Week in Review #5

Camp Mah-Kee-NacJul 28, 2019

Kids playing basketball
World Record Basketball Game

World Record

This week, Mah-Kee-Nac truly made its mark; not just on the Berkshires, not just on the sleepaway camp community, but on the world as a whole: we broke the world record for the longest ongoing basketball game ever played. Yes, you heard it here first.

MKN had previously set the record with a 36-hour game a few years ago, but that record was later broken, so we had to re-establish our reign.  Beginning at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the camp split into two teams, Oakstreet vs. Hawthorne, and campers and staff played basketball in shifts according to their tribe (age group). Naturally, the staff played the overnight hours. The boys loved playing when it was their turn, and equally loved cheering on their ‘team mates’ and staff when someone else was on the court.  We finally broke the record at 10 p.m. on Wednesday night with a 41-hour game.

The event was exciting, fun, exhausting at times, and a great example of teamwork at its finest; two teams and hundreds of people spanning a variety of ages, all working together to accomplish one goal as one camp.

Sports & Tournaments

In other news, ​our popular “real life” Quidditch game took place -without the broomsticks, of course. In this case, the bludger was a dodgeball, and players had to pass the ball without getting tagged by an opposing team member. The “Golden Snitch” was a counselor covered in yellow paint wearing a yellow flag. When the dedicated seeker catches the snitch, that team wins.  It was loads of Harry Potter fun, both for the players and the spectators.

Lots of other sports and tournaments going on with some stellar play by our Mah-Kee-Nac kids, a highlight being the archery competition we hosted with seven camps.  Our MKN boys came in first place overall and had eight podium finishers for the recurve bow event! Our USR (Upper Seniors) also had an NCAA-themed flag football tournament.  The boys broke into eight “colleges” and played all day and night, competing for the coveted title. The “Wabash University Little Giants” came in first place this summer.

someone throwing a football
Flag Football

Trips Big & Small

We currently have two big trips underway.  Our oldest group, the Senecas, left for their week-long California adventure. They’ll attend an L.A. Angels game, visit Laguna Beach, check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, tour UCLA, marvel at the Griffith Park Observatory, and of course, tap into the magic of Disneyland.  This is a trip our oldest campers look forward to for years!

The Braves – our C.I.T.s, left for a ten-day leadership training program in Hawaii. Their itinerary is a combination of work, play, travel, and adventure. They begin their journey at the YMCA Camp Keanae in Maui, where they receive on-site training in preparation for the incoming children. Over the next few days, they are counselors to a group of kids who are supported by the local Hana community. After that, it’s all about fun and adventure – the Braves will zipline, hike, surf, sail on a Catamaran, snorkel, tour Maui, and more.  Our teens really absorb the value of hard work, giving back to the community, and earning their rewards through.

group of boys in sweatshirts
Senecas off to Cali

The rest of our campers had some great trip day adventures as well. The TJCs went to the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, an amazing museum with more than 165 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, and boundless exploration.  The LSRs went to Berkshire East Mountain Resort, an awesome adventure park with whitewater rafting, zip lining, mountain biking and more.The Cherokees visited Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, with its amazing Aerial Adventure Park in the middle of a forest. And the Algonquins had a great day playing paintball.

Survival of the Fittest

The LSR (Lower Seniors) participated in an MKN summer favorite; the 24-hour Survivor simulation. The game began when campers and staff were dropped offshore from “The Island,” and they had to swim back to land. There, they were divided into tribes and began competing in various tasks to win ‘money’ to buy tools for their shelter. They were brought back to camp in the evening, where they had to build (and sleep in) a shelter before embarking on a full day of rivalry the next morning. From lockbox riddles to water balloon games to relay races and obstacle courses, the tribes battled it out, and faced an elimination vote after every round. The contest concluded with the big finale at the campfire, where counselors stated why they should win, and all tribes voted on a final survivor. The tribe has spoken.

Kids playing water balloon
Survivor Water Balloon

Once again this week, the Camp Mah-Kee-Nac boys fully dove into life at sleepaway camp, having fun and growing at every turn.

That’s all for now. More next week from your MKN Directors…

All our best,


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