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Summer Camp Update July 30

Posted by on July 30, 2015

waterfrontToday, the sun continues to shine brightly over camp and our beautiful weather continues. It’s been a popular week to spend time at the waterfront, with high temps making activities like stand-up paddle boarding and waterskiing all the more inviting. That’s not to say that our campers aren’t busy elsewhere though. We’ve had lots of action at rock climbing, archery, and all our other activities as well.

Pamola cabin set out in canoes today. The girls will be paddling down the nearby Moose River into Long Pond, where they will camp tonight. The route follows the final sections of the famous Moose River Bow and will feature numerous opportunities to see moose grazing along the side of the river.

The boys of Saco cabin are also out today. They’ll be hiking along the Appalachian Trail, and staying the night in a lean-to just north of Monson, Maine. Their trip should bring them great views and an opportunity to explore new sections of trail and forest.

Meanwhile both WILD groups are preparing to come off the trail for the final time of the summer. WILD 2 returns to camp today after ascending the Bigelow Mountain Range. They’ll be beginning Wilderness First Aid training tomorrow and by Sunday they’ll be certified and trained in the art of caring for wounds and outdoor maladies in the backwoods.

WILD 1 is hiking a different section of the Appalachian Trail today, but will return to camp on Sunday to continue their training here. Yesterday they completed the perfect rafting day: Huge waves on the river and sun so hot the cool water was welcome.

All throughout camp, we are working hard at playing hard. We’re thankful for God’s creation: A place to play and be challenged, and a place to see God’s workmanship first-hand.

Summer Camp Update, July 28

Posted by on July 28, 2015

In the first chapter of the book of John, Jesus’s disciples ask him a question. Verses 38-39 read, “Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’ They said, ‘Rabbi,’ (which means ‘Teacher’), ‘where are you staying?’ ‘Come,’ he replied, ‘and you will see.'” Jesus invited them to not just hear about his life, but to come along and experience it.

MRO’s a little bit like that, I think. It’s a powerful place, and those of us who are privileged enough to be here know that well. Since not all have the opportunity to “come and see,” though, this blog post will hopefully give you a glimpse into what’s been going on in the life of Moose River Outpost campers.

IMG_3920Our first full day of camp ended with a bang– literally. A powerful storm rolled over the camp, with lightening brightening the sky every few minutes and thunder echoing over the hills. Despite the light show, no rain fell, and we were left with a beautiful example of God’s power and majesty. Today’s weather has been bright and sunny, and we’ve taken advantage of that! One camper came bounding into the office earlier, excited about standing up on her water skis for the very first time. Another has spent the afternoon working on her kayak roll, hoping to earn her advanced award this session.

IMG_3921Off the water, the campers are thriving as well. Some of our campers spent their free time yesterday checking off requirements for their advanced award in survival, making tea out of pine needles and boiling water over a fire. In crafts, we worked on survival bracelets. Our nurse was excited when one camper stopped by the health center with a new survival bracelet for her! Many kids are out at the archery range even as I type, learning the parts of the bow and hitting those bulls-eyes.

Our Kennebec and Penobscot cabins headed out on overnight trips this morning; Kennebec to hike Big Moose Mountain and Penobscot to Mountain number 5. We’re praying that it’s a great time of bonding with their cabin mates and counselors.

Tonight in our Bible study we’ll be looking at John 1:35-42, asking the campers the similar questions to what Jesus asked His disciples: What do they want out of camp, and what might Jesus have for them to come and see while at MRO?

We’re excited for what God has in store for all of us this session, and we’re praying that we answer His call to come and see.

–Mackenzie Mahon, Office Manager

An Open Letter to Our Campers, Part 3

Posted by on July 26, 2015

special events sunsetFor Part 1, Click HERE

For Part 2, Click HERE

Dear Campers,

Its finally here. It’s time to get started at Moose River Outpost! We’re thrilled to start something new with you! We’re excited to start learning who you are, what you like to do, what your favorite foods are, and what about camp might make you just a little nervous. We’re thrilled to help you start learning new skills. Be it figuring out how to paddle the J-stroke, rolling a kayak for the first time, getting up on water-skis, or learning to cook over a fire, we can’t wait to show you something new. You’ll also be arriving along with a cabin-full of new friends. They’ll be new names to learn, and even some people from places you’ve never been, like France, Spain, or the Czech Republic. Even if you’re returning to camp for the 5th time, we know you’ll be surrounded by new opportunities when you arrive.

We’re also so glad to turn those beginnings into something older, more meaningful. We look forward to working with you on that skill until practice becomes muscle memory and muscle memory becomes a perfect round at Archery or a flawless run on a mountain bike. We look forward to the end of the session when you’ll look around and wonder how these friends, this MRO family, could ever have been new to you. We even look forward to years beyond that when your memories of shared meals, hikes, sunrises, accomplishments, and team projects become a cherished part of your recollections of these years. We look forward to the start, not just of a new relationship or two, but perhaps a legacy. 25 years from now, will we be hosting your children and your parents grandchildren? We hope so; and we hope when we do that we’ll show them the same attention, kindness, challenge, fun, and example that we’re ready to show you now.

Finally, we look forward to introducing you to old things. Heald Pond has been the site of summer adventures for guests for over 125 years. We have photos from 1920 that show the exact same breathtaking view of Boundary Bald from the lake. More than old, though, the best thing we have to share is timeless. God is, was, and always will be the creator and center of this place. As you enjoy the view or carve up the glassy water on your wakeboard, we hope you’ll recognize his handiwork when you see it. When it comes to God’s work, we hope it won’t stop with this beautiful place, but will permeate your heart and mind, causing you to grow as His man or woman.

We’re so glad you’re here. Welcome to the start of something new, the continuation of something old, and the culmination of something we’ve been preparing for all year.

Summer Camp Update July 23rd

Posted by on July 24, 2015

IMG_0674If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

Psalm 138:8-10

 

Another session chocked full of adventure is nearly done. It’s amazing how fast it’s all gone by. We’ve visited mountain summits, mud pits, racing rivers and everything in between. We’ve had campers complete major awards at camp, with a couple even finishing master’s awards. We’ve spanned the state on trips, from the southern Maine coast on WILD 2’s sea kayaking trip to the Acadia National Park and on back here to our own border town of Moose River.

Tonight we’ll gather around the fire and celebrate those experiences by telling our stories together. As things wind down, each camper will have an opportunity to share about something they learned during their time here at camp. We’ve learned new skills, and seen new parts of creation. But most of all, I hope and believe that our campers have seen new parts of themselves. This place brings out the best in us, and as we prepare to head home, we take a moment to acknowledge what our best looks like, so we can replicate it elsewhere as well.

Camp is not over though, and tomorrow holds an amazing adventure in store. The Kennebec river awaits, and we can’t wait set out on it in rafts. The trip will be the highpoint of the session for many of our campers. While things are wrapping up, in true MRO form, they’re still going strong.

Summer Camp Update July 21

Posted by on July 22, 2015

mro-fishingTuesday is here. The weather has been hot and beautiful. With dinner just minutes away, the air is cooling down as new weather blows in, and gorgeous clouds begin to surround the lower portions of Boundary Bald Mountain.

Today featured a number of important events in camp. WILD 2 returned from their sea kayaking adventures on the Maine coast after having had beautiful weather nearly the entire time. Their stories are just beginning to come out but we look forward to hearing more from them after they’ve had a chance to clean up from the trip and get settled at the WILD site again. WILD 1 leaves tomorrow for their week-long canoeing adventure on the Moose River. They’ll begin just a few short miles from our driveway and end at the headwaters of the Kennebec River, where they’ll be met by raft guides for a run down class 4 whitewater in whitewater rafts.

In the rest of the camp program, other trips are coming and going. Our campers have returned from Acadia National park with great stories from their climbing and mountain biking experiences. Cloud cover took away some of the views, but the campers all seem to agree the climbing itself was a great experience and the trip was a success. Others are returning today from a fishing trip on Indian Pond. They were catching bass and perch. While we’re proud of the native brook trout here at Heald Pond, our fishing crew always enjoys an opportunity to catch and identify a different species.

We’re entering the final days of our camp session already. Its amazing its come this fast, but also exciting to know all the still lies ahead. Our rafting day is coming soon, and in the coming days campers will be wrapping up awards and putting the finishing touches on the new skills they’ve acquired. Check in again on Thursday for another update.