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BT Idol and Pandemonium

It’s been a busy few days here at camp. Sunday night marked the mid point of our session and it’s hard to believe that it’s going so fast! After dinner I watched one of my favorite programs: BT Idol. It’s a perfect example of how campers can learn life skills at camp without having any idea that they are learning (because they are too busy having fun). In this method of “dancing through personality differences” every cabin competes in a lip-syncing and dancing competition. This activity encourages the fun of dance parties and self-expression, but also provides an invaluable opportunity

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Birch Trail Wilderness Trips

Hello from camp, Today is our first cabin day and it’s a perfect camp day. The sun is shining, there is plenty of wind for sailing and it’s a great temperature for water activities. All the campers in camp are having a wonderful day. But I wanted to talk with you about our campers who are out of camp today, the campers who are on wilderness camping trips. We offer two different types of trips at Birch Trail: cabin trips and optional trips. Our cabin trips are a progression starting with an overnight trip, followed by a three-day van trip,

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An introduction to the Why of Birch Trail

Hello from Birch Trail, It’s been a great week at camp. The weather has been perfect and the campers and staff have been incredibly busy and active. For this summer’s blog I want to take you behind the scenes of what we do at camp and give you a peek “behind the curtain” to reveal a little of our camp magic. My hope is that with each blog post you will learn a little more of the “why” behind what we do at camp. We have a lot of traditions at Birch Trail. Even better, we investigate those traditions often

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Growth at Birch Trail

Hello from camp, It’s been a great first day and I can’t wait for the rest of the summer. Each year on the first night of camp I walk around to all of the cabins with our Assistant Director Emma. We check in on all of the campers (new and returning) and see how their first night of camp is going. There are so many emotions in the cabins; campers are making new friendships, forging independence, and learning to verbalize their feelings as they work through homesickness and so much more. It’s an amazing thing to see. For those of

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The amazing people of Birch Trail

I was giving a tour to a family today and they asked me to tell them one of the things that makes Birch Trail special. I told them that one of the biggest things that sets Birch Trail apart is our staff. Sure, we have amazing traditions, a wonderful culture and an idyllic setting, but it’s our people that are the heart of Birch Trail. Over 140 staff spend their summers at Birch Trail working to create a community where children grow. Whether it’s devoting 3, 5, 10, or 30 years of their lives, our staff are dedicated to helping

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The Circle Game

On Thursday night we had our second-generation campfire (second-generation campers are those whose moms were campers or staff members). I sat and listened to the campers tell stories from when their moms were at camp and remembered being there for some of the things the campers were talking about. During the campfire, I talked about how things have a funny way of repeating themselves. I told them to look at the person on your right, then the person on your left, because these will be your best friends for your life. I told the campers that I remembered being a

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Destiny

At the start of each session when we have our very first dinner together, we have a tradition of reciting a special grace that campers have been using here at Birch Trail since the very beginning. This grace is a poem that reminds the campers to be mindful of their time together and of the friendships they will cultivate over the next four or eight weeks. The poem reads as follows: There is a destiny that makes us brothers and sisters; None goes his or her way alone. All that we send into the lives of others Comes back into

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Birch Trail Beauty

I was talking with a few campers tonight in the office and they were talking about the service that they were going to lead tomorrow. The more we started talking about it, the more I realized that they needed to share their story with you. I hope you enjoy reading their story as much as I enjoyed hearing them talk about it tonight. Birch Trail. A place where one feels included, appreciated, and loved. This is Ashley and Jane from cabin TM coming at you live from Gabe’s office. Being two 6 year campers, we wanted to share a little

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A sky filled with stars

We are in the middle of our first session color wars and the girls are having a blast. Without giving too much away, part of the super secret opening ceremony involves the whole camp being outside late at night. There is some gentle mood music and the group sits collectively looking at the stars while waiting for the ceremony to begin. On Sunday night, during our opening ceremonies, the night sky was crystal clear and the stars were shining brilliantly. Quite often, our campers and staff will stargaze at night. It’s always great to hear them talk about how different

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It’s the little things…..

We’ve had a great start to the summer! The weather has been wonderful, the staff has done a phenomenal job and the campers have been having a blast. Over the past eleven days we have sent out five Linden canoeing trips, three Maple cabin trips, one Maple optional trip, a Boundary Waters canoeing trip, an Isle Royale hiking trip, and two sea kayaking trips. Fourteen campers have taken and passed the Red Cross lifeguarding class, the campers devoured over 600 s’more pockets for desert on Saturday and we have had eleven amazing evening programs. Many other big events have happened

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