If you could spend one last day at camp doing anything you want, what would it be?
Today, campers got the freedom of doing just that during our annual Choice and Challenge Day. In the morning, cabins could pick the activity of their choice. Holiday did karaoke and Regency went to gymnastics. Hyatt and Hershey played in the lake. Palace played ping-pong, Seasons and Sheraton played BBK. The Tigers had a water fight. The Blue Jays rode quads. The Mets and Phillies played wiffleball.
The afternoon featured challenge periods, during which cabins challenged other cabins to a variety of activities. Dunes faced the A’s in beach volleyball. The Red Sox played Hershey in basketball.
The boys of Delta and the girls of Sigma, who will graduate to become counselors next summer, showed they’ve already got the right stuff. I saw Delta boys, the oldest campers in camp, get up on picnic tables and engage in a dance battle with the little girls of Regency. Sigma girls took on the wee Tigers in a water fight and followed up with a dance-off against Ritz. Delta finished their Challenge Day with a softball game against the tiny Rangers on Softball #1.
We’re putting the finishing touches on Summer 2023, and that means Arts and Crafts was crowded with campers and counselors putting the finishing touches on their bunk plaques.
Every summer, every camper and counselor in every cabin has their name inscribed on a bunk plaque, a square piece of wood they can decorate any way they like. The cabin name and year must be on there. The counselors’ names typically are written a little larger, and every camper who lived in the cabin that summer has their name somewhere on the plaque.
We started hanging bunk plaques in the Dining Hall many years ago. Over time, the collection has moved to the Canteen, where plaques go back to 1993. But in the west corner of the Dining Hall, the real oldies hang, where the cabins from 1968 are forever immortalized. The Senators. The Flyers. The Mets. The Orioles.
The paint on those has faded, but you can still make out a lot of those names.
This week, 55 years ago, counselors and campers put the finishing touches on those plaques. Today, the little boys and girls on those old, chipped plaques are all grown up. Some of them are even the grandparents of current campers.
The CGL rafters have always been crowded with names and artwork.
A new layer to the giant patchwork of wood and paint and memories will be added in just a few days. You can literally see the generations grow.
We’re putting the finishing touches on a new set of plaques. We’re also putting the finishing touches on an incredible summer.
Tonight is Awards Night, when we break off by division and begin saying good-bye. We’ll recognize longtime campers and hand out trophies for winning tournaments. And tomorrow, we’ll start packing.
We’re putting the finishing touches on summer and don’t look now, but the long goodbye has already started