A Look Back and Full Speed Ahead

So our old friends, Gene and Anne Keller spent the past week with us.  (Gene was the camp doctor.)  This was the sixth time the Kellers have spent part of their summer at Kamaji, however, the last time they were here was 1994!  Since then we have remained friends with Gene and Anne, visiting them often in San Lois Opispo, California.  It was really fun having them here.  The four of us were at outside having our Adventure Day picnic lunch on Wednesday when we asked Gene and Anne what was the biggest difference between Kamaji in 2011 and Kamaji I in the old days.  They looked around at two or three of the porch groups having their picnic near us and said, “That’s easy!  The kids seem to love camp more than ever before.”  “What do you mean?” we asked.  “Just look at those kids over there.  They are having the time of their lives just acting silly with each other.  One girl has a paper cup on her head and the others are laughing like it’s the funniest thing they have ever seen.”  Moral of the recounting:  Today’s campers seem to enjoy spending time with each other no matter what they are doing.  It’s the “down” time they seem to value the most. Maybe the reason Anne and Gene think the girls enjoy camp today more than 20 years ago is that camp is a place where friends are right in front of you, not on Facebook or on the other end of a text message.  We are proud that Kamaji gives campers that opportunity.

Last week we celebrated another “first” at Kamaji.  We began another new activity called Mad Science.  Mad Science was the brainchild of Becca Langsam, a Junior Counselor from St. Louis.  Last winter, Becca contacted Kat and suggested Mad Science.  She spent the spring preparing camp-appropriate science experiments.  Last week, we offered the campers a chance to try Mad Science as a regular instructional activity and 50 campers signed up.  Mad Science is a three day activity and some of the projects included making rainbows in a glass by layering liquids, making homemade lava lamps, making volcanoes, blowing up balloons using baking soda and vinegar and, a real favorite, making slime.  Needless to say, we are grateful to Becca for bringing Mad Science to Kamaji.

The weather since we last wrote has been almost perfect.  Sunshine and temps in the upper 70’s or low 80’s have been the rule.  Today is the exception.  It was cloudy during the morning.  Oh well, it’s sunny now.

Kamaji’s Wilderness Trip Program is winding down.  All the trips mentioned in our last note have returned to camp.  Now it’s time for a few sign up trips.  A group of seven campers just returned from a two day kayak trip and another group just left for a horseback riding overnight.  Looking back on the session, we were disappointed that Minnesota’s government shut down (which is now almost 2 weeks in duration so far) cancelled our climbing trips.  We’re tempted to say, “Why don’t the politicians quit acting like children?”  but that would be an insult to all our campers.  Despite that disappointment, we believe that this session’s trip program was a big success.  We hope your daughter will return home with wonderful stories of her adventures away from camp.

Although there is less than a week left in Kamaji’s first session, our program is still running at full speed.  Last night’s evening program was a camper (and counselor) favorite – Capture the Flag.  There was a tremendous amount of running around and quite a bit of laughing.   Evidently, someone won, but we aren’t too clear on the details.  Tonight’s evening program will be Opening Night (and, unfortunately, closing night) of “Annie”, the musical.  About 40 campers have been rehearsing for one period a day for two weeks.  We can’t wait for the curtain to go up.  Tomorrow’s evening program will be the 4th of July Goofy relays which were postponed on the 4th of July because of threatened thunderstorms.  To be completely accurate, tomorrow night’s evening program will be the 10th of July Goofy Relays.  We’ll fill you in on the end of session activities in our next note to you.

Well, it’s almost time for Kamaji’s Saturday night BBQ dinner.  Don’t want to miss it.

More later. . .

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