Daily Updates from The Shores

Daily Updates from the summer of 2021!

Week 1 Pineneedle
Week 2 & 3 Pineneedle

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday was a blast, and it started right from the first notes of “Reveille”! Everybody woke up happy, healthy, and ready to go for another beautiful and sunny day at Kawaga.

The enthusiasm began with an energetic and spirited Polar Bears and a fan-favorite breakfast of French Toast. After a great inspection, we moved into Clubs where this week we have introduced Wiffle Ball and Net Ball as new-to-Kawaga Clubs. Everyone’s loving these two new additions.

After lunch, we entered into the Playoffs for our Leagues.The intensity was certainly notched up a bit and provided many spirited and down-to-the-wire games. In particular, the Chip League games (among our youngest campers) were amazing to watch.The boys really are demonstrating outstanding Sportsmanship across the board, and we are very proud of them.

The remainder of the afternoon focused on Cup Competitions where there was some really exciting action on the Paddle Tennis Courts. This new activity for Camp also means a new Cup Competition!

For our Evening Program, the boys participated in the Kawaga version of Hunger Games — where the entire camp divides into teams identified by colors. Campers were given water balloons to get people “out.” It was a blast, and a great time was had by all!

Yes, we had a full camp day. Looking forward to more today, too!

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren

Tuesday, 3rd August, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

We had another beautiful day at Kawaga yesterday. Everyone’s happy, healthy, and fully into the swing of our last week of Clubs.

I want to take a minute today to talk about how amazing our staff has been this summer. Everyday, we are reminded about how lucky we are to have these outstanding men and women on our team, teaching your boys valuable skills and being role models and mentors for them.Their enthusiasm is contagious, and they truly are the engine that makes Camp go.

Yesterday in Clubs, we saw many examples of the staff going above and beyond in their creativity and teaching skills. Our resident racquet-sport professional, Laura, is leading an Advanced Tennis club this week.The level of competition, quality of instruction, and spirit she is bringing to these lessons is amazing. We’ve been blessed to have Laura on our team this summer leading tennis, pickleball, and, of course, our new paddle tennis program. They boys have improved their games so much over the course of this Summer.

We also continued full speed ahead with our Cup Competitions and saw some great sailing action.Our new boats look beautiful racing through Lake Kawaguesaga!

That’s all for today, everyone. Please be well and enjoy your day too!

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

The days are flying by and we are now full speed ahead into Week 7! Hard to believe how fast it’s going, but we’re taking advantage of it and excited for all that lies ahead.The boys are doing great, and after a much needed late sleep yesterday, they had another great day!

We are starting to get into our annual Cup Competitions, where the boys have the opportunity to compete against one another in individual events such as tennis, sailing, skiing, target sports, and more. Broken down into age groups, the boys are all active and taking part in these events with great enthusiasm. Yesterday kicked off our tennis Cups and there was amazing action on the courts all day long.These will run right up until the final days of Camp; so stay tuned for the results!

We also had our first Big Powwow of the second session yesterday, and it was a memorable one. The Big Powwow is an opportunity for the entire camp to come together where we reflect on the weeks that have passed and set the tone for the remainder of the summer. Last night, we also recognized all the boys who gained entrance into Mawanda and Sachem this summer. Seeing the pride and happiness on these boys’ faces is always an annual highlight for us!

We start our final week of Clubs today, and, excitingly, the CITs will have their first opportunity to assist in teaching Clubs this week. We’re looking forward to watching these boys, as they begin their transition from campers to counselors.

That’s all for now — enjoy your day everyone!

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Good morning parents!

What an incredible and eventful day we had yesterday, during another day of sunshine on the Shores. We held our first-ever Kawaga Olympics. Campers were split into 10 teams to represent countries around the world and competed in summer Olympic events like diving, synchronized swimming, track and field, baseball, and volleyball! Israel was able to take the win; everyone had a wonderful day and got an awesome new shirt to represent their country.

We had a very special lunch with a poke bowl smorgasbord!! From jalapeños to seaweed salad to homemade ginger dressing, it was a meal that we will all remember! Campers sat with their Olympic teams, so we got to have a fun mixup of cheers to represent all of their countries.

The fun didn’t stop there. After an incredible full camp evening program, we surprised the campers with a midnight (actually at 10pm this year) movie where we rented out the local theater in town! Our younger campers got to watch “Space Jam 2,” while our older campers got to watch “Black Widow”. It was so fun to be together, outside of camp for a special late night with their best buddies, and then follow it up with a much-needed Sunday late sleep.

The day was full, rewarding, and an absolute blast. Can’t wait to see what today brings.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Ty & Lauren

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

We had an amazing day yesterday at Kawaga. A truly beautiful day, with crystal-clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70s. The boys are all doing terrific, happy and healthy, and making the most of every minute they have here.

Yesterday started off as a typical day, but ended up with a few surprises. After morning Clubs, we had a camp favorite lunch of pizza. The afternoon saw some amazing action in Leagues; our Mohawks in particular were getting after it. Leagues are a really fun part of the day, where the boys not only compete against one another in everything from basketball to flickerball, softball to dodgeball, newcomb to hockey, they learn what it’s like to be part of a team and demonstrate what Kawaga Sportsmanship is all about: playing hard, playing to win, but always remembering to be proud and unbending in defeat and humble and gentle in victory.

As we moved into dinner, there was a buzz in the air that something special was coming, and it was. Our Evening Program last night was Goldrush, where cabin teams get together to find treasure hidden all over camp in the hopes of earning Kawaga Kash. This EP is always a highlight of the summer, and the boys had a blast.

But, the night did not stop there. As you may have noticed on our Social Media (please follow @campkawaga if you do not already), after the Goldrush was completed, we had the Opening Ceremonies for our Olympic Day. Complete with a torch ceremony and a magnificent fireworks display over Kawaga Bay, the boys are divided into 10 teams representing different countries and will be competing in Olympic-style games throughout today!

Finally, and with gratitude, this morning we must say “see ya next Summer” to our amazing Rookie Campers who will be heading home. They have had an amazing few weeks at Kawaga, and we look forward to seeing them back on the Shores next summer. Parents, please be proud of all they have accomplished, and thank you for trusting us with them these past few weeks. We look forward to connecting with you in the Fall.

That’s all for now — we’ve got a big day ahead here. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren


Friday, July 30, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

What a day we had yesterday — a picture-perfect Kawaga day filled with activities, healthy and happy campers, and enthusiasm all over Camp!

We woke up to beautiful sunny weather that continued throughout the day. The wind picked up a bit during the day, which gave many of the boys opportunities to achieve their contracts in sailing. We’ve been talking to you quite a bit about “contracts,” which are goals that boys set and that we help monitor their progress as they work hard to achieve these goals. We’re just so proud of our boys, who take their contracts so seriously.

As Lauren discussed in great detail yesterday in Laurens Letter, we have several campers working towards Double Sachem this summer. Their contracts set the tone for their working to reach this special honor. Their spirit and determination are inspiring their fellow campers, too! Truly, what Being Kawaga is all about.

We also had a brand-new Evening Program last night we call Chaos and Control. This event matched the counselors and CITs against the campers in a variety of fun games and activities. It’s already a huge hit, and we look forward to bringing it back next summer.

Hope everyone has a great Friday.

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

We had another great day yesterday. The boys are healthy and very happy. Time is flying up here, and it’s hard to believe we have only a few weeks of Camp left. Rest assured, though, we are taking full advantage!

The day began with an early return by our Chips from their overnight camping trip at Baker Lake. The Chip Trip is such a fun tradition, where most of these boys experience the joys of building a fire, cooking out, and setting up and sleeping in tents for the very first time. I (Ty) surprised them by sneaking over to make dinner over the campfire for them, too. They enjoyed telling stories in their tents too. It was a blast. Oh, how we love to be at Kawaga when the Chips go out on Trips!

The weather was again hot and humid and we again made sure the boys had plenty of opportunity to take advantage of our waterfront (as well as making sure they were plenty hydrated). After a delicious lunch of fish and chips, we moved into Leagues and a large block of Open Areas.

Shortly after dinner, we had a bit of rain, which gave us an opportunity to have a relaxing and very well received Movie Night. We all watched Miracle. A great time was had by all.

Enjoy your day, everyone!

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren


Wednesday, July 28th, 2021 

Good Morning Kawga Parents,

After some much needed late sleep, the boys woke up happy and healthy and ready for another beautiful day at Camp Kawaga. Yesterday was Picture Day, too, which made for a bit of an adjustment to our typical programming. But, when your boys receive their Memory Books this winter, they’ll be happily reminded of their friends and their summer.

Morning Clubs were moved into the afternoon, and we witnessed some great instructional programming taking place all over camp. Our staff is doing a terrific job this summer teaching your boys these skills. Whether it’s working on their jump shot or rebounding techniques in basketball or exploring the beautiful Northwoods in Outdoor Adventure, your boys are experiencing a well-rounded array of instructional programming every day. Also this afternoon, many of our new Chips headed over to Baker Lake for a quick overnighter. We’re excited to hear their stories when they return this morning!

After a delicious outdoor dinner, we had Leagues for our Evening Program. The highlight of the night was Oneida Dodgeball.The game was very spirited and went right down to the wire.

Finally, last night we continued our Oneida Paddle League, an “under-the-lights” opportunity for our oldest campers to play Paddle Tennis and have some special hang-out time after the rest of the Camp has gone to bed. We can’t wait for you all to see this awesome new facility next time you’re on the Shores.

Have a great day, everyone!

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

As you know by now, we had an eventful overnight with some unexpected severe weather that moved quickly into Camp. As is our policy, we quickly implemented our safety plan and moved the entire Camp into the Mess Hall basement which serves as our storm shelter. We remained there for a few hours until the all clear was given. Thankfully, everyone is safe and sound and no damage was done. The boys are getting some extra rest this morning, too, to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Now, about yesterday…

We had yet another great day. The boys are healthy, enthusiastic, and fully into the swing of Camp. The weather was warm again, but breezy, which made for some outstanding sailing during morning Clubs.

As you may recall, last weekend’s sermon from Bradley Gottlieb focused on the little things that make the difference and how small moments at Camp are creating lasting memories. During afternoon Open Areas, we witnessed several of these moments. Many of our new campers spent quality time with their Big Brothers at Free Swim and shooting archery. It’s amazing to see these relationships growing and the leadership of our Big Brothers on display.

We also have a number of campers striving to achieve their contracts this week — goals in specific areas of camp from swimming and skiing to conditioning and target sports. Achievement helps campers earn points towards Mawanda and Sachem. Yesterday saw many boys successfully complete their goals in canoeing and fire proficiency (talk about a lifelong safety skill!). The rope burn is a particularly difficult task where campers are challenged to build their own fire and, in a controlled time limit, complete a burning of a rope hanging over the fire. It was so fun to watch the excitement build as campers neared completion and feel the joy and pride of these campers as they achieved their goals.

We capped off the night with one of our classic EPs (aka Evening programs), The Counselor Hunt, where campers go as cabin groups and try to find counselors who are hiding all over Camp. This year’s theme was Star Wars. A great time was had by all!

Enjoy your day today, everyone!

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren


Monday, July 26, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

Your boys are doing absolutely fantastic — happy, healthy, and because of our traditional late-sleep Sundays, well-rested. We had a very hot and breezy day on the Shores and made sure the boys had plenty of opportunities to take advantage of all that Lake Kawaguesaga has to offer.

After a delicious Sunday morning brunch, we had our traditional morning Clubs followed by a large block of Open Areas. Water-skiing continues to be among the most popular choices. We have so many campers looking to achieve their next Miracle and their determination to learn this great sport is exciting to watch. We also had a large group of CITs take advantage of the opportunity to play nine holes of golf at a neighboring course.

We had an especially spirited Mess Hall today, too! We never quite know when one of these nights is going to happen where the entire camp’s energy and enthusiasm for just being at Kawaga is on full display. College fight songs were the highlight of the day, both from this year’s Spectacular teams and some from years past. The energy was contagious throughout and made for a very fun meal.

Finally, we had our first small powwow of the second session last night. These gatherings within age groups are opportunities for the boys to share their reflections on the week that’s passed and goals for the weeks to come.

Parents, we are having a blast and cannot believe we are already full speed ahead into Week Six of our summer.

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren


Sunday, July 25th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Saturdays are special at Kawaga each week, where our traditional Saturday Morning Service offers an opportunity for the boys to reflect on the week that has passed and learn from one of our counselors in the Saturday Sermon.

The boys are happy and healthy and doing fantastic. After a quick morning rain shower, the clear blue skies that followed gave us an awesome Saturday on the Shores! The morning started off with breakfast followed by inspection. During inspection campers have time to clean their cabins, connect with one another, and get ready for the day. We then moved into our services where we had the privilege of learning today from Bradley Gottleib. “Bob,” as he is affectionately known around Camp, delivered a heartfelt and emotional sermon highlighting the symbolism of the little moments that truly differentiate the Kawaga experience. We continue to be inspired by the growth our staff is demonstrating and the leadership they are providing to your boys.

We then moved right into our traditional Saturday Leagues Doubleheader. The competition throughout the day created an energetic atmosphere that could be felt in all areas of camp.

Later on, the Mohawk As embarked on an overnight trip to Baker Lake, while the Seniors continued their competition series with our Counselors.

After a wonderful outdoor meal, our Evening Program for the night was ESPN 8 “The Ocho”, where campers moved from station to station competing in a variety of fun games. The Oneidas (our oldest campers) got to enjoy some special time in our newly formed Paddle Tennis League. It’s really fun watching them learn and grow their skills in this new and exciting Kawaga activity.

We are looking forward to an amazing Sunday here. We hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend as well!

Be Kawaga!

Ty and Lauren

—-

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

Welcome to the weekend. We’re excited for ours, with everybody happy, healthy and raring to go!

Our streak of good weather continues. We had another hot, dry day yesterday. The overcast morning gave everybody a calm start to the day, and the sun came out right on schedule by late morning.

Parents, your boys are eating well! They especially loved yesterday’s blueberry pancakes, which got everybody going for a happily typical Kawaga programming day of Clubs, Leagues, and Open Areas. Boys are learning, playing and achieving! Yesterday, 13 campers ran a mile to satisfy their running contract for Sachem, and five boys completed their running contract with a two-mile run. We also had five boys swim to Phian, the small island that you can see from our shores. The fastest time was just over 25 minutes, while a few of the younger boys made it in just over an hour. Proud campers!

After a wonderful spaghetti and garlic bread dinner, our new first-year campers were introduced to their Big Brothers, a beloved Kawaga tradition. The older boys immediately stepped in, pairing with their Little Brothers during our Evening Program, “Water Wars”! What a great way to cool us all off after a hot, fun day.

We can’t wait for what today brings!

Ty & Lauren

Friday, July 23, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday was another great day at camp! Everybody’s happy, doing great, and feeling great.

As you’ve seen, the Daily Updates give you a quick glimpse into the previous day’s activities — what campers are doing. Weekly, we also share our perspective on how the campers are feeling. Yesterday’s “Ty’s Take” did just that; we invite you to read it here.

We continue to have wonderful weather this session, which of course makes for an easier morning transition. We love watching the boys jump in the lake for Polar Bears. What a way to wake up!

Our kitchen staff whipped up some crowd-pleasing French Toast for breakfast to fuel the boys as they headed out to clubs. It’s so great to walk around the camp during this instructional period, seeing boys learn the fundamentals of throwing and catching a football; dribbling and passing in both soccer and basketball; footwork on the tennis court; the amazing history of the Native Americans who not long ago lived on this land; and so much more.

Thursday is Miracle Day down at the ski docks! A “miracle” is what we call the event when a boy get up on waterskis for the first time and skis all the way around the bay. On Miracle Day, those boys who are going for their “miracle” go to the front of the line and are rooted on by their fellow campers.

We had one of the boys favorites, chicken tenders for lunch, which helped to settle them in for Rest Hour, followed by a full afternoon Leagues and Open Areas. With the warm temps, many campers opted to be in or on the water; our fleet of sailboats and paddle boats were in high use!

For our evening program, each group spilt up around camp and played a different Kawaga-bred sport. The Chips played Maceball, which is a mix of Capture the Flag and U\ultimate Frisbee. The Siouxs played Voccer, which is soccer with a volleyball; the Mohawks played Flicker Hoops; and the Oneidas played Home Depot Ball, a game where we divide into four teams with the object of getting a volley ball into a trash can on the other end of the field. Talk all-out fun! What a great way to wrap up a wonderful day.

Enjoy yours, parents. You can be sure we’ll have another great day on the Shores.

Ty & Lauren

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga parents,

We’re doing great here — happy, healthy, enjoying the spectacular weather!

Yesterday was another incredible day on the Shores. The boys woke up super excited because it was the first typical day of camp after pods! They enjoyed the morning routine as a full camp: Polar Bears followed by breakfast all together in the Mess Hall. Campers were truly ecstatic to be reunited. The Mess Hall was rocking with cheering and singing. It’s just so great watching the young boys, who recently arrived, take this all in with amazement and huge smiles.

We then had cabin inspection and club signups, when the boys choose their instructional activity for the week. Some of this week’s more popular clubs include skiing, target sports, football, basketball, and paddle tennis.

Following a crowd-pleasing lunch and a well-timed Rest Hour, we went into Leagues in which campers compete in a wide range of sports and activities, including flag football, basketball, and hockey. We had enjoyed Open Areas, during which campers can choose what activities to participate in throughout camp, with yesterday’s special attraction being Frisbee Gold competition. .

After a delicious dinner, we announced one of our most anticipated evening programs, Fortnite! The boys run around camp, with tucked-in flags, trying to knock each other out by pulling each other’s flags and throwing water balloons at each other until the last one standing wins! As you can imagine, this is always a huge hit and the boys, who didn’t want to stop! But, all fun things must come to an end, and it was time to head to the showers and then to bed.

What a day! What a wonderful group of boys. We can’t wait for all that’s in store today!

Ty & Lauren

P.S. Please check our social media later today for this week’s “Ty’s Take” about the Kawaga “bubble”; you can also check right back here under “News.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Feel great today! We received the results of yesterday’s Covid tests last evening, and all were negative. The boys were thrilled and have already moved out of their pods. But, yesterday was special. Let us share with you…

Campers boys woke up bright and early for Covid tests. We have the routine pretty well down now (the benefit, we suppose, of methodically dealing with this virus for two summers); so, without any delay, we moved right into our usual morning routine. Many of the boys did their Polar Bear jump into the lake, and then headed back to their cabins to get ready for breakfast. We enjoyed a full day of activities within our pods. Especially for the new arrivals (although they’re already feeling like Kawaga veterans), the idea of being in pods one more day is an opportunity to more quickly get to know your group.

So, we did leagues within pods, playing dodgeball, basketball, football, tennis and many more sports and activities! After a delicious lunch and Rest Hour, we moved into Open Areas, allowing the boys to choose — within pods — how they’d like to enjoy all that camp has to offer. Guys were skiing and sailing, playing paddle and pickle, and even shooting archery.

Everybody worked up a big appetite for a delicious outdoor dinner, staying within pods in many of our meeting places around camp. Yet, there was electricity in the air. And, then it happened. Ty — in the middle of Diamond One — was holding a megaphone and commanding everyone’s attention. YES!!! He announced that we had once again “weathered the storm”: that we had all tested negative for Covid, and it was time to come together as a full camp!

All the boys rushed into the middle of the field hugging their friends — both those within and outside of their pods. Now, we can begin the 2021 Kawaga second session as one camp, one community! We’re so proud of and grateful for everyone — parents, campers, staff, and of course our medical team — who helped to make this possible!

After the coming-together celebration, we held what’s become our traditional first evening program of a new session: Capture the Flag! Then it was to the showers and off the bed for the boys.

Parents, thank you for everything you’ve done to make this happen, including all your support and trust. We’re beyond excited to fully begin this session. And, wow, what a summer we have in store for your boys!

Ty & Lauren


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

We had an absolutely beautiful, wonderful, fantastic Kawaga day yesterday. And, we’re ready for more fun and sun today!

Our new four-weekers (okay, they already feel at home and a huge part of camp) have energized us all! We see it everywhere around camp, as we’re spread out in pods for the first time since the beginning of the first session. As we’ve learned, with each change, the campers readily adapt, finding new ways to have fun. After all, these lucky boys are at Camp Kawaga!

Campers in each pod, at our own designated dock for our morning Polar Bears, woke up to a jump in the lake. After the refreshing plunge, each pod headed off to its outdoor eating locations. After cabin inspection, we rolled into activity rotations for the day. It’s so amazing to watch not only the eyes of the first-year campers get huge when they see all that Kawaga has to offer, but also the same excited amazement at all of our new facilities and activities by the returning second-session campers.

From playing on our all-new paddle courts to basketball, trampball, archery, pickleball, and softball, campers enjoyed an active morning. We continued at the same cadence after lunch, adding in some more favorites, like flag football, tennis, and of course, waterskiing.

After a delicious dinner, each pod enjoyed its own evening program. Some staged paddle tournaments while others played dodgeball and basketball. After a full day of activity, it was time to hit the showers and head off to bed.

Parents, we will be administering Covid tests to all campers this morning. We will of course share the results with you as soon as we know, which we would expect to have within 24 hours.

Enjoy your day, as we will in our beautiful second home on the Shores.

Ty & Lauren

Monday, July 19, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Today your boys woke up well rested and beyond excited to officially begin our second session, energized by our new four-weekers!

Yesterday, as we anticipated their arrival, we kept busy with activities, from kickball to basketball and volleyball. During lunch we were updated on the status of the buses, eagerly awaiting the boys’ arrival. And then during Rest Hour, we got the announcement: the busses have just pulled into Kawaga Road! Our second-session campers were finally here!

Everybody rushed down to greet their new cabin mates! We unpacked and then began our three-day pod protocol. Repeating what we did in the first session, each group of campers will be physically separating from the others until we get an “all clear” on testing in three days. (Parents of eight-week campers: the new campers have gone through the same testing protocol your boys did before leaving for camp, having been tested and receiving a negative Covid result.)

After everybody settled in, we got right into activities by pods. Swimming, skiing, dodgeball, paddle, basketball, you name it! With our expanded footprint and facilities, we have plenty of room to separate into pods — though we’re all looking forward to coming together soon! So,
despite the physical separation, you could still feel the electricity in the air for the start of the session. Each pod then had its own Evening Program, including soccer with a volleyball (really fun!) on Diamond One and 3-on-3 basketball tournaments. The boys headed back to the cabins, showered, and got into bed, exhausted from all the activity and exhilarated for what’s to come.

Parents, please check here every morning at 9am for our Daily Update and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for photos and more. Have a great Monday!

Ty & Lauren

Sunday, July 18th 2021

Good morning Kawgaa parents,

Yesterday morning your boys woke up excited to zoom with you! Hope you enjoyed seeing and spending time with your sons and hearing about the first half of their Kawaga summer!

After our usual morning routine, we headed down to the OD Court for Saturday services. For many of our boys, this is a special time to reflect back on their week. We enjoyed a beautiful sermon delivered by our very own Sean Gooze. Sean, in a particularly poignant talk (which you can read here), told the boys how much the spirit and lessons of Kawaga helped him through this past year, and how he’s arrived at a new understanding of the Kawaga Ideal means.

We then rolled into some Open Areas until lunch. As always, the boys enjoyed their favorite activities, played hard, and were ready for a nice rest hour. Next, our programming staff put on a camp-wide game called an “Outbreak.” Our CITs acted as zombies while the rest of the boys had to run around camp solving clues to find the cure to the “zombie disease”!

We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying Open Areas, especially on the water. It was a bit toasty on the Shores today, so we opened up a hydration station where the boys could come by and grab a nice cold beverage and a snack. We enjoyed an outdoor meal where each age group sat at their respective powwow site, made a fire, cooked some hotdogs, and roasted some smores.

Concluding the incredible day, we all gathered in the Mess Hall to watch the NBA finals while placing bets to win Kawaga Kash on the game. Although yesterday seemed like a typical day at camp, it was not.

Though most of our campers are here for the full eight weeks, we do miss our first-four-weekers, while we can’t wait for the arrival of our second-four-weekers.

And, of course, the boys were thrilled to speak to you guys over zoom. Our incredible staff helped set up each camper on an iPad and made sure they were able to spend time with their families.

So, the boys really enjoyed our (hopefully one-and-only) Virtual Visitors Weekend! Next year on the Shores…

Ty & Lauren

Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

The boys woke up this morning a bit more somber. The lake was covered in fog, setting a mood for Polar Bears and a “so long” to our first-session four week-campers, who were packed and ready to depart. After breakfast, everyone headed down to the buses for a proper send-off.

We then had an extended inspection to get the cabins nice and neat for the arrival of our second-session four-weekers. Then, the boys were ready to get out there and get active. We ran Open Areas until lunch, enjoying every activity at camp from sailing to tennis!

The boys spent much of the day in activities with their cabinmates — swimming, skiing, boat rides, and much more! We opened up more activities after lunch, with boys of different ages playing with each other, as we got ready for our Evening program: Cabin competition! Cabin groups played each other in football, basketball, and dodgeball, while the CITs enjoyed a rousing softball game. Following the special day, we headed to the showers to refresh and get ready for our second-session campers to join us. We are ready!

Yes, it was a different Kawaga day, but an appropriate one of reflection, so-longs, and anticipation for what’s to come. We can’t wait for the new four-weekers to arrive and for the second session to begin!

Parents, enjoy your reunions with your boys. Get ready for some wonderful stories. Thank you for sharing your sons.

Be Kawaga,

Ty & Lauren

Friday, July 16, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Your boys woke up this morning well rested after a much-needed late wake-up call! And, of course, with great enthusiasm (despite a few yawns), many of the boys jumped into the lake for our daily Polar Bears! After a delicious breakfast followed by some packing from our four-week campers, each cabin had about two hours to spend in activities with members of their cabin.

During this special time, many cabins went on boat rides, played sports, swam in the lake, and so much more! After lunch, many of the Oneidas competed in a Senior vs. Counselor soccer game. Then everyone enjoyed Open Areas areas all the way up until dinner. For four-weekers, it was their last of the summer, and everyone savored participating in their favorite activities one last time. Every area in camp was open from skiing to archery! We then indulged in Kawaga‘s version of fine dining! We ate incredible steak prepared by our kitchen staff. The boys then had some extra time to pass around some balls and shoot some hoops as we prepared for the last final Powwow of the first session. Many campers, based on their achievements, were honored by gaining entrance into Mawanda and Sachem. We’re sad to say “so long” to our four weekers, but we’re excited to welcome them back next year!

Parents, as always, thank you for trusting us with your boys. For those of you whose sons are headed home, enjoy your reunion. For you eight-week parents, stay tuned for details on our Virtual Visitors Weekend.

Ty & Lauren

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Every summer there are days where the anticipation and excitement of the moment rise above. Yesterday, the final day of The 2021 Kawaga Spectacular, was one of those days. The “Specy” as it is affectionately referred to around Camp, is always an annual highlight of our programming calendar and this year’s competition has been no exception.

The morning began with our last block of team competition. The events have been so closely contested, but the sportsmanship and spirit that we have seen has been what we will remember most. The highlight of the morning was the canoe race, where senior campers from each team competed in races across Kawaga Bay.

As the afternoon approached, and just as the Super Duper Relay was about to begin, the rain clouds opened up and we had to call an audible. We moved right into practices for Song/Skit that would be concluding the Spectacular later in the evening. This extra practice time really paid off, though, and gave the boys a great opportunity to nail down their song and skit for the evening performances.

Song/Skit Night is always the most anticipated event of the Spectacular and it sure did not disappoint this year! The Specy is special for many reasons–the competition, the spirit and enthusiasm, the college teams and fight songs, and, of course, the cool t-shirts! But, for us, what makes it truly meaningful is seeing the teams come together as one unit; from CITS to Chips and all campers in between, the entire team plays a role and contributes to each other’s success. And no event in The Spectacular symbolizes that better than Song/Skit Night.

This year, the boys raised the bar to levels we have never seen. The fight songs were sung with joy and pride. Some of the very creative skits included everything from a mock trial to a Pokemon reenactment. All the teams did spectacular and cheered each other on.

Once every team had performed, as is tradition, the entire Camp headed to the council ring where the CIT’s led the boys in some awesome songs and cheers while the judges conversed and tallied up the final score. After three days of spirited competition, we came back together again as one Kawaga Nation. It was finally time for the results– The University of Miami Hurricanes had won the 2021 Kawaga Spectacular!

Wow, an amazing few days here on the Shores. It’s hard to believe our first session is winding down–we’re going to enjoy every minute today. Enjoy your day, too.

Ty & Lauren

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday we had an incredible second full day of Spectacular activities! All the boys woke up healthy and rested up, ready to play some more. After morning Polar Bears, the boys were fueled up for the day with some delicious pancakes!

Following cabin inspection, we rolled straight into competition blocks. Campers competed in everything from football and basketball to ultimate frisbee! After taking a few minutes to cool down with some team meetings and cheers, we went right into individual tournaments, including tennis, paddle tennis (for the first time at Kawaga!), three-on three-basketball, and many more!

As you can imagine, after all this activity, campers were happy to head back to the cabins for a much-needed rest hour! The boys then switched from the events that they had participated in the previous days to new ones. Juniors participated in swimming competitions, and seniors in track-and-field events. After all that competition, we moved to unstructured Open Areas followed by a delicious buffet-style dinner.

After some quick team meetings, we went straight into the final block of competition for the day, followed by the final couple rounds of tug-of-war. And, to top off the amazing day, we were treated to an incredible sunset!

We can’t wait for what today brings! We’ll continue to report the latest to you on social media. Enjoy your day, too.

Ty & Lauren


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday, your boys woke up to perfect weather for the first full day of the 2021 Kawaga Spectacular.

After all the campers woke up well-rested and feeling great, many teams started off their mornings with Polar Bears led by their team coaches and captains. The electric energy carried into breakfast where all the teams chanted their cheers loud and proud! Following breakfast, we had an incredible morning of competition blocks. The boys played everything from softball and basketball to flicker hooks, ultimate frisbee, and many more!

We rolled out of Rest Hour into our track and field and swim competition! The seniors competed in a swim meet, which included individual strokes, relay races, and even a race across the bay. While the seniors were enjoying their time in the water, the juniors participated in their own track and field events. Some of the favorites were the 50-yard dash, the long jump, and the ball throw.

We took some time to unwind after our afternoon competitions with Open Areas time before dinner. Following dinner, we moved right into another block of some amazing competition! Concluding the incredible day we all gathered on Diamond Two for Kawaga’s annual Spectacular tug-of-war matches, which everybody got in the mood for by practicing their teams’ cheer and getting energized by the music played over the PA system. We then headed to bed to get some rest for the amazing next couple of days we have coming up!

Parents, your boys are showing incredible Enthusiasm, Sportsmanship, and Fellowship as they compete. We couldn’t be prouder. As the Spectacular continues, make sure to check our social posts for regular updates.

Enjoy your day, too!

Ty & Lauren

Monday, July 12th, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday continued with the same amazing weather we enjoyed the day before! Everybody’s happy, healthy, and excited for today.

Yesterday morning, in true Kawaga-styled fun, campers learned their Spectacular teams. With campers lined up on the side of the Omni, the coaches revealed their college-logoed team shirts. Next, the captains of each team chose their meeting spots throughout camp. When campers and coaches returned to the Omni, they ceremoniously held up the shirts, yelling, “Who wants this shirt?!” which brought cheers from the boys. After every camper received his shirt, learning his team, boys began to learn the college fight songs. And so began the 2021 Kawaga Spectacular!

We enjoyed three blocks of competition yesterday. We love seeing the determination the boys showed, but even more so the sportsmanship. We never stop learning at Camp Kawaga. The captains and coaches did so well in making sure the first-year campers and the younger boys had a great time and felt a big part of it all.

We all took a break from the competition to spread around camp enjoying Open Areas — skiing, sailing, fishing, paddle, tennis, trampball, you name it!

Immediately after dinner, campers had more time to connect with their team and learn their school’s fight song. The team meeting led into the fourth block of competition with action-packed games of dodgeball, hockey, and flickerball.

The very special day was capped by an equally special evening: the second Big Powwow of the session. What a feeling of togetherness and purpose.

Please make sure to check out our social-media posts today for updates on the Spectacular!

Ty & Lauren

Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

We enjoyed the most beautiful weather on the Shores yesterday morning!

The morning started off like any typical Saturday morning with Breakfast, Inspection, Services, Leagues, and Open Areas. Campers enjoyed a crowd favorite for lunch; chicken wings! This has them sufficiently fuelled for the competitive afternoon which was in store. In addition to our typical leagues games, the Oneida’s (our oldest campers) all fought hard in their senior basketball games against the counselors. Throughout the rest of the summer, the boys will continue to have opportunities to play the counselors in a series of sports including ultimate frisbee, soccer, football, and more.

Last night’s Evening Program was a “sports combine” in preparation for the first round of the Kawaga Spectacular Draft. For our new parents, the Kawaga Spectacular is an all camp inclusive competition that will begin TODAY and will run until Wednesday (July 13th). The entire camp will be divided into 10 teams, each of which will represent a US college. Each team will be coached by two counselors and will have a senior camper chosen as a captain. Be sure to follow us on social media (@campkawaga) to find out all of the teams and to stay up to date with the current standings.

During the combine, campers had the opportunity to display their athletic talents through a series of challenges which included catching footballs, running around bases, and showing off their basketball skills on the Omni. The coaches watched eagerly, scouting out potential talent for their respective teams!

The combine was soon followed by a live first round draft pick for the Kawaga Spectacular. Each of the coaches was interviewed by our commissioners (Kyle Slavin and Jackson Froelich) before they made their choice for who they would like to captain their teams. The atmosphere in the mess hall was electric. You could sense the anticipation of every camper in the room. Our first year campers were swept up in the excitement of it all, eagerly offering suggestions of who they thought would be picked for each team. Returning campers heavily debated which team they were hoping to be on based on the different logos each team was sporting, their favorite counselors, and what colours they thought each team’s shirts would be. The senior campers sat at the back of the mess hall with bated breath… The CITs were dressed as they were on the first day of camp, in khaki shorts and their button down shirts. Who would have the honor of captaining one of the ten teams for the 2021 Kawaga Spectacular?

Throughout today we will be showcasing the chosen teams, coaches, and captains. We hope to give you a sneak preview into the magical moments when campers find out what team they’re on by receiving their team’s shirt. We will also be updating you on the standings of the competition, with the first block of games being completed this evening! It’s going to be a busy, fun filled, energetic couple of days, and we cannot wait!

Ty & Lauren

Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

Our beautiful weather continued yesterday. It’s just so great to see campers enjoying everything camp has to offer. And, though we’re a full camp, because of our expanding facilities, we’ve never felt bigger..

The morning started off with the Group 2’s canoeing back from their camping trip as conquering heroes. They had a great time — bonding, laughing, eating!

Everyone then enjoyed a typical Kawaga day with Clubs and Open Areas. Following a tasty lunch and spirited Mess Hall cheering, it was time for the annual Kawaga

In the early afternoon campers had Leagues followed by another block of Open Areas. While this was going on, the Kawaga Regatta, our annual sailboat race now in its fourth decade! We had great participation this year, with campers sailing for most of the afternoon, racing through the bays near Kawaga.

The Evening Program was the staff show. The counselors entertained us with funny skits, songs, and games, and had every camper laughing and wanting more! There was a special appearance from “The Pointer Brothers”, as well as a puzzle presented by the international staff! Be sure to ask your boys about it this letter writing day. Although our first year counselors had an opportunity to shine on stage during their CIT year last summer, yesterday was their first time performing as official staff men. And boy they did not disappoint! They brought us all right back to the action from the 2020 Kawaga Spectacular (rather fitting given that this year’s Spectacular begins tonight with a live first round draft!). Their skit saw them introducing one another in ridiculous and humorous ways. For example, Malcolm Newmark was announced to be the 1st pick in the 2020 Soectacular due to being 6 ft 6 and an absolute machine of an athlete… in reality, Malcolm’s best sport is definitely the Knowledge Bowl and he comes in at no more than 5 ft 6! The boys thoroughly enjoyed the humor and light hearted-ness of the evening!

Have a great day and see you here tomorrow!

Ty & Lauren

Friday, July 9th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

We enjoyed a beautiful, sunny Thursday. We never take for granted the spectacular setting we live and play in everyday. We have a few resident Bald Eagles again this summer, and the boys always pause what they’re doing to point them out to their buddies.

We welcomed back the Siouxs from their camping trip. They had a blast roasting marshmallows, pitching tents, building fires, and going fishing. Talk about enjoying the Northwoods scenery! It’s really something for these boys — almost all of whom live in urban or suburban areas — to spend time in nature without seeing anybody else.

Back at camp, we continued with our typical programming, which is winding up for the first session, as we get ready for the Kawaga Spectacular. Boys are learning new skills while participating in sports and activities throughout camp.

The Chips and Siouxs played Final Four Basketball (a three-on-three basketball tournament) for the Evening Program. The older Mohawks and Oniedas enjoyed “Crossfire,” which is our take on a huge dodgeball game. A great time was had by all!

Enjoy your Friday, parents!

Ty & Lauren

P.S. We’re happy to report the previous day’s programming highlights here each day, so you know what your boys are spending time doing. We also suggest you read yesterday’s “Ty’s Take” to give you a greater sense of what your boys are feeling.

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Although yesterday was chillier than usual, the rain steered clear and we were able to enjoy a fully happy, healthy, and wonderfully typical Kawaga day.

As we enter our third week of Clubs, your boys (with the exception of the CITs, who spent a week on their Boundary Waters trip) will be experiencing their fifth and sixth instructional sessions. Some are learning to slalom ski around the bay; some are discovering the (perhaps surprising) joys of acting; and others are developing and strengthening skills in beloved sports such as basketball, frisbee, racquet and target sports.

The day continued with our initial Open Areas block for the day. Many boys are using this time much more thoughtfully now as they aim to gain points towards making Mawanda and Sachem. Campers are out on Diamond 1 trying to do everything to achieve their contracts, from 2200 soccer juggles (kicking the ball up and down consecutively that many times) to swimming laps in the beginner tank trying to beat their fastest time. Some are creating phenomenal pieces of work in our arts and crafts center and woodshop. It’s really heartwarming to see these boys actively choosing not only to spend their time in these ways, but doing so with such enthusiasm!

Just before dinner our Siouxs made their way out to Baker Lake for their overnight camping trip. We’re looking forward to their return this morning at breakfast! (By effectively doubling Kawaga’s footprint this winter, we have easy and exclusive access — by hiking or canoe — to this beautiful secluded lake and campsite.)

Finally, the day was capped off with an always popular Evening Program, Counselor Olympics! Campers “bet” their Kawaga Kash on different counselors in a number of events from Dizzy Dean, Home-Run Derby, and the infamous Egg Toss. With the Spectacular on the horizon, this was the perfect opportunity for counselors to display true athleticism and sportsmanship. After all, many are former Kawaga campers and are as excited as the boys about every Kawaga moment.

Please check right here later today for the weekly “Ty’s Take”!

Until then, enjoy your day, as we will on the Shores.

Ty & Lauren

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday we experienced some light showers throughout the day but we didn’t let that stop us! The rain continued throughout the evening but we have woken up to slightly clearer skies and a welcomed cool breeze. We’ve been playing so hard that the change of pace fits us all just fine.

After breakfast, we began yesterday with a Super Inspection to not only get the cabins extra clean but — for the younger boys in particular — to make sure all of their clothes are clean. Not surprisingly, counselors made quite a few switches, moving plenty of clothes from drawers to laundry bags.

The third week of clubs is showing that campers are really in the groove, working hard at learning and improving their skills in a variety of sports and activities. Our Native American History club, which is new this year, is turning into a hit along, of course, with paddle ball and pickleball, two new sports introduced this year and taught by visiting and resident pros.

The annual Senior-Counselor softball game was such a hit on the 4th that we had a rematch during Open Areas. And, the Seniors again came out on top in an exciting finish. A great time was had by all.

The Evening Program was Electro Night. As fitting the name, campers displayed both great energy and huge laughter. The game sees campers tactically racing against one another to steal the most “electricity” (tennis balls) without being tagged by the opposing team. It’s just so great seeing the whole camp playing and having fun together!

Have an awesome Wednesday and see you right here tomorrow.

Ty & Lauren

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

We received the “all clear” from our health team: The stomach bug has left the Shores!! The CITs, who were on their Boundary Waters trip during the outbreak, missed it all together. Lucky guys 🙂

Parents, we had the most wonderful day yesterday, enjoying the beautiful weather and all that Kawaga has to offer. It’s hard to believe but, yes, we have begun Week 3 of Clubs! Campers signed up for an expanding set of activities to experience and skills to learn — both on the water and the land.

Open Areas saw campers flock to the waterfront — from swimming to paddle boarding, they are loving it! After Leagues and another block of Open Areas, we said “so long” to our mighty Chips, who were headed out on a camping trip with sleeping bags and the biggest smiles! We won’t have to miss them for long, as they’ll return later today — now with the experience of sleeping and cooking out with their friends and counselors in the beautiful Northwoods.

Last night’s Evening Program was “Human Stratego,” a mix of Capture the Flag and Scalp Wars. What a blast!

Have an amazing Tuesday, parents! Rest assured your boys will.

Ty & Lauren

Monday, July 5th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

The weather was great for the fourth of July, and so was our health! The stomach bug that hit us has all but vanished, with only a couple of campers riding out the wave.

We began the day with an all-camp Polar Bears — everybody jumped in the lake before breakfast to wake up and get in the holiday spirit.

With campers rooting them on, the seniors and counselors continued the Kawaga 4th of July tradition by playing each other in softball. We had two close, energetic games, with the seniors the victors in the ‘A’ game! Campers switched back-and-forth from being spectators to playing in their own games and activities — everything from badminton to Slip ‘n Slide! What a fun morning!

Last night’s Evening Program was Gold Rush. The objective: grab gold (gold-painted rocks, poker chips in bags, and more) and — eluding others — bring the gold objects into safe areas and win Kawaga Kash.

And, yes, we had fireworks! The whole camp enjoyed the incredible show over the lake. As promised, we had a Kawaga Fourth of July for the ages!

Have a fantastic day, parents. We will, too!

Ty & Lauren

Sunday, July 4th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

We’re making good progress as we work through what’s a 12- to 24-hour stomach bug. Again, we’ve informed all parents whose sons have been treated or spent a night at our health center.

We’re putting additional precautions in place. As you can imagine, based on our ongoing protocols for Covid, we’re in a better position to more quickly deal with this.

Despite all this, we had a wonderful day yesterday and are looking forward to some special holiday activities today.

Yesterday morning began with the Chips returning from a camping trip. For many, it was their first experience camping out. And for all, it was a blast!

Yesterday’s weekly service was special. The boys enjoy gathering together, led by counselors and participating throughout. If you haven’t yet, please read Jackson Froelich’s heartfelt sermon here.

We ran our typical programming in the late morning and early afternoon: a block of League games and Open Areas. Everybody’s participating, learning, growing, and — of course — having fun

We had two especially awesome highlights last night. First, the CITs returned from their Boundary Waters trip — they looked and felt like conquering heroes from their wilderness experience. We can’t wait to hear more! They arrived in time for the evening program, which was the first Big Powwow of the summer. The entire camp gathered together in the Council Ring for a truly special Kawaga time.

We can’t wait for today! Lots of fun and surprises in store.

Please enjoy your holiday, too. Your boys are going to have a 4th of July for the ages!

Ty & Lauren


Saturday, July 3rd, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

As you should all have heard by now, we’re fighting a short-lived stomach bug at camp. As of this morning, we’ve communicated with all parents whose sons were in any way feeling under the weather. We’re also emailing all parents with a few more details.

Please rest assured that we’re working through this carefully and thoroughly with our resident physician and nursing staff together with a pediatrician on our healthcare team. We also pool-tested campers from all age groups for Covid; all tests were negative.

Despite the setback, boys are fully participating in all activities and had a terrific day. We ran our typical program with Clubs and Open Areas.

During Leagues, the Chips and Sioux had a great time playing flickerball (a mix of football and basketball) and soccer.The Mohawks played flickerball or handball. Everybody had fun!

The CIT’s are returning from their wilderness trip tomorrow. We’re all so excited to welcome them back to camp.

Yesterday’s warm weather was the perfect time to go for a free swim, boating, canoeing, sailing, and skiing during afternoon Open Areas. The lake water is so refreshing!

Last’s night’s Evening Program was Clue Night, patterned after the murder-mystery board game, with campers going around different areas of camp seeking clues to unravel the mystery.

We will keep you updated on the stomach bug and certainly will reach out to you directly if your son is presenting any symptoms.

Please enjoy your weekend! We’re confident this will be a short-lived situation, and look forward to a fun-filled holiday weekend.

Rest easy.

Ty & Lauren

Friday, July 2nd, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday your sons had an awesome day!

The morning began with Polar Bears, a classic (and what a way to wake up!), followed by breakfast and Inspection, before diving into Clubs!

The Mohawk A’s were due to return to Camp shortly after breakfast… however, they were having such an amazing time, they stayed a while longer and didn’t come home until Open Areas! The beautiful weather we’ve been having these last couple of days was perfect for canoeing on Lake Kawaguesaga!

The afternoon continued with Leagues followed by afternoon Open Areas. With almost all of our first year campers now having swum the bay (which makes campers eligible for all our water activities), and four campers having already passed their basic sailor tests, the waterfront is exploding during Open Areas. Add to these numbers all those who’ve caught their first fish or shot their first bullseye in archery, and it’s no wonder that everybody’s loving Open Areas. Your sons are all around Camp, making the most of all the opportunities available to them; we wouldn’t have it any other way!

The Evening Program was App Night. Campers explored different stations such as “Trivia Crack,” “Maze Runner,” and “Paper Toss.” In “Trivia Crack,” campers answer as many trivia questions in a row as possible. Whoever correctly answers the most consecutive answers wins. In “Maze Runner,” campers go through an obstacle course together with (and trying to beat) a counselor, and in “Paper Toss,” campers throw a frisbee into buckets set up at various distances. Campers compete against one another in their age brackets and can win “Kawaga Cash,” which they can redeem for fun prizes to be enjoyed with their groups.

With the return of the CITs on the horizon, the 4th of July weekend fast approaching, and the Spectacular nearing its close, we’re loving everything about a typical day at Camp Kawaga!

Yesterday we handed out a copy of the Weekly Pineneedle (our camp newspaper) to all campers. Please enjoy reading it here; even if your son attended Kawaga for years or you yourself are an alumni, I bet you’ll learn new things and remember even more.

Have a great Friday!

Ty & Lauren

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday was another amazing day at Kawaga!

The morning saw Clubs followed by Open Areas. The afternoon saw a shift in energy as campers found their competitive drive in League games. The Chips and Siouxs played softball, while the Mohawks played a competitive game of handball. The games were super close in score with the leader in points going back and forth. The Oniedas got to play exhibition basketball while we continue to hear great things about the CITs who are on their Boundary Waters trip.

After Leagues, the Mohawk A’s traveled by canoe to Baker Lake for an overnight camping trip. The rest of camp participated in another fun-filled block of Open Areas including sailing, swimming, and paddle ball on the new courts!

For the evening program campers split into their respective age groups. Chips got to play H20 BB (aka water basketball). The Siouxs traveled by boat to P’fion (a small island right by camp) where they swam and roasted marshmallows. The Mohawks traveled by boat to watch the Min-Aqua Bats ski show, while the Oniedas enjoyed a rousing game of Oyball (a mix of Capture the Flag and dodgeball).

We’re grateful that we’re able to enjoy so many typical days at Camp. We’re revelling in the routine and the ability to enjoy all of our favourite camp activities!

Ty & Lauren

P.S. Please check back here later today for the first “Lauren’s Letter” of the summer!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday was an outstanding day at Kawaga. Everybody’s healthy and having a blast.

We had our typical morning (which we love!) — with Clubs followed by Open Areas. What a great combination of structured learning and unstructured play. The young boys are still learning about new areas of camp; after all, it’s a pretty big place!

The morning also saw the Mohawk B’s returning from an awesome overnight camping trip, where they had a great time.They enjoyed pitching tents, making fires, and hiking in the beautiful forest.

We hear great things from the CITs, who are on their Boundary Waters trip. We can’t wait to hear all the details when they return this weekend.

In the afternoon campers participated in Leagues. The highlight may have been the Chips and Sioux football, with a huge comeback in one game ending in a last play goal-line stand. The Mohawks played hockey on the new stadium court. Yes, it was a blowout game, but the sportsmanship on both sides was as you would expect from our Kawaga campers! The Oniedas enjoyed a super intense game of softball, with both teams hitting well and playing hard in the field.

Following Leagues we had another block of Open Areas. We had many campers opting for boating, including canoeing and paddle boarding, taking in the warm weather.

For our EP (Evening Program) campers participated in Simpson Showdown, which consists of a variety of fun games including a hockey shootout, halfcourt shot competition, and a ball catch (where a counselor launches a tennis ball in the air and a camper has to catch it). A great evening was had by all!

Have a wonderful day, parents. No doubt, we will on the Shores!

Ty & Lauren

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

We had another fun, special day at Camp yesterday.

Early in the morning, before Reveille, the CIT age group (our oldest campers) left camp to conquer the Boundary Waters. For those who’ve never been, it’s a spectacular wilderness area near the Canadian border in Minnesota. In fact, National Geographic named it as one of the “50 places of a lifetime.” For Kawaga, it is a trip of a lifetime — one which our boys will never forget for how it brings their group together through the challenge of hours of canoeing, portaging, and camping in an unbelievable setting. They’ll return home to us on Saturday no doubt with stories to tell. Generations of Kawaga campers still talk about this trip — about not only the natural beauty they took in and how they connected with their friends and counselors, but for what they learned about themselves, as they transition to adulthood and return next summer on staff.

The rest of camp had a special wake-up, too — with many enjoying a lake jump in the Polar Bear club, and some waking up to yoga as the sun made its way across our beautiful Northwoods sky.

After breakfast and cleanup, we started the day with back-to-back clubs followed by Open Areas. We had a delicious and rousing lunch followed by Rest Hour and then afternoon Leagues. Up until this point, the day couldn’t have been more typical Kawaga, and the boys loved every minute of it.

Shortly after leagues, the Mohawk Bs (our 7th graders) hiked out to Baker Lake for their overnight camping trip. It was at this point that we got to cool off with a little rain shower, which added to the fun and challenge. Within no time, the boys had their tents set up, their bags unpacked, and dinner cooking on the grill. We’re looking forward to hearing their stories when they return later this morning.

Those of us still in Camp had the absolute pleasure of enjoying the night’s evening program; Message to Garcia. It’s like Capture the Flag with some fun twists. Given that today is letter-writing day just maybe your sons will tell you more!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, June 28th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

All of your sons are doing great! The weather was outstanding yesterday for our first Sunday of the summer.

While we had most of the Camp sleep in to regain some energy for the day, some of our campers got to wake up early to go and play a few rounds of golf with our counselors!

After a delicious buffet-style breakfast we headed into a Super Duper Inspection (usually once a week to get the cabins extra clean!) before beginning our final day of clubs for the week.

We enjoyed a special lunch, as the head coaches and teams were announced for the annual Kawaga Spectacular. Sam Pacala, David Leshem, Max Pollack, Max Fielieb, Alex Cohen, Bryan Fisher, Jay Adams, Harrison Menaker, and Jonathan Levitan will be leading their Spectacular teams. Everybody’s excited!

As we sometimes like to do on Sunday, Campers got to enjoy a long block of Open Areas to make the most of their favorite activities around camp.It’s just great seeing camp totally opened up, with boys having so many great choices.

As is tradition at Kawaga on Sunday evenings, each age group gathered for a Small Pow-Wow. It’s an opportunity for campers to reflect on the week they just experienced with one another, gaining insight and guidance from their counselors, while looking ahead to the coming week.

Have a great Monday, everybody! Talk to you tomorrow!

Ty & Lauren

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday was another beautiful day at Camp Kawaga! The boys are healthy, the weather was fantastic, and we enjoyed a typical Saturday at Camp Kawaga.

After a hearty breakfast, it was time to prepare for cabin inspection. During inspection campers have time to clean their cabins, connect with one another, and get ready for the day. Our Saturday services followed inspection. Second-year staff man Zacahry Greco (who also was a nine-year camper!) delivered an uplifting “sermon,” highlighting the value of stepping out of your comfort zone. You can read his sermon here.

Saturdays are also special because we have double leagues. The competition throughout the day created an energetic atmosphere that could be felt in all areas of camp.

Open Areas (unstructured time with lots of options) gave campers the opportunity to relax, live in the moment, and just enjoy the day in their favorite areas of Camp. Some chose to relax at the waterfront, others honed their archery skills, and many headed down to the ski docks hoping to successfully accomplish a miracle!

After such an active morning, campers ate a tasty lunch and were thankful for Rest Hour, which gave them plenty of time not only to take a breather from all the activity, but also to write home — yes, it was Letter Writing Day!

Following rest hour, campers played in a second round of leagues. For the first time ever, paddleball was included in our Oneida blue/gold leagues. Our other age groups competed in hockey, football, or volleyball.

Everybody was excited to learn that our evening program was Pros vs Joes, with campers (Joes) trying to beat the counselors (Pros) in a range fun activities around cam from 3-on-3 basketball to base-running, rock-paper-scissors, tennis, hockey shootouts, and more. Everybody had a blast!

Have a “Spectacular” Sunday (*hint hint*)! We’ll talk to you again tomorrow.

Ty & Lauren

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday was nothing short of awesome! The weather was great and so was the energy all around camp. Yesterday also marked the second full day of Camp being fully open due to our “all clear” on Covid tests. Everybody’s feeling great!

The morning began as they typically do with clubs (our instructional periods). Campers were practicing their volleyball skills, learning to water ski, developing paddle ball techniques by our visiting pros, and so much more. Meanwhile, the seniors continued to practice softball in hopes of beating the counselors in a softball game on July 4th. (Check right out our social media for near real-time reporting!)

After clubs, it was annual picture day! The weather was amazing, with the sun highlighting only our best features and good sides! Don’t worry, Moms and Dads, we took this opportunity to make sure we got in as many brother shots as we could round up. (Check those out via Waldo photos.)

The nice weather lasted throughout the entire day, allowing campers to participate in the second day of leagues (our intra-camp competition). The boys displayed skills and tons of energy!

At dinner time we continued one of the most beloved Kawaga traditions. All first-year campers received “big brothers” to mentor them and guide them around camp. I’m not sure who was happier or prouder: the little or big brothers. Smiles all around!

Finally, our Evening Program was Hunger Games, created by the 2014 CIT age group. Similar to flag football, the goal was not to have your “flags” pulled from your shorts, so that you can remain in the game. It’s just been so great to see all our campers come together again!

Have an awesome Saturday! And be sure to stay tuned to our social media to catch up with all the action as well as a Saturday Services “sermon” delivered by one of our counselors.

Ty & Lauren

Friday, June 25, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

Yesterday marked our first day of Camp as we all know it: everyone together, happy, cheering, and certified Covid-free!

Despite the rain welcoming us in to the day, the boys were determined as ever to get out there and experience their first full day of everybody being together. The morning was spent with campers selecting their clubs (instructional periods) for the week. Meanwhile, the seniors continue to train for the upcoming infamous Seniors vs. Counselor seniors softball game on July 4th.

Fortunately, the rain cleared and held off throughout the afternoon and the boys were all able to experience their first leagues competitions in all their glory. The heart shown by each and every camper as they competed was a true reflection of what Ty wrote in his first “Take” of the year (read it here: https://kawaga.com/tys-take-the-heart-of-kawaga/).

As is our tradition on the first evening of all of us being together, we had a rousing all-camp Capture the Flag. Just watching everybody come together for the first time this summer (without distancing) felt so great! Brothers together again. The youngest Chips getting to play and spend time with the oldest Oneidas. We’re back!

We’re all thrilled and grateful to be together in full camp mode at our home away from home. As always, thank you for entrusting your sons to us. We promise to keep you posted about what’s happening each day, right here.

Enjoy your Friday. Have no doubt we will!

Ty & Lauren

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Good morning Kawaga Parents,

How about some wonderful news to begin your day?! As we type this, the boys don’t yet know — but, we received our Covid test results after midnight and, we’re ALL CLEAR!!!

So, we did it! Together. Thank you, parents, for delivering your boys to us healthy and safe. This was the moment we’ve been waiting and planning for. There’s definitely a buzz of anticipation in the air here, especially among the older campers and those who were here last year when we revealed the same great news.

As you know, we’ve been keeping your sons in “pods” — meaning they’ve only been in close contact with their age group and their counselors. We’ve been eating all of our meals in pods distanced around camp. But, when we call everybody for breakfast this morning — in just a very short while — we’ll be telling everybody to come to the Mess Hall. And, they’ll know that means one thing! Welcome back to Camp Kawaga as we all know it — all of us together. You just might be able to hear the cheering all the way in Deerfield, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Scottsdale, wherever you happen to be this morning.

We had planned a more spectacular announcement, but the weather isn’t cooperating with us today (not that your sons will notice it amidst all the excitement). But, have no doubt, the news itself will be exciting enough.

So, take a deep sigh of relief. We’re back to normal on the Shores — and the waiting added to the excitement.

Be Relieved. Be Thrilled. Be Kawaga.

Ty & Lauren

P.S. Later today, we’ll publish the first “Ty’s Talk” of the season. Along with “Lauren’s Letter” (which will be published next week), it’s our way to share with you more than the activities and the daily schedule — to give you a greater sense of how your boys are feeling and the overall spirit of Kawaga. (Go to www.kawaga.com/news later today or simply check all Facebook and Instagram.)

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Good Morning Kawaga Parents,

We’re all happy and healthy after a colder than usual night.

Yesterday was simply amazing. It just didn’t feel at all like Day One, which is a testament to our amazing staff and all of our campers. We’re seeing old friendships rekindled, new friendships forming, and the level of enthusiasm and spirit that makes us smile.

After a brisk morning yesterday waking up in the Northwoods, we wasted no time!.  Our oldest campers got a crash course in paddle tennis from our professional instructors (more on that later).  The Mohawks got into some tennis and basketball and experienced a few miracles on the ski docks. Many of our Siouxs made their way across the bay — a Kawaga moment they’ll never forget and one which opens up all of our waterfront activities to them! Our Chips are learning the fun and skills of Trampall. And, all that action occurred before lunch!

The action continued throughout the evening with some Final Four competitions for the Oneidas, more Mace Ball action for the Mohawks (I think we’ve discovered their favorite sport,) and some intense Voccer for the Chips! After all the swimming they enjoyed during the day, the Siouxs decided to kick back with a camp fire and make some s’mores as they told stories to one another reliving the action from their first full day at Camp.

Parents, your boys are in full camp mode. Please know they’re doing great and can’t wait for more today!

We’ll talk to you tomorrow. Same place, same time.

Go Kawaga!

Ty & Lauren

PS We’ll be having our second round of Covid testing today (the first round was at home). We’d expect to get the results no later than end of day tomorrow. Please make sure you’re following us on social media for the announcement!

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

Good Morning  Kawaga Parents,

Your boys are doing great! Everybody’s happy, healthy, relaxed, and firmly in the Kawaga zone. Campers are thrilled to be reunited with friends. And, everybody feels just so great to be here — on the Shores, at their summer home. What a setting for a special summer!

As we closed out the first evening of Kawaga 2021 last night, a feeling of excitement and joy was evident everywhere. What a fantastic start we had to the summer! Once the campers unpacked, it was time to take in the beautiful afternoon. Campers joined their pods to explore different areas around camp. It was just so great to see Kawaga once again full of happy campers — laughing, playing, and simply hanging out with friends. We pay particular attention to those boys who are here for the first time, making sure they’re feeling comfortable and getting acclimated. For returning campers, yesterday was a chance to reconnect with old friends and see so many new improvements at camp, including our amazing new paddle tennis facility, the new sport courts and boats, and even the new trails and campsites on the additional land Kawaga acquired this winter, which doubled our footprint.

After a fabulous dinner, it was time for a special evening program. Within their pods, the boys rotated to various games around camp including Basketball Shootout, Capture the Flag, and Mace Ball as well as hockey and paddle tennis.

We all went to bed tired but thrilled to be back on the Shores. We can’t wait for our first full day!

Ty & Lauren