North Star Camp for Boys

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Return of Pine Manor

A typical Sunday means there’s one thing that everyone’s always excited about…30 extra minutes to sleep in the morning! We give it to the campers every Sunday, but each Saturday night the chants will begin “Half Hour Later! Half Hour Later!” to coax us into “granting” them the extra sleep (as if we wouldn’t necessarily be doing it anyway.) Well, once again, their cheering won the day, and it turned out especially well timed today as we had a few drizzles this morning that we thankfully got to sleep through most of.  

What the rain did mean was one of the few times we’ve eaten a meal inside this summer. Due to Covid-19 concerns of course, all our meals this year are outside: with each cabin’s picnic table separated from each other, each cabin coming one at a time for handwashing and being served food, and each camper’s mask on everywhere but their own table. And not that the rain was a welcome start to the morning, but it was indeed nice to see our bad-whether meal protocols working so smoothly for breakfast. Keeping the lodge only half full at a time to maintain distancing, half the camp at in a first shift, and half the camp ate in a second shift - sanitizing tables down between them. Each cabin stays dry before coming up to the lodge to wash hands and then being called up individually to pick up food to maintain distance. The kitchen staff truly has been nothing short of amazing in executing these protocols, because for how much extra work it takes to make indoor meals appropriate for social distancing procedures, even with a half hour later start to the day, our activity periods started right on time today after breakfast. And they deserve a ton of credit for helping keep our bubble as safe as it’s been this summer.

And that seems a good place to post this study that came out this week from the University of New South Wales in Australia that I thought I would share with you all. Or more precisely, a video from it, which I’ve found to be a great (and succinct - at 1 minute 49 seconds) visualization of the importance of masks - here at camp and everywhere:

For me, it’s certainly impactful to see how even talking, not just sneezing and coughing, can spread droplets and aerosol without face covering - and conversely how very effective face coverings are! And it’s affirming to know we’re doing all we can for our kids seeing studies like this to maintain our bubble.

And to that point, we did indeed have some people rejoining our bubble this week after spending 10 days in their own isolation out in the wilderness (though of course we still checked all their temperatures coming back in!). I mentioned how on a typical Sunday we look forward to a little extra sleep...Well this Sunday we had something else to look forward to: the return of our eldest campers, Pine Manor from their trek in the Boundary Waters on the Minnesota-Ontario border. We were overjoyed to have them back from this capstone experience after years of cabin trips leading up to it. Tired, with some trail dirt still on them, and certainly some rather ripe clothing to be sent to the wash - but with a belly full of celebratory pizza - they showed up just in time for the rest of camp eating dinner.  And then, naturally, they promptly headed off for a well deserved rest. Just kidding. They instead led the entire camp in cheers for the next 15 minutes straight! Whooping and hollering like men who came out of the woods deserve.

It’s tremendous to have them back safe and sound in our bubble. And it’s equally tremendous to have their personalities, their leadership, and their enthusiasm back at camp once again - really driving the energy of the camper population. It’s a great group of kids, and we’re all the better for their return. Good to have everyone back together again!

Today’s Grace:
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Be seated.