Camp Laurel South Blog

One Week to Go

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’re 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. From the rides to the games, the food to the dunk tank, we all had a blast!!! Our 8th graders has so much fun on the trip to North Conway! 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: Tonight is the 7th Annual Moose Bowl, tomorrow and Friday are our incredible theater shows, Thursday is our final “S” Day trip to Funtown USA. 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!!

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do…

The 4th of July is an American camping tradition. For over a century, campers have enjoyed a special day at camp, filled with cookouts and fireworks shows. As if the day couldn’t get any more spirited, our CIT’s chose that very day to break Spirit Days 2017!!! To top it off, the break occurred before breakfast, leaving the entire camp in awe. Suffice to say: no one saw this break coming! For two days, the Green Army and Blue Navy took part in the friendliest of competitions, playing hard, cheering harder and demonstrating the kind of sportsmanship that makes Roger and Dagni so proud. In the end, we all won because everyone had an amazing time! The CIT’s displayed the kind of leadership that makes us beam. We were thrilled with the 2017 Spirit Days, but we were excited to be reunited as one big camp family!

We’ve crossed the halfway mark of the summer, and we still have so much to look forward to.  Intercamp games and tournaments are going on every day. Today is our awesome Fly Fishing clinic, and tomorrow is our incredible Carnival Day!

We’re making the most of each and every moment we have together in Maine and look forward to all the wonderful events still to come!

So Many Memories Made… So Much Fun to be Had!

Crazy to think that we’re nearing the halfway point of the summer. We’ve created some wonderful memories, built some amazing friendships and had some incredibly fun times!

Our 7th Graders ventured out to Camden State Park and had a wonderful day seeing the sights of one of Maine’s most visited tourist destinations. They had a blast!  Today is an “S” day and the campers are taking part in the Second Annual Resort Day! A continental breakfast was delivered to the cabin areas, and the campers are spending their morning and afternoon sailing, bumper tubing, playing games all over camp, and participating in a Tough Mudder run!!! The day’s meals are tailored to the resort theme. Our CIT’s are exploring parts of Maine and checking off items on their CIT Bucket List. We just heard from them, and they are having the time of their lives!!!

Looking ahead, everyone is pumped for the awesome Laurel South Fourth of July festivities tomorrow, which culminates with the best fireworks show in all of Maine!

With two weeks left, we are so thankful for the great times we have shared, and we know that the time we have left will create a treasure trove of memories to last a lifetime!!!

What a Week!

Our camp session seems to fly by in the blink of an eye!  It’s hard to believe that we’ve already finished our first week of camp. So much has been going on we’d love to share with you:

Our CIT’s and 8th Graders returned from their awesome trips White Water rafting on the Kennebec River and seeing the beauty of Acadia National Park and visiting the town of Bar Harbor. The trips were great, and the campers had a blast, but it’s so nice to have the entire camp family home again! Tomorrow the 7th Graders depart for their trip to Camden State Park. Our Saco boys had so much fun Mini-Golfing last night and returned with smiles on their faces as they headed off to bed. Roger and Dagni took the 7 Year Club to an incredible dinner in Naples, where they laughed and told stories about summers passed and, of course, ate a great meal. Regular programming is off to an amazing start as well!

We have so much coming soon to look forward to: 4th of July, Spirit Days (if the CIT’s decide to have it this year), Carnival, FunTown, Moose Bowl, Theater Shows, Rocket Launches, the list goes on and on!!!

As you can see, we don’t waste a single moment at camp! Each day we wake up excited for all of the adventures to be had, and we’ll continue to keep you updated about all the goings on in Casco.

An Amazing Start

We may have just arrived at camp, but from all the action going on, you’d swear we’ve been here much longer! We’re already in our 2nd “A” Day, and you can hear the sounds of cheers and laughter from the four corners of camp and everywhere in between.  Crescent Lake is hopping with skiers, sailors, paddle-boarders and swimmers.  Basketball courts and football, soccer and lacrosse fields are a beehive of drills and friendly competition. The smells from the Culinary Studio have us all wondering what amazing treats are being made. And at the Barns – our riders are having a blast.

Intercamp games have begun. Our 6th Grade boys have departed and returned from an amazing camping trip. The CIT’s depart in the morning to go White Water rafting on the Kennebec River, while our 8th Graders will depart for Acadia National Park. Big Brothers/Little Brothers, Big Sisters/Little Sisters have been introduced. Our first “S” Day is on the horizon.

As you can tell, not a day goes by when the action at camp takes a break!

Most importantly, we’ve been reunited as a camp family, sharing old memories and forging new ones. Of all the sounds we hear around camp, the best sound of all is the laughter of our campers and staff!!

Reunited Again

When we say our final goodbyes each summer, it seems like it will be an eternity before we meet again. But in what seems like the blink of an eye, here we are again reunited on the shores of Crescent Lake, gathered at Cove as Roger and Dagni welcome us to the 2017 summer!!!

What a wonderful Arrival Day we had, as cars, vans and buses from near and far delivered the finest campers anywhere! Once we all arrived, we had an amazing cookout dinner followed by exciting evening programs designed to exert our abundant energy and give campers the opportunity to meet and begin bonding.

Today is our annual Moose Stomp Day. Programs are being created, S’mores are being eaten, pictures are being taken and  bumper tubes are all the rage. Tomorrow, campers will be into their first “A” Day, schedules in hand, heading down to the lake, out to the ballfields, into the theater and up to the barns.

We may have just arrived, but the fun is already in high gear. What a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!

Staff Orientation in Full Swing

Each year brings unmistakable signs that another Laurel South summer is on its way. First, the calendar turns to the new year. The weather begins to warm.  School ends and children play outside from sun-up to sun-down. And then, Staff Orientation begins, and we start to truly feel the anticipation for a new summer adventure.

We are half way through Orientation, and what an amazing group of young men and women we have on staff this year! Since Staff Arrival Day, our amazing returners bonded with the incredible folks spending their first summer with us. The staff has come together over fun and games while also learning their roles as cabin counselor and activity instructor.

The spirit of Laurel South is tangible, and our entire staff — whether in year one or year 12 —  can’t wait to greet our campers next week. So campers: whether it’s your first summer or eighth, get ready to make memories and build friendships that will last a lifetime. We can’t wait until the day the entire Laurel South family is reunited on the shores of Crescent Lake!!!

Everyday Heroes at Camp

If you watch television or go to the movies, it’s very easy to spot the hero. He or she flies through the air, conquering villains and protecting the world from alien invaders. Or maybe it’s the police officer keeping the streets safe or the firefighter rescuing the cat from tall trees. The truth is, everyday heroes are all around us and we all have a hero within ourselves. Camp is a great place for us to summon our inner hero and make a difference in the lives of others.

STAFF

Being a staff member at camp is no easy task; counselors work extremely long hours and are asked to wear many hats. They must get their campers places on time, instruct 5 or 6 activity periods a day, make sure everyone brushes their teeth before bed, and the list goes on and on. And then, counselors repeat this routine day in day out with little time off. When counselors choose to go above and beyond – they really show their true heroism. The counselor who spends extra time with a child missing home and helps that camper discover their love of camp and how much fun it can be to be part of the group – that’s a hero! The nurse who shows empathy to a camper who doesn’t feel well and might have to spend a night in the Health Center: once again, a hero. Camp offers many opportunities for staff members to show heroism, and many do just that, day in and day out.

CAMPERS

And you don’t have to be an adult to be a hero. Even the youngest campers can show a heroic side. Cheering for a friend who’s nervous about performing in the play; inviting a new camper to do something special so they feel included in the group; cheering for the team through wins or losses. Those things can make heroes of the very youngest of us.

Maybe this is what makes the camp experience so special. Maybe the ability to both be and have a hero is what makes us return to our summer home year after year, or maybe it’s our ability to be the best version of ourselves and allow others to discover and be the best versions of themselves!

CAMP PREP 101

The temperature is rising, the birds are chirping and summer is on the horizon. Whether it’s your first or 51st summer heading to camp, there are a lot of necessary preparations to be made. There’s packing your belongings, spreading the word to all your friends and of course getting excited! Here are some tips and tricks for getting prepared to leave for the summer:

Packing

There are not many people in the world who enjoy the process of packing; it’s a process that is necessary for every trip, but one that can be tedious and tiresome. So let’s make it fun!! Make it a family project and pack well in advance. Once ready to begin, you should lay out all clothing you will need by following the camp clothing list. Considering camp provides a laundry service, you won’t need more than a week’s worth of clothes. You can then determine what’s missing from there and make the necessary purchases…and don’t forget to pack your wacky costumes!

Spreading the Word

One of the greatest parts about camp is being “removed” from the outside world. Having the ability to unplug is truly unique in today’s world, but unplugging does not mean disappearing without a trace. If you want people to write to you, or don’t want them to get upset when you don’t answer your phone, you need to get the word out that you’re going to camp all summer. One efficient way to do that is to create a social media post on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter or even all of them. Writing letters is a lost concept, so who wouldn’t be excited about a post saying “I’m going to camp…write to me!!”. You can also create pre-addressed labels to hand out to your friends making writing letters to you simple and easy.

Getting Excited

Getting excited may sound like a simple and unnecessary task, but it’s actually the opposite. At camp, you get what you give; the more enthused and animated you are, the better your experience will be. A great way to get excited for the summer is to watch and re-watch the camp videos. Getting a glimpse of all the familiar faces and locations that you will be seeing really gets you psyched! Along the same lines, contacting your camp friends – new, old or even prospective – really helps remind you how much you love camp. Either reminiscing or anticipating together is always better than alone.

While all of these tasks are very important to being prepared for the summer, the most important is to remember…YOU’RE IN FOR THE SUMMER OF YOUR LIFE! We’ll see you soon 🙂

Working as a Counselor to Boost your Resume

If you’re a college student contemplating spending a summer away at camp, you’ve heard it a thousand times: “being a camp counselor is better than an internship”. You’ve also heard a long list of reasons why being a counselor would benefit you; you develop better self-understanding, grow tremendously on a personal level, have a positive and significant influence on the lives of children…the list goes on and on. But has anyone ever told you that being a camp counselor is actually a boost to your resume. Well it’s true! Here are a couple reasons why:

Working at Camp Shows Diverse Interests and Skills

Every accountant knows how to crunch numbers and every doctor knows how to diagnose patients, but what else is required for their jobs? There’s no such thing as a one-dimensional job; in any job employees are required to perform a variety of tasks, and as such, applicants are required to demonstrate a wide range of skills. Camp helps accentuate these diverse skills and interests. While you may gain valuable accounting skills interning at an accounting firm and valuable medical skills shadowing a doctor, you won’t gain the versatility you would while working at camp. Working as a camp counselor requires you to be adaptable, flexible, and resourceful. Interviewers don’t just desire employees with these skills, they seek out camp counselors because of them.

Working at Camp Shows Great Management Skills

Being a camp counselor doesn’t just show you are multi-talented, it also shows that you have great management skills. While most internships place you at the “bottom of the totem pole,” as a camp counselor you are instantly thrust into the action. You are responsible for a group of children who are significantly more unpredictable than any coworker you may ever have. In order to manage campers effectively, counselors must hone their management skills, and they must do it quickly as the summer is a relatively short period of time. But it’s not just managing people, counselors also learn to manage their time effectively and work as part of a group for the greater good; skills that are paramount to most employers.

So in a time when the majority of people are getting internships…differentiate yourself and work at camp. Your future employer will thank you!

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