Ty’s Take

Hello Kawaga Family,

All is wonderful on the Shores! We’re into Week 5 with the energy and all-out enthusiasm that you’d expect. Our second “4 weekers” took all of about a minute to adjust to being back at Camp. And, for those who are here for the first time, they’re fitting right in. Smiles abound!

Just to see the cheering and high-fiving as campers and staff stepped off the bus was incredible. Talk about enthusiasm and a love for Kawaga!

As I like to tell our staff, when the first day of a new session feels like we’re in mid-summer mode, that’s  exactly where we want to be.

So, here are a few highlights from the start of this session:

  • The 8-weekers, coming off a special Parents Weekend, had Sunday as a day to enjoy, relax, and get ready for the next four. They couldn’t wait for the buses to pull in to welcome everybody back to the Shores.
  • We had a Big and Little Brothers pizza party last night. This is a wonderful Kawaga tradition based on Fellowship. Each new camper is assigned a Big Brother, who’s an older camper who has spent several summers on the Shores. Parents: Please know this is a big honor for the Big Brothers, and we announce the pairings in full Kawaga spendor — cheering on the new Big and Little Brothers. It becomes the Big Brother’s trusted responsibility to look out for his Little Brother for the remainder of the summer — to be there for him and to help him in every way possible. Someday, these Little Brothers will have the same opportunity. (See the photo above… look at all these happy Bigs and Littles!)
  • We’re proud to say that we’ve already had a number of new Bay Swimmers, as our new campers are wasting no time! Parents: Once a boy has proven he can swim across the bay, he may fully participate in all our water-sports programs — from skiing and sailing to paddle boarding and simply swimming and sliding during free swim. (See the photo below of one of our bayswimmer bellringers and his Big Brother!)
  • Speaking of skiing, in these first two days of the new session, we’ve already celebrated a number of “miracles” on the ski docks, as we’re working toward our goal of 100 this summer. (New parents: A “miracle” is a special skiing achievement, so that our boys continue to develop new skills and try new things within our ski program.)

We continue to be blessed with great Kawaga weather. It’s 75 degrees as I type, which helps to support our full array of activities. Everybody (staff included!) is appreciating the mild weather.

So,I’ve written about Enthusiasm and Fellowship so far in this version of “Ty’s Take” — those are two of our four core values. And, Sportsmanship, our third value, is fully on display in virtually every activity.

But, when I step back and just take it all in (which I try to do every day — and, that’s a challenge for me, as I like go “go, go, go”) what jumps out to me the most is Spirit, our fourth value. I see Kawaga Spirit in how the Big Brothers are already so enthusiastically taking care of their Little Brothers. I see Spirit in how the second 4-weekers have already lost that distinction — they’re already an integrated, essential part of camp, embraced by all of our 8-weekers. And, I see Spirit in our amazing staff, who tell me story after story of inclusiveness, laughter, lessons, and brotherhood. That’s Kawaga. How can I be so lucky to be here?!

Lauren and I thank you, our Kawaga Family, for the privilege.

Be Kawaga,