Every summer I set aside a double period hike during the morning of the last full day of the camp session. This summer for various reasons it wasn’t able to happen on the last day of the first three sessions. But yesterday we did it. A small group of Tacoma campers joined me and their counselor Sophia Lola. We consulted trail maps, chose a route (Spring Run trail to the Line Shack trail—to the Line Shack itself and then back down via Sunrise trail), and then set off. Unfortunately after about 20 minutes it started to pour. I mean pour. The hardest rain I’d experience in a while and it […]

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I’ve known these kids since they were—what?—nine or ten years old. Now they’re finishing their career as campers. They’ve long constituted (with another friend) a Brooklyn-based band, and they play a combination of rock and funk with a very jazzy, long-playing approach. Anyway, here they were yesterday playing Geronimo. I’ll be singing with them tonight at close campfire: trumpet, lead guitar and possibly bass guitar.

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At the final 2019 Challenge Night—Pac, Windsong, Mac Girls and STEP—we hosted the usual look-alike contest. Here are two amazing pairs; note that they are NOT related. Astonishing.

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Below you will see photos taken during this past weekend—a weekend of inductions into our Hall of Fame, the awarding of our Volunteer of the Year Award, reunions of various former campers and staff, a luncheon in which participants in our summer camp program had a chance to speak about their experiences, and of course the annual summertime meeting of the Board. We inducted Charles & Marie Kremer into the Hall of Fame, and gave Judy Gottscho Eichinger our Eric Blum Volunteer of the Year award. Again, below this text you will see photos. Just below are the program notes written in honor of the Kremers and of Judy. CHARLES […]

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Last night at the Pac/Windsong Challenge Night groups of campers and staff did improv skits based on four of our previous summertime two-word themes. Each actor picked a t-shirt bearing an annual theme and then had to embody a character that befit that theme! The results were hilarious. Here is a photo of one such group just before their performance. The themes were “Stand Up,” “Be Present,” “Make Ripples,” and “Shine On.” And I suppose you could call these items “vintage” t-shirts. It’s nice to see them all together. And of course there are more. This summer’s theme is “Make Time.”

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A theme day—or maybe it’s a theme morning—for Outpost today. I saw Outpost cabin groups all around the lower fields, and especially around Reflection Pond, this morning. They were carrying styrofoam noodles, frisbees, and dodge balls and they were wearing brightly colored clothing. I couldn’t quite figure out how the contest worked, nor the rules of the game–although the Outpost campers and counselors told me all about it. I wasn’t paying close attention, I’ll admit. I was focused on how energetic and happy everyone was. Here are some photos:

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Yes, it’s a once-per-session custom. The middle Sunday of each session is devoted to preparing a big harvest feast at our Farm Camp. Everyone, from the most senior counselor to the youngest camper in the youngest yurt—gets involved: harvesting, cleaning, preparing, cooking, table-setting, serving, and of course happily consuming the yummy spread. Yesterday was no exception. They prepped all day and the results were amazing—so delicious. Every dish was as fresh-tasting as it could be. I had the honor of being invited to join them and had such a lovely time chatting with the campers and staff, filling my plate full of brightly colorful and delicious food.

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Those of us who witness multiple Challenge Nights throughout a summer are left with a distinct sense that young people today have tremendous skills as makers of weird noises. That is typically the first challenge of the evening each time. Here are two participants in the recent (Friday night) Outpost/Lakota C.N. offering their weird noises. Brace yourself as you click on the videos. Here is your LINK to the first video. And here is your LINK to the second.  

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Who ever suggested that today’s 14-year-olds are TCFS* at camp? Tacoma defies this stereotype! They really do. It’s magical and I wish everyone reading this blog could teleport to Frost Valley and see Tacoma play our wild outdoor chair game called “Geronimo.” It’s hard to get good photos under the Geronimo Tent but I think we managed to capture the pure joy and fun game-fulness (is that a word) and willingness to be silly and just laugh that is at the heart of the summer camp experience for teens. Take a close look at these expressions. This is what kids should have at least for a weeks each summer–away from […]

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My once-every-session game of Geronimo at Farm Camp coincides with the usual return of one or another CIT hiking group. They’ve been out for five days or so and have hiked down from the top of Slide Mountain, down to the Denning side of the trail—which emerges at the Tison property and then they walk a few miles west along the East Branch Neversink Road, past our East Valley Ranch, and to Farm Camp. They typically stop at the Farm and hope for some leftovers from yummy Farm lunch, and then they proceed to hike back over Wildcat Mountain, into the West Branch Neversink Valley, where Frost Valley’s main camp […]

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