July 11, 2023 (covering July 5th to 10th)
Dear Moosilauke Families,
We are happy to be sharing our third letter home for summer 2023. Even though we have had some significant rain, all is well on Upper Baker Pond. All aspects of Camp–adventure trips, team competition, land sport classes, our amazing waterfront program, and special community events–are in high gear. Summer the way it ought to be!
Wednesday, July 5th, began with a group of campers and counselors venturing out on the lake for some pre-breakfast fishing. Also getting an early start was a group of our oldest campers, the Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds), departing for a three-day, two-night hiking adventure in the famous Mahoosuc Range (see photo below). The first day the group hiked the 2.6 mile Carlo Col Trail and then did another 4.4 on the Mahoosuc/AT trail ending their day at the Goose Eye Shelter. It was a steep and technical 7 miles that included river crossings and sections where the boys needed to take off their packs, but the boys handled it with enthusiasm and good cheer. Day 2 featured the highlight of the trip: the Mahoosuc Notch. Widely known as “the hardest mile of the Appalachian Trail,” the Notch consisted of technical scrambles up and down boulders as tall as houses. Lingering ice from below cooled the air down like air conditioning. After a snack of Uncrustables they took on the Mahoosuc Arm, a steep and challenging climb to the highest point of the day. They ended the day swimming at the Speck Pond Campsite and then feasting on mac-n-cheese for dinner. Day 3 began with a final ascent to a fire tower via an exposed rocky scramble that provided views of the trails from the last 2 days. 3 miles of descent later the boys were on their way to an all-you-can-eat pizza fest before returning to Camp. The group remarked that this capstone overnight hiking trip was incredible and one to remember for many years to come.
Half of the Inter As (twelve-year-olds) ventured out on a canoe trip Wednesday on the Connecticut River. They paddled from Lyme to Hanover, NH, about 9 miles total. Half way into the trip the group stopped for a swim and lunch. A group of Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) had a mountain biking trek on the trails around Camp, ending at Orford Beach for a quick swim and snack. Our Junior As (ten-year-olds) had an overnight camping trip to our Upper Baker Pond Hilltop campsite. They cooked their dinner over a campfire, and then were treated to an ice cream dessert at Moose Scoops, before falling asleep in their tents under the stars. Our Junior Bs (8-and-9-year olds) walked out to our lakeside campsite, the Point, for their own overnight. They feasted on burgers, hot dogs, and S’mores cooked over a fire. They also swam, fished, and played games before settling into their log cabin for a good night’s sleep.
There was also an all-ages adventure to Green Woodlands, a mountain biking destination with 65 miles of trails, half of which are machine-built single track. They had a blast exploring the different trails and jumps. Our inter-camp competition continued with an 11s/13s/15s Track Meet at a neighboring camp. The highlight of the evening for many campers was Port’s tall-tale told around our beach campfire ring. Also in the evening, there was tubing, dodgeball, ping pong, lawn games, tennis and pickleball, a knockout tournament, and “tennis baseball.” Meals on Wednesday were bagels with cream cheese, butter, and jam for breakfast, pulled pork with French fries for lunch, and pasta and meat sauce, with garlic bread for dinner.
Thursday, July 6th, was another warm day. Meals included scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast, grilled cheese with tomato soup for lunch, and ribs with coleslaw and cornbread for dinner. Inter-camp competition included a 10s tennis tournament at a neighboring camp. An all-ages group of campers departed on a Climbing Trip to the Rumney crags. The Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) had an afternoon of swimming at the Pioneer Camp followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Early in the morning, a group of Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) departed for a three-day, two-night overnight hiking expedition to Mt. Washington. They first hiked Lowe’s Path to the Perch Campsite on Mt. Adams. After dropping their gear, they summited Adams. They enjoyed a break at an AMC log cabin on the way. Lunch was assorted sandwiches and dinner was meat and rice burritos. In the morning, after a breakfast of homemade oatmeal, they began their hike of Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Clay, and finally Mt. Washington. When they reached Mt. Washington’s summit they were treated to candy bars at the Visitor’s Center. On the third day they quickly descended–like horses to the barn–because an all-you-can-eat pizza fest was waiting for them on the way back to Camp. In total, they hiked over 18 miles.
On Thursday the other half of the Inter As (twelve-year-olds) had their turn canoeing from Lyme to Hanover. To celebrate the age group adventure, all the Inter As were treated to a movie and all-you-can-eat pizza. In the afternoon, another group of Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) headed out for a mountain biking trek on the trails around Camp, ending at Orford Beach. Thursday also saw a special event: a former camper and counselor, Matt Gehring, who is now a professional comedian led theater/improv workshops for campers of all ages throughout the day. Evening activities included tubing, sandcastle building, street hockey, Kick the Can, wiffle ball, handball, touch rugby, and kickball.
Friday, July 7th started as a warm and clear day. Inter-camp competition included a 13s Ultimate Frisbee tournament at Moose and a 15s Archery tournament and an 11s Baseball tournament at neighboring camps. Some of the competition was cut short by a late afternoon rain shower. Our Junior Bs (eight-and-nine-year olds) enjoyed an afternoon at the Fish Hatchery, followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Meals on Friday were French Toast and bacon for breakfast, meatball subs with assorted veggies for lunch, and for dinner, there was the annual Pig Roast that included pulled pork, grilled corn on the cob, and homemade maple bread. Delicious! Evening activities included tubing, a Pontoon Boat cruise and swim, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, water lacrosse, card games at the beach, and lawn games. It was the end of a long, hot day, so most of the camp participated in a free swim at the end of the evening to cool off.
Saturday, July 8th, was the departure date for the June-July 2.5-weekers. It was bittersweet for the group, as they were happy to see their families but also sad to leave Moose and all of their camp friends. Saturday was also Baker Valley Tournament Day. There was 10 and under basketball and soccer, 12 and under basketball and baseball, 13 and under baseball and soccer, and 15 and under Ultimate frisbee and basketball. Those campers who did not want to participate in the competition had their choice of a wide range of activity areas. Meals on Saturday were pancakes and sausage for breakfast, assorted sandwiches for lunch, and homemade deep dish pizza for dinner. In the evening on Saturday, we had the postponed Fourth of July activities that included a dance on the basketball courts with our neighboring girls camp, followed by fireworks at the beach. It was a spectacular display and well worth the wait!
July 9th was another “Lazy Sunday,” complete with extra sleep time and brunch of eggs, homemade cinnamon rolls, bacon, sausage, hot chocolate, a yogurt/fruit/granola bar, and assorted cereals. After brunch, many campers strolled down the hill in their pajamas and played lawn games, card games, read at the beach, or just hung out and chatted with friends. We welcomed our 2-week campers on Sunday who quickly jumped into activities and were introduced to cabin mates, counselors, and other new camp friends. After a lunch of teriyaki chicken, rice, and carrots, the whole camp participated in the much anticipated Carnival. There were four massive inflatables (a waterslide, velcro wall, an obstacle course, and oversized target throw). Booths included duck matching, sno-cones, toilet roll toss, face painting, and an improv challenge, with candy and Rice Krispie treats for prizes. In the evening, the campers enjoyed a cookout for dinner, and then viewed the annual USA vs. the World counselor soccer game. The Senior Hill cabin clean-up winners from the past two weeks (3 cabins overall!) enjoyed a night at the Fairlee Drive-In viewing the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. And the Junior Hill cabin clean-up winners from the past two weeks (also 3 cabins) watched a movie in the Junior Hill Rec Hall. All were treated to candy and soda. Kudos to the campers for their excellent efforts in cabin clean-up these past few weeks.
Monday saw intermittent rain but we were able to get in our two morning periods that included stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, swimming, pick-up soccer, Ultimate frisbee, flag football, and more fun with the inflatables. In the afternoon, there were both indoor and outdoor options, including more fun on the inflatables, and Bingo, trivia, Lego building, Arts & Crafts, Woodworking, board games, Four Square, a rope extravaganza with the BLP staff, and a Presidency card tournament indoors. Meals on Monday were French Toast and ham for breakfast, chicken patties with tater tots for lunch, and macaroni and cheese with rolls for dinner. A highlight of our post meal community time was when one of our campers led us in a “sun chant.” In the evening, there was a “special feature” movie night for both Junior and Senior Hills, a nice treat after a very wet (but super fun!) day.
As always, thanks for sharing your boys with us.
Bill, Sabina, Ken, Ingrid, Todd, Preston, Jake, Quinn, and Charlotte