Apologies for how late this post is, McGovern Family, there's been some technical difficulties on my end. As well, I've had a camper acting as our photographer this week and he has taken so many photos that I just keep adding them on to what we already have. To wrap up the end of Session 6, I'll just let you know about our epic Lip Sync Battle that we had on Thursday night. There were many campers in costume - some matching, mostly not - and everybody was sparkling after they exited the costume closet.
Lookout Cabin was especially beautiful in their dresses, rain coats, and wacky hats. One Lookout boy was making sure everyone was safe with his gigantic STOP sign. I love doing cabin photos before an event like that because it really catches the ridiculous side of #McGovernMagic versus our heartwarming side.
The camper that made All Star by Smash Mouth the 2017 Song of the Summer (past years have been Call Me Maybe, Never Say Never, the Cup Song) wasn't here for the Lip Sync Battle, but he's here now and definitely causing a ruckous. Every day in I've walked past Drama in the Hallman and no matter what they are doing, he busts out that song. Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming, am I right?
That camper, who calls himself Prometheus, said to me the first week he was here: "I saw a Pepsi truck that said 'Bepis' instead of Pepsi. Can I call you Bepis?" I immediately said yes because it's one of the best nicknames to come off my camp name and it's going to be the name stitched onto my staff swag this year.
Sunday night of Session 7 saw our last Opening Campfire of the summer, made by Wombo. Spinach dirtied her onesie to sing An Old Austrian Man, but I'm sure all of our onesies have been through worse here than kneeling on the forest floor. Wombo built up an amazing fire and for his last, it was a good one. He's off to do another leadership program so he had to leave us early, but he's been amazing this summer and enjoyed his time building gigantic fires in the forest. That and getting "fire mixtapes" from his secret friend. I'm sure Nightwing, Urb, and Stark will miss your wacky dance moves in the kitchen.
On Monday there was Soccer Baseball up at the Field of Dreams or Dodgeball on the soccer field, run by the LEADs. Dodgeball has been a fan favourite this summer as well as Survival. Last night the soccer field was covered in pinnies from whoever was victorious, while Bambi and Swampy chased each other around desperately trying to get the other out. Sprocket had a little bit of a spill after a camper tried to tag him, and I think he tried to leap around them. He did not succeed.
On Monday, we had a double feature in the Hallman due to the solar eclipse.
We wanted to protect everyone's eyes, so during the afternoon the Hallman was made into a movie theatre and everybody piled in. I was able to get a few photos of the sun by looking at my phone instead of the sun itself, and Spinach made a little pin hole in a piece of paper to catch the shape of the moon over the sun; DIY contraptions are the best at Camp. In the photos, if you look underneath the sun there's a little green moon shape in the lens flare. It was a pretty neat event and everyone experienced it in a safe way, but the Hallman did smell very sweaty afterward, it was a hot day.
We had another movie event this week because of yesterday's rain. Cabin Line almost had its own little river with how much water there was. We did as much of the activities as we could, and those who had Low/High Ropes, Archery, or Biking got to go up to the Arts and Crafts cabins for impromptu art parties.
We had a camper who sang Reflection from Mulan, which earned him a standing ovation, Hoola and Ohana dueting with Lost Boy by Ruth B, a camper played and sang Once Upon a December from Anastasia, Greyjoy and a camper lip-synced, and of course, our good friend Prometheus got up and started All Star. Boost put on his eyeliner and erupted from the costume closet in the best outfit you'll ever see at McGovern to sing some early Brittany Spears.
Afterward, Groot shouted "one more, one more!" before everyone left the Hallman and played Shooting Stars by Bag Raiders. Marvel, Groot, and Hoover led the entire camp in their choreographed dance on the stage. It was wild. Swamp spent the entire dance waving the green ukulele in the air.
Today is our final Amazing Race of 2017 and currently Rapids is in the Hallman writing thank-you cards for our donors. Last time he was here, Prometheus wrote on his card "IT'CHA BOI, PROMETHEUS" and it made everyone in the office erupt with laughter at his amazing spirit and humour.
Well, this is the end of the longest blog post in history of McGovern. I couldn't get onto our website for two days due to connection issues, so I apologize for being late, but I hope that you all enjoy the photos and silliness from the week.
I want to extend a thank you to our camper friend from Rapids who's been taking all these photos and giving me tips on photography and website stuff. Today he walked in and was like "here's how to change your bookmark icon" and I didn't even know what that meant or that it existed. I'll just be in the corner with my knitting.
I hope that everyone is having a warm and happy Friday, and that the last week of your summer has been as magical as ours. Love you to bits, McGovern Family.
Today I saw a gold finch and a yellow butterfly the size of my hand; it's been a good day. Did you know that a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope?
Last night after a One Utensil Meal was the always exciting Minute to Win It competition held by Spinach in the Hallman, where campers and staff competed in mini-games to win points.
In the song guessing game, the LEADs guessed that Wonderwall by Oasis was from 1995, but Bambi changed it to '96. Written next to their answer was "if the year is 1996, Bambi owes the LEADs all 10 stickers." Let's just say that the LEADs got their stickers today. There was some intense cup stacking, the Cha-Cha Slide (of course), and other action songs led by Spin. No one dances as fast as her. No one.
Yesterday girls camp tie-dyed with the LEADs, and one of the LEAD campers just showed up at the porch with tie-dyed forearms because he thought it would be a good idea to stick his hands in the colour. He'll be fine, if not a little fuschia for the next while.
When Spinach was setting up she had to warn us that the mosquitoes down at the Pavilion were bad today and to bug spray up; there was a very large conversation about it on the walkie. Some days I wonder how anyone ever understands what we're saying over the walkie because we're WEIRD people. Last night we had a Star Wars quote-off; Twist does a really good Darth Vader impression.
The office is busy today because of how many friends we have visiting. When it rains campers like to either hang out on the porch or play card games inside. Spin usually always has a camper in the chair next to her because she's so cool.
Another camper just walked in asking for a Cat's Cradle string, so the there must be something in the air making all the campers want to play Cat's Cradle. I have to get one of them to teach me because I've never been able to learn.
Ohana starts laundry for tie-dye today, which means there will no longer be a kaleidoscope of bags outside the Hallman until next week. A couple of our returning campers from last year are wearing their tie-dye today, which is always so awesome to see. We should get Einstein something to wear that's tie-dyed, maybe it will cheer him up and get him off the floor. He's been reading the same book since yesterday.
Stark, Nightwing, and Urban Legend are busy in the kitchen today making lasagna for dinner while Stark stirs up a family recipe for beans and corn that we're having at lunch. I can't even tell you how good it is, whenever I am free and there's leftovers I go and eat it because it's so good.
There's been a little bit of rain up here today but we're trucking through. The card game of the summer has been Speed and anytime I walk past a group of people sitting at a table in the Hallman they're probably playing Speed. Denim and the camper she's supporting sat on the floor for an hour while putting in a couple games of Crazy 8s as well.
This week's pie looks like it's going to Bambi, but there's a lot of stickers that are being given out today so the tides may change. One camper came up to me and asked me to take their stickers and put them on Swampy so they could go to an activity. I put his 50 stickers on Swampy's face and it still didn't even compare to Bambi. Maybe Greyjoy will be saved from a pie this week, too.
Good afternoon, Camp McGovern! It's sunny again this afternoon and a little humid. We had some light rain this morning, but an umbrella held over my camera fixes everything.
The campers played Dodgeball on the soccer field before we had a lovely Opening Campfire on Sunday night, with Pines coming out the winners. It was a good thing too, considering Groot was wearing his "coach" outfit. Imagine every gym teacher's wardrobe ever and that's basically what he wears for that costume.
Monday kicked off with the first round of Activities and a very rousing game of Capture the Flag. I still have a smile on my face every I see my Green Lantern and Superman flags from 2013 being used. I'm surprised they haven't been lost in the forest because someone hid them too well or that the sticks haven't broken. I'm pretty sure the sticks they are taped to are the originals. We had to close the office door because the game was so loud Linoleum could barely hear anyone he talked to on the phone.
Twist has been busy teaching a whole whack of campers how to do Cat's Cradle and it's really awesome to watch them teach their friends once they learn all the sequences.
Twist went to Canoeing with a young friend and his sister; she was in the middle of talking to Linoleum when he came into the office and said: "Yo, but it's time for Canoeing!" While they were on the Pond he looked down and went "hey a turtle!" before scooping it up. His sister was not as impressed with it as him.
Spinach and Linoleum spent second period prepping tie-dye, and while Spinach went out to run errands with Ohana Strum led boys camp in making their t-shirts. This is our second last week of tie-dye masterpieces this summer and I have no doubt that they'll be some more amazing results.
Linoleum and Spinach have been sporting Shawn Mendes swag since the weekend when they saw him in concert and the office has been full of Shawn's music. While they were mixing tie-dye Linoleum put on a shirt over top to protect "Shawn." And it's a good thing Spinach changed her shirt because the one she wore got a red splotch and a big blue one.
Bambi sent me this photo of the LEADs having lunch together in the Activity Forest last weekend and it didn't make it to one of the earlier posts, so I still wanted to share.
Well, I'm going to go enjoy the afternoon sunshine. The staff are busy running after campers in Activity 3, and there's a rumour going around that Veto is working on a secret project other than videos for Camp. I can't wait to see what it is, if it is a thing. I said nothing.
It's a beautiful, sunny Sunday up at camp for the first time all summer. Everyone say a big thanks to Mother Nature.
Last week we spent Thursday and Friday doing a million things. The Space Chickens attacked and no one at McGovern was spared from their magical forces. They always make sure to ask Nightwing if she has space in the kitchen's fridge for their gelatinous arsenal. No one ever sees them shuttle in the colorful cubes but they always seem to make it to the back field.
Their space ships were parked, as always, next to the skate park and wildness ensued as campers and staff ran at the ships and threw themselves into Space Chicken culture. We're grateful that Twist could understand and communicate with them all those years ago or McGovern would have turned into a Space Chicken colony.
We paid them tribute by putting them on our camper cards this year! The chicken on the front looks an awful lot like Spinach, I tell you.
Thursday night saw the debut of Battle of the Bands this year.
The cabins all picked a song and practiced a few times during the week before picking costumes, props, and perfecting their dance moves on the McGovern stage. Groot and Hoover hosted, so the Pines boys definitely ran the show that night.
Bambi, Swamp, and Maps' LEAD campers were shadowing staff that day so they got to join in with cabins while a small group of them made their own band.
Last year Urb supported a camper who LOVES the song "Me Too" by Meghan Trainor, and you bet she was up on that stage leading the Boulder girls on Thursday. Urb danced along to her trademark dance moves at the back of the Hallman and I just about fell over laughing.
Our staff are the camper's biggest fans at these events. The weird, the wacky, the poetic, the beautiful, the dramatic: we love them all and getting to dress up with them and be kids again is something we never take for granted. According to some campers that tried to guess my age, I'm 38, so it's apparently been a long time since I was a kid.
The activities these week were just as fun as always. I got to run Crafts for Wednesday and Thursday, and I don't think the glitter has come off my arms just yet. We didn't even use glitter, it was just in the air, I tell you!
We spent three periods making cards for the donors from the Poker Run, which was this Saturday. The campers drew campfires, cabins, and many other things that represented Camp McGovern for them, as well as a thank-you note. They all signed their names and Spinach made sure they were given to the amazing people took part in the fundraiser this year.
Veto also spent the last three weeks filming and made a heart wrenching, AMAZING video about Camp McGovern and what it means to our campers to be here. The staff sang the Camp McGovern Song, Linoleum shared his first experience of camp, and we had a delicious lunch. Stark and I were buddies for the day and spent the whole time gushing about our special campers, the fun we have here, and how we face the challenges that always come along with camp life. It was a great event and we're so grateful to those that contribute to Camp every year.
Ohana, who can't swim, spent some time on the banks of the waterfront taking photos, and Wombo diligently went around to activities to capture the magic. My favourite photos from this week are of Sports with S'Mores and Sprocket when they were playing with rainbow parachute.
If you ever want to know who takes the photos of our campers, it's rarely me. I'm just the words behind it all. My Care Staff - Wombo, Ohana, Grammar, and sometimes Snaps or Jalapeno, are the ones who do the loop of camp every day to capture their smiles and new adventures. Send them some love and prayers that nobody drops my camera in the next two weeks. I'm clumsy enough that I'd probably do it myself.
We're just finishing up Opening Campfire and are heading into our second last week of camp, so I'll see you again soon to no doubt talk about how much I'm going to miss this place after the summer's over.
Stay hydrated and get a good night's sleep, McGovern Family, I'll see you again soon.
Personally, my favourite jam is strawberry but that's beside the point.
Happy mid-week, McGovern Family! This week our theme is Out of this World and word on the street is that the illustrious Space Chickens are on their way from the outer galaxies to us. They will probably stop by for a belated birthday celebration with the Mars Rover, Curiosity.
Fun fact: every year on its birthday (August 5th) Curiosity sings Happy Birthday to itself. I'm sure all our intergalactic friends got it loads of gifts, too. Did anyone see the moon last night? It was pretty orange and it shines right down on the Villa so that whenever I leave my cabin the moon is big and bright!
Today is the ever popular Pajama Wednesday here at Camp McGovern and a good chunk of campers and staff were decked out in their finery. You know you're part of the McGovern Family when you have to fix a toilet seat while wearing a red fleece onesie. Breakfast was simple cereal, oranges, and boiled eggs. This summer has been full of pajama clad people all over the place and Monday was no exception.
The rainstorm drowned out the soccer field so instead everybody piled into the Hallman to watch a McGovern favourite: Space Jam. Apparently Groot and Greyjoy were having the time of their lives.
Also on Monday, Twist led Nature out to the soccer field to take out dead trees - it's literally one of her most favourite things in the world. You say "dead tree" and it's likely that Twist is already halfway through taking it down.
When the Activity was done, the Nature group made their way back to the office, where about ten kids pressed themselves to the office door yelling about Girl Guide cookies. Lino and I locked the door to protect ourselves from the masses. They weren't the most convincing salespeople, I tell you.
Yesterday was full of tie-dye as everybody carried their shirts to the Pavillion. At this point the picnic benches down there should be part of a Jackson Pollock show with how many different colours and patterns there are splattered across the benches. It really does add to the McGovern aesthetic, though.
We had a handful of lovely visitors as well!
Alicia and Kathy from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Georgian Triangle came down to chat, take a tour, and eat lunch with us. They got to see Mail Call, our activity areas, and all of the ridiculous staff running around in their natural habitat. Insert Name Here and Valery from CCUSA, who helped get Grimmauld, Groot, Bambi, and Sprocket to camp, also came down in the afternoon while the sun was out and the day was beautiful.
Somebody tell Dragon that not every moment is a professional photoshoot.
We closed out Tuesday with dodge ball on the soccer field and snack. Sprocket and Dragon took Pond to the lower field to play Screaming Banshees so that the boys could tire themselves out before bed. Dragon and I like to describe Screaming Banshees as "that scene in The Lion King with the wildebeasts."
Upcoming this week: cookout tonight, Battle of the Bands, and Attack of the Intergalactic Space Chickens.
I'll see you all next time, when we're no doubt covered in flower, water - ahem, I mean Special Chicken Liquid - and jello.
Just popping in quickly today! Wombo is out photographing Activity 3 so I can start to this week's posts.
Last week the camper Denim supported loved photography, so she followed Grammar, Ohana, and Denim around taking photos of different things around camp, as well as campers and staff. There were some pretty cool snaps, so take a look!
Session 4 ended with Groot and Dimples getting a full body pie by Spinach and Hoola. Spinach added a twist (ba-dum-tissss) by dumping water on them instead of a condiment or other food item we have hanging around. Greyjoy, who is very familiar with mayonnaise, yelled "WATER?!!!!!" quite loudly and hilariously.
It was a very fun short week full of energized campers that we can't wait to see back again next year. Have a great Monday, McGovern Family!
Goooooooooooood morning Camp McGovern! Apparently drawing Camp McGovern on the skate park has been popular this summer.
It's the last full day of our short week here at camp and we've already had a thunderstorm. Thankfully, we were able to have Opening Campfire outside, with an actual fire, for the first time this summer! I gave the camera to one of our LEAD2 graduates from this summer because who knew if nature would be this kind to us again.
Last week before campfire, Spin brought out the camera to take selfies with some campers, so I put those in with this week's Opening.
We have two super lovely LEAD2 graduates joining us for the remainder of the summer: Jalapeno and Snaps! They'll be doing some rotating but this week Snaps is supporting a camper in Pines and Jalapeno is on my Care team.
Yesterday was an exciting day: we had our usual round of activities, followed by water games in the afternoon, and tie-dye.
The river was too high today so Maps got out the hoses, pool noodles, buckets, and sponges for the campers to run around with. It looked a little chaotic, but it's nice that the grass got watered.
Not that we really needed that, considering that during Activity 3 there was a gigantic thunderstorm that lasted for about 10 minutes. There was thunder, lightning, and huge raindrops. Something super cool also happened: a bolt of lightning struck a dead tree and it fell over onto the road. Don't panic! It was far away from the campers and nobody got hurt; it was pretty neat because it still looked like an upright tree while lying down.
On Wednesday night Denim and Blitz's campers were hanging out in the office with Twist, brushing her hair and acting silly. The camper Denim is supporting has also been running around with my camera taking some artistic photos and portraits. At one point she locked me out of the office.
thursday activities in full swing!
There were some very dedicated cloud-watchers during Chill Time. We also had a camper lose a tooth yesterday! It's our first visit from the Tooth Fairy this summer, and there was a toonie and a note waiting for him under his pillow. Spinach led tie-dyeing with the girls down at the Pavilion and the boys ran around the field playing Confused Counselor with their staff.
Confused Counselor is when half the staff go and find a place to hide, think of a problem they need fixing, and act out their troubles to the campers. The campers have to figure out what the counselor needs (all the while trying to get them to a checkpoint) without them running away or finding other campers. When they get to the checkpoint, they are given a point towards the win.
Last year Mahogany needed a potato, so the campers said Spinach had one, and he walked right up to the checkpoint.
Since the Spring, Twist and Spinach had a surprise planned for the staff (inspired by Lino). They went to several different Value Villages to find around 40 onesies and the last couple nights Twist, Spin, Lino, and I have been hand picking and wrapping onesies for each of the staff.
Today is Pajama Friday (usually on Wednesday, but it's a short week) so we placed all their wrapped gifts at the breakfast table while the cabins lined up. Lino, Twist, and Spin did a Onesie Reveal - it's when you're wearing two onesies and then take off one to reveal the other - while I snapped pictures of the unopened presents.
The staff tore into their newspaper wrapped onesies and they all got soft, patterned, and ridiculous outfits to wear for the next three Pajama Wednesdays and cold nights to come. I'm sure more than enough people will don their onesies for Final Campfire tonight.
Twist may not look like Santa but it was definitely a Christmas in August kind of day.
I took cabin photos after breakfast and everybody is currently in Activity 2. Time to go wash some tie-dye shirts! I hope everyone has an amazing Friday.