North Country Camps Newsletter
Whippoorwill and Lincoln
July 4, 2012
Arrival at camp!
Together with those who arrived by car, girls and boys headed off to choose beds in their cabins, check in with nurses, Brandy and Mary, and take an inaugural swim in the lake. Workgroupers helped their Birdie and Cub buddies settle in, unpack and figure out where everything goes. For dinner we enjoyed a delicious meal of baked chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables, before heading to the Nest at Whip and the Lodge at Lincoln for introductions and songs at our first council fires.
Weather these first ten days has run the gamut from chilly and showery to hot and sunny, fortunately in that order. Spirits are high, health excellent.
At WHIPPOORWILL during the first full day, section groups met to discuss various important matters such as camp boundaries and customs, and each group agreed upon how to come together as a community. In addition girls made choices for which morning activities they wished to try during the first week. A huge number of campers completed their swim tests in order to enjoy boating activities, while many others made a great start to this process, undeterred by overcast sky and cool temperatures. We welcomed a batch of freshly hatched chicks to Whippoorwill and girls have been helping take care of them during their free time.
By Tuesday morning we were in full swing, with girls heading to weekly activities. These included Drama, Art (in which campers made memory/camp logs), Swim, Canoe, Sail, Windsurf, Kayak, Biking, Horse riding, Ropes course, Archery and Tennis.
Sailing on Augur Lake
Afternoon choices have shown the range of the creativity we can achieve here at Whippoorwill. There has been the opportunity to try “Squirreling,” which is a new activity where campers can track squirrels and chipmunks, while dressed in green and brown camouflage. The aim is to watch the animals and mimic them, by scurrying around and freezing upon the sighting of a human. Sailors ventured into the west end of the lake, bundled up for polar bear sailing during the first cold days, and practiced flipping their boats when our heat wave appeared later in the week. Artists made tissue paper stained glass, worked on needle felting projects and created nature landscapes from items found around camp, such as pinecones and needles. We’ve also taken advantage of the lake’s cool water, by offering splash ball fun, Nutty craft and a swim to Whip Island, in addition to kayak water polo. A Jacques Cousteau lake exploration took place with Dr. Nancy, collecting water samples to monitor the local lake environment as part of an Adirondack lake assessment program.
Campers got started on their trip experiences from pretty much the first day of camp – some taking a hike up our local mountain, Pinnacle, on the first full day, with Megan and Nikki. Others joined Robin on a hike up Skyline, which boasts views from the far end of the lake. Birdies and Juniors headed out to learn about setting up a campsite and cooking over a fire, during their cookouts on Birdie beach and at our Junior lean-to. A group of paddlers enjoyed burgers on a Lake Champlain beach, after paddling down the Ausable River.
Our first big event of the season was the Pioneer Meet, which typically pays tribute to Independence Day. Two teams of campers dressed themselves in either blue or red colors, and took part in events such as the nail drive, obstacle race, water relay, tent pitch relay, dress the Birdie, pudding eating, fire building and, of course, the egg toss – one of the most nail biting events.
Lining up the Whips and Wills for the start of the bucket brigade
Despite Mother Nature’s decision to test our enthusiasm with two days of cool temperatures and rain at the start of the season, LINCOLN boys dove right into activities like sailing, swimming, baseball, horseback riding and archery. Many boys were able to check off their basic swim tests during those first days, which freed them up to enjoy boating activities like canoeing and kayaking. We continue to get regular announcements that another boy has swum across the lake, thus completing his tests. Every boy receives applause from the whole camp and you can see the thrill of accomplishment in their faces.
Plenty of boys have been out on the baseball field, practicing for our games this week, and the tennis courts and archery range have been popular spots as well.
Caring for the week-old chicks
A dozen just-hatched chicks have found a home at Lincoln, to be fed and cared for by young naturalists from the Cubs Den, most of whom have never gently held a fuzzy little chicken before.
A mid-week switch in the weather has since driven much activity down towards the waterfront. Where else would you want to be when it’s 88 degrees and sunny?!
Trips are a big part of our lives here at camp and we don’t waste any time getting out to enjoy the local mountains, lakes and rivers. In one short week we’ve had groups out to climb Pinnacle, Poko, Roostercomb, Jay, Street, Nye, Cascade and Porter. Another group paddled the Ausable River on Wednesday, to cook burgers on the beach and then travel down Lake Champlain for a few miles. With a group of experienced sailors, Andrew and Alex skippered the 25-foot Orion on its first Champlain shakedown cruise of the season. The boys have returned from all of these trips with smiles, laughter and adventurous stories to share. The pace will not let up at all next week, with many hikes, paddles and overnight camping trips planned! When Emily announces new trips to sign up for, she seems to disappear behind an eager throng of boys, wanting a place in the group.
Weekends are a time for special activities at camp and this past weekend was certainly no exception. On Sunday morning an industrious crew of counselors, under the direction of our good friend Art, cooked “Eggs Amler” for breakfast, a fitting way to store energy for the annual Pioneer Meet that was to follow. The red team and the blue team spent all morning in friendly competition. Since it is a “pioneer meet,” the events were a bit on the old fashioned side. We started with the traditional bucket brigade, where the boys race water up the hill from the lake to put out an imaginary fire near the lodge. After, we moved to the field for tug of war, human pyramids, egg tossing, fire building, obstacle races and a turkey shoot. Cross cut sawing, nail driving and log toss followed. With the teams nearly tied, it came down to the pony express, a relay race from Whippoorwill back to Lincoln. In the end, both teams had a great time and displayed great sportsmanship. They also worked up quite an appetite, just in time for a big turkey dinner (for lunch)!
The energy level is high here at Camp Lincoln. There’s so much more to do in the coming weeks; trips will continue to venture deeper into the Adirondack wilderness. Activities will continue as well, with more and more boys trying things they’ve never experienced before. And, of course, we’ll sprinkle in special events for good measure.
Choosing afternoon activities in the Lincoln dining hall
On our first Saturday evening BOYS and GIRLS met together to enjoy our traditional burger cookout. It was great to see brothers and sisters checking in and sharing stories of their adventures so far. The day wrapped up with mixed activities – kickball for the Cubs and Birdies, initiative games for the Juniors from each camp and a dance in the Red Barn for the Seniors. A small team of Workgroupers climbed Poko with Doug and Jess on Friday, to work on a trail project for the Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine. And girls and boys from the Work Group, under David’s leadership, initiated this season’s construction project by moving the Lincoln dishwashers’ cabin down hill to make room for an expansion of the tripcraft cabin. In the process they learned to use surveyor’s tools.
We wanted to draw your attention to our electronics policy, which is slightly altered this year. We were much more specific in our allowance of iPods than in previous years and had asked that iPods be restricted to either the ‘shuffle’ or ‘Nano’ variety. Many of you have noticed this change and been diligent about sending these types of iPods, but for some the policy has escaped your attention in the busyness of preparing for camp. We are willing either to collect any other forms of iPod and hold onto them until Parents’ visiting day, or to have campers delete any apps, games or video footage that their iPods may contain.
Thank you so much for your cooperation!
Kate and Doug