Archive for the ‘first time campers’ Category

Tracy Bachmann | May 3, 2017

We’re preparing for the best summer ever!

Check out this beauty! (can you see the ice still on Plum!?)

I don’t know what I’m most excited about: a new pier and diving towers in Senior Row, new dugouts on the ball field or two new cabins. There’s a LOT to get psyched for in 2017!

Have you filled out your forms?

If you have enrolled, you’ve got forms to complete. Here’s a quick to-do list for you:

  1. Schedule your child’s physical if necessary.
  2. If your child takes medication, you must fill out the Personal Rx (formerly Camp Rx) forms. You’ll need copies of your child’s prescriptions for that.
  3. Make your travel reservations. If your son is traveling by air, please forward us a copy of his itinerary.

Will you be staying at Camp during drop-off or pick-up?

Did you know you can make a reservation to stay in the CH Lodge? We’d love to have you!

Friends + Family Camp Registration is open!

“Man, I wish I could go to camp,” said every parent ever. YOU CAN! Arrange an alumni reunion with your camp buddies and their families, bring a future camper to CH to catch the vibe or just come by yourself to sit on the dock, paddle a kayak down Star Creek or jump off of Tower Three. Now’s a great time to reserve your favorite cabin!

Feel free to give us a call

We’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions at all, please give us a ring. Do you have a nervous first-timer or you have a question about shipping a trunk? Sometimes a quick call can make all the difference. We’re counting down…Let’s do this thing!

One Response

  1. Kris Milner says:
    May 11th, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    That new dock/diving pier on the row is killer! I know John wants to get up for a visit this summer if his job schedule allows, and hopefully I can too for end of season cheesy potatoes! Yum!!!!

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Tracy Bachmann | July 10, 2016

Adventure is Worthwhile in itself

adventureWho wouldn’t want their child to have a real-life adventure?

Your boys have arrived and the fun, challenges, self-discovery and friendships begin exactly…NOW.

The adventure starts the minute boys get off the bus and counselors and campers alike swoop in, grab trunks and bags and things are delivered to cabins in about 6 minutes flat. Boys who ride the bus will make their beds and head to the infirmary to check in with our two outstanding nursing team members Madi K. and Nathanial B. The bugle will blow (yes, we still use a real, live bugle at Highlands) for supper at 5:50 and then we’ll settle down to the traditional first night’s supper of spaghetti and meatballs. It’s a crowd pleaser!

Tonight the guys will play division games and get to know each other a little bit. Andy has a rule that boys can’t “throw balls at each other” until they know each other’s names. So the games tonight are all about FUN and team building. After games, they’ll get a lay-of-the-land and hear the basic rules of camp. We sweeten the deal with campfires and s’mores. At 9 o’clock, taps will play and the guys will head to bed.

I have to admit, the weather is a little glum (I’m from Florida, so I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to the temp!). But tomorrow we’re expecting 87° weather, so we’ll bundle up tonight and wake up to the best kind of camp weather. Warm and sunny!

You can find all the passwords you’ll need for the gallery and instructions for how to use the email system in the Highlands Handbook (or in one of the many emails you’ve probably gotten from me). You might also want to take a look at our Instagram account to take a peek at the hidden corners of Highlands. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us!

Andy and I are so thrilled to have your boys with us. They are each unique, creative, energetic, brilliant creatures – 130 of them – that will make second term amazing. Thank you for sharing them with the Highlands family!

I ♥ CH!

tracy b.

One Response

  1. carol v bachmann says:
    July 11th, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks for the first blog here Tracy! Love to hear the news:)) Wish I were there for some adventure!!

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Tracy Bachmann | June 19, 2016

Riding the Winds

IMG_5635“If you surrender to the wind you can ride it.” – Toni Morrison

The 28-mile an hour winds have blown in a camp full of boys today. We are incredibly thankful for the energy and spirit they bring with them.

All the bus campers arrived before 5 p.m., beating Jim DiDomeninco’s predicted arrival time of 5:07 p.m. (Winning!) As tradition dictates, we’ll be eating spaghetti tonight – 20 lbs. of spaghetti, that is! Lois and Greg do an great job in the kitchen. Did you know Lois has been our head chef for more than 20 years? And Greg our awesome sous chef is joining us for his second season. We are psyched!

I wish you could see the scene when the busses arrive. In a matter of just a few moments all boys, duffels, trunks, lacrosse sticks, backpacks and tennis racquets are unloaded quickly and delivered to their cabins. As a mom, I watch the scene and think, “isn’t there some sort of system here?” Apparently you don’t need much of a system when you have 113 years of Highlands magic (and experience) in your pocket. In fact, nearly 100% of our staff has been here before, and of those returning, most of them have been campers here their whole life. They know how it goes! Check this time lapse from this afternoon out (note the end when a pick up soccer game starts!)

Tonight after supper, the boys will play games by division, get the lay of the land, hear some baseline rules and cap the evening off with s’mores. Yep. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it.

Because the camp gods are smiling down on us today, it’s WARM. But our guys will have to wait until tomorrow’s swim tests before they dip. By lunch tomorrow, every boy will be tested and given the low-down on how our buddy system works. We take our waterfront activities very seriously. As Andy always says, “You never walk alone when you walk with safety.” 

There’s a vibe in the atmosphere, and I think it’s more than these gale-force winds. It’s something bigger. 113 years of magic, excitement, heritage, tradition and love is in the air.

113 years. We’re ready for you.

And on that note…

I ♥ CH,
Tracy B.

One Response

  1. Sara Hutchinson says:
    June 19th, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you. I love this report. I wish you the best 113th summer!

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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.


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

    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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Andy Bachmann | July 29, 2014

Tales from Tower Three

Anyone who has been to camp knows of our famous towers. Our lake neighbors love to come down and gawk as the boys perform feats of courage and craziness as they leap into the air, 18 feet above the water.

From down on the dock, the towers are really not that daunting. But once you climb them, and stand on that third platform in particular, it can seem like you’re 500 feet off the surface. And it can be intimidating. I still get nervous when I stand up there.

So the other day when I saw a camper from way down in Cabin 25 take his first step off Tower Three I knew I got to witness one of the greatest moments of the summer.

There are lots of “firsts” at Camp. First time you paddle a kayak, first time you get up on water skis – heck! – first time you are away from your parents home for more that a night! And we love to celebrate those “firsts.” We celebrate them because we know how special they are. We know how important they are in helping to shape these young men lives into our Worthwhile Man line that says, “Give me the courage of the man who knows that if he will, he can.”

Give me the courage of the man who knows that if he will, he can.

“Give me the courage of the man who knows that if he will, he can.” The little guy who *jumped* pictured above.

That little guy from Cabin 25 stood on Tower Three for 45 minutes. Then the bugle blew, calling the waiters to come get supper ready. But the lifeguards didn’t budge. And neither did his cousins (all 4 of them). Everybody stood by, eyes to the sky, waiting.

He’d walk to the edge, then skitter back. He’d try to take a running start, only to stop short. He stood there for an eternity. Finally his cousins climbed up, and jumped off, to show him how easy it can be. One of our lifeguards went up and jumped off, showing him how he could do it. But still, he waited…

Finally, first call blew, calling all of us to supper. And suddenly he did it – he took off of that tower and even before he hit the water the roar of the crowd erupted. It was awesome. He emerged from the water triumphant – beaming with pride and accomplishment.

All of our sons are experiencing plenty of soul-stretching, discomforting moments of first-ness all the time. And when they do something new the smiles that shine forth from their faces are those of young men who know that they are living into a new reality; a world where they are beginning to get the sense that if they set their mind to something, then chances are good that they can accomplish it. Whether it’s jumping off Tower Three for the first time, or simply being away from mom and dad for four weeks. It is a special thing to witness those breakthrough moments. And it is a moment that I don’t think any of us will soon forget.

Better. Worthwhile. Highlands.

Andy B.

4 Responses

  1. Kevin Robertson says:
    July 30th, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Good morning Andy,
    What a beautiful, moving, tear-inducing post. Your words make me want to jump off something. Perhaps I’ll start with this sofa and move on fiercely to leaving the comfy confines of my executive chair.
    What you and your staff, as well as Tracy and her poetic blogs, do for these boys, and for us tearfully appreciative families back home, is beyond worthwhile. We’re all better off for CH.
    Thank you so much for making this happen. For making my boys into solid, tower jumping little men.
    Now push Ty and Noah off that darn thing.

  2. Donnie Adams says:
    July 30th, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I will never forget the cheer when I finally made it off of there; truly one of the most affirming moments of my life. I’m not sure I even realized the impact of those moments on my life, but I don’t think anyone could put it better Andy – it is because of these moments, surrounded by such support and encouragement, that I continue to push myself into an unknown, knowing I’ll be ok.

    Thanks CH

  3. Jim Loomis says:
    July 30th, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I was also one of the campers that stood on tower three for a long time before I got enough courage to jump off. That was my first year at camp, as a Junior. After that first jump you couldn’t keep me off of it. Soon I was diving off of it. I was even afraid to go water skiing. Again once I got the courage I never stopped skiing. I even was a ski instructor once in a while when I was a counselor. Camp is the best place in the world to try and excel at new activities.

  4. Hayden Bingham says:
    August 7th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I realize that this is for parents, but I’m going to come back as a CIT next year so… (close enough?)
    Anyway, I will say that the Towers (specifically T. III) are some decent practice for (supervised!) cliff jumping on some of the trips (Chapel Beach Cliffs on Pictured Rocks Nat. Lakeshore, and the Pictograph Cliffs on the Basswood River in BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness))
    “Hands on life-vest, Elbows against sides, Push away from cliff-face, Legs straight, Feet pointed, Enjoy the ride.”
    Although, the towers at camp are somewhat less rudimentary than a rock precipice jutting out from a 65 ft cliff (BWCAW).

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