“REFLECTIONS FROM THE SHORES” | Max Routh’s Saturday “Sermon”

Kawaga Families,

This week I asked one of our younger counselors to deliver the “sermon” during our Saturday-morning service.

Max Routh is excelling during his second year on staff and ninth overall at Kawaga. He’s the counselor in Chip 3 and thrives in taking care of and working with these younger boys. Max is from Cincinnati and will be attending Ohio State this Fall.

We couldn’t be prouder of Max and the job he’s done this summer. So, I hope you enjoy the read and, from it, get even more insight into what it’s like to spend a summer on the Shores.

Be Kawaga,



Hello. My name is Max Routh, and this is my ninth summer on the Shores. Every Saturday, someone stands before you and explains why camp is great through their own lens. This week I want to direct your attention to the little parts of camp.

Even though there is always something special going on at camp, as a camper and  now as counselor, I always look forward to the “regular” days. Yes the “huge days” are fun, but as we say, “every day is a big day at Camp Kawaga.” From simple inside jokes to funny moments around camp, there is never a shortage of entertainment each day.

You see, every day at camp is the best day ever for someone.The little memories created each day can last a lifetime. As a camper, I will never forget when my favorite counselor, Aaron Rosen, helped me first feel comfortable at camp by simply complimenting my singing skills as I sang, “Ridin’ Solo,“ on my way to tennis club. It was a small moment that made a huge impact on me as a camper and helped me become my outgoing and loud self at camp. Aaron probably didn’t think much of it, but that single compliment meant the world to me.

This is a prime example of Kawaga making someone’s summer through the small moments. I was just a small energetic Chip who was singing and excited to be at camp. All that energy springboarded me into being able to cultivate many friendships that summer.

Camp also creates many other little moments in the form of Mess Mall cheers and random, yet goofy, camp occurrences. The fight song from the Arkansas Razorbacks, a team that has not been in the Spectacular for a long time, is still one of our loudest songs. The Mess Hall will forever be my one of my favorite places, because it’s where we all get energetic and enthusiastic together. From “Five Man Bengals Fight Song” to the always popular “They Had to Carry Harry,” I’d always want to cheer and make each meal as exciting as possible. You can all be a part of this; it’s up to you! Just like I did as a young Chip, show a willingness to learn each cheer and to take in as much of camp as possible.

This idea of the importance of small moments was really illustrated for me the last day of camp my Sioux year. It was the last Open Areas of the summer, and I was determined to get the most out of my last day by experiencing as much of camp as possible. So, I asked Tucker Froelich to join me in this endeavor. We had both already packed our swimming gear, so we tried to get the most out of our last day by participating in as many activities on land as we could get in — from arts and crafts to archery and riflery. It ended up being a really fun day and tied a nice bow on our summer. It was so much fun that we ended up doing the same thing the following year.

Each of you has a different set of small moments to remember. The more energy that you put into camp, the more of these memories you’ll gain and retain from each summer. The beauty of these moments is that they are unplanned and unique. It’s really up to you to get the most out of camp. You have the power to create and enjoy these everyday moments that become so memorable.

I challenge everyone today to try and put forth as much energy as possible during these last 13 days here on the Shores. I know it’s hard to believe how fast this summer is going, but we have still time left in camp for 2018!

By following this advice, you’ll be able to squeeze the most out of our precious remaining time up here this summer and will compel you to come back next summer for another eight weeks. Whether it’s that Open Areas period, hanging out at the ski docks, the instant-classic jokes in the cabins with your counselors, the banter around camp or so many other things, Kawaga will give you plenty of opportunities to make unforgettable memories. Like I said, it’s the small memories that make each summer so unreal — those that are personal and unique. 

Kawaga will forever be the best camp because of its message to make the most of every moment and to get out what you put in. So I urge you to bring the energy to everything you do here. You never know what moment will be the one that you cherish and remember forever. As my counselor Aaron Rosen said, “If you love Kawaga, Kawaga will love you back.” And with that in mind, I ask that you do everything in your power to love Kawaga. 

Thank you.