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The Daily Log 2021

The last day of camp’s 126th season on Newfound Lake started with a blast from the cannon! A final breakfast concluded with council goodbyes and the presentation of a handful of theater and activity cups. For acting, Burke Gunther and Rob Head won the Green Room Cup and the Coons Cup respectively. For stage crew Max Reuter won the Pop Watson Cup. For activities, Henry Powell won the Anniversary Cup, and the Woodpeckers won the Club Contest! After singing the final two verses of the camp song in Mem Hall, the campers finished packing and prepared for their final Inspection. In the chapel line, Inspector General Will Harvey awarded the Inspection Cup to Cardigan. We walked the path to our chapel, reflecting on the past seven weeks. Mr. Michael’s sermon revolved around loyalty, happiness, and gratitude and that our season is only thoroughly finished if we instill the values we practice here away from camp. After the service, we had a tearful goodbye and the 2021 camp season came to an end. Quietly, all excused.

Our last full day at camp started with French toast sticks. I must have had at least a dozen. Boy, will I miss them. We had an extra-long duty period to prepare for the closing of camp, and, after we finished our first duty, we went on to help with another until 9:45, when the activity period commenced. The morning featured 16-year-old cuts at baseball and the Theater Play rehearsal. In the afternoon, we had our final activity period. It was a windy one so there was a ton of sailing. There was also a canoeing specie to Mr. Vinnie’s Rock, which got back late because of the wind; a blueberry specie to the Phelps’ Family Farm; and the normal slate of activities, minus the shop since all the projects have been finished. The activity period concluded with the final Soak of the year with everyone going in the water and singing the camp song together.  After that we went to Tree Talk Ridge for shortened Tree Talks. We then had an early dinner so that we had time for the longest campfire of the night. Campfire started with the Theater Play, Blithe Spirit, which had some of the most incredible moments that I have ever seen in the Watson Theater. It was a comedy about ghosts and the impact of relationships both past and present. After the play, we sang camp songs by the bonfire before heading into Baird Hall for a slideshow by Matt Woolverton and a film on the summer by Jack Anderson. Then Mr. Michael handed out the character cups. Archer Dansby was awarded Mr. Teddy’s Cup, Max Reuter was awarded the Moran Cup, and Ben Davis was awarded Most Faithful Boy. After Mr. Michael handed out the lanterns to sixteen-year-old boys. They lead us down to the dorms for mines, prayers, and Taps.

This morning we hosted our canoe tilt finals. In the second half of the activity period, we held the senior obstacle race finals, which led to DJ Mills’s victory. Later in the day, the seniors were rounded up and all competed in the four-man canoe race. The winners of the four-man canoe race were Hayden Stone, Jet Easterly, Max Reuter, and Ben Davis. At Dinner, Aidan Biglow’s table sang the last “Pizza Friday” song. After dinner was the wood shop open house, which showcased everyone’s projects. My favorites were Ben Davis’s chess boats, Burke Gunther’s shelf, many beautiful fountain pens, and Grey Durham and Isaiah Sanchez’s jewelry boxes. The afternoon also featured a canoeing specie to Hebron Beach and a crew specie to the head of the lake. There were also many Perch Rock swims.  Afterwards, trophies and medals were handed out at the award ceremony. Finally, we ended the day with mines, prayer, and taps.

After waking from an extra half hour of sleep due to late reveille, we were greeted by an extremely hot day. During the first activity period, the final heats of the swims were held in each division. Crash Ackerly won the Senior 100-Yard Swim, Tristan Bonnet-Eymard won the Junior 50-Yard Swim, and Aubrey Duckworth won the Sub-Junior 25-Yard Swim. Several boys also competed in the Pasquaney Mile canoeing competition, which Jet Easterly and Max Reuter won. After rest, because of the scorching sun, Hobbs field was closed and baseball moved to the water. After that we watched the Glade Play, You Can’t Take it With You by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The play was a comedy about a man from a rich family who is in love with a woman from a wacky family. When the woman invites the man’s parents over, they are horrified and decide they don’t want the two to marry. The play was really funny, and it was a good time. After the play we had dinner and then varied-option campfire.

We woke to all the sixteen year-olds running through the dorms, banging pots and pans together. Once we got ready we headed towards Mem Hall for 16 year-old breakfast. The food was amazing with Oreo milkshakes and breakfast burritos among the highlights. During the morning activity period Ethan Clark and Elliot Randolph won the canoe tilt semi-final. In the afternoon there was the Senior League baseball final. Eventually the team Isaac Garcia Later Ball, came out on top against Teddy Marquet’s Backwards Ks. All in all, it was a good day.

After a normal morning routine and our usual breakfast, the campers headed to an eventful morning activity period. Nature headed out for a Gold Mine specie and the Issac Garcia vs DJ Mills senior semi-final baseball game resumed. It was a nail-biting, sudden death game where whichever team scored the most runs in one inning would win the game. Isaac’s team went up by one in the top of the inning, then had one out on DJ’s team in the bottom of the inning with a runner on second. On a two-strike pitch, the batter hit a pop fly and the runner took off to third, but Isaac (pitcher) ran forward, caught the ball, then threw it back to second for a double play to win the game. Following that was senior swims, where Crash Ackerly broke both the sound barrier and the one minute mark in the 75-yard heat. Additionally, there was the junior singles tennis final between Fairfax Randall and Jean Vivier in which Jean was victorious. Afternoon activities started with a whitewater canoeing specie in the Crystal Gorge and a shop crunch-sesh so packed that it required the help of even the Director himself and anyone else willing to help. Meatball subs filled the stomachs of the ever-moving Glade-players who ran their dress rehearsal while the rest of camp enjoyed varied-option campfire. The rehearsal featured an overcoming of forgotten lines and an awkward wrestling match, which inspired a chorus of laughter. After campfire everyone floated back to their bunks to be serenaded by Taps. All in all, it was an amusing day.

We woke to the bugle, the obnoxiously loud crows perched next to Stanwood, and the yelling of COIs. During breakfast, Marco Leite was elected a COI and our morning began with the Diving competition taking advantage of the flat conditions on the lake, a canoeing and fishing specie, and a busy activity period in the shop to prepare for the upcoming shop show. In the afternoon, there was the second round of the sailing regatta, a snorkeling specie, and some tennis junior and senior final matches. During dinner there was the CO-Swap, a prank pulled on the COD, where we watched Aiden and Buckley lead a gameshow in Mem Hall inviting special guests to trick Taylor, our COD. These special guests included Evan McClure and Will Harvey having a lightsaber fight with broom handles, Ethan Connett making Taylor do a 200-meter sprint on the rowing machine, and Sammy Dilley scaring Taylor from underneath a table. We then headed to Council Music Night for campfire to see Jack Anderson play the guitar along with Mr. Micheal, Aiden, Henry Anderson, and Rich DeSalvo. Henry Gilmore also rapped a song he made with campers dancing behind him. We ended the night with Mr. Micheal shredding the guitar and Jack Anderson singing “Toast.” It was an amazing night with amazing music and all in all it was a great day.

Our last full Sunday started with a cloudy and warm morning. After duties and inspection prep, Cardigan took 1st place in a very close and contested inspection. Rich gave a great Chapel Talk about respect and its importance in our lives. We had an excellent turkey dinner for Sunday lunch, culminating in a delicious black-raspberry Sandwich Creamery ice cream. The highlight of the day was the crew races, taking place at the waterfront during cookout.  Both the Dana 3rd and 4th Boats won with Birch taking the Junior Boat race. The Senior Boat race was the most contested of the night. Both boats were going insanely fast. In the end, the Dana boat edged the Birch boat by just one second with a time of 3:02.  We had a wonderful session of singing with a beautiful sunset view to finish the memorable day.

Today was a wonderful Camp Pasquaney day. The highlight of the morning was 45 campers scheduled for crew practice in anticipation of Sunday’s crew races. Each pair of boats was given a half hour to practice and prepare for their race. Another highlight was the canoeing program leading a trip to the Bristol Gorge. There the group practiced whitewater maneuvers, whitewater rescues, and swimming in whitewater. Throughout the morning was the ever looming thought of what will happen in the boys vs. council game later in the day. At lunch the four senior captains announced the boys team and Mr. Micheal read a poem outlining the council team. The game was nothing less than spectacular. Each inning the score went back and forth, but in the end it was the campers who won. The final score was 16-15 and it was the first time the boys won since 2013. Counsellors Will Davies, Taylor West, Matt Woolverton, and Rich DeSalvo pitched. For the boys, Peter Davies, a mere 14 year old, pitched the entire game, and his lethal curveball had the council on their toes. Also, Wyatt Winstead hit three home runs for the boys including one grand slam in the fourth inning. The game was a great display of Hobbs Field sportsmanship and baseball ability. After a dinner of pasta and carrots, the entire camp gathered in the Watson Theater for the Trustees Weekend Play. The play, Three Murders and It’s only Monday, was a murder mystery with Ethan Clark as the lead. It was a great performance and a great ending to an amazing day.

Co-author’s note: This daily log is based on last night’s campfire reading, “By The Waters of Babylon.” It is a creative writing exercise, and artistic liberties were taken. The scheduling situation described is due to a temporary surge in important events, including upcoming crew races, competitions, and theater productions. This has not been the norm. Friday was a truly wonderful day, full of great moments and surprises. We hope you enjoy this creative take on the daily log!

The North and the South and the West of Lake Newfound adhere to the words “Live Free or Die.” To the East there is a large forest. A forest built by the steady hands of the gods who came before. They erected dormitories, boats, theaters, courts, which were built for the Citizens of the Hills to roam free.

My ancestors were Citizens of the Hills; I too am a Citizen of the Hills. I have glimpsed the Land of the Free, but as has been made known to me, this freedom is a relic of the past. My family has passed down stories of this great forest. A land they once wandered without binding. They tell stories of the gods that roamed the hills, the institution builders, the keepers of the program. But now there are laws, rules, and schedules. My ancestors recount cutting their own path, but now I find myself shuffling out of the Great Hall (Mem-Hall), my fate determined by the Law of the East. It has been The law since I can remember. I keep my head down, I sweep when I am told to sweep, I row when I am told to row, I jump in the water when I am told “all in.” The stories recount of a “free time,” but now I file into my scheduled location where I am told to repeat and rehearse lines from a text I have read dozens of times prior. They feed us, we sleep, and we rise again to a list of locations and activities. “Be at the Boathouse promptly at 3:00,” “Shop is scheduled only,” “Scheduled Stage Crew for the Trustees Play guys (in prep for tomorrow’s performance),” “Respond to the 6:05 Bugle for the 6:10 Tree Talk.” I hear the words and follow the path laid before me.

After a near full day journey, I arrived at the Tree Talk Ridge. I closed my eyes and imagined the gods who spoke here before me. As I opened my eyes, I noticed the fellow Citizens of the Hills had filed in just as I had. We sat, waited, and listened. Nicky Longo stood tall, and began: “At camp, it is easy to see that we are a part of a whole. Our transgenerational history, our shared uniform, our duties, our connected dormitories, our shared values.” My eyes widened; I looked around again. Is this what life in the time of gods was like? We stood and thanked Nicky for his message. We heard and imagined a window into the history that we follow.

As we filed into dinner, I meditated further on Nicky’s message. Maybe, rather than an impediment, the schedule was a means to a collective goal…  Perhaps the age of the gods was just another moment in our collective story… Perhaps the freedom I have heard of is still here. I do, after all, want to be successful on Sunday’s crew race! Frankly, I’m glad we have the practice time. Like I have said, we all know of the stories of the legendary crew men who have come before, those who we consider gods… Mr. Vinnie comes to mind. But lo! During announcements, he appeared! And he stood among us!

Later that night, Mr. Vinnie led us through a reading of “By the Waters of Babylon.” I listened to the words. We listened to the words. “We make a beginning,” he reads. I sit amongst Citizens of the Hills: campers. Where I once saw the images of gods and their creation, I now see that they were men. Mr. Vinnie stands among them. I stand among them. We all stand among them. The year is 2021 – another moment in the long tradition. A continuation of the same. May our activities be thoroughly finished, one crew race at a time.