Archive for the ‘summer camp’ Category

Tracy Bachmann | July 10, 2017

Welcome Second Term

And just like that, second term has started! Drop off was a bit damp, but you’ll be happy to know that today the skies are clear, the lake is gorgeous and the boys have a great northern Wisconsin day ahead of them. Today’s schedule includes safety talks in the various areas of camp and swim tests. After that’s complete, the guys will get to it with activities.

The Instagram Story is a great way to get a quick taste of what’s going on around camp. But keep up! The clips disappear after 24 hours!

We’ll start uploading photos to the gallery this evening, but in the meantime, don’t forget to check out the Instagram Story – it’s where we’re doing a lot of posting this year. You’ll love it.

As a side note, Andy and I will be living out your reality, as we drop our middle daughter off at her camp this morning. I’m full of jitters – a mix of excitement and heartache – you guys might know a thing or two about that! Even after five years of going to camp, she gets excitedsadnervoussuperhappy on drop off day. This is one of those profound concepts that Michael Thompson talks about in his book, Homesick and Happy – the idea that we can have simultaneous conflicting emotions. You can be completely thrilled to be having an amazing time at camp AND also feel really sad missing your family. Can you tell I’m trying to talk myself into having the right attitude about today’s excitedsadnervoussuperhappy drop off?

And on that note…

I ♥ CH,
Tracy B.

5 Responses

  1. Cathy Winter says:
    July 10th, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Your girls will be in good hands! My Sarah Dehkes) is back at Red Pine teaching swimming and loving her campers!

    • Kris Milner says:
      July 11th, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      Here here! My daughter is teaching sailing and tennis at Clearwater and driving the ski boat. Camp is the best!

    • July 12th, 2017 at 10:16 am

      I never worry about her once she’s there. It’s just me that needs the help! Ha!

  2. Julie Armstrong says:
    July 13th, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Hi Tracy, And Caroline Armstrong (friends with Sarah Dehkes) is the canoeing instructor and has little ones for her campers!

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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 | 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 | 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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