“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – C.S. Lewis, Poet
Day 38: Hakuna Matata!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, BUT today was the final Trip Day for Tripp Lake Camp. *Pause for sad sighs* I know, I know, but rest assured, the girls had a fantastic time. Juniors went to the amusement park, Storyland–in White Mountains, NH–where they rode the infamous Polar Coaster and Bamboo Chutes. The AJs, Subs, and Inter III’s splash-splashed on waterslides at Splashdown in Saco, ME. Inter II’s went to the adjacent amusement park, Funtown, to ride the wooden rollercoaster, Excalibur, and Thunder Falls Log Flume. The Inter I’s relaxed at Wells Beach for a couple of hours before hitting up Ogunquit for some light tourist shopping. Finally, the Seniors stayed on campus to prepare for upcoming Team Feast festivities. For those unfamiliar with Team Feast, no worries, we will be talking about this time honored special event when it happens in the near future.
After everyone returned safely home and enjoyed pizza cookout, we gathered in Over The Wall for the AJs’ wonderful performance of Lion King, Jr. They performed such well-known musical numbers, as “I Can’t Wait To Be King,” and “Hakuna Matata.” Everyone was impressed with their level of commitment and performance. The AJs added yet another wonderful show into the long, rich OTW history books.
Side note: As I walked around Tripp tonight, I decided to take a moment to watch the sun slowly set behind the trees on the softball field. I sat there quietly and waited until the sun completely disappeared. It is in those types of moments when one knows they’re in the presence of something much bigger than themselves and the hair on your arms stand up.
I snapped a photo to share with you. As you look at it, imagine hearing Taps playing over the loudspeaker, as the bunks begin to settle down with their counselors for the night.
(click on any of the images above for a higher resolution copy)
“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.” – Charles Swindoll, Author/Educator
Day 37: Never Say Goodbye
Those of us that have spend a summer in the Promised Land know the final couple of weeks of Tripp Lake Camp carry with it a full calendar of special events. The past couple of days are perfect examples of this.
Last night, we honored the oldest girls at the annual event known as Senior Party. It’s an evening occasion, where Senior I’s & II’s get dressed up and are served dinner in Cliff House, which is decorated with fairy lights, colored table cloths, and themed centerpieces. Leslie Levy hosted the dinner, along with other Admin Staff, and five non-Senior bunk counselors, who are invited by the Senior II’s. As a gesture of goodwill and thanks, the invitees and Senior bunk counselors present speeches to the Seniors, who take this moment to collectively reflect on their time at Tripp Lake Camp. This year, the two 1AB counselors, Terri Harrington & Kimberly Summerfield, presented two “movie trailers” as one part of their video gift to their girls. We have uploaded them for your enjoyment below:
There were tears, laughter, and hugs all in name of love for the people we’ve come to bond with at this small patch of land we endearingly call home. The night ended with everyone gathering in a circle, linking hands–right over left–and singing the five traditional songs. Anyone who has ever attended this event can attest to it’s importance and special meaning.
Today also marked the 3rd and final Swim Meet of the season, as well as Big Team Canoe Races. The Canoe Races consisted of action-packed relay races between the Climbers, Cubbies, Tigers, and Giants. To get into the spirit of the races, each team decorated their canoes using balloons and flags. Some races include:
“Life’s like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca ,Roman philosopher/dramatist
Day 35: Home is wherever I’m with you
Today’s Daily Blog title is inspired by a wonderful little song by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros simply called, Home. The reason why it’s quoted is two-fold:
1) Tripp Lake Camp had a number of alumnae–spanning a number of generations–come visit us today. It only reminded us that Tripp Lake Camp still carries a kindred connection with those that had spend their childhood in The Promised Land. There’s something that keeps pulling us back, and in some unexplainable way, erases the time in-between when we had last said goodbye, to when we return to visit years later. Tripp is truly a home away from home steeped in cherished memories and moments easily triggered by the sight of Team Trees, OTW, and Kitty Car.
2) Also, the title gives a subtle shout-out to the girls of 1AB 2014, who also visited by the busload–literally. They came by to “jump shake their booties,” enjoy Cookie Line, cheer in the Dining Hall at lunch, and hear Sing-Song rehearsal. In 2014, a handful of these 1AB 2014 girls did a wonderful cover of the song, Home, at OG-NOG. I’ve included an audio link to their cover below, you may click on and enjoy.
Tonight, the Subs did their best “throwback” performance of Grease in Over The Wall. There was plenty of hand jives and Grease Lightning to go around. Their energy level was tip-top as they put on dance number after dance number.
Our night wrapped up with a special treat for all of Tripp Lake Camp. In celebration of our 105th year, TLC put on a 20 minute fireworks display. Just imagine brightly exploding lights showering the clear night sky over Tripp Lake, as a bright orange harvest moon slowly rises over the pine tree-filled horizon.
“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”
-Kahlil Gibran, Artist
Day 34: The Little & Big Things That Matter
Today, Tripp Lake Camp was another full day of activities, complete with sports mini-camps kicking off in Soccer, Volleyball, Field Hockey, and Tennis. Inter I’s & Seniors sign up for these mini-camps to skill build and sharpen their techniques for the sports they plan on playing once they’re back at school. The Inter II’s returned from their overnight rafting trip, marking the end to another safe Long Trip Week.
But, it was our Friday Evening Service which became the true centerpiece of the day. Once again, campers & counselors gathered at Top of the Hill overlooking Kitty Car, Baffie’s Garden, and Tripp Lake. The Juniors & AJs sang a heartwarming rendition of Rainbow Connection, followed by two speeches; one given by seven Senior II’s (pictured below), and our lovely swim counselor, Megan Watson. The TLC Daily Blog has included a near full audio of today’s Friday Evening Service below. Click on each link below to listen:
The Juniors & AJs sing Rainbow Connection. Prepare for your to heart melt.
Senior IIs’ Alex, Jess, Aerin, Maggie, Jessica, Allie, & Joely talk about “real world” moments , which immediately remind them of camp. Anyone who has spent a good amount of their summers at Tripp Lake Camp can easily identify with this.
Finally, I would like to close out today’s blog with a gorgeous–and I mean absolutely gorgeous–photo taken by Inter I camper, Maddy. Last night, a full moon hung in the night sky, and it lit up campus. If you look hard enough, I swear you can hear crickets chirping and the creaking of bunk doors.
(click on the picture to see a larger resolution image)
“Individually we are one drop, but together, we are an ocean.”
– Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese Writer
Day 33: Jocko’s Jamboree!
Before we tell you about today’s special event here at Tripp Lake Camp, you may be asking, “What exactly is a ‘Jocko’?” In the most simplest terms, “Jocko” was the nickname given to our Director, Leslie, when she was a Tripp Lake camper. The follow-up question you may be asking yourself is, “…so what do you mean by ‘Jamboree’?” Well, it’s a surprise event that happens after Rest Hour with the Juniors through Subs. It involves a themed day of fun relay races, activities, and of course, ice cream.
Excited young campers gathered at the Head of Campus in order to find out the 2015 theme and teams. This year’s theme: TLC Toy box! Counselors dressed up as team mascots to lead campers in teams such as Candyland, Barbie, Monopoly, Legos, Cabbage Patch Kids, Mr. Potato Head, Furby, Raggedy Ann, American Girl Dolls, Monster High Dolls, Littlest Pet Shop, and Bitty Babies. After some fun cheers, everyone moved down at the Little Soccer Field, where campers played such skill-challenging relay races as the classic Spoon & Egg Race, 3-Legged Race, Water Balloon Toss, Sponge & Bucket Race, Quick Dress Relay, etc. The races were close and intense, glory was snatched, and “victory” was tasted….and by “victory” I mean everyone was treated to ice cream at the end of it.
Finally, I wanted to share the beautiful photo below, taken by a camper. If you’ve ever gone to Tripp Lake Camp, you know this scene all too well. It’s was taken from the middle of Campus towards Senior Row, as the sun began to set over the trees.
“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.”
George S. Patton, U.S. General
Day 32: Pink, Blue, Yellow & Green
Four words, people: Little. Team. Swim. Meet. The swim meet to end all swim meets went down at Tripp Lake Camp immediately following Rest Hour and included the Jollies, Laughers, Cheeries, and Smilies. The younger campers were beyond excited to participate in swim relay races, which included the use of PFDs, swimming noodles, and whipped cream.
To attempt to describe the intensity of such an event is a fool’s errand, so I present to you an exclusive TLC Daily Blog video to give you a sneak peek into all the madness that was The Little Team Swim Meet.
Warning: Before you click on the video below, you may want to turn the volume up and buckle yourself in because things are about to get R-O-W-D-Y!
“These are a few of my favorite things…” – Julie Andrews, Sound of Music
Day 31: The Littlest Birds Sing The Prettiest Songs
Attention! Attention! Junior Special Day came to Tripp Lake Camp! What exactly does that entail? Well, after Rest Hour, an announcement went out over the PA calling all Juniors to meet at the Spahn House steps. Their collective squeals of excitement could be immediately heard from campus. Due to a thunderstorm watch, Junior Special Day was held in our activity space at Under The Dining Hall. The weather didn’t take away form the fun as Juniors played Twister, made friendship bracelets, took fun photos, made candy art, and played a water balloon game.
Click on the video short below–recorded exclusively for the TLC Daily Blog– and enjoy:
Finally, the latest edition of the camper-created TLC Times was published yesterday. We here at the TLC Daily Blog wanted to share a particular article simply called, “What We Love About Tripp Lake.” Here, younger campers in different age groups tell us the reasons why Tripp Lake is so special to them:
“Tripp Lake is special because it’s a place where memories are formed. You make new friends, and get to spend time with them. At Tripp, you get to try new activities and improve on them. You might find your new passion, or new best friends. Every day you learn something new. I love Tripp Lake because it helped me discover who I am. TLC is a place like no other.” – Sadie, Sub
“I love it when you find out your team; your heart starts beating with excitement and you scream and shout when you hear the Captain read out your name. When they are finished, you go to your Team Tree and begin learning cheers.” – Carly, Junior
“One thing I really love about Tripp Lake are the team games. I love dressing up in crazy team clothes. I also really like yelling team cheers across the field. Even if you lose, your team will still cheer you on. I have a lot of special memories from team games.” – Hannah, AJ
“Who cares about the clouds when we’re together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.” –
Dale Evans, American writer, film star and singer-songwriter.
Day 30: Life’s A Happy Song, When There’s Someone By Your Side You Sing Along
Sunday was met with nearly a whole day of rain. It is as if the clouds “held their collective breath” over Parents Visiting Day Weekend (see previous post), only to then release all their rain the following day. Not to fear, Long Trips for Inter Is, Senior Is, and Senior IIs still departed in the morning and are all dry, safe, and sound.
Even with half the camp out exploring Maine, Tripp Lake Camp still has quite a good amount of energy coming from the Juniors, AJs, Subs, Inter III’s, and Inter II’s. The Dining Hall cheers are still just as loud, while all camp activities are running at full steam.
Today, I was assigned to supervise the Inter III’s at the Gaga court as their 5th period activity, but something, which I consider quintessential camp , organically sprung up out of nowhere; we started singing. More specifically, we started conversing about their recent age group play, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I was reminiscing about how the counselors did that same play in 2006. We compared roles–which counselors played which characters–and our favorite songs from the musical. Suddenly they started singing, and at times, recreating their choreography. As they belted out songs, passing people would occasionally pop their heads out of their respective activities and smile in approval. It was just pure joy.
I tried my best to record the moment (click on the links below), though I know it doesn’t quite capture the build up, energy, or magic of the moment. Believe me when I say, it was one of those great life affirming camp moments that remind us why a place like Tripp Lake Camp needs to exist.
If you’re a fan of children singing, click on the audio links below and enjoy:
“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull, Governor of Arizona
Day 28: Visiting Day & Long Trip Week
Today marked the second and final day of Parents Visiting Day here at Tripp Lake Camp. Parents and loved ones reunited upon the hallowed grounds of Poland, Maine. The weather–though mostly overcast with gray clouds– thankfully stayed dry, which made for an enjoyable Saturday.
Families came decked out in Big & Little Team colors and casually toured their camper’s activities. Girls were given the opportunity to showcase their talents on the tennis courts,waterfront, sing from their respective musicals in OTW, as well as their artistic creations in the Art Shops, to name a few.
Below, alumnae visiting TLC on Saturday gathered at Baffie’s Garden to take a group photo. The TLC Daily Blog was there to capture this wonderful gathering, which connected the many generations in our Tripp Lake Family.
For 1AB, Visiting Day is a bittersweet event. On one hand, they’re excited to share their camp experience with their parents, grandparents, and siblings. On the other hand, at the end of the day, the goodbyes Under The Trees become extremely difficult and tear-filled. To quote a 1ABer, “It’s the beginning of the end.” Hyperbole aside, Parents Visiting Day marks the halfway point through their ultimate summer and awakens the realization camp will be ending in three weeks. To come to terms with this fact can be difficult, but not to worry, they know never to take a single moment in the Promised Land for granted. Terms such as “last summer,” “..when camp ends,” or “when you go home,” seem harmless to most, but for these older girls spending their final summer at Tripp, those terms come heavy hearted.
But not to worry, because any Visiting Day tears were quickly dried. After dinner, the Long Trip Snake Dance took place in the middle of campus. This fun tradition revealed which counselors would be escorting the Inter II’s rafting, Inter I’s to Camden, Senior I’s to Bar Harbor, and Senior II’s to Quebec for the upcoming Long Trip Week which begin tomorrow. In addition, the whole camp gathered in front of Cliff House for a huge princess themed DJ’ed dance party.
TLC would like to extend a big thank you to all our visitors for making the trip up to spend the weekend with us. We greatly enjoyed your company. 🙂
“A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to ‘become.’ It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream.” – Brad Wilcox, Author
Day 27: 1AB Journaling
The TLC Daily Blog had the pleasure to speak with Kaley, a Senior II. We sat down with Kaley–once under the Climbers’ Team Tree, and then later on the steps of Mahony Manor–to talk about why journaling has become such a necessary tradition for the girls of 1AB.
There’s more to this story though; Kaley is taking journaling to a whole new and interesting level. Sure, she’s recounting her days’ highlights, but instead of recording them in a standard written journal, she’s composing them into letters, to which she then mails to her home address everyday! So why would she do this?
Click on the audio interview below with Kaley, who talks about the importance of camp journaling as a whole, as well as her unique summer writing project and what it means to her.
Finally, Barrie Schneiderman, a five-year TLC counselor and former camper, spoke at tonight’s Friday Evening Services. Her topic of reflection? Finding true friendship in the least of likely people. Click on the audio link below to hear her speech: