We have folks coming with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. What they all have in common is the desire to help kids experience the out of doors.
Today Lisa Durrell from Massachusetts came up to do a presentation, which would more appropriately be deemed an experience, she called Walk in the Woods. Lisa is a retired 5th and 6th grade science teacher who has won both Massachusetts and National Teaching awards. She is a long time Kehonka Camp person, I first met her when I was a 13 year old Camper at Camp Idlepines in NH and she thought I needed to perfect my swim strokes.
She has presented at ACA conferences over the years and I have to say what I have learned from Lisa that you don’t need to know the answers to be an effective teacher.
Taking us on a walk around the frog pond and stuffing our pockets with ideas, in an hour, we never made it around the circumference as we were busy being a human camera, talking through the history of the area (It used to be a field). We found a 150 year old tree, which generated from the stump sprouts of a 400 year old tree. We used different wood branches to identify us, not the tree! As one staff person said, “She is an educator, not a scientist”. We learned ways to help kids observe and be curious about their surroundings. The aim is that we can all be confident while on trips with the participants to connect them with nature, and with each other. This evening Jeanette Eaton worked with us on creating a safe community.
Tomorrow 23 of us travel to 4th Debsconeag where we will immediately unload, take a swim and then hike the cliffs. Our evening will be spent with Mardi Thompson-George who will give us a sense of history of the area.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Annie Nixon, who has designed a teaching curricua for us of navigation, map reading, and use of compass, will take us on a navigation journey. In addition she has developed a sailing curriculum and will get us all out in boats learning to teach. Annie is a former employee of Chewonki, a current instructor at Wooden Boat and like her husband, Carob Arnold, is a licensed boat captain. Annie and their 2 kids will be up at camp with us this week.
Next week Greg Shute joins us to help lead the staff training trip. We will head to St Croix with one group while the second will put in on the West Branch at Never’s Corner and paddle home to 4th Debsconeag Lake.
Some changes to this summer. Thanks to the hard work of Addie Liddic, Program Director, and Bill Edgerton in the kitchen we are establishing our own Pack out system in T1 R11. Physically Carob Arnold and his work crew moved the location, and we are now able to store our tripping gear in larger sized area. Carob and Crew also put in a new walk in refrigerator, new battery banks, moved water tanks and added a much needed fire door. The second exit is no longer out the window and down the ladder. The new door comes out the back side of the kitchen right to Bear Camp.
Living in Bear Camp this summer will be the Quirk family Kate is Assistant Director and Jonny Assistant Cook. Their son Callum will be our youngest resident-coming as a 4 year old, leaving as a 5 year old.
Courtney Vashro is helping out as site manager until Andy Williams arrives for his new role. Andy hales from Aloha Foundation where he retired from running their Ohana Camp. I am noticing that his definition of retiring involved finding another position, just not year round.
We have 4 Semester Alumnae: Loryn Kipp, Head Cook, Julia Munson, Assistant Cook, Morgan Lapointe, Assistant Trip Leader, Erica Lehner, Assistant Trip Leader.
Our Leadership Training program is growing. Eloise Schultz joins us for a second year and we welcome 6 new Northstars to the program. Aimee Davidson will head that program. They will spend the first session out on trail. Canoeing Webster Stream, hiking Katahdin via Knife’s Edge and kayaking at Big Eddy.
We are traveling to camp with 5 wood canvas canoes!! Chewonki’s three, and then Holly Whitney is bringing a boat that SHE built along with my Guide Canoe. We will finish the summer with 2 new boats built by campers.
Yesterday we launched the first wood canoe build as part of our program. Earlier in the week I was able to show the boat to Lynn. However, I did not offer her a chance to paddle it, I saved that for the builders. We had about a dozen people take the new boat for a spin!
Last year at this time we were preparing for 37 campers to arrive. At this point we are looking forward to 55 participants for our first session. Penobscot White Water Kayaking trip is full, Allagash Canoe trip is running and Nahmakanta Explorers has a waiting list.
We look forward to hearing from you this summer, perhaps hosting you for a visit? Please follow us on the Girls Camp blog and reach out any time. Happy Summer! I have been waiting since last August for this season to commence and we are off and running at full speed. Thanks for all of your support.