Outdoor adventure is a major part of our overnight camp experienceJuly 14, 2016
Exploring the natural world helps make kids more creative, more empathetic, and helps reduce anxiety. It’s why outdoor adventure is such an important part of our overnight camp experience. In this age of social media and electronic connectivity we want to help all of our campers become more comfortable spending time outside, especially with so many incredible natural resources in New Hampshire.
This week both the Kenwood and Evergreen 1st Year Seniors climbed Mount Washington. Over 2 night and 3 days they hiked to the summit, set up camp, learned to cook their own meals, and maybe most importantly, learned to leave nothing behind.
RELATED: Our Outdoor Adventure Program
All of the trash they produced was bagged and carried off of the mountain so that the next people to make these expeditions had the same opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this magnificent mountain.
Our oldest campers weren’t the only ones camping out this week. Our intrepid Evergreen Freshmen Girls climbed Mt. Kearsarge. It’s a perfect climb for their age and ability, taking about an hour and half to reach the top. As I wrote about in Tuesday’s blog, once at the top the girls realized that they could see Camp from where they were, and delighted in discovering that the counselors’ walky talkies were able to reach us back at the dining hall!
After climbing back down our girls set up camp and had a spectacular night of counselor-cooked meals, s’more making, story telling, and guitar playing under the stars.
As you can see, after such an incredible day of adventure it was easy to get them to fall fast asleep.
The Kenwood Juniors also left Camp to do some exploring this week. Just yesterday morning they tackled the more challenging Mt. Cardigan, which took close to 3 hours to fully climb. It was a perfect day for being outside.
Once they had set up their camp site their counselor Dylan taught them a special trick for the trail. First, they cut off the tops of some oranges and hollowed them out with metal spoons.
Then they prepared brownie batter and filled the oranges with the liquid. After replacing the orange tops they wrapped them in foil and placed each one in the coals of the camp fire. About 8 minutes later they had delicious homemade molten lava cakes that they had baked themselves!
Evergreen’s Juniors have already been on two amazing overnight trips. They just returned from their own trip up Mt. Cardigan, and recently explored the Pemigewasset River on a canoe trip as well. I love that after this really challenging hike they paused to take a photo that really demonstrates the sisterhood that is our girls’ camp.
Many thanks to their counselors for not only leading such wonderful trips, but for also taking these beautiful photos!
Not all of our outdoor adventures are overnight trips. Earlier this week the Evergreen 1st Year Seniors spent an afternoon hanging out with Adventure Dave at a local pond. As you can see in the photo below, the pond has a wooden ladder attached to a tree, and above it a rope swing. All afternoon our girls took turns swinging — and shrieking with delight — as they plunged into the refreshingly cold river. A great time was definitely had by all!
Earlier today our Juniper girls went on a cliff diving trip in Vermont with Adventure Dave. It was extremely hot where they were, and the mud that they walked on was cool and soothing…so they slathered themselves in it and took what is my absolute photo of the week!
The Kenwood Freshmen and Sophomores went on a couple of fun outdoor adventure trips this week. First, they spent the hottest day of the week at Weirs Beach. Apparently burying your friend in sand was a big part of this day out of camp.
It rained the following day, so Adventure Dave took them to our 100-acre forest to hunt for red salamanders. As you can see they brought back dozens of them…
And after a brief encounter safely returned them to their homes in the woods.
With more than 200 acres of NH forest surrounding us we make sure that our campers also have the pleasure of experience the beauty of our campus. All week campers of all ages have been climbing on the ropes course and rock wall. In this picture below a camper got himself all the way to the top of what is called the Pamper Pole. Then he stood on the top, counted to three, and leapt into the air…grabbing a knotted rope that he climbed another 10 feet into the air. As he was safely lowered to the ground by our Outdoor Adventure team his camp friends and counselors cheered for what he had just accomplished.
As I wrote in a previous blog, a new and exciting element at the Ropes Course this year has been learning to walk on the slack line. It’s essentially a tight rope, and in the last two weeks campers have been practicing enough to make it almost halfway across the course without falling. I fully anticipate someone making it across all 50 feet by the end of the summer!
There are so many more outdoor adventure left in this incredible summer. Tomorrow, just after sunrise, Adventure Dave will lead about 75 Kenwood campers and their counselors in jumping jacks and a brisk leap in the lake for their Polar Bear swim, while the Evergreen 1st Year Seniors will depart on their ocean paddle boarding excursion. Next week groups of campers will be exploring underground caves, walking through a 50-foot waterfall, and swimming down the Lazy River. We are so fortunate that New Hampshire has some many beautiful natural wonders to visit.
Spending special moments like these with your camp friends can be a transformative experience. We are so happy that our amazing counselors take every opportunity to make these trips as fun and enjoyable as possible…like these goofballs. How could you possibly have a bad time with role models like this?