Saturday, July 30, 2011

Air Band

I stood in line behind these crazy legs waiting to get into the Rec. Hall last evening. Everyone was so excited because the night's evening program was 'Air Band', the favorite of the entire camp. Evening program runs the gamut from rough-and-tumble games like 'Capture the Flag' to more quiet movie nights and the summer talent show. But everyone waits and plans for 'Air Band' night. Each cabin puts together a lip-sync routine, dance or skit to music. Believe it or not, they actually used music I recognized! Well, some of it anyway. The older girls, having been here past summers, come to camp prepared with things to make crazy outfits with like these wild knee socks and colorful tights. The younger girls will come better prepared next summer. Everyone had so much fun and camp continued to ring with the sounds of squeals, laughter, singing and screaming well after flag lowering.
The guys in this video are Tom from maintenance and Alex who is from Russia and works in the kitchen. I can only imagine what tales he may be taking back to Russia after this experience in American pop culture!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Water Bottles

It's been so hot and humid for several days in a row. Kate and I have made daily Gatorade rounds every afternoon to assure that campers are replacing electrolytes. And they are required to carry their water bottles...and drink from every activity. These, tho, are missing in action and sitting on the lost and found shelf in the office. More than one camper isn't getting enough water!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Medallion Rider

My favorite awards ceremony so far this year took place at the last flag-raising of the first session. As a total surprise the entire riding staff rode down to the Ampitheatre before the flag was raised to present the Medallion Rider awards. This has not been given since 2007, so it was a really big deal. Medallion Rider recognizes excellence in riding and excellence in attitude as well as a superior level of didactic knowledge about riding. Two campers were recognized...

Each girl received a special tee shirt and certificate acknowledging her accomplishment. Their names will also be engraved on the permanet Medallion Rider board mounted in the Dining Hall.
The girls then mounted their horses and rode off...not to applause that might have spooked their horses, but rather to the fluttering of over 200 Red Pine camper hands!

Monday, July 18, 2011

American vs. English

About half of the Red Pine Camp riding staff is from the United Kingdom...England and Scotland. One of my favorite Counselor Night skits was this one. The U.K. girls are explaining to the American 'campers' how to get dressed for riding trousers and jumpers, not pants and sweatshirts! Turn on the tap to water the horses, not the faucet. The 'campers' were very confused by the English words that they understood in a whole different way than the British girls did. Thank goodness for Fi who held up the translation! After spending the winter comparing American English with English English, I certainly understood everyone's confusion!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Camp That Built Me

One of the end of the session traditions at camp is Banquet. The Leadership girls (oldest campers who want to come back as counselors-in-training) do all the planning and decorating for a formal dinner attended by all campers and staff. The theme they chose is "The Camp That Built Me." This camp experience is so important to these girls. They learn so much about themselves and about living with others. Life-time friendships are formed and skills are perfected that will help them all their lives. It was so much fun to see everyone dressed up with hair curled and make-up on. As an explanation, the man you see in this photo is Tom, one of the maintenance guys. He also teaches fishing to campers
Counselors sing special songs to the campers...
Special awards are given. For campers/counselors who have spent a total of 32 weeks at Red Pine, a blanket is awarded.
This is Christy receiving her blanket from her older sister, Ally, her younger sister, Juliana, and her best friend, Annie. They read a long poem that they wrote for her telling how much fun they've had being campers and sisters together, how much they appreciate all her wonderful qualities and how much they love her. I don't think there was a dry eye in the crowd. What a wonderful experience to be publically affirmed by those who love you most!
Red Pine girls who have been at camp 10 years receive a special wooden pine tree plaque inscribed with a poem. The Leadership girls did a fabulous job putting together a memorable night for all of us.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Counselor Skits

As the first four week session of camp winds down, there are lots of fun events. Counselor Skit Night is one of the campers' favorites...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Connie's Cottage

Red Pine Camp Director, Connie Scholfield, is so generous to let staff use her cottage on the lake on their days off. She has a TV, high-speed internet, and best of all, a deck overlooking the lake. That's where I spent a perfect afternoon last week, enjoying this view, reading, journalling, snoozing while the speed boats zoomed by pulling skiers and tubers. The occasinal jet ski livened things up as well. The weather was fabulous and wonder of all...there were no bugs. Annie, a camp counselor pointed to a string of sailboats across the lake."Those are Red Pine Camp sailors!" she exclaimed. "They're competing in a regatta against another camp on that side of the lake." As we watched, the line of sailboats stretched out, moving very slowly because of the lack of any wind. It was a perfectly lazy way to spend a summer afternoon!.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nurse's Station

Good-bye white uniforms, scrubs, chart racks, and physician's orders. Hello nursing in the woods and the world's most comfortable nurse's station.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Soap Dipping

Soap dipping...a Northwoods term meaning to bathe au naturelle. Not as in skinny dipping, but as in bathing in a crystal-clear lake in your swim suit using biodegradeable soap and shampoo. This is the way that not only Red Pine campers clean up, but also everyone who vacations on the beautiful lakes of northern Wisconsin. Who knew?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sunny Days and Starry Nights

This weekend is Parent's Weekend, and Saturday found camp teeming with parents visiting their daughters. This big display decorated the area in front of the office. While the majority of activities at camp are sports related...swimming, sailing, tennis, riding, archery, soccer, etc. there are other fun things that campers can sign up for. There is dance and drama. There is a class for girls who love gymnastics. There is even a yoga class. The arts and crafts class is a popular one. The girls in that class are in the process of putting together a portfolio of their work. This is an example for some of their work.
Red Pine Camp offers so many ways for girls to learn and stretch their horizons!

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Bell-Ringing 4th

This is the bell that calls Red Pine campers to meals, announces activities, and sounds warnings for bad weather. On this day, let's ring it instead to celebrate our country's birthday!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Buddy Board

How do you keep track of dozens of girls swimming at the waterfront? By using the Buddy Board. At the beginning of camp, each camper is assigned a Buddy number. A metal tag with her number and her name written on tape, stuck to the back hangs on the Buddy Board. The girls file into the waterfront one by one, each taking her Buddy number and moving to a hook at the bottom of the board. The hooks are arranged by skill level. Counselors can tell at a glance how many girls are in the water and if they inspect each tag, they know who is swimming. When the campers leave the water, they again file out one by one and are required to move their Buddy tag up to the top. Again, counselors can quickly see if everyone is out of the water. If there is a tag left below, the lifeguards quickly begin to scan and search the water. Another use for the Buddy number....when it's time to open the candy store, a number is drawn out of a hat. The girl whose Buddy number matches that one gets to be first in line!