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!!!
We had an amazing First Session! It’s hard to believe so much fun and excitement could be packed into less than a month. Departure Day was wonderful, as many of our families had the chance to visit with us and meet friends, campers, cabin-mates and counselors. While we were sad to see our First Session campers depart, the excitement for Second Session couldn’t be higher. We’re counting down the hours until our Second Session family is reunited on the shores of Crescent Lake. See you soon!!!
There is something about singing that brings people together. Perhaps that’s why singing (and music in general) is such an important part of camp. The silly or sometimes sentimental words of a “camp song” can set a mood, evoke a feeling, and create atmosphere. Music is a universal language that everyone understands. Perhaps this is why so many American summer camps open and close their summers with sing-alongs. Sing-alongs are fantastic ways to say both “we’re together again” and “until next time.”
Ask campers to name some of their most favorite moments of summer camp and, most assuredly, they’ll name more than one that involves singing in some way…that first exciting night of camp, campfires, zany and often spontaneous dining room rituals, fun times with fellow campers and counselors inside the bunk, and saying goodbye at the end of the summer. More importantly, ask any current or former camper to sing his camp alma mater and he’ll do it as if it’s second nature. The words of a camp’s alma mater are magical—a way to instantly transport one back to camp and those summers filled with fun and friends.
Many parents say that their children even sing camp songs constantly throughout the winter as a way of remembering their time at camp. Some of them even admit that they can’t resist the temptation to join in.
Tuesday night was one of the best nights of the summer….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 tailgated, had balloon animals, tee shirt slingshots, dancing, singing, half time contests and more. In the end, the Black Bears prevailed 18-13, and the men of Rangeley all felt victorious knowing they were the pioneers of a game which will only grow in stature for years to come!!!
Wednesday was our first ever Laurel South Invitational 5-K, as friends from many camps arrived to race the fastest campers 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” and “B” day of the season and busy preparing for our Dance and Gymnastic Shows. Where did the time go?
What an amazing day we all had at Canobie Lake Park! The weather was beautiful, and we all had a blast. From the exhilarating rides (Untamed was awesome!) to the snacks, from the musical entertainment to spending time with friends, an awesome time was had by all. Sunday was the 5 Year Club Trip, and they all enjoyed lunch and a movie. Tonight is our second Council Fire, and we are so excited to showcase the talents of both campers and staff. Tomorrow…it’s Baseball, Soccer, Tennis, Waterskiing, Crafts and so much more!! It’s hard to believe First Session is over in a week…
Parents, do you ever log onto your computer to check out the camp photos for the day, see your child painted in blue from head to toe or maybe wearing a crazy wig and big nerdy glasses and wonder, ‘What in the world?’ The answer probably has something to do with your summer camp’s special events and evening activities. For fifty plus nights (and some days) summer camps entertain your children with some of the zaniest games and wackiest contests that they can come up with. Why? Because it’s fun to be painted in blue from head to toe…seriously. Or at least it is when your cabin is performing a dance to the Smurfs theme in front of the entire camp and you’re Papa Smurf—or Smurfette. And seeing images of your children and their counselors slipping, sliding, and splashing around in what appears to be multi-colored goo…it’s a camp thing…a really fun camp thing. Eye patches are always fun. So is spending a day pretending to be pirates and searching for buried treasure. Becoming a secret agent and collecting clues to decode a message or pretending to be wild animals is also a great way to spend that occasional non-program day. From trivia contests to talent contests and everything in between, some of the greatest moments of summer camp happen during the crazy days and wacky nights!
If you know Camp Laurel or Laurel South, you’re familiar with Mount Vernon or Casco. You might think of them as way stations on your way to or from camp – but they’re much more than that.
Mount Vernon is a gem in the Kennebec River valley. The tiny beach next to the community center; the former church with Victorian stick-work; the 200-year-old gristmill; the brick general store selling everything you could possibly think of (from bait to pesto) – all make it worth more than drive-through on the way somewhere else.
Filled with artists, writers, educators, farmers and retirees, it’s got a quirky, eclectic but very real community feel. It’s also got plenty of history. Elizabeth Arden built a health spa here. Her guests included Eleanor Roosevelt, Judy Garland and Ava Gardner.
Mount Vernon has a “hippie sensibility” – really a spirit of independence and self-reliance – that dates back to the 1700s, Downeast Magazine has written. With only 1,500 residents – along with moose, deer and bald eagles — the town packs a lot into its hilltop meadows, wooded valleys, ponds and lakes.
If you have time for only one thing in Mount Vernon, head to the Olde Post Office Café. It’s the unofficial town center for breakfast or lunch. You won’t regret it.
Casco, in the Sebago Lakes Region, also dates its founding to the 1700s. It too was a mill town. In the 1840s, steamboats on Sebago Lake and the canals carried tourists and freight. The lake – since 1938, part of a state park – helps shape the town’s character, and provides plenty of recreational opportunities.
Point Sebago Resort offers many of the amenities of Laurel South (for those who are not of camp age), while the town itself – about the same size as Mount Vernon – has a variety of good restaurants. One of our favorite stops is Webbs Mills Variety just down the road from camp. It’s meatloaf sandwich is a favorite. And how about Crescent Lake? It is truly one of southern Maine’s most beautiful. There’s really nothing like it.
Casco’s not far from Portland – providing a nice counterpart to city and ocean tourism for anyone heading back and forth from Laurel South.
So, join us at camp this summer for a visit…and get a taste of the local color in Mt Vernon or Casco.
It appeared to be any other casual lunch on Tuesday afternoon. As we finished eating our delicious meal, we headed back to our cabins for any other Rest Hour. Suddenly, a roar was heard all over camp. It was our amazing CIT’s breaking the 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 camper’s put so well in their cheers, “Blue and Green are one big team!” Today, our 8th Graders departed for their new trip to North Conway, New Hampshire. Our 6th Grade girls embarked on their overnight camping trip. Everyone is getting psyched for a full day of program today and then Canobie Lake on Saturday. Yes!!!!
What an amazing Independence Day we had. The day started off with our movie morning, as every camper was able to choose an appropriate movie to watch with their friends and counselors. We arrived back at camp just in time for lunch, and followed that with a relaxing “S” Day Elective afternoon. At 4pm, we had our annual Camper Variety Show, and what talent we had on display!! Campers sang, danced, told jokes, played instruments and impressed the crowd with their unbelievable talent. Dinner was a Fourth of July picnic, followed by Ice Cream Sundaes. Of course, tonight will be the greatest fireworks show in all of Maine. It was a great July 4th at Camp Laurel South!!
With all of the amazing offerings within camp, it’s hard to believe that anyone would want to leave. But some of the greatest fun children have at summer camp is actually away from camp on one of the many out of camp trips that are arranged throughout the summer. Some are small, an evening or afternoon, while others are overnight camping or hiking expeditions. For many campers, the culmination of their camp experience each year is the multi-day trips that take place toward the end of the summer. Regardless whether it’s one night or many, some of the unforgettable summer camp memories made away from camp include…
From evenings spent eating hot dogs while cheering on the local pro or semi pro sports team at the ballpark to friendly competition on the bowling lanes, lacing up the skates at a local rink or catching a movie at the cinema, campers enjoy a “night out” a few times during the summer. . Sometimes instead of nights its days spent relaxing in inner tubes as they float lazily down a river, enjoying the adrenaline rush that comes from riding the water slides at a local waterpark, or braving the roller coasters of an amusement park. Enjoying some of the most breathtaking scenery in the northeast is always a pleasure on an out of camp hike or nature walk as well.
One of the best parts of camp is the overnight camping program….spending a night or two at a campsite in a tent with all of your camp friends! It’s no secret that campers love to camp! Tents, campfires, s’mores, hikes, canoes, and a night dedicated exclusively to spending time exclusively with other campers within their own age group are all reasons why overnight camping trips are some of the most eagerly anticipated out of camp trips.
Campers don’t merely look forward to these trips all summer, they look forward to them from the very first day they step foot into camp as second and third graders. As campers grow older, the trips get bigger, and each one is a rite of passage that campers anxiously await. Amusement parks, national parks, and major cities are just some of the places that campers visit on multi-day overnight trips. Sometimes they travel no further than a few hours from camp. Older campers venture across the country to places like California or even over international borders into Canada. Even with such exciting destinations, for many senior campers, it’s the journey with their camp friends and not the place that make multi-day out of camp trips the pinnacle of their camp experiences.
Whether it’s one day or several, some of the most exciting summer camp offerings aren’t in camp at all. But they’re still very special parts of camp because they’re shared with people who can only be found at camp—camp friends!