Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Last night was one for the books. We treated our foreign campers to a taste of America with a tailgate dinner of hotdogs and chips and then a night full of excitement at the Portland Sea Dogs baseball game. We left camp around 4 O’clock and went to the Maine Mall parking lot for our tailgate. We ate bottomless hot dogs and drank pink lemonade and got excited for what was to come!

The game started at 7 and we arrived shortly before and found our seats. One of the counselors made the mistake of giving me her selfie stick and so I made it my mission to get an all camp selfie. I definitely succeeded. The first two innings went off without a hitch and then the rain came. The announcer warned us all to go inside and about two minutes in there was torrential downpours and they had to cover the field. We stuck it out. It made for an excellent intermission and chance to grab some snacks, like the famous seadog biscuits, a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. The rain didn’t last very long and after about an hour the players were back at it!

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While we were waiting for the field to be uncovered we decided to get some camp songs going. A camper and a few campers led “Swing Low” and we all sang along. Then a camp sitting across the field from us sang a song, so of course we came back with “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and after we had finished their counselors signaled us to do it again and both of our camps sang it together. It was truly a special experience.

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Both teams played well and we were all tied up at the bottom of the 9th. The final play of the night and the Sea Dogs were up to bat. The pitcher threw the ball and the crowd went quiet. He hit it out of the park! That home run won the Sea Dogs the game! It was the stuff of movies! We got back to camp a bit later than usual and had a late breakfast today to make up for it. All of the campers had an amazing time and were still talking about it tonight at dinner.

White Mountains Backpacking

“It’s not always about the view from the top, but the adventure it took getting there”

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Mt. Madison, the presidential range of The White Mountains. Recently we took a group of 5 campers and 2 counselors to hike in the White Mountains. We left camp early on a Wednesday morning and arrived in New Hampshire mid-afternoon. After learning how to pack in a backpacking pack, we headed into the woods for 3 days. The campers were excited to have a real backpacking experience accompanied with hiking to the top of a mountain.ewf

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Thursday morning we woke up, got out of our hammocks, and made a good ole fashioned oatmeal breakfast. The campers helped pack for the day before heading up Mt. Madison. It was a steep climb. We continuously passed AT (Appalachian Trail) hikers who had started hiking at Mt. Katadian and were headed south to Georgia. As we rose in elevation the climb became steeper and steeper. Once we were above the tree line we had about 10 minutes of a beautiful view of the valley before we were enveloped in fog and mist. We continued to climb up rock and boulders until we reached the top. The summit of Mt. Madison was not the typical summitting experience. The wind was blowing at a steady 50 mph with gusts up to 73 mph. The fog/mist was so thick that we could not see 30 yards in front of us. There were moments when campers would open their arms straight out and lean all of their body weight into the wind and they would be held upright. Even though there was no view at the summit, it was still extremely satisfying knowing that we had just climbed a mountain!

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We began our descent towards a place called Madison Hut where we ate lunch and caught our breath before continuing down the mountain. As we were leaving the Hut we saw a trail for Star Lake and decided to hike to see it. It was a beautiful lake that was right between Mt. Madison and Mt. Adams. This is also when our view began to clear and we could see down into the valley. It was a beautiful sight so we stopped took pictures and just took the view in.

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The rest of our hike was amazing as well. We hiked down a different trail which was essentially a creek bed. We eventually arrived back at our campsite exhausted, blistered, and hungry. Dinner was made and while we were eating we had an AT hiker come and sit down with us. He was 18 years old with the trail name of Young Blood. He was on month 5 of hiking the AT and was about finish in a couple of weeks. It was cool for the campers to hear about the trail from someone who was not that much older than them and to see him almost at the completion of a 6 month journey.

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Overall this experience cannot be summed up by just one event but the entire trip as a whole was fantastic. Even though we did not get to see a spectacular view from the top of a mountain, we did get to see it from a beautiful mountain lake and get to hike among rocks and waterfalls. Each camper walked away with a new appreciation for the beauty of the wilderness and the excitement for adventure.

 

A Busy Weekend

This past weekend has been crazy full of excitement. The sailing trip went out on Saturday morning and that night the rest of camp got to participate in one of my all-time favorite activities, Progressive Dinner. Basically we go to different houses around camp and they each serve a different part of our dinner. The next day was overcast and rainy so we decided to take everyone bowling in the afternoon.

To start off our dinner we went to the farmhouse owned by the family that opened Chop Point. There they had prepared us dumplings and lettuce wraps. They were delicious and after seconds a few of the guys got a game of ultimate Frisbee going on the back lawn. Some of the other campers attempted to teach our one of our guy counselors how to French braid hair. At first our French campers were really confused because they had never heard of a French braid. Once the braid was started they realized that it was the same as what the French call an African braid.

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We then packed up and headed to another house nearby on the water for the main course, ribs. After dinner we all had a chance to hang out on the lawn and play some games. A few people carried on the braiding while others started a game of soccer and others just chose to hang out and talk and watch the sunset. Some of the campers made their way down into the reeds to fish. We headed back to camp for the final piece of the evening and enjoyed ice cream sundaes in the dining hall. It was a great time and everyone enjoyed the night to just relax and enjoy their friends away from camp.

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The next day we got rained out, so after a beautiful chapel talk by one of our counselors and a few group games we all headed to Yankee Lanes for some bowling. We broke up into groups of 6 and each group bowled two rounds. There was a concession stand and arcade games and other fun things to enjoy. Some of the campers were really amazing and scored well over a 100. On my team three of the six got a strike on the first bowl! I was not one of those three…

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Many more adventures coming up so keep checking back for more posts!

Amazing Race Night

Hey there!!
Guest blogger here. I get to update you wonderful people on the shenanigans that happened last night! Hope you’re ready because this is going to be a wild ride! Just kidding, but it will be fun to recount the crazy events of one our most recent activity nights, The Amazing Race.
The Amazing Race give eight teams the chance to race around the world (camp) completing various challenges at each country. There was fierce competition that night between the countries as well as intense teamwork within each of the teams.
Each of the teams begin on the lawn of the dining hall, dressed for international travel and challenges beyond their wildest dreams! Just kidding, I am not sure what kind of challenges campers dream of, but painting the Mona Lisa may not have been one of them!
At France, we had the teams paint the Mona Lisa with the primary colors to impress the resident French judge running the station. Yes, we realize that the Mona Lisa is an Italian painting, but it is currently housed in France. The teams traveled through Puerto Rico for some salsa dancing; then to the United Kingdom for catapult building where the castles were sieged and Chop Point reigns supreme! Russia hosted a musical challenge and Iceland needed their ancient rune language decoded in order for the campers to make homemade ice cream. For Japan, they had to stay quiet as they played the floor is lava and move their team from the aqua room to the laundry room and back. Italy needed emergency pizza chefs and the USA employed the campers as engineers in an egg drop at the barn.
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Hopefully that brief run down gave you an idea of the different challenge that the campers went through. I particularly loved the salsa dancing in Puerto Rico, it gave a chance for everyone to try something new and break out of their comfort zone. I also saw some of the most laughs at that station as they tried to move their feet to the rhythm of the music and dance around with their friends.
There was definitely something for everyone at this night to participate in and it was a great night for getting the camp to mix and meet new faces. Hope you enjoyed the guest blog! If I ever come back on I’ll make sure to bring some jokes for you wonderful people.
Have a great day!

Cabin Bonding

The past few days have been filled with the usual excitement and joy that come with making new friends. To facilitate cabin bonding a few of the first nights of camp are specifically designated for cabin nights out. One night all of the girl cabins go out of camp and do their own thing and the boys stay in and then they next night they reverse.

This session many of the cabins opted to go out for dinner, some choosing sit down pizza places like The Cabin while others chose faster options, such as McDonalds, in order to keep the night moving. One of the cabins went to play mini-golf nearby. A few others opted to check out the nearest thrift shops and came back with some great items. The cabin of Acadia even managed to find matching shirts.

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The cabin of Monhegan chose to pack up some food and have a picnic in downtown Bath on the waterfront. The girls of Manana also packed up some food, but instead of heading to Bath, they went the other way to a house and the French campers in their cabins taught them how to make crepes! They all had a blast flipping the crepes in the pan and everyone gave it a try!

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When the boys stayed in, they went up to the gym and played dodgeball and other games. The girls on the other hand, opted to do some fun activities on the waterfront and end the night with a campfire with s’mores and roasted marshmallows. Everyone had a great time and we are all excited to see what happens next!

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Here We Go Again!

Second session has officially begun and all of our campers are here and ready for an amazing three weeks! This session is promising to be an incredible one with campers from 6 countries and many more states. We have our very first campers from Italy and The Netherlands, and as per Chop Point tradition we are hanging new flags in our dining hall for them.

Yesterday the campers arrived after lunch, unpacked, and set off to take the swim test. We had activities going all afternoon for the campers to join in on and then for the evening activity we did “Get to Know You Games.” Campers played evolution, an extreme game of rock, paper, scissors in which, every time you win you evolve to the next level and you can only battle others in your own level. The levels are egg, chicken, velociraptor, princess, rock star. It is a great way to break people out of their shells and get them to meet new people!

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This morning we held our annual Wacky Olympics while the campers signed up for trips and activities. Everyone was instructed to dress in their wackiest clothes and meet at the gym. They cheered and chanted and did 3-legged races until all of the sign-ups had been done. They then had the waterfront talk and we began our daily activities. The wind was blowing and the sailing was great.

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The evening activity was counselor skits and we all had a pretty good laugh. We had the avengers stop by for a guest appearance and we closed out the evening with “Skippy Fish” and there were screams and laughs all around as one of our counselors showed off his fish’s tricks.

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The Final Countdown

The past few days have seen two of the greatest evening activities of all time. Cabin theme night and Harry Potter night and to top it all off, about 26 of our campers spent the day yesterday white water rafting in Northern Maine.

Two days ago we had cabin theme night, one of my personal favorite nights of the entire year. Each cabin is given two hours to transform their cabin into a theme of their choosing. This year we all had the experience to a bank heist in the cabin of Little John, a spa in Sebago, a jungle safari in Monhegan, a hospital in Cranberry, a haunted circus in Isle au Haut, and an art museum in Manana. All of the themes this year were amazing. Manana and Sebago were the winners. Manana had 6 foot tall back drops for each of their living paintings and each painting had a witty line to say. My personal favorite was when the Scream told us that it was screaming because she had liked her crush’s Instagram post from 42 weeks ago. Sebago was decorated completely in white sheets with oak branch fans. Guests were treated to a massage, facials, and pedicures.

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The next day a group of campers went white water rafting in the Forks. They left at camp at 4 in the morning and got up there at about 7 am for a safety talk and then they were in the river. The first part of the day was huge rapids and then they took a break for lunch on the river and continued with the smoother portion to meet the bus and head home. To see the pictures from that day check out adv-bound.com!

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They arrived back to camp just in time for Harry Potter night. At lunch Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall showed up to deliver everyone’s invitations and then the whole camp was sorted into their houses by the sorting hat. We had dinner in the great hall (dining hall) and the campers were joined by other professors and students from Hogwarts. After dinner we broke up the houses and played a couple games of Quidditch, learned some new spells, and made it through the maze in the woods. At the end of the night Harry Potter defeated Lord Voldemort and Ravenclaw was awarded the Goblet of Fire for their heroic efforts.

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cvcOnly a few more day left of camp and still a ton of fun left to have!

Car Wash Day

It is the final week of camp and we are all crazy busy fitting all that we can into the schedule. Saturday was car wash/work day, steak and lobster night, and talent night. It was jam packed with fun and running around.

At breakfast, the campers were all assigned to groups for the day. About 36 campers were sent out on 3 car washes in the area and the rest stayed here to work on projects around camp. Those who were on the car washes brought a bag lunch and had the opportunity to raise money for our sister camp, Campo Alegria, in Nicaragua. It was a pretty warm day so they were all eager to get the hoses out and get to work. Those here at camp stacked almost 6 cord of wood, cut down a large tree, and cleaned our dining hall from top to bottom. I have been here for many years and I have never seen a group finish so quickly. They were done with the dining hall before lunch and spent the afternoon setting up for talent night.

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Dinner was the ever popular steak and lobster night. Campers got a choice between trying one of Maine’s most famous meals and having a delicious steak prepared by our cooks. Neither choice was wrong. For many campers and counselors it was their first time eating lobster. Everyone left a little happier and a little fatter.

Finally we ended our day with talent night. This night gives campers a chance to show off all of their impressive abilities. Many campers chose to sing or play and instrument, some put on skits or dances, one boy solved a rubix cube in under a minute, and the cabin of Pemaquid closed the night out with a rap. The counselors served all of the campers Doritos, root beer floats, and ice cream. It was a great day and everyone went back to their cabins ready for bed.

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Adventure is Out There…

The night before last was one of my favorite nights of camp this session. After an early dinner we packed all of the campers up for the hour long drive to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. It is one of the most photographed lighthouses in all of America and for good reason. There are long rocky shelves that extend from land out into the ocean forming the point of Pemaquid Point. Each year we take our campers there to explore, take pictures, and listen to a chapel talk from one of our counselors. As the campers came past the trees lining the parking lot and onto the rocks there were oohs and ahhs all around. Campers quickly ran out to the end to watch the waves crash against the rocks and spray them with salt water. Others gathered around the few cameras present and took some beautiful pictures with one of the most scenic views in all of Maine in the background.

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After about an hour of exploring all of the rocks, the whole camp gathered on one of the larger rocks to sing and listen to the chapel talk. A counselor shared his thoughts on “God the Dangerous,” a God who is unpredictable in his teachings and mighty in his ways. He concluded by quoting something that the counselors talked about during staff week, one of my favorite quotes of the summer. “God does not promise to be our pillow, but he does promise to be our rock and our foundation.” He promises to be strong and hold us up when we are weak, but he does not promise a soft landing or that life will always be easy. Everyone enjoyed it and we were all excited to be on the bus and get back to our warm beds after spending so much time near the ocean.

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Just Another Day in Paradise

The past few days have been packed with adventures. Two days ago we had obstacle course night. Many of the campers were saying that it was their favorite one in years. Some of the obstacles included sliding down a soap slide, answering a riddle, muddy tire runs, kayak hurdles, canoe rack army crawl, and running through kiddy pools. Each cabin got a chance to go through the course together and then individuals could choose to redo it if they wanted to. Sebago won for the overall fasted cabin. The night ended with an all-out counselor run where the campers got to throw mud at some of their counselors.

 

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Yesterday was beach day, so we all packed up camp and went to Reid State Park for some sun and surf. We had two groups get to try surfing for the first time this summer. Many of them got to stand up and a few really started to get the hang of it.

 

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While those groups were surfing the rest of us were enjoying the beach and the rocks. One of my favorite things to do at the beach is explore the rocky tide pools near the shelter. For lunch we had grilled chicken sandwiches and then headed back out for another few hours at the beach.

 

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The evening activity was supposed to be campfire but while the rain held out for the beach it did not wait for the activity to be finished. We decided to still do campfire night and have it in the lodge instead of outside. We sang campfire songs and made s’mores with marshmallow fluff. Everybody had a blast and we ended the night with one of everybody’s favorite songs: Swing Low.

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