Camp Laurel South Blog

The Half Way Point

 

As we reach the half way point of the session, the fun, friendships and memories continue to grow each day!  The Ball Fields, Equestrian Center, Theater, Culinary Studio and Crescent Lake are all filled with the sounds of cheering, singing and laughter.

Yesterday was our first In-Camp “S” Day, and Brad did an incredible job putting together our now annual Resort Day.  After a delicious continental breakfast and elective morning (including those awesome Bumper Tube rides on the lake) our campers had the opportunity to compete in the Tough Moose Obstacle Race (similar to a Tough Mudder competion), and everyone who participated had a blast!  The afternoon was filled with Saco/Kineo Olmpics, a Baxter/Allagash Waterfont Party and special events for Rangeley and Katahdin.  Our CIT’s spent the day on their Magical Mystery Bs tour, where they went to many sites around Portland and even saw a Portland Seadogs baseball game (Tim Tebow was playing for the visiting team and gave the campers a wave!)

We always look at the positives at Laurel South, so we choose to not look at the session as being half over; we look at it as being half full of amazing experiences: Spirit Days…Theater Shows…Funtown…Carnival…etc. We’ve got so many things still to look forward to, especially making new friends and building memories that will last a lifetime!!!

What a Week!

Wow, the summer moves quickly! We may have just finished our first week, but you’d never know it by the amount of fun we’ve already had! We were so glad to welcome back our 8th Graders and CITs last night. The 8th Graders had a great time camping at Acadia National Park and visiting Bar Harbor, while the CITs had a blast white water rafting on the Kennebec River! We love that our campers have a chance to see some of the most beautiful spots in Maine. Our first “S Day” was amazing, as each campus had a unique trip throughout Maine. Saco and Kineo conquered Spashtown, USA…Baxter and Allagash spent the day at Aquaboggan…and our 7th Graders toured Old Orchard Beach. Everyone had an amazing time!

Roger and Dagni truly enjoyed dinner last night with our 7-Year Club. Dinner was great, but sharing memories, laughing and telling stories was the best part of the night! There is so much more coming…4th of July, 7th Grade’s Camden State Park excursion, Spirit Days, Moose Bowl, Theater Shows, Rocket Launches…the list goes on and on! As you can see, each day at camp is jam packed with fun, and we’ll keep you updated in future blogs. Until then, it’s always a beautiful day in the state of Maine!

An Amazing Beginning

An Amazing Beginning…

Can it really be that we are still in the first week? You would never guess that by walking around camp and seeing all the action!

With schedules set, we’ve completed our first “A” Day and “B” Day rotation. How wonderful it is to witness all the action at the Waterfront, in the Theater, on the Ballfields and Courts, at the EquestrianCenter, in the Arts Studio…and did we mention the delicious aroma coming from the Culinary Center?

Intercamp Games and Tournaments have begun. And our 6th grade boys set the tone for our overnight trips, venturing to Mt. Blue. Today our CITs and 8th graders departed on their exciting trips: CITs on their way to conquer the rapids as they raft the Kennebec River. The 8th graders headed to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor!  Wednesday is our first “S” Day!  After our special S Day breakfast, each group will set off on their own amazing trips!

Each day is packed with fun and excitement at Laurel South, and we can’t wait to keep you updated in future blogs.  Until then, rest assured that it will always be a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!

What a beautiful day in the state of Maine today!

We’ve heard it so many times before…at every cove in fact. Roger beginning the evening with his catchphrase, “What a beautiful day in the state of Maine today!” And as Roger explains it, the statement has nothing to do with the weather, and everything to do with our attitude. But when we are given a gorgeous, 72 degree, sunny day; when we welcome our amazing campers to Laurel South; when we are reunited as a camp family; when we enjoy a cookout dinner followed by fun filled programs with friends (old and brand new alike), all you can really say is, “What a beautiful day in the state of Maine today!”

Today is our annual Moose Stomp Day. Programs are being created, S’mores being eaten, pictures taken for the end-of-year face books, bumper tubes ridden, and so much more. By tomorrow, our campers will be in their first “A” Day, schedules in hand, heading down to the Crescent Lake, out to the ballfields, into the theater and up to the stables.

We may have just arrived yesterday, but we’re already having a blast!  We’re so happy to be home.

 

We Can’t Wait…..

When we say our goodbyes at the end of each summer, it seems like an eternity before the next camp season rolls around.  But as we settle into school or work, the momentum picks up.  Thanksgiving and the winter holidays fly by…the calendar changes to 2018…the weather begins to warm. Before you know it, our Pre-Camp Crew arrives and camp starts taking shape: The staff arrives for Orientation and in just a matter of hours, we will be reunited as Roger welcomes us all with his trademark: “What a beautiful day in the state of Maine!”

We’ve had an incredible Orientation.  The staff, whether in year one or 20, bonded and learned what it takes to be a Laurel South counselor.

One thing we all agree on  — we can’t wait to welcome our campers tomorrow.  So whether it’s your first season or ninth, get ready for an incredible summer full of friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.  We can’t wait to see you!!

Special Trainings before Staff Orientation

Our full staff arrive tomorrow, but our summer has been well underway with several Pre-Orientation programs. Laurel South’s administrative staff is made up of an almost entirely veteran crew, and this week is a great time to re-connect with colleagues and greet new staff for the first time.

The week leading up to Staff Orientation is also a special time for everyone to focus on what’s ahead and dive deep into what makes Laurel South so special. We’ve already welcomed our incredible group of Campus Leaders, waterski, riding and adventure counselors.

 

These groups of incoming staff are always happy and excited to arrive at Laurel South, and ready to learn about the summer ahead. Our waterski staff get some extra time on the water to familiarize themselves with our boats. The Adventure counselors go through specialized training focused on safety within their specific programs — outdoor tripping, climbing and challenge course. And the Campus Leaders go through their own training about how to lead incoming counselors and staff.

Everyone is smiling and loving the beautiful weather Maine has provided. We’re thrilled to welcome the staff and even more excited for camper arrival!

Camp is Looking Great!

Camp is right around the corner. Sixteen days to be exact.  Our first set of staff arrived and are busy getting everything ready for arrival day!! Our pre-camp crew is made up of about 30 counselors from all over the country. They spend the morning and afternoon mowing, painting, weed-whacking, setting up docks, moving ping pong tables and generally turning camp into our summer home.

But pre-camp is so much more than that. For the 2018 staff experiencing pre-camp for the first time, it’s about getting acclimated to Laurel South, exploring Maine during time off and forming some of the best friendships they’ll ever know. The confidence the pre-camp staff gain from being here early is noticeable. They’ve already made Laurel South their summer home. When the balance of the staff arrive by 13th, they’ll see this crop of pre-camp staff and assume they’ve each been at Laurel South for many summers.  They instantly become a pre-formed welcoming committee.

The anticipation for camper arrival continues to build with each passing day, and this pre-camp season has already proved that Summer 2018 will be one for the record books. We can’t wait to greet all of you very soon!

What I Love Most About Being a Counselor

Throughout all my years being a camper, what I really couldn’t wait for was my chance to be a counselor. Having grown up admiring and looking up to all my counselors, I wished one day, I too would be as cool as they were. Counselors always seemed to be the heroes of camp.

What I loved most about being a counselor was that I finally had the opportunity to be the hero. Guiding a group of campers was just as character-building for me as it was for them. I learned about responsibility, organization and a whole lot about myself from a fresh perspective. I saw myself in them, and therefore understood more about my own childhood.

Of course, there’s always something fun and empowering about calling the shots. If something came up that was unexpected, I had to think on the fly. It was exciting for me to know that my campers were looking up to me.

All in all, hanging out with my fellow counselors, being looked up to, and taking on new responsibilities were the greatest things about being a counselor for me. Having parents entrust their children to me was a great position to be in, because it called on me to become my best and strongest self, for the sake of the campers.

Camp: The Best Environment for Friends

Life is always better with friends, and Laurel South is the ideal environment for children to make new friends and create lasting bonds. These are some of the best reasons Laurel South’s environment facilitates friendships.

Camp is 24/7

Friends can be made during playdates at home, but a friendship grows when children are also livin0g, eating, and brushing their teeth together. They share tasks and work as a team throughout the summer. This constant contact is conducive to making real, true, long-lasting relationships.

Shared Experiences

Shared experiences are another crucial element for friendship bonds. Camp friends are special because they share a unique commonality , experiencing everything together at camp. The memories created during three-and-a-half weeks at Laurel South are amazing. In part because of what’s happening, but also because who campers are sharing it with.

Traditions

Some of the best elements of Laurel South are the traditions. Traditions that go back to our first summers and the mini-traditions that pop-up from summer to summer. By attending camp, campers develop shared traditions that help bond them together. They add a sacred element to friendship.

Camp focuses on the positive

At camp, there’s a big focus on harnessing moments and making them special and fun. This teaches children to have a great amount of flexibility both individually and with each other, and it also teaches them to remain positive. Positivity helps children remain in an open and accepting frame of mind.

Camp friends are definitely some of the most special friends.  Friendships made at camp are bound by a commonality of experiences that may very well be cherished for a lifetime.

Working on the Camp Laurel South Team

We often say being a counselor is “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”  Being part of the Laurel South team is an incredibly fun way to spend a summer. And accepting a position comes with many responsibilities and opportunities for personal growth. The counselor position brings with it an opportunity to give so many children the confidence and independence needed to succeed in today’s world.  Camp counselors provide an unforgettable experience for countless campers every day.

Camp counselors spend their summer interacting with campers and other counselors while being surrounded by nature. Counselors view life through the eyes of a child – an experience that will only feel further away as we grow older. Camp counselors not only teach, they also learn. They learn practical, social and problem-solving skills. They learn patience, trust, teamwork, time-management and how to have an impeccable work ethic.

You could work at the local mall, walk dogs, file papers or wait tables over the summer. But at the end of the day, what could be better than spending the summer as a camp counselor: positively impacting the lives of others, working as part of a team, singing songs around a campfire with friends…The list goes on!

When you’re thinking about what you should do over the summer, consider Laurel South. You’re applying for one of the most exciting and rewarding jobs on the planet. And that’s why we say it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.

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