Travel Information for Wednesday 11, 2010
Wednesday will be a long day for your daughter! We’ll have about a 5:30 am wake-up bell and the buses will leave camp at about 7:00 am for the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport.
Campers are heading to over 20 different cities around the U.S. and as far away as South Korea. We sent you our flight schedule last week, so don’t forget to pick up your daughter.
If you are meeting your daughter at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, you should pick her up at the Transit Center between 11:30 am and noon. Your daughter and her luggage will be there.
If your daughter is flying on DL 3482 to St. Louis or SW 200 to Chicago Midway she will be
escorted by a Kamaji counselor. Camp Mom Robin Blumenthal will be flying with the campers on DL 5682 to Chicago O’Hare. If your daughter is on one of these flights you probably won’t be able to meet her at the gate; however, you can try to get Delta or Southwest to issue you a security pass. If you can’t get to the gate, the counselor w ill escort your daughter to baggage claim and remain with her until you arrive.
If your daughter is on a flight other than the ones mentioned above and is flying home as an “Unaccompanied Minor” you should be able to obtain a security pass from the airline which will allow you to meet your daughter at her arrival gate. Plan on arriving at the airport in plenty of time to obtain your security pass.
If you have any questions about travel, just ask.
Save the Date
A number of parents have asked what Kamaji’ s dates will be for next summer. Well, here they are!
Full Season: Saturday, June 18th – Thursday, August 11th
First Session: Saturday, June 18th – Thursday, July 14th
Second Session: Saturday, July 16th – Thursday, August 11th.
CIT Program : Sunday, June 12th – Thursday, August 11th.
In other words, 2011 dates are the same as 2010. Only the days of the week are different. We will be sending you complete enrollment information in a couple of weeks.
End of Season Information
Here are some final details about the end of your daughter’ s stay at Kamaji:
1. If your daughter is missing clothing or equipment items, please notify us as soon as possible.
2. Your daughter’s store account refund or bill will be sent within the next two weeks.
3. We’ll be asking you to complete an evaluation form soon. We hope you’ll complete it as your input is invaluable to us when planning for Kamaji’s 2011 season. If you have a more immediate concern, feel free to contact us now.
Some Thoughts About the Session From Ye Directors
(Ed. Note: This section of the letter may sound familiar to many of you. The concepts are not new, but we’ve freshened it up a bit.)
Be prepared! In a few days your daughter will be hanging out with you. Kamaji’s 97th season will be history. We want to warn you that your daughter may, at any time during her first few days at home, fall into the “Kamaji Zone”. You will immediately notice a change in her behavior. Don’t worry as these changes will only last a short time. Right after your daughter eats breakfast don’t, we repeat don’t, panic if your daughter suddenly jumps on the kitchen chair and sings at the top of her lungs. That’s what we do at meals.
And after breakfast, YOU had better sit down. We don’t want you to faint if your daughter runs to her room to make her bed and straighten up her closet. Don’t worry. We are confident that THIS behavior won’t last more than a few days.
If you are sitting at the dinner table and you would like her to get something from the kitchen, just tell her that it’s her turn to be “hopper”. And if you go out to dinner at a nice restaurant, please remind her NOT to put her chair on the table when you leave.
And be prepared. Your daughter will expect you to have 4 or 5 different activities planned for her each day. (How about windsurfing, horseback riding, ceramics and sailing –
just to start.)
There may be certain words missing from her vocabulary – Words like “TV”, “texting”,
“facebook”, “download” and even “hair dryer” – Don’t worry. Most girls will pick up these terms quickly.
There are other behaviors – too numerous to mention, that you may observe during the first few days your daughter is home. If you cannot interpret any of them, feel free to call the “Kamaji Kommand and Kontrol”. Trained camp personnel will be on duty 24 hours a day to answer your call.
Another way to ease your daughter’s transition into the “other” world is to show her the “Smugmug” pictures. She hasn’t seen any of them and what a great way to re-live the past few weeks. We suggest that you go through the pictures with her. We don’t want you to miss the chuckles.
When parents and friends talk to us about camp, one of the questions often asked is, “How has camp changed over the past few years?”. Well, camp hasn’t changed much. Oh sure, when the campers arrived this summer they were pretty excited to see the brand new ski boat, but the magic of camp is that it’s pretty much the same as it was 20, 40 or 60 years ago. The biggest change over the past few years is not with Kamaji, but with Kamaji’s campers. They are more enthusiastic about camp than ever before. We believe one explanation for this change is that kids feel more disconnected from their school and neighborhoods than in the past. I-Pods, e-mail, cell phones and Facebook made it possible for all of us to communicate with each other without any real human contact. It literally takes less energy to send an email message halfway around the world than it does to walk
over and say “hello” to your next door neighbor. Contrast all this to life at camp. No matter what you do here at camp, you do it with other people who can hear, see and touch you. We eat together, sing together, learn how to do new things together. We know each other’s names. We laugh with each other, swim with “buddies”, sail with a crew, set tables with our tribe, clean cabins together, sort laundry with our porchmates. We have a shared language (Metigs, Za, Za 2, O’Naug, keylog, gooey rolls), a shared history (“We were here in ‘010, ‘010…”), our own rituals (Boy, oh boy, what a day it’s been!), and most of all, shared experiences (remember our canoe trip, Tribe Day, Adventure Day).
In simple terms we are a “community” where each camper is connected to her porchmates, her counselors, her tribemates, her “Kami Sister”. We touch, see and hear each other a million times every day. Yup, Kamaji has changed over the years. We have more fun than ever before! Maybe campers have figured out that sleeping in a bed right below your best friend is a whole lot better thanbeing a “friend” on Facebook.
One Last Favor . . .
The crazy economic news of the past two years have brought scary times for many private summer camps, including Kamaji. 2010 was a good recruiting year for us. The number of new campers this summer is up 135% over the summer of 2009. That’s thanks to the support of many of you. After all, referrals are really our only means of finding new campers. If you know families who might be interested in hearing about Kamaji, please let us know. Referrals can be friends of yours, friends of your daughter’s, relatives from another city or business contacts. We’re never get tired of talking about camp, so please send the names and contact information for anyone who may want to hear Kamaji’s story. Thanks in advance for your help.
This has been quite a season! Even though we’ve been camp directors for a long time, every season is brand new. There are a couple of things that will make 2010 a season to remember. One of most striking things about this season is just how the campers seem to embrace the magic of camp. Yesterday’s evening program, our final Council Fire, is a great example. Here’s some background. Council Fire is as old-fashioned as can be. The program includes a ceremonial lighting of the five council fires, a look back at the previous week, songs, stories and a chance for each camper and counselor to speak in front of the entire camp. The final Council Fire of the season is alw ays pretty long. Last night’s program lasted a bit over two hours and ended at 10:10 pm. Here’s what made last night magical. For the entire two hours the campers sat quietly and listened to others talk, sing and tell stories. It was a beautiful evening and no doubt the campers also listened to the loons in the distance, w atched the setting sun, followed by the arrival of the darkness and then the appearance of thousands of stars. And we’re sure everyone spent at least a few minutes mesmerized by “ as the council fires leap towards the sky.” And at the end of the program, everyone stands, joins hands and sings Kamaji’s Council Fire Song, written by a Kamaji camper in 1924. The light from the fires lit up the campers’ faces as they sang. And then the campers and counselors walked slowly and quietly away to the beat of
Kamaji’s 100 year Native American drum. If this had been a scene in a movie you wouldn’t have believed it.
The second thing that stands out is just how much fun the campers seemed to have during the past few weeks. When we say “ fun” what we mean is just how creative and silly the campers can be. Whether it’s making floats for the Float Parade or just playing with flashlights in the cabin, these campers know how to get a make fun out of almost any situation. It’s great to see.
Lastly, thanks to you for entrusting us with your daughter. We know what a leap of faith putting your daughter on that plane represents. Our kids are 26 and 22, and we still worry every time they leave the house. We also know how excited you must be to welcome your daughter back home.
We sincerely w ish you and your family the very best for the rest of the summer and the
upcoming fall. We hope that your daughter enjoyed herself as much as w e enjoyed having her here at Kamaji this summer. Hoping she’ll be back for camp’s 98th season in 2011.
“Boy, Oh Boy, What a Summer It’ s Been!”
Mike, Kathy and Kat