A little bit at a time

Hello from camp. I just moved back up to Birch Trail on Friday. I love being at camp in the spring. There is so much to do and it’s fun for me to help get everything ready for the campers and staff. Many people often ask me what it’s like to be the only person at camp. It’s peaceful, beautiful and I can be very productive. But I’m not really alone. Russ, Bill and Huey are here during the day finishing our winter construction projects.

There are so many things that need to be completed to get camp ready. Some of these are annual projects: raking the leaves, setting up the activity areas and putting the docks, diving board, water toys and boats in the water. Every dish needs to be washed and sanitized and every cabin needs to be thoroughly cleaned. Buildings need to be painted and the grass needs to be mowed.

Then there are the bigger projects that need to be finished from that year’s remodeling and building calendar. This year we remodeled two of our washhouses, some staff housing, and our main lodge. We ordered six new sail boats that were just delivered last week. These boats need to be inspected, set up and moored in the water- of course I will need to find a nice windy day to test one of them out! We also bought all new life jackets and paddles for our trips program and our waterfront. They need to be unpacked, sorted and hung in their correct spots on the racks.

Each one of these things takes careful preparation and time. They all contribute to a well run, intentional summer camp experience. It takes a lot to make this place run and all of this happens before the staff and campers even arrive!

We have new programs, projects and trips for our campers this summer. So much of what makes Birch Trail special are our deep rooted history and traditions, but our evolution and new additions continue to improve our philosophy and what we are able to offer..

Running a summer camp is a labor of love and one that requires lots of updates and fine-tuning. It’s kind of like putting together a new website. The past few days I have been doing both and it’s funny how similar they are. We have spent the past few months working on our new website and it launched today. Please check it out and let us know what you think.

Much like Birch Trail, this website is unique and will evolve over time. What makes it special is the fact that it’s not finished growing. We are using a process called growth-driven design. What that means is that the website will continue to evolve based on how it’s used. If there is a feature that is used more often, you will see more of it. If there is something that just isn’t working or that no one is using, it will move off the site. We want our website to be something that is useful to you- our camp community.

With that in mind, what we are most proud of on the new site is our Parents University. It’s a wonderful collection of articles, videos, books and websites about parenting and child development. We hope that you will find this section helpful and come back to this page often. We will be updating it with new content regularly.

As much as I enjoy this quiet time at camp, I can’t wait for our campers and staff to arrive, it’s going to be a great summer!


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