Moosilauke Weekly Letter Home 7-29-2011

Dear Moosilauke Parent:

This provides our first letter from our 2.5 week session. It has been a busy, fun-filled week. Click on http://campmoosilaukephotos.shutterfly.com/ for daily photos and read on for all the adventures and special happenings.

As you know, Monday, July 26th, was opening day. Although we had a brief drizzle, overall it was very pleasant and not nearly as hot as the previous week. Once we finished with arrivals and registration, the whole camp played the time-honored game of “Bill Says” (like “Simon Says” but better). After the game the new campers met their Camp big brothers and were escorted by them to our first meal. After our Moose burger-fest the first chants and songs of the session began. The highlight was “There was a crazy Moose” lead by counselor Josh who has the unique distinction of making a Division I football team and also being selected to be part of the elite male singing group at his school. Then it was time for a silly Moose trivia contest MCed by head counselor Gordo. After the meal it was down the hill for age group orientation games followed by our traditional wacky counselor introductions by activity areas. The campers agreed that the best introductions were courtesy of the swimming staff going wild with squirt guns, the baseball staff smashing fruit, and the tennis staff riding lawn mowers.

Tuesday dawned clear but cool. The weather, however, did not stop over 80 campers and counselors from starting their day by taking part in our pre-breakfast Moose Bear swim and song club. As is tradition, the boys learned important Moose Bear rituals like “Chop, Chop, Chop . . . Timber,” “Car Wash,” and of course “The Moose Bear Song.” After a breakfast of home fries, croissants, hot and cold cereal, fruit, and yogurt, Bill discussed fire and lightning safety procedures and then Kenny explained our system of inter camp competition. Then it was time for the reading of the major league baseball scores. After breakfast the boys had their first cabin clean-up followed by their three assigned activity periods which included a swim test for many age groups. Lunch was BLT sandwiches, Texas chili, and a salad bar. After lunch Bill had the group stand when their state and/or country was called. Between the counselors and campers we counted 19 states and 8 countries represented. The only competition on Tuesday was a twelve-and-under soccer tournament, which was called after one match due to rain. Evening activities included a trivia contest with Bill, an Ultimate Frisbee match, dodge ball, fishing, and a musical jam session. The music fest was amazing: 5 guitarists, a drummer, and about 8 singers all wailing away on the traditional song Hard Rock Candy Mountain.

Wednesday was another beautiful day. After breakfast, we had a fun multi-cultural announcement session during which the baseball scores were read in Latvian, and the whole camp learned some French courtesy of our boys from Quebec. In the morning periods, boy were scheduled into one of our 18 activity areas, with a few age groups finishing their swim tests. A group of Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) spent the morning and early afternoon mountain biking the 10 round trip miles to the Wentworth Waterhole. The morning also saw a volunteer crew of campers head to the cliffs and crags in Rumney, NH, for a day of bouldering and top rope rock climbing. After a lunch of mac and cheese, turkey/rice/vegetable soup, and salad bar, it was time for a much deserved rest hour. Highlights from the afternoon included an all ages tennis tournament at a peer camp, a 10-and-under soccer tournament, Navy Seal boat tours of the lake with Port, and an exciting class in BLP (Backcountry Leadership program) that involved making shelters and then testing how waterproof they were by using a leaf blower and a hose to create storm conditions. The “fluffiest” trip of the day was the Senior A2 (fourteen-year-old) sojourn to the natural water slides at Baker Cliffs, which was followed by a stop at Fat Bob’s for a huge ice cream cone.

Thursday was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for the trips that left in the morning. Before breakfast, seven Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) left on our overnight Mt. Lafayette expedition, which covers over 11 miles and three peaks (including Lafayette). Half the Inter As (twelve-year-olds) on Thursday joined the 107 year history of Moose campers canoeing down the Connecticut River to Hanover. The boys usually cover the 12 miles in about 4.5 hours. Once in Hanover, they received their just rewards: all the pizza they could eat and a night at the movies. The Junior Bs (eight-and nine-year-olds) spent the day exploring the caverns and caves at Lost River. (Ask them about the “Lemon squeezer.”) The Junior As (ten-year-olds) spent the day playing in the natural water slides at Cascade Park before taking in a round of golf at Hobo Hills mini golf emporium. Finally, the Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) had the “fluff” trip of the summer: they were driven to Hanover for dinner and a movie. The only competition on Thursday was an 11-and-under basketball tournament.

Finally, a few thoughts about diversity at Moosilauke. As noted previously, the Camp is very diverse geographically. We also strive to continually enhance our economic, ethnic, and cultural diversity, both among our campers and staff. Relative to campers, one way of furthering these goals is through our financial aid program, which is funded in part by our endowed Fresh Air-Camp Moosilauke Scholarship Fund. The money from this fund is used to provide children from low-income communities in New York City a summer at Moosilauke. The Fresh Air organization helps screen and select deserving children to attend Moosilauke. The organization invests and administers all donations to the fund.

There are a number of ways to give to the fund if you are interested: any amount over $50 can be donated directly to the fund in support of campers attending the following summer; and a named 2.5 week scholarship fund can be endowed with a gift of $50,000. (Unless otherwise requested, all donors will be listed in the Fresh Air Fund’s annual report. All gifts are tax deductible. Checks should be made out to the Fresh Air-Camp Moosilauke Scholarship Fund, and sent to: Fresh Air-Camp Moosilauke Scholarship Fund, 35 Camp Road, Orford, NH, 03777.) If you have questions about the scholarship fund, please call us at 800-353-4546 or email us at cmoosilauk@aol.com. For more information about the Fresh Air Fund, call 800-367-0003, or visit their web site at www.freshair.org.

In addition to our financial aid program, Moosilauke also wholly funds and operates in late August (in conjunction with the Listen organization) a week long camp for under privileged children from New Hampshire and Vermont.

Finally, a few reminders about important end-of-session issues:

-Times and places for meeting the buses home on Wednesday, August 10, are as follows:

-Greenwich drop-off is at about 1:00 p.m. (at the municipal parking lot next to exit 3 – waterside – off interstate 95)

-Manhattan drop-off is at about 2:00 p.m. (at the Lincoln Center area-62nd street between Columbus and Amsterdam).

-Campers leaving from Camp must be picked-up between 8:00 and 10:00 AM on 8/10. Please do not be late since supervision will not be available past 10:00 AM (as counselors will be fulfilling other assignments).

That’s all for now. Enjoy the summer!

Bill, Sabina, Port, Heide, Ken, and Ingrid

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