Category Archives: archives


June 06, 2016

  1. This morning, walking up to flag raising I overheard one of our staff guys comment to a young camper as he was gazing out over the boating bay, “Another day in paradise, eh?” The young man simply grinned and nodded. Another day in paradise, indeed.
    It’s been quite a week at Camp Highlands. This past Saturday we had our 4th of July Army/Navy Track Meet (on the 25th of June…don’t ask…) where it was LITERALLY neck and neck the entire time, INCLUDING our final lap on our final relay which saw an absolute TIE at the finish line, resulting in the first ever TIE of the track meet. At the announcement in the Dining Hall, with the anxious Admiral Armstrong and General Fox waiting to hear who would bear the brunt of the challenge, what I thought would be a disappointing announcement actually produced the opposite result. The hall erupted in cheers, and a spontaneous chant of, “Highlands! Highlands! Highlands! We’re all friends!” Everyone was thrilled—and the General and Admiral thought it only fair that they BOTH participate in the challenge. Go Highlands!
    On Sunday at our Assembly, after telling the boys the story of I’m Third, we had some powerful testimonies from some of our men from Cabin One. It was great. Then, with a heavy heart I inducted Ross Freeland into the Camp Highlands Hall of Fame, and announced that we have renamed our ball fields, “Freeland Field.”
    And then we added a new Honor Camper Quality to our list of 17. The new quality added is one that is exemplified in the I’m Third motto. This trait encourages us to measure our sense of self esteem and pride against a higher moral code; a moral code that places our value in the ways in which we act and interact with the world around us, not by the amount of “likes” we get on our selfies.
    Truth is we are flawed people; we make mistakes and fall short; we let our vanity take advantage of our morals, and our desires overcome our hopes and visions. And that is just part of who we are. Which is why this value is a good one to have.
    This value affirms us in our brokenness, and invites us to give life a go again; to try, and to fail, and to try again.
    So we add our 18th honor camper quality. It is, “Humility.”
    Author CS Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
    Contrary to what popular culture may want us to believe, we believe that the greatest rewards in this life come from our ability to live well, love others and be of good service. And this trait is the cornerstone to understanding that and living into it well. And this place is one where we are affirmed in our willingness to try again, to be good to one another, and to have a great time while doing it. Another beautiful day in paradise, indeed.
    Better. Wortwhile. Highlands.

  2. Camp-sick alumni writing "home"

    As you might expect, former campers and staff members contact us from time to time to share memories and ask if certain staff is still around. Below is some correspondence we received today. It just astounds me to know that after all these years, when summer time rolls around, Highlands alumni get a little camp-sick (official terminology). Below is an email we got this morning with Mike’s response and a photo to boot. [Can you believe they used to wear water belts to teach skiing!? Yikes! Parent’s, you’ll be happy to know those days are long past. Boys wear proper PFDs!] Remember, we are celebrating our 110th camping season this summer. We are having big alumni reunion the weekend of July 27, the day of the Steeplechase and the camp birthday. Remember, if you need a camp fix, the Highlands Lodge is a great place to stay and relive your memories, and even better is Friends and Family Camp!
    From Scott Nelson, former camper
    Hello Highlands! I wanted to pass on my very best wishes for a great summer to all my old friends at Camp. It’s July 5th and memories of track meets (Army Victories!) water carnivals, steeple chases are running thru my head. Who’s General? Has anyone come to lunch with a tie on? And walked off Tower 3!!
    I will remember my wonderful memories of Camp (teaching Tim Bachmann how to ski behind the Red Highlander with a 40hp Johnson off Cub Midget Pier) Sawbill Trips, and Siedel trail pack dinners for days, and all the great guys and friends especially Artie Kuesel,  Jim “Otter” Ott Mike and Sharon on and on.
    All my best
    Scotty Nelson
    Former Camper/Counselor/Cabin 9 14 & 5
    Ski instructor
    Tampa, Fl
    Response from Mike Bachmann, director
    Hi Scott!

    Scotty Nelson teaches skiing circa 1970

    Scotty Nelson teaching Jeff Bayliss to ski. Nelson was a CIT with Dave Baker as counselor.

    How nice to hear from you.
    For all the information you asked about and much more go to the web site. The gallery has lots of pictures – even some of Jim Ott!! He is Cub Head Counselor. In fact, Otter asks about YOU often. You had better give us a good update.
    We are having a gathering time on the Camp Birthday this year. Butch will be up, and Jaimie Casas intends to come. It will be July 27. Steeplechase, Games on the Hill – you know the routine. Some things are not supposed to change. Of course we are way past 40 hp ski boats.
    Dave Baker and Kent Taylor are running the trip room. Artie Kuesel has two sons on the staff. He stopped by yesterday. Ross Freeland is Senior Head Counselor – that is Jani’s son. She, Sharon, and Jill are all here this summer. Alec Winter is David’s son. He is an assistant counselor.
    Facebook is also pretty busy with regular updates. Here is a photo of a ski instructor you may recognize.
    Thanks for touching base.  Now come visit!!

  3. CH Gallery: Thousands (literally!) of Photos

    Preserving our history in images is one of the things we love to do at Highlands. From the early days, Doc Monilaw was often behind a camera, capturing incredible images that give us a little glimpse of the past. Tim Bachmann, as many of you know, has been scanning, editing and publishing photos from the 109 summers at Camp. If you haven’t had a chance to check out his books on Blurb, I highly recommend them. The CH Archives are also a great resource for photos.
    In the name of continuing this great tradition, Mike Bachmann is the resident photographer, and has been so for the last few decades. He’s got a great eye and knack for the portrait. Take a look a the “Faces of 2011” gallery to see what I’m talking about. I am so inspired by all those faces that I made them the cover of the CaHiBo this year. It’s a great metaphor for what it takes to make a special summer at Highlands. I’d say it was the BEST summer in current memory. And instead of picking one photo or a few photos to try and capture that magic, we show each face, since each child brings their own special something to Camp. (disclaimer: We really tried our best to get every boy on there. We hope we got it right…?)
    And now, we are posting several hundreds of photos to the gallery on the website. Please email us for a password (for the safety of our campers, we don’t make the galleries public). A couple of my favorites are Mike B. with the intertube on the scooter, Matt Schaible in a cowboy hat with Stella and Evelyn from the “Texas Round Up” day, and a handful of great shots of *my* guys, Judah and Andy. Do you have a favorite? Let us know!
    Thinking ahead to 2012….will your face make the CaHiBo this year? We sure hope so! Until next time, fare thee well!    –Tracy B.