Dear Chippies, Parents, Family and Friends,
Week One at #TheRanch2022 is officially complete, and if this is any indication of what the remaining seven will look like, we are in for THE BEST SUMMER EVER! Sundays are always special at Chippewa, and today lived up to all the Sunday hype! So here’s how it all went down…
At 8am, Cliff, Lisa, Sophie, Ruth and myself headed into the kitchen to prepare for our very famous Sunday morning breakfast. By 8am, there was already a huge crowd waiting outside in anticipation. First call was at 8:30am, and from that time until 10:30am, we were feeding the camp some very delicious breakfast (if I do say so myself :)). Lisa made her incredible pancakes with the very best ingredient options, Cliff made his spectacular omelets which feature a crispy cheese crust, Ruth made her special- a caramel apple pancake, and I made my traditional scrambles!
After breakfast, we all got ready to load the buses and head to Minocqua for Town Day! The excitement was palpable as we have been waiting since July of 2019 to infiltrate the town, streets, restaurants and stores of Minocqua as a camp. Our couple of hours in town lived up to the excitement! Campers happily ate pizza, sushi, sandwiches, ice cream and fudge from all of the Minocqua favorites and they visited stores to buy putty, boxer shorts, and other various items. Campers and staff alike were just content, carefree and enjoying life for a few hours outside of camp together. Needless to say, first session Town Day 2022 was a huge success!
Upon returning to camp, cabins did a very cool Chippewa Compass bonding activity. They went through the four main directions on our compass (Kindness, Confidence, Fortitude and Integrity), discussed their meaning, and what those values/characteristics look like at camp. I loved hearing from counselors about what their campers had to say…there were so many unique perspectives and interesting takes on our compass, and I am confident after listening to the staff describe the conversations in their cabins, that our campers have a very deep understanding of what Chippewa stands for, and what is important to our community.
And then, following our traditional Sunday Night Pizza Dinner, we had our very first Tan & White game of the summer…Barnyard Bedlam! Campers dressed in silly costumes (some were very creative), and spread across the South Field as the Sachems of each team collected erasers that their teammates were hovering over. From an outsider’s view, I imagine this game would look incredibly weird and chaotic. But for those living within the Chippewa gates, it made perfect sense…campers knew where to go, what to sing and how to play. It was awesome! After the game, as the Tans & Whites cheered at the Center Fire Circle awaiting the results of the game, the Neutrals went into hiding to count and weigh the erasers that each team had collected. I was there to witness it, and the craziest thing happened…something that I don’t remember happening in all my years at Chippewa…it was a tie! The Tan and White teams had collected the exact same number of erasers AND they weighed the exact same amount. I couldn’t believe it, and the Neutrals couldn’t either. When this was announced, campers were stunned! After the initial shock, both teams sang the other’s song in a show of sportsmanship, and hugs were given to friends on the other team.
So that was our day at CRC…it was eventful but just the right amount of busy. And like most other days at camp, this one was a reminder of how truly magical this place is. As I watched campers walk through town hand in hand, smiling in a relaxed way that I don’t often see from young people at home, I couldn’t help but think about what these girls will mean to each other forever. These experiences that the Chippewa campers are sharing seem miniscule now…I know that they aren’t thinking much beyond being happy in this moment. But I have had the privilege of going through it, and I know the significance of Chippewa friends throughout adulthood. While many things have changed at CRC- from activities being added to programs being tweaked, and from youngest campers being in Blackfoot to youngest campers being in Rafter, and from Sunday morning coffee cake to Sunday morning omelets, there are plenty of transformations that Chippewa has gone through. But one of the things that I am absolutely positive has remained the same is that campers who live for months together at Chippewa create a bond that is unbreakable, one that unites them for life…they will know one another like family, they will know each other’s truest selves, and they will love one another in just that way…forever- it’s just that type of thing.
Okay, I’m clearly getting old…I can’t help but deviate from the details of our day to share the beneath the surface stuff. But there you have it- that was our day at CRC. And that was my assessment of how special it all is. Thanks for reading- have a great night!
Happy Camping and Love,