A Day in the Life
Today I spent the day with one of our full summer campers, Tyler. Tyler and his brother, David, have been coming to camp for the past few summers and pretty much know everything there is to know about camp. Luckily, Tyler let me follow him around for a day to get the insider camper scoop on the happenings here at Camp North Star. Tyler is a water fiend and has chosen this week’s classes based on that interest. Here’s how the day went:
7:15 Wake-up bell. Ignore bell and counselor reminders to get up and ready for breakfast as long as possible.
7:45 Actually get out of bed, brush teeth, throw on clean clothes and walk to breakfast.
8:00 Breakfast time. Tyler shows me how to pick out a good bagel, “Go for one on under the others because it will be nice and warm still!” He rounds his meal out with a glass of OJ and a banana.
8:45 Back to the cabin to clean (Tyler makes a noise resembling “ugh”). Cleaning is quick, so tennis ball game is quickly invented.
9:15 Bunk period. Tyler is excited to go banana boating (and so am I!). Tyler brings the tennis ball on the banana boat but loses it within seconds. Tyler requests that Alex drive “as fast as legally possible!” Banana boating is “awesome and exciting. You feel like a million dollars when you come back to the dock.”
9:55 Run back to cabin change for morning classes, but then Tyler remembers he has waterskiing, so he just grabs a towel.
10:00 We hop into the van for waterskiing. A bigger lake more suited for waterskiing is just five minutes down the road. To optimize instruction time for each camper, CNS uses a double-block to teach waterskiing. Tyler volunteers to go first. He learned to waterski at North Star and has gotten really good at slalom skiing. I asked Tyler if it was hard to learn and he said, “No one gives up on you. Everyone gets up because the counselors are good at explaining what you need to do to improve.”
12:30 Down time. Tyler has an hour of bunk time now to relax and chill. He decides he better get going on his summer reading book, The Giver.
1:30 Tyler and two of the other Cairo boys (Cairo is his bunk) head to woodworking where they are making skim boards. A few funny ideas are tossed around before Tyler decides to decorate his with his favorite baseball team’s logo—the Yankees.
2:30 Can’t pull Tyler away from the waterfront. Now he has sailing. They capsize. And capsize. And capsize. But, Tyler and his friends laugh the WHOLE time.
3:30 Quick change for cricket. I thought we’d be back on the water, but Tyler wanted to end his day with something dry and something new, cricket. Tyler helps explain “that a wicket is a little stump thingy.”
4:30 “Free time!!!” First, to the cabin to shower. Smell inspection reveals that Tyler has indeed showered. Snack is next on the list of things to do. Gaga is next. There goes the shower! Next is the basketball hoop for a quick game of knock-out. Before we know it the bell is ringing for camp meeting.
5:45 Fire ring for camp meeting. Tyler sings the songs extra loudly and clearly “There was a great big Moooooose who likes to drink a lot of juice.” Tyler is mentioned during the daily segment called “Good news.” Counselor Gavin announces “I would like Tyler to stand up. Today, Tyler did a really simple, but kind thing…he invited the youngest boys’ cabin to join his table at lunch. Thanks, Tyler!”
6:00 Dinner Bell. Dinner is a cookout. Hot dog or Hamburger? Tyler goes with a Hamburger and says, “you really can’t go wrong on cookout night.”
6:45 Quick stop in the bunk to get ready for evening program. The Cairo boys don’t waste a minute before getting their tennis ball out.
7:15 Evening Program Starts. Tonight is the Picture Scavenger hung. Cairo is ready for a challenge. Tyler describes the group as “competitive but we like to have fun.”
8:30 Evening Program is winding down and Cairo narrowly avoids victory. Tyler doesn’t mind, he “had the best time anyway.”
8:45 Grove Time. A small fire is lit in the grove. Tyler and the other campers hang out and Tyler pretends to play the guitar. He sings along when counselor Hannah gets some real tunes going.
9:15 Cairo cabin heads off to bed! I ask Tyler for a final thought on the day and he gets straight to the point, “Can we have more chocolate in our cabin?”