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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.

Full Hearts, Full Camp

Posted by on July 16, 2014

All of our trips have now returned to camp for the session, and its time for our final days of this two-week stretch. Saco, Baxter, and Magalloway all returned today in high spirits. Between the rain drops each of them had a great paddle and/or hike out today.

Here in camp, activities proceeded normally with kayaking, waterskiing, and other waterfront elements leading the way. Now things have really picked up. This morning at breakfast we had under 50 people in the Dinning Hall. With our three hike groups back, along with all our staff members we’ll have nearly 100 at dinner.

All of those campers and staff members are eager to participate in tonight’s game. It’s the famous Polish Ping Pong Tournament. Everyone in camp will bring their A-game for this bracketed competition, but only one camper will hoist the fabled Golden Paddle tonight when it’s all done.

WILD 1 and 2 spent the day together today at Slide Down Falls, a beautiful waterfall near camp with spots for swimming and jumping into the water from various heights. Now they’ve returned as well and are preparing for a full night of activities.

Camp is full, busy, and ready for a great few days together. It’s hard to believe its nearly been 2 weeks already. Check in on Friday for the final post of the session.

A Busy Weekend is Here!

Posted by on July 11, 2014

The weekend is here, and its time for some special events in camp. Every day at MRO is great, but the weekend brings these events, which we wait for all year:

1. Color Wars: The entire camp will divide up into 3 teams and compete in multiple games starting on Friday and ending on Sunday. The winner claims the right to paint a huge set of moose antlers and hoist them up the MRO flagpole on Sunday night.

2. Trip Day: This is when campers can choose their own daytrip from the following list: Rock climbing, a hike on Boundary Bald, two different kayak trips, a survival trip (where campers build shelters and practice outdoor skills), a mountain bike trip, and a trip to a set of waterfalls nearby. This is a great day to get out and put the things we’ve been learning at camp into practice. Time to try that kayak roll out on a real river and put in some extra miles on the bike.

3. Mission Impossible: No one knows the night or the time, but we all know its coming. In this famous night game, we play Mission Impossible with the entire camp lit up by glow sticks.

4. Mud Day: It is what it sounds like. You’ve seen the pictures. Some of you have seen the laundry. Campers compete in hilarious games surrounding (and sometimes in) a huge pit of mud. It’s great fun, and always ends with a dip in the lake to clean off.

Meanwhile, outside of camp, WILD continues to explore new places and learn new skills. WILD 1 joined main camp today for a service day, and will soon hit the water for their first whitewater canoe training. WILD 2 is still out kayaking along the Maine coast. We look forward to their return and the stories they’ll bring with them. Camp continues to be great. Check back on Monday for more updates!

Waterfront Weather

Posted by on July 9, 2014

Yesterday was a perfect lake day, the air was hot and humid after a rainy night, and the sky was clear. During free time nearly the entire camp descended on the waterfront for an afternoon of tubing, log-rolling, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

Kennebec cabin spent more time on the water than any of the rest of us, as they were canoeing on Holeb Pond that day for the cabin’s canoe trip. Today, Pamola departs for Gulf Hagis, also known as “The Grand Canyon of Maine.” Their trip will feature waterfalls to swim in, and bubbling brooks running beside their campsite.

WILD has already made tracks and/or waves this year. WILD 2 is now working their way along the Maine coast on their annual sea kayaking trip, and WILD 1 is back in camp after a night on Boundary Bald. Each member of the WILD program this year gets their own specialized white water canoe paddle – their privilege to use, and their responsibility to care for during their time in the program.

Tonight’s all-camp game will be trench dodgeball; an old camp favorite and a great twist on a familiar game. Campers use dodgeballs to tag each other and to bring each other back into the game for non-stop action and fun. It will serve as a good follow-up for last night’s game of Outpost. In Outpost, each camper is given a rank, between private and 5-Star General and is sent on a mission to find the other team’s President. There are 3 teams, and the entire camp is the playing field. Our campers hatched plans, scouted terrain, and finally captured chiefs-of-state in a night of all-out play.

We play hard, we rest well, and we do it again. Camp is good.

New & Old

Posted by on July 7, 2014

It has been my privilege over the last few weeks to wake up early several mornings, just as the sun is cresting the mountain across the lake. I sip my coffee and enjoy a moment wrapped in silence before I start the day. Those mornings are something I treasure, but an even greater time is here: Summer camp is in full swing!

Now, as I walk along the waterfront, I hear the hum of the ski boat, the cheers of campers on the athletic field, the ping if tetherballs swinging around their pole, and the steady ring of the gong marking the passage of another activity period. So much is happening, and lots of it for the first time:

1. Yesterday marked the first incoming day in our new Welcome Center! All went well, and snacks provided by our camp kitchen made things even better.
2. As I write, our campers are out on stand-up paddleboards for the first time. No doubt this will continue to be a popular activity.
3. After a blustery weekend of strong winds, today’s weather features a calm, steady breeze: Perfect for our first ever camp sailing class!
4. We’ve already had some campers balance on the key-log, and right now the skill seems to still be in its infancy. 10 seconds or so seems to be the time to beat!

Of course, along with everything new, the same things that have always made MRO great are as true today as they have ever been. Our counselors care as much as ever, and the place is as breathtaking in use as it is in the stillness of the morning.

Check in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for more camp updates!