I found some spare time to write while campers are back in their cabins getting ready to compete in the heated “Cabin Cleaning Contest.” Session Three has been filled with laughter, headwinds, card games, epic stories, and dance parties during KP. While we haven’t had the greatest weather for these campers on trail, their spirits are as high as ever and they came back with a love for canoeing and awe for Lake of the Woods.
Most of our trips headed north to use the winds to their advantage. Trips went to Helldivers, Rattlesnake, Brockett, Arrow, and Blueberry Inlet. One of our anglers on the Brockett trip decided to cast one more time before going to bed and ended up catching a whopping 23” walleye! Campers on the Blueberry Inlet trip got to meet our old friend, Father Bill’s turtle, when he came up to say hi on the rocks. The Rattlesnake crew bonded immediately over the challenge of their trip. They decided to try a different route that has not been tried in many years. Many campers came back empowered by the fact that not only did they learn how to stern, but they were able to stern well in the large waves and wind.
My favorite part of being Program Director is talking with kids right after they get back because I get to see the spark in their eyes. I know the giddy, excited feeling they have because I felt the same way after my first Laketrails trip. I wish I had more than my two ears because each camper begged for my attention so they could tell me their favorite parts of the trip! Many of them told me that they are coming back next year and they are bringing their friends!
Today is Day 8 and it is a gorgeous, sun-shiney day. I have planned many activities that will have the kids playing out in the sun and water. An activity that has been a big hit this year is a race between teams paddling their canoes without paddles to a lifeguard in a kayak in the lake. It is great to watch how campers use their canoeing knowledge to power and stern the canoes quickly through the water. Inevitably one canoe will tip, and last session it was the guides who tipped! We all had a good laugh and ended up all playing in the water together. What I enjoy most about this activity and Day 8 in general is watching the campers and guides act like carefree kids.
Camp was a crucial part of my development. When I was at school I felt judged and hampered down by what others thought of me. I wasn’t allowed to be the goofy, fun loving person I truly was. Camp brought out that side of me and taught me how to be proud of who I am. I feel so blessed to be working at a camp that truly empowers teenagers and allows them to relax and be themselves. Session Three is the epitome of what camp should look like. I have seen so many kids turn from a shy, reserved, homesick camper to a jovial, productive member of a family. I am proud of the guides and staff that have fostered an environment for these campers to grow and learn. This island is magic and I’m so glad to be here.
By Krista Goodman, Program Director
Check out this Flickr album of photos from the first half of the season!