We left Chicago 3 minutes ahead of schedule with over 100 kids excited to get to camp. As I write this I am on the bus driving through a heavy rain but I'm sure its sunny at camp. (Well, I've arrived and it was pouring rain!. Sue had it totally under control and the kids debarked the buses to counselors holding tarps and a procession began into Mike Hall. Very exciting and loud!!)
And as I write this 11 staff members are at the Minneapolis airport meeting campers arriving by planes from all over the United States and a few International cities. However, as you read this we have all arrived safely at camp. (Well, actually, one camper from Kansas City is yet to arrive) I can visualize the crazy scene that will have taken place around the flag pole(actually it took place in Mike Hall) where I will have announced cabin assignments to much enthusiasm and cheering from our counselors.(The place was NUTS!!)
The kids have unpacked and new campers have been given a tour of camp.(Well, actually the baggage is still in the truck because of the rain and we'll unload after dinner. The tour will take place later also. It looks like the rain will have passed by dinner time) I imagine that most kids will be playing in some kind of activity and learning the names of all the kids in their cabin.
Dinner this evening will be burgers, fries, jello, salad and the ever present peanut butter and jelly. There will be vegetarian burgers available for those that prefer, and brownies for dessert. The pre-camp food has been delicious and I believe your boys will be well fed this summer.
More outside activity this evening followed by the traditional candlelight ceremony. Led by the counselors the kids will share their goals and expectations for the summer. This will be the first of many cabin discussions that are an important part of the "team" building goals that we have for each cabin group.
Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as they get checked out by the medical staff, take a swim test, choose their 1st weeks schedule and find time to play several games of dodge ball and capture the flag. Tomorrow evenings program is the staff talent show.
Let me tell you about our staff. In a word, they are awesome!!
We have spent the last week training our guys and we have really enjoyed spending time with them. Many of them are returnees from previous years so we already knew their talents. Our new staff members have brought additional musical skills, humor and they just seem to be the nicest guys. Everyone is getting along so well that the week has been an absolute pleasure! And the pre camp staff talent show demonstrated that this group has real talent. The kids will see it tomorrow.
And these guys provide us with so many laughs in such creative ways. After 6 days of training they were given time off Saturday afternoon and evening. Sue and I have learned that the stories the day after the first night off are entertaining. This year was no different. Our CIT's are 16 year old former campers and this time off is for many the first time they have done their own laundry. Our CIT Director, Jeff McCormack actually wrote out a 10 step instruction manual on doing laundry. Not everyone paid attention. We heard about Benji Friedman trying to stuff his bed sheet into the lint compartment of the dryer. We heard about Jeremy Schmetterer who washed his clothes but forgot to put in the laundry detergent. But the best story of the night belongs to new staff member John Sheehan. After laundry and after dinner about 40 guys decided to go watch Toy Story at the movies. Well, wouldn't you know that a group of Birch Trail (nearby Girls Camp) staff members also decided to go to the movies. So John's brilliant idea was to sit in every other seat encouraging some inner camp socialization. The ladies walked in, looked around and walked to the front of the theater and watched the entire movie with stiff necks. And we haven't even started yet!
Aw... Summer camp!! I guarantee that your kids will have a fantastic summer. Our staff is committed to insure a fantastic experience and after spending the week with them I am positive they will be successful.
Our overnight trip program begins with a roar on Wednesday when our oldest campers leave for 9 days on their Canadian camping trip. Throughout their camping careers they have taken cabin trips with their bunk mates ranging in length from 2 days when they were younger and then went on 3 and 4 day trips before the Canadian adventure this summer. We'll tell you more as the summer progresses.
LEB'S RAMBLINGS&PICTURES ON LINE
This is the first of a series of Letters that I call "Leb's Ramblings". They will be posted on the website at www.northstarcamp.com in the The Lodge under the Media Room and called Leb's Ramblings. The Pictures are in the same area but appropriately called Summer Pictures.
On a regular basis we will be posting pictures on line. Pictures will be available as soon as possible but perhaps not until Tuesday because of the weather.