All Good Things…

It’s hard to believe that first session will be ending in a few short days; it has been a truly remarkable session. I’ll be sad to see our first session campers go home, but then it will be time to take one big breath and prepare to do it all over again. And of course I am looking forward to seeing many of our eight week campers’ families on visiting day. We’ve seen both rain and sun this session, lots of new friendships, amazing programs, lots of laughter, and have I mentioned all the singing and cheering and general goofiness we always do here? We are proud to have no shortage of general goofiness at camp, and the first session campers of 2010 have gotten really good at keeping that tradition alive!

But before everyone packs and leaves, before the “Big Switch” as we like to call it, and before visiting weekend, there are some incredibly important traditions that will take place this week. These last few days of the session are always a strange blend of both happy and sad events, marking the end of a wonderful month.

The counselors are making special efforts to go above and beyond to make the last few cabin nights and village nights memorable and extra fun, and I know that many of our staff members are dreading Saturday morning, when many of their new favorite kids will be going home.

Now that we are coming to the end of the second two-week rotation of activities, the campers have acquired many new skills and will have the opportunity to show off what they have learned at one of our favorite end of session events: The Seven Lively Arts. Today we spend the afternoon watching the campers display what they have learned in the gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, knitting, water ski, water ballet, and diving shows. We’ll also get to watch the camp play, tour the arts and crafts gallery opening, and watch the movies that the videography classes have filmed and edited.

We have several evening programs that commemorate the end of yet another successful session, one of which is the always-emotional final council fire. The TM campers traditionally lead the final council fire, sharing their feelings and stories about their time at camp. It’s hard not to cry along with the TMers as they lament the end of their camping days. Special songs are sung to continue the end-of-session traditions that have been a part of camp since Birch Trail’s first summer 51 years ago. Though the final council fire is always a tender and sometimes melancholy event, there is something very comforting in the way we honor the passing of another session and all the special memories that we’ve created as a community.

Another, far less somber evening program that takes place tonight is Tiki’s Last Laugh, which gets pretty crazy! We like to end the session with a fun evening program and this one overflows with laughter and silliness. For Tiki’s Last Laugh a panel of judges sits, draped in protective clothing, in front of the entire camp. Each cabin gets one minute to make the judges laugh. If one of the judges breaks down in even a split second of giggles, the cabin gets to pick from an assortment of prizes for that judge. The prizes include things like cracking an egg on a judges’ head, a ketchup and mustard facial, having a bucket of ranch dressing poured on their head, and other assorted messy prizes. If none of the judges laugh, the campers get to pick one of their counselors to “receive” the prize. Either way, someone is getting really messy!

I could probably continue to detail how wonderful this session has been and how we’ll make sure each and every camper knows how much we value her time here, but what I really want to do is go join in the fun and make the most of every last minute of the session! We anticipate another smooth and breezy, though emotional, travel day tomorrow, but if you have any questions about your daughter’s departure from camp please don’t hesitate to give us a call. If your daughter is coming home at the end of this week, remember that returning from camp can be a big transition and quite a lot of culture shock. She might want to tell you every single detail of her time here, or she might be a little on the quiet side. Camp life is unique; there really isn’t anything quite like it and it can be hard for kids to express what that transition back to home life feels like. And though I can’t predict exactly how each camper will reflect on her camp experiences, I do know one thing for certain: this group of campers and staff has been one of the most memorable yet.

2 thoughts on “All Good Things…”

  1. I love this blog! I relive my BT days whenever I get this in my inbox and it makes me miss camp so much. Mmm I want to linger…!

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