Archive for the ‘Summer Camp Report’ Category
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
Heading into our last week at camp, it is time we had “the talk.” The topic is: Camp Sickness. Yes, it is true. We warn you the majority of your campers will surely exhibit symptoms of this Realm-old illness. Watch signs include: crying, sad demeanor, loss of appetite, and random dancing at meals. While we assure you the symptoms will dissipate, a sure-fire cure is to encourage your camper to stay in touch with their camp family. We have emailed you the 2012 Camp Directory already (and it can also be found online under “Forms and Documents” on your CampMinder Account). However, the best medicine of all is to enroll your camper for Summer 2013!
Sweet dreams from the Realm.
Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
While all our campers are stars, we do recognize a few campers with what we refer to as our “Big Awards.”
Here is the list of awards and winners for summer 2011:
Big Bowl (person who lights up the room):
Cup (Master Camper/Master Ladies and Gentleman):
The list of Specialty Awards (best in camp and most improved) will be posted in tomorrow’s WoodChuck …
Sweet dreams from the Realm.
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Today may have been the best day of my entire summer. Here’s why:
During breakfast, our Group Leaders did a “GL Swap”. They drew group names from a hat, and off they went to join their new campers! “Coincidentally” the female GL’s got boy groups and the male GL’s got the girls. Wow. It was quite a morning! A few of the girls groups felt more comfortable making their new GL’s look like them, (which explains why a few of our men are in drag in some of today’s photos!). I saw a huddle of Friars break with our Quill GL smack in the center. I saw our Friar GL leading a game of “Blind GaGag.” Our Saxon GL enjoyed a dance period with our Tumblers. Our Lancer GL was given mouse whiskers and enjoyed crafting with his Arrows. The Bow GL had a rousing soccer game with her Lancers. The Archer and Yeomen GL’s needed to do double-duty to care for the Scribes. Squire GL enjoyed a round of tennis with the Bards, followed by a fantastic “chill session.” Bows played “Riding on a Pony” with their newly attired TPJ GL. Foresters thought they had died and gone to heaven with their Shire GL, as did the Saxons with their Arrows GL. Surprisingly, or not, when we surveyed the GL’s after lunch to see if we should continue the swap for the afternoon, the female GL’s said “NO” while the male GL’s were all for a continued switch! Needless to say, we sent the GL’s back to their campers and equilibrium returned in the Realm.
Other funny moments I must share:
Lancer GL threw out a challenge at breakfast that if one specific camper could dance from breakfast on, he would give said camper a pair of said counselor’s coveted shorts. While I did see this camper dancing WHILE playing soccer, his twinkle toes only lasted up until lunch.
Yet another dance party broke out at lunch. But, this party included a conga line that traveled on the deck outside of the dining hall! Plus, a Harry Potter wand created in WoodShop was magically turned into a Limbo Stick.
And did I mention that the Brass also joined the Conga Line? Too much fun, we just couldn’t resist.
As I was walking into the office this afternoon, I ran into a Tumbler walking across the quad to her activity. She was holding a cup filled with various pairs of earrings she had just made. When I asked her whom they were for, she explained she made them for the Infirmary Staff who had just taken such great care of her when she had a fever. I love these children!
We did abs in the theater, yoga at the beach, then all of camp enjoyed their final cookouts against one of the most magnificent sunsets we have seen to date. Evening activities included an Arrows homemade slip-and-slide, Yeomen paddle, Bows camper hunt, Jesters scavenger hunt, and probably my favorite – a Friar dunking contest (yes, I did miserably attempt to dunk!). As I get ready to close the office, I have been informed there will be a Candy Canteen raid (yes, we have given them permission, but do not tell your campers!), and another group plans to have a surprise midnight wakeup for an impromptu ice-cream party.
These are truly the glory days.
Sweet dreams from the Realm.
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Tonight, Robin Hood had its final campfires. As is Realm tradition, Scribes and Saxons delivered their closing speeches to Girls and Boys Camp, respectively. As I had the pleasure of attending the Girls Camp Fire, I am going to share with you some incredible sentiments conveyed to give you a glimpse as to what a summer, what a childhood, at Robin Hood means.
“Being an only child, I never quite understood or had a sisterly bond or relationship. But, camp has taught me to love and cherish these bonds and relationships. Each and every one of these girls standing beside me has a place in my heart. … You will all remain my sisters for life.”
“Your presence always brings me joy.”
“We laugh more than we talk.”
“Your ability to booster my self-esteem is something I am forever grateful.”
“Camp has taught me to accept different people for who they are.”
“I have come to realize that camp is more than water skiing, bombardment and tennis (the activities that made me return that first summer), it is a place you go to find yourself and to meet people you come to truly love.”
“I am a different person here than I am at home, I feel comfortable enough here to allow people to know the real me. The real me wears bows in her hair and likes to roll down the quad.”
“There is a boundary between friends that is broken with camp sisters. I know that I can say the silliest, stupidest things around them and they will never judge me. Camp has made a huge impact on me especially because I am naturally a very shy person. Camp has not only enabled me to be loud and open at camp, but I have also had the courage to come out of my shell at home. Robin Hood has truly made me into the person I am today, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
“As I reminisce of the beautiful summers I’ve spent in the Realm, I think of the things that lure me back each year and keep me bound to Robin Hood during the cold winter months. It’s staying up just a little bit later to make the day seem just a little bit longer. , walking slower through camp to be able to take I the details you never noticed before. It’s looking our at the rays of sunshine in the late afternoon that shine through the clouds and feeling like you’re in heaven, or sitting on the back of the green truck letting the wind blow in your face.”
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
“Although very soon it will be time for us to part, I will always keep wishing to back to the start. I don’t know where, I can’t say when, but I know it won’t be long until we’re at it again. Never never grow up.”
“I love you to the stars on the Quad and back.”
Sweet dreams from the Realm.
Saturday, August 6th, 2011
What a glorious day in the Realm. Reality has clearly set in that in less than one week’s time, we will all be back home. Therefore, the final “squeeze” is on. Each daylight hour, we squeeze the juice out of life in the Realm. Activities are buzzing, laughter is thick, and energy is high.
The day started with 24 runners at the Gas Pump. DC and Woody challenged our campers and staff to a Freedom 5K; whoever beat them would be treated to Cozy Corner after lunch. We were thrilled to see such a large group willing to wake an hour early to take on a solid physical challenge. Two of our campers won their age groups, and one of our staff finished third for the entire race. Woody beat DC, and only two campers finished before them. However, everybody was treated to an afternoon treat.
As excursions wind down, we would like to highlight our Foresters and Shires who are currently touring the great city of Boston. This afternoon, the boys witnessed two-and-a-half hours of the New England Patriot’s Pre-season Training Camp. At one point they were forty feet away from Tom Brady as he threw passes to his new wide receivers. The girls showed up with a half-hour left in practice for our special surprise. Our kids had a private meet-and-greet with Coach Belichick. All were star-struck and had a genuine appreciation for how hard these professionals train. Both groups finished the night with an outdoor concert and dinner at Boston’s own “Fire and Ice.”
Our last group to hit the road will be the Jesters. They were bouncing off the walls tonight in anticipation of their secret two-day trip. Stay tuned for details …
Tomorrow, all our other children return “home” and we can’t wait. We too will be relishing these final camp days.
Sweet dreams from the Realm.
Friday, August 5th, 2011
I stood in the back of the Chuck Illig Playhouse on Founder’s Night in a huddle with four other boys. The four boys in the huddle with me were not on my staff, nor were they in my group as campers. What brought us huddled together that night was that we shared one thing in common- we had all come to Robin Hood in 2002. That makes this summer each of our 10th years at the Realm, and we were anxiously awaiting our 10-year vests.
Later that night, as I proudly wore my soft green vest to the staff meeting, my friend asked me how it felt to finally get the vest. At first, I responded that I didn’t feel any different- it was just a vest, and I’ve known I was going to receive it all summer. But later that night, I thought more about what a 10-year vest signified for me, and I realized it was more than just a comfy piece of clothing.
My dad went to Robin Hood for seven years during the ‘70s. As an eager soon-to-be Squire, I told my dad I was going to beat his seven years at camp. “I’m going to make it to 10 years!” I told him, and as surreal as it seems, that goal actually has come true. I’ve spent more than half of my summers at the Realm, and I’ve witnessed a lot of changes: new staff, new campers, several new buildings, and even a couple new traditions as well. Yet, with all of its changes, Robin Hood has remained the one thing that always remains constant in my life, and there are steady reminders everyday of that consistency. I still wake up to the same bugle playing accompanied with Chuck’s voice. Everyday I walk by the tree that one of my best friends and I carved our initials into several years ago, still with a faded DW etched on the bark. These are just a couple moments in an ongoing list that remind me how fortunate I am to have spent ten years here. Robin Hood feels like my second home- a place where I feel absolutely comfortable. And even as the years pass, I know that I can always feel welcomed in the Realm.
This summer I have been lucky enough to be the TPJ/Squire leader. I am back in the same bunk I was as a Squire, Archer, Forester, and now group leader. It’s amazing to think that one day my campers will be becoming group leaders. While it’s hard to teach junior camp boys that Robin Hood is more than just a simple camp, I try my best to make sure they have the best summer possible so they’ll keep coming back until they are old enough to realize what Robin Hood means to them. And who knows, hopefully in ten years they will be huddled in the back of Chuck’s Playhouse, awaiting their moment to walk on stage and receive their own 10-year vests.
Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Why do people take family vacations? We take family vacations to: see new places; take a break from regular activities; have family bonding time. For all these reasons, I would argue that our excursions are genuine family vacations.
What a pleasure our Saxon and Scribe excursion was. A majority of these children started their Robin Hood experience when I did. DC and I have literally watched these campers grow up to be the fine women and men they are today. And these past few days, we had incredible quality time together. Let me fill you in on all that we did.
Tuesday late morning we left the Realm. We drove a few hours then stopped for a late afternoon Subway lunch. We arrived to our Sheraton Hotel on the Cape around 4. There was both an indoor and outdoor pool so the kids enjoyed a dip before getting ready for the evening activities. DC took the boys out for pizza and to a Cape Cod Baseball League game. Unfortunately, a rainstorm hit and the game was cancelled. But no worries, as the boys opted for another swim followed by a movie. The girls and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant and raw bar where we celebrated one of the Scribe’s Sweet 16. When the cake came, the girls sang a beautiful “Happy Birthday” followed by a “Kings and Queens” melody. The packed restaurant loved their song so much, some people actually asked for an encore! Of course the girls happily sang to their summer sister again. Following dinner, the girls headed to the movies to finish a wonderful first day on the Cape.
Wednesday we woke to Dunkin Donuts breakfast then broke into two groups. Group 1 hit to the beach for Surfing Lessons; Group 2 went to a different beach for Paddle Boarding lessons. Everyone enjoyed boxed lunches in between activities. Late afternoon we all met back at the hotel to get ready for an evening in Provincetown. We had a ball, complete with a comedy show by one of Provincetown’s finest performers.
Thursday mimicked Wednesday – Dunkin for breakfast, and groups enjoyed the alternate activity from the day before. Everyone really loved learning to do these new ocean sports! Lunch was at a fantastic Cape Cod lobster/sandwich shack, followed by an afternoon swim. We spent our last night of excursion in Boston for a wonderful Italian Feast.
Everywhere we went, I was told what a lovely group of kids these are – polite, enthusiastic, impressive. The surfing/paddle board owner in particular commented “I see a lot of kids in my business. I don’t what the water is you guys drink at Robin Hood, but WOW. What a great group of kids. I really hope you will do business with us again.”
I am proud of our children. And once again, I am brimming with appreciation that I get to have a part in their lives.
Sweet dreams from the Realm.
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
It’s quiet in the Realm, only half of camp showing up to flag raising as the other half are out on Excursion. The dining hall was still lively with the Saxons and Scribes keeping the mood up dancing and singing. A favourite in the Realm was served, Nicky’s homemade Chocolate Banana Bread which was too good!!
The Lancers began their excursion by eating breakfast at their Campsite followed by heading off to Water Country for a hectic day of water activities! After this they ventured to the movie theatre and watched a movie of their choice eating dinner also.
The Friars were also out for excursion. They went to Monkey Trunks Adventure Park after breakfast at their campsite where they were able to complete the Discovery Course with numerous fun activities including zip wires and swinging bridges! Once the course was over they headed into Conway for lunch, a movie and dinner out!
The Bards ate breakfast at their campsite then headed off to Cinnamon Rainbows for some stand up Paddle Boarding activities! They then enjoyed lunch next door in a surfing restaurant called ‘The Spot’ After lunch they hung out at the beach for a short while followed by a movie and dinner before arriving back at camp not so long ago.
The TPJ/Squires enjoyed eating breakfast at their campsite before playing put-put golf and having a picnic lunch on the green in North Conway. They then went to watch a movie and had dinner before returning to camp.
Finally were the Saxons and Scribe excursion which involved them heading to Cape Cod for 3 days of fun, rest and relaxation! These guys and girls are not roughing it! But staying in separate motels and dining out on all occasions! The trip includes stand up Paddle Boarding, Surfing, Cape Cod Summer League Baseball and of course lots of time to hang out at the beach!
Equally, this was a great morning and afternoon in camp with some excellent activities going on for all to enjoy!
After dinner there will be a GIANT game of Bombardment! The challenge was the Brass and all Junior Camp (including staff) against all of senior camp and their staff!! ‘s going to be a BIG ONE!!!
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
As a little kid, my dad used to sing the Goodnight song to me before I went to sleep. I grew up hearing stories about the Realm from my grandfather, my father, my uncles, my cousins and my younger sister. But, because I went to a different camp, Robin:Hood’s magic was a mystery to me until now.
Before camp, I was terrified: terrified my campers and I wouldn’t get along, terrified they wouldn’t like me and terrified I would regret my decision to come. Regardless of my fears, by dinner on the first night of camp, surrounded by all of my campers, I somehow felt at home. They remind me of myself when I was ten years old and they have been like a time machine for me this summer. I was always that little girl who wanted to grow up, go to college and be out in the real world, but my girls have helped me slow down and enjoy every day for what it is. They remind me how to be a kid and how to make every little thing fun. They’ve also helped me grow up in ways I hadn’t imagined possible.
Some time between that first night at dinner and this evening while I sit here writing, the summer has flown by. I cannot imagine a single day without my girls and all of their wonderful quirks, jokes, questions, dance moves and excitement that comes with every new day. It has truly been the greatest pleasure I can imagine watching them grow over the summer and accomplishing all of their “I can’ts.” At the beginning of the summer, one of my campers was extremely scared to dive off the dock at the waterfront. At first when she tried, she would end up with her toes in the water first and tears streaming down her cheeks. Before she left at four weeks, I watched her dive beautifully into the lake and saw her little blond head emerge from the water with a big smile on her face. Words cannot express my joy and pride for her accomplishment.
Robin:Hood specializes in the absurd, and I believe that to be one of its greatest charms. Who would think something called gaga was a sport? Who would guess that eleven year old girls would cherish a night on which they get to wear all black, sunglasses and painted-on mustaches?
There’s something about this place that sucks you in and makes you let go of all your worries, insecurities and thoughts of a world outside the Realm and lets you just be yourself. I feel overwhelmed with love and more at ease this summer than I’ve felt in a long time. I have my girls to thank for that. They continuously make me laugh until I cry (or pee in my pants), and every unnecessary hug and “I love you” means the world to me. The bows are my kids, my friends, my sisters, my family; Robin:Hood feels like home.
My first summer here has changed me into a more caring and considerate person, and somehow it has also made me and my sister much closer for which I am very greatful. In a world where technology and the media force children to grow up very quickly and very early, the Realm is the perfect place for kids to just be kids and not waste a minute of their youth. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a summer and it will definitely not be my last here. Robin:Hood is truly a magical place and I can’t believe I’ve waited 19 years of my life to discover it for myself.
Monday, August 1st, 2011
It was a beautiful and busy morning. Four groups left for their excursions so there was a lot of hustle and bustle! Medications were gathered, cookout food was organized and packed, bags were loaded, spending money was collected, and lastly hugs were given as the children and staff entered the vans. From New Hampshire to Maine, from oceans to mountains and everything in between, look out New England – here we come!
The Friars enjoyed Stand-up Paddle-boarding followed by a fresh water swim. The lake in which they swam was ¼ mile of shallow water! Afterwards, the boys cooked out and pitched tents for a great night of sleeping.
TPJ’s and Squires spent their day at a phenomenal water park that featured everything from gigantic slides to spray pools. They enjoyed lunch at the park, and then headed to their campsite for a cookout and sleepover in tents.
Lancers spent their day deep-sea fishing. After the boys’ day at “sea,” they set-up camp for dinner and sleeping.
The Bards enjoyed a high-ropes climbing course today for their excursion. With various courses and two zip lines, we are confident the girls had a blast. After a round of put-put, the girls set up camp and had a great cookout.
As is required, we heard from all groups this evening, and the reports were glowing.
Meanwhile, back at camp, the remaining campers loved having the run of the place! Group Leaders got their first pick of activities, and the energy was fantastic.
Tomorrow, DC and I head out on the Scribe and Saxon excursion as we do every summer. We cherish this time with our oldest campers before they make their transition onto the staff. Woody will be taking over the WoodChuck so if you notice a slight change in writing style, you will know why!
Sweet dreams from the Realm.