Reflections by the Lake

Fifteen minutes into 4th period I wandered down to the lake to see if I could make myself useful.  As I walked down the waterfront steps, the first thing I noticed was how absolutely beautiful everything looked.  The blue of the water was matched by the blue of the sky.  I sat on the stone steps and scanned the lake.  Far to the left Kamaji’s pontoon boat was anchored with eight hopeful fisher-campers and two counselors.  Just a bit to the right, I could see nine Kamaji sailboats, some with their multi-colored sails.  Far offshore there was a kayak class and a Stand-Up-Paddleboarding class.  From a distance it’s hard to see the actual paddleboards so it looks as if the campers are gliding on the water.  Looking a bit to the right I noticed about 5 windsurfers who, as they skimmed Wolf Lake, caught the reflection of the sun in their sails.  And further to right I could see the Kamaji water-ski boats pulling campers in the distance.  All of these activities were taking place far off shore so it was impossible to see which campers and counselors were doing what.

That certainly wasn’t the case with a couple of activities taking place right in front of me.  On the swim docks Sarah Bronson and Mary Bauer, two swim instructors, were showing a group of campers how to jump in the water with rescue tubes.  I heard the counselors say, “I want each of you to practice that three times.”  The campers grabbed the tubes and put into action the instructions they had been given.  (By the way, Lifesaving is a new Kamaji class this summer.)  Right in front of me four campers were in  their first day of sailboard (windsurf) instruction.  Amy Moscowitz and Elizabeth Helzberg were in the water teaching the campers how to balance on the boards, pull up the sails and how to make the sailboards go in the direction they chose to go.  Mind you, while two instructors with four campers sounds like a great ratio, there is a wealth of directions to explain to each camper.  Nonstop instructions.  “Lean back and pull up the sail.  “Tip the sail back and you’ll turn to the right.”  “Evelyn, that was great! Now pull in your sail.  “Alicia, look at your mast.  Make sure it’s straight up and down.”  “Good job, now try to step around to the other side of the board.”  I had forgotten how hard sailboarding is.  There’s so much to learn and remember.

So, what were this director’s impressions after 45 minutes of sitting on the stone steps?

1.  I was “wow-ed” by the beauty of the entire scene.  With the floodlight of sunshine reflecting off the crystal blue waters and with all those sailboats, motorboats, kayaks, sailboards and paddleboards skipping across Wolf Lake,  it seemed like a choreographed ballet performance.

2.  I was grateful  there wasn’t a single boat on Wolf Lake that didn’t belong to Camp Kamaji.  We are very fortunate to have a lake with little/no outside boat traffic which creates a private lake of sorts.

3.  I was very, very impressed with all the wonderful instruction by Kamaji’s counselors.  During 4th period, a total of 26 counselors were helping 66 campers learn skills they will have for the rest of their lives.  If you happen to take a resort type vacation during the next year, your daughter may be able to teach you a thing or two.

4.  Perhaps my most lasting impression of that 4th period was of the counselors.  Wow. They take their responsibilities seriously.  And what a lot of responsibility they have!  Sixty-six campers learned new skills and did it under watchful, caring eyes.  If you were a visitor, you’d have a hard time telling the difference between the 16 year old Counselors-in-Training and the 24 year old college graduates.  They all looked like pros to me.

More later. . .


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