Hello friends and family of Camp McGovern!
It’s been a long year of preparations for this summer and it’s all finally here. Our staff team is all together and Session 1 is in full swing. I’ll write about our Session 1 campers tomorrow, but for now I want to talk about the amazing staff.
Improv and Sprocket spent a couple of weeks up at camp fixing up things, building wood racks for campfires, and making sure the campsite was ready to receive everybody. A few of our old friends (returning staff) and some new friends arrived on the week of the 18th to work on registrations, set up cabins, and do some training together.
Two new friends earned their name by cooking us dinner, where they made ten pounds of spaghetti for 8 people, with maybe a pound of it burnt at the bottom of the pot. Let’s just say Portions and Scoops are better off out of the kitchen. We ended up eating our mountain of spaghetti with kitchen utensils, as pasta would never be the same without a Wacky Utensil Meal spin.
I spent my time rearranging the med hut and settling in to my new room, as well as running around making sure Mozza had all the bandages she needed. She’s honestly beating Improv for person with the most boo-boos. Meanwhile Spinach and Grimm had their heads bent together working out programming and what our LEAD campers are going to do this summer. The July LEADs and LEAD2s come next week and their counselors are currently planning a canoe trip between the five of them to prepare for when the campers come.
After a day off to gallivant around Hanover, we gathered together to paint signs, clean up the week’s mess, and greet all our new friends. So many of them are from the United Kingdom and both Spinach and Sprocket had to drive to the airport to pick them up. They rolled into McGovern and were welcomed to their home away from home.
We had to name 24 people this year and we did it in record time: under an hour and a half! In 2016 we named maybe 10 people and it took 3 hours! We’re getting better, but there were still lots of debates over the best names to give people (looking at you, Spike). I’ll put a list of all our friends at the end of the post. We also have some friends from Grey Sauble Conservation who got their own names too: Mint Cake, Wilder, and Mrs Whiskers!
Nightwing and Urban Legend stayed with us for the week to help out the kitchen team, as well as Dragon who has been popping in and out to help weed-whack and make sure the med hut gets air conditioning. In 45 minutes the unit was installed and I looked at him like: “I can never repay you for this amazing deed.”
Linoleum also managed to spend a weekend with us which was amazing. He and one of our admin staff, Gobbles, can’t spend the whole summer with us due to responsibilities outside of camp. We think of them everyday, though, and can’t wait for their visits!
Throughout the week there was tons of training; we had Greyjoy lead Anakin, Pingu, and Spike in our Terms and Conditions (“Safety!”); team building exercises; LOTS of program planning from the activity heads; and some nightly events. Thursday night saw the staff in a Battle of the Bands. The acts were as follows: Uptown Funk by Julio and the Jackets, Halo by 4Days, Don’t Stop Believin’ by the Funkateers, and I Want You Back by Not the Jackson 7. Julio and the Jackets won by a landslide, Grimm gave them bonus points and they got 87 out of 84 points.
There was also a “cabin” challenge, with the male staff representing Pines and Lookout, and the female staff carrying Boulder and Knobhill’s banners. The office and kitchen also got involved, and they all had to build the fastest raft to float down the river. There were some rafts that were a big production, with giant air mattresses, pool noodles, and buckets, but then there was Team Office, who made the lovely “Princess Clarice.” It was a stick with a balloon head and inflated rubber glove hands. Princess Clarice won, with Spinach, Grimm, and Portions doubled over laughing the whole way.
I spent two days with some lovely people at St John’s Ambulance in Hanover getting some more First Aid training while the staff stayed back at camp training and spending every free moment either on the volleyball court or the basketball court. We have so many lifeguards, they also went on a few tubing trips!
We finished off the week with our favourite visitors from outer-space: the Space Chickens! That’s right, Crispy and Spicy are back! They spent all winter cozied up in their spaceships and are back to spend the summer at McGovern, bringing along some friends that looked suspiciously like Greyjoy, Sprocket, Urb, Nightwing, Anakin, Grimm, and Improv. They captured Spinach and the rest of the staff had to go and save her! Eventually, as always, we all became friends again and brought the new friends into the Space Chickens’ culture.
After jumping in the river and heading off to the showers, we gathered together for Final Campfire. Improv started off the fire and I built it up while one by one all our friends came to the heart of McGovern. Parfait and Moonlight were mesmerized in the corner whenever Improv would toss a magic fire packet into the flames. If anyone remembers the TV show “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” it very much felt like we were part of the Midnight Society.
We sang When I Was One, Scat, Princess Pat, Tarzan, My Mama Don’t Wear No Socks, Green Green, and of course Land of the Silver Birch. I practiced it all year and our staff picked up the lyrics and tune within five minutes, it was absolutely amazing. We closed out the campfire with the Camp McGovern song and went off to bed, thoughts of our campers arriving in all our heads.
After a weekend off, we got right into Session 1. I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow! Mothman is walking around taking photos today and I’ll find some good snaps to put up. Maybe even some snaps of Snaps!
Happy belated Canada Day, McGovern Family, and have a lovely Monday evening!
Leadership Staff - Twist, Spinach, Pepsi, Grimm, Sprocket
Male Cabin Counselors - Ms. Frizzle, Shortz, Snaps, Burly, O-Wimbaway, and Snorlax
Female Counselors - Stamp, Sequins, Everdeen, Improv, and Scoops
Kitchen Team - Mozzarella, Mariposa, and Uptown
Students on Rotation and Inclusion Facilitators - Tinkerbell, Bo-Peep, Razmatazz, Moonlight, Parfait, Bumper, Buttercup, and Popcorn
LEAD/2 Team - Anakin, Spike, Greyjoy, and Pingu
Photos and Admin - Mothman, Gobbles, Linoleum, and Portions