Archive for the ‘summer 2015’ Category

Tracy Bachmann | September 1, 2015

Fare thee well from Friends + Family Camp

A note from F+F coordinator, Tim Bachmann…

“Fare thee well for you must leave us, do not let the parting grieve us, but remember that the best of friends must part, must part. Adieu, adieu good Highlands Friends, Highlands Friends! We’re sorry, that our days must end, days must end – But we’ll be back next year as happy as can be, fare thee well, fare thee well, fare thee well!”

fandfcampThe 47th annual Friends and Family Camp Week has come and gone. The last of our guests has driven out. Staff members have put away the kayaks and canoes, sailboats and paddle boards. The outboards are out of the water. The tennis nets are down. The kitchen staff is busy cleaning out freezers and refrigerators. It’s leftovers for one last lunch. It’s a sad day – but a beautiful one. It’s warm and the lake beckons, though seems much quieter.

We had a banner year this year at Friends + Family Camp. Every cabin was occupied. With our late father, Mike, not here – we simply did what we had to do. We stepped up on the bench of the Doc Monilaw dining room porch and filled his shoes with ours. Andy, Ross and I were no funny-one-of-a-kind Mike – but we were still full of caring, and this was enough. We found that Highlands is still Highlands, and that the ever present void left by Dad’s absence was not something so powerful so as to steal our joy. Camp is still here – if not on an ascent. Thank you, Dad – we saw you all summer in the breathtaking rainbows and moments of pause. We remembered your specialness so many times, and in so many ways.

One of my first campers, Rob Rousseau (Cabin 23, 1985), was here with his two sons. Who do you think taught them to water ski? It was David Kuesel, the son of Artie Kuesel. Artie taught Rob how to ski – now 30 years ago. Others had the same experience, perhaps with Kent Overbey teaching their children at Adventure. We had 34 alumni on the Peninsula with their respective friends and family. They were universally surprised by the number of faces they knew!

In 1963, Norvil Beeman made a decision. It was yes or no – to sell camp to a 23 year old staff member named Mike Bachmann. Norvil’s answer was yes, and the rest is history. Those of us at CH this summer have Norvil to thank. In fact, this was true more than ever as Norvil’s extended family was with us for a family reunion. Daughters Dottie and Marty were with us – stars of their clan. Memories, reflections, and gratitude for Norvil and his wife Cleo were recorded. Thank you, Beemans!

Tonight, we will take the post camp staff out to dinner. For me, it is one of the highlights of the year. Despite the fact I wasn’t here for Boys Camp, I love these men and women. They have worked SO HARD! They are true Highlands! We will dine at the Clearview Supper Club on Big St. Germain Lake. It will be a wonderful night full of reflections, stories and laughter. Most of all, it will be night full of appreciation –  for the beautiful North Woods, each other, and Camp Highlands. There will be a bittersweet feeling we already feel in our hearts – the realization that another beautiful, happy season at Camp Highlands is over.

Check out the photos on the gallery of all the fun we had. The password can be requested by emailing tracyb@camphighlands.com.

2 Responses

  1. Dick Cochran says:
    September 18th, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Please send password. I am delighted to hear of your success
    Dick Cochran 1953-54 and 1960-61

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Tracy Bachmann | August 3, 2015

End of Camp, what you need to know

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Today marks the beginning of the end of the term (excuse me while I dry my eyes!). Here is what you need to know about this week.

Tuesday: Our final Division Day. The boys hang out as a division, cook out and our cooks enjoy a night off.

Wednesday: The evening brings us Stunt Night our infamously famous talent(less) show. 7:15 p.m.

Thursday: Kerchief ceremony in the evening.

Friday, August 7Parents are invited to arrive at 3 p.m. to hang out, watch the football tournament, cheer for our 5K racers, meet your child’s counselor and bunkmates. New this year: Please sign in at 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 31, 2015

Making the most of our days

As our days grow shorter, we are still jumping, running, playing and growing.

As our days grow shorter, we are still jumping, running, playing and growing.

My kid has been working toward graduating from skiing for three, maybe four years. But what does that mean? And why is it taking such a long time? Here at Highlands we mark our progress through an activity by Achievement Credits (ACs). Each activity has a long list of measurable and achievable goals that boys work through. Week by week, over the years. Once a boy has made his way through all the ACs, there is usually some final piece of the puzzle to complete: a written test, teaching the activity or some other major hurdle to jump.

Our counselors take awarding ACs seriously. Boys really have to work for the credits. It’s not a gimme situation!

On Thursday before final banquet we have an event in the club house called the Kerchief Ceremony. Each camper is recognized for ACs earned over the summer and their achievements are memorialized forever when each boy upon leaving the club house places his stick into the Fire of Friendship. It’s a powerful marker for the hard work our boys have put in. But it marks not only the baskets shot, riflery scores made or whitecaps sailed. It marks the four weeks of living without the comforts of home! It marks the growth and independence each boy has exhibited. It marks the friendships forged through living the Honor Camper Qualities.

We are a week away from our final banquet, and rest assured, our sons are still thriving, growing, learning and challenging themselves! As the sun starts to lower in the sky and the days grow shorter, we are still running, playing and making memories. We will make the most of these last sweet days of summer.

On that note…

I <3 CH,
Tracy B.

Today's schedule is action packed – per usual!

Today’s schedule is action packed – per usual!

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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 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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