Weekly Log Home #4 2016

Dear Moosilauke Families!

Here are the highlights from the final two weeks of the Moosilauke First Session 2016, July 10 through July 23, 2016:

Sunday morning’s lazy day schedule was appreciated by all, especially after what was a very hot week.  After another delicious Sunday brunch of made-to-order omelets, homemade donuts, assorted cereal, and the yogurt bar, there was a USA vs. the World counselor soccer game. Many campers were in attendance to watch their favorite counselors play in a “friendly” match. The World were the winners, by just a goal, and fun was had by all. (At lunch, the counselors came up to talk about good sportsmanship and camaraderie.) Following the game, there was free play. Some rain came through late morning, so the campers headed up the hill to start working on their bi-weekly letter home and gather and organize their laundry for collection later in the day. Lunch included beef stew, with rice and carrots, along with a full salad bar.

Sunday afternoon, there was a choice of wacky activities offered in the different areas, such as a three-on-three basketball tournament, the start of Moose Open tennis matches, and survival training with BLP, along with a full selection of open waterfront activities. The first set of intramural Coke League baseball games (for the twelve-and-under campers) of the season were played as well. As is tradition, some of the oldest campers, the Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) volunteered to coach the different teams. This year, we have three teams – the Yankees, Cubs, and Giants. Seniors were offered the opportunity to watch Portugal and France compete in the Euro Cup championship game in the dining hall in the afternoon. Younger campers were permitted to watch for one of their afternoon activity periods as well. More rain came through early evening, so cabin cookout was moved indoors. Staff cooked the burgers and hotdogs in the kitchen and served them to the campers in the dining hall. Campers and counselors sat with their cabin groups. The weather cleared for S’mores to be cooked and served around a campfire. Our weekly cabin clean-up winners (one for senior hill and one for junior hill) headed out to the Fairlee Drive-In to view “Finding Dory.”

Monday we were back to a full schedule of regular morning and afternoon classes, competition, and trips. The Senior A1s (15-year-olds) departed in the morning for their three-day adventure to Montreal. The highlight was most definitely the rafting trip down the Rouge River. The class IV run at the end which includes “The Washing Machine” and “Dryer” sections lived up to their names: many a boy ended up going for a swim! (See the daily photo gallery for a selection of some great action shots.) The boys also loved their time shopping and dining in Montreal. All in all, a memorable capstone experience for our oldest campers.

Wilderness adventures Monday included the Inter Bs (11-year-olds) heading off to Cliff Island on Newfound Lake for a canoe and camping overnight. The trip began with a mile-long canoe out to the island we rent. For most, it was the first experience setting up tents for a camping overnight. The boys were up to the challenge! The boys then spent the day swimming, fishing, and playing with the canoes. In the evening, they enjoyed a campfire dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers, S’mores for dessert, and playing cards and a long game of manhunt. The morning also saw another group of Senior A2s (14-year-olds) leave for a three day/two night backpacking adventure up Mt. Washington. Each morning they woke at 6:30am so that they were out of their campsite by 7:30am. They summited Mount Adams the first day and Mount Jefferson the second day, so in total, summited the three tallest mountains in the Presidentials. Highlights of the trip were being up on the ridgeline walking to Mount Washington. They loved the views and beautiful weather, and enjoyed their time on the Mt. Washington Summit. They also mentioned liking the campsites that they stayed at and just being together with their friends. All in all, they were all very proud of each other for accomplishing such a hard trip!  The Junior Bs (8-and 9-year-olds) went mountain biking to Orford Beach on the other side of the lake. Competition on Monday included a 12s tennis tournament at a neighboring camp. Finally, the CITs spent the day (one of 2 days) in a rigorous lifeguard certification training class.

Tuesday meals included croissants for breakfast, chicken pot pie for lunch, and dinner was Taco Tuesday. We celebrated another Moose birthday. Another group of campers, this time Inter As (twelve-year-olds) ventured out on a Cliff Island trip after the previous group returned. They had a fantastic time on the island. Highlights were: a scavenger hunt where the boys used a compass to find candy hidden around the island, a big game of manhunt, playing in their canoes and swimming around the island, and canoeing over to a neighboring island. Food was around a campfire and included burgers and hotdogs for dinner with S’mores for dessert and hot cocoa and bagels for breakfast before canoeing back to the mainland for a ride back to camp (and a stop at a local general store for another treat!). A group of Junior As (ten-year-olds) ventured out on a morning mountain biking adventure to Orford Beach. Competition on Tuesday included a 12s baseball game and 13s lacrosse tournament at Moose, and a 10s tennis tournament at a neighboring camp. The CITs spent another full day working on their lifeguard certification.

Wednesday, a second group of Inter As (12-year-olds) enjoyed a canoeing trek and overnight to Cliff Island on Newfound Lake. Highlights were the fishing (some were caught and cooked for dinner), playing manhunt, swimming, and cooking dinner and S’mores around the campfire. Another group of Inter As left for a two-day backpacking trip on Mt. Kinsman. It was a challenging hike up, as it was the first overnight backpacking trip for most. They hiked to Lonesome Lake on the first day where they saw a group of wild ducks and they had a view of the Franconia Ridge (where they will hike as Senior Bs next summer). After setting up their campsite, they enjoyed a lunch of chicken and cheese tortillas. After lunch, they enjoyed an evening hike and then a dinner of macaroni and cheese and sausage. On day two, they woke up very early and summited Mt. Kinsman. There was a lot of fog and mist at the top. After their descent, they were rewarded with a pizza lunch at Enzo’s on their way back to camp. A second group of Junior As (10-year-olds) had a chance Wednesday to go on a mountain biking adventure around the lake to Orford Beach. In the afternoon the group of Senior A2s (14-year olds) hiking Mt. Washington returned, along with the Senior A1s (15-year olds) who were in Montreal for three days.

Competition on Wednesday included an 11s lacrosse tournament at Moose. Campers not involved in trips or competition on Wednesday were sailing, kayaking, wakeboarding and waterskiing, row boating, and playing baseball, tennis, archery, and soccer. Many campers were working towards earning an area achievement award this summer. Each camper will receive a certificate at the end of the session that lists any area achievements they have earned and trips they took part in. The Juniors were howling with laughter in their row-boating class, as Port had them capsizing their boats. In the evening, there was the traditional Senior A1 (fifteen-year-olds) versus the Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) basketball game. Almost the entire camp was in attendance viewing this event. The Senior A2s tied the game in regulation (making three foul shots to do so), but the Senior A1s were the victors in overtime. The campers participating and watching said it was one of the most fun events of the season. Meals on Wednesday were muffins for breakfast, stuffed shells (a camper favorite!) for lunch, and the traditional Wednesday-night sandwich night for dinner, including corn chowder soup.

On Thursday, the Senior Bs (13-year-olds) headed off to Burlington, Vermont, for a two day experience, which included a campout on Lake Champlain, a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, and a night at the ballpark watching the Vermont Lake Monsters.  In case you are not in the know, the Lake Monsters are a Single A minor league baseball team affiliated with the Oakland Athletics. A second group of Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) headed out on a three-day hike to the Mahoosuc Range. This year, we had 12 Senior A1s voluntarily hike the Mahoosuc Range – probably a camp record. Very impressive. A volunteer climbing trip left in the morning to challenge the crags in Rumney. Competition on Thursday centered on a 14s soccer tournament at Moose.

Friday was another busy day. A group of Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) and Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) swam at Baker Cliffs, followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. A group of campers went on a golf trip to Bradford Country Club. The boys wore their snazziest golf attire and played 9 holes at the course. A full range of activities were offered for those not involved in trips, as the campers continued to work on their achievements. Another round of Coke League baseball intramural games were played. Meals on Friday were eggs and potatoes for breakfast, pulled pork sandwiches for lunch, and Kenny cookout for dinner. In the evening, our counselors competed in their annual baseball game against a neighboring camp. Several campers were in attendance to cheer on the Moosilauke team.

Beyond open biking and hiking trips, Saturday’s focus was an all-sports, all-ages competition afternoon against a neighboring camp. The 10s and 12s played basketball and hockey tournaments, the 13s played in a baseball tournament, the 15s participated in soccer and basketball tournaments. The Open Hike was West Rattlesnake Mountain. The hike was about a 4.5 mile round-trip trek. The mountain overlooks Squam Lake, so the boys had lunch with a terrific view from the top. After lunch, they hiked down to a swimming area, called Five Finger Point for a refreshing swim prior to heading back to camp. The boys also enjoyed eating wild blueberries throughout the hike. The CITs headed out on their own overnight adventure, a canoe trip to Cliff Island on Newfound Lake. On another note, some of our Seniors (thirteen-fourteen-fifteen-year-olds) have been waking up early some mornings to row on the lake with Port. This takes incredible dedication and commitment and it’s a beautiful time to be out on the lake. Other groups of campers (and counselors) have been waking up early to fish before breakfast, hoping to catch the next “wall fish.” A wall fish at Moosilauke needs to weigh 3-½ pounds and when caught a special plaque is hung in the dining hall in honor of that camper or counselor. Meals were: bagels for breakfast, chicken tenders for lunch, and pizza for dinner.

Some quick highlights from the final week of the First Session:

Sunday, the campers participated in the annual special activities day with the neighboring girls camp. Activities included three-legged races, hula hoop races, water balloon toss, the bear pole, obstacle course, and all were treated with Sno-Cones complimentary of Todd and the CITs.

Monday was another “Typical Moosilauke Day” with plenty of sunshine, trips, and open activity areas. Competition included an 11s BKB tournament at Moose and a 15s Dodgeball tournament at a neighboring camp (the 15s dressed up in some fabulous gear for the event). The Junior Bs (eight-and-nine-year-olds) headed out for a day at Lost River and Cascade Park. The Junior As (ten-year-olds) ventured out to a day at Cascade Park and Mini-Golf. The Inter As (twelve-year-olds) enjoyed an afternoon at Baker Cliffs, followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Campers not on trips or competition participated in open activity areas – some of them working to complete an achievement level in a specific area. In the evening, we celebrated “National Ice Cream Day” by treating the campers to ice cream sundaes (Moose Scoops ice cream!) on the field. Later in the evening, there was the official “break” of the Red-Grey Competition.

Tuesday and Wednesday, the campers were involved in the two-day Red-Grey friendly competition. Events included: a track meet, canoe regatta, basketball games, Ultimate Frisbee matches, baseball games, culminating in the team fire-building competition and each team performing a song. As is tradition, the boys were treated with candy and soda after the final scores were announced.

Thursday morning, there was some excitement before breakfast, as we had a mother bear and her two cubs hanging around our dining hall area (more specifically, the dumpster next to the dining hall). On occasion, we will see black bears within our vicinity and, given the warm, dry summer we have had, they are most likely around looking for water and food. We brought in our local “bear whisperer” to help us secure the dumpster area and set up some bear deterrents and are hopeful the bears will not be visiting in the future. In addition, Bill gave the group a “bear lesson” at breakfast in terms of what to do should there be another sighting. Needless to say, it was a fun and interesting start to the day.

Also on Thursday, there were a few more trips – an open age canoe and kayak trip to Androscoggin River in Errol; an open age golf day trip at the Bradford Country Club; and open age climbing trip in Rumney; and the last group of Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) enjoyed an afternoon at Baker Cliffs, with an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Those in camp enjoyed a full array of activities – on land and in the water. In the evening, the campers were treated to a “Pig Roast” dinner. There was plenty of delicious pulled pork, corn on the cob, grilled potatoes, and maple bread for seconds (and thirds!).

Friday was packing day and open areas in the afternoon, followed by the traditional end-of-session banquet. Campers enjoyed flank steak, shrimp cocktail, mashed sweet potatoes, homemade rolls, and Caesar salad for dinner, with the favorite Whoopie Pies for dessert. Many dressed in their finest for the occasion. Following the meal, there was a special slide and video presentation highlighting the 1st session and recognizing the boys for their achievements in the different activity areas. Campers who have attended Moose for three, five, six, and eight years were honored with special t-shirts and jackets. And, as is tradition, the Senior A1s (oldest campers) participated in a torchlight ceremony down the hill to a huge bonfire on the field.

Happy Summer!

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

Posted in Weekly Letters Home