Week six at Camp is always bittersweet. Camp life, particularly the trip program, is at its full height, signifying that we are officially into August and reminding us that summer doesn’t last forever. But while we know we are reaching the end of our time together, we also know that a lot can happen in two weeks as well as how to make the most out of the time we have.
Earlier this week a group of Junior Campers set out to do something Junior Camp had never done before—climb Mt. Allen. It was a very long day and they had to carve out a place to spend the night, but they returned to Camp proud and happy. Meanwhile, the Junior Camp double hikers were climbing three trail-less peaks—Cliff, Redfield, and Marshall, and the double canoers were paddling from Little Clear Pond into Green and Bear Ponds and Upper St. Regis lake, climbing St. Regis Mountain on their final day to get a bird’s eye view of where they’d just journeyed. The ambitious Senior Camp five-day canoe paddled and portaged all the way from Hoel Pond through the Upper St. Regis Wilderness Area, pulling out at Jones Pond—a new and grueling route (even for Supers!), while the five-day hybrid hiked the Seward range and paddled from Axton landing on the Raquette River all the way down and into Tupper lake. A bit closer to home, a mix of junior and senior campers spent two days climbing at Barkeater Cliff, while another group visited Essex farm and a third slept in a lean-to next to peaceful Osgood Pond and visited the Paul Smith’s Visitor’s Interpretive Center.
Indeed, during week six every canoe and backpack is in use and the hike house is empty—the stoves, tents and sleeping bags are all in the backcountry. But while the dining rooms have more empty seats than usual, there is still a lot going on in Camp. In addition to the usual array of crafts, music, sports, and waterfront activities, small groups are able to do things like pickle an array of vegetables from the garden, flavor oils and vinegars with our own herbs, and make jam from just-harvested raspberries and currants. Another highlight of the week was British Day (a favorite of counselors and campers alike), featuring tasty treats from across the “pond”—a full English breakfast, fish and chips for lunch, and Cornish pasties and trifle dessert at suppertime, not to mention some royal fanfare and the arrival of the “Queen.” Junior campers have also been busy writing and rehearsing the Junior Camp play, “The Day The Junior Campers’ Wish Came True,” to be performed on Sunday evening when we are all together. I look forward to the performance as well as the chance for all of Camp to be together, to enjoy each other and celebrate the things we’ve accomplished this summer.