An exciting summer began at Tripp Lake Camp Friday morning with the growing sense of anticipation and Tripp Lake Camp spirit in the air! Administrators and counselors impatiently awaited camper arrival. A slow trickle of campers early in the day turned into a tidal wave of bodies and enthusiasm and by 4 PM– the family was back together! Whether they arrived by car, van, or bus, campers were greeted with smiling faces and hugs. For those new to Tripp Lake Camp, bunks were found and new friends made; for returning campers, each felt like they were home again.
The deafening roar of excited girls could be heard for miles as the Tripp Lake Camp counselors and campers joined all together for the first time in the dining hall and reveled in the traditional meal of chicken tenders, french fries, and s’mores bar for dinner.
Later, Friday Evening Services were held on the hill overlooking the lake and the counselors were introduced at the Opening Night Assembly in OTW.
The Tripp Lake Camp bubble has become official for Summer 2017. The things that are important now are sunshine, chimes, friends, and fun!
Changes, both small and large, are on the way this summer at Tripp Lake Camp. Campers were greeted with a remodeled and updated Health Center ready to keep TLC campers healthy and happy while other changes will reveal themselves as summer marches on.
Our blog will feature news from the day, thoughts from TLC alums working as counselors with other commentary from administrators, staff and campers. Stay tuned for updates on activities at TLC this summer; some traditional and others brand new. This summer will be one for the record books!
This is the time to remember cause it will not last forever. These are the days to hold on to…..Billy Joel
Dear Tripp Lake Families,
As this camp season is drawing to a close, we would like to share with you the thoughts from some of our campers. We still have precious hours to share together and campers and staff are making the most of every moment. It’s not over yet!
Dear Tripp Lake Bubble,
Thank you for giving me a feeling of protection against the chaos of the outside world. Every summer as I returned back to the Promised Land, I knew that there would be one thing that was always left unchanged. The bubble is truly a feeling. A feeling of warmth, security and utter happiness. Where there is no input or output of information, and no real connection with anyone but the people around you. Disconnecting from everything is hard to think about when you’re away from Tripp, but as I turned my phone off at the Westchester bus stop about to board the bus, the only thing I felt was relief. The feeling of the Tripp Lake Bubble has been my one place of refuge, and I will forever miss it.
All my TLC love,
Dear Tripp Lake Camp,
Thank you for all the opportunities you gave me. The opportunity to try out new activities and doing things that I would usually not do at home.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet such wonderful people and making me change into a better person every day.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to finally have the sisters that I never had and giving me a second home.
All my TLC love,
Dear Tripp Lake Traditions,
Thank you for making me feel a part of something bigger than myself. Traditions like sing song singing in OTW and Friday evening services involve every camper and connect them to generations of Tripp’s past. I can still remember my first sing song practice as a nervous but excited AJ and becoming one of those girls at the front leading it last year helped me realize the journey that I have gone through at Tripp that is now coming to a close. I have grown into a more confident and friendlier person over my seven years here. Every girl goes through this cycle and while the cycle itself never changes, the girl is changed forever.
Last night was Sing Song, one of the oldest and most loved traditions by Tripp Lakers. You know it’s a special event immediately because every staff member is formally dressed for the big event while campers wear their middies and team ties. The night begins with each big team member being hugged by the seniors on their team before entering OTW. All staff members line the walk way and offer them the best of luck. As campers enter OTW there is seriousness in the air and everyone is very silent, the only sound is the campers climbing the bleachers waiting for the performance to begin.
Sing Song is a competition between the four Big Teams. Each Team has to select songs in 5 categories: team, spiritual, folk, camp and traditional. There are five judges all with extensive experience in music and theater scoring the teams on response to the leader, musicality, originality (for team and camp which the campers write) and harmony. The night is magically transformed as the voices of each team fill the air.
The signing is over, the judges move to confidentially discuss their scores. It is a challenging task to select which Big Team will win this year’s event. ….and the winners were…the Cubs for overall including spiritual and folk songs. The Climbers and Giants tied for traditional and the Tigers won for team and camp songs. A great night was had by all.
Dear Tripp Lake Traditions,
Thank you for making me feel a part of something bigger than myself. Traditions like Sing Song singing in OTW and Friday evening services involve every camper and connect them to generations of Tripp’s past. I can still remember my first Sing Song practice as a nervous but excited AJ and becoming one of those girls at the front leading it last year helped me realize the journey that I have gone through at Tripp that is now coming to a close. I have grown into a more confident and friendlier person over my seven years here. Every girl goes through this cycle and while the cycle itself never changes, the girl is changed forever.
Each Friday during Friday Evening Services we can appreciate a simple fact; our campers are taking camp life seriously. All week, the Tripp Lakers are active, funny, shouting, being silly, goofy, wearing hysterically funny team gear, laughing, cheering; in general, having a blast with their friends. Then comes Friday Evening Service. As the special bell rings, you can see people coming from all over camp to sit on the hill and partake in this service of reverence and respect. It is here and at this time that the TL Ladies and staff transform into serious, focused, reflective individuals who are grateful for their time at Tripp. Below you will read how the 1ABers compared dictionary meanings to the meanings in their hearts. We know you will enjoy reading this as much as we did hearing them.
Home (noun): An apartment, house or shelter usually housing a family or unit.
Home:Something Tripp has provided me with for the past seven years. For all these Summers, I have felt comfort in turning onto Tripp Lake Camp Road because I know that I am returning home. Even though I am not blood related to anyone at camp, I have never felt a greater sense of family and security in my entire life as I have here. Alex
Maine (noun):A state in the NE United States, on the Atlantic Coast; 33,215 square miles.
Maine:A place I was able to return to Summer after Summer. Even though it’s miles away from Glencoe, IL, I consider Poland, ME, my real home. It scares me to know that I won’t be able to return to this beautiful state I’ve grown so close to anytime soon. The pine trees, lakes and mountains have provided me with an escape from the busy and high pressure lifestyle we all lead. I appreciate all of the trips we are lucky enough to go on around Maine to connect to this state even more. Never in my life would I be going on a hike to Mount Pleasant, but because I’ve had that experience I have a much greater appreciation for the place I’ve been fortunate enough to call home for the last seven years. Hillary
Camp (noun): A place in the country for recreation or instruction often during the summer.
Camp:Is much more than that. It’s the walks around campus, the cheering in the dining hall, the laughs shared with your friends and the smiles during cookie line. It cannot be defined in a dictionary. Camp is a feeling and that feeling is un-explainable. Alexa
Time (noun):Indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.
Time: What makes camp so special but makes it so hard to leave. Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days here. It’s what we cry over and would do anything to control. The more time I spend here the more I learn how much I need to cherish it. The 49 out of 365 days that I spend here mean more to me than any other day I’ve spent anywhere else and the fact that time is so limited is what makes each moment so precious. With almost nine years behind me and two weeks ahead, I couldn’t be more thankful but I wish I could have just a little more time. Caleigh
Friendship (noun):The state of being friends.
Friendship:It’s not just that. They don’t lie when they say ‘your friends here at Tripp Lake are special and dear.’ Friendships formed here are the ones I hold closest to my heart. Even though I only see my camp friends for two months of the year, I still consider my relationships with them the strongest, and no matter how much time has gone by without seeing them, we can always pick up right where we left off. In my last two weeks of camp, I must cherish the time that we have together in this sacred place, but I know my friendships with my eighteen best friends will never die. Pierce
Love (noun):A feeling of strong of constant affection for a person.
Love: In this case, it is not only the people who surround me, but the place. While at Tripp Lake, I feel loved by everyone around me. Admin, counselors, campers, 1AB. In all my nine years in this beautiful place, I have never felt more attached to the people and surroundings because of the love that is provided and shown within this bubble. Now, realizing that there are only 14 days left, I have to unattached myself from this comfort zone. I love walking up from the tennis courts up to cookie line with my best friends. I love cheering on all of my fellow campers in swim meets. Although in just the blink of an eye, these experiences will become memories, the love for my eighteen sisters and Tripp Lake Camp itself will never be forgotten. Caroline
Early, very early this morning a large group of Inter III campers and older headed for the waterfront to participate in the 2016 “swim across the lake”. This long standing tradition had campers awakening to brave the morning waters and head for the ‘other’ shore about 1/2 mile from Camp. It was exciting to see the faces that looked so sleepy heading to the lake, come alive with big smiles as they jumped in. These pictures say it all!
I think all of us would agree that having a sense of community is important in many ways. Community brings people together; it makes people feel they belong to something bigger than themselves. It allows people to accomplish things that that could not happen without a community. It allows us to be ourselves!
These past few days have shown us a very special TLC community, one in which the parents and grand parents have shared with all of us the magic of the Promised Land. Thank you for attending our Visiting Day!
Dear Community of Tripp Lake Camp,
Thank you for being the driving force in my trans-formative TLC experience and for allowing me to become the person I am. Thank you for picking me up when I’m down, for cheering me on at team games and for greeting me with hugs after every last spelling bee. You all have the power to bring me back to my truest self and purest happiness with a single text in the dead of winter and to make my day with a wave on the sidewalk.
Thank you counselors for being the role models I need and thank you admin for your endless smiles. Thank you juniors for reminding me of where I came from and thank you seniors for being with me every step of the way.
As Visiting Day draws near we’d like to share with you a few important details. Hilary’s reading during our Friday Evening Service sums up the sentiments of our campers and below you will find a few reminders to make the most of our Visiting Day!
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you for the gift that forever will impact me. Without you guys I would have never been able to grow into myself or become the confident person I am today. By you guys providing me with Tripp Lake, I have been provided with a place and group of people who will never judge or think twice when I try to sing or play any sport. I am grateful for the gift that I am able to carry with me wherever or whenever. It might have been hard seeing me walk through the gates at O’Hare each year, but when you were there to meet me two months later, I was changed for the better.
All my TLC love,
Dear Visiting Day Parents,
We look forward to your upcoming visit! Our visiting days are Friday, July 22nd and Saturday, July 23rd. The day will begin at 9:00AM and end at 5:00PM. We will serve a special luncheon in honor of the occasion.
For your convenience, for driving directions to camp via your GPS use 132 Tripp Lake Camp Road, Poland, Maine.
A few special notes…
VISITOR INFORMATION: If you are interested in information about things to do in Portland, you can call the VISITORS INFORMATION CENTER at 207-772-5800. They will be happy to send you a guide of accommodations, attractions, and restaurants in the Portland area. You may also visit their web site at www.visitportland.com or for more general information about Maine visit www.visitmaine.com.
TREATS: We appeal to your sense of “fair play” and ask that you please be reasonable with the candy and other treats you bring to camp on visiting day. Keep in mind that whatever you bring is multiplied by five or six others in the bunk. Your daughter will be told in advance that we will let her keep only a very small portion of the snacks to share with all her bunkmates for that evening. The biggest concern we have about the food brought into camp on visiting day is for campers and counselors who have severe allergic reactions to certain food products. When preparing for visiting day we request that you do not bring products that include peanuts, sesame and tree nuts. We will collect the left-over food after parents’ visiting day and donate it to a local food bank. Please help us eliminate the disappointment when the food is collected. We hope that you will reinforce the importance of following rules.
BUNK GIFTS AND CLOTHING: Please do not bring bunk gifts or bunk clothing for the campers in your daughter’s bunk. The resulting competition can cause unhappiness and resentment. This kind of competition is absolutely not in keeping with the values, spirit and traditions of Tripp Lake Camp. Gifts will be donated to a local charity.
PROJECT PINK: We will be selling pink TLC pins for $20.00 that have been generously donated. All proceeds will benefit The Tutu Project. We hope you will support this worthy project to benefit breast cancer patients that do not have medical insurance.
“Dunk you kicks” for the MAX CURE FOUNDATION: Don’t throw away your old sneakers! Bring them to Visiting Day and donate them to a worthy cause! Help us fill up a canoe by “Dunking Your Kicks” at Tripp Lake Camp in support of children with cancer.
SAYING GOODBYE: Please help us at the end of visiting day and say goodbye to your daughter at the Team Trees not at her bunk. Nancy, Janet, the entire staff and I will be at the Team Trees to help with the transition after you leave camp.
GRANDPARENTS: We appreciate our parents informing visiting grandparents of our policies before their visit.
We want visiting day to be special because of the quality time you and your daughter will spend together. Please help us maintain the high standards for which we strive in everything we do. Please don’t hesitate to call if we can be of any assistance in helping you plan your trip. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Best Friends Since We Were 10…Tripp Lake Sisters Forever
Dear Tripp Lake Families,
We couldn’t resist sharing this wonderful story!
I’m a legacy girl. Yep, my grandmother, Helen Levy Fluegelman started camp around 1920 and was Climber Captain. (See photo and look for two girls sitting and facing each other, one is Helen and the other is her sister.) Then, my mom, Joan Fluegelman Wexler went to camp from 1942-48 and was Cub Captain. (I am holding her shield in the lodge.)
I attended TLC from 1965-1971 and was Giant Song Leader and then Tiger Captain. Those are just the dates and facts. The rest is memory and what has stuck with me, over all of these years. (I am in the Team photo on the far left dressed as a Tiger.)
I’m still best friends with Margie Robinson Williams, (see photo above taken last week at Tripp). We met at camp when we were 10 years old and we just visited camp together a week ago. It was such an amazing day. We got to meet so many girls, and they all wanted to know, “Has camp changed? Is this the way it was when you were here?” Girls greeted us everywhere: in the Silver shop, at a Tigers’ song practice (we were cheered!), at cookie line (Sugar), and we were invited to see the beginnings of the Team Feast backdrops (our lips are sealed).
Everywhere we went, everyone was smiling, hugging, giggling, hanging out together, and it made me instantly remember what it felt like to BE at camp. I can remember laughing about dozens of different things every day. I can remember riding/swimming/practicing for Sing Song/playing tennis and doing it all with friends, all day long. I can remember hanging out in our bunks and wrapping our hair in orange juice cans with Dippity-Do. I can remember listening to Carol King (Tapestry) and James Taylor (You’ve Got a Friend) in Kitty Car, the summer they came out, and singing along at the tops of our lungs. I can remember all of the personal and oh-so-important stories that I shared with girls who knew so much about me, and about whom I knew so much.
And, in the beginning of each summer, didn’t summer seem endless?
In all of the years since, I have known how much camp has meant to me. But, it wasn’t until I went back to camp that it all came flooding back and I could place so many wonderful memories. “For you girls belong to Tripp Lake and Tripp Lake belongs to you.” I really do know the meaning of this song. Laurie Wexler Stolowitz
…..Remember the friends you’ve made here, and don’t forget to come back someday….Remember
Dear Tripp Lake Families,
Camp has always been a place where lifelong friendships are made. Campers arrive at camp as Juniors and may know only a few girls. Before long, campers will have made so many new friends it’s hard to count them all and by the time the season ends, the girls will know everyone!
Last weekend TLC was honored by having 3 groups of alumni come back ‘home’ to Tripp. Each of the groups had planned to come together and reconnect with their Tripp sisters. Each group 2010, 2013 and 1971 had a great day and were very happy to see that traditions had not changed. We had two Tiger Captains who in talking found out they were both Tiger Captains; 1971 and 2010! While there has been upgrades done to some of the buildings and bunks since they were here, the cornerstones of what makes Tripp such a special place are still all in place. The Teams, the Shields, Friday Evening Service, Sing Song, the songs, bunk bonding, the sports, art shops, the horses, etc. and even cookie line all brought familiarity and comfort to our Alumni that Tripp is still the same special place to make friends, learn new things and be your best self!
…For you girls belong to Tripp Lake and Tripp Lake belongs to you.
“Like branches on a tree we grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one. Each of our lives will always be a special part of the other.”– Unknown
Dear Tripp Lake Families,
A long standing tradition at Tripp is brother and sister days. No one can remember a time when we didn’t have this special day. When we see siblings running towards each other and hugging like they haven’t seen each other in months (it was just last week), it brings a smile to our face and a warmth to our hearts. To see them sitting and talking, listening to each other, laughing, sharing stories…these are the moments that make memories and will last a life time. Thank you Mom and Dad!