Second Session is here!

I didn’t expect Second Session to come so quickly, but I’m glad it’s here! The best way to quell the First Session blues is with a new group of campers that are all so excited to be at camp and are ready to dive in head first (in some cases, literally.)

Camp is basically at maximum capacity at this point. There’s about 115 people collectively and we are using every single table in the dining hall. I’ve seen camp so full that we’ve had to open another cabin for the workers, but I’ve never seen camp so full that the worker cabin had nearly just as many people as all the other cabins.

It’s only been a couple days but I’d say the cabins are already well on their ways to becoming friends. We are just passed the “bonding” period of night activities and now we’re getting into the actual themed nights. Tonight, specifically, is Sports Night. Not all the campers are sports oriented but we make nights involving sports fun for everyone by leveling the playing field a bit. For instance, instead of using a regular soccer ball, we use a big yoga ball, which goes about a maximum of ten feet, no matter who’s kicking it.

We had the previously mentioned Wacky Olympics, and as far as levels of wackiness go, this group was the best I’ve ever seen! I’d go into detail, but it speaks for itself, really:

We’ve added a new activity to our repertoire, baking. I almost wish I was still a camper just for this class. It’s run by one of the cooks and just about the last person on earth you’d expect to be good at baking; one of the counselors of the oldest boys cabin, Pemaquid. These two help the kids in the class make the desserts for dinner every night. I think they’ve only made (melt in your mouth) chocolate chop cookies so far, but there are many more delicious baked goods to come.

The kayaking trip is about to leave, kicking off the new trip season. It’s just a one night trip, and only a little ways down the river, but it’s always been a camp favorite. In fact, there was a pretty long waiting list when sign ups were going on.

We’ve had perfect weather so far! Knock on wood. It’s been sunny and warm but not to the point of discomfort. I almost want there to be a day where it’s 95 degrees with no wind so camp can pack up and ship out to the sand bar, an area down the river a bit that is a perfect place to cool down. When the tides are right there’s a strip of sand everyone can hang out on and jump into the water off. We usually ferry people to and from the sand bar in our motor boats. It’s always one of my favorite things to do.

I think that’s all for now. Don’t forget about our Picassa albums and Facebook page  for quicker, shorter-winded updates. Much, much more to follow!

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!

The Camp Vibes are Rolling!

Chop Point Camp 2014 has  officially begun! It’s been a crazy, fun filled past few days.

We’ve had an unprecedented amount of good weather, usually foreign to our first couple of weeks of camp. This time last year we were all bundled up in our winter clothes, trying to stay warm in 50 degree weather. Now it’s wavering just above 80 degrees with perfect sailing wind and the occasional rainy cool down in the afternoon.

We started the week off right with the semi-annual Wacky Olympics. Cabins showed up to the soccer field dawning their wackiest get-ups. The field was a mass of capes, neon, and inside out clothing.

We played some games to get the camp vibes rolling, including (but not limited to) tug-of-war, three-legged races, and the ever-popular Sharks and Minnows. Everyone had a blast despite the fact that they were sweltering from the many layers of clothing deemed necessary to look “wacky enough”. Whether they were at a suitable level of wackiness or not is up for debate, but I’m gonna say everyone nailed it…

A lot of our evening activities have been focused on giving the campers opportunities to bond, like Get to Know You Games and Girls and Boys night in/out.

We also did my all time favorite night: Lip Sync! It was focused on musicals this time around. My favorite song choice was probably “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables, but my favorite performance was definitely from the group of kids that had been on the biking trip. They did a perfect rendition of “So long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music, rivaling the Von Trapp family themselves.

It’s exciting to see so many new relationships being formed and how well the cabins can bond, even though it’s only been a week. Campers that had previously never sailed a day in their lives are now taking the reins, and by the end of these three weeks are bound to be experts. I could just be biased, but I’d have to say sailing is one of the best activities Chop Point has to offer. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had were on those Sunfish.

Two trips have left and returned and I think it’s safe to say that the new staff have really gotten the hang of things and camp is in full swing. It’s shaping up to be an unforgettable session!

If you enjoyed the pictures there’s a bunch more on our Picassa account, and many more to come. Stay tuned for some more posts (hopefully soon!).

The End

Chop Point Camp 2013 is officially over.

The second session crew packed up and headed out a couple days ago after a fun-filled last few days.

In the past we’ve had a few themed nights, such as Peter Pan Night and Harry Potter Night. Well, this session we had Disney Night. All the counselors and some of the campers were given parts from a bunch of Disney movies, like The Little Mermaid and Hercules. They went to dinner dressed as their part, which was extremely amusing to see. Some of the costumes were scary realistic.

The campers were divided into movie groups, and their goal that night was to search for the princess to their movie, following a scavenger hunt to clues. Once they found their princess (with some help from the prince), they figured out where their villain was hiding and set off to attack them (with water balloons, of course). This night is a new favorite of mine.

We ended the week with the usual beach day at Reid State Park. The sun was out and a bunch of campers went surfing and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. That night the camp went roller-skating until 1 a.m. Luckily we were all allowed to sleep in the next morning.

After that we spent the day shopping in Freeport, and then to our semi-annual banquet, honoring our last night at camp. Once the banquet was over, we changed out of our nice clothing and went to have a campfire at our fire pit. Anyone who wanted had the opportunity to speak.

The end came much too quickly for my liking… or anyone else’s, for that matter. Goodbyes were hard for everyone, but there’s still the promise of next year. A huge thanks to the staff and campers this summer for making Chop Point Camp 2013 one of the best summers yet. Till next year.

End of the Second Week

The last week of Second Session has come, no matter how much all of us didn’t want it to.

A few nights ago we drove to Pemaquid Point, a place that one of our cabins is named after. It’s a beautiful spot on the ocean, with huge climbing rocks and a lighthouse. Everyone explored the rocks, and many pictures were taken that night. It started to rain, so we all hunkered down under tree coverage for some singing and a quick chapel.

We’ve also had the semi-annual cabin theme night. The judges dubbed this the best cabin theme night in the history of Chop Point. Now, I’m not sure if I’d go that far, but it’s definitely in the running. The judges couldn’t let themselves just have two cabins as winners, so the next morning at breakfast we had an award ceremony. It was called the Oscars, though it was not very much like the real Oscars award show. Cabin awards were given out, as well as individual awards like Best Supporting Actress/Actor and Best Actress/Actor.

We’re starting the last week off right with chapel atop Maiden’s Cliff in Camden. To get to where we have the chapel is about a mile long walk, but the view is worth it ten times over. After chapel the campers were given lunch, and then let loose into the town of Camden for some shopping and sight-seeing.

Tonight we are going to the farmhouse for Christmas in July, where we have some Christmas games and eat really delicious food.

Hard to believe there’s only a couple of updates left before the end. Be checking our Picasa albums and Facebook page for more picture posts!

Sailing, Seadogs, and Sock Hop

The sailing trip is back with nothing but good reports…

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To say I’m jealous is an understatement.

Spending the night aboard a 100 foot long schooner… definitely not the most boring trip we offer here at Chop Point. The food is famous, and talked about days after the trip ends. Once the boat anchors for the night, campers have the opportunity to climb up the ship’s ropes and jump into the ocean. Freezing, but worth it.

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A few nights ago we went to a baseball game for the Portland Seadogs. It’s a good time to relax and hang out with everyone. For some, it was their first baseball game. Everyone had a great time cheering, and the Seadogs pulled away with a win of 5-1.

Last night was Sock Hop Night. Everyone dresses up as greasers and in other typical 1950s fashions. For dinner, we all go to the Chop Point “Diner”, which is actually just the dining hall, decked out like a typical diner from the 50s. Oldies songs play while we order our food (root beer floats, burgers, fries, etc.), and after dinner we join into our cabins for some fun activities.

We played trivia games, had an Elvis Presley impersonation contest, a hula hoop contest, and more. There was also a game where they would play a song, and each cabin would have to give their best guess (all fifties songs). The senior staff was also a team, and honestly, if they were allowed to win, they definitely would have.

For more pictures check our Picasa albums and facebook page.

 

Luau Night

We have all officially settled into Second Session.

We had some cabin bonding nights at the beginning and now we’re on to bigger and better things. A few nights ago, we had a camp favorite, Luau Night.

Our Camp Director, Dave, and a few others spent the better part of the day roasting a pig specifically for the Luau Night dinner. We came to dinner dressed in Hawaiian shirts with flowers in our hair, and ate out on the front lawn. Everything was delicious, like always. After dinner we broke up into different groups, signified by colors, and came up with some cheers. We were also given paint to decorate ourselves as well as a canoe, which was to be used later in the night. The painting may have gotten a bit out of hand, however…

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Once our canoes were painted, we had a “regatta” of sorts, racing through the water around obstacles. After the race, we had a limbo contest and a moon-pie eating contest.

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A night well spent.

Hello, Second Session

Second Session is coming in hot… in all senses of the word.

The weather has been some of the hottest temperatures all summer. Walking past the dock today, I saw about forty or so campers weighing it down.

There’s also about twenty or so more campers this session, making Chop Point pretty full. With an uncharacteristically small group last session, a bigger group is welcomed.

On the first night, we did get-to-know-you games, camp wide ice-breakers to kick off the session. Everyone was tired that night, many even jet-lagged, so we all got a good night’s rest.

The next morning we had Wacky Olympics, explained in my first update last session. To summarize, we basically dress up in crazy clothing and play a ton of games in the gym.

Example A:

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Example B:

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Check out our Picasa albums, linked at the bottom of the page, for more photos (courtesy of Andrew Schundler, camp videographer).

Tonight, after going over rules with the Assistant Camp Director, Andrew, we watched a bunch of skits made up by the counselors. I think the counselors do them because it makes them seem more approachable… also the skits are hilarious. All in all we’re off to a great start.

Keep checking back for more updates!

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.