It’s a beautiful Wednesday afternoon here at camp as I write. We are so fortunate to have wonderful weather and happy campers- a perfect mix for summer fun! Camp is full of activity right now. We have a guest instructor here to introduce us to Pickleball. Panther Pond is warming up perfectly for swims, and tonight is our traditional “Jimmy” buffet dinner. The Aides are about to return from their trip to Baxter State Park and Mt. Katahdin, with the Crows and Ravens out on their camping trips. The Falcons leave on Thursday while the Crows return.
We hope you enjoy the following “guest blog” from counselor Kevin Seiter as he shares his appreciation for our Sunday traditions.
Sundays at Timanous are unique from any other day of the week at camp. They are a day in which the entire camp takes a break from the daily routine of fun activities to reflect on the past week. The main difference in the program from a normal day is the addition of Chapel in the morning and Council Fire that evening, two weekly events that are integral to the Timanous experience.
Chapels at Timanous are non-religious and consist of a head counselor addressing the whole camp with a predesigned speech that touches on that counselor’s topic of choice. These topics can range from stories of that counselor’s own camper experience, to broader ideas such as the importance of family and living in the moment. The older that I get, the more I learn to appreciate Chapel. Nowhere else in the world can you absorb life lessons from people with such a wide variety of backgrounds, ages, and experiences. Listening to the lessons of a Chapel while staring up at the swaying pine trees is a truly sensational experience.
Council Fire brings up many of the same feelings of nostalgia and spirituality that Chapel invokes. Standing in the same circle where generations of campers have stood before you gives context to why so many people return year after year. The glow of the fire and the thoughtful commendations from counselors recognizing camper acts of kindness and perseverance create a powerful setting for reflection on the past week and the weeks ahead.
Sundays at Timanous can be perfectly summed up by the message of the Timanous Prayer - a day in which we reflect and give thanks for the opportunities and experiences that wouldn’t have been possible without Timanous.
- Kevin Seiter
Group Song - Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
Reading - Forever Young - Bob Dylan
Reading - Timanous Prayer
Together we give thanks for the joy of fellowship;
The beauty of our surroundings:
The tall trees and sparkling lake,
The life which teems around us in the woods,
For skies, and clear waters.
We thank thee for the love of doing things,
For active bodies and minds alert,
For the excitement of something new
And the comfort of things which are old,
For all these we give thanks;
For the cool and quiet of evening,
The restfulness of night,
The glory of starry skies,
The new life which comes with showers,
For our elders and families who have given us our homes,
And for the trials which help us to know ourselves.
For all these, we give thanks.
Group Song - You’ve got a friend - Carole King
Story - “Best Thursday of The Whole Week”
I have a friend who works as the director of a summer camp in New Hampshire. Their camp is very similar to Timanous - it’s on a lake, their cabins are named after birds, and they have a bell that rings to signal when to move from activity to activity.
The last time I visited my friend, I heard a fun story about one of their new campers. The camper’s name was David, he was 10 years old and he had never been to camp before. Upon his arrival on drop-off day, his counselors and cabin-mates immediately knew that he was a nice guy. They knew this because he smiled and said “hello” to everyone, he had friendly conversations with the counselors and the other campers, and then he even offered to help all of the new cabin-mates who arrived after him. He was friendly and helpful.
On his first full day of camp, David woke up to the ding ding ding of the morning bell, excitedly sat up in his bed, looked around at all of the other campers and declared, “It’s the best Thursday of the whole week!” One of the other campers mumbled from under his covers, “David, it’s the ONLY Thursday of the week,” to which David replied, “Yes, that’s what makes it THE BEST Thursday of the whole week.” Upon hearing this, a few of the campers giggled. “The best Thursday of the week?” they thought, that’s a fun perspective.
The very next morning, David woke up to the morning bell, excitedly sat up in his bed, looked around at all of the other campers and declared, “It’s the best Friday of the whole week!” This time a few cabin-mates repeated, “It’s the best Friday of the whole week!” One of them even cheered, “Woo Hoo!” The counselors all looked at each other and smiled.
That night, David’s counselors made a plan. The next morning, as the morning bell rang, David’s counselors sat up in their beds, looked around at all of the other campers and, before David said it, they said in unison, “It’s the best Saturday of the whole week!” This time all of the campers laughed and repeated, “It’s the best Saturday of the whole week.” Yes, indeed, it was the best Saturday of the whole week. Their positive outlook that day made an impact on the cabin. David’s “best day” attitude was catching on.
Throughout that day, David’s counselors and cabin-mates carried that positive “best day” attitude with them to activities, to meals, and even shared the story with other campers and counselors. The word was spreading throughout camp. The next morning, almost all of the cabins in camp were celebrating together and saying, “It’s the best Sunday of the whole week!” David’s message was taking over. By Monday morning, the entire camp was celebrating “The best Monday of the whole week.”
Camp is already a fun place full of friendly people and fun activities. But, David’s decision to share his positive outlook made it even more fun for everyone. His attitude reminded everyone to celebrate the day, today. It’s really amazing how one person can make a difference.
The reason that this story is important to us at Timanous is because it’s an example of how one person can truly make an impact on their own cabin. You can make an impact on your cabin. You are important because of who you are, you are amazing because you’re here and making new friends, and you are awesome because you will help other people have a really fun summer. Remember, David was a brand new camper, no one knew his name before drop-off. But, in a few short days his fun perspective was heard and adopted by an entire camp.
How do you want to show up for your cabin? What behaviors do you want to exhibit so that you can help others have a great experience? How can you help out to be an awesome cabin-mate to all of your new friends? Your behavior makes a difference. And, you get to choose how you are going to “show up” for everyone. I know that you are going to be a positive and supportive friend to all of your cabin-mates.
You are going to make camp better for everyone!
What words would you choose to be said about you?
Accountable - Adaptable - Adventurous - Alert - Ambitious - Appropriate - Assertive - Astute - Attentive Authentic - Aware - Available - Brave - Calm - Candid - Capable - Certain - Charismatic - Cheerful - Clear - Collaborative - Committed - Communicates - Compassionate - Comrade - Confident - Connected - Conscious - Considerate - Consistent - Contributes - Cooperative - Courageous - Creative - Curious - Decent - Dedicated - Determined - Diplomatic - Directed - Disciplined - Driven - Dynamic - Easygoing - Effective - Efficient - Empathetic - Empowers - Energetic - Enthusiastic - Ethical - Excited - Expressive - Fair - Faithful - Fearless Flexible - Friendly - Fun - Generous - Grateful - Growth Mindset Happy - Hard Working - Healthy - Helpful - Honest - Honorable- Humorous - Imaginative - Immaculate - Independent - Initiates Innovative - Inquiring - Intelligent - Shows Integrity - Intentional - Interested - Joyful - Kind - Knowledgeable - Leader - Listener - Lively - Logical - Loving - Loyal - Manages Time Well - Modest - Neat - Networker - Nurturing - Open Minded - Optimist - Organized - Patient - Peaceful - Planner - Playful - Poised - Polite - Powerful - Practical - Presents Self Well - Proactive - Problem-Solver - Productive - Punctual - Reliable - Resourceful - Respectful - Responsible - Self-reliant - Sense of Humor - Serves Others - Sincere - Skillful - Spirited - Spiritual - Spontaneous - Stable - Strong - Successful - Supportive - Tactful - Thoughtful - Trusting - Trustworthy - Truthful - Upstanding - Versatile - Vibrant - Virtuous - Warm - Willing - Wise.
What behaviors do you need to exhibit in order for someone to say those words about you?
Group Song - With a little help from my friends. - The Beatles
Reading - Look To This Day
Salutation of The Dawn
Look to this day! For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendor of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.
Thank you to all of our families who dropped off their campers on opening day. Our start at Camp Timanous this summer was as smooth as the wind rustling through the pines. The car procession kept moving throughout the day and the campers passed through their own health checkpoints to reach their awaiting counselors in their new cabin. Some families might have felt the familiar feeling of saying goodbye to their child and maybe others felt it for the first time this year. As the sun set on the first day at camp, the campers settled into their freshly made beds and listened to the loons call across the lake.
Campers are now settling into the camp culture our counselors have cultivated in each of the cabins and at each of the activities. They are reconnecting with their friends from previous years and finding new friends in their cabins and around camp. Campers went through an orientation Friday as they toured the major camp activities and learned a bit about each. As the orientation sessions finish up in the next day or so, each camper will have all the skills to try any new activity from archery to sailing. Even though it was only the first full day of camp, Fridays at Timanous are known for Friday candy and soda, a once a week treat, and even though it was only the first full day of camp, tradition is tradition. All boys also enjoyed a swim. Panther Pond is the perfect temperature for a morning dip or a playful jump into the water from the tower at Main Dock. We wrapped up the day with “free evening” activities, a camp favorite with choices ranging from tennis, baseball, soccer, canoeing & boating, chess, Ultimate Disc, volleyball, and soccer. It was a great first day!
We expect this year’s batch of boys to leave the summer with well-honed skills, new friends, and unforgettable memories, and we are just seeing the beginning of it in these first days of camp.
View photos in the Campanion App or in your CampMinder account!
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