Our Busy Campers
Yesterday was one of those Agawak days that I wish would never end. The sky was flawless, the weather peaking at 80 degrees. As I walked our grounds, I saw your children everywhere, smiling in the sunshine, and savoring each moment of a day at summer camp.
When I went to Agawak in the 1960s, we had about dozen or so activities, including trampoline, sailing, water-skiing, swimming, riflery, archery, fencing, tennis and golf. (Yes! Fencing!)
Today, your daughters have 48 activities to choose from each Sunday afternoon, when there is a sign-up session for the girls to choose the schedule they would like for the week. Some cabins like to sign up as a group, though at many activities, like Agalog, our group is populated with girls from many bunks.
This inter-generational pairing of ages gives the older campers an opportunity to develop their mentorship skills.
When I walked around camp yesterday, I looked one way at the tennis courts filled with lasar-fast matches, and the other way at the laughing girls at Tramp-Ball, their ponytails flying with each flip and high bounce. As I made my way down the path to the waterfront, a dozen girls race-walked by, headed out for a hike through our glorious pine woods.
I stopped midway down the path at a sight that has astounded me by its beauty since I was an eight-year-old camper – the glisten of the sun on Blue Lake. Your campers were everywhere, on paddle-boards, in kayaks, jumping off the water-trampoline, on slalom skis expertly crossing the wakes.
I kept walking to the Upper Field where many of your brave daughters were climbing Tango Tower, some for the first time, some for the 20th time. Each one of them howled in exhilaration as they pushed themselves to ascend new heights, this, as the girls on the ground cheered them on.
One thing about Agawak that has never changed – campers have always celebrated each other’s accomplishments. This loving and continual support of their peers not only boosts self-esteem but also builds the courage to try new activities.
Your children are enjoying days that keep them challenged and engaged: They may start the morning making candles and end the day fishing on a pontoon boat, catching rock bass and perch, which they catch and release.
So, that is an overview of a few of my favorite sightings at Agawak on a sunny Tuesday that ended with much-needed rain.
When the downpour stopped, 15 of our campers trekked the short distance to the Teepee for an overnight sleepover with our tripping director Cole, and four other counselors. As they roasted marshmallows for s’mores, they learned how to identify the constellations of stars that shone like little diamonds in the clear, black night. They woke up to an assortment of yummy donuts delivered by Mary.
Our motto at camp is “Full Speed Ahead”, though we know there is real power and solace in just stopping for a while, to gaze at stars and to sit quietly around a campfire.