tomorrow: Baseball, Tennis, Lacrosse, Mountain Biking, Climbing, Crafts, Crew, Theatre, Fitness and so much more! It’s hard to believe that we’re a week into the season…and there’s all kinds of fun ahead!

All Systems Go!!

Even though we arrived just a short time ago, the action is in full swing at Laurel South! After our annual Moosestomp Day, we were knee-deep into full program. We had our first rotation of “A” and “B’” Days, and we can’t wait for our first in-camp “S” Day!!! Tomorrow, our 8th Graders head out to Acadia National Park for an awesome camping trip…our CIT’s are getting ready for their exhilarating White Water Rafting experience…Intercamp games and Tournaments have begun and, of course, the sun is shining. It’s a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!

Here We GO!!

Another Amazing Laurel South season has begun!!! After an incredible First Session, we were excited as could be to greet our wonderful new and returning campers for Second Session. Thursday was Arrival Day, and what a day it was. Campers arrived in cars, buses and planes from all over the United states and the world until, finally, we were reunited on the shores of Crescent Lake! After an awesome Cookout Dinner, each campus headed out for their own active Evening Program. Friday is Moose Stomp Day. Schedules will be created, bumper tube rides will be given, auditions for the two camp musicals will take place as well of a host of other activities. Of course, the best part of the day will be spending time with old friends and meeting new ones. The day will be capped off by our Opening Ceremony Council Fire celebrating fun and friendship. Saturday programming will begin and the summer is on!!! Oh what a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!

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