Tracy Bachmann | July 13, 2017

This Matters

Friendship, unplugged, fun, outside of our comfort zones, nature, becoming our best selves. This matters.

I was recently talking with a father of one of our campers. He shared how his son was receiving a LOT of pressure to attend the summer clinics of his chosen sport. The coaches were holding out starting position offers like bait, and head-shaking shame if this boy chose a path different from the one they were suggesting. Fortunately for us, the boy (and family) didn’t take the bait.

We have staff here who still remember when Division I athletes would come to Highlands. Our program director remembers how during free time, these athletes would pull out every heavy object at camp to haul around Senior Row. Meanwhile, they were also leading trips through the wilderness of the north woods; teaching boys the importance of hard work and perseverance in achieving one’s goals; and modeling for them the honor dignity of being a well-rounded human being. Not just an all-star athlete.

This father I was speaking with said the decision for their family was an easy one. “My son is not going to be a professional athlete. So skipping the summer sessions should not feel like he’s sacrificing a career. Five, ten years from now, none of that stuff will matter. THIS matters.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Better, Worthwhile, Highlands,
AB

4 Responses

  1. July 13th, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Love this!! Let the kids be. Let them work hard and achieve things and fail at things and have some fun and learn hard things. Let them be better than the other kids in one area and worse in another. It’ll be ok. They will learn to appreciate their fellow humans so much more. 4 weeks at camp is the best thing in a boys life. Being a boy. Learning from other men. Figuring out who they are away from the ball field. Finding an identity that has nothing to do with their home life, or school life, or sports life. It is just purely who they are. Love Camp Highlands for that.

  2. Mary Sennott-Shaw says:
    July 13th, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Wise words from a wise dad!!! Well thought out decision! Bravo, Sir to both you and your fortunate son! I can think of nothing that gives a young man better or more tools for life than summers (the more the better) at Camp Highlands.

  3. July 14th, 2017 at 5:55 am

    We need to remember to let our children live in the present moment. It’s gone in a blink.

  4. Kris Milner says:
    July 21st, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Highlands is the best! John drove there this week from his job in Fort Worth, Tx just to hang out after being a camper and counselor for 10 years. Highlands Ra

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Tracy Bachmann | July 11, 2017

This is not a blog post

We were making memories here at CH last night. The air is warm, the lake is cool and the boys are free and brave! How lucky we are.

Photo Credit: Tim Bachmann

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Tracy Bachmann | July 10, 2017

Welcome Second Term

And just like that, second term has started! Drop off was a bit damp, but you’ll be happy to know that today the skies are clear, the lake is gorgeous and the boys have a great northern Wisconsin day ahead of them. Today’s schedule includes safety talks in the various areas of camp and swim tests. After that’s complete, the guys will get to it with activities.

The Instagram Story is a great way to get a quick taste of what’s going on around camp. But keep up! The clips disappear after 24 hours!

We’ll start uploading photos to the gallery this evening, but in the meantime, don’t forget to check out the Instagram Story – it’s where we’re doing a lot of posting this year. You’ll love it.

As a side note, Andy and I will be living out your reality, as we drop our middle daughter off at her camp this morning. I’m full of jitters – a mix of excitement and heartache – you guys might know a thing or two about that! Even after five years of going to camp, she gets excitedsadnervoussuperhappy on drop off day. This is one of those profound concepts that Michael Thompson talks about in his book, Homesick and Happy – the idea that we can have simultaneous conflicting emotions. You can be completely thrilled to be having an amazing time at camp AND also feel really sad missing your family. Can you tell I’m trying to talk myself into having the right attitude about today’s excitedsadnervoussuperhappy drop off?

And on that note…

I ♥ CH,
Tracy B.

5 Responses

  1. Cathy Winter says:
    July 10th, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Your girls will be in good hands! My Sarah Dehkes) is back at Red Pine teaching swimming and loving her campers!

    • Kris Milner says:
      July 11th, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      Here here! My daughter is teaching sailing and tennis at Clearwater and driving the ski boat. Camp is the best!

    • July 12th, 2017 at 10:16 am

      I never worry about her once she’s there. It’s just me that needs the help! Ha!

  2. Julie Armstrong says:
    July 13th, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Hi Tracy, And Caroline Armstrong (friends with Sarah Dehkes) is the canoeing instructor and has little ones for her campers!

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Tracy Bachmann | July 5, 2017

What? It’s Over???

Happy Independence Day, we had an awesome time here at Camp Highlands yesterday. After lunch the individual divisions grouped up for their “Division Day.” Cubs took the busses into town to Jim Peck’s and pizza, Colts made PVC marshmallow-shooters, and Juniors and Seniors yutzed around camp, playing on a giant slip-and-slide and cooked out. The weather was wonderful. At 9, all of camp loaded up on busses to head into Sayner to watch the amazing fireworks show. Our caretaker also happens to be the fire chief and reserves a VIP location for Highlands every year. The boys reportedly hung out in “cuddly piles”! Ha! And did you check out this video of the eagle that was swooping around camp yesterday?! Amazing!

Here’s what you need to know about the final days of camp:

Wednesday: Stunt Night…our infamously famous talent(less) show. 7:15 p.m.

Thursday: Kerchief ceremony in the evening.

Friday, July 7: Parents are invited to arrive at 3 p.m. to hang out, watch the football tournament, meet your child’s counselor and bunkmates. Please sign in at the water carnival or the office to get your name tag when you get to camp, thank you! Picnic supper is at 6 p.m. followed by our final banquet festivities which conclude around 8:30 p.m.

You are free to take your son after the banquet, please communicate that with your son’s counselor and with the office.

Boys depart camp Saturday, at 8:45 a.m. on the bus back to Chicago. **If your child disembarks in Madison (1 p.m.) or Rockford (2:15 p.m.) PLEASE contact the CH office.

If you haven’t updated your travel information in your parent log in area, please take the time to do so. If you still need to RSVP to the final banquet, you can do that by emailing us at camp. THANK YOU!

It’s going to be a great week!

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Tracy Bachmann | July 1, 2017

Strong Foundations

Cairns – not just a pile of rocks.

Several cairns have popped up around camp. At it’s most basic, a cairn is a pile of stones. But cairns have meanings other than *just a pile of rocks. Cairns mark the trail for our guys hiking across Isle Royale right now. Cairns can be found on the beaches of Lake Superior, possibly denoting a place or a time of significance for somebody. And at last week’s Sunday assembly, I talked about how our honor camper qualities and our camp motto can serve as cairns or wayshowers for us in our time at Highlands—and beyond. Now, we’ve got all these rock piles around camp. Which I love.

It’s a nice reminder that these guys aren’t just running around, tossing Frisbees and balls, paddling canoes and kayaks, sailing or skiing across the lake, or jumping in to the chilly waters for kicks. It shows that they’re also taking to heart the things that make camp so worthwhile. They’re recognizing that the words, “if he will, he can” aren’t just words; they’re goals accomplished, new friends made, new experiences tried. They’re building their own little way showers, using the stones of experience and opportunity to become a better, worthwhile, Highlands man. And they’re doing it all with a big ol’ grin on their faces.

Better, Worthwhile, Highlands.

– Andy

And now for some general updates…

We’re heading into our last week of first term, if you can believe it! Our trippers start to return this weekend – the Seniors have been hiking on Isle Royale and Pictured Rocks, sailing on Lake Superior and canoeing in the Boundary Waters. Juniors have been hiking in the Porcupine Mountains and will all return by this afternoon. If your kid is anything like ours, trip stories will trickle out over the coming year – it’s one of my favorite things about Camp.

Today’s theme day is Hobbit Day! The weather is gorgeous this morning – sunny, clear and calm. A great day for waterskiing. Tuesday night we’ll head into Sayner for the fireworks show, Wednesday night is Stunt Night, Thursday is the Kerchief Ceremony and then….we’re on to Friday and the final picnic and banquet!

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