Camp Birchmont

A Birchmont 4th of July

by Laura Pierce

We’ve had a few beautiful Birchmont Bluebird days to kick off our holiday festivities today. Our smiles are not all about the sunshine though. Our smiles are about the feeling of being settled into a place we’ve been dreaming about all winter long, and we’re finally here! It’s a feeling returning campers know well, and new campers will get to experience for the first time. It’s fitting that as we celebrate Independence Day, as your children are celebrating some independence of their own.

The camp day is different from most days at home. We start each day with Reveille and end it with Taps, and do so many fun things in between. Some activities are scheduled and some are spontaneous; many are, “you had to be there moments,” that linger in the mind of a child and then dissipate into the breeze through the trees. At lunch today, the entire Dining Hall of girls broke into a rousing rendition of Kate Perry’s “Firework” with campers standing on benches, dressed in red, white and blue, getting excited for tonight’s races, make your own sundaes and fireworks! There was singing, there was clapping, there was joy at lunchtime.

We’ve gotten underway with our inter-camp competitions bringing home some impressive victories in these early summer days. Our 11 and Under Boys took 1st place in the Tecumseh Tennis Tournament and our 12 and Under Boys Baseball team had a 13-0 victory over Camp Winaukee, with many more inter-camp competitions scheduled for all age groups. We are looking forward to our annual Spirit Day this Saturday, where our girls will host our friendly rival Camp Kenwood /Evergreen here at home in every field and court sport, while our boys will be our road warriors and travel over to Kenwood to play on their home turf.

We are rehearsing for an inter-camp Dance competition, and lots of campers of every age are working to prepare their acts for our camper/counselor Variety Show! Whether you’re performing on stage or watching in the audience, its one of the most fun nights of camp.
We’ve begun our Special Events with Melissa (known to campers as Mo) trying out a new idea which involved a camp wide scavenger hunt for all of Girls Camp. The activity was perfect, just enough running around and just enough reward, with everyone getting cooled off by a cascade of water at the finish!

We have a few time honored traditions to open camp…Not every Birchmonter has a sibling at camp, and even if they do, it’s still welcoming to have a camp “Big Brother or Big Sister.” Together our girls made teddy bears with their Big Sisters, and each camper got to know each other better; its nice to have someone you hadn’t known before greet you in the Dining Hall and ask how you’re doing. As I walked through camp last week, I saw something I hadn’t seen in years, teams of croquet being played, with wickets and colored balls as boys of all different shapes and sizes had chosen a giant friendly game of croquet for their “Big Brother” activity. We opened camp with our traditional Firelight ceremony, a huge unifying campfire at which Greg and I speak along with a few other camp supervisors, group leaders and campers. Each of whom shared some thoughts, goals and camp memories to welcome everyone to this wonderful place, this second home, we call Birchmont.

From all of us at Birchmont, we wish all of you a terrific 4th of July.