July 17, 2019 by Don Gentle
The Mini II boys are rolling now! It is great to see them in the groove with camp already. Even cabin clean-up is starting to work out fairly well. I had an opportunity to catch up with a few of them at breakfast this morning. Life is good in the mini camp.
First Time Parents, the first letters from the Mini II campers should be arriving home soon. Some of you may find the first letter could talk about some homesickness. My guess is that they are over it by now. As we mentioned in most of our information, it is an important part of growing up. Don’t forget that an encouraging letter focusing on their achievements is the best tool. Again, I feel like these boys are really rolling in camp right now. I just wanted to set you up for success. Please let me know if you have any concerns.
My favorite part about these four-week boys is how well they can schedule themselves throughout the day. Sure, they have an activity schedule, but I have enjoyed watching them make the most of their choice periods, downtime, and the wonderful group of boys that surround them. Of course, they enjoy their active time, but I really appreciate their ability to relax as well. Four weeks can be a marathon. Many of these boys have gone all-out these first couple of weeks and are now starting to work on the final pace through the finish.
Many of the four-week guys are in what I call “The Grit” of the camp session. It’s that time during the session where they have a pretty good sense of everything and know exactly what they want. They are also working hard at several goals and activities at the same time. They have this sort of winded, rough, grizzled look about them. Their hair has taken on a new shape of its own. Mostly, because it is about time for a haircut. Their clothes are clean, but they keep trying to wear that same favorite shirt like it’s an important piece of armor. They are certainly all that, they are also having a blast hoping it will never end! The general thought is that we can rest AFTER camp.
Our Mini II guys headed out for their cabin overnight experience. The boys will spend the night out in one of five open-air shelters on our property. While it is only a short hike out to the shelter, just getting a group of boys from Hillside to all move in one direction can be hard enough. Imagine adding a pack, some group gear, a couple of water bottles, and other essential gear. This can add a lot to the process even before we start working in a positive direction.
It’s the little things that make you chuckle. A little four foot guys with a three-foot pillow sticking out of the pack and a little stuffed animal staring right at you. These are important items! You hear phrases like “my pack is full,” or “I don’t have any room” when asked to carry group gear. Of course, it is! Little teddy is chillin’ with the pillow in a sleeping bag that isn’t quite stuffed in there all the way. A true adventure!
They will make pita pizzas, smores, and play some games around the fire. They may not sleep a lot and the small insulated pad that separates them from the wood floor is not quite the bed of luxury. No matter, the stories will be flying out like crazy in the morning about how it was hard and also super fun. It will be an exciting event had by all! I can’t wait to hear the stories!
Have a great night!