We couldn’t have asked for a better first week of camp here at Mah-Kee-Nac. The weather was beautiful, the kids were healthy and joyful, and everyone was thrilled to be back at (or newly discovering) their summer home!
After the arrivals by bus, car, and plane, the campers were introduced to their “summer brothers” (their bunkmates) as well as their counselors. They quickly settled into their bunks before heading out for division meetings, swim tests, and tours of camp. The junior bunks came together to make bunk flags too. In the evening we celebrated the beginning of summer 2022 with our first huddle. Jamie and Rachel welcomed everyone in, spoke about our camp values and why we Huddle each week. Then, we headed down to the lake where our oldest campers, the Senecas, lit beautiful lanterns to signify the official start of Summer, 2022. Naturally, we ended the night with a singing and dancing party to MKN songs!
By day two, the campers seamlessly began their first rotation of activities. They settled into oldies-but-goodies like baseball, basketball, tubing, Trampball, archery, woodshop and more; and were introduced to a host of new offerings like fencing, martial arts, water polo, Taekwondo, kickboxing, Survivor Island, video editing, competitive climbing, junior lifeguarding and beach volleyball. Safe to say the campers will be active, entertained, broadening their horizons, and having TONS of fun this summer.
Leagues started this week as well. You’ll hear a lot about leagues, so we’ll take a moment to explain. The leagues are all within MKN, and organized by age group (TJC – junior camp, LSR – lower seniors, and USR – upper seniors). They’re mostly optional – any camper who wants to may opt into leagues. On TJC campus, all of the campers play soccer and basketball together in order to gain skills and confidence. LSR/USR leagues are entirely opt-in, and those campers have the opportunity to play soccer, basketball, and/or flag football leagues. This week, we kicked off soccer (get it?) and basketball. Once a camper is on a team, that team remains together for the entire session, and we have a big tournament at the end where a winner is crowned and awarded a league championship tee-shirt.
We also began our annual Founder’s Cup tournament, whereby the boys are placed on one of four teams – Lilley, Metzger, Rudolph, or Kruger. The campers are drafted and welcomed onto a team, and throughout the summer, we hold Founder’s Cups events. At the end of session one, a winner is crowned. This week’s event was a relay race which ended with the teams each building a structure on which they had to raise their team flag to end their time. Team Lilley took first big win.
One of the most exciting activities of the week was the return of our tournaments. These are on-and-off campus tournaments against various local camps. This is especially exciting because we haven’t been able to hold tournaments since 2019, so the boys were overjoyed to play again. They get to meet other campers and see other camps in addition to bonding with their team and trying new sports. The tournaments are divided by age – this week, the entering 8th and 9th graders both had baseball tournaments (they played great), while entering 8th, 9th, and 10th graders had tennis tournaments. They made the finals! Other sports that will have tournaments include soccer, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, chess, climbing, swim meets, and more.
Green and White (our version of color war) also kicked off this week with our sorting ceremony. Each year, our new campers and counselors are “sorted” onto either the Green Team or the White Team (think Harry Potter Sorting Hat). The team they are on remains the same for their entire MKN career. The big G&W “week” takes place sometime before the end of the first session, the “break” is a big surprise. We also held our first “Polar Bear Plunge” – during which 36 brave campers woke up at 7am to jump into the (chilly) lake and swim to shore!
The week ended with our second Huddle. Our community gathered at our amphitheater around a campfire while our camp director, Jamie, talked about our values. A handful of campers and counselors were recognized for showing great respect to others throughout the week.
Parents – don’t forget – our MKNTotem.com has a daily newsletter (MKN Today), pictures, video and more. Be sure to create an account and read all about the daily happenings at camp!