Play is the Thing
So, here’s another example of why camp is pretty darn wonderful. Monday’s evening program was Wild West Night. All the campers dressed up in their best western garb (that meant a lot of plaid, jeans, bandanas and funny hats) and headed for the Lodge where different games and booths were set up. For instance, there was a booth where campers could “rope” counselors sitting on saw horses. There was a booth where campers were given miniature tootsie rolls and told to spit them into tin cans. But perhaps the most interesting game was a variation of the Australian game of “Cowboys and Indians”. The best way to describe this game is that it resembles “Duck, Duck, Goose”. Campers sat in a circle, the counselor shouted something, and then some of the campers ran around the circle like crazy. The specifics aren’t important. What’s important is the enthusiasm with which the campers played the game. And it wasn’t just the younger kids. The Pine Manor campers raced around the circle at top speed, with the same determination as the Hatchery and Nutshell campers. Honestly, there isn’t a more old-fashioned children’s game than “Duck, Duck, Goose” and it’s hard to imagine these sophisticated high school girls playing this game in any setting other than camp. All children deserve a chance to experience the joy of play. We’re proud that Kamaji gives campers the chance to, well, act like kids.
Other Camp News
As we wrote earlier, Sunday was Tribe Day. You probably saw the hundreds of Tribe Day pictures on Smugmug. Although the pictures tell a story all by themselves, we thought it might be helpful to explain how Tribe Day works. After cabin cleanup, the campers dress in everything they can find in their tribe color. (See Smugmug.) Each tribe member spends the rest of the morning at three different instructional activities, however, these are not regular instruction activities. For instance, in the canoe activity, three pairs of canoes were tied together at the sterns. Then two campers from each tribe got into the canoes and they had a round robin canoe tug-of-war contest. (See Smugmug.) In paddleboarding, the campers paddled from the shore with cups of water on the paddleboard. They had to fill up cans being held by counselors who were sitting in inner tubes in the middle of the lake. (See Smugmug). Tribe Day lunch is the traditional foot long hotdogs served at the waterfront. The highlight of Tribe Day lunch is dessert, when we serve watermelon. That may not sound like a big deal, but the fun begins when all the campers and counselors take their watermelon to the swim docks and proceed to spit the seeds into the lake. (See Smugmug.) Tribe Day afternoon activities are all on the waterfront. There are swim relay races including the traditional Peanut-Butter-Relay, where tribe members must swim with an open-faced peanut butter sandwich on their face. There is the Put-Six-Tribe-Members-in-a-Canoe, Give-Them-Plastics-Buckets-and-Try-to-Swamp-the-Other-Five-Tribes’-Canoes event. And so on. (See Smugmug.) After the afternoon Tribe Day activities, everyone went back to their cabins, changed from their swimsuits back into their tribe clothes and got ready for the Big Tribe Banquet featuring the traditional Tribe Banquet Ice Cream Sundae Buffet. After the Tribe Banquet everyone headed down to the flagpole where we announced the results of Tribe Day. We weren’t finished yet. Sunday ended with our weekly O’Naug She Nodin program. Whew! What a day.
On Monday morning, severe thunderstorms were in the forecast for most of the day. We postponed the four scheduled Wilderness Trips and prepared some indoor activities for the campers. Thunderstorms did rumble past us, but nary a drop of rain fell on Camp Kamaji all day. Monday’s instructional program wasn’t interrupted at all, and we even were able to have the Wild West Night outdoor games. At about 10:00 pm, after everyone was back in her cabin ready for bed, Kamaji was treated to a good old fashioned thunderstorm. There was quite a lightning show and about 2 inches of rain fell in short order. Of course, the rain ended by morning and by late Tuesday morning, the sun was out for good.
Today, Wednesday, is Kamaji’s last Adventure Day and the sky couldn’t be any bluer. Have you ever been in an airplane at 35,000 feet and marveled at the color of the sky? Well, that’s what you’d see if you were here with us today. The Great Spirit continues to watch over Camp Kamaji.
Kamaji’s Wilderness Trip Program is still going strong after taking a Tribe Day break. On Tuesday, Cabin 3 Porch 2 left for a four-day Voyageur’s National Park trip; Cabin 1 Porch 2 left for their three-day Upper Mississippi River trip and Nutshell Porch 1 left for their two-day adventure to Webster Lake. In addition, the nine Pine Manor eight week campers left the shores of Wolf Lake in our 90 year old, 27 foot long “war” canoes to explore Cass Lake’s Star Island, which just happens to be where Camp Kamaji began in 1914. Four other Pine Manor campers, who were unable to go on the Canadian canoe trip, also left on Tuesday for a two-day trip to Island Point. Later this week, the eight week campers in Cabin 2 Porch 2 and the Cabin on the Hill will take a two-day trip to Cass Lake’s Norway Beach. There will also be two overnight kayaking trips and a horseback riding overnight. We’ll be camping right up to the end of the season.
Well, that’s it for now. Time to go outside and play. We recommend it to you, too.
Mike, Kathy and Kat