2016 smoke signal week 5 3.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

This has been a real week of summer, hasn’t it? Hot, sunny days without a drop of rain, except for today, and even today it’s been bright since noon. Campers, near inexhaustible in their energy, have nevertheless welcomed those two swim periods every day as part of a Swim Program designed to accomplish the twin goals of fun and learning: Free Swim in the morning and Instructional Swim in the afternoon. And there is, of course, the delightfully cooling mist of the Camper Car Wash, not to mention the many sprinklers around the entire property to allow campers a refreshing break in the midst of a gritty soccer game or a hot basketball game. Frequent water breaks are a matter of fact these days.

2016 Smoke Signal week 5.1

On Thursday this week our CITs (Counselors in Training), a program geared to transition between carefree camper days and the responsibilities of counselor-hood, took a bus trip to the Tsongas Mills in Lowell. There, led by one of the Mills’s expert guides, they learned about how assembly lines worked, even joining one to produce tea towels (paper, however). They also learned about the history of industrialization, its highs (abundance of jobs and productivity) and lows (child labor and low wages) that resulted in labor laws and unions. By sheer chance, the CITs also met a woman on a separate tour who once worked as a seamstress in the very mills they were visiting. All in all, a very entertaining and educational visit!

2016 Smoke Signal week 5.2

Friday’s special event was inspired by the recent surge of Pokemon popularity. While not driven by all things au courant, we are still aware of trends that capture the imagination, and apparently Pokemon is doing just that. Our adapted Sewataro version as usual was guided more by our own philosophy rather than any philosophy that informed the invention of the game. We scattered Pokemon cards around the campgrounds and provided maps to each tribe for its search through the “tall grass” to find them. The object was to collect as many high value cards (which translates into powerful Pokemon figures) in an effort to help Ash complete his challenge from Professor Oak. No tribe was allowed to gather more than five cards at any one time, so when a card of high value was discovered, another card had to be sacrificed to keep it. The game encompassed the spirit of mystery, detection, discovery, and movement within the overall goal of achieving something that will help someone else (Ash) in his quest, thus involving the campers in a common purpose with an achievable goal. As always, the tally and final result was revealed at the end of the afternoon at the Grassy Bowl, where it was revealed we had come just short of the goal. Wait, all of a sudden a live Pokemon appeared skimming over the pond, only to be captured (and released—after all, this is Sewataro) by Ash, thus achieving his goal. Our Supervisors (Nathan, Kate, Amy, and Brian) are the resourceful creators of these Friday Afternoon Events that make each week a new surprise for all of us kids at heart to look forward to.

2016 Smoke Signal week 5.3