Camp Journal 2019: Week Five

All summer long, Treetops campers have embraced and overcome challenges, mastering skills along the way. Aspiring sailors learn the fundamentals on a Sunfish sailboat before progressing to the larger and more advanced Capri. Horseback riders first perfect a posting trot and then proceed to cantering, while our most experienced riders might begin galloping and jumping. Campers new to rock climbing master basic skills on our campus climbing wall and chimney, then experience nearby crags and rocks, with our most accomplished climbers advancing their top roping skills. 

By week five, campers have demonstrated their mettle and grit. They now have the resilience to embark on longer, tougher, and more adventurous trips. After all this time, many of them are ready to really push themselves. Trips this week ran the gamut, including a three night canoe trip to the Bog River Flow, from Lake Lila to Low’s Lower Dam. Campers paddled over 20 miles and completed several challenging portages with one of them up to a mile long. Children who chose to focus on their horseback riding over the summer trotted off into the woods for an overnight at Blueberry Bluff. On a rugged five-day hike, campers set out to climb several mountains over 4000 feet, including Phelps and Tabletop, Colden and Redfield, the Upper Range, Sawteeth, Colvin and Blake. 

Campers who are passionate about developing their expertise as wilderness guides have spent the past several weeks practicing and demonstrating skills such as map and compass use, basic stove lighting and repair, erecting a tent and tarp, camp cooking, and much more. These children also must establish their leadership abilities, setting an example for other trip participants through proven maturity, hard work, and self-awareness. Once campers master guide skills for their area of expertise, they are ready to lead a trip. This week, one camper led her very first group of campers and counselors by canoe on a 14-mile overnight trip from Jones Pond to Lake Kusaqua. The dedication and care that went into this achievement was celebrated by the small group that followed her lead. 

Camp Treetops gives children the time and space to mindfully develop new skills and to build resilience in ways which may not otherwise be possible during the year. Unplugging at Camp gives children the opportunity to cultivate close and meaningful relationships and experience the joys and challenges of being active in nature and the wilderness.

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