Destiny Realized

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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Activities

We’re about one week into the first rotation of activities for this session, and everything is in full swing. We’ve had campers reaching the top of the climbing wall, getting up on one water ski, learning dances, and creating LOTS of cool tie-dyed shirts in the crafts shop. By now your daughter has settled into her alternating two-day routine, making new friends in her projects and learning tons of new skills. Selection for projects is based on interest, age, and skill level and began way back when you and your daughter filled out all of that pre-camp paperwork. Though the

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Second session story time

All is well these happy days at BT, and I have to admit that I love best this time of year when we are right in the middle of the summer—right in the middle of all the good stuff. The first rotation of activities has begun and the kids are settling in to their new routine. The weather has been treating us well, today is sunny and 75. Last night I told a bedtime story to cabin M-6. The story involves a lot of participation from the campers and they were all so funny together and worked so well as

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Second Session

All of the arrivals yesterday went off without a hitch, and it feels great to have second session 2010 officially underway. I’m pleased to report that everyone made it to camp safely and on-schedule, and that all the campers had a blast getting settled into their cabins. What a gorgeous first day of second session today has been! It was the quintessential summer day here today with blue skies, lots of sunshine, and a whole lot of smiling, happy faces. If you haven’t done so already, feel free to take a look at your daughters’ cabin pictures from the first

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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

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Summer Storms and Sunny Mornings

Greetings from camp! We’ve had quite a bit of excitement over the last few days, but I suppose it’s impossible for things to ever be boring at Birch Trail! Some of you may have been following the weather in Northwestern Wisconsin, and might be wondering how much of those summer storms made their way to camp. Though we did have some mighty strong rain and winds, I’m pleased to say that everyone is doing great. As weather has a way of doing round these parts, our usual routine yesterday was put on hold while the storms passed. Instead of attending

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BT Unplugged

The last few days at camp have been absolutely gorgeous. Projects, trips, and evening programs are all in full swing and the campers are having a blast. It’s hard to believe that first session is already entering its last week, and that the summer is almost halfway through. After a lifetime in camping, I’m still amazed, year after year, how quickly time flies by here. At last week’s staff meeting, I reminded the staff that before they know it, the first session campers will be going home and that they should be mindful to make the most of their time

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Duct Tape Really Does Fix Everything

We’ve hit the midpoint of first session now, and with that midpoint comes some changes in the cabin dynamic. As always happens in new groups and new friendships, conflicts do occasionally arise. Some of you might have received letters by this time that detail some of these minor conflicts as they’ve come up. The experience of a group living environment will be new to many kids, and still challenging to those who have already experienced cabin life. Even for kids who have siblings at home, sharing a cabin with peers can be challenging for most campers, no matter what their

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These Brightly Colored Days

We have a saying here at camp: “Color Your Days Bright.” The phrase is painted on signs, printed on t-shirts, and repeated almost daily here. It so perfectly sums up what Birch Trail is all about, and seeing the campers integrate that philosophy into what they do at, and take away from camp brings me great joy. My whole family and I have always felt that if our campers remember to add some imagination, laughter, friendship, and learning into their days, then we’re doing our job. In fact, we even have a whole two-day program centered around it—Pandemonium—1st session’s color

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Campfires, Key Logs and How

At last night’s council fire, we talked about acknowledging and respecting the Native American heritage that is such a rich part of the Northwest Wisconsin history. We have always believed that it was our responsibility to educate the campers about the Ojibwe and Chippewa peoples who lived in this region. Along with our discussion about the Native Americans who first inhabited the area, we also talk about the loggers who came to Wisconsin, then about how this piece of land was used as a resort, and finally when it was turned into a camp. Back in the days when the

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