August 20 – Family Camp 2017

August 21, 2017 3:26 am Published by

Woah! Let me catch my breath.

Since late Thursday afternoon, this camp has been buzzing. But not with boys running up and down the hill at lightning speeds, or boys vying to earn badges. This weekend, Birch Rock Camp for Boys was peopled with families who spruced up camp one final time as Birch Rock begins its long winter’s nap.

Immediately on Thursday night, action ensued. In Quorum, known in the outside world as Sharks and Minnows (better explained as Drive A Shopping Cart Through Walmart on Black Friday and Make It Out Alive,) unexpected winners surfaced like Julien Nesher of the Next Generation as well as King Erik Joelesson. The night culminated in a catastrophic collision between Mr. Cluggish and a Next Generationer, resulting in a broken collarbone and a trip to the local hospital. Says Cluggish: “I never thought it could break twice in one bone. Turns out, I am just unlucky.”  You who have broken your collarbones: beware.

Friday was drab, dismal, and drippy. The moisture in the air seeped into every corner of the camp, and it seemed like the central fire place was the only warm locale to be found. But Birch Rockers made the most of it. Much of the day was spent bowling in the Birch Bowladrome, counting cards in the eternal cribbage match in the lodge, and piecing together a puzzle depicting the coral reef. Some brave souls swam in the icy cold air. The camp regrouped in the lodge for dinner and Disney’s Planet Earth Movie.

As Jinx stepped out of the water in her morning swim on Saturday morning and shook her coat to dry off, we too shed off that unwelcome weather and tackled the day in full swing. In the morning, rainy day periods were traded in for archery, campcraft, and kayaking. In the afternoon, the ever-competitive family softball game took place. Big sluggers included the Singer boys, Steve Whittier, Lisa Castelli, and Ryan Hilliker whose fantasy sports stats are, frankly, through the roof. Look among this group to find the next Rookies of the Year.

Campfire sure was a hoot. All families cringy and cool gathered to perform the skits that some had been working on for years. Seth Brewster (the elder) reminisced, “Ever since the Tringales swiped our Best Skit title in 2012, I had decided to dedicate my creative efforts towards crafting a skit that could top their sketch. After five years, this better be good.” And it was. The Campfire featured Barry the Eclipse Vampire who took on Three Fingered Willie (Corleone), a Trump/Miranda rap battle by the Castellis, a new hit single by Wilson and the Nesher-Elliot New Generation, “Partial Eclipse of the Rock, “the Lockwood-Mullaney troop performing “Secret Document,” and so much more. The lineup rivaled boys camp’s skits, and possibly surpassed them. “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel was a perfect close to a perfect day at Family Camp.

Sunday was an exquisite repeat to Saturday’s routine, and possibly more action packed. As Trip skipped down the hill from Archery to Campcraft, he exclaimed, “I wish I could repeat this day over and over again so that I could go to Archery and Campcraft every day!” Transitioning into the afternoon, camp found that Trip could not be more right. Some went to the Norway Country Club and shot eagles as well as quintuple bogeys. In the Inaugural Birch Rock Frisbee Golf Doubles Masters Championships, Gus and Seth took the green blazer in a close final hole. Bob and Andy led an armada of canoers and kayakers on a nature paddle around the lake.

After dinner, Erik guided a star gazing session. Grace counted 263 stars, but we knew there were billions.

As family camp wraps up tomorrow, we learned three things:

  1. Some knives are built so they do not close, and they tend to be knockoff brands of Leatherman. Recognize this, or you might find yourself with your thumb taped up (alright Theo, I won’t put that in the Blog)
  2. Camp will always be here if you need it
  3. But more importantly, camp is the family that you choose.

The following text is excerpts from the letter crafted live at the Pat’s Pit Playhouse by wordsmiths and Birch Rock counselors (in that order) Noah Keates and Curtis Whiting

[scribed by Seth Brewster]

Dear Beatrice,

“You are incredibly, inexplicably average. I had a great time being with you knowing that I treated you so unconvincingly, improbably mediocre.”

[scribe switches to Aidan Singer and becomes legible]

“I hope that you have noticed that I am incredibly frugal with my adjectives. Stuart Whittier is loose. Salty Snacks are loose.”

“I am happy to know that we had no chance to ever be an item.


The man you once knew,

Sam Rotman

P.S. I’m taller than I look.”


Best Bed: Emmy N.

Best Cabin: Hilton B

Supercamper: Rhody  V.

Best Salty Snack: Nachos or Pesto Pizza or Pigs-in-a-blanket: we can’t decide

Best Salty Snack Schmoozer: Noah K.

Best Barista: Eliza L. M.

Men’s Doubles Hobart Champions: Seth B. and Sam R.

Biggest Hobart Catastrophe: Gus T.

Most Valuable Player: Da Hobart

Blog Writer:  Sebastian T

Categorised in: ,

This post was written by Mike Mattson


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August 20 – Family Camp 2017