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Bittersweet goodbyes

 

Today is certainly a bittersweet day. It is our last day of summer camp for 2014. While our staff will be leaving soon, we also say goodbye today to a fantastic group of campers. With some fantastic days and nights, our campers certainly had a blast this week. Everyone slept well Tuesday night after our camp wide game of capture the flag. Wednesday morning saw our weekly Lake Swim, with campers being boated across the lake and then getting a chance to swim back. Our electric blue swimmer’s were escorted by lifeguards, yak boars, and powerboats. Afterwards, they definitely appreciated the hot chocolate and donuts at breakfast. Wednesday is always an exiting day here at camp, with lots of crazy things happening. From taking a dip in the mud walk, to learning to flip over canoes, campers are always making many unforgettable memories.

Wednesday night saw campers hunting for Brandon’s belly button in an adaptation of a fair hunt. While looking around in the woods, campers found different forms of Brandon and they helped make a new song to the tune of old camp songs. This night was certainly one of our goofier nights. Thursday was also a blast, especially during our “Rock Concert.” Working with an ’80s theme, cabins and staff came up with some amazing dances to some of the most popular hits of the 80s including “Eye of the Tiger,””Danger Zone,” and “Girls just wanna have fun.”

After a good nights rest, it was time for the Final Friday. While always a little sad, the energy and enthusiasm around camp was palpable.  After enjoying morning and afternoon activity periods, our campers helped in the areas around camp to help clean and prepare them to be shut down. Many of our campers truly feel like they are apart of the Daggett family when helping to tidy up camp. We certainly appreciate all of their hard work. Friday night of course saw our initiation ceremony, where new campers were welcomed into the spirit of Daggett by returning campers and staff alike. Friday evenings are certainly something most will never forget.

If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to complete our parent/camper evaluation survey by clicking here. The comments and feedback that we receive are incredibly helpful and help to shape Camp Daggett and its programming.

 

The beginning of the end

It is hard to believe that we are already on our final week of campers; it seems like just yesterday our staff was arriving for staff training week. Our campers would never know that out staff has already been here since early June, especially due to the amazing amount of energy and enthusiasm that every member of our Daggett Family displays each and every day. They certainly need this energy for the exciting week that we have planned.

Getting right to work on Sunday night, our campers were big fans of our Word Search night. Working with their cabins, teammates walked around and tried to find as many words from a list that they could! These words were all around camp. This night was not only a great way for campers to get to know camp a bit better, but also to get to know their cabin mates a bit better too. After all, camp is probably the best place to make friends!

Come Monday, campers were ready to hit the ground running. Since summer is finally here (75 and sunny every day), the waterfront was a huge hit. Whether it was in sailing, swimming, or canoeing, all of our campers didn’t miss an opportunity for a refreshing dip in the lake. That’s not to say that our land areas weren’t full of excitement too though. A big hit today was our “tie-dye” Tuesday, lots of interesting creations being made during free land.

The nights have been equally as exciting, with some classic, but fun night activities. Last night, campers had to solve the mystery of who stole the rat, “Piper,” from nature. After questioning many suspects and interviewing our staff for facts, campers finally found Piper! She was safe and sound, and ready to be held again. Tonight, it is the epic battle of red vs. blue in our camp-wide game of capture the flag. Campers certainly love being able to run all over camp and work together to get those flags!

This week, we also have our final wilderness explorer trip of the year. This week, the group is headed up to Pictured Rocks National Lake shore. For four days and three nights, this group will explore some of the most beautiful places in our state, if not our nation. These trips are always a hit, and campers always come back with many stories to tell!

Bittersweet Saturdays

It is hard to believe it is the second day of August already! It seems like just yesterday we were finishing school and starting to get camp ready. This week certainly turned out to be another amazing week! With plenty of sunshine and some warmer weather, our campers sure had a blast on the water and in the land (and some in the air!). Wednesday night was a bit of a surprise for campers, and certainly something that would only happen at Camp Daggett. While introducing “Slug Fest 2014” (a celebration of all things slug related), our assistant program director Nathan was kidnapped by none other than the Joker and Loki, and thus began superhero night! After some superhero training, all of our campers went around and honed their skills. Everything ended well as Nathan was rescued by some of the avengers at the conclusion of the night.
Thursday was another fantastic day with some more great weather. Campers certainly loved going out to the raft, and yak boarding is always a hit. But it was Thursday night that took the stage as Medieval Night came to town. Campers always love it when dinner is a little special, and Medieval Night is certainly one not to be missed. Our night cook Dennis prepared some amazing roast beef, and then sliced it up right in front of campers. Of course, this was all under the direction of our King and Queen (Brandon and Sara). After dinner, campers got a chance to practice their archery, get a fortune told, and even practice their jousting skills. The biggest hit may have been the stockades, where campers got a chance to soak our staff with some wet sponges.

As always, Fridays never see a dull moment. Rest hour is certainly appreciated after a long morning of parties and games in every area. Friday evening is also when we hold our weekly Initiation ceremony. This night starts with some awards, recognizing campers who have helped to make the week extra special. The night ends with our special ceremony, which is truly something unique. Almost every camper can recall their veryfirst initiation, and everyone helps to contribute to the magic that is Friday night. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to complete our Parent/Camper evaluation survey by clicking here.

Wobbly Wednesday!

Well another week is in full swing! Even though it is a little on the cooler side, our area directors, counselors, and CITS have been hard at work developing programing that is fun no matter what the temperature! Often during these colder days, concerns drift towards swimming and keeping the campers warm enough to have a happy, and safe, time. Our swimming staff has been doing an amazing job of switching things up and being adaptable when it comes to what to do during swim class. Many campers have even said that the water feels great once you are in it! We have also kept a fire going in our main fire pit to warm up by during the morning activity periods.

Of course, many things at camp are not affected by the temperature. We had an amazing set of Tie-die made yesterday, and nature walks have been a huge hit! Today, campers will get to take part in some truly amazing Daggett experiences. In canoeing, young paddlers will learn not just how to flip their canoe over, but more importantly how to empty them out and get going again! This skill, while fun to practice, is a very important one to learn for our oldest two cabin groups who will be venturing out in canoes for their camp outs this week. While all of our cabins go on one overnight camping trip each week, it is the oldest cabins that get to canoe to the north or south to spend some time in nature. While it is a bit more work, the delicious “hobos” that they make for dinner make the trip worth it! Another hit today will be our “Mud Walk” in nature for free land. During this time, campers can choose to go to our mud pit, get a little messy, and then rinse themselves out in the lake! This activity is always a huge hit!

Luckily, the weather has been nice at night and all of our night activities have gone off without a hitch. It was great to see many of our campers’ creative sides on Sunday night during “Bag Skits.” During this activity, each cabin exchanged a bag of props with their brother or sister cabin and made a skit using these props. All of our campers got a chance to be silly for a few minutes, and they were all certainly hilarious! Monday night was a hit as well, featuring our second annual “Daggett’s Cove Mini-Golf Challenge.” During free time, each cabin was assigned an area around camp, and got to make their own putt-putt hole out of materials found in that area. When they were done, campers played all of the holes. Last night, got a chance to enjoy a night activity inspired by a family reunion. With games, snacks, and chatting, we hope campers not only got a chance to share some memories, but also to make some more.

We’re going to say goodbye…

As another week winds to a close, it is always wonderful to look back and see some of the growth and maturation that has occurred in many of our campers. Whether it was their first time away from home or if someone is a lifetime camper, everyone who attends Camp Daggett walks away with lots of new experiences, memories, and most importantly, friends. There is nothing quite like seeing the hugs at check out and the many calls of “see you next summer” to both campers and staff at check-out. It is truly fantastic to see how campers connect to each other and to our staff during their short time here. It is always our goal here to make sure that campers have the best week of their whole summer during their stay with us.

If you have not already, please take a minute to talk with your camper about their week and fill our our “Parent/Camper Evaluation” by clicking here or by going to the address on the form you received at check out. The comments and feedback are very helpful and help us to shape our programming at Camp Daggett. Don’t forget, one lucky respondent will be drawn at random to receive a week’s tuition at Camp for next year!

Happy Counselor Appreciation Day!

Did you know today is counselor appreciation day?! At Camp, we like to choose a day to celebrate and say thanks to our twelve amazing counselors. With signs, cards, and pizza (and candy) at lunch, we hope our counselors can relax a little today and enjoy the many hugs and warm thoughts that they deserve.

Counselors are a very big part of our night activities. While area directors plan and organize our nights, they would not be such big hits if it were not for all of our staff members. This week has certainly seen some wonderful ones. After Pokemon night on Monday, cabins spent all of Tuesday competing in “Survivor Day.” Cabins earned points by singing the loudest, having the cleanest cabins, and of course by following our motto: “The Other Fellow First.” In the night, cabins competed in some games and activities to see who was the ultimate survivor. In the end, the Huron cabin narrowly defeated the Crow cabin to claim the title. Yesterday we had an all time favorite, Mario Party!  During the night, campers were free to go to all of the stations that we had set up. Campers earned gold coins for doing the stations, and the cabin with the most gold coins got first pick in our “snack auction.”  This evening, the rec field was transformed into a battlefield as campers took part in our “Battle of Gettysburg.” After being split into two teams, campers first started by having a little water fight. When that was over, each participant got a bag of flower and got to try to cover as many other campers as possible. In the end, everyone took a dip in the lake with some shampoo to wash off. Night activities, while only one small part of Camp Daggett, are certainly one of the most memorable. It is always awe inspiring to see campers working with their cabins, their brother or sister cabins, and especially campers of different ages to come together and have some great fun! After all, that’s what Camp’s all about.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

Week 6 is already underway, and what a week it is shaping up to be! With some great weather today and in the future, this a perfect week to be at camp (actually, any week is a perfect week to be at Daggett!). Campers started with an amazing night activity in which they had to work together to complete many challenges. We call these short initiatives and it is really great to see all of our campers coming together and developing those team work skills. For the oldest two cabins, these team work skills are further explored on Monday and Tuesday as they complete our Adventure Programs. Cabins spend time getting to know one another, working on team work and communication skills, and finally get a chance to put their skills to the test on our high ropes course! Everyone walks away with some amazing new skills and a great appreciation for their peers.

Monday has been a great day for camp, with many campers trying new things. Some of the most popular times of our day are free land and free water. During these times, campers get to choose any land and any water area to participate in. In fact, due to the warm weather, more than 60 campers chose to go swimming! This enthusiasm for camp was also seen during free land with the basketball court virtually empty with many campers playing Capture the Flag in rec or making “Shrinky Dinks” in Arts and Crafts. Of course, campers are very enthused about our night activity tonight, which combines Pokemon with a little bit of strategy. Cabins must work together to find staff members in the woods and challenge them to duels with playing cards. The rest of the week has equally exciting night activities, including TV Game Show night, our epic “Battle of Gettysburg,” and Mario Party night.

Super Saturday

Well, another week is done here at Camp Daggett. The well certainly was an interesting one. With some cooler, wetter weather to start the week, and some beautiful weather to finish it off. Both our campers and our staff did a fantastic job of being flexible and always keeping a smile on! Our campers’ enthusiasm is second to none. This was certainly seen in two of our night activities: Daggettstock and our Olympics.

For our Olympics, campers were split into for teams and competed all day on various camp sports including GaGa ball, hockey, basketball and soccer. Campers showed amazing teamwork and support as they cheered their teams on to victory. In the end, Tonga took home the gold! Daggettstock, or okay on Woodstock, saw campers make up dances and skid to some popular 60s and 70s hits. It’s always great to see hour creative our campers are!

If that wasn’t enough, we also had one off our wilderness trips come back to camp last night. This trip was our kayaker trip, spending the well kayaking and camping around South Manitou island. Everyone said they had a blast! Speaking of kayaking, this weekend is also orr sixth annual ” Kayak for a Cause.” If you live on Walloon, be sure to keep and eye out for the team!

Last but not least, please take a moment to help us out by completing our Parent/ Camper evaluation by clicking here.

 

Already half way?!

Activity periods for today haven’t even started yet, but campers have already done so much today! This morning we held one of our Lake Swims, with campers being boated over to the other side of the lake and then swimming back. Of course, campers swim with many staff lifeguards, have kayaks next to them, and are even accompanied by four escort boats. Those who swam it, and we had more than thirty today, got some hot chocolate and doughnuts at breakfast! Of course, there are many other very popular things to do here at Camp Daggett before the day even gets started. Early morning rec (EMR) and Polar Bear are always big hits. If campers wake up at 7:30 and do these optional activities four times a week, they will get an award on Friday. Today is also special because many campers are participating in “Wacky Wednesday.” Organized by our Program Aides, campers get to wear their clothes backwards, put bathing suits on the outside of their clothes, put their socks on their hand, and do whatever other crazy things they can thing of. Our Program Aides give awards to campers on Friday who participated.

Right after breakfast, campers get a chance to help tidy up camp a bit. As soon as breakfast is dismissed, campers are tasked with returning to their cabins and making them sparkle. They sweep, rake, straighten up bunks, and of course put all those dirty clothes away. Campers also have time to clean their “Caper,” or an area around camp that needs a little rake, sweep, or tidying. Some cabins clean up the Rec Hall, others rake and straighten up the beach. We believe this a valuable time for our campers and for camp. Not only do these activities help to make camp look nice, it teacher campers many valuable skills. If cabins get done early,  they even get a chance to create a “Kiss Up,” a little skit or show for the Program aide who inspects their cabin. It is always great to see how creative our campers can get! At lunch, the top three cabins are announced in each category. The competition won’t stop there, as today is our Daggett Olympics!