Archive for the ‘summer 2016’ 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.

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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!

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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!
    XO

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Tracy Bachmann | May 20, 2016

Countdown to Summer!

IMG_3964

We’re 29 days away from the start of our 113th camping season. And we can’t wait!

We have an incredible array of campers and staff coming this season—and we have made some exciting improvements in our camp facilities to ensure that, while we’re still the oldest continuously-operated boys camp in the midwest, we’re still making the necessary improvements to keep camp awesome. Just wait until you see the TWO new cabins we’ve built!

Right now we’re starting to review travel plans, consider cabin assignments and order t-shirts. If you haven’t finished filling out your forms, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. We especially need to know if your son is going to be riding the bus by May 25. If your son will be taking prescription medication, you are required to register them with CampRx. Those directions can be found in the forms section of the website. We stock most over-the-counter medications like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Benedryl, etc. at the infirmary to be distributed by our health staff.

If your son’s physical isn’t until closer to the start of camp, that’s OK! While we’d prefer to have them in as soon as possible, we understand the headaches joys of trying to get your kids into the doctor during this busy time. Please make sure to photo copy both front and back of your insurance card and to sign the bottom of that form. That is the medical release form.

Finally, we have two helpful resources that will be like gold to you—especially if you’re a first-time Highlands parent. That is the Highlands Handbook and the Packing List, both of which are located in the Forms and Documents section in the parent log in page. Almost any question you have can be answered in the Handbook. Mail, email, packages, homesickness, medication – you name it – it’s in there.

We are so excited for this upcoming season. We’ve got another incredible lineup on the staff, including a few new faces that I know are going to be awesome fits at Highlands. And we’ve still got a few spaces in our first term—so if you know some great young guy that would benefit from the Highlands experience, send them our way!

We can’t wait for another incredible season at Camp Highlands!

Better. Worthwhile. Highlands.

–Andy

3 Responses

  1. Sarah Magner says:
    May 30th, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Hi Tracy,
    Michael is looking forward to camp!
    I am trying to fill out al paper work but I do not see forms on website;(
    I do not remember if we need to log in to get this/
    Do we bring all forms when we get to camp and check in with Nurse?
    Rusty will be driving Michael on Sunday and helping him get settled.
    Look forward to hearing back from you soon.

  2. Sarah Magner says:
    May 30th, 2016 at 11:25 am

    It is not letting me log in with my email….FYI

  3. Kris Milner says:
    June 10th, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    So sad John will not be with you for the first time in 8-9 years! He has a “real” job in Fort Worth, where I’m sure he will notice a big difference in the climate! Have a happy summer and thanks for all the great ones before! Highlands, Rah! Kris

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