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A Full House

Posted by on July 28, 2014

Camp is moving in all directions today. In main camp, our campers are experiencing the usual array of activities from archery to paintball and sailing. Saco and Baxter left this morning for 3-day trips, their challenge and their privilege as the oldest cabins in camp. Baxter will be paddling on Moosehead lake and visiting beautiful Mt. Kineo, along with other beaches and sites along the way. The Saco boys will be hiking up Tumbledown Mountain and passing through “Fat Man’s Misery,” a trail that takes the group through an opening in the rocks near the top that for about 3 feet is narrow enough to require crawling through on hands and knees. On the top, they’ll find a 360 degree view of the Kennebec river valley.

Meanwhile, we have guests in camp. The LDP’s from Brookwoods and Deer Run are visiting as part of their service week. They are here splitting wood in preparation for the long winter, and helping to develop our mountain bike trail system.

WILD 2 has now begun apprenticeship week and they are working and living among the campers of main camp. The have brought a special energy to everything they do here. This was especially evident yesterday during Mud Day, our series of games in and around a 15-foot mud pit!

WILD 1 comes off the trail shortly, and they are making their way along the Appalachian Trail toward Karatunk, ME, as we speak. Camp has a lot of moving parts this week, and we’re proud to say that all are operating safely, and having a great time together.

Color Wars

Posted by on July 25, 2014

How could it already be Friday? The days flew by since opening day, but the weekend is here. With it comes Color Wars: Our three-day series of games pitting the entire camp against itself in three separate teams: Blue, Yellow, and Red. Tonight’s game will be 3-way Trench Dodgeball. This is an experimental twist on an old camp favorite. Normally, Trench Dodgeball is played with the field divided in half, making space for two teams. In this new variation, the field is divided in three, in a peace-sign shape, allowing for three teams to compete simultaneously!

After games, the group will return to Moose Hall for some singing and for the evening Bible Study. This summer we have been studying the Apostle Paul. Night after night, we have followed his long journeys down Roman roads, his dramatic escapes from shipwrecks and angry crowds, and his passionate pleas for the world to see that Jesus loves them, and died to save them. He is certainly a dynamic character, and the study has been a joy to prepare and participate in.

This weekend marks the end of trip season for WILD, and both WILD groups are enjoying their final days on the trail together. By the time this blog is updated again, WILD 2 will have begun their apprenticeship week in main camp, and WILD 1 will be spending their last night on the Appalachian Trail.

The weather continues to cooperate, with only one day of rain so far in this session. We are blessed to be a camp, blessed to be with friends, and blessed to be outside in a place as beautiful as this. Check in again on Monday for more updates.

Great Times, Rain or Shine

Posted by on July 24, 2014

Not even the rain could slow camp down yesterday. Campers enjoyed learning how to crochet in crafts, shredding the waves behind the boat, and practicing their best Robin Hood impressions in archery. Today, the sun is out in full-force and campers are thankful for the sunshine in their faces as they learn to cook over a fire, paddle around the lake, or scale the climbing wall. Because campers get to choose new activities each day at breakfast, they enjoy ample opportunities to try new activities and acquire new skills, as well as hone old favorites.

Tonight’s game is a remake of an old arcade favorite: skiball. At MRO, it’s Extreme Skiball. Campers throw balls, hulahoops, pool noodles, and frisbees across the field, where their teammates are waiting to catch them. Points are dependent on which zone objects are thrown into. As you may guess, a madhouse of fun ensues.

Pamola, the youngest girl’s cabin, headed out on their combination canoe and hiking trip yesterday. Their put-in was in Jackman, from which they paddled out to Big Wood Lake. Last night they pitched their tents on the beach and will enjoy the beautiful views over Attean Lake from Sally Mountain today. The youngest boys, the Penobscot cabin, just disappeared into the woods on their way to hike Boundry Bald. Bald can be seen from camp, so if the boys give a loud yell tomorrow as they summit, we may be able to hear them. Cabin trips are consistently the highlight of the summer for campers – the time spent hiking and paddling together inevitably yields many laughs and bonds campers and counselors closer than ever. We know Pamola and Penobscot will return full of stories and we cannot wait to hear all of them!

WILD 2 is finishing up perhaps one of the more difficult challenges of the summer: the 36 hour solo. They will be picked up tonight from their solo spots along the shore of Flagstaff Lake. After a hearty meal of chicken alfredo and a goodnight’s sleep they will continue on their paddle.

WILD 1 spent Wednesday rafting the Kennebec with Windfall. With huge waves and exhilarating drops on the Upper, to whoopie pies at lunch and paddling in duckies (inflatable kayaks) on the Lower, there is never a dull moment during rafting day.

As camp draws near to the end of the first week of this session, friendships continue to flourish and grow, as is evidenced by the almost unceasing laughter heard around Heald Pond.

First Day of a New Session

Posted by on July 21, 2014

Today our campers are at activity areas for the first time. Every day at breakfast, each camper signs up for the three activities they would like to do that day. Their options are wakeboarding, waterskiing, skeet shooting, paintball, rock climbing, mountain biking, sailing, canoeing, survival, archery, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking. There is something there for everyone, and the best part is that if you want to try something new tomorrow, you always can.

The sun was shining brightly today, so waterfront activities were popular. Our Ski Nautique was full at each activity period, and there were plenty of SUPs and kayaks on the water as well.

Tomorrow hikes begin with Kennebec cabin leaving in the morning for a paddle on beautiful Attean Lake and a hike up Sally Mountain in time for the sunset. Attean is the lake you can see to the west as you crest the hill just south of town on your drive up to Moose River Outpost.

The rest of us will remain here, biking, climbing, skiing, and swimming the day away in main camp.
Both WILD groups are now on the trail. WILD 1 spent the day rock climbing on Mt. Kineo in the middle of Moosehead Lake, Maine’s largest lake. The view from the top is spectacular, and allows an excellent perspective from which to see both where they’ve been (the Moose River), and where they’re headed (the Kennebec River watershed). Tomorrow, they paddle the East Outlet, their last white water run in canoes, and then they’ll connect with the guides from Windfall Rafting for a run down the Kennebec River in rafts on Wednesday.

WILD 2 just left for their final hike/paddle together. They will be paddling on Flagstaff Lake, and will then continue on to the Bigelow mountain range.

As always, cheers and shouts can be heard anywhere on camp this time of year, rivaled only by the nightly loon calls and the chirp of frogs by the lakeside. It’s a great time to be at camp. Check in on Wednesday for more updates.

Banquet Night

Posted by on July 18, 2014

Friday is here, and with it comes rafting and Banquet Night! Today our campers ran the Kennebec River all together in rafts guided by Windfall Rafting’s capable guides. The water was huge, and with the sun out today, conditions were perfect for a great run on the rapids.

Now, the campers have returned to camp and Banquet Night can begin. This Banquet night, our theme is “Christmas in July.” The Halls (The Dinning Hall and Moose Hall specifically) are decked with Christmas decorations, and the staff have prepared MRO-themed Christmas carols to sing throughout the evening.

Perhaps the best part of Banquet Night is the meal. Christmas may be the theme, but Thanksgiving will be on our tables, from turkey to mashed potatoes and stuffing. Later in the evening, we will pass out awards for our camper’s various achivements during the session.

Its been a great 2 weeks, and there’s no better way to commemorate it than with Banquet Night.

For WILD 1, today they spend their first night on Moose River. This trip is the signature trip of WILD 1 and includes lots of paddling, a visit to Mt Kineo for some rock climbing, and even some white water canoeing on the East Outlet.

WILD 2 has spent the last 2 days honing their First Aid skills and they are now wrapping up their certifications in Wilderness First Aid. This certification will serve them well, especially if someday they are ever Counselors or Trip Leaders at MRO. Next, they will be spending a day here in camp blazing new trail for our Mountain Biking area (and of course trying it out themselves).

Camp is busy in the best sense of the word. Our days are full, the sun is shinning, and we’re filling every minute with good times. Check in on Monday for more updates.