North Star Camp for Boys

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Canadian Departs & Individual Activities Return!

This morning began with pancakes and bacon, and I was struck by how quiet it was. It wasn't because the kids were still waking up from their "half hour later" of sleep; it was because our oldest campers, Pine Manor, were absent. Yesterday, the 24 men of Pine and Manor made the drive up to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota to begin the camping trip of a lifetime - a 9 day, 8 night canoe and portage trip in the wilderness. It is the culmination of years of cabin trips that begins in J-1 with an overnight trip down the Namekagon River and gets progressively harder and longer each summer as the campers make their way up to Pine Manor. Typically, this trip occurs on the Canadian side of the Boundary Waters, and is reverently known as “The Canadian,” but due to COVID-19 and the border currently being closed, our amazing trip staff spent the past few weeks planning ways to make The Canadian happen on the US side of the Boundary Waters: “The American,” if you will. The night before Pine Manor departed, they came to my house for root beer floats, a pre-Canadian tradition. Staff members who have been on The Canadian previously came to share their advice on how to make the most out of this year's trip and to wish them luck. It's a challenging trip and the Pine Manor guys were experiencing a lot of emotions prior to departing, but the memories they will make and the challenges they'll overcome together as a group will be extremely rewarding. We cannot wait to pick up Pine and Manor a week from today and hear all about their adventures.  

While meal time was a little quieter without Pine Manor leading chants, the rest of camp enjoyed a really beautiful Sunday in the Northwoods. Today was day two of individual schedules. Since we've cleared the COVID-19 cabin quarantine hurdles, we have opened up our schedule to move from cabin-based activities to village-based activities where the kids are able to choose individual schedules based on preference (and travel to activities with other campers from their village). We've already seen some incredible progress in just two days of individual instruction: campers have already completed a bunch of waterski tricks, rockets at rocketry that are fully completed and just need to be spray painted, and the Arm & Hammer has been packed with campers making dream catchers and paracord bracelets.

The night ended with cabin campfires, where everyone made s'mores with their cabin, reflected upon the previous week, and set goals for the upcoming week. It was a perfect sunset with a partially pink sky to round out another jam-packed fun-filled week of camp.

In case you missed it, here is yesterday’s blog post about Covindependence Day: 

Here is the recap video of United Nations Days: 

Today’s Grace: 
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
-Muhammad Ali

Be seated.