Yesterday was the session’s first Adventure Day. If your daughter is new to Kamaji, you probably don’t know what that is. Most days, the campers attend four different instructional activity periods — two in the morning and two in the afternoon — and have a free period at the end of the afternoon. They don’t necessarily go to activities with campers from their porch group; instead their instructional classes are filled with campers of all ages and similar interests and ability levels. Adventure Day is an entirely different kind of day at Kamaji. On Adventure Day campers spend the whole day with their porch mates and cabin counselors.
Here’s how yesterday’s Adventure played out. After breakfast, it’s everybody’s favorite time of the day – Cabin Clean-up. Adventure Day Cabin Clean-Up is a much more thorough job because it includes changing sheets and getting everyone’s laundry ready to go to the laundromat and an all-out cabin cleaning (think Spring Cleaning!!). While getting all the campers’ laundry together may sound like an adventure all by itself, it’s only the beginning of Adventure Day. After a picnic lunch, each porch group sets off for an afternoon porch-group specific activities – planned by the group in advance and anticipation of Adventure Day. Groups can opt to do some normal camp activities like sail, swim, waterski or play tennis plus some not-so-normal activities like putting on fashion shows, going on photo scavenger hunts, having Lady Gaga make-overs, shucking corn, making signs to hang over beds or a cabin banner; believe-it-or-not, there are even scheduled shower parties complete with music. (A great incentive to get the girls to shower and wash their hair!). You can check out pictures of some of these activities on Kamaji’s Photo Gallery.
Adventure Day’s dinner is the incredibly popular Rainbow Burger outdoor barbecue. After last night’s dinner, each porch group got together to design a porch float for a Porch Float Parade that will be held next week. There were a lot of giggles and funny designs. When the bell rang at about 8:30 pm, a wonderful Adventure Day came to an end. At least we thought it came to an end.
At about 8:45, we heard a whole lot of noise coming from outside the office. When we stepped outside, we saw that there were a bunch of counselors and campers playing a game we did not recognize. There were two teams of folks on one side of the imaginary field and a few counselors sitting on the other side of the imaginary field. They were playing some sort of made-up Disney Trivia game. Here’s how it worked. The counselors sitting would call out a Disney trivia question, Something like, “Who was Captain Hook’s first mate?” The first person who ran across the imaginary field and answered the trivia question (Schmee!) got a point for their team. It was clear that the game had started spontaneously and that the questions were being made up on the spot. There was so much laughter and commotion that before you could say “Steamboat Willy”, the two teams of folks had grown to four or five teams. Campers and counselors wandering by joined in – no invite necessary. It was quite a scene. It was if the campers and counselors just didn’t want to see an end to the first Adventure day of the session.
Where else but camp could a group of nine, ten and eleven year old kids get together with a bunch of 20 something adults and make up a game that kept them laughing and cheering until the setting sun meant the game had to end?
And now the weather: If your daughter was a second session camper last summer, you might remember that we experienced the coolest session in Kamaji’s past 30 years. Well, this session the Great Spirit has been smiling on Kamaji. When the campers stepped off the buses last Friday, it was actually warmer (82 degrees) than it was at any time during last year’s second session. We have had a few showers, but nothing that slowed down the program. Heck, we even had a Camp Directors’ Thunderstorm on Tuesday. A Camp Directors Thunderstorm is an official U.S. Weather Service term for rain which occurs between midnight and 7 am. By the time the campers woke up on Tuesday morning, the sun was shining. It was truly a picture perfect day: sunny with low humidity and a high of 81 degrees. Thanks, Great Spirit!
Kamaji’s Wilderness Tripping Program is already running at full speed. At 6 am on Tuesday, Pine and Manor left on their week-long Canadian canoe trips. They will spend the next week paddling and portaging in the pristine White Otter Wilderness Area north of Atikokan, Ontario. Also on Tuesday a mixed group of campers from Cabin 4 and Cabin on the Hill left for a four day trip to Voyageurs National Park. And today, Cabin 3 Porch 1 took off for a three day Crow Wing River trip and Cabin 1 paddled off for their three day trip to Lake Andrusia.
And there’s good news from Club Med, Kamaji Health Center. There has been a few sniffles, bumps, bruises and bug bites, but nothing more serious than that. This week, Club Med’s staff is headed up by Dr. Adam Blonsky. Adam is pediatrician from St. Charles, IL and is spending his third rotation on the shores of Wolf Lake. Joining Adam in Club Med are three nursing assistants. Rebekah Bass, Cari Zuckerman, Sharma Prosser – all fourth year BSN nursing students who are spending their first summer at Kamaji. It is Kamaji’s policy to have Cari, Sharma or Rebekah call you if your daughter is admitted for an overnight stay in Club Med or is taken to see a doctor or dentist in town. (We do NOT call if your daughter spends a few hours just resting in Club Med or if she visits for a scraped knee, sore throat, bug bite, applied band-aid or Tylenol request). Kamaji’s policy assures you that if your daughter receives anything more than routine health care you’ll hear from us. No health-related news is good news.
FYI: On Saturday, Alan Braverman, a cardiologist from St. Louis will replace Adam Blonsky as Camp Doc. This will be Alan’s 5th stint at Kamaji. And on July 31, Alan’s place will be taken by Cat Dean, a gynecologist from St. Louis, who will be spending her 13th summer as Camp Doc. Cat will be with us until the end of the camp season.
Well, that’s all for now. We’ll write again in a few days. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your daughter’s experience at Kamaji, just write or call.
Mike, Kathy and Kat