Learning the Ropes

As the summer is drawing ever closer, we hope you are getting excited to spend a few weeks with us this summer. This blog is a continuation in our series geared toward our first-year campers. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but you will be amazed at how quickly you feel at home at camp, like you’ve been there for years! And, again, there is always someone around the corner to help, whether that be a staff member, Leader, or older camper. Hopefully these blog posts will give you a better understanding of what life at camp is like, so you can brush away the worry and just focus on the excitement! Let’s talk about what your first few days will be like at camp!

In our last blog post, we talked about what opening day at Deerhorn was like. But what about the days after that? The first morning that you wake up at Deerhorn, the bell will ring at 7:15am. Some kids are really excited to be at camp and will wake up long before that. That’s ok with us, as long as you leave the koogee quietly and go somewhere like the tennis courts or basketball court to play with friends. You can’t be on the waterfront before breakfast. When the bell rings at 7:15, that’s time for you to get up and get ready for the day. You will make your bed and get dressed, as well as help get the koogee clean. You’ll need to take your toothbrush and check in at the Upper Bathhouse with one of the Leaders, showing them you’ve brushed your teeth. First call for breakfast is at 7:50am, and that’s when you head to the lodge and wash hands at the hand-washing station. If you take meds in the morning, you’ll go into the lodge and wait in line to get your meds from the nurse. Second call goes at 8am, and everyone goes into breakfast. Remember, you’ll sit at the same table you sat at for dinner the night before. You’ll be at that table for a week. After we clean up from breakfast, we wait for announcements for the day. One of the announcements will be what Sports and Games is playing that day. Most of your activities you’ll have every other day, but you’ll have Sports and Games every day, and play a different fun sport or crazy game each day.

After breakfast, you’ll go back to your koogee to finish cleaning up and get ready for activities. When the bell rings at 8:50, everybody will head to the lodge to find out what activity group you’re in. These groups are done by age, and there is a schedule in the lodge that shows what activities each group has all day. You will be able to choose if you want to do mountain biking or arts & crafts, and you can choose if you want to do horseback riding or golf. Other than those choices, you’ll follow the schedule of your activity group. Staff will help you read the schedule so you know what activities you have that day. You’ll have three activities in the morning, and three more in the afternoon. Activities start at 9am and end at 11:35. We have lunch at noon, followed by rest hour until 2. During rest hour you don’t have to “rest” but you do have to be in your koogee. This is a great time to write letters, read, or play games with friends. The office has lots of books and games you can borrow!

Afternoon activities start at 2pm and go until 4:45pm. From then until dinner at 6, you have some free time. Some kids play tennis or basketball with friends, or hang out in their koogee. From 5-5:30 is General Swim, where we have lifeguards down on the beach so you can free swim, go down the slide, or go out to the Rave. After dinner at 6:00, there will be an evening activity, a koogee competition like soccer or dodgeball, or maybe Capture the Flag. During the first day of camp, our Leaders will be scouting campers and they will do a secret draft where they all pick teams. There are four camp teams, the Wolves, Eagles, Bears, and Bobcats.

On the second day of camp, you’ll find out what team you’re on!  We’ll pass out shirts and then team competition can begin! There is a big team event once per session, and most evening activities after dinner will be team competition. Kids get really excited to find out what team they are on, and you get to know lots of kids of many different ages. Our day ends every night with milkline at 8:15pm, after evening activities, where you get a cookie and milk with your koogee and settle down for the night.

This is our schedule for most of the session. You’ll have six activities on every other day, and the other six activities on opposite days.  Once per session, we’ll also have a “special day.” We sleep in an extra hour and have some free time in the morning. In the afternoon is a big team event, followed by koogee time after dinner, and we end every special day with a Deerhorn campfire. We hope this blog helped you understand a little better what life is like at camp. In our next blog, we’ll answer some common first-year camper questions! If you have any questions or concerns about being at camp this summer, you can email amy@deerhorn.com.

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