Perseverance

There are many valuable skills that children learn at camp. Obviously, they learn to sailing, new games on the rec field and even some new crafts in arts and crafts. but most importantly campers learn some very strong character traits. One of these traits is perseverance. Perseverance, or doing things despite difficulty, is such an importnat trait that all of our campers can beneift from. Whethere it is learning to persevere during their first week away from their parents, or meeting new friends despite maybe being a little shy. Camp is able to afford campers this opportunity, an opportunity to persevere. There are no easy outs at camp. A great example of this is our lake swim. This week, 20 camper swam across the lake escorted by boats, yakboard, and life guards. This 3/4 of a mile swim can be tiresome, even for the most advanced swimmer, but it nevers stops amazing our staff that campers will push through and complete this event. More imporanantly, if one talks to a swimmer afterwards, the sense of pride and victory in their voice is amazing.

Homesickness is another common fact of life one most often persevere through. While many children get homesick when attending camp, our staff is superbly trained and qualified to help campers work through it, and develop coping straegies. There is nothing more rewarding than campers who are homesick the first couple days of camp, only to then proclaim that they don’t ever want to leave when Friday and Saturday mornings come around.

Of course, it’s a lot easier to persevere if there are some fun things going on, and as always this is another jam packed week of excitement. From the above-mentioned lake swim, to our brand new campout site (“The Mesa”) there are always new, fun, and exciting things going on here. We’ve got some great night activities going on to: from a water-flour batllte (Gettysburg) to our own rendition of Mario Party, our staff and campers sure are a creative bunch.

 

 

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Something old…something new

Many campers return year after year to Camp Daggett. The title of this post probably sums up why many of these campers come back for many years. Each week, campers will see some of their favorite activities, while also experiencing many new things. In fact, even if all the activities were the same, a new group of cabin mates, staff, and even new foods help to make each year a new adventure. This week, we of course had our Fourth of July extravaganza, but we also have some newer nights – like App Night and Napoleon Dynamite night.

Whether this is a campers’ first year – or their eighth year, we strive to ensure that every camper has a unique and valuable experience. Camp is about a lot more than just having a good time; it is about building a camper’s character. It is great to see our staff helping to build those skills in younger campers, and more importantly, challenging older, more experienced campers to use their skills and model some positive traits for younger campers.

Full Value

Here at camp, we like to stress what we like to call the “Full Value Agreement.” We ask that all of our campers, and staff, live by three simple rules.

  1. Work as a team
  2. Be Safe
  3. Speak Up

We feel that these three statements embody all that occurs here at camp. We like to find ways to incorporate this philosophy in all that we do. Last night, we had a night activity called “Wild Men/Wild Women” where campers run around searching for staff members dressed as animals, all while being chased by our wild people. It was amazing to see campers work as a team to stay together and accomplish tasks given to them. One cabin momentarily got separated, and it was amazing to see their single focus on reuniting with their team, ignoring all of the other things going on around them. We see team  work occurring all of the time here, not just in our night activities, but in all of our areas, campouts, adventure programming, and even during meal times.

Being safe means more than just making sure you don’t get physically hurt; just as important to us is emotional safety. We stress the importance of kindness, respect and integrity. The rec field is a great example of emotional safety in action. While still having a great time playing some classic games, we stress the value of teamwork and sportsmanship.

Of course, it would be hard to be safe and work as team if one does not speak up. Communication is an essential skill, and being able to speak up and share thoughts and feelings is important. Our staff does an amazing job connecting and bonding with our campers to help them feel comfortable sharing with adults and their peers. Through these principles, and our motto “The Other Fellow First” we are able to help our campers not just have a great week, but also build some strong positive character traits.

Up and Running!

The summer of 2016 is finally upon us! All of our staff has been super excited to welcome our first group of campers for the summer. What a week we have been having! Although we started with some storms, we have been fortunate enough to enjoy some great weather for all of the activities that we have had going on. From all of our activity areas and free time, to night activities and cabin time, our campers sure do seem to be having a great time.

This year, returning campers will as always see a few new faces around. Caoimhe, our Gogebic counselor, is joining us for the summer from Ireland. More so, she is not the only international member of our staff; Jodie (in Crow) comes all the way from New Zealand, and Albert is back for his second year from Holland. They, and all of our new and returning staff, are all brining some great experiences to our campers.

As always we have some fantastic night activities. From Capture the Flag, Up, and Oregon trail night, to Holiday Night and our Initiation ceremony, campers are always amazed by the uniqueness of each night; they are sure to tell you some amazing stories on Saturday!

 

Our first meeting of the year

Our first meeting of the year

Albert takes campers on a Sunfish

Albert takes campers on a Sunfish

Campers play Spike Ball

Campers play Spike Ball

 

A great week Eight!

Wow, it is hard to believe that it is already halfway through week 8! Even thought this is our staffs’ eight week with campers, you probably wouldn’t notice it based on all the enthusiasm and creativity all around. It is amazing how we still find new things to do, even after eight weeks (and 90 years!). Sunday night was a new night activity(reverse scavenger hunt), and tonight will see a new Lord of the Rings night. Of course, for many of our campers everything they do is new! That is really what camp is all about: trying new things and making new friends. It’s always great to see that although many campers come with a buddy, most are more than happy to quickly make new friends.

There are still many old traditions here thought. This morning was our weekly lake swim, and yesterday was of course tie-dye Tuesday! Perhaps one of the most traditional things we do here is our friendship circle. Each night we take a few moments to reflect on the day and listen to important announcements about the next day as a group. It’s hard to determine how long we have been doing these friendship circles, but it seems like camp isn’t the same without it. This sentiment also rings true with our motto: The Other Fellow First. This motto, passed along since the time of our first Director (Walter J. MacMillan)really embodies  what camp is all about: making sure the needs of others are met and just being a great person with outstanding character.

 

 

August Already?

Wow it is hard to believe that this summer is flying by so fast. It certainly helps that there is always something new and exciting going on here at camp. Even if there is not something totally new going on here, our staff certainly finds ways to put new twists on old activities. This was evident last night during our game of “Deliver the Flag.” Campers had to actually deliver flags to the other team, instead of capturing them as in a normal game. This was just the end of the day yesterday, as Kelsa had organized a whole backwards day. We lowered the flag in the morning, switched our area directors around, and even sang some songs with some odd twists.

Of course, camp is all about doing things in new ways. Sometimes it having a backwards day, sometimes its just learning to sail for the first time. There is always something new to be tried, and new ways to try them. We hope this is something campers come to camp to do, and we feel it is an important part of building their character. In fact, we feel so strongly in our character building mission that we have even started to highlight different character traits each morning. At the end of breakfast, one of our older cabins comes up and usually does a small skit showing of a character trait. These traits are all things we want to teach at camp, such as trustworthiness, perseverance. responsibility, sportsmanship, and many more.

The games of the 2015 Camp Daggett Olympiad

You read that correct- the Olympics just happened here at Camp Daggett (no need to wait a whole year)! All afternoon and evening our campers competed in some uniquely camp events. These included sink a canoe, a water balloon toss, and even a super relay complete with a potato sack race. Although our campers come from all over the US, we had four countries represented at our olympics: New Zealand, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, and Jamaica. Although campers were competing, teamwork and sportsmanship were stressed throughout the day. In the end, Germany won the big show, but all of our campers competed valiantly, and each country even gave out their own sportsmanship and leadership awards.

Also this week we have one of our fantastic wilderness trips out. This week, our group of 8 brave campers is on a hike in the Porcupine mountains in the far Western Upper Peninsula. While exploring nature, our hikers will learn many valuable backpacking and outdoor skills. More importantly, they will learn about themselves and how to work within a group. Campers on these trips develop amazing confidence and leadership skills, and always return with many stories and memories to share.

We have been so luckily this week with respect to the weather. Plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures, and even some wind for our sailing area. Today is no different, which is nice since Friday’s are always so fun when it is nice out. From beach and dock parties, to our cookout, and our special event tonight, campers always leave with so many memories and stories from a Friday at Camp Daggett.

 

Wacky Wednesday is Here

And what a wacky week it’s been! Almost non-stop here at Camp there is something crazy going on! Sunday night was a hoot as campers walked all around camp trying to find letters for our giant game of Bananagrams. Campers worked together to create giant crosswords of different words, with double points for anything camp related. Monday was equally as exciting, as campers got their first taste of some of the many different areas that camp has to offer. From learning nautical “Gnomenclautre” to having a sponge war in canoeing, we certainly have a unique way of doing things here at Camp Daggett. A big highlight of many campers’ day on Monday (and Tuesday as well) was getting to play some water games up on our recreation field. Given some very warm weather, our rec staff felt it was best to forgo the standard Capture the Flag an Gaga ball for a little bit, and break out the sprinklers, sponges, and hose for some refreshing fun.

Monday night was a blast, as campers got to not only walk around all of camp and it’s trails finding hidden staff members, but they also got to show us some of their creative sides. As campers went around looking for our “zoo animals,” our staff helped them to create a little story that they presented in the form of a skit at the end of the evening. Tuesday night saw a “Night at the Ballpark” with campers playing in a mini kickball tournament, as well as enjoying some ballpark inspired activities like pom-pom making, fly ball catching, and even eating some popcorn.

Word has it, campers are going to get their acceptance letters to Hogwarts soon to begin our Harry Potter night.

It’s going to be a hot one…in the old town…tonight (FIRE FIRE FIRE!)

Well it’s Friday here at Camp Daggett and that can mean only one thing: PARTY! One cannot go anywhere in camp without hearing what can sometimes be described as “organized madness.” Campers certainly get a kick from playing Nuke ‘Em, building sand castles, and all of the other fun things going on right now. We are lucky also to have such a fantastic day for our last day of this session. It wouldn’t be surprising if not a single camper is sitting around the fire circle during free water. It is always rewarding to see campers challenging themselves and going out and trying new  things and making new friends.

The rest of this week has also been quite amazing. We had a HUGE turnout for our lake swim, with other 30 campers being able to swim across the lake. Of course, these campers are accompanied by 4 power boats, staff swimmers, and yak boarders so that they are always 100% safe. Best of all, those who do the lake swim get hot cocoa and doughnuts at breakfast :). There was also an early morning triathlon early in the morning this week, to augment the normal early morning activities of polar bear and early morning rec. A new activity this year has been yoga. During the occasional free time and free land, Caroline (one of our counselors) has stepped up and volunteered to teach campers some basic yoga skills. It is crazy to see the turnout, both males and females, that she has gotten. We have always said that we have the best staff, and seeing Caroline (and all of our staff) step up and take extra initiative to make sure campers have the most unique experiences of their lives.

 

Week 5 is a go

Happy Tuesday! Week 5 here is already in full swing. Whether this is your campers’ first time at Camp Daggett, or this is their eighth and final year as a camper, they will undoubtedly find something new and exciting to do here at camp. One of the great things about camp is that we are always changing, but always remain true to our traditions and values. While your campers will always go swimming, sailing, and canoeing, they may do new activities that they didn’t do last year. This of course holds true for our night activities as well. While we have some classic night activities such as this week’s “Battle of Gettysburg,” there are many new and exciting activities as well. One of the new activities this week is  “Napoleon Dynamite” night. In this brand new night activity, campers will get to play some games and complete some tasks inspired by movie.

One group of people that can never be thanked enough here at Camp Daggett are our kitchen staff. Lori, Dennis, Emily, Cassi, and Erica work hard day in and day out to make sure that our campers are well fed. Not only does our kitchen staff ensure that all meals are prepared on time and in correct proportions, they pay extra attention to make sure that all meals meet federal and state nutritional guidelines. Of course, meal times in general are a very special time at camp. From our family style eating, to songs we sing after meals, meal times at Daggett are probably unlike mealtimes anywhere else. It is truly special to see Camp’s mission statement of providing character building experiences extend to these times, as campers are encouraged to share and get to know one another during these times.