Lauren’s Letter

Dear Kawaga Families,

Oh my gosh, where to start?! Well, at the risk of being redundant, let me say that your boys continue to amaze me, day after day. As I walk around camp, I’m awestruck by what a special group we have — they clearly have bonded, are learning so much, and are having the time of their lives.

As a parent, in the full throes of managing your and your kids’ hectic lives, it’s hard at times to take a step back and take it all in. We get to do that at Camp Kawaga every day. And, we encourage kids to do that, too — to be present in each moment, to recognize all that they have here, and to simply take it all in.

When I wrote my most recent “Lauren’s Letter” to all of you, it was toward the end of the first session. So, here we are, somehow in Week Six, and the energy level has increased! You should hear the Mess Hall now. I didn’t know boys could cheer that loudly! That’s certainly is in part due to our having more kids (as we typically do) second session. But, I think it’s also a testament to the momentum of the summer. The fun and friendships build each week.

I pay particular attention to those campers who have joined us on the Shores for the first time during this second session. I make sure to watch out for them, to talk with them, and to make sure they know I’m here for them.

Some of these boys are drawn to our kids, which is beyond sweet. Although the campers see my kids as fun little ones to play with, Shay is convinced that she has about 20 new best friends! This week, three Fisher kids arrived — Ben and Amy’s three wonderful children, Julia, Ava, and Noah. Shay and Vaughn couldn’t be happier to have “peers” here. And, we love it when all so many members of the Fisher and Daube families arrive at various points during the summer. They bring such important continuity. He wouldn’t want me to say so, but Bobby has now been coming up every summer for more than 50 years!  

And, why do so many of our campers become counselors and return year after year? Part of what we do at Kawaga is to focus on helping each boy find his own niche here. Just the other day, a new camper was sharing how much he loved photography. So, we had him head out with one of our counselors who’s been taking many of the photos you see, and we’ve already posted some of this camper’s pictures on our Instagram account!

And, the latest Kawaga trend: yoga! Our guest instructor, Katie Froelich, has introduced our campers (and staff) to this great new activity. That’s one of the things I’ve grown to appreciate about Kawaga. Steeped in more than 100 years of rich tradition, we continue to find new ideas and new ways to have fun and learn on the Shores. And it turns out that Karson, one of our nurses, also has some yoga skills. So, guess who’s taking over Yoga Club?! Everybody shines and finds their niche at Camp Kawaga.

So, as I end this version of “Lauren’s Letter,” let me share with you one final observation. I love to walk around the Mess Hall during meals just to see and hear what’s going on, and the table conversations I overhear are amazing! What I’ve especially noticed are the new campers fitting in and becoming an important part of who we are. Seeing the blending of the eight-weekers and the second-session campers is beyond gratifying. I couldn’t be prouder of our boys.

Until next time…

Be Kawaga,