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Wednesday July 23

Last night was a great evening at Birchwood.  Girls enjoyed all kinds of cool activities after they cooked their dinners over a campfire – some swam, others played GaGa ball, one cabin kicked a ball around the soccer field, and the girls in Hilltop enjoyed a sauna before cooling down in the lake.

Today is gorgeous and sunny.  Our outdoor adventure enthusiasts – the girls who have gone on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area trip – have “spotted” in and are doing well.  Thankfully, they did not go through any storms despite the bad weather that passed through some other areas in the BWCA.  Instead, the sun was shining, the wind was to their back, and their first day of paddling was simple and relaxing.  They reached their campsite early and enjoyed a night on a small island just on the other side of the U.S. – Canadian border.  With good weather forecast for the rest of the week, they are sure to have a grand time camping and canoeing together.

In camp tonight we will have our Senior Carnival so girls are already excited.  This candy-filled extravaganza will be led by our teen leaders (called Senior Campers).  They each will run a booth that offers a fun game for kids to do.  Girls can also have their face painted or fortune read.  We will cap the night off with a big raffle drawing as well – so kids can win all kinds of Birchwood shirts and other goodies with our logo on them.

Tuesday July 22

The rain came last night, but the super high winds and “torrential” rain fall originally forecasted for our area rolled north of us – thank goodness!  This morning we woke to happily chirping birds, comfortable temperatures, and bright beautiful sunshine.  It’s the quintessentially perfect day at Birchwood.

Thanks to a great travel day yesterday, our new two-weekers are already off and running this morning – taking part in a full day of activities.  Included in the schedule is a quick visit to the waterfront to do their swim test.  Calm waters are making it an easy morning for swim strokes and treading water.

Last night while our new two-weekers were oriented to camp, our four-weekers participated in a photo scavenger hunt.  Cabin groups were given a list of posed photos to capture on a digital camera.  Every camper in the cabin had to be included in every shot as well as the counselors  This made for a super funny night of teamwork!  Examples of shots they posed for:  crazy roller coaster ride, dramatic earthquake, birthday party, and ‘we cannot believe we all fit in this small space’.  These creative and humorous shots will be posted as soon as we can collect them!

Tonight is TNCO (Tuesday Night Cook Out) so each cabin group will spend some time together at a remote location in camp where they will cook their dinner over an open flame.  These campfire dinners are a long-standing tradition so our cooks can have a night off.  Girls enjoy roasting turkey dogs, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and best of all, making s’mores!!

Afterwards, counselors treat their groups to activities like outdoor “neighborhood” games (freeze tag, stuck in the mud, sardines) swimming, playing sports on the soccer field, or learning creative crafts in the cabin.

Our oldest girls in camp however — our specially chosen leaders called the Senior Campers — will be preparing for their big Carnival night that will be held tomorrow evening.  Each of them will choose a type of “carnival booth” to run – like Duck Pond, Bozo Buckets, Face Painting, Go Fish, or Cake Walk.  Then they will make huge posters, prepare their supplies, and decide how they will transform the dining hall into a carnival within a short time after dinner.  These all-group event-planning sessions are a great way to set goals, multi-task, pay attention to detail, and take initiative.  They are also a grand time for every other camper – just another “win-win” situation at Birchwood. :)

Monday, July 21

WELCOME new two-weekers!  We are excited to have over 50 campers join our current four-week campers to finish off this amazing session together.

Our new campers arrived a bit early yesterday thanks to easy travels and efficient ladies helping us in the airport.  When the bus pulled in, our staff and current campers all gathered around to greet girls and help everyone move in to their cabins.

After dinner at 5:30 our new campers attended Orientation Skits where our oldest teen leaders in camp, our “seniors” introduced each camp activity and highlighted the clothing kids would want to wear to each one (ex:  swimsuit at open waterfront, long pants for horseback riding, closed-toe shoes for pottery etc).

Afterwards, girls had their cabin photo taken and lifejacket assigned before going to the sign-up window to choose their five activities for the next day.  Tomorrow girls will be off and running – a full and busy day will be had by all!