Camp Laurel South Blog

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Life, Unplugged

I don’t know about you, but my kids are constantly plugged into something, whether they are texting their friends (does anyone talk anymore?), bopping along to Lady Gaga’s latest, updating their Facebook status, researching a school project online and creating a multi-media presentation, or playing games on my iPhone while I desperately try to finish a conversation at the vet’s office.

Some days I can win a battle or two (no texting at dinner!) but the war is ongoing. And honestly, I’m not the best example. That iPhone I mentioned is never far from reach, and right now I’m surfing online, listening to my own brand of pop music, answering text messages as they come in and writing this blog.

Don’t you wish there was a place where we could all live life unplugged? We adults may not be so lucky; but for our kids, that place is summer camp.

Knowing that someone out there is cultivating a culture of back-to-basics, low-tech life is an irresistible draw for me as a parent. My husband and I love the outdoors and frequently take our kids on short camping trips, but these offer only a short break from the world of “screen time”. Monday morning comes and before the sleeping bags air out, we’re all rushing to see what awaits us in our email inboxes.

As a mom, I worry about the long-term effects of all of these tech ways of communicating. I’m not alone. Several studies have suggested that kids who spend too much time plugged in lose some skills for interpersonal interaction. Let’s fight back.

At camp, social interaction is done the old fashioned way – face-to-face. Campers and counselors alike leave their cell phones at home and get back to a simpler life, when there is an art to conversation. If you were a camper, think back to your best memories. All of mine involve revolve around interpersonal interactions you just can’t get through an email: telling stories around a camp fire; sharing hushed secrets late into the night; telling the worst jokes you ever heard; huddling together to decide the best capture-the-flag strategy.

Friendship doesn’t need a high-tech interface. Don’t think your kids will get with the program? In a recent Seventeen article, teen girls shared their favorite summer camp memories.  Guess what? Not one involves a cell phone!

Thanks to Pink_Sherbert_Photography and eron_gpsfs for the photos!

Olivia, Guest Blogger

Winding Down….

How fast time passes when you’re having an amazing time! Wednesday evening, we were all captivated by the sensational performance of Grease! It was unbelievable! We can’t wait to watch our campers in Beauty and the Beast tonight!! Yesterday was our final “S” Day of the session and everyone had an awesome day at Funtown. Today and tomorrow are our final program days of the session and we have some incredible culminating activities planned: our 5th Graders day trip…Dance and Gymnastics shows…the Zip Line and Giant Swing at Adventure…the action goes on and on. Soon we’ll have our Final Banquet and Council Fire before Monday’s departure. We look forward to the next few days together…and the beginning of the countdown to Laurel South 2011!

The Beat Goes on….

We have so much going on…it’s hard to believe there’s only a week left of camp!! What an incredible summer it’s been…the weather has been nearly perfect and everywhere we look, from the ballfields to the waterfront, the stables to adventure, the theater to the arts, this has truly been a magical summer! What’s ahead? Our amazing theater performances…intercamp games and tournaments…exciting dance and gymnastics shows…and let’s not forget Funtown!! With one week left, we’re starting to reflect on the wonderful memories we’ve made so far… Still lots to do…and the beat goes on!

Mid Way….Having A Blast!

It’s hard to believe we’ve passed the mid-way point of the 2010 summer! We have so many amazing memories of the first half, and sooooo much more to look forward to in the next 12 days!! Our 8th graders had an amazing time yesterday at Six Flags New England…and our 6th Grade girls are hiking and climbing on their camping trip. Activities and intercamps continue to be tremendous…everyone is psyched for Movie Morning and Carnival coming soon as well as Drive-In movie night, and Funtown. There is no slowing down the fun that has made the 2010 summer one of our best yet!

Fun In the Sun……

It seemed like any other Friday lunch…campers were intermingling with friends, siblings and counselors when all of a sudden came a thunderous roar of cheers and songs as our incredible CIT group kicked of Spirit Days 2010. For the next day and a half, the Blue Wizards and Green Dragons competed on the ball fields and in the lake, with athletic prowess and an unending supply of team spirit. Just before lunch on Saturday, our CIT’s competed in the Chaos obstacle course while the entire camp cheered them on. After lunch was the Great Moose Relay as every camper competed in a single event. At our closing ceremony, the judges, known as Yellow Jackets, were amazed at the cheers, songs and plaques presented by each squad. At the end of the day, the final score didn’t matter as we once again united as one Laurel South family. Sunday morning, we received a well deserved rest, as we rose a little later and had an elective morning with bumper tubing, tennis, nature, climbing and more all available for our campers before our regular “B” day afternoon. Yesterday the entire camp took off for a spectacular day at Canobie Lake, where we enjoyed the rides, food, and, most importantly, time with our friends. It’s always action-packed at Laurel South. What a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!

Beautiful Maine Days and Nights….

How quickly a week can fly by at camp! The Laurel South program is in full swing…the Ball Fields, Waterfront, Theater, Arts and Crafts Studios and Riding Rings are all abuzz with activity. Intercamp games and tournaments are in full swing. Our 8th and 9th graders returned from their Acadia and White Water trips. Saco and Kineo had an amazing day at Splashtown…our 7th graders had a blast at Sparetime…and our Baxter and Allagash Beach Party was truly one for the ages! The weather has been beautiful, and the fun never ends at Laurel South!

First Week Off to a Full Speed Start

It’s been an amazing first week at Camp Laurel South! We have completed our first two “A” and “B” Days, and today is our first “S” day. Our 8th and 9th Graders are heading to Acadia National Park and Adventure Bound for White Water rafting!! The rest of camp will have a later wake up followed by our incredible “S” day breakfast of chocolate chip, M&M or blueberry pancakes, scones and cheese omelets. Saco and Kineo campers are off to Splashtown Water Park while our Allagash and Baxter campers will enjoy a cool beach party on Crescent Lake. Not to be left out, our 7th graders will head off to Sparetime for an afternoon of bowling. Tomorrow we will be back into regular program — baseball, basketball, tennis, waterskiing, archery, ceramics, horseback riding and so much more – and our 8th and 9th graders will be back with their summer family. The schedule is packed full of fun. Intercamp games and tournaments are in full swing, and the fun is non-stop in Casco!!

Second Session Kicks Off…

First Session was an amazing success, and just like that, Second Session has arrived!!! We had an incredible opening day as the staff enthusiastically welcomed our Second Session campers. Old friendships were rekindled and new ones began as the Laurel South family finally gathered as one. Today was our annual Moose Stomp Day…schedules were created…s’mores were devoured…we bumper-tubed on Crescent Lake…and we concluded our day with our Council Fire celebrating fun and friendship. Tomorrow, full activity and program will begin. The ballfields, courts, waterfront, theater and Challenge Course will come alive with activity. The fun and excitement has just begun at Laurel South!

The Action Never Stops…..

It’s hard to believe we are entering the final week of First Session…amazing how time truly does fly when you are having this much fun!! Our 7th Graders had a terrific time on their camping trip which returned yesterday afternoon. Our Saco and Kineo campers had a great time berry-picking yesterday. The under-15 boys and girls soccer teams fared well at their respective tournaments…and everyone had an unbelievable time at our amazing Carnival followed by an awesome Drive-In movie on the Downeast field last night. Wednesday evening will be the first of our two great theater productions of the summer: Beauty and the Beast. And Thursday we are all off to Funtown. The action never stops at Camp Laurel South!!

Program in High Gear…

It seemed like any other Tuesday lunch, as we ate casually with our friends. All of a sudden came a roar from all sides of camp as Spirit Day 2010 was kicked off by our incredible CIT group. For a day-and-a-half, Blue Ice and Green Fire challenged each other in friendly competition which culminated in Wednesday night’s cheers and songs. In the end, both sides won as we reunited as one camp family again. Thursday we were back in programming and inter-camp games and tournaments were held all over camp. From Fishing to Ropes to Riding to Fitness and Ceramics…we’re in high gear. Our 8th graders departed Thursday morning for their awesome trip to Six Flags New England and our 6th grade girls took off on their overnight camping trip. Tomorrow will be another amazing “S” Day as we will, for the first time ever, combine Movie Morning with Carnival Afternoon. Every day is packed with excitement and adventure at Laurel South…What a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!

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