The loons are calling between the clang of mealtime bells. Boisterous activity and sounds of joyful work are echoing over Woodward Reservoir. We are buzzing with activity! Last week over 200 summer staff from places like Seattle, Mexico, or just down the road in Vermont, arrived here in Plymouth. Over 55% are returning and many more in new roles or after a break from a role as junior counselors, campers or Tamarack Farmers or Questers.
We spend weeks preparing staff and our properties for your children and teens’ arrival. Staff are hammering, sawing, milking, blacksmithing, learning to care for injured people in wilderness settings, and practicing safe driving techniques (after watching a video and being tested on safety rules). The staff’s talents both creatively and professionally are shining and inspiring their peers and camp leadership.
Select returning staff have taken a two-day workshop we’ve developed that teaches how to facilitate conversations on race, gender and topics of inclusion and equity. Participants gain skills to use teachable moments to broaden awareness of the impact and intent of words we use, of perceptions and perspectives we hold. We support staff in ways to not shy away from difficult topics or lean into discomfort and guide young people in taking risks that lead to growth and a stronger camp community.
We’ve installed a solar array tucked behind our sustainable resources building, that will increase our electric coverage to 90% of consumption. At drop off, you will notice that the road we extended last year has been landscaped with additional shade trees yet to be added.
Over the winter we reviewed our Barns and Garden programs, an integral and unique feature of what youth experience here. We continue to consider how we source and prepare local foods. After a planned dry season, we’ve begun pasteurizing our amazing farm fresh milk for camper consumption this summer.
Thrive for 75
Two big signs herald our Thrive for 75 Campaign and projects, as we head into the home stretch to increase our campership endowment and annual awards, shore up infrastructure and overdue building projects while cultivating our greater F&W community.
All of the work we do over the winter and spring, and now, with opening days around the corner, enable us to deliver the magic that your young people will experience. We are eager for your arrival, for the energy and spirit that rings over the mountains from Woodward to Lake Ninevah.
Safe travels, we can’t wait to see you!
Rebecca Geary, Executive Director