Good evening, Camp McGovern. Today has been full of photo taking and sunshine. It was chilly last night and this morning but the clouds went away and we had a hot day outside.
Yesterday's dinner was butter chicken with naan, eaten with only one utensil as is our way here at McGovern. Poor Grimm got the whisk again and Greyjoy was saved by a slotted spoon. Linoleum had the old faithful icecream scoop, Sprocket went back to his roots with the potato masher, and Bambi had salad scoops that he affectionately called "bear claws." There's no taking the nature out of that boy.
The food was delicious if not a little difficult to consume. Veto was smart and tucked a napkin into her sweater so any rice that slipped through didn't stain, while our campers had to eat their meals with only a butter knife. Urban Legend was too busy in the kitchen to lend his "eating with his face" skills to the table.
Today Ohana made the circuit of activities! She went to Archery, where the jug (McGovern's favourite target) was full of arrows at all times. She even asked and was given a chance to shoot; doesn't she look quite ethereal in her flowing skirt while holding a bow? Next was Sports, where many different games were going on, like basketball and badminton.
When Greyjoy isn't at Drama, she's the best at shooting hoops. There was some amazing theatrics going on in the Hallman as our campers took the stage and played drama games with Greyjoy and Groot.
Veto has been going around and taking videos of camp for a long term project and there's a great snap of her behind the lens. Ohana posed for a picture while jamming away on the uke and she got me mid-popsicle break.
Our LEAD/LEAD2s are shadowing different staff members for the last week of their programs. Since there's only two Squares shadowing at the moment, they've been bouncing around camp doing a whole bunch of things. The LEADs have been doing both shadowing and prep for their upcoming canoe trip that starts tomorrow.
They were on the pond this evening practicing team work and their canoe strokes while Crush, Strum, and Marv instructed them on technique. The sunset on the pond made a great end to the day as I walked back to the main part of camp for free time.
As I walked into the Activity Forest I found Boost and the camper he's supporting flat on the ground, overtaken by giggles. The two of them and another camper were passing around a frisbee while some skateboarded, scootered, or hung out in the Activity Forest. Professor Oak had a game of soccer going in the lower field and Maps passed a ball back and forth with hockey sticks.
One camper was making her way through camp with her eyes closed and I made sure to stay out of her path so she could complete her challenge. S'Mores was hanging out in the Hallman as campers coloured and played Connect Four and bracelet making was happening everywhere, of course.
After free time there was a loud game of dodgeball on the soccer field. The shouts that could be heard anytime Spinach called "JAIL BREAAAAK!!!" were unreal. Hoover's distinct voice came through the ruckus every few minutes and I think I heard one camper yell for Greyjoy about 40 times, so maybe she was stuck in the dodgeball jail and needed Greyjoy to save her.
It's been a long and fun filled day, McGovern Family, and I will see you again soon!
Good morning, McGovern!
It's the beginning of Session 3, our Peel Region Week, and (whose camp?) our camp is fully stocked with 9-17 year old campers. Peel Week is for McGovern Families in the GTA and from Bruce Grey Child and Family Services.
The end of Session 2 kicked off with Spinach's Amazing Race, where the cabins rotated around camp to try most of the activities that we have. Strum led Archery for a bit, Improv had campers do an all time favourite challenge called Nitro Crossing, there was a climbing race in High Ropes, and lots of other great adventures.
Nightwing and Stark were also cooking up a storm of Silly Faces for a One Utensil meal, with a main course of lasagna. Greyjoy met her whisk once again and was joined in whisking by Grimmauld. After those two whisked their way to the top, it was time for the weekly Stick It to the Pie results.
Groot and Greyjoy had the most stickers last week and were met with pies by Hoover and Anakin. They were not gentle and I think Greyjoy got a head massage from Anakin, too. No garbage bag dresses can save you from a McGovern pieing. Hoover's thorough coverage of Groot led to a stellar reveal as he stood up and proclaimed: "I am Groot!"
Hoola got a pie for name-dropping Hoover to the entire camp - name-dropping is when a staff member uses another's human name instead of their camp name. During a meal of duck selling, Ohana auctioned a pie for a duck and paid up on Friday. A couple of weeks ago Hoover bid a Spiderman pen to Marvel for a duck and so she drew him one for the pen.
The LEAD2s returned from their canoe trip as well Friday night while Final Campfire was going. Twist led Final out in the forest and we said goodbye to our AMAZING Session 2 campers Saturday morning.
There was another one of those pesky rainstorms last night so we couldn't have Opening Campfire outside, so we pulled out our Hallman light-up logs while Grammar and Wombo set up the circle of benches. Spinach, with some help by Linoleum, led the campfire and read a story to the campers before they departed for bedtime routines.
When the rain cleared there was a super cool sunset; the clouds only let a little sun peek through and when they did the sky was full of pinks, blues, and yellows. I don't think I've ever seen a sky so yellow before.
Stark was telling me that she read to a cabin for the first time this summer! Her goal is to finish Charlotte's Web with Pond by the end of the week, so wish her luck.
I hope that the rest of your day is wonderful and I will see you all again soon!
Okay, well, not just Lookout Cabin had a cookout. Nightwing started a roaring fire in the Villa and I got one going down at Opening Campfire.
Campers cooked their own hot dogs while Groot cooked veggie burgers for himself and a camper who doesn't eat meat. He figured out that the first two burgers that were wrapped up in tinfoil weren't heated consistently (the first side got four minutes, the second got two) and promptly corrected it for the second batch (three minutes for each side).
"Tell Gordon Ramsay I'm coming for his job," Groot said to Nightwing.
After all (literally every hot dog we had) the hot dogs were eaten, marshmallows were passed out and the campers were able to make s'mores. I'm sure S'Mores had a good time making some, too. Ohana had a s'more for the first time and it was ooey-gooey-good!
When the group at the Villa finished up they made their way to the other fire for a campfire lead by Strum, Crush, and their LEADs.
Yesterday Nathan, Wendy, and Dave from the Community Foundation Grey Bruce came for a visit, a tour, and to take some photos of our lovely camp. They grant us money to help bring children from the Grey Bruce area of Ontario to camp and we are especially grateful. Last summer we had many new campers from Grey Bruce and the #McGovernMagic just wouldn't be the same without them. Swamp and three amazing campers jumped in for a photo with them at the end of their visit.
Our LEAD2s have been on a canoe trip since Monday and tomorrow they should be arriving at the mouth of Lake Huron via the Saugeen River. When they arrive safe and sound White Lightning will trek its way there (probably driven by Lino, but he likes to claim the van has "droove itself" in the past). Marvel has called us with updates every day and I can't wait until they all get back so I can hear epic tales of their journey.
Today the cabins got their cabin photos taken and the entire camp is now piled into the Hallman for Minute to Win It with Spinach. Among the games there is: keeping up two balloons with one hand, catching cotton balls with bowls, stacking cups a certain way or in a certain amount of time, plus guessing the year and name and artist of a song.
Linoleum dressed himself up in a gorgeous jacket and sat arm in arm with Einstein as the campers poured in. I spent a good amount of time adding special accoutrements from the costume closet. By the end the two of them were decked out in a variety of wacky items.
The camper that Blitz was supporting drew a picture for her with three odd looking friends on it, to which Blitz asked: "Is one of them me?" Her camper replied: "Not this time!"
It's been an amazing week thus far and as the clock strikes bedtime we prepare for our final day of camp. Tomorrow: the Amazing Race!
Hope you get a good night's sleep and that your Friday treats you well, McGovern Family.
Yesterday's Activity Period 2 was full of excitement as my photographer partner in crime, Ohana, went to High Ropes to take photos. Biking was passing by and Crush decided it was time to strike a pose with Twist and Sprocket as her LEADS were part of a team building exercise. They were blindfolded and had to navigate through camp holding hands and trusting their senses and Crush to guide them.
Session 2 has started and I'm hear to share a little bit about the end of Session 1 before this week explodes into colourful fun.
Thursday was an amazing Talent Show hosted by Dimples, wherein the entire camp sang All Star by Smash Mouth louder than anyone's ever sang Green Green Green or Oogie. When Urban Legend, Nightwing, Stark, and I were coming home from Saturday time off luncheon, we played All Star at full blast while driving down the camp hill. We had a few different campers on Thursday that sang, danced, played music, and showed us all of their awesome talents. I wrote another song on the ukulele last night, maybe I'll debut it this week.
Friday kicked off with our Amazing Race where the cabins went around to different activities and areas of camp to complete challenges, experience all of camp and tie dye camp t-shirts! Ohana went out and got some photos of High Ropes and Canoeing. There's always lots of hair braiding going on at High Ropes and apparently Veto with her tie-dye covered hands didn't want to be documented.
On Friday after dinner we tallied up who the winners of our Stick It to the Pie contest were, leaving Swamp and Hoover with a whopping amount of stickers on their pictures. Nightwing and Urban Legend prepared beautiful mayonnaise pies with coloured sprinkles, handed them off to Marvel and Ohana, and the festivities begun.
The boys got ready and donned some chic clear garbage bags, but their head and hair was left unprotected. According to Anakin, mayonnaise does wonders for your hair, so maybe it was on purpose.
We ended the week with Final Campfire, where campers and staff got to show gratitude to each other. Lots of different campers thanked their counselors, kitchen staff, our CMO Soleil, and other staff for all the fun and adventures they had during the week.
In the morning, there were large groups of people signing tie-dyed shirts and saying goodbye as the bus rolled out. Maps was out of breath from chasing the bus halfway up the hill. Now we have our Session 2 campers, made up of mostly teenagers and few younger friends.
Today we had a two-part cabin challenge where the cabins had to make the best paper airplanes they could and they were judged by Spinach for points. Their airplanes had to fly to count but size and decorations also played a part in the point system. After the cabin challenge, the first Free Swim and Quick Pick of the week happened.
Here's some photos of today's events, I'll see you again soon!
Happy Thursday, Camp McGovern.
Last night I was betrayed by the kitchen staff during a One Utensil Meal. They gave me a whisk instead of Greyjoy and I feel that a formal protest is appropriate. See you all on the picket line outside of the Hallman. The spaghetti and meatballs was yummy but I ate it with a frown on my face. I may or may not have abandoned the whisk at one point to eat with my hands and I had a beautiful sauce mustache that sent Ohana into a giggle spell.
Our Stick It To The Pie competition this week has been interesting; since the moment I put the photos up Hoover, Swamp, and Groot have had maybe over a hundred. You literally can't see their faces anymore because of the amount of stickers. At McGovern, if you accidentally say your human name instead of your camp name you have to put a sticker on your picture, and when I name dropped myself in front of the Squares (LEAD2s) Marvel made me put a tiny kitten on my face.
Speaking of kittens, somebody really needs to teach Lino that he can't replace every second word of every song with "kittens" or "cats" or "meow." This has been a PSA.
Yesterday we had a Cabin Challenge where campers got to paint their counselors in whatever way they wanted. The results were beautiful and the staff got to display their paint covered selves at dinner.
The day is a little bit gloomy and the rain is off and on, but we're used to that up here. If our old friend Gilligan was here he'd be Singin In the Rain all they way down the camp road. Last night during the big rainstorm we all piled into the Hallman to watch Over the Hedge. Twist had apparently never heard of it but I think it's amazing.
We have a visitor today checking in on our placement students from Mohawk College and she was given the camp tour by Twist. We made sure she had bug spray on, the mosquitoes are pretty bad today.
The camp is about to sit down to lunch, so I will see you again some other time,
Today I walked around with a couple of super cool campers and took photos of the first activity, then Ohana took over for Activity 2. I had lots of fun teaching my campers how to use the camera, and they both got some pretty good shots. When Hoola offered me the chance to shoot some arrows at Archery, my first "assistant photographer" got behind the lens. At high ropes, the other camper got some photos of campers on the challenges.
In Activity 1 we went to Art, Biking, Low Ropes, Archery, Ukulele, High Ropes and Canoeing and Activity 2 was Crafts and Guitar.
The gang played Soccer Baseball last night, so here's all the photos, taken by Marvel!
Hope you're having a wonderful morning,
So a MILLION things have happened in the last few days.
I'll talk about our Session 1 campers in a bit, but first let's get through the last bit of Staff Training Week hilarity. I'll put a big list of all the new friend's camp names at the bottom of this post.
We had our first One Utensil Meal as a full staff team and there was some beautiful theatrics and strategies by all to eat their potatoes, peas, corn, and chicken. It was delicious but difficult. Sprocket had one of the giant potato mashers and just squished all of his food into it before eating it from the masher. Urban Legend, of course, used his beautiful face instead of a utensil. Someday I'll ask him about the skin benefits of One Utensil Meals.
We played a game of Attack of the Intergalactic Space Chickens for the summer, with Marvel, Hoola, Wombo, Greyjoy, Linoleum, and Ohana as our Chickens. Crispy and Spicy were taken down from their perch above Spinach's desk and paraded through camp. If you don't know what Space Chickens is, the short version is that it's a 100-person jello fight followed by a 100-person paper mache fight. It produces some beautiful photos.
Linoleum has been missing Spinach and during Chickens he put her photo in a plastic sleeve and taped it to his middle. She surprisingly lasted the entire game. For Stick It To The Pie, our pie in the face contest that we do every week at camp, Lino has Spinach on his tummy, so she's included if he gets pied. Sorry, Spin.
Friday night, before Final Campfire, we had a Staff Talent Show, where there were many serious and many silly acts. Greyjoy brought back a fan favourite - Be Brave - and a poem she read last year but revised for this summer. Our International staff put on a magic show full of sword swallowing, slight of hand, and Bambi was even cut in half. Bambi and Groot played the magicians' lovely assistants and wore quite fetching dresses.
Strum, Hoola, and Hoover sang Home by Phillip Phillips, I played Patience by the Lumineers on the piano, Ohana performed La Vie en Rose and The Moon Song on ukulele, Nyoom and Crush danced to Angel by Sarah McLachlan while wearing some interesting outfits, and Marvel learned the Sky Above, Grass Below song on ukulele! It was a jam packed evening. One of the last acts of the night involved some international friends acting as if they were on a rollercoaster, but the audience knew that they were ACTUALLY acting out being on the toilet.
Our staff Final Campfire was definitely interesting as there was a rainstorm that started right after I got the fire going. And I'm talking about a storm, like in the movies when there's rain beating down and the movie stars have hair flowing in the wind. It was like that except it was me in the middle of the forest attempting to keep a campfire alive. I managed it and we had a night full of singing, dancing, gratitude, and reflection.
Funny enough, on Sunday when the campers arrived it started raining again when I built the fire. It was beautiful. It lit up the forest. And then a small raindrop hit me and I thought "oh no" as it started to pour again. I had to put out that fire because we didn't want our campers in the rain but thankfully there's a fake campfire in the Hallman that we have for times like this. We plugged it in, made a circle of benches, and Linoleum led the camp.
We are jam packed with campers this week: with 5 boys cabins and 3 girls cabins plus our LEAD2 campers. There's only 3 of them but they take up a lot of space with their personalities. Marvel and Bambi have been running around with them as they do learning sessions, spend time with the campers, and do self reflection so that they can get to know themselves a little bit better.
Last night we had an actual campfire to make up for the one that got rained out, led by Marvel and her campfire committee. Denim and Marvel acted out a Horton Hears a Who skit, sang the Bear Song, and did Air Band Charades.
Today we had a camper with a birthday! I can't say who it is but they opened their present from home and got a beanie baby and a bracelet making kit. Afterward, the entire Hallman sang happy birthday. We had a very delicious grilled cheese lunch with veggies and lemonade.
Right now the boys are doing tie-dye and the girls are building the tallest tower they can, then it's time for Free Swim and Tuck. This week's Tuck is popsicles.
I'll be back again with more updates this week, but for now I must go and check how many stickers the campers have put on my face in the last half an hour.
It's a beautiful day here at McGovern and we are in the thick of staff training.
Linoleum is busy on the phone doing registrations, Twist had a meeting with our placement students from Durham College, and there's a group of staff who are rehearsing some acting. We're not too sure what they're doing, but it has to do with Terms and Conditions. I'm sure we'll find out soon. Our dear Spinach is off on a family adventure and although it's only been half a day since she left, we miss her. Thankfully Lino has a picture of her above his desk. He had coffee with her picture this morning.
The staff has broke out into Ad-Hoc Committees for Tie Dye, Campfire, Hallman Activities, and a couple of other things that we run around camp. While they do that, I'll tell you about all the exciting things we've done in the past couple of days.
When our old friends arrived they participated in Canoe Wars, which is basically just a bunch of canoe races, tag, capture games, and tug-o-war. The dock at the Pond had floated to the other side, so Anakin and Hoola had to paddle their way over and retrieve it.
Our staff team is now complete (minus Dragon, who's coming in Session 4) and all of our new friends arrived. Boost stood at the gate with a walkie talkie and sent a message anytime somebody pulled in, sending those down the hill into a scramble for the Welcome Home sign (painted by Improv and Strum) and personalized signs with everybody's name on it.
We all waited in anticipation for Spin, who left early in the morning for Pearson Airport to pick up the Internationals, and as White Lightning came down the road, the last of our team members arrived. One friend, from New Zealand, was wearing quite an interesting get up comprised of a cow print onesie, with a suit jacket overtop, dress pants, and some fancy shoes. The Leadership team has been keeping a secret from the rest of the staff for a couple of weeks and it was revealed that we hired two more amazing guys from England! Spinach tried to convince us that she picked up hitchhikers, but we could all tell she was being very silly.
The old friends partnered with new friends and took them on a tour of camp, just like we do for campers. Everybody got their head checked for lice, got a snack, learned the Camp Rules, saw program areas, and went through our Child Safety Program.
Afterward, we ate a lovely dinner, played a game of Confused Counselor, and then had our first official Opening Campfire of the summer. We have small mentoring groups here at camp and my group got to watch me struggle for twenty minutes as I tried to build a fire. I've made a fire four nights in a row this week so thankfully I get to practice before the campers come. Nobody has the time to wait around while Pepsi blows softly on tinder to get a flame going. If anybody finds any dry cedar leaves, send them my way.
We sang The Moose Song, Princess Pat, Fruit Salad, The Littlest Worm, and The Banana Song (which quickly turned into The Plantain Song as Linoleum prompted us to do so. How does one "Go Plantains, Go Go Plantains?"). There was some sharing from old friends about different campers we're going to meet again this summer, our goals and hopes, and some fun stories were told as well.
Yesterday we played Capture the Flag in the big soccer fields, and there was some hefty shenanigans going around (not the old friend Shenanigans, for those who remember him). Linoleum and one of our LEAD2 graduates spent half the game at the dividing line arguing, Marvel strummed a ukulele to give herself theme music while she snuck around, and a few tall staff members showed off just how fast they can run when faced with getting tagged.
Linoleum was being absolutely ridiculous the entire game, so there's a lot of photos of him in this bunch.
We had another fire last night that was pretty fun; I was tired and took a break after a while and could hear all the loud singing from the Villa all the way to the Hallman. Marvel broke out an all time favourite called "Scat" and we whynotinchu-ed all the way back to our cabins. I can hear the Campfire Committee singing it in the distance now.
Some amazing news: we passed 400 registrations! Camp is so close to being fully stocked with amazing campers and everybody is buzzing with excitement for them to arrive. We have Saturday marked on the calendar as "Christmas Eve" because it's the night before our Session 1 campers come, by bus or car. I would hope nobody is walking to camp. Unless you live at one of the farms down the road, I suggest finding a ride.
Before I go, please send birthday wishes up to the sky for our beautiful, inspiring, and down right stupendous Assistant Director Linoleum. He keeps saying his birthday isn't technically until 5pm, the time he was born, but we sang and signed Happy Birthday to him at breakfast anyway.
The birthday boy!
Have a safe and happy Wednesday, McGovern Family!
P.S. Einstein has been doing a stand-up routine for about six days now.