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What a Great Summer

With the summer camp session behind us, it is now time to look back upon the summer and reflect on many of the things that have been done. While the staff has packed up and returned to their families, friends and jobs, Camp Daggett continues on, as our year round program keeps a busy calendar of events. Be sure to check the Camp Daggett website for more info on these programs. Of important note is that currently, the Michigan Commission for the Blind is holding their second “Transition Zone” at Camp Daggett. Through this camp, visually impaired youth learn many valuable skills to aid them in their transition to adulthood.

While summer camp and its activities are gone, we hope that the memories and lessons learned at camp will continue on with our camper. We are certain that all of our campers this summer will bring home with them a new found respect for themselves and people around them, bringing our motto of “The Other Fellow First” to wherever they go.

Since summer camp is now over, this blog will not be updated as it was during the last few weeks. This is due to the fact that this blog has been run by the hard work of summer staff members, and was meant to just keep families and friends up to date on what’s been going on at camp. Please feel free to continue to explore this website though, and comment on articles with your campers if you wish! Also important is our “Feedback” form, which you may use to provide feedback on this blog. While there has been an overwhelmingly positive response, we are always looking for ways to improve your experience. Again, please save feedback on summer camp programming for the form that you received at check out though.

It was a great summer, as every summer has been at camp. It would be impossible for camp to be around for more than 87 years without the love and care that many give to camp. From our year round staff and our board of directors, to every summer employee and volunteers, it is amazing to see so many people coming together to provide quality experiences to so many youths. With so many dedicated and passionate individuals and community organizations proudly supporting Camp Daggett, it is easy to see how camp will most likely be around for at least 87 more years!

 

Final Friday

Wow, it is hard to believe that the energy and excitement that our campers this week showed on Sunday is still just as strong today! Last night was a blast, as campers performed their  “Mock Rocks.” Our oldest boys cabin, Ottawa, helped move our stage onto the rec field to help get the night going. Then, one by one, cabins performed a little dance number set to music of their choice. It was clear how much time and practice campers put into creating their mock rocks. It was also nice to hear counselors rave about how their campers came up with most of the moves on their own, with very little help from their cabin leaders. Campers were also treated to some cookies an skits by some staff members! Of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without a giant dance party with campers learning lots of new, awesome dance moves.

Today, like every Friday, will be a blast. Even though it’s a little on the cooler side, campers will still be treated to lots of great activities in our areas. With music playing, campers will have dock parties, beach parties, and lots of other fun things to do. Today will end with our cookout, as our Director John will grill up some hamburgers and hot dogs for everyone. Everyone will love eating outside with their cabins as we celebrate everyone’s last Friday here. Tonight will end with our initiation ceremony, where first some awards will be given out. Following this, campers will watch a slideshow with many pictures of everything that went on this week. Our ceremony will end the evening, with campers taking home many new memories and friendships.

It is also important to note the significance of this Friday. Since it is the last of the summer, campers will be helping to take part in getting camp ready for the long offseason. Instead of free land and free water, campers will help the area directors do some cleaning and packing up. Most campers really like doing this, as it makes them feel apart of camp. Again, while it is certainly a bittersweet day, it is amazing to see the smiles on campers’ faces, and hear the laughs as we begin to end the summer.

What a Wednesday!

Wow! This week has been so busy. Yesterday was full of new and exciting adventures. While younger campers spent their mornings largely learning to sail and canoe, Tuesday saw lots of smiles and cheers as these cabins got their first chances to do these activities. Campers also got some freestyle practice in our swimming area, as well as some exciting games. Land activities were also full of new things, with our frog pond being a huge hit! An awesome time during the day are our free land and free water periods. During these times, campers get to choose any land and water area they wish to go to. Our area directors sure do work hard to create new and fun activities to do during these times. A big hit yesterday was “tie dye  Tuesday. Campers created a bunch of amazing tie dye. Wednesdays and Thursdays are always fun when campers are proudly sporting their tie dyed shirts, socks, bandanas, and more! Thursday night saw a fun twist on our traditional “Battle of Gettysburg.” Grouped into four teams, campers took place in several assaults of flour! Everyone got pretty messy, so an all camp swim followed the epic battles!

Wednesday got off to a bang, as 20 campers participated in our lake swim. This event kicked off at 6:30 in the morning as campers and staff boated across the lake. After some stretches and warm-ups, everyone started to swim towards camp. Accompanied by power boats, yak boards, and lifeguards, all of our swimmers made it safely back to camp. At breakfast, those who participated were rewarded with donuts and hot chocolate! Also at breakfast, some of our campers participated in “Wacky Wednesday.” Many of our campers and staff dressed up in silly clothes and did their hair weird for this special event.

It is amazing how even though today is only half over, campers have been doing so many things. Always a favorite is wobbly Wednesday in canoeing. There, campers (with the help of some staff) practice flipping their canoes. Once they have made a splash, canoers learn how to right their canoes and empty them of water. Today will also see our mud walk, where campers will take a quick dip in our mud pond, and then a little shower in the lake! This evening will see our “Yooper” night. This night will involve our campers making some “dirt cup” snacks, playing pin the antlers on the deer, and even a quick trip to our homemade sauna!

The Beginning of the end

Well, week eight has arrived. While this is the staff’s last week, it is these campers’ first and only week for the summer. It is already amazing to see how much energy and enthusiasm that the staff, and campers, have. Even as we wind down our summer,  there are still plenty of new, fun, and exciting things to be done here at Camp Daggett. Last night after some meetings and a quick review of some guidelines, campers were introduced to some of the many things that they can do this week. If campers wish, they can wake up extra early at 7:30am to participate in Early Morning Recreation and/or our Polar Bear Swim club. If they go to either of these things 4 times this week, campers can get an award on Friday. It was awesome to hear how many campers participated in these early morning activities today, and more than 3/4 of the campers (and some staff!) started their day off with a quick some and some kickball.

At the end of the day, campers got to participate in our night activity, Counselor Hunt. While not really hidden, campers had to hunt down our staff and ask them if statements on a sheet of paper pertained to them. But before an answer would be given, cabins were often made to do something silly, like sing a song or hug a staff member. After cabins collected ten answers, they were rewarded with some ice cream! The fun didn’t stop their though, as cabins had to see who could get the most. In the end, our Iroquois cabin collected the most answers.

Mondays are always great here at camp. It is always exciting to see campers trying new things, and making lots of new friends! As campers travel to all six of our areas they will learn many new and valuable skills. This will be especially true this evening, when our oldest cabins, Ottawa and Gogebic, will take part in some adventure activities. While missing free land and free water, these cabins will work on some teambuilding and communication skills as they do some short initiatives and low rope activities. After dinner, they will get a chance to go on our high ropes course, where they will challenge themselves and encourage others while up on our elements.

Tonight, the remaining cabins will participate in Willy Wonka Night. This activity will see many activities inspired by the classic book and movie. Whether it is kicking our giant blue kickball in order to “juice” Veronica, or having a blind candy taste test, campers will be doing many things they may have never done before. Our night activities are one of the most memorable things we have here. In addition to Willy Wonka Night, we will also be having a Battle of Gettysburg on Tuesday, with campers throwing flour all over each other in an epic battle on the rec field. Wednesday will see our “Yooper” night, with campers celebrating the Upper Peninsula with many silly activities. Thursday will see a Mock Rock, where campers will perform a little show set to some music that they practice all week. Friday will be a sobering night, as we hold our final initiation of the summer.

Please “follow” this blog to see many more updates throughout the week. We also appreciate any comments sharing memories, stories, or thoughts to these posts. Also, as summer winds down, we would love your feedback on the blog, including what you like, what you didn’t, and any other comments or suggestions. If you wish, feel free to use this Feedback form to help us!

One last day

Today is Friday, and we couldn’t have asked for a better day to end out week on. It certainly seems like it has been more than a week though; it seems that we have done so much! Wednesday saw so many new things. In our canoeing area, campers learned some canoeing safety when they had to flip their canoes over, and then flip them back. This is a very important skill, especially for our oldest and 2nd oldest cabins (Crow and Huron, and Blackfeet and Ojibwe, respectively). These cabins canoed to their campouts on Wednesday or Thursday night. Crow and Huron went on Wednesday while Blackfeet and Ojibwe went last night. Wednesday also saw our famous “Mud Walk,” put on during free land by our nature staff. In this activity, campers wore their bathing suits to nature and went for a quick dip in our mud puddle. Then, everyone got  a chance to take a dip in the lake. Wednesday morning also saw our lake swim. At 6:30 in the morning, 20 campers and some staff were boated across to the other side of the lake, and then got a chance to swim back. With lifeguards swimming, yak boarders, and power boats, everyone was safe as the group swam the 3/4 mile swim back to camp. At breakfast, those who participated got some hot chocolate and donuts.

Wednesday night was a bit of  a surprise, as we told all the campers that is was going to be “Sarah” night, in honor of the many Sarahs that we have on staff. However, while they were explaining the activity, a van driven by some supervillans abducted our assistant program director Nathan, as well as hit pet rock Herbert! With the help of some good superheroes, campers went through various stations and followed many clues to help rescue Nathan and Herbie. In the end, campers witnessed an epic battle between the superheros and villans on our raft. Eventually, the good guys won (don’t they always?), and saved Herbie and freed Nathan from clutches of evil.

Thursday was also an exciting day. A big hit always on Thursdays is yak boarding. Yak boards are like small open kayaks that campers get to go on in canoeing, and everyone seems to love it! Thursday night also saw some interesting games in swimming, including a newer hit “Where’s my tugboat?” Using teamwork and cooperation, campers had to steal a tugboat and swim through the water without getting caught, in the style of red light-green light. Our basketball court also got covered in some wonderful sidewalk chalk art thanks to arts and craft. A classic activity that never gets old was nature’s trips to our frog pond, where campers used nets to catch (and release) some wild frogs.

Thursday night ended with our “Medieval Night.” During a fancy dinner of roast beef carved fresh by our night cook Dennis and our canoeing director Alex, campers were split into “houses.” During the night activity, campers pledged their support to these houses. In this free for all activity, campers practiced jousting, got knighted, and even had their fortunes told by our ominous fortune-teller. A battle concluded the night, with staff members fighting for control of our throne. In the end, everyone had a blast.

Today, Friday, marks a bittersweet time. While this is the last day of camp for this week, there are still many things to be done. Parties are being held in areas, with music, dancing, and of course lots of laughter. Tonight will end with our initiation ceremony, which is always a special time. After some awards, new campers, with the help of some staff,  will get to show off some of their skills while doing some silly tricks, many of which resemble things from the show “Minute to win it.”  Our ceremony will end the night, and will see some long-held traditions being used to welcome our new camp members into the spirit of Daggett.

Wonderful Wednesday

It is amazing to think that soon, this week will be halfway over! Since Monday, we have been very busy. As noted last post, Monday night was our “Pure Michigan” night. This was a brand new night, brought to us by our health director Lindsey. During this night, everyone had a blast as they took in some pontoon rides, designed some cardboard cars, played baseball, and even tried their hand at making their own “Pure Michigan” ads (you can read our very own “Pure Daggett” commercial below). Even though the weather turned a little foul, the staff and campers all stayed very positive and flexible as some of the activities got moved inside. Our oldest cabins, Crow and Huron, got a chance to do their high ropes activities inside of our indoor adventure center.

Tuesday also saw a very exciting day! While it may have started off a bit cloudy, the weather slowly improved as campers got to experience many new activities on the land and in the water. It is always a great thing to see so many campers choosing to participate in our free land and free water periods, when campers get to pick any water and  land activity that they wish to go to. Both Monday and Tuesday have seen many campers participating in both of these periods. In fact, our sailing director was quite impressed on Tuesday, when 32 campers turned up to sail! All five of our beautiful boats plus our Sunfish were taken out. Free land was a hit as well, especially with our weekly “Tie Dye Tuesday.”

Even though it was on the cooler side, campers still had a great time at our water carnival. This night activity saw many new water activities that campers don’t usually play. One station required participants to splash water into a canoe to try to sink it, while another had them passing a greased up watermelon between their legs. We also had our version of synchronized swimming with campers forming shapes with their cabins based on what the staff would call out, as well as relay races with water balloons and ice cubes. Always a hit was our surfing station, where campers had contests to see who could stay on our surfboards the longest as the staff created some waves.

This morning was an early morning for some, as today saw our lake swim. Campers who received an electric blue wristband woke up at 6:30am to take our boats across the lake. There, they did some stretches and warm-ups before we departed on our swim back to camp. Accompanied by kayaks, life guards, and power boats, 20 campers swam all the way back to camp. At breakfast, those who participated got some hot chocolate and doughnuts in addition to some delicious egg, cheese and bacon sandwiches. Speaking of breakfast, a big shout-out goes to our fabulous kitchen staff who have been keeping our bellies full of delicious food all summer. Our cooks,  Dennis and Lori, sure work hard with our kitchen aides, Parker, Emma and Christina, to make sure there is always a great variety or nutritious and filling meals!

Pure Daggett

Picture a place where everyday brings something new,
Where the sounds of laughter and the smell of the campfire dominate.
A place where one can go to get away from the modern world,
Where people treat others right, and always put the other fellow first.
Where kids can travel somewhere new every night, with the only limit being one’s imagination.
A place where stories are shared and friends are made,
Where everyone has a place and the memories last for ever.
There is a place like this, nestled on the shores of Walloon Lake,
A place called Camp Daggett, where everyone is welcome.
Your trip begins at campdaggett.org

What a great start!

Week seven has started, and it already seems like it is going to be a great week! After the arrival of all the new campers, we got the week started right away with some meetings and introductions. Campers learned all about various things that they would do during the week, including our famous Polar Bear and Early Morning Rec clubs. These two activities see campers waking up extra early to take a dip in the lake or play some sports! After a delicious dinner of rosemary chicken, campers went on a quick tour to all of the areas around camp. Everyone also was excited to participate in our night activity- Mr. and Mrs. Daggett. This “pageant” had campers dress up their counselors and helping them make a talent. It was quite interesting to see some of the many personas that campers came up with for their counselors. In the end, Nicola and Paul were our campers- representing the Blackfeet and Hurons cabins respectively.

There is plenty more in store for this week. Tonight will see a brand new night activity brought to us by our Health Director Lindsey. Her activity is “Pure Michigan Night,” a while evening dedicated to celebrating all that Michigan has to offer. With trivia, pontoon rides, copper mining, car mining, baseball and much more, campers will delight in learning some fun facts about our wonderful state, as well as having fun in the many activities. The week will continue as campers learn many new things in our areas. Campers will hopefully experience many new things, as well as participating in some classic camp activities. Certainly a highlight of the week is the oldest cabin’s, Crow and Huron, trip to adventure this evening. There, they will hone their team working skills, as well as challenge themselves as they participate in our high and low ropes courses.

Also of note is today’s lunch. While we will be having some wonderful Michigan foods (today is Coney Dogs), today’s lunch will be a special treat for our counselors. This lunch, we will be having our counselor appreciation  day. Our area directors worked hard to decorate Mac Hall with signs and cards for our counselors, who will be dining on some pizza that we have ordered for them. It is important to note that this group of people form the heart and soul of Camp Daggett. Without the hard work and dedication that the counselors put into each and every moment of every day, none of our campers would have nearly as much fun, or form as many memories, as they do. Be sure to extend your thanks and appreciation to this amazing group of young people.

As there is much more to be done this week, be sure to check back in on this blog to find out just some of what we will be doing.

What a Week!

Well, week 6 has come and gone. While the weather wasn’t always the best this session, everyone sure did make the best of it. Our staff can be so amazing at making the best out of bad situations. Luckily, the weather was great for our version of the Olympic games on Thursday. After rest hour, campers did not have their afternoon classes or free water and land; instead they had Olympics. After some flag making and cheer creating, the teams of Ireland, Australia, Germany and…Chad had an opening parade up to the rec field to watch Leroy carry the Olympic torch to our very own Olympic flame. The water events would be first, with campers racing canoes and sailboats, carrying wet towels, and even sinking canoes! After the water events, the team sports began first with some water polo, Nuke ‘Em, Dodgeball and Ultimate frisbee. After these sports, the teams all got together for some Tug Of War! Going into dinner, it was a close contest with the teams only separated by 4 points! Dinner was special, as all teams sat together under their own flags. The second round of games began after dinner, with Volleyball, Hockey, Soccer, and a water balloon toss. The evening concluded with our super relay which saw some campers running, arching, swimming, canoeing and even a potato sack race. In the end, Char won the gold for the day, although it was close and all our Olympians had a blast.

Friday once again saw some easy going activities, as parties were held in many of the areas. With lots of music, dancing, and even some grass skirts, campers had a blast as they celebrated their final day at camp. In the evening we held our weekly initiation. After a short award ceremony, cabins got a chance to act out the skits they had been practicing all week! Topics covered by the skits ranged all the way from “Where’d John Guirey’s hair go?” to “How did all the animals get in mac hall?” The staff also found out that many of our campers are great actors and actresses! At the end of the evening, our initiation ceremony was special and memorable for all the new campers, as well as the old.

As campers leave on Saturday, it is always good to hear them telling many stories about the week that they were here. However, as it is week 6, it is important to recognize a group of individuals that will also be leaving us. This group is our 15 year old Program aides and Service aides. During their two-week stay at camp, these former campers helped out so much- from cleaning bathrooms and packing for campouts, to walking around with cabins and participating in night activities. Camp would not run as smoothly as it does without the dedication and services provided by this valuable group of people. They will surely be missed.

With that, it is time to prepare for the final two weeks of camp. Feel free to follow along as we begin this final stretch of camp to read about many more of the things that will be happening. Also feel free to post comments and share memories about camp on these blog posts. Today, we will also try something new! Use the poll below to cast your vote with your camper (s) as to which night activity was liked the best, or which sounded the most fun!