Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

Andy Bachmann | July 29, 2016

PEARLS OF LAUGHTER

One of my absolute favorite things about camp is the laughter. I think I laugh harder and more often here than I do anywhere else.

We’ve reached that time of the season where the smiles come easy, the nods are affirming and everyone leans on the best of intentions in our interactions with one another. It’s a special time of year.

Today I was walking around and I was caught off guard by what I suddenly noticed. Friendship. All around. Everybody’s got a buddy. There are packs of boys lumbering and strutting around with the calm cool confidence of a boy surrounded by his pals. The little guys sprint as a posse to the next great thing. Whether it’s the last notes of the mess call at flag raising that mark the “GO!” of the sprint to the dining hall, or the bugle call announcing free time (and store time!), there is an urgency to EVERYTHING for pretty much all of them. And it’s awesome.

But what caught me off guard was when I realized that back home, there aren’t packs of pals. There may be a few if you’re lucky. Maybe one “best bud” to yuck around with. But not packs like this. Our guys are surrounded by fellows who will be their best friends their whole life long. And here, in this week, at this time of the season, they are so comfortable, so casual and so cool just hanging out. And when they do, they laugh. And that laughter is a beautiful thing to hear.

How lucky we are.

Better. Worthwhile. Highlands.

 

1916 or 2016? It's all the same.

1916 or 2016? It’s all the same.

IMG_0262

These guys will be pals for a long, long time!

2 Responses

  1. carol v bachmann says:
    July 31st, 2016 at 12:10 am

    So true Andy..the laughter is what Lukas’s counselor loves when he writes to us about the cabin. Thanks to Camp!! Carol

  2. Jack Jorgensen says:
    April 9th, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Memories!!! I was a counselor in 1960 and ’61. I still have my camp T-shirt and red neckerchief showing AC’s. I was the archery instructor and waterfront overseer for the midgets. Regards to Mike and Sharon, see if they can recall! Is only been 57 years!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Andy Bachmann | July 5, 2016

A CELEBRATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Flag in Dining Hall

Our flag from 1908 (Camp was 8 years old by then!) hangs proudly in the dining room

The Fourth of July is a little funny around here. Really, it’s just like any other day–except that we have the boys board buses to head into Sayner for a front row seat at the Sayner firework display. Although it’s SUPPOSED to be a surprise, truth is most of them already know. But that doesn’t make it any less fun.

Yesterday morning I had an all camp contest to see who could tell me the year and presiding President was when the flag that hangs in our Dining Hall hung over the capitol. There are 46 stars.

Believe it or not, a number figured it out. Whether it is because they are history buffs (which a few folks are) or because they remembered from our Teddy Roosevelt Theme Day last year, in total 14 boys got it right. (The answer is 1908, Teddy Roosevelt; but it’s special because the 46th state was admitted to the Union on the 4th of July of that year. Cool, huh?)

Here at Camp Highlands we celebrate the gifts of independence. Not in a, “Rah, Yay, America!” way, but in a way that is perhaps a little more in tune with the character of independence that fostered such actions to make this country great so many years ago. The gift of self-rule; self-control and personal responsibility are high on our list of what celebrating independence is all about.

Another contest I had (and will continue to have until Wednesday noon) is to see who can memorize our 18 Honor Camper Qualities and recite them in front of everyone in the Dining Hall. It’s a daunting feat; one that Hans F., Brewster H., Declan M., Jack R. and Quinn B. have already taken on, and accomplished. Impressive acts of initiative and leadership that are serving to inspire us all.

This is the kind of independence we cherish at Camp Highlands. When young men aren’t afraid to take on a task and see it through to completion, for the honor, pride (and ice cream) the accomplishment merits.

How lucky we are.

Better. Worthwhile. Highlands.

AB

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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!
    XO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tracy Bachmann | July 21, 2015

10 Day forecast – for fun

IMG_0724

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tracy Bachmann | July 4, 2015

Teddy Roosevelt’s Fourth of July (or something like that)

We are full of fun here at Highlands today! It’s been non-stop action since the time the bugle blew this morning. While we still have several trips out, most are back in camp which added to the festival feel in the air. We had regular activities scheduled this morning, but at lunch the counseling staff announced that this afternoon’s theme day would be “Teddy Roosevelt Day” a.k.a. “1908 Day.” Don’t ask why, people. It’s camp. This sort of weirdness abounds!

IMG_0795

Bucket Brigade!

IMG_0806

Trust Busters

IMG_0816

Food and Drug Administration

IMG_0844

More bucket brigade for good measure!

Boys were split into six multi-aged teams and competed for time or points at six different wacky activities, including but not limited to: The Great White Fleet Race (kayaking around Five Pines), The Panama Canal Bucket Brigade, The Food and Drug Administration (quality control of gourmet concoctions made by our kitchen staff) and The Conservation Scavenger Hunt!

Following T.R. Day, we had a picnic supper on Junior Hill complete with ice cream followed by all-camp capture the flag. And if that wasn’t enough for one day, boys are now headed off to evening dip and then they’ll pile onto busses and head into Sayner where our very own caretaker, Kevin Rassmussen (also the fire chief!) saves Highlands the best spot for firework viewing. While the pyrotechnics might not be Disney World, the pole position the boys have guarantee an amazing show.

The weather has been incredible this term. While we’ve had a handful of chilly days, most days have been great. Warm in the sun, cool in the shade. You just can’t beat it.

We’ll continue to upload photos over the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled for your favorite CH camper!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *