Dear Tripp Lake Families,
We are off to a great start for Summer 2016! Starting with a new addition to the Tripp Lake birthday song written by 1A-B sung this morning at assembly.
You would be very proud of the girls as they successfully swam the rectangles and tips-and-dumps. Their smiles were as big as they are at cookie line!
The highlight of today has to be the Return of the Shield, which the girls have been prepping for since last night! The shield will be displayed in the lodge, in keeping with one of our most important traditions. After this event, we will be singing our traditional songs around the flag pole.
What an exciting day! All the buses are in and the campers are here! Even after 17 years as Director, I still feel the same excitement and awe on arrival day as I did when I was a TLC camper and counselor. To see the girls, even new campers, get off the buses and meet their TLC sisters with hugs and cheers is always a great way to kick off the summer. It is so much fun for everyone here to see how excited the girls are to see each other at camp. Meeting at camp on the first day is different than meeting anywhere else…that classic jump up and hug each other while feeling the happiness is a TLC favorite for campers and staff.
I know the memories and friendships made at TLC will last a life time!
The girls are already talking about Captain Elections and Big and Little Team Announcements! These activities will take place in a few days so stay tune for more news from Tripp Lake Camp. Guess what was one of the first questions asked this morning? “What’s the cookie today for Cookie Line?” And as you all know, that is one of the TLC surprises every day!
What’s Happening at Tripp Lake Camp: 105th Anniversary Weekend
They are coming! Alumnae and mothers of current campers are spending the weekend in Poland, Maine. Generations of Climbers, Cubs, Giants, and Tigers are sharing their memories, songs, and cheers. The weekend is built around new and traditional activities. We started with three activity periods followed by Friday Evening Services and the Story of Tripp Lake. Wish Night on the beach was presented by the Inter II’s and wishes were read by campers from six different decades. Fireworks ended the day’s fun.
Saturday’s festivities started with assembly at the flagpole. After many nostalgic camp songs, announcements were given by Head Counselor Janet Nash and Camp Director Leslie Levy and a full camp picture was taken. The rest of the morning was filled with current campers and alumnae playing basketball, skiing with their friends, creating enamel necklaces, and swimming in Tripp Pond.
Even lightning could not keep the Tripp Lake spirit down. OG-NOG participants practiced all afternoon in Over the Wall. Songs, skits, and even a gymnastics routine were part of the fun. Thanks to our OG-NOG hosts and all others gracing the OTW stage once again.
As the weekend came to a close, we reflected on our time spent here in the Promised Land. How fortunate we are to sit with our friends under the trees, in the bunks, or around the table in the dining hall. Tripp Lake Camp is always in our hearts; our treasure to be shared with girls for years and years to come.
As camp comes to a close, we look back over the days we have spent together during Tripp Lake Camp’s 105th summer. The days passed quickly and events sped by at the speed of light.
Arrival Day. Meet the Counselors. Return of the Shield. Tips and Dumps. Seven Friday Evening Services. Ropes. Required Canoe. OG-NOG. Six Trip Days. Five Pajama Breakfast. Swim Trials. OC-NOC. 4th of July Ceremony. Four Brother-Sister Days. Rafting Trips. Intercamp Tennis. Seven Pizza Cookouts. Mike Turtle Soccer Clinic. Age Group Nights Out. Dance Parties. Six Interteam Tennis Tournaments. Three Swim Meets. Two Point Trips. Fitness with Beth. Senior Serving. Two Snake Dances. JR/SR Bingo. AJ/Inter I Kickball. Forty-eight Olympia Trips. Twenty-seven Kitchen Permissions. Seven Bunk Bondings. Three Camp Sunshine Trips. Seven Age Group Plays. Special Day. Big Team Archery. Little Team Archery. Spelling Bee. Intensive Tennis. Tired yet? We’re only halfway through the list. Intercamp Tennis. Seven Campfires. Takajo Carnival Brother/Sister Event. Super Duper Clean Up. Parent’s Visiting Days. Sibling Extended Stay. Seven BBQ Cookouts. Long Trips. Junior Special Trip in Camp. Little Team Swim Meet. Jocko’s Jamboree. Fourteen Letter Days. Soccer, Field Hockey, and Tennis Mini Camps. Rookie Weekend. Fireworks. Senior Party. Canoe Meet. Wish Night. Fun Trip Day. Good Shepherd Food Bank Trips. Sail Races. Swim Across the Lake. Little Team All Star Soccer. Sing Song. Dance Show. All Star Softball. Wacked Up Relay. Gym Show. Team Feast. Health Checks. 105th Anniversary Picture. Cake Cutting. Bunk Plaques. Brigadoon. Pajama Dinner. Art Show. Film Festival. Pancake Breakfast. Senior Takeover Day. Memory Night. Senior Serenade. Packing Day. Four White Caps. Shield Night. And these are only the big events. We also had 200 activity periods including swim, canoe, kayak, sail, ski, tennis, volleyball, riding, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, theatre, field hockey, softball, ropes, rocks, pottery, arts and crafts, TLC Times, fine arts, video, photo, silver, enamel, nature arts and crafts, gaga, newcomb, badminton, archery, and kickball. Up every morning by 8:00 AM (unless we are having a rare late breakfast). Morning cleanup with a daily inspection. Meals at 8:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 6:00 PM. Mail at 12:30 PM and TLC Times on Sunday.
When you read the list above, it seems insane. But all these events, and the hundreds of campers and counselors, make up this crazy, wonderful world of Tripp Lake Camp. We may be saying goodbye to Summer 2015, but we will remember it well and cannot wait until we are reunited again in the Promised Land. Until then…
“Note, please…” – Tripp Lake Camp Sing-Song Leaders
Day 40: Sit up straight and enunciate….
The girls were dressed in their traditional minis, with hair tightly braided, and team ties knotted: Sing-Song 2015 came to Tripp Lake Camp. There was a buzz in the air tonight, as all the hard work, practice, and community team effort forged together under the roof of OTW. The Senior I’s–who head the Sing-Song committees and are in charge of choosing & writing the songs performed–witnessed all their hard work come to fruition. To say tonight is an emotional night for any Senior is an understatement; tears were shed and hugs were exchanged. Before entering OTW, counselors, dress to the nines, applauded all the children’s hard work in anticipation for a beautiful performance.
Sing-Song asks each Big Team–Cubs, Tigers, Climbers, and Giants– to perform FIVE types of songs: Camp, Traditional, Team, Spiritual, and Folk. Their songs are then scored by our five esteemed Sing-Song judges: Janet Nash, Eric Bell, Liz Kahn,Barrie Schneiderman, and new addition, Stephanie Greenwald. After the performance, the judges are whisked away to discuss scores, song choices, craft, and song execution.
Tomorrow, The TLC Daily Blog will upload a song from each team to share with you. For now enjoy some of these photos:
As Sing-Song came to a close, the judges returned to announce a winner. The TLC Daily blog has decided to withhold the winning team name for now, because we feel tonight, the focus should be on the accomplishments and hard work displayed by ALL the Big Teams.
Tonight, they were all winners.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for another beautiful evening, girls; it was magical.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – David Henry Thoreau, Poet
Day 39: Wish Night
Tonight, the Inter II’s hosted Wish Night down at edge of Tripp Lake. Using photography as a metaphor, the Inter II’s talked about the journey many Tripp Lakers make as they progress from Junior to Senior, slowly gaining a stronger bond and love with camp.
The night is complimented by a roaring fire, as each age group–as well as each individual 1ABer–write a wish about camp and what they hope will carry forward for years to come. Each wish is read aloud for all to hear, and is then represented with a small candle that is gently nudged out from Tripp Lake’s shore.
It’s a wonderfully reflective night that is attended by both counselors and campers. You’re invited to watch the video below–exclusively made for the TLC Daily Blog–which captured some small moments from tonight’s heartfelt special event. Enjoy.
“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)