Archive for the ‘activities’ Category

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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Andy Bachmann | June 29, 2016

ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

This morning, walking up to flag raising I overheard one of our staff guys comment to a young camper as he was gazing out over the boating bay, “Another day in paradise, eh?” The young man simply grinned and nodded. Another day in paradise, indeed.

It’s been quite a week at Camp Highlands. This past Saturday we had our 4th of July Army/Navy Track Meet (on the 25th of June…don’t ask…) where it was LITERALLY neck and neck the entire time, INCLUDING our final lap on our final relay which saw an absolute TIE at the finish line, resulting in the first ever TIE of the track meet. At the announcement in the Dining Hall, with the anxious Admiral Armstrong and General Fox waiting to hear who would bear the brunt of the challenge, what I thought would be a disappointing announcement actually produced the opposite result. The hall erupted in cheers, and a spontaneous chant of, “Highlands! Highlands! Highlands! We’re all friends!” Everyone was thrilled—and the General and Admiral thought it only fair that they BOTH participate in the challenge. Go Highlands!

On Sunday at our Assembly, after telling the boys the story of I’m Third, we had some powerful testimonies from some of our men from Cabin One. It was great. Then, with a heavy heart I inducted Ross Freeland into the Camp Highlands Hall of Fame, and announced that we have renamed our ball fields, “Freeland Field.”

And then we added a new Honor Camper Quality to our list of 17. The new quality added is one that is exemplified in the I’m Third motto. This trait encourages us to measure our sense of self esteem and pride against a higher moral code; a moral code that places our value in the ways in which we act and interact with the world around us, not by the amount of “likes” we get on our selfies.

Truth is we are flawed people; we make mistakes and fall short; we let our vanity take advantage of our morals, and our desires overcome our hopes and visions. And that is just part of who we are. Which is why this value is a good one to have.
This value affirms us in our brokenness, and invites us to give life a go again; to try, and to fail, and to try again.

So we add our 18th honor camper quality. It is, “Humility.”
Author CS Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

Contrary to what popular culture may want us to believe, we believe that the greatest rewards in this life come from our ability to live well, love others and be of good service. And this trait is the cornerstone to understanding that and living into it well. And this place is one where we are affirmed in our willingness to try again, to be good to one another, and to have a great time while doing it. Another beautiful day in paradise, indeed.

Better. Wortwhile. Highlands.

2 Responses

  1. John Zokovitch says:
    June 29th, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Love this post Andy. I know how much Johnny thought of Ross and I am glad he will think of him every time he sets foot onto Freeland Field. I’m so thankful for you, your staff and family, and everyone at Camp Highlands.

  2. LIz powell says:
    October 7th, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Nicely said Andy. I love how you brought the number of likes into their reality in contrast to what we “mature” and broken adults know about leading a worthwhile life.

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Tracy Bachmann | July 21, 2015

10 Day forecast – for fun

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It’s hard to not have an awesome time at CH!

 

I just had a parent text me and tell me how sweet our 10-day forecast looked. True story. Our apologies to you folks in Texas, Florida and even Illinois (who are experiencing the weirdest summer weather ever). But the amazing outlook doesn’t just stop at the weather here at Highlands.

How can you have a bad day that starts off with pancakes!? That’s what the boys enjoyed this morning before they set off on their wild adventures.

How can you have a bad day when after your awesome breakfast you then end up at the adventure ropes course with Kent Overby (cabins 21, 17, 9, 13). Or maybe you’re like cabins 1, 24, 17, 25 looking down the barrel at some time skiing on Plum Lake. I’m a big fan of the stand up paddle boarding (SUP) activity – cabins 22, 13, 6 and 7 will be exploring the lake that way today. I can smell the smoke from the fire that the expedition activity built this morning and figure the guys from 14, 13, 22 and 21 are going to have a ball boiling water. The fellows from 24, 25, 10, 15, 16, 18, 9 and 14 will be hooping it up on the basketball court today. I mean honestly. What’s not to love?

There are several trips out on the trail or lakes and waterways right now. Two Isle Royale hiking trips are out, and cabins 12 and 11 are in the Porcupine Mountains on a three-day hiking trip.

I’d say we have a 99% chance for a great time.

Birthday Weekend Approaches

We are 112 years old this Saturday. One-hundred and twelve summers, you guys. Now that’s something to celebrate! Per our tradition, we’ll kick off our Steeplechase event at about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. If you are in the area, you’re more than welcome to swing on by to watch the fun. It’s my favorite day of the whole summer. Steeplechase is an Army/Navy relay that covers not only all parts of camp but a good part of Plum Lake. Whether it’s casting a line into a hula-hoop or pin bowling, kayaking around Five Pines island, or being a part of the water boil team, each boy has his own special part to contribute to his team’s success.

Saturday after noon we’ll have a Senior Carnival down in The Row with all kinds of wacky homemade games including a dunk tank, pillow fighting and bug juice pong. This is good clean fun.

We’ll have our picnic supper on the hill at 6 p.m. followed by Games on the Hill. The day literally does not stop.

And on that note…

I <3 CH,

Tracy B.

 

6 Responses

  1. Carol Bachmann says:
    July 21st, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Wow!! I am trying to imagine the steeplechase, carinival, picnic and games on the hill in one day! That will be a day of great fun to remember. I happen to know that it is Lukas’ favorite day…maybe of the year:)))
    Tracy B thank you for the excellent blog!

  2. Dick Cochran says:
    July 21st, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    This was great camper 1953-1954 consuleor 1960-1961 please put me on your mail list
    Dick Cochran

  3. Augusto Cubillos says:
    July 22nd, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Our son has spent just 10 days at Camp and we can feel the Change. He has sent a couple of amazing letters. Thank you CH!

  4. Jessica Rench says:
    July 23rd, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I’m with the previous folks who commented! WE LOVE CAMP HIGHLANDS!!!

  5. Alex Besser says:
    July 24th, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Your description captures why Quinn starts talking about camp in January, why he misses the community, the lake, the activities, the friends, the warm days and cool nights and why, when he is away, he counts the days to return. Thank you.

  6. Kris Milner says:
    July 24th, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Happy Steeplechase! Go Army!

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Andy Bachmann | July 17, 2015

GO WITH THE FLOW

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Completely in the Flow on Plum Lake

And just like that, we’re in the flow…

“Flow” is a big thing at Camp. There is only one way for our waiters to flow around the kitchen to pick-up food or drop off dishes. When we remove the tables and benches from the Dining Hall there is only one door that we use; and whether we’re clearing it out or putting it all back in determines which way we will flow. When we all are in the flow then things are running smoothly, all systems are “go” and life is good.

This week we work towards flow in a more pseudo-psychological way. When things are flowing then that means campers no longer have to ask where to put the wash buckets, which way they should go to Riflery or what we do during rest hour. When we all know where we’re going and what we’re doing, then life is good.

I’m happy to report we’ve found the flow.

Camp is bustling. Our activities are in full-go mode. Cabins 15, 17 and 18 are out on their three-day canoe trips, and our two Isle Royale trips and Pictured Rocks trips are already on the trails. We’ve played Capture the Flag, had our first Division Day and the ladies from Red Pine Camp came over for a social. We know each others names, have figured out who goes where and with what and we know what all those bugle calls mean.

I love it when we hit the flow. It means the odds of homesickness have dropped dramatically. It means our staff and full termers have gotten over the “newness” of second term and are feelin’ good. And it means we can all get out and do what we’re here to do; which is make the most of our Highlands days. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s 78 degrees and there’s a sweet wind blowing!

So on that note, I guess I’ll get my own flow on and get outside! It’s a beautiful day at Highlands!

AB

Better. Worthwhile. Highlands.

Ps. Check out the new pic’s on our gallery and catch a glimpse of your favorite camper in the flow!

4 Responses

  1. Tim Bachmann says:
    July 20th, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Andy! Great picture of the solo sailor!!! That’s on to have painted up by your favorite artist!! Nice work on the blogs – loving them.

  2. hilda sitges says:
    July 21st, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    i love this idea of the flow, will have Esteban Esqueda teach us how to make it work at home as well.
    it was great seeing you last week and having the opportunity to have my son out for dinner and shopping salsas. I hope it was not a terrible idea to bring many of them back to camp. I guess it was his way of sharing some Mexican flavour with his friends.
    best, Hilda : )

  3. Denise (Gustafson) Hayward says:
    December 5th, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I am in need of email contact..please. I was watching American Pickers tonight and they purchased Tom Swift books. I remembered the family camp that I alphabetized your entire library to find that termites had invaded. I told your dad and your mom and showed them where. Now I have a 4 year old grandson. That I realize I need to get on the ball. WHEN is family camp?

    • January 30th, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Denise! We’ll contact you about Family Camp. Indeed you are correct, there are several Tom Swift books floating around Highlands! Nothing like the real deal books with paper pages! 🙂

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Andy Bachmann | July 12, 2015

The Stage is Set…

We were anticipating rain and not a drop has fallen. The bus has arrived and campers have been settled. I once again feel the excitement in the air; but now the voices that echo out, “Ga-Ga-Ball!” are different than the ones I heard just two days ago. Second Term has officially begun, and I am already so excited for this new batch of campers to be here.

One quick glance through the cabin list this year and you might think we were in the 1980’s or 1990’s. It has been so fun seeing all these alumni drifting through camp—guys of my generation—dropping off their sons for their first (or fifth) Highlands summer. And we have a great crop of newbies, too! (I’m listening to an “old” camper explain the mailboxes to a new camper as we speak…and it’s kind of hilarious.)

The next 17 hours will have us memorizing names, listening to rules, learning about water safety, gun safety and archery safety; as well as learn how to be waiter and request an activity. Then swim tests, and BOOM! Right into the flow of camp.

Exciting times are in store for us this summer. Our staff is outstanding – one of the best I can remember (and no, I don’t say that every year…) and they are all pumped for Second Term.

So the stage is set- the players have arrived, and it’s time to raise the curtain on Act 2 of our 112th season. If it’s anything like Act 1 we are all in for a treat.

Better. Worthwhile. Highlands.
AB

thistothis

Boys race off the bus, everyone grabs gear and the field is cleared in 8:23 flat!

4 Responses

  1. Carol Bachmann says:
    July 13th, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Tracy,
    LOVE your blogs!
    Many thanks, Carol

  2. Carol Bachmann says:
    July 13th, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Oops, Andy too, love your blogs!

  3. Maria Castro says:
    July 15th, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I love your blog !!! Thanks for sharing with us what our children are doing in the camp throught their stories and photos, that causes us tranquility and makes us very happy!! thank you very much !!

  4. Suzanne Stamm says:
    July 17th, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Better. Worthwhile. Highlands. Says it all–thank you!

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