Archive for July, 2012

Tracy Bachmann | July 31, 2012

The days move by

Ten actual camping days of the summer left. 11 if you are a stickler, but that last day of camp doesn’t really count since the busses pull out and the last camper is gone by 9 a.m. on Saturday August 11. I can’t believe it! Time flies when you’re having *this much* fun!

A view from the office porch. What a day on Plum!

So what are the guys up to today? Well, after a breakfast of pancakes and a yogurt bar, they were out tearing up the fields and the waters enjoying the most amazing temperatures. Last night was cool, I found myself getting really snuggled under the covers around 4 a.m. (It was hard to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 for a run…ugh!) and this morning  has just been lovely. They keep saying highs in the high 80s, but I’m just not seeing it. A calm, glassy lake is calling the skiers and wake boarders among us! Cabins11, 25, 10, 1 and 2 are all getting pulled behind a ski boat today. And wouldn’t you love to be in a canoe on this lake (right)? Cabins 12, 13, 15, 21, and 3-7 (remember lots of guys are on trips) are all going to be working on their J-strokes and rudders today. Cabins 25, 13, 24, 9 and 11 will be embracing their inner Katniss at Archery. Sailing the balmy waters of Plum today are cabins 1-4, 8, 12, 16 and 18 (believe it or not, there is a decent breeze). Cabins 23 and 8 are fishing, and 24, 9, 10, 25 and 17 are all chasing a ball around at soccer. And that doesn’t even count the guys at adventure, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, kayaking, riflery, skin diving or track! Man, I wish I was a camper.

At lunch we’ll be dining on oven roasted pork, corn soufflé, mashed potatoes, tomato, onion and cucumber salad and cream puffs for dessert. Y.U.M. And if that isn’t delicious enough, the guys will have tater tot casserole (a camper favorite) for supper.

And on that note…

I ❤ CH // tracy b.

P.S. I’m working on uploading the cabin photos. We are missing a few of the Senior cabins, but I might just go ahead and get up there what we have.

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Tracy Bachmann | July 30, 2012

CH…where the livin’ is easy

As we ease into the home stretch of Camp, the guys are out enjoying activities, making the most of their free time and really solidifying friendships. These last two weeks of camp are bittersweet. But we really try and savor each moment from here on out. There’s an incredible wind coming up from the south, warm and lovely.

Our oldest campers all go on a “big trip” at Highlands, and there are lots of guys coming in and out in the coming days. The first hiking trip to Pictured Rocks left yesterday, and the first of two sailing trips on Lake Superior and the canoe trip in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota leave today. Our tripping program has a long history at Highlands, in fact you can read more about it on the Camp Highlands Archives. Each division has a trip that’s geared toward the age group. The Cubs go on an overnight, the Colts have a three day canoe trip and the Juniors take a three or four day hiking trip. By the time a boy is a Senior, he gets to chose from several amazing trips we offer. This year we’ve introduced *another* awesome trip – kayaking on the Namekagon River in northwest Wisconsin. Jealous!

There’s an easiness about the days right now. A good portion of the older guys are out of camp, so the little guys have extra opportunities at skiing, shooting at riflery, and more. They rule camp right now!

Today’s menu doesn’t disappoint! Lasagna for lunch and soup and sandwiches for supper. Stay tuned in the coming days for a great interview with head chef Lois Craig who’s been keeping our bellies full for 24 summers. Now that is a legacy!

Remember, camp is over on Saturday August 11 at 9:00 am. If you haven’t notified us of your plans for your son’s travel home, please let us know. If you have any questions about the Final Banquet, check out Andy’s information about the end of the term.

And on that note…

I ❤ CH // tracy b.

One Response

  1. John Zokovitch says:
    July 30th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks Tracy for the updates! Johnny has been talking about the “big trips” you describe for months and how much he couldn’t wait to get to camp and get on the trip. Nice to know that’s what he’s doing now!

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Tracy Bachmann | July 27, 2012

Camp Time

As a mother of a not-so-sportsy kid, I enter each summer with a little trepidation. J is a great kid, of course, but he doesn’t long to toss the ball around the back yard at the end of the day. He rides his bike. Plays the piano. He’s a really good drawer. Here we are at Highlands, where the guys are out playing basketball and baseball and lacrosse. Soccer, football, tennis. Not his thing. We are now in *his* 7th week here at camp. Our summers are a little different than most campers. We get here two weeks before camp starts, and we stay after camp ends. It has the potential to get….long. I worry. Has the magic worn off?

Yesterday he tracked me down. All smiles. “Mom, I dropped a ski. I couldn’t get my foot in the binding, but I was so close!” Seconds later, Ross walked by and said, “This kid! His hitting has improved SO much! He really worked hard on his swing AC and he was making great contact with the ball.” J was beaming. I got that prideful, swelley, prickly teary-eyed feeling. It wasn’t that I was so happy he’d hit the ball. It was seeing the look of accomplishment on his face. It was seeing this kid who can get down on himself for not being good at shooting hoops experience a true sense of pride.

He has been working on that ski drop all summer. He’s been encouraged to keep plugging away at ACs in baseball. At summer camp at Highlands, the structures are in place for him to stick with things. He’s got a huge network of guys, both staff and campers, encouraging him to set goals, work hard and make progress. All that, and he has time. Real time to improve. Time that in our day-to-day in Gainesville – where we are rushing to this, rushing to that, making dinner, doing homework – just doesn’t exist.

Maybe this summer isn’t too long. I’m going to slowly back away from my back-to-school shopping and I’m going to go sit in the boat and watch our campers have their successes, one Achievement Credit at a time. I’m going to watch these guys enjoy every last second of “camp time,” where they don’t rush, they make progress, they improve their skills, they have fun. I’m going to go watch them make small steps toward a better self. I’m going to go watch them be boys.

And on that note…

I ❤ CH // tracy b.

  • Boys have success in everything from riflery to kayaking.
  • Adventure is a great place for the younger boys to gain confidence.
  • Working on ACs in baseball!
  • Working on ACs in baseball!
  • Working on ACs in baseball!
  • Working on ACs in baseball!
  • Working on ACs in baseball!
  • Working on ACs in baseball!
  • …and football!
  • …and football!
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One Response

  1. Dana says:
    July 27th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    What a beautiful post, Tracy, and so true! Highland time is so different than ‘real world’ time. I prefer camp time now that I’m back in the rat-race. Keep enjoying all the special moments!

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Tracy Bachmann | July 26, 2012

A note from Director, Andy B.

Greetings, Highlands Families!

We are thrilled to have you as part of our Highlands family this summer! I trust you are keeping up with the goings on about camp through our pictures and blog, and I hope that your camper has written you to keep you updated. We try our best to get as many photos up on the site, and write as many posts as we can!

The end of the term is quickly approaching and there are a few things we want to make you aware of.

Our end-of-the-term festivities take place on Friday, August 10. At 3 p.m. we have an Army-Navy Water Carnival competition. This is always a goofy and fun way to catch a glimpse into camp life.

At 6 pm we have a family picnic dinner followed by a fun evening program highlighting our summer together. We hope you can join us. Please email us the names of who will attend the picnic if you have not already RSVP’d to on your forms. We like to make name tags and we want to be sure to have enough cheesy potatoes to go around! At this point our Lodge cabins are all booked for the end of the season, but if you would like to come up for a visit while your boy is at camp, give Sharon a call at 715-542-2950 and she can help you out. We’d love to see you!

Your boys are in great hands, with an outstanding staff whose first priority is to make sure you son is safe – physically and emotionally. Our next priority is to ensure your son has a great time at Highlands – all the while imparting the values of the Worthwhile Highlands man.

Thank you so much for sharing your son with us. We are grateful that you believe that a summer spent at Highlands is a worthwhile investment. And if you’d really like to get into the Highlands spirit, consider joining us with your entire family for our Friends and Family Camp during the third week in August (the 11-18th). It’s a lot of fun for everyone! There is more information about it on the Friends+Family Camp page on the website. Check it out!

And of course, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call here in the office at 715-542-3443.

Sincerely,
Andy Bachmann

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Tracy Bachmann | July 25, 2012

Make new friends

Every summer when I go over the Camper Expression forms (the forms all campers fill out before they get to camp, expressing what they hope to accomplish at camp this summer) I am not surprised that the number one hope for the vast majority of our campers is a very simple one – to make new friends.

All of us want to make new friends. We want to find new and interesting people to hang out with. We want to find someone to play catch with, or to go sailing with, or to be our buddy at free swim. But making new friends, and being a good friend is not always that easy! So this past Sunday at Assembly we explored what it means to be a good friend, and how to improve our friend-making skills. Because Camp is a perfect place to do that.

It’s a perfect place to make new friends, because there are friends-to-be all over the place! And they all want to make new friends too! Another reason it’s a good place to make new friends is because here at camp we try to live a little differently than how people might live at home. We try to live the “I’m Third” motto.

Ross Freeland always does an excellent job sharing the “I’m Third” story, and how our simple philosophy of putting God (however God is known to you) and your values first, putting other people second and yourself third is a great way to live. Ross spoke of how “I’m Third” is the heart of the Highlands experience; it is the muscle that provides the life blood to all that we do at camp.

And if “I’m Third” is the heart of camp, then the Honor Camper Qualities are the backbone! Also at Assembly this week, we took a closer look at some of those qualities with real life examples from home and from camp. Charlie Stearns spoke of the importance of consideration, especially when we live in such close cabin environments. John Milner talked about initiative, and how great it is when the older guys invite the younger campers to go sailing or to do something fun. Kirien Katzmarek spoke of how willingness and helpfulness make life at camp a little easier for everyone. Johnny Zokovitch shared how at camp it is important that we try to be generous, not just with the cool things we bring to camp, but with our time as well. Nick Morgan shared how people with Camp Spirit live the Highlands motto in their daily lives, and Antonio Carrera shared how a dependable person is someone that you can count on, in good times and in bad.

We then had “The Highlands Players” act out a few scenes for us of negative and positive ways we might react to some common camp situations. We saw what happens when a waiter drops his tray in the dining hall (here at Highlands nobody makes any mean comments or applauds mistakes, instead a flock of people swoop in to help clean up). We saw how guys might react if a cabin mate can’t catch a baseball, or what to do if someone feeling homesick. Finally, they showed us how easy it is to find a friend; with Davis Altorfer meeting Trey Taylor, then introducing him all around to Reed Altorfer, Kent Taylor and David Swarts.

At the end of assembly I challenged the guys to do three things this week. One. Smile. It’s amazing how friendly a place gets when people simply smile at each other. Two. Offer three compliments to other guys every day. And finally, invite someone that you don’t know very well to go and do something.

I was really encouraged to see that not long after Assembly, Pablo Vilarreal invited Judah Bachmann to go play teather ball, and just yesterday afternoon, Hayden Bingham took Clayton Stewart out for a sail.

Our hope here at Highlands is that the guys will see that with just a little initiative and a little kindness, the world can be a better place. I get to see that every day here at camp.

How lucky we are.

Andy Bachmann

3 Responses

  1. Gerardo Villarreal says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Thank you very much Bachmann’s, it’s trully amazing what you can do and expect from the boys. Keep this thoughts in and out camp!!,
    Best Regards!!

  2. John Zokovitch says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Reading this Andy just made me feel so good to know that Johnny is a part of what you all create there. Yes, you are lucky–but I think all of us who send our kids to live with you and the other counselors and staff each summer know that you and the others are a big reason for that feeling of “being lucky.” All I can say is ‘thank you.’

  3. sarah magner says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    So well put!!!! So important for kids to hear or reminded. I feel so blessed to have 2 of my boys experience this wonderful place! Thank you!!!!
    Sarah Magner

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