Bug juice. Mystery meat. For years, they were the staples – real or imagined – of camp food.
Well, eat your words.
Like other parts of the summer camp experience, mealtime has evolved.
At Laurel South, for example, we offer plenty of whole grains, plus fresh fruit and other choices. Campers (and staff members) eat it up.
There’s fresh-sliced turkey at lunch.
Homemade soup daily too.
A 12-item salad bar at dinner.
Campers eat five or six times a day. There’s breakfast; a fruit break in late morning; lunch; canteen at mid-day; dinner, and a “nite bite.”
Of course, camp being camp, we do serve tasty treats like brownies, Whoopee Pies, chicken fingers and more.
But because we limit access to sweets and soda – and because youngsters are so active – they return home in great health.
So forget the bug juice and mystery meat of your youth (which comedians dined out on for decades).
“Dining Hall” is no longer an oxymoron.
Of course, some things never change. Mealtime at camp is still quite a bit louder than at home.
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bug juice. Mystery meat. For years, they were the staples – real or imagined – of camp food.
After a few beautiful Maine days filled with program — on the lake, on the fields, on the courts and in the crafts shops and theatre — Saturday was another amazing “S” Day! It was a day a morning of fun followed by the annual Camper Variety Show in the afternoon. Campers entertained the masses with song, dance and jokes. Of course, the day concluded with our amazing Laurel South Carnival. Campers had the chance to play games, enjoy rides, eat cotton candy and snow cones and try to dunk their favorite Campus Leaders in the Dunk Tank. We also enjoyed a delicious cookout dinner at Carnival. With just one week left, the good times are still rolling along on the shores of Crescent Lake. Tomorrow it’s more Intercamps, Sports instruction, Skiing, Sailing, Archery, Ropes, Riding and more!
At Laurel South, we love our theme days, and Tuesday’s Super Hero theme was a big hit! What no one knew was that our CIT’s would use this theme to launch one of the most exciting Spirit Day breaks ever! For a day and a half, the Blue Avengers and the Green Justice League battled it out in a great, friendly competition of sports, cheers, events, relays and more. In the end, both sides reunited as one and Laurel South was again one big, camp family. Last night we watched the best Fourth of July fireworks in the area. It was incredible! Our 8th graders have departed on their amazing trip to North Conway, New Hampshire and everyone is excited for Saturday’s Carnival. It’s another action packed summer in Casco!!!
Yesterday was our first Out-of-Camp “S” Day. We had an amazing time at Canobie Lake! The entire Laurel South family enjoyed the rides, food and camaraderie. We rolled back into camp, ready for a good night’s rest before tomorrow’s “A” Day of Tennis, Riding, Skiing, Basketball, Lacrosse, Crafts, Climbing and more!! Intercamp games and tournaments have been going great. Everyone is gearing up for an unbelievable Fourth of July, including the best fireworks display in the area. It’s been an incredible session so far and we know our best times are still ahead. We’re psyched….
The first week of the 2012 season was packed full of action and fun. Our 8th and 9th Graders will soon be pulling back into camp after awesome adventures at Acadia National Park and White Water Rafting on the Kennebec River. We can’t wait for the entire Laurel South family to be reunited by dinner. Our first “S” Day was a rousing success as Saco/Kineo had a blast at Kahuna Laguna…the Allagash/Baxter campers spent the afternoon bowling, and the 7th graders had a ball at Sea Coast. Of course everyone enjoyed Bumper Tubing in the morning! It’s hard to believe we’re a week into the season, but we’re psyched about what still leis ahead!!
We have been at camp for just a few days, but the action is in full swing! Full program began last Friday and we had our first rotation of “A” and “B” Days. We can’t wait for our first in camp “S” Day tomorrow.
Our 8th Graders are heading out to Acadia National Park for an awesome camping trip…our CIT’s are getting ready for their unbelievable White Water Rafting trip…Intercamp games and Tournaments are beginning. Whether the sun is shining or we receive a dose of liquid sunshine, it’s always a beautiful day in the state of Maine! We’re having a blast!
It’s always a beautiful day in the state of Maine, but Thursday was even more beautiful. As Staff Orientation concluded we excitedly welcomed our incredible First Session campers from all over the United States and around the world. After reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, the entire Laurel South family gathered at Cove as Roger and Dagni officially kicked off the 2012 summer! After a delicious cookout dinner, each campus had their own Evening Program. Friday was Moosestomp Day, as campers have the opportunity to create their schedules for the summer, eat S’mores, bumper tube on beautiful Crescent Lake and get to know each other. We concluded the day with our annual Council Fire. We are all eagerly anticipated Saturday when programming officially begins!!!
So you’re a first-time camper.
Congratulations! You’re in for an amazing summer.
You’re in great company!
You may already know some things about camp. You’ll be met at your bus or plane departure area by Laurel Counselors who will quickly make you feel comfortable. They’ll help you out during the trip to camp. And on the way you’ll get to know the other Laurel South campers your age. Some of them will be first-time campers too.
When you get off the bus at camp, you’ll be met by Roger and Dagni and many counselors from your cabin and group. The counselors will take you right to your cabin.
Then, you’ll meet more counselors and campers in your group and get a tour of camp.
Your bags will be unpacked, your bed made. You’ll be ready to start camp right away.
You’ll adjust so quickly to the Laurel South routine. We’ve got a lot of traditions, from morning Cove to S-Day and the Spirit Days.
As the summer goes on, you’ll try new things. There’s new food (did you know we buy lots of stuff from local farmers?). New activities, like archery, lacrosse, wakeboarding, fitness and radio. Even comedy improv.
You’ll meet campers and counselors from all over the country.
At the end of the summer, your parents will be amazed at all the new things you’ve tried. They’ll love hearing about all the new things you’ve done and friendships formed.
And the summer after next, you’ll be one of the veteran campers showing new campers the ropes.
We cant wait to see you soon!!
Hi Mom and Dad,
I passed my swim test. Yay! I almost made it all the way to the top of the climbing wall yesterday. More yay! I WILL zipline before the end of the summer! I bounced the ball off the post and actually scored a goal in soccer earlier today. FIRST GOAL EVER! The most yay! Went on a nature hike a few days ago. We saw a squirrel and named him Sam. At least we think it was a squirrel. It could have been a bunny. Emma said that maybe it was a chupacabra. Duh! Chupacabras aren’t real. But we just said, “Maybe.” Then we thought it would be funny if we actually told people we saw a chupacabra just to see how many people we could get to believe us. So now like a lot more people than I ever thought would believe there is a chupacabra running around in the woods, which is kind of bad because now it’s IMPOSSIBLE to sign up for nature because everyone wants to go on hikes in the woods to see the chupacabra. Long story short, if Max writes home about seeing a chupacabra, it was a squirrel (or a bunny). And if he finds out it was a squirrel and writes home that I told him it was a chupacabra, it wasn’t a trick I was playing on him specifically—and it wasn’t just me.
So my friend Katie and I made up this new game to see who can make up the goofiest knock knock joke. Wanna hear the (kinda) funny joke she made up while we were walking? Knock knock. Who’s there? Katie. Katie who? Katiepillar. I made up one at dinner but it’s not as funny. Knock knock. Who’s there? Butter. Butter who? Butterfly. I also learned a new card trick in magic the other day that I can’t wait to show you when I get home. Gotta go. Love ya!
letters from parents and relatives to campers each day. For campers, there is something special about sprawling across their bed at camp and reading what Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, and maybe even pets have been up to.
For parents, seeing a letter in their children’s handwriting makes the communication more personable. It’s endearing to think one’s son or daughter took the time out of his or day to write home. Some parents even joke about how refreshing it is to receive a message that isn’t so full of abbreviated words that it requires an interpreter, like many text messages. It also lends added significance to those things about which children choose to write. Parents have reported that it helps them more closely identify their children’s interests. If a child dedicates two thirds of each letter home to how much fun she is having playing tennis, it’s a good indication that tennis is playing a particularly important role in the success of the camper’s summer. Some parents are so highly entertained by their children’s letters from camp that they make scrapbooks of their children’s letters from camp throughout the years as a memoir. Author Diane Falanga was so inspired by children’s letters from camp that she published a compilation of them.
Sadly, email and text messaging have almost made the art of letter writing—taking pen to paper—extinct. But summer camp is a place where the tradition still survives. Summer is a time when the joy of receiving an envelope with one’s name on it is rediscovered every summer by thousands of children and parents alike.
The good news: That’s fine. It’s natural, part of the experience and not such a bad thing.
Camp is about positive energy, accomplishments, getting up on waterski’s for the first time, learning to trot in Equestrian. But there are times when even the best tennis or guitar lesson gets upstaged by thoughts of what mom and dad and the dog are doing back home.
As parents, hearing a homesick voice isn’t easy. As camp directors, handling homesickness is one of our most perennial – and important – tasks.
Michael Thompson may be one of the world’s foremost authorities on homesickness. He has just published a book on the subject…Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow (Ballantine).
Michael says that while it’s natural for parents to shelter their children from all negative emotions (like homesickness), that actually holds back their personal growth. Feeling homesick is a “major developmental milestone,” he writes. And when kids learn to work through those feelings – with the help of a well trained and very caring staff – they not only grow. They are transformed.
Michael’s book describes how living in camp’s multigenerational community, enjoying daily rituals with new friends, trying new things and testing new limits enables youngsters – even homesick ones – to grow in ways that surprise not only their parents, but even themselves.
Michael knows that children who are away from their parents can be “both homesick and happy, scared and successful, anxious and exuberant.”
His book is filled with practical advice and memorable anecdotes. He writes with warmth, passion and compassion. Its an interesting read for parents – even those whose children have long since lost their homesick blues.