You are most likely aware that prior to your daughter’s arrival in Maine, our bunk and activity counselors spend a week (or in some cases, two weeks) preparing for the summer season. They create lesson plans, completely unpack duffels, and manage to keep their heads above water while we inundate them with notices about routines, schedules, expectations, and trips. Yet I find that the most impactful pre-camp experience comes from our ‘Day in the Life’ simulation. Mirroring the structure of our day from reveille to taps, we take on the roles of both camper and counselor to provide staff with a sense of what it means to be a Tripp Laker. As we cap off an exciting and fun-filled first week here in the Promised Land, I’m here to do the same thing for you. I want the letters you’ve received and the pictures you’ve scoured on the website to come alive and tell a complete story.
On any given day, your daughter wakes up alongside her bunkmates, shivering slightly from the cool Maine air that accompanies the early morning hours. Bleary-eyed from a night of bunk laughter and sometimes cabin hopping (!), she heads to the dining hall for breakfast. After a quick clean up, her day really begins to take off. Perhaps she’s on her way to the art shops to complete her animal figurine in pottery. Maybe she’s repeating her lines under her breath before auditioning for a lead role in the age group musical. It’s possible that her age group drew the ‘short stick,’ and during first period, the chill of the lake eagerly awaits her jumping in and practicing her strokes. Later, a quick pit stop under the trees allows her a chance to catch her breath and inhale the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. She’s off again shortly thereafter, potentially heading to the gymnastic beams in Cliff House to practice her side balance. The morning concludes, and she’s reunited with her bunkmate at the lunch table to catch up on the day. Following an only-slightly-restful Rest Hour, she sets off again. Her cleats pound the grass as field hockey drills ensue. She counts down from three in her head before swinging a tennis serve. She giggles while navigating the balance on her stand up paddle board. As she walks up the long and winding hill back to the bunk, she socializes with the girls in her age group to figure out their most opportune Free Period activity. There’s time for popping over to photography real quick before they shower…right?
If I may let you in on a little secret, the above sequence… was yesterday’s schedule! Described to a tee, I witnessed this exact day unfold across the age levels. These girls are kept busy, bonding with their friends new and old, building new skill sets and embracing new experiences, and having a ton of fun along the way. Now, many of these program options are familiar camp tropes. Camps teach waterski, soccer, and dance. Campers live in bunks with counselors. However, what sets OUR “Day in the Life’ apart is the breakfast interruptus when our four big team leaders shouted the names of every girl in camp at the top of her lungs, inviting them to become a member of the Cubs, Giants, Climbers, or Tigers. It’s the crouching down of a counselor to fix the skewed shoelace of that first year camper and locating her drawstring backpack. It’s the way girls feel free to shake their booty alongside their field hockey counselor in celebration of a drill competition victory. Though I can try my best to describe what it means to be a Tripp Laker, I also know in the back of my mind (and in your daughter’s mind), that it’s a feeling, that warm, safe, TenderLoveandCare kind of feeling, that makes the day great.