Yesterday was our final “S” Day of the summer, and everyone had an amazing time at Funtown USA!!! We enjoyed the rides, the games and, of course, the fun and the food! What we enjoyed most was the time we all had, the entire camp family, laughing and sharing an awesome day.
Today began our final two program days of the session. Each activity area will hum with culminating programs and events. We’re psyched for tonight’s performance of Shrek the Musical in the Laurel South theater. Our campers worked hard to prepare all summer and this show promises to be one for the ages!
Tomorrow night we will have our Final Banquet. Campers and staff will feast on lobster, steak, clam chowder and vegetarian lasagna while reminiscing about the summer gone by.
Monday is Departure Day, and while we’re sad to see the session come to an end, we choose to look at the positive…we are one day closer to the start of the 2017!! Our CIT’s will be greatly missed — they were an amazing group.
Every summer is special in its own way, and the 2016 one has been no exception. The laughter of the campers, the bonds formed between staff and campers, and the feeling of Ohana lets us know we’re so lucky to be here together each and every summer. Oh what a beautiful day in the state of Maine!!!
How quickly a session can fly by? It seems like yesterday we were greeting our campers, creating our schedules and starting First Session. In what seems like the blink of an eye, we enter our final week. We’ve shared so many good times and created so many memories, but the final week has much more in store!
The 5-Year Club enjoyed their special morning trip this week. We also brought in a professional Fly Fishing instructor to teach advanced lessons for those who had already done the beginner’s course at LL Bean. We aim to be a top Fly Fishing destination for campers who want to learn and perfect their craft! The 8th Graders spent an amazing two days in beautiful North Conway, New Hampshire. They had a blast! Intercamp games and tournaments allowed our campers to compete against friends from our neighboring camps. Last night was another awesome Council Fire. And the list goes on and on.
Everyone is pumped for the 6th Annual Moose Bowl this evening. We still have our all-camp trip to Funtown on the horizon. Before you know it, we’ll have our Final Banquet, Final Social, Final Council Fire and complete our First Session.
While we’re sad to see the session starting to come to an end, we’ll be forever grateful for the memories made, friendships built and all of the wonderful times we have spent together!!!
Wednesday morning started out like any other “B” Day. Everyone came to breakfast excited for the day. Little did they know how much excitement they were in for. In unison, our incredible CIT’s removed their sweatshirts and sweatpants to reveal their Blue and Green clothing hidden until just the right moment.
That’s right, Spirit Days 2016 had broken!!! For the next two days, the Blue Jedis and the Green Wizards battled it out in the friendliest of competitions. From the ballfields to the waterfront everyone had a blast! The cheers seemed endless, the plaques made by our campers were awesome, and the CIT’s set the tone for everyone. We even had one of the closest KAOS races ever.
When it was all over and the echoes of the final cheers faded in the night sky, Adam read the poem which revealed the Spirit Day winner. In the end, the winning team was…Laurel South, because everyone enjoyed their Spirit Days and were excited to reunite as one camp family.
We’ve passed the midway point of the summer, but there is still plenty of fun on the horizon! Stay tuned for future updates.
While every day at camp is awesome, every once in a while the stars align to create an epic day that will be talked about for a long time. Monday, July 4th, 2016 was that kind of day!
Not only was it the Fourth of July, but it also happened to be an “S” Day! We began the day with an incredible breakfast of chocolate chip, M&M and blueberry pancakes, coffee cake, and other great treats. We then moved on to an amazing morning of bumper tubing and various other activities around camp. After lunch, we feasted on ice cream sundaes, but that was just the beginning! It was then time for our annual Laurel South Carnival filled with rides, games, snow cones, cotton candy and of course, a cook-out dinner. Once the sky grew darker — we were treated to one of the most amazing fireworks displays ever!!!
By the time the day was over we were exhausted and ready for a great night sleep — our heads full of memories to last a lifetime!!!
How quickly the first week flew by! Our first “S” Day was a smash. Saco and Kineo had the run of Splashtown and had an incredible time. Baxter and Allagash had an awesome trip to Sparetime, where they bowled, played games and Laser Tag. Seventh Grade Nation spent the day cruising around Old Orchard Beach. While all of this was going on, our 8th Graders saw some of the most beautiful sights in Maine during their trip to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. And, of course, the CIT summer was officially kicked off with the White Water Rafting trip on the Kennebec River.
While everyone had fun and made memories which will last a lifetime, camp is truly at its best when we are all together. Programming is back on track. Intercamp games and tournaments are rolling. And today, the first Fly Fishing expedition of the summer heads out.
It’s been only seven days on the calendar, but we pack as much fun into each day and every moment as possible!
Five days may seem like a short time in the “real world”, but at camp it’s amazing how action-packed that time can be! We have already finished our first two “A” and “B” Days. Intercamp games are in full swing. The cheers from the ballfields, the laughter from the Art Center and the smells from the Culinary Studio are all signs that say we’ve had an outstanding beginning to the 2016 summer at Laurel South!
The 6th grade boys had a blast on the first overnight camping trip of the summer. Our CIT’s headed off to the Kennebec River for an incredible White Water Rafting Trip and our 8th Graders headed out for their overnight trip to picturesque Acadia National Park. We always miss them when they depart, but we can’t wait to hear all their stories upon return.
Tomorrow will be our first “S” Day of the summer! After our traditional “S” Day breakfast, Saco and Kineo are off to Splashtown USA, Baxter and Allagash will head to Aquaboggan and our 7th Graders will spend the day at Old Orchard Beach. These trips are designed to add variety to the schedule and allow our campers to explore some of the beauty that Maine has to offer.
As you can see, we are in full swing, and the action never ends!
While memories of camp seasons gone by warm our hearts during the winter months, there’s nothing like the anticipation spring brings for another awesome summer in Casco. After weeks with our amazing Pre-Camp Crew and a week of Staff Orientation with our incredible counselors, nothing beats the excitement of Camper Arrival Day when we all meet at All Camp Cove and hear Roger say those words we’ve been longing to hear, “Good Evening Laurel South!!”
Yesterday was a time for rekindling old friendships and forging new ones, high-fiving our counselors and introducing ourselves to new staff members. We had our traditional Opening Night Cook Out before each campus broke off for their Evening Programs. Once back in the cabin, the campers and counselors became better acquainted and began building the cabin family dynamic.
Today is Moose Stomp: a combination of administrative tasks (Health Checks, Picture Taking, Theater Auditions, etc.) along with fun Laurel South favorites (S’mores at the Outpost, Bumper Tubing on Crescent Lake, Snow Cones at Downeast, etc.) By this time tomorrow, camp will be in full swing with programming, boats and skiers out on the lake, cheers from the Ballfields and creativity expressed in the Arts.
We say at camp the days are long because of all the fun we have, and the weeks are short because of how quickly it flies by. But one thing is for certain, we never take for granted the fun times we have, the memories we make or the understanding of how lucky we are to be here with each other!
Camp sure seems quiet right now. After a week of fun games, bonding with friends old and new and learning about why Laurel South is such a special place, our staff is getting excited beyond words for Camper Arrival on Thursday.
Our counselors are hired for two separate, yet equally important roles: cabin counselor and activity counselor. Drew, Kari and our amazing Campus Leaders educate our staff about what makes a Laurel South cabin the warm, inviting family it is. Under the tutelage of Brad and Kasey, our incredible Area Directors, the staff learns about the high expectations we have for our programs and develop a wonderful curriculum for the summer.
We have an awesome group of young men and women, both returners and first timers, who just can’t wait for the summer of a lifetime!!!
Since before the training wheels were even taken off of my bike, I’ve been playing sports. My older brothers were all exceptional athletes which put a lot of pressure on me; I was constantly being compared to them and thus was always being pushed to run faster, train harder and jump higher. There was a lot of emphasis put on being the best. I won plenty of medals and trophies and was considered an MVP in most sports I played. I loved playing, but more than that, I loved winning. I lived for that feeling. I would do whatever it took to be on top and wouldn’t enjoy myself if I wasn’t the champion. Then I went to camp.
When I stepped on the camp fields for the first time I began with my usual intensity. It took a second for me to realize just how different the environment was from what I was used to. Usually I’d look around before a game and see serious, intense faces. At camp, I instead saw smiling, happy ones. I realized that while I played to win, my fellow campers had different motives. They enjoyed winning, but they played to learn something new, push themselves and spend an hour doing something they loved. They helped show me there’s a difference between friendly competition and unhealthy competition.
My competitive spirit came solely from winning and being the best. I learned that healthy competitiveness comes from improving and being your best self. Instead of being in competition with others, I began competing with my past self. This allowed me to focus on the skills I needed to improve on while still enjoying the game. When you can walk away from a sport and still have had a great time, win or lose, you’re a winner.
When I got home, I took what I learned and applied it to my sports teams. It was difficult for my dad to learn to calm down, stay quiet and stop focusing solely on winning, but when he saw how much happier I was and how much I improved, he started to come around.
I’m so thankful for Camp Laurel South and how they taught me to be a compassionate, helpful and less stressed athlete and person.
When you hear the word “camp,” you probably think of three things right away: campfires, friendship and the outdoors.
Without any of these essential elements, camp just wouldn’t be the same. Spending much-needed time in nature is what brings many of us back year after year, so it’s no surprise that hiking in the natural areas around Camp Laurel South is a very popular activity each summer.
There’s nothing like fresh air to remind us of the things that matter in life.
The Healing Power of Nature
Did you know the average person only walks half as much as doctors recommend for a healthy lifestyle?
In today’s world this is especially true; between smartphones and tablets, time spent outdoors is seriously dwindling. But hiking isn’t just a serious workout. It is a way for campers and counselors to soak in the sun, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy each other’s company. Without realizing it, they are improving their physical, emotional and mental health – all while having fun in the process!
The Journey is the Destination
In the high-energy world of camp activities, hiking is the perfect opportunity to slow down. While the summit may be spectacular, the best part of hiking is the camaraderie and togetherness of tackling the trail. Campers have the chance to get to know one another and to experience the outdoors with people they enjoy.
Life is like a trail, and every journey begins with a single step. Whatever your dream may be, it’s waiting for you at the top of the mountain. The journey may be long… but there’s no reason to make it alone. Stick with your camp friends and you’ll be there before you know it!