It was another great day at Deerhorn. The last morning of regular activities for the summer of 2021. An afternoon of team competition. A Water Campfire tonight to celebrate the Leaders and their legacy at Deerhorn. And a perfect sunny day to enjoy it all. But today’s post is about the staff, and how amazing they are. Across the country, there are summer camps who opened this summer, and had to close early because so many staff quit…or didn’t show up at all. But not the Deerhorn staff. They came, and they stayed.

This has been a hard summer.  A power outage for three days. More behavioral issues than we usually have in a summer. All the ramifications of running a summer camp while a global pandemic still raged. We have expected more from our staff than ever before. And they didn’t complain. They didn’t say no. They didn’t leave. They asked “What can I do to help?”

Tomorrow we will recognize the outstanding counselor of the summer of 2021, with the Deeley Lyons Memorial Trophy. But we wish we had 20 Deeley awards to pass out, because there are so many who deserve it. Sam Greene, who worked tirelessly this summer to make all three of our wilderness trips amazing, and was Patrick’s right hand man. Patrick Drake, who spent a record 92 hours with his koogee when they had to be in isolation, and he did it all with a smile on his face, making the time as fun and memorable as possible. George Landsberg and Matt Shea, who have endless patience with the littlest kids in camp. McKinley Shea, who works so hard and always asks what he can do to help. Daniel Bramah, who has been here since mid-May, worked hard during pre-camp and kept working hard throughout the summer. Max Placido, Gordon and William Allen, Ryan Zwief,  and Jack Arch, who write amazing parent letters home, showing how well they got to know their kids. Dick Kinney, who, for 39 years does so many little things around camp that no one even realizes, but that makes camp run more smoothly. TJ and Jack Farrell, who led the Leaders and were responsible for an amazing summer of special events. Cade Aschenbrenner, who spends his days listening to the sounds of bullets at riflery and without whom we couldn’t have done that activity. Spencer Ellerbusch, who gives his whole heart to the kids in his koogee and activity. Nick Charlton and Philip Meyers, who make sailing one of the most fun activities out there. Henry McQueen and Liam Jones, who joined us for D and added new joy and spirit to the Deerhorn staff. Trevor Taylor, who shared ten days of his infectious smile and huge hugs before he heads off to serve his country in the army. Nate Ditmars, who fit right into the Deerhorn staff and has been a wonderful first year counselor. David Spellman, who is one of the hardest working counselors you will ever meet. Carl Anderson, whose health care knowledge and abilities we couldn’t do this without. And our amazing ACs, who work hard in the kitchen, in activities, and help take care of the kids in their koogee. Camp couldn’t run without all of them, and we know they are going to make incredible counselors in the future.

And we can’t forget our 8 Leaders. They embraced the changes this summer and made it their own. We turned to them for extra help and they always stepped up. A huge thank you to Eli Whitney, JP Koehl, Inigo Banos, Charlie Halpin, Owen Flom, Will Strickland, Nate Affolter, and Jack Rhyner.

This has been a summer like no other. Our hearts are bursting with gratitude for the phenomenal staff who made it possible to give kids the summer at Deerhorn they all needed. We are forever grateful.

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