Staff Orientation, the First Week, and the 4th of July!
After an incredible week of staff orientation, where counselors from all over the world came together to learn the traditions and camaraderie of Watitoh, we have officially started our 80th season as a camp community! Led by our tremendous head counselors, Chrissy and Zach, general counselors, specialists, program directors and support staff spent time reviewing the camp schedule, practicing activities, building their skills in child development and preparing cabins for arrival. Most importantly, our veteran and first-time staff came together as one and began to build community by playing, laughing, and connecting with our special summer home. After an incredible week, we were all ready to welcome our campers!
Arrival day was nothing short of awesome! From the Yonkers bus to Boston drivers to airport pickups, our campers arrived safe and sound and ready for the summer of their lives. Unpacking, camp tours, group games, and scavenger hunts ensued. Opening campfire (in the Social Hall!) was a hit, with talented acts by our staff, an encore of the 2015 Sing, acts from last year’s camp musicals as well as previews of the 2016 Drama Program! The night ended with our spirited counselors leading the entire camp in a high energy rendition of Cha Cha Slide!
Day two was filled with the obligatory health checks and tag tests at the lake mixed with cabin bonding and group activities. Girls and Boys enjoyed Sunday and Monday night evening activities as separates. Sunday night’s Hi Gal and Hi Guy was an opportunity for counselors to introduce their campers to the entire campus and campers to introduce their counselors in a fun, creative way! Skits, dances and songs had the girls and boys side laughing the night away!
Monday was the ultimate in camp activity. A normal schedule for all with land sports, water activities, arts, adventure, cooking, and more! The kids were smiling, active, and engaged!! The evening brought even more excitement to the campuses with Superstars for Boys Camp and Bunk Chase for the girls. If the ice wasn’t broken already, there was no escape from it on Monday night!!
Tuesday night was our first Sports-a-Rama…our normal Monday night sports league. Four teams: Newcastle Toppers, Leeds Paladins, Kent Panthers, and Belfast Wildcats brought their best game to the fields. The entire camp was taken over by spirit, sportsmanship, and healthy competition. At Flag Raising this morning, campers were recognized for all of those traits for each team.
Wednesday brought the first round of the “Townsend Cup” game show competition between Boys and Girls Camp. The Boys came out on top for Bezzerwizzer but the girls are ready for revenge in next week’s Cabin Feud! Thursday was the start to our golf program at The Cranwell Resort and separate campus activities.
The 2016 Intercamp season kicked off on Friday when the 13/14 year old boys played in a soccer tournament at Mah-kee-nac. That evening, an all camp game of “Name that Tune” kicked off our first weekend at camp! Talent galore crossed our Social Hall stage on Saturday night, as many of our campers performed in the annual Camper Talent Show. We couldn’t have been prouder of all of the performers!
Big Sisters and Little Sisters and Big Brothers and Little Brothers enjoyed their time together on Sunday morning doing oval games and playing Tanks and Commanders. Due to the holiday schedule, Sports-a-Rama was held on Sunday night. It was a big event with tremendous athleticism and camaraderie all around camp!
Our weekend ended with the Annual 4th of July celebration. Campers dressed up in American spirit-wear and followed a normal schedule of activities for the morning. The afternoon was followed by our traditional Red, White, and Blue relays on the oval. After the first cookout of the summer, the Court Jester performance rounded out our celebration!
It was an incredible first week of camp! Routines are established, camp programs in action, and campers settled into their summer home. We can’t wait to see what next week brings!