Trip Season

Less than a week into Second Session, and we are already in “trip season” here! The whale watching trip to Boothbay Harbor and the Kennebec kayaking trip have both already gone out and returned with plenty of stories and good reports of their trips. This morning, two more trips pulled out of camp. The biking trip will be exploring Acadia National Park and spending a couple of nights there. A group of ten adventurous campers also left this morning to go on a three day canoeing trip on the St. Croix River.

All is well here at camp. The never-ending sunshine has made the waterfront one of the best and busiest places to be at camp. Go to our Picasa Web albums to see some new pictures from the waterfront!

Goodbyes and Hellos

Sadly, First Session came to an end this past Thursday. Saying goodbyes are never fun, but knowing that life-long friendships grew over the course of the three weeks makes the goodbyes worth it. It was a wonderful session, and we hope to see returning faces next summer!

By Friday afternoon, we were welcoming the Second Session Campers! Everyone has safely arrived at Chop Point  and this afternoon, campers have already began their activities and are enjoying the sunshine. It’s a great start to a new session!

 

 

Lately

Take a peek at our Picasa Web albums to see what camp has been doing lately…

Here are pictures from the three car washes we hosted to raise money for Campo Alegria in Nicaragua. The perfect weather, enthusiastic campers, and never-ending flow of summer traffic all helped us raise over a thousand dollars for Nicaraguan Campers!

These are some photos of Cabin Theme Night, an evening where each cabin completely transforms into a theme of their choice and hosts an “open house” for all of the other cabins.

Here are some pictures of campers learning to surf at a local beach.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Fourth of July Festivities

It has been an exciting week here at Chop Point! Sunday kicked off the Fourth of July weekend as all of the campers and counselors went on a day trip to Camden, Maine. We started by hiking Maiden Cliffs and having a chapel service on a mountain overlooking the town. The breathtaking view on top of the mountain made the hike well worth the trek. After a picnic- style lunch, we had the chance to explore Camden. The town sits on the ocean and with its narrow streets, tiny shops and sailboat filled harbor, it is picture perfect.  The campers spend their time shopping, hunting for the best ice-cream shop, playing Ultimate Frisbee in the park, and watching the sailboats pull into the harbor.

The Fourth of July was celebrated in all of the most fitting ways possible! We went to town in the morning to watch a parade and afterwards, an all-American lunch was waiting for us back at camp. Burgers with toppings of all kinds, fresh-cut fries, and watermelon made the perfect lunch. In the place of an evening activity, we went back into town to enjoy the carnival and watch a fireworks show over the Kennebec River. Does the Fourth of July get any better than that?

Not even three days later, another holiday was already upon us: Christmas in July! The campers left their shoes out on “Christmas Eve” and woke up to find candy spilling out the tops of their shoes!  The kitchen staff and Jean cooked an enormous Christmas feast. The evening activity included “reindeer-run” relay races and a contest to build the best gingerbread house. As we enter the last week of First Session, we look forward to a week of gorgeous weather and fun activities.

 

 

Strawberries and Sailboats

Yesterday was filled with unexpected surprises that make the best kind of days. After breakfast, a small group of girls went out to a local strawberry farm and spent their morning picking enough strawberries for the entire camp. They came back with heaping boxes of strawberries that were made into fresh strawberry shortcake for the evening dessert. The girls enjoyed picking the berries as much as we enjoyed our strawberry shortcake!

Later in the day, the afternoon sailors went down to the waterfront  to discover a complete lack of wind. The boats still went out and for a minute, it seemed they would lazily drift and paddle around for the hour.  Suddenly, a wet sponge was launched through the air towards another sailboat. Within seconds, every sailboat had entered an enormous water war with each other. Each boat was equipped with buckets, paddles for splashing, and sponges to toss at each other.

Not a single person was left dry.

Today, the wind has decided to return in full force, and the sailing looks great! The Quebec City trip is on their second day of sight-seeing, and the Allagash Canoeing trip has safely returned to camp. By the Fourth of July, all trips will be back at camp just in time to celebrate together.

A Beautiful Day on The Kennebec

As a long time Chop Point friend, Norm Friberg, used to say, “It is a BEAUTIFUL day on the Kennebec!” And it certainly is. First Session is in full swing as we are settling into our daily activities for the next three weeks. The First Session campers arrived this past Friday, and after moving into cabins, signing up for activities and trips, and playing a plethora of get-to-know-you games, it was finally time to settle into camp routine.

As activities are continually running at camp, the trips have also started leaving. Yesterday, a group went to Boothbay Harbor to go on a scenic, whale-watching boat tour . The campers came back last evening with enthusiastic reports of the four whales they spotted. Much to the campers excitement, they didn’t just see any old whales, they saw Fin Whales, the largest type of whale found in Maine! This morning, two more trips left from camp. One group is heading to Northern Maine to canoe the Allagash River. The Allagash is recognized as one of the most beautiful, remote canoeing destinations in the country. The other trip is also driving North, to Carrabassett Valley for a three day mountain biking trip. Whether at camp enjoying the Kennebec, or out on a trip, it’s a great day to be a camper!

Be sure to check out the pictures from our Luau Night!

 

Evening Activities

For the past three evenings at camp, a similar scene has played out in the Dining Hall. As everybody finishes dinner, the usual din fades into a softer lull as a full day of activities finally catches up with the campers. The bounty of pink cheeks, grass stains, and wet hair all serve as signs of a day well spent at camp.  For one brief moment, it appears the campers might be slowing down for the day. Suddenly, while a counselor announces the evening activity, the dining hall comes back to life. Campers are high-fiving their neighbors and the shouts of excitement make the rest of the announcement nearly inaudible.

Evenings are a time for the entire camp to gather and participate in the same activity. Counselor skit night kicked off the evening activities at Community Week and judging from the amount of laughter, the campers thoroughly enjoyed watching their counselors perform in silly skits and singing songs. On Sunday night, camp turned into a “war-zone” as one massive game of Capture the Flag spanned across the Point. Campers clad in either red or blue, with war paint smeared across their cheeks darted through trees, snuck behind rocks, and sprinted across fields all for the sake of retrieving the “flag” or releasing their team members from “jail”. On Monday night, the entire evening activity was devoted to one of our favorite things around here at camp: water. The soccer field hosted water-balloon tosses and all sorts of water-related relay races which left every single person dripping wet. Saving the best for last, a giant water slide awaited the campers which stretched from the top of the hill, all the way to the bottom. Regardless of the activity, the time to re-group and squeeze out the last usable bits of the day together is one of the most memorable and exciting parts of time spent here at Chop Point.

 

 

Blue Skies

Yesterday morning, a group of counselors trudged up the hill at 8:00 in the morning and spotted a large group of people congregating near the entrance to the lodge. Who could they be? Certainly not campers, Community Week registration was not even open for another hour!  As the counselors walked closer, they spotted the mass of sleeping bags, duffel bags, bathing suits, and towels tossed over the shoulders of the people. The campers had undoubtedly arrived. This enthusiasm for camp truly sums up Community Week, our five-day camp program for local kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen.  From the moment the campers arrived hardly twenty-four hours ago, they have jumped into camp with both feet. Activities are in full swing and campers and counselors alike are loving every minute of it. The sun is shining and there are blue skies as far as we can see. With Capture the Flag planned as the evening activity, it will certainly be an exciting end to the first full day of camp.

 

Ready, Set, Campers!

Summer has arrived. For the past two weeks, the Chop Point staff has worked together to produce the seemingly magical transformation from “school” to “camp.” Desks have been replaced with bunk beds, chalkboards with camp activity schedules, and chairs with both windsurfs and wake-boards. If you are returning to Chop Point this summer, you will probably notice some improvements around camp. Every girl’s cabin has newly re-done bathrooms, many cabins are freshly painted, and the docks are fully repaired and ready for the non-stop traffic that camp will soon bring. The weather has been nearly perfect. The steady sunshine and wind gave the staff plenty of time to test out the swimming, sailing, boating, and windsurfing before Community Week kicks off the summer programs. As much as we have enjoyed unifying as a staff, enjoying the gorgeous weather, and making final preparations for camp, we still have been missing the key ingredient of our summer: campers. We are looking forward to beginning the summer programs and we hope to see you here!

 

Wash that Car to Campers Afar

Anyone who has spent a summer at Chop Point knows about our car washes.  Once a session, we choose some high traffic locals and wash the Maine grime off what a true Mainer would call a “cahhh”.  The purpose of these car washes is to raise money for social service projects that Chop Point has been involved with.

If you are from way back, we raised money for “Widows of Bangladesh” which helped women and children find their way in a society where they were cast-offs.  As time has progressed, we have opened “Campo Alegria” (Camp Happiness) in Nicaragua.  We offer a camping experience, similar to Chop Point, free to poor children.  Our car washes now help needy kids enjoy a break from their poverty and struggle-filled lives on the sunny shores of Lake Nicaragua.  While there, kids are able to enjoy life as a child should, eat gigantic portions of nutritious food, and take part in activities that expand their minds.  We play games, toss them screaming with laughter into the lake, and  teach them science and English classes.  We have daily chapel and their singing practically blows the roof off the buildings.  Every $60 raised can send a child to camp for a week.  We can send about 30 kids to camp with the money we raise with our car washes.

Chop Point School (with several camp alumni) just returned from Campo Alegria.  We spent nearly three weeks there and had two, three-day camps.  One group was from a school that we work with every year.  The second group was from the city of Granada.  These kids parents work in the city dump.  They pick through the refuse to find items that can be sold for recycling.  Many of the kids who came to our camp are destined to follow in their parents footsteps.  So if you were on a carwash in the summer of 2010, you were a part of the fun you see these kids having.  Thanks for your work, and we hope your prune fingers are back to normal.