Hello from the sunny shores of Wolf Lake.

It’s the fourth full day of camp and it’s full steam ahead. Kamaji’s instructional activity program began in earnest yesterday; today the first four Wilderness canoeists left camp. It feels like we’ve been planning for this day for ten months. Oh yeah, we HAVE been planning for this day for ten months.

While you are waiting for your daughter’s first letters from camp, we thought we’d provide a few details of the first days of Kamaji’s 99th camping season. Here goes…

On Monday, your house was probably filled with a combination of excitement, anticipation and anxiety. Well, the same was true here at camp. The counselors spent Monday cleaning, decorating, cleaning some more, decorating some more in anticipation of Opening Day 2012. Things went pretty smoothly at the Minneapolis airport where we met 23 different flights, collected 145 campers and managed to find 290 really large duffel bags. (We actually found 288 really large duffels as Delta lost two duffels which were delivered on Tuesday.) Anyway, the campers endured the 4-hour bus ride from the airport to camp and were greeted by bright sunshine, 80 degree temps, and 80 singing staff members. (For photos of the campers arriving at Kamaji please see the Photo Gallery on www.kamaji.com.)

After meeting their cabin counselors and porchmates, the campers headed back to their cabins to begin unpacking those huge duffels. Then it was time for the traditional opening day Spaghetti Dinner, followed by a little more unpacking. Then the fun really began. Everyone headed up to the Archery Field for a riotous game of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. (This game involves a lot of running around while singing a goofy song and then running some more.) The next official event of Opening Day was the Amazing Kamaji Water Slide. (Again, please see Kamaji’s Photo Gallery.)

Plan A for Tuesday and Wednesday included health checks, swim tests, canoeing tests, signing up for the first week of activities, Casino Night, Tribe Initiation, Tribe Leader elections, sample activity periods, and about 1000 other “getting camp going” tasks. It’s a ‘tight’ schedule to say the least. There was but one not-so-slight problem. It rained for most the day!! Make that TWO days!! Both Tuesday and Wednesday. It really rained a lot. Plan A became Plan B, which became Plan C, which….. Well, you get the idea. By days’ end, we were quickly nixing plans quicker than the rain was falling. The good news is that by Wednesday night we had actually accomplished everything on our list, even if it wasn’t in the same order as Plan A. Yeah!

And now the really good news. We woke up to bright, beautiful sunshine on Thursday morning, so it was back to Plan A. All the campers spent the day in four different instructional activity programs that they get to choose.

I am pretty certain that everyone – campers and staff and directors alike – are happy to be into the ‘routine’ of camp life. And I know for sure everyone was happy to see the rain make an exit and sunshine make its entrance!!

Thursday evening’s all-camp program was our weekly traditional Council Fire program. Special about this first one was the ceremony announcing this session’s Tribe Leaders who are elected by their tribe mates. The position carries a lot of responsibility in terms of organizing, supervising, and leading two dozen tribe members. It is a big job!!

The following campers were elected by their tribes: for the Ishkadays, Sam Aronson and Julia Sachs: for the Waubuns, Eva Alessandroni and Ella Fies: for the Mundahmins, Kendall Kuzminskas and Grace Dockstader: for the Metigs, Alexis Schwartz and Kalie Hirt: for the Geshigs, Olivia Martin and Sylvia Stolar: and for the Nanahtahgas, Izzi Einhorn and Angelique Parker. Congrats to them all!

Today – Friday – is another beautiful day. Bright sunshine. A bit cool, with temps in the mid 70’s – not bad at all! A few of us were up with the sun this morning because 13 campers and 4 Kamaji staff left for a week long trip to the White Otter Wilderness Area in northwestern Ontario (Canada). The two groups of wilderness women will spend a full week paddling on crystal clear lakes, portaging canoes and all the gear packs, camping on some of most pristine campsites in North America. What an adventure! They are scheduled to return to Kamaji next Thursday evening.

Additionally, a couple of other wilderness trips started out today. Cabin 1 Porch 1 left on a three day Mississippi River canoe trip to Lake Andrusia and Nutshell Porch 2 left on a two day Mississippi River trip that took them in a different direction than Cabin 1/1. For those of you who might not know, the Mississippi River flows in and out of Wolf Lake (on which Kamaji sits) so there are several trips that begin and/or end at our camp docks. All in all, it was a busy day around here.

Hoping your days are as action-packed as ours!!

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