2024 Weekly letter home #2

July 5, 2024 Dear Moosilauke Families, It is our pleasure to send this second weekly letter home from Moosilauke…

2024 Weekly letter home #2

July 5, 2024 Dear Moosilauke Families, It is our pleasure to send this second weekly letter home from Moosilauke…

July 5, 2024

Dear Moosilauke Families,

It is our pleasure to send this second weekly letter home from Moosilauke during summer 2024. As is our routine, in the opening we will highlight an issue related to helping boys become their best selves followed by a chronicle of the daily happenings at camp.

After a recent breakfast, Bill started our announcement time by reading this famous quote from Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  

He then read this excerpt from Roger Federer’s recent commencement speech at Dartmouth: “In tennis, perfection is impossible…In the 1,526 singles matches I played in my career, I won almost 80% of those matches…Now, I have a question for all of you…what percentage of the points do you think I won in those matches? Only 54%!” Federer went on to state that, “When you lose every second point you learn not to dwell on every shot…This mindset is really crucial, because it frees you to fully commit to the next point with intensity, clarity and focus. The truth is in life you’re going to lose. The key is to understand that negative energy is wasted energy.”

Bill then tied these quotes together by talking about the importance of embracing a growth mindset where you recognize that 1) your skills and intellect were not given to you on the day you were born, and 2) that working hard and smart and embracing challenge and failure make all the difference relative to success, well-being, and the development of performance character.  He closed with this call to action: “Everyday at camp take on at least one activity or experience that makes you nervous and that you know will be challenging. If you do this, by the end of the summer you will have learned skills you thought impossible, you will have gone on trips that once scared you, you will have played on teams in sports that you don’t play at home–and you will be happier and more resilient in the process!”

And now, the daily events from Friday, June 28 through Thursday, July 4th.

Friday was busy, busy, busy. Our Counselors-in-Training spent the day continuing their Lifeguard Certification course. Another group of Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) departed early for an overnight canoeing adventure on Lake Umbagog and the Androscoggin River. Although the weather was sunny and warm, there was a stiff wind at their back for the first day’s paddle, so the intrepid boys rigged a sail with a tarp which allowed them to cruise to their campsite.  Once at their wilderness site they set up their tents, fished and swam and caught frogs, and then cooked steaks and cheeseburgers over their camp fire. A highlight of the second day was when the boys paddled by a Moose! Then came the real highlight: the running of the Class II rapids in Errol. The trip ended in grand fashion with the traditional plunges off the Jumping Bridge. (See the video montage on both Instagram and Facebook for all the action.)

Also on Friday, a group of Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) ventured out to the Bradford Golf Club for a day of golf, followed by lunch at a local deli. In the evening, the whole group of Senior A1s had a fluff trip to the Fairlee Drive-In movie theater to view “Inside Out 2” and munch on all-you-can-eat takeout pizza and movie snacks. The Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) had their turn for an afternoon of jumping and swimming in the natural waterslides of Baker Cliffs, followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Inter-camp competition continued with a 10s baseball game at Moose, a 12s soccer tournament at Moose, and a 15s pickleball tournament at a neighboring camp. Finally, there was an all-ages bike trip. In the evening, there was a crayfish/frog hunt, tag games, wiffleball, street hockey, kickball, knockout tournament, and one cabin had waterskiing.

Saturday started clear so we were able to hold all our morning Baker Valley Tournament games. They included 10s basketball and 13s baseball at a neighboring camp and 15s ultimate frisbee at Moosilauke. Given the cold and wet weather in the afternoon on Saturday the CITs completed their lifeguard training at a local indoor pool. The good news: they all passed with flying colors. The weather also caused the Baker Valley Tournament afternoon events to be postponed and all camp activities to be moved indoors. There were board games and trivia in the dining hall and a viewing of the world cup soccer game in the Junior Hill rec hall. Campers could also play foosball, ping pong, and read in the rec hall. A brief power outage had us swap Pizza and Cabin Cookout dinners so on Saturday the staff grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for dinner. As is our tradition, Saturday night was movie night. The Junior Hill campers viewed “The Incredibles” and the Senior Hill campers watched “Spiderman.” Fresh popcorn was served by our CITs and Junior Counselor. For those who preferred not to watch the movies, there were board games and an art contest in the dining hall. 

Sunday, the skies cleared just in time for a relaxing Lazy Sunday morning. The campers had the option to sleep in a little bit later than usual. Brunch was served from 8:30am until 9:45 am and it included scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, donuts, pastries, and cinnamon rolls.  After breakfast, campers headed down the hill to play lawn games, ping pong, board games, read, play pick-up basketball, or just lounge on the beach catching up with friends. After lunch, the CITs and Junior Counselors organized our annual Capture the Flag event. In honor of our 120th year, the teams were the Vince Lombardis (a head counselor at Moosilauke in the 1950s and one of the most famous NFL football coaches of all time) vs. The Benton MacKayes (a counselor at Moose in 1904 who went on to found the Appalachian Trail). In the evening, the camp feasted on homemade pizza. Our cabin clean-up winners for the week (4 cabins!) headed to the Fairlee Drive-In for a viewing of “Inside Out 2” and were treated with snacks and refreshments while there. The youngest campers (the Junior Bs, eight-and-nine-year-olds) hiked out to our lakeside campsite, the Point, for S’mores, swimming, and fishing. The remaining age groups had dodgeball and street hockey and two cabins went water skiing. 

On Monday, the dry and sunny weather continued. Early in the morning, two groups departed Camp for overnight hiking adventures. One group of Senior A1s (fifteen-year-olds) headed out to hike the Mahoosuc Range, a three-day, two-night capstone hiking trip. (See Instagram to view video highlights of the trip.). 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 group handled it with enthusiasm and positivity. 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. They then took on the Mahoosuc Arm, a steep and challenging climb to the highest point of the day and ended the day swimming at the Speck Pond Campsite. 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 feast before returning to camp. 

A group of Senior A2s (fourteen-year-olds) left early Monday for a three-day, two-night hiking trip that included the summiting of Mt. Washington. They first hiked Lowe’s Path for 3 miles 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. On Day 2, they hiked 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.  All-in-all they hiked 8 miles on day two. On the third day they quickly descended because an all-you-can-eat pizza feast was waiting for them on the way back to camp. In total, they hiked over 18 miles.   

A group of Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) spent Monday morning on a mountain biking adventure on the roads and trails within the vicinity of Camp. There was also an all-ages mountain biking adventure to the 70 miles of MTB trails that are part of the Green Woodlands compound.  There was also an all-ages Climbing Trip to the Rumney Crags. Inter-camp competition continued with a 12s tennis tournament and an all-ages track meet at neighboring camps. Finally, a group of Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) traveled out to our lakeside campsite, the Point, for an overnight that included dinner and S’mores over a campfire, fishing, swimming, and ultimately slumbering in our hand built log cabin. For those on campus in the evening, there was sandcastle building, tennis, ping pong, Frisbee golf, flag football, Ultimate frisbee, trivia for prizes, and one age group had waterskiing.

Tuesday the weather was perfect: warm, sunny skies, and very little wind.  Another group of Inter Bs (eleven-year-olds) had their turn biking to the end of the lake while a group of more experienced bikers spent a few hours tackling the hills and berms at Green Woodlands. A group of Junior As (ten-year-olds) departed in the afternoon for their own overnight camping experience at our Pioneer Camp, a wilderness campsite near Mt. Moosilauke on the Baker River.  The boys had a blast swimming and fishing, cooking their food over a campfire, and sleeping in tents atop our tent platform. The Junior Bs (eight-and-nine-year-olds), along with half of the Senior Bs (thirteen-year-olds) enjoyed an afternoon at Baker Cliffs, followed by an ice cream treat at Moose Scoops. Inter-camp competition continued with 11s hockey and 13s basketball tournaments at neighboring camps. In the evening, there was World Cup Soccer, tennis, kickball, knockout, handball, ping pong and lawn games, and two cabins had tubing. 

On Wednesday, the weather gods continued to treat us well and brought another sunny, dry, and clear day. Our courageous hikers from Mahoosuc and Mt. Washington returned mid-afternoon raving about their trip and relishing in a quiet afternoon of rest and re-entry to camp. Another group of Junior As (ten-year-olds) departed in the afternoon for an overnight camping adventure at the Pioneer Camp. The Inter As (twelve-year-olds) spent the day canoeing 8 miles on the Connecticut River from Lyme to Hanover, NH. They had a beautiful day on the river, stopping for lunch and a quick dip during the mid-way point, then were treated to an all-you-can-eat pizza dinner with a viewing of the movie “Boss Baby 2” in the Junior Hill rec hall in the evening. Also in the evening, Port shared another tall tale around a campfire on the beach with a large audience of campers. Two cabins had tubing and there were open areas of ping pong/lawn games, pick-up basketball, tennis, and swimming.

Thursday, we happily welcomed the Fourth of July! Always a special day of events and festivities at Moose! The campers and staff enjoyed an extra half hour of sleep and were awoken by celebratory, patriotic music on the hill. In the morning, there were sign-ups, so campers had their choice of activities in the water or on land. In the afternoon, we had special Fourth of July activities that pitted the “Stars” vs. the “Stripes.” Favorite activities included Liberties and Statues, Slip-n-Slide Kickball, Boston Tea Party, the Gauntlet, and a water obstacle course. For many the highlight of the day was the Sno-Cones dispensed by the CITs and JC. In the evening, we hosted our neighboring girls camp for a cookout on the field and a dance on the basketball courts. The highlight of the day was an awesome display of fireworks over the lake which the campers watched in awe from the Moosilauke beach. (See video reel on Instagram and Facebook). 

Breakfast meal highlights this week included waffles and bacon, muffins and scrambled eggs, egg sandwiches with hashbrowns, and French toast and sausage. Lunch faves included chicken tenders and waffle fries, Philadelphia cheese steak sandwiches and French fries, chicken patties with tater tots, chicken tenders and waffle fries, and meatball subs with French fries. Of course there was also a full salad bar and soup option at every lunch. Finally, dinner favorites included Taco night, homemade pizza, hamburgers/hot dogs/veggie burgers with chips, and of course “Kenny cookout” that included grilled chicken and sausages, grilled veggies, potato salad, and homemade cornbread. We also serve the boys daily snacks in the mornings and afternoons of granola bars, apples, strawberries, watermelon, homemade chocolate chip cookies, fruit snacks, mini-muffins, pretzels and potato chips. 

That’s all for now. Summer the way it ought to be!  As always, please do not hesitate to contact Bill or Sabina should you have any questions.

Happy Summer!

Bill, Sabina, Ken, Ingrid, Todd, Preston, Jake, Quinn, and Charlotte