As we wrap up the second week, this Sunday we had our longest running “big event” at camp – the Pioneer Meet!  The Pioneer Meet splits all campers into two teams, pitting Red versus Blue in a one-day competition of outdoor adventure and skill.  Pete Gucker, long-time director of North Country Camps, noted that “Pioneer Meet  has been running since before World War II, featuring frontier-type events such as fire building, two-person cross-cut saw, nail driving, obstacle races, and the all-camp bucket brigade - the old-fashioned way of fighting fires!” 

At Whippoorwill, the 2022 Workgroup (our eldest campers) woke the other campers with pots and pans, as is tradition, starting the day with a raucous song of “Rise and Shine!” followed by reading poems on the steps of the Nest.  After breakfast, the campers all gathered at the Whip Barn to start the bucket brigade.  This year, three energetic emcees acted out a comedic skit of trying to “smoke out a bat” from the barn with a campfire, which of course runs rampant, and the campers must start the bucket brigade! All campers line up from Birdie Beach to the Barn, and the first team to haul 15 buckets of water to the barn wins.  

At Lincoln, the emcees performed multiple skits at meals, designing a battle of wits to decide who may stay on North Country Camp land – this sacred ground must be held by Blue!  No Red! And, as envisioned, all of Lincoln erupts in Red! Red! Blue! Blue! amidst stomps and shouts of joyous cacophony.  The day also begins with a Bucket Brigade, and while Lincoln shares most of the same events, a few are unique to Lincoln like the “skin the snake” and the final event – the Pony Express! History fans will remember the Pony Express as a fast delivery mail system of the frontier in the mid-19th century (short lived once the telegraph was invented), adapted to NCC as a 1-mile running relay race of 8 vs. 8, carrying  a bandana from Whippoorwill all the way to Lincoln.

The day is one of joyous cheering, chanting, and encouraging campers. Each camper competes in at least 3 events, so please consider mentioning it in your next letter; ask your camper what events they were in, who was included in their event, and what their favorite part of the day was!  We here at NCC hope that you have similar wonderful memories from your youth, surrounded by friends cheering each other on and laughing and smiling in good sportsmanship and camaraderie.  Scroll through the pictures below to see some of our favorite images of the 2022 Pioneer Meet, interspersed with pictures from the past – you might even see someone you recognize!