The Fun Never Ends

We have reached  my favorite part of a session. It’s always somewhere right in the middle, where the campers have made great friendships and are all really close, but also where no one has realized that in a short week and a half we’ll be having to say our goodbyes.

On America’s birthday I left camp early with around 10 campers and staff members to watch them run in the annual 5 mile race. I can’t remember a time where the Chop Point racers collectively finished in under an hour and a half, but this year everyone was done in less than fifty minutes. In fact, one of our very own campers won overall in the women’s category, and another boy won overall for his age group. Success. The rest of camp joined us to watch the parade in town. To kick it off Chop Point was called to the front to dance the chicken dance, which was probably a bad idea, since half the campers had never heard of it before. They got the hang of it pretty quickly, though!

After the parade finished we headed home.

The evening activity on the 4th was Luau night, a camp favorite. It was basically monsoon-ing out so we had to move the decorations and cook-out indoors. I was one of the staff members running the night and in all honesty, was pretty nervous it wasn’t going to be as successful since we had to have it in the lodge. However, it just might have been the funnest I’ve ever had at a Luau night. In typical Luau fashion, all the cabins painted themselves and performed cheers, skits, and stories to go along with their paintings. We had a beach volleyball tournament where everyone had to sit, therefore remaining stationary while they played. It kind of leveled the playing field. Isle au Haut and Pemaquid were in the final match, and though it was back and forth until the end, Pemaquid pulled away with the win.

We then played “Musical Towels”, which is a lot like Musical Chairs, except with towels (I know, ground breaking). Also, instead of walking around the towels, everyone danced in the middle until the music stopped, and then scrambled to find a free towel to lay on. We ended the activity with a camp-wide limbo contest. A night well spent, as usual!

Yesterday was all switched around. We had a big soccer game in the morning, as well as some other activities. In the afternoon we tried some new never-before-played games at CP. We played kickball with kitty pools as bases and a slip-and-slide that took you to home. We also played a game where two teams threw wet sponges at one another to get people out, and if we caught  a sponge, one of our players was allowed to get back in the game. It was essentially dodgeball, but in this case, dodge-sponge. All in all it was a great way to cool off on a hot, sunny day.

After dinner we headed to Bath to go to the local fair and watch some fireworks (celebrating America’s birthday even though it wasn’t necessarily on America’s birthday). The campers had a great time buying fried dough and going on rides (I did a mixture of the two and it wasn’t necessarily the smartest decision I’d ever made). There was live music on the waterfront and for the last half hour or so a big group of Chop Pointers danced together. We definitely made fools of ourselves but it was worth it. The cherry on top of the night was the fireworks, and we all headed back to camp ready for bed.

Tonight is Cabin Theme Night, which never seems to disappoint. As I write this cabins are making their “plans of attack” in order to make their cabins the best they can possibly be. Updates to follow on how it goes.

Don’t forget to keep checking the Picassa account and Facebook page for more pictures and updates. More to come!

Goodbye, First Session

Today has been pretty depressing for everyone.

We said our goodbyes. There were a lot of tears and a lot of hugs. Even though the last day of camp is always tough, one of our counselors, Taylor, gave me a really cool way to look at it: “I like today because it really shows that we are doing something special here.” The fact that people are so sad to leave that they are actually brought to tears says something about this camp.

Yesterday the camp loaded up the vans and buses and set off to Freeport, a nearby town containing just about any store one could possibly desire to go to. It’s an opportunity for people to buy souvenirs and go to stores that they don’t have in their area. Many buy a fancy outfit to wear to our end of the session banquet.

Banquet is the beginning of the closing ceremonies. We dressed up in our nicest clothing and had a delicious dinner. We sang some of our favorite songs from the session and some campers and counselors gave speeches, talking about what Chop Point has done for them.

Afterwards, we changed out of our nice clothing and had a camp fire. Anyone who wanted to had the opportunity to stand up and talk. Some people told stories from the session, some told how they found out about Chop Point, and some just told everyone how thankful they were to have spent the last three weeks with everyone.

So blessed to be spending my summer at this camp. Thanks to all the campers and counselors for a great session.

Second Session coming soon to a theater near you.

The End is Near

The last week of camp is flying by.

We’ve had Braveheart Night, a camp favorite. At lunch, one of our counselors announced that it was “Wells Fargo” Night, a night that we’ve done in the past but isn’t one of the nights most looked forward to. The campers, who are usually so excited for all the evening activities, were pretty apathetic towards this. After dinner, we were instructed to go to the lodge for a meeting. Our Assistant Camp Director, Andrew Brooks (who is generally an easy-going guy) tricked everyone into believing that he was furious that campers were continuing to break dishes on accident during meals. We all headed to the Dining Hall, thinking we were going to have to spend the night sweeping the floors and cleaning. When we got there, the projection screen was pulled down and all of the chairs were surrounding it. We took our seats, and proceeded to watch an epic short film introducing the actual night, featuring most of the staff members (courtesy of our camp videographer, Andrew Schundler).

Braveheart is a game where shirts tucked into our shorts are our life-lines, and if they get pulled out, we “die”. There are two teams, like in the movie Braveheart, Scotland and England. We played a few rounds against our respective enemies, and then, at the end, joined in a circle and had “call-outs”. This gives us an opportunity to battle someone one on one, or take on our entire cabin, etc. (Yes, Braveheart is indeed so amazing that I had to dedicate two large paragraphs to it.)

Over the past few days, everyone has been working on their “hearts”. These are heart-shaped cards handed to all the campers, giving everyone an opportunity to write to the friends they were the closest to over the session. It’s a camp tradition.

We went to the beach yesterday, and though the weather was pretty foggy and rainy, we all had a great time playing card-games and soccer. Some brave souls even got in the water and went surfing. Many worked on writing their hearts.

It’s pretty much go, go, go until the end now. Tonight we’re going roller-skating, then to Freeport, then a banquet, then a camp fire, and so on. Everyone is excited for the fun to come, but it is also clear that we are all bummed the session is ending.

Car Washes and Some Fireworks

We’ve been really busy at the Point lately. It feels like First Session started yesterday and now, all of a sudden, we’re on our last week.

One day every session Chop Point likes to have a work day, where we have several car washes throughout the community and do some other work around the camp. All the money made at the car washes goes towards our sister camp in Nicaragua, Camp Alegria. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I believe we raised around 1,200 dollars overall! Success.

Two days ago we had our famous “Talent Night”. This night gives campers and counselors alike a chance to show off their abilities. The lodge was transformed into a fancy restaurant with a stage. Everyone was waited on by the counselors, and though we had already eaten dinner, we had the opportunity to order root-beer floats and other delicious treats. The talents ranged from singing and dancing to acting out skits. This time someone even did gymnastics. It was a great night.

Yesterday was Sunday, so we had chapel in the lodge. After an early dinner, we loaded up the buses and vans and set off for a carnival at the same place we watched the parade a few days prior. The carnival was so fun – with rides and games and a ton of fried food. Once it grew dark, we all settled on the grass and rocks near the edge of the Kennebec River and watched some amazing fireworks, probably some of the best I’d ever seen. Everyone got back to camp in high spirits and ready for bed.

The mountain biking trip set off today on what looks to be a promising trip. Stay tuned for another update soon.

Click on our Facebook and Picasa links below for some picture updates.

The Past Few Days at Camp

The sun is finally out! It made an appearance yesterday for America’s birthday and has been present ever since. Everyone is thankful it’s starting to feel like summer weather again. The last few days of rain were spent well, however.

We took the entire camp Candle Pin Bowling a few days ago at a nearby bowling alley. Candle Pin Bowling is much like regular bowling, only with a smaller bowling ball, about the size of a softball. If my memory serves me correctly, the high score of the afternoon was 101.

On the last rainy night of camp we played a murder mystery game. It was much like the board game Clue, only in real life. At dinner, one of our counselors was “murdered”, and the cabins spent the rest of the night trying to figure out who the culprit was. Several of our counselors acted as suspects, and each cabin took turns interviewing them. By the end of the night, the “murderer” confessed. It was, personally, one of my favorite nights.

The Allagash canoe trip is back with reports of an awesome time. Most were tired, and in desperate need of a nice shower, but it was also quite obvious that they were happy they went. The Quebec trip has also returned after a few days of shopping and sightseeing in  Canada. Today the kayaking trip set off on the Kennebec River for an overnight trip to Swan Island. I’ve been on that trip before, so I can say with confidence that they’ll have a great time.

On the Fourth of July we spent the morning at a parade in a nearby town. Nearly the entire camp was decked out in red, white, and blue… even the foreigners! After the parade, we came back to camp for lunch and hung out on the dock and played group activities for the rest of the afternoon. There was a pretty intense game of soccer, foreigners vs. Americans. It ended with a tie, 4-4, so we went into sudden death penalty kicks. The foreigners came out victorious, but it was a close call. For dinner we had hamburgers and fresh cut fries, with fried dough coated in sugar for dessert. Needless to say, it was delicious.

The evening activity was Carnival Night. There was face painting, games, and even a water slide. A make-shift dunk tank was built and one lucky camper got the opportunity to dunk our Camp Director, Dave Wilkinson, into the Kennebec.

It’s been an awesome few days. More fun to come!

Click on our Picasa or Facebook link at the bottom of the page for some pictures.

 

“It’s always sunny at Chop Point.”

This morning our Assistant Camp Director Andrew made a comment at breakfast, “It’s always sunny at Chop Point.” And it is, in the metaphorical sense of the term. The rain has been going strong for almost a week now, but we have found some awesome ways to pass the time.

A few days ago the Allagash Canoe Trip set off for five days on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty bad for them, but then I remembered what my friend said about this trip a few years back:

“There was a hole in our tent. It wouldn’t stop raining. Our canoe flipped. There were bugs everywhere… it was the best five days of my life.” A trip is what you make of it, clearly.

The staff has had to switch around some evening activities because of the rain, but so far it has worked out well.

We had Cabin Theme Night, where the cabins were transformed into some pretty creative themes. Just a few examples are a meditation center, a time machine, the iPod game Temple Run, and a bizarre market place.

The next night was Sports Night, where four teams compete for the coveted Chop Point Trophy. It’s made out of tin foil, but is no less prestigious than a gold medal in the Olympics. We played games like Ultimate Frisbee and Knock-Out. The rain let up long enough for us to have some pretty intense rounds of Ultimate on the soccer field.

Two days ago was Sunday, so we started off the day with a late breakfast, giving everyone a chance to sleep in a little. We then had chapel, where one of my counselors, Autumn, gave her testimony. After an early lunch, we loaded up the bus and vans and set off for Boothbay Harbor, a beautiful town on the coast of Maine with a ton of little shops. We were all amazed to see that the sun was out.  I think nearly everyone in the camp got ice cream that day. The rain didn’t come back until it was almost time for bed.

Today the rain is still going strong, and the entire camp is in the gym playing volleyball and basketball. The evening activity is still up in the air, but will no doubt be as fun as all the others.

Even with the rain, it is clear by all the smiles and laughter that First Session 2013 will definitely be a session to remember.

Be checking our Picasa albums for new photos. More updates coming soon.

First Week

First Session has begun and we’re off to a great start.

Though Chop Point Camp is located in Maine and is known for its eight-month-long winters, the past few days were uncharacteristically sweltering. Those from the South were right at home. However, an obstacle like weather can’t stop the fun from being had. We spent the first night of camp playing “get-to-know-you” games, which are essentially camp wide ice-breakers to really get the friendships rolling.

The next day we spent the morning in the gym, competing against other cabins in relay races, a little thing we Chop-Pointers like to call “Wacky Olympics”. It’s so dubbed because not only do we make up cheers, play leap-frog, and participate in many other “wacky” games, but also because we are expected to show up in the most ridiculous costumes the ten minutes we are given after breakfast will allow. Bright colors, capes, inside-out clothing, crazy hair… just to give you a taste.

Daily activities are in full swing now; wind-surfing, sailing, kayaking, basketball, mountain biking, arts and crafts, guitar, water-skiing… The list goes on.

God has graciously decided to grant us some reprieve from the heat, lowering the temperature to a cool 65 degrees today. As a Mainer myself, I was right at home in shorts and a t-shirt. My friend and I played a little game called “Find the Southerner”, which was, more often than not, the person dawning a full winter jacket, sweatpants, wool socks, and rain boots.

The next two nights were for bonding with our cabins, Girls and Boys Night Out and In. The nights out are usually spent getting ice cream or going out to dinner. On Boys Night In they played several games in the gym, such as dodge ball. While the boys were out the next night, we girls spent our night in eating chocolate strawberries, making bracelets, and painting our nails. One of our counselors, Raelyn, talked to us about how important God is, especially at this pivotal point in our lives.

Tonight was originally going to be Water Night, but was cancelled due to the cold. Instead we are having Horse Races, where the campers dress up as different characters and compete on a chalk-drawn grid for candy. There are six lanes, so dice are rolled to determine when someone is allowed to move ahead. I haven’t seen all the costumes, but I know for sure that there are some princesses, Indians, cowboys, and dinosaurs out there tonight. I myself am a superhero.

Sitting here in the office, I can hear loud and clear the spirited shouting, clapping, and laughter coming from the other room, so I think I’ll go join in the festivities.

More updates of life at Chop Point Camp coming soon.

Click on the Picasa or Facebook link at the bottom of the page for some of the pictures that have been taken so far this summer.