Owls and Raining Mosquitos (O.R.M.)

Tuesday, June 25 by Cliff Lissner

Hi all,

And so ends the first week of the 2013 season! Man, what a week it was. In my eleven summers at Chippewa I can genuinely say that this is the most spirited, enthusiastic and upbeat group of campers and staff that I have experienced. From Tan & White programming to campfires and stage performances, this has been an explosive start to the summer.

The weather has been on and off, but mostly on… like a faucet. It rained quite a bit during week one, but that has faded and now we are enjoying moisture in the form of humidity, which is blanketing (not hiding) the lovely late June heat. We have reacted by keeping the girls in the water and keeping plenty of water in the girls. The new water-bottle fillers have been a huge hit, and the water has never tasted better! What about the mosquitos? Our favorite skinny-legged pests. I want to keep this positive, so let me just say that we have never seen so many beautiful dragonflies around camp! The girls are welcoming these aggravating intruders with open arms… covered in bug spray ☺ Chippewa’s famous “Mosquito Club” is in full force and we are all sleeping with socks on our hands…

On a sweeter note, many campers had the opportunity to experience a visit from a much more welcomed guest. On Sunday at about 3:00pm a Barred Owl decided to hang out on a branch near the cabin of Trailriders (if it saw the state of their bathroom that day it would have perched somewhere else). The bird stayed there for most of the afternoon and allowed dozens of campers to gawk and take photos at stunningly close range. This is truly the essence of camp. A moment of appreciation that is so simple yet so complicated. I, like the campers, was endlessly fixated on this bird that was frankly giving us nothing. It didn’t move so much as a feather. Occasionally it blinked and cocked its head, but it was astonishingly boring and at the same time brilliantly exhilarating. We watched and watched as though at any moment it was going to put on a top-hat and tap shoes. Then… it was gone. After rocking our world it left us without so much as a hoot. The owl was gone but the experience was there to stay.

Friday night’s campfire was simply magical. I cannot think of another description. The format has changed slightly thanks to Lisa’s beautiful vision. The theme was centered on the subject of keeping things in perspective, and staff member Phoebe M. led the program flawlessly. The selected readers were great, and we were thrilled to re-introduce the Chippewa Camper Choir (formally the CRSingers). Conditions were perfect and we couldn’t have asked for a better first Friday Night Campfire.

Last week also brought our famous staff show, Big & Little Sister Night, a Horseshoe social, Tan & White Barn Yard Bedlam, Pirate night and our Camper Talent Show. Signup activities have been filling out our days beautifully, and the food has been fantastic. What more could we ask for? Plus there was that owl… did I mention that?

Stay tuned for more!
All best,