As they say, “that’s a wrap”! Camp Skylemar 2012 was the greatest we can remember. Thanks to each of you for making it happen.
See you next year!
As they say, “that’s a wrap”! Camp Skylemar 2012 was the greatest we can remember. Thanks to each of you for making it happen.
See you next year!
The closest Color War in Skylemar history. By lunch, Gray finally had the lead, but only by half a point.
Then came the most important and most revered part of the entire five day competition. TUGS.
3:30 pm. Red team “chains it up” at the tennis court. Gray team takes the “Braveheart” approach at the hockey rink.
3:45 pm. Each team roars down to the Fred Pierce Field where a thick, brawny rope awaits. This rope is only used one day out of 364 others.
In the center of this hefty rope are two flags: one red, one gray. When the flags cross the white line, the winner is determined.
When called, each division takes their places. Barefoot and shirtless (which is supposed to make you stronger), each young man looks more strapping and dedicated than ever.
“Tuggers take the rope!” Shep announces. George blows the whistle, and….
PULL! THEY PULL LIKE NEVER BEFORE!
Every ounce of their being goes into pulling that rope. Muscles bulge. Faces cringe. “PULL!” cheers the crowd.
It’s two out of three. Gray needs three tugs and Red needs four.
Gray is ecstatic! Happier than they’ve ever been in their entire lives! They won!!
Red. Devastation. Many drop to the ground in tears. They wanted to win so badly. They tried so hard.
Then the best part happens. Red and Gray join together in the center, and embrace. Captains are raised on the shoulders of their Lieutenants. They come together in a gripping hug.
All head down to the magical waters of Trickey Pond. These waters are practically medicinal, for when you jump in, the competition washes away. Skylemar is one!
Later that night, the Captains exchange shirts, and wear each other’s colors. Carrying torches, they lead the way from Bunk 1 to the Waterfront, with every cabin following in silent procession. 300 people, heading down the birch lined path, for the most beautiful tradition that Skylemar beholds.
At the lake, torches line the walkway. A giant bonfire roars in colors of the rainbow, thanks to Rich’s wizardry. Skylemar songs are faintly heard from across the pond.
A moment of silence is given in gratitude to those who send us to Skylemar. These are the ones we love, and we wish they could be a part of this special evening.
The Captains address the camp. Take advantage of every moment, they advise. Be grateful to be at Camp Skylemar.
Each person, young and old, gets to light a Wishing Boat. Place the boat in the water, make a wish for someone other than yourself, and legend holds that your wish just might come true. Arleen and Shep walk to the end of the dock, and light a flame on the Skylemar canoe. A wish is made on behalf of all at Skylemar and all at home, and the boat is set free.
We sing “Skylemar You’ll Linger”, and head up the hill for bunk campfires. Pizza and smores, plus the last official night together as a cabin. A beautiful and memorable evening.
Color War 2012, like every other for the past 64 years, has had its share of last-second finishes, spectacular plays, comeback victories and gut-wrenching losses. Sometimes the difference between the two teams is just a matter of getting the breaks and a few good bounces here and there.
Today, the tide seemed to shift a bit, and Red, which held a commanding lead as the sun came up on Day 4, suddenly found itself coming up a bit short in a day filled with close contests. One spectacular goal by the Red Stars with 4 seconds left in overtime hockey this afternoon went their way. But Gray came roaring back with wins today in 13 of 18 events on the fields and courts.
Red’s lead had been more than cut in half, and when it was announced that Gray had also won the all-camp archery competition as well, the momentum had clearly been turned in Gray’s favor. Should they win the night, Gray will have completed one of the more dramatic turnarounds in recent memory.
Songs & Cheers. It’s the only non-athletic component to Color War. And it’s worth more points than a half day of sports.
JC’s and Sky II campers of each team write five full songs, which they must teach to the kids. Categories are Team Cheer, Camp Cheer, Old Camp Song, Team Fight Song and Original Camp Song. They also need to put a show together called the “Production Number”.
Trick is they only have about four hours overall to teach the words and choreography. Every one of the 88 team members must be up on the stage the whole time, which is a feat unto itself. Keeping the kids attentive in practices is incredibly challenging, and those young men in charge have a lot to be proud of.
As determined by a coin toss, Gray went first. Their songs were excellent. Solos by the brothers Alex and BSuds, as well as Alex and Jack K, were perfect. The Production Number was “Mama Mia”. Awesome solos by Sam K, Shopo and Rayshon.
Red was also outstanding. Josh B was incredible on the piano playing “Skylemar You’ll Linger”, in which Dylan and Tyler M had a solo. Sam R in Bunk 18 wrote one of the songs. He also played the guitar. Production Number was “Hercules.” Really great solos in this one by William B, Dylan V, Bloomie, Blake, Jack L, Chaz M and Charvez.
What do we do about the female parts in a play or skit? The guys put on a wig and a dress and…bam. They turn into very unattractive girls. Uggggg. Not the least bit good looking, but it gets the point across.
Turns out, Gray had the edge this evening as well.
After four exhilarating, emotional days of Color War, only 1 point separates the teams. Tomorrow’s schedule — morning activities, and afternoon tugs-of-war to decided it all!
Some camps have “Color Wars”, but at Skylemar it’s COLOR WAR. To hear someone put an “s” on the end of the second word gets the boys snickering. It’s sort of like calling the university “John Hopkins”, and forgetting the “s” on the end of “Johns”.
Ours is described by the boys as “intense”, and like no other. They say you need to be a part of it to understand. When you’re here, adults can feel what they’re talking about. Every single boy, ages 7 to 17, is completely and utterly focused.
Skylemar Color War stays on the fields. Bunkmates may be divided in a game, but in the cabin, we are one. In the Rec Hall, we eat with our friends as we always have. We pause for Spirit Night, a movie or a play, still sitting together as we do the rest of the year. The point is: we’re brothers first, and Red vs Gray second.
In every competition, we play our heart out. Obviously, losing a game feels terrible. We learn to get over it, supporting our teammates along the way. Most importantly, at Skylemar we learn how to win with class.
Here’s an example from the baseball diamond:
Gray trailed 4-0 entering the last inning, and after a two-out rally produced 3 runs to draw within 1. Gray sent probably its least experienced hitter to the plate with the tying run in scoring position.
Not surprisingly, the batter struck out to end the game. Without hesitation, one teammate ran to hug him. The rest immediately followed, blanketing the batter with supportive words and encouragement. They made sure he knew he should not feel the weight of this disappointment alone.
Red was thrilled to win, but kept the elation in check. They too understood how the batter felt. They shook hands, and then Gavyn independently thanked each umpire for an exciting game. We hope our Skylemar guys remember to thank the ump and refs all year.
Here are some highlights of today:
Having wrestled the lead from Gray the day before, Red started out ahead. In the morning, Red wins in Cubs golf and bocce, Junior baseball, and Senior hockey. Gray was victorious in Stars softball, Sophomore waterfront, and both Tiger b-ball games.
As we broke for lunch, Gray felt confident in their ability to retake the lead. Further, after early afternoon results showing wins in one Sophomore hoops game, one Junior hockey game, and Stars waterfront, the comeback was on.
But Red then used late victories in Tiger soccer, Senior lacrosse, Soph hoops and Junior hockey. They finished it off with a tie-breaking win in the Cubs tennis skills competition to build back what seemed like a shrinking lead, and remain ahead as Day 3 closed.
We took a timeout from sports for THE PLAY! It was “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Those Oompaa Loompaa’s were tremendous, and so were the actors and singers like Zach W, Jack K, Jed, Rayshon and Jake W.
It’s especially amazing that a play like this could be pulled off during Color War. Hardly any time to practice. Somehow, like always, Jakuzi figured out a way to make it work. Thanks Suzie and Jake!
Morning Color War activities begin with a “Psych-Up Meeting”. Red Captains summon their team to the Mailhouse, and Gray’s head to the Pinegrove.
Teammates form a circle of interlocked arms. Leaders (not necessarily just the Captains and Lieutenants) pace round and round the inside, using whatever words they can muster to motivate and inspire the team towards victory. Then it’s off to the games.
The Red Team was hoping to carry the momentum created from winning last night’s Ping Pong Tournament. Gray remained confident and held the lead as we began the morning activities. The day was filled with exciting, last second victories, heartbreaking losses, and all the ebbs and flows of emotion for all involved.
The Cubs split two morning hoop games. Gabe M was outstanding in leading the Gray in a close win in one of them. Red was too strong in the other. In the afternoon lacrosse game, our littlest guys provided us with maybe the most exciting finish of the day, when Red scored with 15 seconds left to edge Gray 8-7 in front of the huge crowd that had gathered to watch the games final minutes….a real thrill for our youngest participants.
The Tigers started their day with two games at the hockey court, with each team winning tight, 1-0 contests. The outstanding net-minding of goalies Spencer (R) and Jake B (G) marked the shutouts. Then, Red Tigers captured the afternoon at the waterfront, and got to enjoy the Trickey waters just a little bit more.
Two extremely close, high-scoring Sophomore football games ended with each team claiming a victory. Bennett C was nearly unstoppable for Gray in one, and Michael S brought the Red from behind to win the other. Then, Greg C played an incredible tennis match to highlight the teams split of the tennis point. In afternoon baseball, the lead changed hands three times before Red held on for a 7-6 win.
Junior highlights at the waterfront this morning for Red included Corey M’s breaststroke win, and Marc R’s victory in the backstroke. For Gray, the canoeing tandem of Harrison and John P paddled to an impressive win. Afternoon basketball saw Jonny S lead Red in one game, and George S dominate for Gray in their win in the other.
The Senior day began with Golf and Bocce – Red won both with Backpack playing his best to lead the golfers, and Drew proving he is still one of Skylemar’s best on the bocce lawn. Two football games went down to the wire. Drew, Jordan and Adam M led the comeback victory in one game offsetting a terrific effort by JBJ, and in the other, Red was stymied close to the goal line as time expired to end a back and forth affair. Jakob K shined on both sides of the ball, scoring a key TD on O and picking off a pass on D.
The Stars lacrosse game, annually one of the most grueling, once again proved so as JB’s hat trick and Gonzalo’s stellar play in the goal, supported by Tom B’s all around play led Red to a tough, 7-5 win. Tucker was outstanding for Gray, as they nearly pulled off the upset. Then Red cruised to a shorthanded Gray in the afternoon soccer match at the Hejduk.
Red more than gained the momentum, turning yesterday’s deficit into what will be a Day 3 lead as we look forward to tomorrow. Stay tuned……
“Pound-Pound Clap. Pa-Pound-Pa-Pound Clap.”
That’s what we do on the Rec Hall tables when it’s an especially great meal. And that’s what happened this morning after a fantastic First Day of Color War Breakfast Buffet.
Following inspection, each team gathers in a separate location. Together they march to the Fred Pierce Field, to watch the first inning of the Stars softball game.
The game got off to a rousing start in the bottom of the first inning, as Michael A hit a booming shot over the left field fence to jump start the Gray on their way to a resounding victory. Jake K was nearly unhittable, blanking the Red in a complete game shutout.
The Cubs opened Color War 2012 with two extremely close hockey games. Shuey led Red to victory in the first, but Gray fought hard to win the other and split the point.
The Tigers began the day with two divisional football games. In one game, William B ran for 2 TDs and threw for 6 more, all caught by Jack W, leading Gray to an impressive win. In the other game, again Gray came through as BSuds was a one-man wrecking crew, picking off 3 passes, and scoring 5 TD’s.
The Sophomores headed out on the golf links and to the bocce area. In golf, top-seeded Tucker D, as well as both Jeremy and Zach W, proved to be tough “match play” competitors, winning their matches handily leading Red to a solid victory. However, in bocce, Gray came back from an early deficit to capture the match.
The Hejduk Field hosted the Juniors in a highly competitive soccer match. Max B scored both goals, leading Red to a come-from-behind victory, 2-1. As soon as the soccer match ended, the teams went directly to the tennis courts, and proceeded to split their tennis matches, and give each team another ½ point.
The Seniors started their day down at Trickey Pond. Gray edged Red in the swimming races, but Red took the boating races, leaving the skiers to decide the point. Gray’s tandem of Gibson and Bob Fink showed why they are two of the most accomplished in camp as their effort gave Gray the waterfront win.
As the teams finished the morning, one thing was clear – the guys were all in. The morning buzz had not worn off. Teammates rushing to the sidelines of other games after theirs had ended, scores and results passed around, steady cheers from the various venues….yes, the action was everywhere….and we were just getting started.
In the afternoon, Red looked to turn the tide and gain some momentum as Gray held the morning lead.
The Cubs had waterfront, and just like the Seniors this morning, an exciting finish was in store down at Trickey. Again, the teams split the swimming and boating races, making the skiers break the tie – and again, two Gray skiers, Jace and Ethan S in this case, showed their skill and broke the deadlock in favor of Gray.
The Tigers afternoon at the Hejduk baseball diamond really showed the depth of the pitching talent in this division. Six pitchers (3 from each team) threw two shutout innings apiece, the defense performed nearly flawlessly, and the teams played to a scoreless tie and split the point. Eric W, Liam, and Ben L for Gray -, David R, Max K and Spencer for Red were the hurlers.
In Sophomores afternoon hockey, both Red and Gray earned a ½ point each – Gray won one game 2-1 on the strength of goals by both Zacks, M and G. However, Red used a staunch defense to shutout the Gray 3-0 in the other game.
In the first lacrosse game of this Color War, Gavyn led the Red to a 6-2 win. The game was very well played, with many outstanding players on both sides in the Junior division.
Maybe the most exciting moments came in the Senior softball game. In the first inning, Joey C went deep for his first ever homer, a 2-run shot, then watched as teammate Alex K hit a grand slam later that proved to be the difference in a 6-2 victory for the Gray.
The Stars split two afternoon football games, with Chaz dominating one game with his speed for Red, and Max R doing the same for Gray in the other, a wild 47-43 final. Jake S caught the game clinching TD to seal the win. The Red and Gray Stars then split the tennis point, which went down to a tiebreaker in the last match to settle it.
Gray still maintained the lead as the teams prepared for Ping Pong, the traditional first night competition. In an exciting finish to the day, Red regained momentum for tomorrow, winning the night.
Very high temperatures and sticky air made for an exhausting “scouting day”. The kids play competitively while the Captains and Star Lieutenants observe, in preparation for tonight’s draft. Of course the leaders know every boy, but the kids enjoy this extra chance to “show off.”
Two Lieutenants were appointed by Captains of each team in every division to assist with leadership. Color War divisions are: Cubs, Bunks 1-6 (Jack S & Will M for Red, Sasha & Griffin B for Gray); Tigers, Bunks 7-11 (Luke U & David R for Red, Jack W & Ben L for Gray); Sophomores, Bunks 12-15 (Michael S & Miles T for Red, Zack M and Zack G for Gray); Juniors, Bunks 16-19 (Jake G & Gavyn for Red, George S & Javier for Gray); Seniors, Bunks 20-24 (Ethan B & Harry for Red, Mole & Alex K for Gray); Stars, Bunks 25 & JC’s (Tom B & Gonzalo for Red, Clay & Jake K for Gray).
Keep in mind that 99% of the Skylemar family is not a Captain or Lieutenant. This is where the life lesson of leadership comes in. Every boy learns that true leaders do not need a title.
Think about it: A CEO may sometimes be more of a figure head than the one who truly leads the corporation. Instead it can be his or her right hand people who make the organization “happen.”
Whether in business or in Color War, a good leader is compassionate, fair, dedicated, supportive and respectful. He knows “the game” and makes thoughtful, wise decisions. These are the traits that bring about success at work or on the field. No title required.
Enough philosophy! Now back to camp life…
We shortened the afternoon periods a bit, and instead sent everyone to the Waterfront. Trickey Pond was more refreshing than ever. Splashing, skiing, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, kayaking plus lots more.
Still muggy and hot in the evening, so we had Spirit Night outside. Bunk 23 did a fine job of leading this hour of gratitude. AShep’s sermonette was about living life to the fullest, and making the most of every opportunity. There are only seven days left of camp, so this is your chance to make it a great week.
The secret draft is underway. Shep supervises, but the Captains make the selections. They strategize as they pick, and do the best they can to establish the strongest team within each division. That’s why brothers are not necessarily together and cabins are not necessarily evenly split.
Before long, the magic part happens. Captains sneak into every bunk, and pin either a Red or Gray ribbon to each pillow. It’s like a super cool Tooth Fairy gig, but far more meaningful to a growing boy.
Tomorrow is the earliest day of the year. When each camper wakes (at the crack of dawn for many) he looks at his pillow and discovers which mighty team he will be a part of for Camp Skylemar’s 64th Color War!
Think Superbowl. Think Olympics. Think Presidential Election.
It’s a way bigger deal than any of that.
Way bigger than a wedding, childbirth or a graduation. OK, maybe not childbirth…
IT’S THE 2012 CAMP SKYLEMAR COLOR WAR ELECTION!
20 outstanding young men on the ballot, each equally qualified. Strong, honest, respectful and of good character. Each a leader, each compassionate, and each wanting to win this election more than anything they’ve ever wished for. It would be a dream come true for any Skylemar Senior, who has known about this possibility for at least half of his life.
The entire camp gathers in the Rec Hall. The room is electric. Excitement fills the air. Bunks sitting at their assigned benches. Seniors in the back row, arm in arm, each wearing his good-luck jersey.
Shep welcomes all to the 64th Camp Skylemar Color War Election. Participants are tasked this evening with selecting two of our finest to lead the Red and Gray teams in the most positive way.
He explains that the spirit of Red and Gray is based on respect, kindness and fair play. Competition remains outside the cabin, and it is not uncommon for brothers and friends to be on different teams. Participants must not over-react when winning or losing.
Former Color War Captains of years past are introduced. Then Shep proclaims, “Even more special are the alumni and staff members present now who were former candidates. Please rise if you have been on the ballot but were not a captain”. Many stand, and the audience cheers.
Seniors are introduced, and stand, with arms interlocking. There’s no way to make a wrong choice this evening. “Skylemar!”, he says. “These are your candidates!” A standing ovation erupts.
Each camper is to vote for two names on the list of twenty. The magic number is 89. Seniors vote first, then head over to the Counselor Lounge to wait it out.
By 9pm, the votes were tallied aloud but no one reached the magic number. So, we vote again.
At 10, the last few votes were read, and the count down began. Campers with hands in the air, counted down vote by vote until it’s announced,
The entire room runs to the door to welcome the first elected captain of 2012.
Shep continues to read votes, while George tallies. No winner for the second captain.
For the third time, we vote. Now it’s just between the top two winners, Tucker Roy and Husam Shabazz. The close tally proves what excellent choices both are for the job.
8-7-6-5-4-3-2…HUSAM SHABAZZ! The crowd storms the door in joy, welcoming our second captain.
As happy as we are, our focus switches to Tucker. He’s blanketed with hugs as he returns to the Rec Hall, for everyone knows how he must feel. The same goes for the 17 others who were not selected. Each one an amazing guy, who would make a fine leader. But soon we will discover that one does not need a title to lead. It comes from within, and if all step up this will be the greatest Color War ever.
The coin is flipped, Matt picks Red and Lieutenants Tom Brown and Gonzalo Sanchez de Leon. Gray’s Captain Husaam picks Clay Starr and Jake Kanengizer. Congratulations to both teams!
P.S. Sam B from Baltimore made a hole in one on a par 3 at the Naples Country Club. He will get his name added to the country club plaque, and he makes Skylemar history!
In the process of turning counselors into fathers, mothers, big brothers and heroes, we tell them the secret of life. Richness.
This richness has nothing to do with money. But it’s all about treasure.
For a parent, it’s obvious. The most valuable and meaningful treasure in the universe is a child.
For one who has never had children before, we talk about treasure in another form. Treasure is what we keep in a box or just in our mind, which reminds us of achievements, successes and happy times. It’s a first place ribbon, or the memory of the time we hit a home run, got up waterskiing, or did something nice for someone else.
When a counselor sees a camper succeed that’s treasure. Of course there’s lots of athletic improvement at Skylemar which makes a coach proud. But we also find treasure in the boy who sobs for days pleading to go home, who now cries that he doesn’t want to leave his friends.
The kids treasure their obvious accomplishments, but there’s also a big pot of gold in the lessons they unknowingly learn. By now they’ve learned how to navigate life without someone telling them what to do by cell phone. They now know how to face a challenge without someone “fixing it”. They’ve learned how to advocate for themselves, and they understand that everyone, young or old, has the ability to speak up when they see someone doing the wrong thing. The list goes on and on.
In its most basic form, treasure is a smile. At Skylemar, there are lots of those. Perhaps 50 million a day. Now that’s rich.
We especially treasure tomorrow, because it will be the last day of the regular schedule of 2012.
Something big is about to happen in the evening. It kicks off a treasured part of the summer. Do you know what that is?
Talent Show II. It’s different this time of year. Most of us have lived together for several weeks, so there’s an entirely different comfort level. Guys who would have been nervous to go on stage at one point, now eagerly grab the mike. The show is more like performing in your home basement with brothers watching.
Each participant gets to reach in the Super Prize Elephant Bongo Bag and pick a surprise. What kind of prizes are inside? Basically lots of promotional stuff we collect all year. You know, the mug from State Farm Insurance, the hat from Sysco Foods, the water bottle from the place we bought a boat (that would be a 40K waterbottle). So, keep us in mind if you ever need a home for corporate giveaways.
If you happen to be one of the six winners, you qualify for a coveted prize. A Skylemar staff shirt.
Jack K kicked off the show by singing “I Kissed A Girl” all by himself. His brother Alex led the room in clapping and singing along. Jack was excellent.
Colby and Sammy M did a secret handshake. It was quick, to the point and worth a dip into the prize bongo.
Most popular question asked by the performer to the audience: May I have a volunteer? The audience jumps to their feet and hands go straight up.
Luke S brought six volunteers on stage for his amazing performance. Guess you’d call his talent “Body Tricks”. He flexed his muscles and had each volunteer touch the bones sticking out of his back. Then he sucked in his stomach and shared a closeup view with those on stage. Hmmmmmm…
Bloomie did an incredible job playing the piano and singing the song “Bring It Home To Me”. Sam B did an outstanding job holding the microphone. That qualifies as a talent in the Skylemar rule book.
Zach F performed tennis racket tricks. Shuey was his assistant. With each move, the audience exclaimed “whoaaaa”. When the ball accidentally drops, they say “trrrrrrry again”.
Tyler, Jace, Jack Q and Max R did a Ninja skit. No idea what it was about, but they had fun up there.
In fact, there are lots of times during the second Talent Show that the audience says, “huh???”. Jonathan T did some tricks with his tongue and nose. A talent? Sure, why not.
They do love that microphone. Charlie grabbed the mike like he used it every day. His rap song was astonishing, and he ended with throwing his hat into the audience.
Daniel R (assisted by Sam S and Leyton) was also incredibly confident with the mike. Must be because of his early AM sports reporting on “The Morning Show”. Daniel was sort of like an MC, who got everyone clapping. Why? We have no idea but we did it just the same.
Rayshon was dazzling with a break dance. Really, really good. Also super good was Sam H on the piano. Jed sang “In My Life” by the Beatles without any music. He hit every note perfectly.
Jordan S, Cole and Jake W did something with a magnetic ball of triangles. Luke Shiney, Hunter, Dylan M, Ben A and Logan B performed a skit that they themselves thought was very funny. We smiled and laughed because it was so great to see them on the stage.
Blake invented a couple of new sports which he demonstrated. Lacrosse Tennis and Football Tennis. Bob F performed his “Bobservations”. For instance, he noted that there are 29 lights facing the stage.
Tommy K played a few songs on the recorder wonderfully. Ben D and Zach W were incredible. Ben played “Wonderwall” on the guitar, while Zach W sang. Ben even played the guitar behind his head. Zach’s voice surprised us all. Awesome.
As much as we’d love for you to have been there tonight, it probably wouldn’t have happened this way if you were. The kids instead did it all themselves on their own terms: no nervousness, screwups are fine, and so are giggles. Each participant, with or without talent, planned, practiced and performed without any grownup help. What an accomplishment!
Writing tonight is not quite as easy as usual. This evening, our little camp dog Ollie passed away.
He was ailing, so it was somewhat expected. There has been no formal announcement to the kids as of yet, but somehow as it often does within a family, the word has leaked.
In true Skylemar style, the outpouring of compassion has been overwhelming. From the almost seven foot tall basketball player to the not-so-sensitive teenager who rarely shows emotion, many have gone out of their way to demonstrate that they care.
Caring is what we do best here. We care if people like us, even if we pretend that we don’t. We care about winning the game, even though we’ll get over it soon if we lose. We care when someone else is hurting, even if we’re the one who triggered the sadness.
When someone does the wrong thing we care enough to fix it. When someone does something to be proud of, we care enough to cheer.
Of course we mess up, and occasionally care more for ourselves than we probably should. But that’s a part of growing up, and we would not be on the right track if we didn’t go off course just a bit.
Bottom line: Whether we keep it bottled up or show it with a smile, at Skylemar we care about each other. That’s what this band of brothers is truly all about.
Lots of heat and un-Maine-like humidity this summer, but very little rain since the first week. Today was wet, but we were able to get the morning field activities in.
By afternoon we went into the Gym and Lodge for indoor activities. The gym has basketball, dodge ball, and relay races. Lodge has pool tables, fooze ball and ping pong.
Then it’s time for creativity: Sky Minit 2 Winit.
Rec Hall benches are arranged in a circle, and camp is divided into four divisions. Representatives from each bunk go to the center to compete in events which are much harder to do then they sound.
Hustle, our MC, first calls for those with strong facial muscles. Contestants must shimmy an Oreo cookie from their forehead into their mouth, without using hands. Successful face wigglers were Sammy M, Jed and George R.
Next event required good hand-eye coordination. Three representatives from each cabin must toss ping pong balls onto an open-face peanut butter sandwich. The first to get three balls to stick wins. Congrats to Bunks 3, 9, 15 and 17.
Keen attention to detail was important for the fruit loop round. Contestants were given a bowl of cereal, and had to separate the colors into cups, using just one hand. Top sorters were Lucas R, Teddy, Max B and Conor L. Colby was clever. He noticed that there was no rule stated about eating the Fruit Loops. However, fewer loops still not give him a win.
Participants needed a dab of Vaseline on the tip of their nose for the cottonball challenge. The task was to bend over and pick up a cotton ball with your nose, and then drop the ball in a bowl at the end of the table. The team with the most balls in the bowl wins. Top performers were Jack K, Alec R, Jared M and Ethan F.
Last round was the over-sized tshirt relay. Four contestants on a team, one wearing the giant tshirt holding the wrists of a bunkmate. Another teammate had to take the shirt off the person, and get it on to the next while wrists were interlocked. First ones to put the shirt on and off of everyone wins.
We’ll see what the weather brings tomorrow. We’re ready for rain, whenever it comes.
Wanna be a rock star? Today was your chance.
A band called “The Thang” spent the day at Skylemar, and rehearsed with those interested in being a part of the evening concert. The kids and counselors were the singers, while the band played along. It was sort of like live karaoke.
The show was a super great time. Ben D and Robbie S had the chance to play the electric guitar with the band. Animal played drums for a set too. The old ladies of camp didn’t want to be left out of the fun, so they performed as the group called “The Moms”. Can you guess which on the stage was a nurse, teacher, office manager, dietician and camp director?
Strong day for Skylemar intercamp games. David R pitched a complete game allowing only one run. Down 1-0 with Skylemar’s last time at bat, David led off with a ground rule double. Will B hit a triple, scoring David. Blake smacked an RBI single that proved to be the game winning hit. In the final inning, Skylemar shut the opponents down to win the game, 3-1.
Ultimately, we came out on top in a U13 soccer game too. We went down early 3-0 in the first half. With 15 minutes left, we were losing 5-2. Then we came back and scored 4 goals in a row to win 6-5. Shopo had 2 goals including the winner. Others who scored were Griffin D, Michael S and Luke U. It was awesome to see them keep fighting till the end.
Clinic Sign Up in the Picnic Grove! Counselor commercials and offerings were clever as usual. There was Tennis Match Play & Game Strategies, Hockey With Video Analysis, 3 on 3 Lax Tourney, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Set Design, Any and Everything Waterskiing, Golf on the Skylemar Course, Chill Bro at the WoFro (whatever you want to do at the lake). There’s World Cup Soccer, and “part two’s” of Graffiti Arts, Cooking, Reading and Insanity Fitness (core strength and physical endurance). Rhythm and Beats Clinic is sponsored by our rapper TZank and our drummer Animal. They will teach that you don’t need a set of drums to carry the beat.
It’s always interesting to see what activity the kids select for Clinic. It’s an independent choice, and rarely do they choose with a friend. Challenge is to decide which to pick.
Thousands of tourists visit Quebec City. But only 26 have the privilege of sleeping in a hockey arena. The lucky few are the Camp Skylemar 5th year campers.
It all began 60 years ago, when Lee befriended the Mayor of Quebec. From that day on, Skylemar has been given the keys to The Colisee when we visit each year. The Colisee is the former home of the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques, now the Colorado Avalanche. If you are a boy between the ages of 10 and 20, this locker room is really cool place to spend the night.
After a six hour ride by coach bus, the trip began with a guided tour of the Old City followed by a restaurant dinner. Once back at The Colisee, they unpacked and made themselves at home in the rink.
Next day started at The Citadel, for the Changing of the Royal Guard Ceremony. Then shopping, a picnic at The Plains of Abraham and a trip to one of the largest malls in the world. The place is big enough to hold a roller coaster.
Day three was one to remember forever. Montmorency Waterfalls were magnificent. Chez Marie Bakery is unique and one of a kind. Bread is baked in outdoor brick ovens. Visitors sample a freshly made slice smeared with delicious maple butter.
Most amazing was the Basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupre. Known around the world as a shrine for healing of the sick, a half a million “pilgrims” come annually. The immense size of the gilded cathedral is awe-inspiring. But what’s unforgettable are the hundreds of crutches, walkers and wheelchairs that have hung on the pillars since the 1800’s. This demonstration of the power of faith is meaningful to those of any religion.
We all agree that traveling is great, but as you know, there’s no place like home. It felt good to have the Rec Hall filled again.
Sky Olympics for Evening Activity. Events for all included Basketball Shot Put, Broad Jump, Frisbee Discus and the Shuttle Run. Counselors did the Over Under Relay with inflatable donuts that were bigger than them.
A real Olympic gold winner visited us today. Ash’s dad (and Ben’s granddad) participated in the 1964 Tokyo summer Olympics on the 4x100 Relay Team. His team was anchored by Bob Hayes, once considered to be the fastest man in the world. Mr. Ashworth described what it was like to have this experience, and even let everyone touch his gold medal.
The evening ended in the Rec Hall with the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. As you watch this summer, be on the lookout for gymnast Aly Raisman. She’s the sister of our JC Brett. Skylemar is rooting for her!
The Winny Trip (3rd year) and Mt. Washington (4th year) returned happy and tired.
Winny dodged the rain, and cruised Lake Winnipesaukee on the MS Mt. Washington. It was an exciting ride, with five foot waves. Next stop was New Hampshire’s tallest waterslide. They hit the boardwalk at Weir’s Beach and then went back to Gunstock Campground. All slept snuggly in cozy tents.
They woke to a rain drizzle and a delicious hot breakfast. When the drips turned to a downpour, outdoor activities were changed to the movie theatre. It was good to have them home by dinner.
The rugged men of Mt. Washington had an exhilarating trip. It was a very tough climb, and the view from the top was spectacular. They slept in the Joe Dodge Lodge which is sort of a rustic hotel.
Next day they hiked again to the Hermit Shelter. The pump house had the most delicious water anyone had ever tasted. Then the unexpected happened. A moose came out of the forest, and stood just a few feet away. Right next to the bathroom!
Some of those still at camp headed out for a swim meet with four other camps. U10 relay winners were both Luke S’s, Max R, Alec W, Jace and Izzy. U12 took second place, thanks to Cole, Jonathan T, Ben L, George R, and Yago. U14’s Marc R, Cory, Tomas, Ben C and Benny took both first and second.
Others had a more relaxed, windy and cloudy day at Skylemar. The weather was perfect for kite flying. Putting the kites together was half the battle. Once built, we lifted two dozen into the air.
The windy waterfront meant that Peter changed up camper choices to Water Baseball, Water Hoops, Hunter lessons (the bigger sailboat), skiing and tubing. Everyone’s always happy to splash and play at the lake.
Campfire for Evening Activity. The weather report was such that we stayed indoors. It’s fun to have a campfire in the Rec Hall fireplace. S’mores taste good inside or out.