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Daily Update

That’s right, a daily update almost every day that camp is in session!

8.12.2016  Where Did Everyone Go?

It has been a couple of busy days at Walden…final regular activities, Splash Night, packing, signing Splashes, Banquet, Awards and then early morning trips home.

Where has the summer gone? How did it get so quiet so quickly? One minute campers were happily running and singing around camp and the next minute they were gone. No more Yoo hoo, no more bells, no more EA’s, no more activities, no more mail, no more trips…at least for the summer of 2016. We had a great time…so many wonderful memories, thank you! See you in 2017!

8.9.2016 Counselor Show (Now I can say it!)

As I sit in my office this evening the sounds of Counselor Show are everywhere.  Below me in the dining room the Camp sings the songs of the show having just enjoyed the best Counselor Show EVER.  The Show was fondly titled “Lake Side Story” in sync with Bunk 12’s summer theme the Genies. This spectacular day began with the announcement that the Counselor Show would actually take place. Our clever staff hide the announcement in the center of the Grove and on a beloved staff member.  Bunk 12 spent most of breakfast looking for those 2 words, Counselor Show.  Once found the show could then go on!

Marathon, the final Team Sports competition, followed next. The event was full of spirit and team work. In the end we learned that the Brown Team had won Team Sports for 2016.  Fresh baked cookies celebrated a summer of competition and team work.  We all shouted a big EAO!

In the afternoon Bunks 1-9 enjoyed fun in the Grove with Bunk 10 while Bunks 11 and 12 made Banquet night gifts. The girls in Bunk 10 did a spectacular job hanging out, playing with the campers and teaching them Banquet night songs.

After a delicious dinner we headed to the HHC, singing our Bunk Show songs, for a terrific Counselor Show. I knew that our staff was filled with talented young people who loved the girls at Walden. Tonight I learned that they can also sing, dance and be very silly. What a treat!

8.8.2016 Denmark Fair!

P & E (snap, snap) P & E (snap, snap.)
You plan the fun at night to make our summer bright, Denmark Fair and more, there’s so much fun in store. P & E (snap, snap) P & E (snap, snap.)

The last week of camp, beginning with the activities this weekend, is a time for lasts.  This includes a number of traditions that only happen once a summer during the last week of camp.  Many of these are celebrations of the summer.

Last evening P & E out did themselves again this year, the best Denmark Fair ever! The theme was “ Dr. Seuss’s Walden World” and included the traditional booths, prizes and raffle. We enjoyed snow cones and cotton candy and fresh baked goods. Fun the Walden Way, exactly how we love it! We are delighted that the proceeds from the Fair will be donate to The Main Idea providing girls less fortunate than us the opportunity to enjoy Camp Walden during the last two weeks of August!

The Fair was followed by an amazing cake walk where bunk cakes, 3 huge stuffed animals, a large jar of M&Ms and a large jar of pickles were all raffled off.  This morning 25 campers swam to Counselor Rock, 70 campers and staff rode in the Denmark Fair Horseshow and we will all enjoy Lobster Lunch. EAO!

8.6.2016 Our final week…

Last evening half of Bunk 10 and all of Bunk 12 returned from their Pleasure Trips.  Everyone had such a wonderful time on their trips and are delighted to be back at camp to spend this week together enjoying the end of the summer traditions.  It is also the time of the summer when girls spend precious moments with each other, swinging on our swing by the Lake, sitting on EA Rock or strolling on the camp road.  The summer will be gone soon but for now we are making the most of our time together.

On Thursday night the staff began rehearsing their show. Songs and lines are being learned, sets are being created and all in secret from the campers.  The Show goes up on Tuesday.

At breakfast, another staff member was thrown into the Lake.  Final Landsports, complete with a parade and cheers for the Team Captain Assistants, filled the morning.  This afternoon it is back to regular activities and this evening we will enjoy Bunks 1-5’s Bunk Show.  Please slow down time…we never want to leave!

8.4.2016  Halloween in August!

Yesterday Bunks 12, 11, the other half of 10 and the third quarter of 6,7,8 were out of camp on their Pleasure Trips.  You might imagine that camp would be pretty quiet with so many campers out of camp on their trips?  Not so!  The younger girls, who have been watching and learning from the older campers all summer, now have the opportunity to lead camp.  They take their new responsibility very seriously.  It is wonderful to watch them lead songs in the Dining Room and work together, with their counselors, to run evening activities.

Last night Bunk 9 was responsible for evening activity – Halloween Night.  The girls spent the afternoon planning the evening, which included:  a costume fashion show, a scavenger hunt around camp and a Haunted House.  They learned to work together, listen to each other and watch their ideas develop into a great evening.  There was a lot of screaming but fortunately it was all over fake blood and guts.

EAO to Bunk 9 for a fantastic Halloween in August celebration!  Tonight Bunk 10, the half that is in camp, will host Casino Night.  We can’t wait!

8.2.2016 Trail Rides…

The Riding Program at Camp Walden has always been wonderful, especially for those girls who love the horses and love to ride them.  Campers have lots of opportunities to ride and care for our horses.  We are so proud of many of our campers who have learned to ride this summer and have quickly advanced to be outstanding riders.

A new addition to the Riding Program this summer has been weekly trail rides.  Camp has opened up two riding trails on camp property.  The Trails go from the Riding Stable to the Camp Lean-to.  Each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, as part of “Pick Your Own Schedule,” campers elect to join the Riding Staff for a ride on these trails.  This afternoon I watched as the girls and horses got ready, and then began this afternoon’s trail ride.  It looked like so much fun I even thought about joining them.  Then I remembered that I do not enjoy riding horses!  Maybe next year…EAO to all of our riders.

8.1.2016  Where Have All the Campers Gone?

Pleasure Trips everyone!  We woke early this morning to send Bunk 12 on their 5 day pleasure trip and then after breakfast Bunk 11, half of Bunk 10 and a quarter of Bunk 9 left on their pleasure trips.  With so many campers out on trips you might think it would be quiet here at camp…no such luck.  The younger campers have filled the camp air with enthusiasm and Walden spirit.  We are delighted!

This will be a great week for the younger campers to participate in activities they often share with the older campers and for them to take on leadership roles.  We love watching and supporting them.  Whether it is singing in the dining room or cheering on their friends who have passed levels in activities; these Waldenites are such amazing role models for everyone at camp!

7.31.2016  Carnival at Camp Wigwam

This afternoon the entire camp traveled by yellow school bus and camp van to Camp Wigwam for a very special Carnival.  It was so much fun!  The boys were wonderful hosts as we played laser tag, jumped in the moon bounce, covered ourselves in tatoos, ate cotton candy and much more…, EAO!

7.29.2016  The End of Week 6!

Phew…it is amazing what we can pack into just one day.  In the morning we hosted an inter-camp Horse Show; during shower hour the Bunk 12/Counselor Tennis Tournament concluded, and all of the campers on trips returned to camp safely.  It was great to have a full dining room and camp again this evening!

One of the Walden traditions is a suggestion that during the last week of the summer the counselors put on their own Bunk Show – “Counselor Show.”  Their show will honor the campers in Bunk 12 and remind all of us about the funny things that have happened all summer.  Each summer we tell the campers that there is no show and each summer there is a show.

In addition to not knowing if there will be a show or not it is Walden tradition for the campers to try to throw the counselors into the Lake if they say “Counselor Show.”  Campers will go to great lengths to get staff to say “Counselor Show”.   If said the campers then cheer for counselor to get thrown into the Lake at every meal.    Tonight we began the Walden tradition of throwing staff into the lake who said “Counselor Show” during the first part of the summer. The girls chanted for us to throw the first counselor into the Lake.  As tradition dictates the male staff carried her down to Canoe Dock, followed by the entire camp, and they threw her into the Lake.  And so this tradition begins…I wonder how many staff will make this trip?

7.28.2016 Walden Olympics

Everyone may be headed to Brazil for the Summer Olympics…this evening Walden campers headed to the landsports fields for the Walden Olympics.  Each age group was assigned a country including the US, Scotland, France, Ecuador, Israel, Ireland.  The girls dressed in their country’s colors and competed in basketball (knockout), wheel barrel races, an obstacle course, and crab soccer.  Who do you think won the Bunk 12 vs Bunk 1 game of knockout?  Bunk 1 of course!  It was such a fun evening.  Thank you so much P&E!  EAO!

7.27.2016 The Beauty of Camp

I often wonder if the beauty of Walden~ the smell of the pines, the sound of the loons, the shadows on the landsports fields and the sunset over the Lake~ is something I enjoy alone or if the girls and the staff also notice.  Every day at camp is filled with singing and cheering in the dining room and laughing and chatter in the Bunks.  The girls seem to walk with purpose from one activity to another.  Do they notice the flowers and toads along their way?

I am happy to report that they do!  Camper can be seen following toads as they hop along the camp trails while others look for 4 leaf clovers in the Landsports’ fields.  Just last week, as we approached the half way point in the summer, I spied pairs of campers sitting at Peace Circle (our campfire ring) enjoying the view and each others’ company.  Other campers made their way up to the fence along the Walden Road to leave rocks signifying their summer at Walden.  Everyday we are surrounded by the beauty of the Maine woods and we enjoy every bit of it’s magnificence!

7.24.2016  Thank You, We Loved Having You Visit!

To all of our Walden families, we had a wonderful visit and trust that you have had a safe trip home.  We loved sharing Walden with you and especially enjoyed the sisters who stayed with us on Friday and Saturday nights. It is hard to believe that Visiting Day 2016 has come and gone.

We have quickly returned to our camp routine, Picnic Supper, the Bunk 12/Staff Talent Show and tomorrow trips, activities, evening activities…we can feel and hear a renewed sense of energy and community at Walden.   EAO!

These next 3 weeks will be filled with pleasure trips, throwing counselors into the Lake, Denmark Fair, Horse Shows, Inter-camp competitions and lots and lots of regular activities.  So much to look forward to!

7.21.2016  Best In Show

Horseback Riding at Walden has been awesome this summer.  We have 9 horses, 5 riding instructors and thanks to the amazing enthusiasm of our new Head of Riding, Devin, lots and lots of campers riding horses in the rings and on the trails around camp.

Today a group of girls traveled to Camp Wawenock to compete in their annual Lake Sebago Horse Show.  Many of the girls placed in their events.  Three of the girls rode in the Championship round and two of the girls from Walden won the Championship round.  Walden took Best in Show and Reserve Champion.  In was a great day for the Walden riding program.  The girls had so much fun and they are so proud of their accomplishments in the ring.

In other news, a group of younger girls competed in a tennis inter-camp at Walden.  We always enjoy the opportunity to play tennis matches, especially against girls from other camps.  We played our best and had loads of fun!

7.19.2016 Our Moms and Dads are Coming…

Are you getting excited to visit your daughter(s) this weekend?  So is she!  Are you wondering how you are going to bring your daughter(s) all the things she has asked you to bring her this weekend?  So is she!  Are you hoping the weather is going to be sunny and cool, not hot and humid, when you visit this weekend?  So is she!  Are you hoping to watch your daughter water ski or play tennis with her?  So is she!  Are you having trouble sleeping in anticipation of the weekend?  So is she!  Are you worried she will be sad when you leave at the end of your visit this weekend?  So is she!

We are looking forward to welcoming our camp families to Walden this weekend. It will be great to share camp with all of you and we know that you are looking forward to giving each of your girls a big hug!  Rain or shine, it will be a special day.

A few reminders…remember the best gift you can bring for your daughter this weekend is you!  Please limit the treats that you bring to what you believe your daughter(s) can eat while you are visiting.  Lots of extra treats will only upset their stomachs.  Please know that on Monday, following your visit, we will collect any uneaten treats and throw them away.  CAMP WALDEN IS TREE NUT AND PEANUT FREE!  We do not serve tree nut and peanut products at camp.  In consideration of the campers and staff at camp with these food allergies please do not bring these products into camp on visiting day.

 

7.18.2016  Tradition

 

Today a group of older girls traveled to Tripp Lake Camp to participate in the annual Tennis Inter-camp with Tripp Lake Camp, Camp Pinecliff and Camp Fernwood.  This tournament, which has been played by these 4 camps since the 1960’s, is a competitive and fun day.  Girls at Walden look forward to their chance to compete in this event.

We played hard and showed everyone the Walden grit and determination!  Although we won many of our matches we placed 3rd overall.  It was a fabulous day and we are already looking forward to next year’s tournament.

Please remember that after all of the excitement of this weekend,  the 3 weeks after Visiting Day are filled with wonderful Walden traditions and fun,  The Summer of 2016 will be over before we know it.   We will miss you once the day is over but we know that we will see you again before you know it!

7.16.2016  Canoes, Ski Boats, Sailboats, SUPs and Kayaks…

This morning we took camp pictures and competed in Landsports.  This afternoon was perfect for everyone to enjoy Walden Pond and enjoy it they did!  Staff and campers were paddling, skiing, sailing and swimming.  The sounds of happy campers could be heard all around camp!

Tonight is the Bunk 12 Bunk Show. The Genies have worked hard all week rehearsing their show – Footloose – saving their voices, enjoying their bunk show dinner and bunk treats…we are sure that this evenings’s performance will be incredible.  Everyone else in camp has been creating bunk show notes of congratulations for Bunk 12.  After 2 weeks in camp Bunk 12 heads to climb Mt. Katadin on Monday.   We are ready for another fun week at Walden before we welcome our moms and dads!

7.15.2016  Swinging along…

As our third week of camp comes to an end, we are grateful to have each other and feel lucky that we spend most of every day at camp cheering and singing for each other. Together we have faced challenges and we have shown our mutual support with our words, with hugs and with knowing glances. Most of all as this third week ends, we feel secure and comforted by our daily camp routine.

Most days at camp are just like the day before and the day before that. We rise to Yoo hoo at 7:30 am and then join together in the Dining Room for breakfast at 8 am. After a hearty breakfast and plenty of singing, we check our activity schedule for the day on the Porch and then head back to our Bunk for Inspection (cabin clean-up.) Inspection requires that everyone clean her own area in the Bunk and then help to clean the entire bunk. The goal is to get a score of 10 from the Inspector. Ten scores of 10 mean a special treat!

Every morning there are 3 activity periods.  You might have swim instruction, then back to the Bunk to change before you head to Arts & Crafts and then up the hill to the Climbing Wall.

Lunch is at 12:30, (more delicious food and singing,) then off to the Bunk for quiet or quiet talking Rest Hour. During Rest Hour you might write your parents a letter, read a book, do that summer homework or take a nap.

Every afternoon there are 2 activity periods, more running around or chilling on the Lake in a sailboat, and then Shower Hour. Dinner follows at 6 pm and then evening activity at 7:15. Milk line is at 8:25 pm (freshly baked cookies and milk) and then back to the Bunk to get ready for bed. Not to worry – we always brush our teeth before bed!

9 pm is taps and lights out for Bunks 1-8. Bunk 9 can read silently until 9:30 pm. Bunk 10 is in the Garage until 10 pm and Bunks 11 and 12 are in the Main House until 10:30 pm. We love this routine! It is what keeps us happy and we never wonder where and what we should be doing!

7.14.2016  Peggy and the Kitchen Crew, We Thank you for the Things you do…

The food at camp this summer continues to be plentiful and delicious with the emphasis on simple, fresh foods.

We start each day with fresh fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, bagels and cream cheese, hot and cold cereal, and a breakfast entree.  Today I had a pancake topped with sliced fresh strawberries and maple syrup.  On Sunday the tradition is always to eat Schnecken.  Simply delicious!

For lunch we always have a salad bar, whole grain and wheat bread, sunflower butter, jelly, jam, and an entree.  Today was picnic lunch, where we make our own sandwiches and sit outside to eat.  Other lunch entrees include:  grilled cheese & tomato soup, macaroni & cheese, and beef & bean tacos.

Last night for dinner we had baked salmon, baked pasta and steamed broccoli. The meals always include a vegetable, a starch, and an entree.  We have enjoyed steamed broccoli and asparagus, roasted potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes, Brisket, Chicken Parmesan along with  the traditional Saturday night Pizza Dinner and Sunday Hot Dog and Hamburger Picnic.  Every meat meal, lunch or dinner, includes a vegetarian option.  Every meal includes a gluten free option and when needed a dairy free option.

Once a day we enjoy freshly baked deserts and all day we eat lots and lots of fresh fruit.  Talking about all of this delicious food is making me so hungry…Not to worry at 8:15 we have Milk Line (fresh cookies and milk,) and later we serve the Staff , Bunks 11 and 12 a nightly 9:30 snack.  I think I will go check out Milk Line!

7.12.2016  A Great Day of Activities!

The girls in Bunks 11 and 10 are out of camp on hiking and canoe trips. Bunk 12 is in the HHC rehearsing their Bunk Show.  Bunk 9 is on a canoe trip and the rest of us and Bunks 1-8 are loving our activities.   There have also been inter-camp matches, socials for the older girls, and a climbing wall inter-camp.  Busy and fun!

This afternoon riders went on a trail ride to the Walden lean-too.  Olympics were being held at tennis, and at canoe girls were learning to swamp and then empty canoes. The evening ended with a poetry slam.  All of the poems will be added to this summer’s SPLASH (the camp yearbook.)  Cookies and milk and then off to bed.  Everyone will sleep well tonight!

Just another day at Camp Walden!

7.11.2016  Sunday, Food Traditions All Day!

Yesterday began with a Sleep Late. For me that means a large cup of coffee in the Lodge and a peak at the Sunday New York Times.  Then I head up to the Main House to ring a light bell at 8:30 am to let the girls who are awake know that they can come over to the Main House in their PJ’s to read, play games and chill with friends!  I love catching up with the girls and watching them play cards and jacks with each other.  It is fun to hear about what is on their minds- they always have great questions and really fun slippers.

Breakfast (Schneken and Bacon) and Inspection are then followed by Camp Meeting, another favorite.  The entire camp fits into the Rec Porch.  We sing together and then the President discusses the Honor System with the entire camp.  This week the conversation was about communication and good gossip.

Sunday lunch is another favorite:  Turkey lunch with all the fixings…roasted Turkey Breast, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls and cranberry sauce.  Girls from the Bunk Show sing their Bunk Show songs.  It is a delicious and entertaining meal.

Sunday afternoon is always Water Sports and since it was raining off and on yesterday afternoon the teams did their singing and cheering at the Ark.  They also competed in indoor relay races instead of Lake water relays.

Then Picnic Supper.  This week we enjoyed wood fired pizza from a food truck owned by the father of 2 campers.  The pizza was delicious!  Dinner was followed by a visit from the Ice Cream Truck.  Then we headed to the HHC for our weekly Campfire led by the Bunk 12 Song Leaders (it was still raining.)   I was reminded, as I watched the girls sing last night, how precious these moments are and how important we are to each other.  Walden is a very special place!

7.10.2016  Phone Calls

I need and please send…I miss you…, tears, oh and yes I am having the time of my life!  Sound familiar?  Scheduled camper calls home for Bunks 1-10 begin tonight.  Everyone, campers and parents, is looking forward to these 10 minute phone calls.  After communicating by letters and emails for 2 weeks there is so much to say and share but you will only have 10 minutes.

Planning your call will help make the most of this short conversation.  I would like to offer a few suggestions to help you make this conversation satisfying for everyone…

1.  Your daughter will probably cry as soon as she hears your voice.  Know that she both misses you (I know that I would be sad if she did not miss you) and that she is having a good time.  Start the conversation right away by asking her how she is and let her tell you everything.

2.  As much as you miss her, and we know that you do, tell her you love her but don’t tell her you miss her (unless you want her to cry.)  Remember, and you might remind her, that you are going to see her in a week and a half!

3.  If she asks you what is going on at home consider telling her how boring your home routine has been this summer.  You don’t want her to thinking she is missing lots at home (again unless you want her to cry.)

4.  Consider ending the call with a joke or a funny story.  We love when campers laugh and smile!

Campsisters and staff will be at the ready to scoop up the girls after their calls and get them involved in the evening activity right away.  Good luck and remember to ensure that everyone can call home your call will only last 10 minutes.

7.9.2014  Ick, Ick, Ick…Happy Birthday!

As the second week of camp comes to an end, I am happy to report that I have the sweetest job on earth!  In 14 days I have eaten 7 pieces of birthday cake.  So sweet!

At Walden it is a tradition to make birthdays very special.  As part of our birthday tradition every birthday girl brings her birthday cake to me once she has blown out the candle.  I am so lucky to be the first one to wish her a very special Walden Birthday and then I cut her a huge piece of cake and I keep a small piece.  (I think Ms. Herz, Blanche or Clara must have loved birthday cake!)   Really, I am not complaining, as I also love birthday cake and love this tradition even more.  I am honored to have a special birthday moment with each camper and staff member who is celebrating a birthday at camp. What is the rest of the camp doing while we are cutting and eating cake?  They are singing many Walden Birthday songs.  It is what Walden girls love to do, eat cake and sing!

7.7.2016 Bedtime…

One of my favorite traditions at Walden is our evening routine.  It happens every evening and it is important to all of us as we unwind from our busy camp day.  The routine goes like this…immediately following an all camp evening activity- tonight the girls are reenacting the Food Channel Show Chopped, which is planned and run by some of the oldest girls at camp (the girls Bunks 11 and 12 who are on P&E-Planning and Entertainment,) – the campers and staff enjoy freshly baked cookies (gluten free and dairy free options) and cold milk (lactaid and soy milk options.) The girls then head back to their bunks to get ready for bed with their Campsisters and Secondmates.  The warning bell rings at 8:45 pm and at that moment you can hear the older campers saying to their Campsisters and Secondmates “big hug, sleep well, I love you.”  Now it is the Bunk Staffs’ turn to help their campers get ready for bed and the older campers return to their own bunks.  In Bunks 1 through 8 staff use this time to read aloud to their campers, a lovely tradition I am glad still exists at camp. At 9 pm the Taps bell rings and the oldest campers sing a few beautiful songs in the middle of the bunk area, the Grove, signifying that the day has ended.  Everyone in the Grove can hear them singing.  As everyone quiets down and the singing ends the oldest campers shout “Good night Camp Walden, we love you!”  Campers around the Grove reply, “Good night Bunk 12, we love you!”

And so another Camp Walden day, a beautiful cool and sunny day, ends.  Good night Walden families, we love you!

7.6.2016 Singing at Camp Walden

Like most summer camps, at Camp Walden we sing all of the time!  We sing at meals.  We sing for birthdays. We sing on Sunday night at our weekly Campfire.  We sing as part of Team Sports, and we sing on trips.  We just love to sing!  What makes Walden’s singing special is that we write the songs that we sing.  Once we write a song, we sing it to the entire camp and then we teach the song to the camp.

Tonight, when evening activity ended before it was time for Milk Line (delicious warm homemade chocolate cookies and milk for everyone), the girls used the time to teach some of the songs that have been written this summer.  This is the norm at Walden but for me tonight’s song leading was special.  Tonight, 3 of our 10 year old campers (one new and two returners) taught the camp one of these new songs.  They did a great job!  It reminded me that at Walden the girls sing all of the time.  They write the songs that they sing and they learn how to teach songs to others.  Their poise and confidence as they stood in front of the camp in the Rec Porch impressed everyone in the room.  EAO Song Leaders and Teachers!

7.5.2016  Walden Traditions Continue

From the first day campers become Waldenites they look forward to assuming leadership roles at camp and responsibility for this leadership.  They also enjoy teaching and mentoring the younger campers who will follow in these positions.  Each camper in Bunk 12 has one job during her  last summer at camp.  These jobs include Camp President, Planning and Entertainment, (they plan evening activities and Denmark Fair), Splash Editors (the camp yearbook), Team Captains (for Team Sports) and Song Leaders.

Yesterday the girls in Bunk 12 continued this Walden tradition by selecting the girls in Bunk 11 who will assist them with their jobs this summer and then assume lead responsibility for these jobs next summer.  For the campers in Bunk 11 this process involved completing a written application and an interview with a camper in Bunk 12.   In the end, the decision by the campers in Bunk 12, guided by us, was thoughtful, caring and above all a labor of love for their friends in Bunk 11.  They announced their decisions to Bunk 11 before dinner yesterday and to the entire camp today at breakfast.  The Dining Room was filled with EAOs for Bunk 12 and Bunk 11!  Bunk 12 has already begun to mentor their assistants.

7.3.2015  July 4th on the 3rd

Yesterday was a day of special events and cheering. It began with our 4th of July celebration…flag raising, the singing of the national anthem, the Bunk 9 skit (they were very funny and cute) and then the big softball game:  Bunk 12 and Men’s Bunk against the Bunk Counselors. The Bunk Counselors put up a valiant effort with the support and cheering of the entire camp, but in the end they were only able to score one run.

Turkey lunch and a recap of last night’s Bunk Show, Oliver, was followed by Water Sports and Songfest. I sang this year’s version of Laugh it Off, a song we write each summer that reminds us of all the fun we have had that we just need to laugh off, and Bunk 12 revealed their Campfire Song to a big EAO.

And now, with the first week of traditions and practice hikes behind us, it will be wonderful to settle into the routine of camp… yoo hoo, meals, trips, activities, singing, candy line…and just chillin’ with friends!  The weather continues to beautiful, warm days and cool evenings.

With routine there has also comes a sense of connection and belonging. Feelings and tears of missing home have turned to feelings of happiness and new friendships. New Staff are feeling more comfortable with their understanding of Walden traditions.  I am always amazed how much we manage to pack into each day at camp and how wonderful it is to get into bed and listen to the loons sing amidst the gentle wind as we fall asleep. Sleep well you Waldenites!

7.2.2016  Saturday Night When It Gets Dark-The Bunk Show Starts!

“Excitement shows on every face-The Ark’s the place, (HHC). Grab a seat, stomp your feet, Bring your tie with pins piled high, House lights dim and music begins, We had a cry, we had a laugh, Thanks Bunk and staff!”

EAO Bunk 6,7,8, I thought I was at the Broadway version of Oliver…you were amazing! EAO to the HHC Staff…the sets, the costumes, the dancing and singing…all were terrific. THANK YOU!

Each week, as is tradition at Camp Walden, the girls in the audience spend Rest Hour and Shower Hour creating notes and signs of EAO (congratulations,) also known as Bunk Show Notes, for the girls in the Bunk Show. At the end of the performance all of the campers in the audience rush the stage armed with Bunk Show Notes and hugs. This is a wonderfully special moment for all of us but especially for the girls in the show. Tonight was no exception and I know that the girls in Bunk 6,7,8 will be reading and cherishing their memories of the show and their Bunk Show Notes.

7.1.2016  Emails are Nice But We Prefer Those Cards and Letters!

The mail arrives at camp just before lunch and the girls in Bunk 10 deliver it to the other girls.  Everyone know this and waits patiently while the mail is sorted.  They can barely contain their excitement when their mailbox is full with thick envelops with stamps.  Emails are nice but letters are better!  They keep us connected to our families and our friends who we wish were here to share camp with us.

In the past week a handful of girls have asked us to email you and remind you to write to them.  Other girls wonder why there are not additional letters in their mailbox at the end of the day.  And others wonder why they send you letters with questions and it takes you more than a week to respond or you ask them questions and you continue to write to say that you have not heard from them.  It is a wonderful way to learn that good things are worth waiting for but for some it is hard to be patient.  So please write us cards and letters and send them every day!  THANK YOU!

6.30.2016  A Busy Week

Day hikes for Bunks 10, 11 and 12, Rafting for Bunk 12, Bunk Show rehearsals and Bunk Show dinner for Bunks 7 and 8 (Oliver) and regular activities for everyone else.  Lots of singing in the dining room-all of the new campers seem to know the words to all of the songs.  So great!  The weather has been perfect except for a few showers (we do need the rain.)

You may be wondering what we are eating at camp these days.  We have been enjoying many delicious meals. We start each day with lots of breakfast options.  This morning in addition to the regular fruit (melon and berries) and yogurt bar, bagels and toast, oatmeal and cold cereal we had french toast.  Lunch was our picnic lunch, sandwiches and salads, and tonight dinner was Lemon Chicken, grilled green beans, basmati rice with peppers and onions and cake with frosting. There is fresh fruit-apples, oranges, pears, bananas, peaches and plums out all day and this afternoon’s 3:30 pm snack was smart food.  The day will end with Milkline, a cookie and a glass of milk for everyone.  Tomorrow we will enjoy scrambled eggs for breakfast, macaroni and cheese for lunch and an International Dinner, a Friday night tradition.    This week’s theme is Chinese Food.   We are very active at camp and we know that everyone is very hungry everyday.  Lots of delicious food to give us lots of energy!

6.29.2016 Tetherball

One of the views from my office at camp is of the Tetherball Court in the Grove. When I am at home during the winter I often think about this view as well as the view of the Lake from my other office window.  Tetherball is a very popular activity at camp especially for the youngest girls. The game involves 2 players who try to be the first to wrap a ball on a rope around a pole.  The girls line up and wait their turn to play and the winner of the game plays the next girl in line. Strategy is often involved.  How high and hard you can hit the ball can make or break the outcome.

Walden girls play Tetherball every chance they get!  The girls play before the warning bell in the morning, on their way to and from activities and even after the lunch bell has rung.  We are often heard saying, Tetherball is not a Rest Hour activity or please finish your game it is time for dinner! From time to time we give the Tetherball a time out so that the girls will engage in other play.

In a few weeks we will hold a Walden Tetherball tournament.  So cool!  Who would have imagined that a ball on a rope hanging from a pole would be so entertaining?  Just another day at Walden!

6.27.2015 RAID!!!
Each summer during Charlottesville, the Bunk 12 spring retreat, the campers in Bunk 12 write a fight song that they will sing when they play softball against the bunk staff during our July 4th celebration (which will actually be held on July 3rd.)  For now they have translated their fight song into another language and hidden it in a top secret place (also decided on at Charlottesville) in their bunk. Beginning at dinner tonight, (all of Bunk 12 must be in camp for there to be a raid) the bunk staff began to try to find the fight song by “Raiding” the Bunk 12 bunk.

Now what is really happening is that all through every meal, when all of Bunk 12 is in camp, a few of our more competitive staff run out of the dining room, Bunk 12 yells “RAID” and then all of the campers in Bunk 12 run after the staff shooting water guns at them. It is a bit like an episode of the Three Stooges! Staff and campers running to the nearest exit yelling RAID! The rest of us continue to enjoy our meal and each others’ company. Ah RAIDS!!!

6.26.2016  “Camp Fun Book”

I have been having to remind myself that the campers only arrived on Friday because in so many wonderful ways it feels like we have always been at camp.  Tonight at picnic supper two of our new campers, who have just begun their journey at Walden, reminded me that although they have only been at camp for 2 days they feel comfortable and at home.  Together they had written a book about Walden.  The book reads:

Camp Fun Book 🙂

Camp Walden is a place where girls can escape from what is happening and be free and express how they feel (picture of a sun smiling and saying “cool.”)   At Walden you can be happy, be yourself and follow your Heart (picture of a heart and a smilie face whose eyes are hearts.)  Walden feels like on big family and once you come you never want to leave (pictures of lots of hearts.)  Walden is our Home.  We love you Walden!  

The girls took the words right out of my heart!

6.25.2016  Day One!

Many of the younger campers were dressed and ready to start the day at Yoo Hoo!  A lively game of tether-ball was in full swing with a half an hour until breakfast.  Older campers took advantage of every opportunity to sleep.  Thus began our first full day at Walden!

The weather was beautiful:  bright sunshine, blue skies, a light wind and lots and lots of activities.  The girls were on the landsports fields:  playing capture the flag, volleyball and basketball, challenging themselves on the ropes’ courses, playing tennis, swimming, paddling, sailing and creating beautiful works in Arts & Crafts…everyone was busy and have tons of fun.

Our traditional Saturday night dinner of pizza, chocolate milk and congo bars was enjoyed by all.  The girls are now gathering on the landsports fields for Get-To-Know-You-Night organized and run by Bunk 11.  By the end of the evening we will all know each other just a little bit better.

We all enjoyed a wonderful first day at camp and can’t wait for tomorrow!  Everyday at Walden should be like today!

6.24.2016 Our Second Century Begins.

Badoom, badoom, Camp Walden!  They came by bus, by car, by plane and by van.  They came from parts far and near.  They have all come for one thing:  the summer of their lives and that summer started today!

After health and lice checks the girls headed back to their bunks to meet their bunk mates and unpack followed by our first meal together in the dining room… spaghetti, meatballs and sauce, broccoli and lots and lots of singing. After dinner we headed to the HHC (our theater) where Bunk 12 revealed their theme:  the Genies.      Camp sisters and second mates were announced.

What a wonderful day and I look forward to hearing the sound of taps rise from the Grove tonight! Having everyone at camp is great and we are all looking forward to tomorrow and our first full day of camp activities.