Sure did feel like one of the coldest days in July. It was the first time we shut the windows and shutters, and put on our jackets and hoodies. When the mid-summer heat wave comes we’ll wish for these temps.
Rock Star Night was a huge success. It’s like live karaoke with a real rock band. Cabin groups pick a song and perform as the lead singers. The whole camp watches, dances and has a blast!
The First Session Trip, “The Portland Pirate Raid”, headed out despite the cold. First stop was an adventure park for hillside tubing. After a yummy restaurant lunch, they boarded the “Lucky Catch Lobster Boat”, and headed out to sea. Learning all about lobsters, they even got to pull a few traps.
The Pirate Exhibit at the Portland Science Center came next, and was really fascinating. After an ice cream treat, it was on to the theater to see “Despicable Me 3”. That’s a lot for one day away! In fact, they even made it back in time for Spirit Night.
Spirit Night is a weekly time for mindful connection, appreciation and inspiration. It’s proof that they really can sit still and listen!
Each week a bunk is selected to lead the program. The whole camp gathers in the Rec Hall, and Cory plays beautifully on the piano. First song is always, “We Meet Again in Gladness”. There’s an opening poem that touches on a theme like courage, responsibility, and so forth.
The candle lighting and responsive reading goes like this:
“We light this candle in fellowship with our friends; we light this candle with love for our families.
We light this candle in gratitude for all those who have helped us; we light this candle in the hope of peace, kindness and compassion.
We light this candle to reach out to those in need; we light this candle for those who are not here now.
We light this candle to see within and brighten our days ahead.”
There’s the “Prayer for our Country”, a patriotic song and a short silent meditation to “May the Words”. A portion of a story is read (tonight was the story of speed skater Dan Jansen) and a counselor gives a talk which we call the “sermonette”.
There have been three inspirational sermonettes this summer. Counselors Steve Rome, Carter Dorsett and Trent Boyer have all covered meaningful topics. Tonight, Trent connected his experiences as a high school and college soccer player to the Chinese Bamboo Story of perseverance. You must water and fertilize bamboo seeds for five years before they grow. Then in the 5th year the plant takes off, growing 90 feet. Conversely, an athlete must practice hard for years and years before he takes off to his highest potential. Continuous practice is what leads to a championship.
The favorite part of Spirit Night is ice cream followed by Camp Songs. Aaron Fink, the JC’s and counselors pump up the room with positive energy, and the boys sing with all their heart. It’s loud and fun until the song slows down. Then, without being prompted, they link arm n’ arm, and sway to an old camp song like “Skylemar You’ll Linger”. It’s the sound of angels, albeit a little off key.
Best of all were the special guest stars, our Skylemar Alum. A few stopped in for the songs, since Alumni Day is tomorrow. From age 6 to 60, you could feel the warm waves of love in the room on a chilly Maine evening. No more jackets required.